Are you ready? Promise not to be mad?
All right, here it is: I basically didn't read last year.
And before your monocle drops in the champagne, let me clarify: I DID read. I totally did. I read for work - let me tell you, I am now the James Wood of 10th- and 11th-grade Catholic school booklists - and for my friends, several of whom have manuscripts so amazing that my fists curl in disgust every time I realize that you guys can't read them yet.
But in terms of voluntary, published, pull-it-off-the-shelf-and-buy-it leisure reading - forget keeping abreast of new releases; I haven't even glimpsed a side-boob.
It is most definitely time to change that.
So this is where I throw myself at your feet and clasp your knees like a Greek supplicant and say "help me, benevolent literarian - deliver me from my prison of ignorance and squalor." Would you, could you, pretty please with a cherry on top:
- Recommend me a book, novella, or short story
- of the sci-fi/fantasy/spec-fic persuasion
- that was professionally published in 2014
- and that you thought was terrific.
AND SPEAKING OF DESERVING MASTERPIECES
|see what I did there|
If you are likewise of the SFF awards-voting persuasion, let me tell you about this amazing novel. It's called One Night in Sixes (but would have been better titled A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, if that bastard Eggers hadn't beaten me to it) and it is NOT ONLY Hugo and Nebula eligible, BUT ALSO a seminal entry in what is sure to be this year's hottest subgenre: epic fantasy literary Western culturepunk (or "rural fantasy" for short.) Behold the stunning literary triumph that readers are calling "bad shit happens... then worse shit happens"! Marvel at what Publisher's Weekly hails as "murky" and GCE calls a "sweaty hot mess"! (The town of Sixes, that is.) And if you like the sound of a slightly-wrecked Dark Tower-esque fantasy world with a funky, multicultural Deep Space Nine aesthetic, cowboy up and get you some.
|PUT IT IN YOUR FACE.|
(And if your gunnysack is coming up short on folding-money, hit me up. One Night in Sixes e-scholarship program available for a limited time.)
Okay, but anyway. Stories. Recs. Give them to me! And lest you think I'm completely helpless, here are the gems of 2014 I've already got jockeying for top spot on my TBR pile:
"Because when the Black Beetle invades your ice-hole, you grab your multi-tool and GTFO." I'm actually angry I haven't read this yet. SUPERHERO BILDUNGSROMAN, GET IN ME.
Chuck Wendig - Blightborn
Because his dystopia is cooler than your dystopia. Because evil corn, that's why.
Beth Cato - The Clockwork Dagger
Clerics and airships and murder and semi-rescued puppies and I KNEW HER BEFORE SHE WENT MAINSTREAM, dammit!
J.K. Cheney - The Seat of Magic
Her fishmen are sexier than mine. Her covers are colorier than mine. And her research - oh, let's not even talk about mine. Look, it's gaslamp fantasy with sirens in Portugal. Don't act like you're not excited.
Cixin Liu - The Three Body Problem
Confession: I don't know what this book is about. I don't WANT to know what this book is about. All I know is, 85% of my favorite people are completely over the moon about it, and I cannot wait to sit down and have the most amazing blind-date ever.
Okay. So those are my starter Pokemon. Think yours can compete with mine? Prove it! Put up your recs - my TBR pile can take anything you can dish out!