Jul. 29th, 2011

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59) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin

Wow. I'm not going to have time to read the full text of all the Best Novel nominees before the deadline, or the novel-length works for the Campbell nominees, so my plan was to do more-or-less what I did last year -- read the first three or so chapters of each and decide on that basis. (Although it's not really possible to judge Connie Willis that way; I'll read as much as I can over the next couple of days and then decide, I guess.) Anyway, I had to tear myself away from this one, so once I'd had a taste of the others, I came back and devoured the rest of it -- SDCC lines are great for reading, and the phone's a lot easier to wrangle than a hardcopy.

This is a story of family, politics, gods, and power. I don't think I can write about it in a way that will do it justice. You can read the first three chapters on the author's website; if that grabs you the way it grabbed me, you'll want to keep going. This isn't a thousand-page behemoth of an epic fantasy; I found it a fairly quick read. I've picked up the second as a ebook, but I won't start it until I finish my Hugo ballot.

60) Forever Peace, by Joe Haldeman, via Audible

I didn't like this as much as The Forever War. It seemed confused about itself, what kind of story it wanted to be, etc., and I found it hard to get in to. It won a Hugo, so clearly some people liked it, but it didn't quite work for me.

61) Blackout, by Connie Willis

Now reading All Clear, which is the second half of the story. If you like Connie Willis historian novels, this is the kind of thing you'll like. If you haven't read any of the preceding ones, I suggest starting with a shorter piece -- the novelette "Fire Watch" or the novel Doomsday Book, perhaps.

Went ahead and submitted my Hugo Ballot last night; if I change my mind over the next couple of days, I can resubmit, but at least I won't forget this way, and I probably won't change my mind.

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