Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky

Book Bingo – a SciFi novel translated into English = Achieved! Well this was the bleakest book I could have chosen to finish off this year’s reading. Earlier in the year I had chosen The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu for this Book Bingo category, but I found it really difficult to get into. It also kept getting requested by other library borrowers while I was trying to read it, so I’d read a bit, return it so someone else could have it, then request it and read a bit more before returning it again, which all made for a … Continue reading Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Book Bingo – a sci-fi from the bottom of the TBR pile = Achieved! Redshirts was the first John Scalzi book I read a couple of years ago, and having been a massive Trekkie all my life I loved it. I found it funny and clever, and I assumed Scalzi must have been writing for years. It’s only very recently that I’ve started to get any idea of where various authors sit on the great timeline of SFF, and I was convinced Scalzi must be one of those late-seventies early-eighties writers making a comeback. Convinced. When I first found Old … Continue reading Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

The Matrix Comics

Book Bingo – Virtual Reality = Achieved! Love it or hate it, the first Matrix movie overturned cinema as we knew it. And to my mind the wave of geekdom we are all riding now sees some of its origins in the release of that film. It had a massive effect on me in 1999 when I first saw it, so much so that I can remember all the details of my cinema visit that day the way previous generations talk about where they were when the first Moon Landing happened. I don’t even mean that hyperbolically. It was a … Continue reading The Matrix Comics

Un Lun Dun by China Miéville

Book Bingo – A prize winner = Achieved! China Miéville won the Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book with his novel Un Lun Dun in 2008 (frankly it’s not a surprise when he wins any award, it’s only a surprise that he doesn’t win all of them). Looking at our purchase label in the library copy of the book that I’ve been reading we bought it hot off the press in 2007, which means I’ve been meaning to read Un Lun Dun for ten years. I honestly don’t know whether to be pleased that I finally got round to … Continue reading Un Lun Dun by China Miéville

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

Book Bingo – Time Travel = Achieved! I didn’t expect this to be as much fun as it was. The jacket blurb talks about Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Regency London and, even though it also mentions time-travelling tourists, it all sounded a little too much like my A-Level English Lit classes to be thoroughly enjoyable. And yet that’s exactly what it was. This is the most fun I’ve had since reading A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer back in March (albeit way, way darker), in terms of rip-roaring, can’t tear myself away, capital ‘F’, Fun. So the blurb does … Continue reading The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Book Bingo – Debut fantasy novel = Achieved!   Ulysses 31 was the greatest show on earth when I was a kid. I was five years old when it aired and completely smitten with Ulysses, Telemachus, Yumi and Nono and enchanted by their many adventures. As I grew up I remembered the show as something rich and layered and utterly bewitching in every way. I waxed lyrical about it to Thumbs when we talked about things from our childhoods, and finally, one Christmas, he bought the DVD boxset for me. I was so excited. We settled down to watch it. … Continue reading The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross

Book Bingo – Non-human narrator = Achieved! “Let me tell you a little bit about starships. We build them because our Creators told us, ‘The solar system’s too small to keep all our eggs in one basket.’ (Which is perfectly true if you discount eight major planets, thirty-something dwarf planets, several hundred moons, and the minor point that, as it turned out, just the one planet they started with was more than enough to see them through to extinction.” This one was an easy pick. Saturn’s Children is about Freya Nakamachi-47, a sentient sexbot who comes off the production line … Continue reading Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross

Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

Book Bingo – Dreadful cover? Give it a go! = Achieved! Cordelia’s Honor is actually two books in one (a double whammy!): Shards of Honor (first published in 1986) and Barrayar (first published in 1991), that together tell the story of Cordelia Naismith and Aral Vorkosigan, from their first meeting, to their getting hitched and having a child, Miles, who becomes the main protagonist in the rest of the Vorkosigan saga. If this sounds a bit humdrum and not quite your cup of tea, then that’s a pity (for you) because these two books are an absolute blast. Before I … Continue reading Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

Book Bingo – A Fantasy classic = Achieved! I was all lined up to read The Chronicles of Amber for this Book Bingo category when I found a copy of War for the Oaks at the bookstore. Known for being one of the first urban fantasy novels ever written, Emma Bull’s debut has been on my wish list for too long for me to ignore it, especially when it has a brand-spanking-new cover, an introduction by Naomi Alderman, and is right there in front of me on the shelf. Zelazny will have to wait. It also feels serendipitous that I … Continue reading War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

  Book Bingo – Aliens! = Achieved!   (Thanks to the worst night’s sleep I’ve had in, like, forever, this will be brief). 7 things to love about The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet: The pick-n-mix crew of lovable characters that live and work together aboard the Wayfarer, (think Farscape, Firefly and Star Trek: Voyager). Their job is to ‘punch’ holes through space, creating hyperspace tunnels between planets for space traffic, but this book is all about the soft and gooey centre: this crew is a family, with all the banter and squabbling and love that that entails. … Continue reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers