I know it’s been days since my last post on how my writing is coming since I’m halfway through an assignment from a temp agency (yes, I have a temporary paid job now, though I still need something permanent and full time that pays at this point), but let’s put all of that aside. As I’m working on several different things and getting ready for the next month of writing (Camp NaNoWriMo April is in a matter of days!), I’ve managed to get some downtime during this month to read some very cool books on the subject I’m writing on. That is, science fiction and steampunk.
As you can tell by the title, I’ve taken the slogan from the Sy Fy channel, “Imagine Greater,” and turned it into something even more amazing. These are the extraordinary books you should read if you’re still hung up on Star Trek and Doctor Who reruns on that same channel before Doctor Who season eight gets here and raises a little hell. (Good luck, Peter! Hope you make the Twelfth regeneration better than ever!)
So I hope to read all of these books by the end of this year:
American Gods and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman: Gaiman has won Hugo and Nebula awards for his work, including a screenplay he wrote for my guru, Steven Moffat himself. Yes, I’m talking about the award winning Doctor Who episode “The Doctor’s Wife”. Plus he continued to write another one for season seven, “Nightmare in Silver”- featuring one of Matt Smith’s final appearances before regenerating into Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. Therefore, I’m enthralled to try out his fiction to see him as a fiction author. Need I say more?
Map of Time by Felix Palma: Though the pages are thinner than maple leaves and the spine is three quarters the size of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Map of Time sounds like Incarceron for the grown up crowd. If J.K. Rowling wrote H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, this book would be it. It’s all about a man who finds a mysterious map that takes him through time to save England’s fate.
Maximum Ride series (picking up at Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports) by James Patterson: I’ve been reading these guys in order, but I took a break at a part where I just couldn’t take the torture of the poor bird kids any longer. Still, the whole series is a page turner and once you start the book, you’ll be finished the same book in a matter of days, guaranteed.
The Doctor and the Rough Rider by Mike Resnick: If I’m going to write a Jane Austen steampunk series, I should learn to do it right, by picking up something like this.
The Affinity Bridge by George Mann: This has two things Kerensa and I love: murder mystery and steampunk.
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross: Kerensa recommended this book for me, saying that female leads in steampunk and almost all of science fiction have to be super strong and a little gritty, like stainless Finley Jane. Sadly, I haven’t finished this book yet.
The Society of Steam series by Andrew P. Mayer: I’ve left off on the second book in this series, but I’m in love with this. Take The Avengers, make Black Widow a female outcast who wants to be the leader of her own team, and put all of them in industrial Victorian New York, and you get Society of Steam.
What I’m currently reading (in no particular order)-
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: This is Neil Gaiman’s first full length novel, and although I found it resting in the “modern fiction” section of the library, when it should be in science fiction, I’ve found it to be quite intriguing. It takes place in a darker underground city underneath London where rats are treated sacrilegiously and the nighttime can kill. Meanwhile, a woman called Door from that place drags our hero Richard Mayhew down into that twisted world to be her bodyguard and take down the men who killed her family, while giving Richard back his life in London Above. Think Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride meets Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card: Yes, I’m reading this book after the movie came out. I’m up to Chapter 10 and there’s actually a lot of things going on in this book that should have been in the movie as well. Completely astounding read, you will have a hard time putting this down.
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James: Since I am still in process of writing my first installment of Prisoner of Austen, I figured I’d read something to fuel my Austen passion by reading a murder mystery that takes the classic Pride and Prejudice a step further. What if we could see Darcy and Elizabeth after the wedding… and Darcy was framed for Mr. Wickham’s murder?
Among the Janeites by Deborah Yaffe: Another book to give me research notes on the Regency era, but this time from an unbiased perspective who soon sees that the Austen fandom has possibly gone a little bit too far, like someone dressing as Mr. Darcy and hosting bachelorette parties. I’ll write some more posts on it later when April comes along.
The Science of Doctor Who by Paul Parsons: As a Whovian and a science fiction and science lover (I took a physics class my senior year of high school and I aced high school and college chemistry), I’ve grown curious as to what kinds of scientific fact may lie in the 50 year old TV show. It’s almost impossible not to pick up this book if you want to learn the tricks of time travel, space travel, regeneration, alien life, robots, and many other fun things. After all, scientists, physicists and time lords have all the fun, so why can’t we?
Flash Fiction- 72 Very Short Stories: Something to pass the time, or not, and it includes one of my favorite extremely short stories by the late David Foster Wallace from his collection Girl With Curious Hair, “Everything is Green”.