honorable mentions

a few more noteworthy series, books, and authors who didn’t quite make my top cut:

Shades of Magic (series)

V.E. Schwab

this is a series by the same author as one of my top books. i truly need to read more by this author. everything i’ve read from her makes me weep, because i will never be so good at writing themes of magic


The Warded Man (series)

Peter V. Brett

this series fell off for me at some point and i have yet to finish it. i really should give it another try, as i found the first book or two pretty inspirational when developing my own world’s system of magic


Wool; Shift; Dust (series)

Hugh Howey

people build circular lives inside post-apocalyptic bunkers, yet the entire history of everything as they know it is, at the root, a big massive lie, and the bravest few are challenging that lie


Six of Crows (series)

Leigh Bardugo

this is a spin-off duology from the author of a better-known trilogy called Shadow and Bone. in fact, S.a.B. was adapted for tele lately. but i tried both reading and watching S.a.B. and couldn’t get into either. The Six of Crows series was a good fun romp through back-alley crime-ring turf wars though.


The Kingkiller Chronicle (series)

Patrick Rothfuss

i, as most anyone who reads fantasy, have been anxiously awaiting the conclusion to this series for so long the word “anxious” doesn’t apply anymore


Freeze-Frame Revolution and Blindsight

Peter Watts

these two books are packed with ideas about consciousness and perception. i think Freeze-Frame Revolution was more fun, but Blindsight was deeper. then i tried to read Blindsight’s sequel and found it was basically the same book all over again. the story was good, but there’s probably no need to read it twice


The Bone Clocks

David Mitchell

this book is by the author of the well-known Cloud Atlas. i’ve seen but not read Cloud Atlas, and didn’t think much of the movie. but the book Bone Clocks is good. it follows a few special people, some good and some evil, some mortal and some not, through the fall of our modern civilization


The Diamond Age and Cryptonomicon

Neal Stephenson

this author has written a ton of stuff, and these two books are some of his older works. The Diamond Age has managed to stick with me better than most stories about what a post-scarcity economy might look like. Cryptonomicon was the first time i found myself interested in a World War II story, though it’s only half that; the other half is a primer on cyphers and code-breaking


Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Cory Doctorow

speaking of post-scarcity, this book’s entire purpose is to show how the economics of society might work. it’s a social essay wrapped in a fun murder mystery, as the protagonist searches for who it was who killed him a few days prior


John Scalzi

i’ve only read a few things by this author, but i need to read more. the different stories do not all relate with each other. one book might be about the minor characters on a starship who tend to die as plot fodder, while another is about geriatrics who become the fighting force of our space-faring culture. all the books challenge an assumption and make one think


Terry Pratchett

the Discworld novels are the ultimate pulp-fiction for me – mass-produced and digestible in any order. i used to pick one up before a long plane flight, read it during the flight, then leave it on a table in the destination airport for someone else to enjoy. every book is a pleasure. some are gems. pressed to name favorites, i might say: Wyrd Sisters, and Thief of Time. Good Omens, his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, is not a Discworld book but is probably one of the best stories ever told. The tele adaption of it was equally fine

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