16 June 2011

Here's Some Good Books I Read Recently

The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. Gritty, fun fantasy that makes a point of putting a big (or little) twist on each fantasy cliche in it. Grim but entertaining, maybe halfway between A Song of Ice and Fire and The Black Company stories? Logen Ninefingers (or "The Bloody Nine") is my favorite character in fiction for some time, a terrifying barbarian champion who is getting into middle age and just over all the fighting and nonsense. He's great.

And I finally read George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books, too. Spurred on by the TV show, I suppose, although after the books I didn't feel quite so keen on watching it (possibly because so much stuff had to be cut). In any case, good but with some flaws. He's way to keen on adding point of view characters, something I'm not keen on in general. The sex and violence also grows tiresome. It's all so... sordid. And written just a little bit too larger than life to be believable.

Moving away from fantasy novels, I also really enjoyed James Gleick's The Information. It's a bit of a whirlwind tour of information theory and the way information has become more important through history. Lots of great stuff, although I felt it tailed off a little abruptly when he got to the present day.

Walter Jon Williams has a sequel to This Is Not A Game, called Deep State. It is better than the first one, and the first one was great. I recommend the pair of them to everyone interested in science fiction, gaming's growing intersection with the rest of life, and technothrillers.

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