Reading Recommendations

I received some requests for reading recommendations, so here they are. The is basically my TBR (to be read) list, and is heavy on speculative fiction and horror. 

Trilogies

Philip Roth’s American Trilogy. I saw the movie The Human Stain, and the trilogy was highly recommended by some people whose literary tastes I trust, it’s considered a late 20th century classic, and I’m always interested in learning more about the US and understanding the forces that shape its culture. 

Gareth L Powell’s Embers of War. I know nothing about it, except that it’s a space opera (hell yeah!) and it’s being made into a TV show, so I’m here for it. 

4x3

In the first row here, we have three novels published by Angry Robot books: Ginger Smith’s The Rush’s Edge, R.W.W. Greene’s  The Light Years, and Chris J. Panatier’s The Phlebotomist. I know Rob Greene and Chris Panatier fairly well from Twitter, and they are excellent short-fiction writers, so I have reason to believe the books will be really good, and they each have two more novels coming out shortly, also with Angry Robot. 

Andy Weir is the dude who gave us The Martian, and I hear from a number of people Project Hail Mary is just as good, and probably better. (Fun thing: DH and I independently bought this book, so now we have a spare, which we’ll probably donate to a Little Free Library.)

Octavia Butler’s Kindred. Octavia Butler is widely accepted as one of speculative fiction’s all-time greats, so it’s high time I read Kindred, which is likely her best known novel. 

Dark Matter Magazine is a relatively new pro-paying speculative fiction magazine, and it rose to prominence with lightning speed. The stories within are great and the print magazine is just gorgeous, with plenty of full-color art on the cover and inside; each print issue sells like hotcakes. If you like print magazines, I highly recommend buying Dark Matter. Of course, there is also the electronic version in all popular formats. 

Stephen King’s latest is a crime novel, Later. ‘Nuff said. 

Marie Vibbert (Galactic Hell Cats) is another writer I know from Twitter, and her short fiction is outstanding. She is the very cream of today’s crop for (hard) short sci-fi and she’s also very witty. I expect the novel to be a blast. 

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo came up on Twitter in a thread on well-done novels with LGBTQ themes. Unlike most books on this list, Evelyn Hugo is supposed to be realistic (not speculative) fiction. 

(have read) Hailey Piper is an excellent and extremely prolific writer of horror, and she tackles all lengths: flash, short stories, novellas, and novels. Benny Rose, the Cannibal King is a slasher-type novella I enjoyed, and she’s got a bunch of new books coming out. She also has plenty of free-to-read short fiction available on the web. 

Eric Larocca’s Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke  was recommended somewhere on Twitter, likely in a  horror thread. The gory, mesmerizing cover of this epistolary novella sealed the deal for me. 

(have read) Aeryn Rudel’s Night Walk and Other Dark Paths is a collection of dark short fiction. Aeryn Rudel is an excellent  writer and the collection is really well done. Highly recommended. 

Finally, as a (creepy) treat, here’s my drawing of Benny Rose, the Cannibal King. Yay fan art!

BennyRose3

What have you been reading, blogosphere? 

6 comments

  1. Thank you!! They must be good because every single one is already checked out at my library.

  2. I decided during the pandemic to re-read all the 2000–3000 paperbacks I have (mostly fantasy and science fiction) and put them into my phone after I read each one. I started with Zelazny and am working my way backwards. I got as far as Wentworth, before Fathers’ Day, when my son sent me 6 volumes of Tad Williams books to complete a couple of series, so I’ll be reading Tad Williams for the next few weeks.

  3. Love The Road. If you haven’t read yet you should. I also liked Everyman by Roth, better than American Pastoral, actually. You might like Emily St. John Mandel too.

  4. @OMDG, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven was on my sci-fi book group’s reading list but I was super busy when it was due, so didn’t read it.

  5. DH just got Hail Mary. He’s also catching up on Ann Leckie.

    @gasstation– Zelazny is a great place to start! I especially love his short story collections.

    DC1 read Station Eleven for his dystopia small group in class last semester. It was better than Anthem… (the Ayn Rand book that the entire class read).

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