[ExI] Books for the holidays?

Chris Hibbert hibbert at mydruthers.com
Sun Dec 2 23:02:16 UTC 2007

 > as other cyberpunk like C. J. Cherryh and her _Cyteen_ (but got annoyed

I'm a Cherryh fan, but like John Brunner, the quality varies widely. 
I'm nearly done with her "Rusalka", and I may not go on to the sequels. 
But I've liked practically everything in the Chanur universe.  Which is 
not to say that any of it is "A" material; it's just good entertainment.

 > _Diaspora_

A real winner.  I've found myself referring to the orphanogenesis scene 
several times over the last few months. 

Egan's other brilliant book is "Permutation City".  The rest are fun to 
read, but not mind-changing.

 > _Neuromancer_,

That was a real stunner when it came out.  So much is derivative of it 
that it may not carry the same impact unless you can read it with a 
fresh mind.  Some people can read old books and forget what came after, 
and some can't.

 > _Hyperion_

The first couple of books in this series were quite good, but it trailed 

 > _The Book of the New Sun_ which includes:
 >         _The Shadow of the Torturer_
 >         _The Claw of the Conciliator_
 >         _The Sword of the Lictor_
 >         _The Citadel of the Autarch_
 > all by Gene Wolfe.

Quintessential Wolfe.  If you like writers who understand how to 
exercise the language, I strongly recommend this series.  Wolfe has some 
other really good books and series, but this is my favorite.

 > _The Golden Age_
 > _The Phoenix Exultant_
 > _The Golden Transcendence_
 > all by John C. Wright

Counter-recommended if you ask me.

 > And maybe it is time that I purchase a copy of _Accelerando_,

This was a lot of fun, as much for all the inside references as for the 
story.  Stross really understands the future we're talking about and how 
quickly it will arrive.

 > _A Fire Upon the Deep_ and a paper back copy of _A Deepness in the Sky_.

Vinge has written quite a few winners, and I thought this series was 
among them.  Each book has a different set of contrasting races that 
explore what it means to be intelligent.  Group minds, uplifted sessile 
"creatures", and on and on.  The future tech will be less unbelievable 
just a short time after they were written, but that shows Vinge's clear 
vision, too.

What a fun collection to look forward to!

C. J. Cherryh, "Invader", on why we visit very old buildings:
       "A sense of age, of profound truths.  Respect for something
       hands made, that's stood through storms and wars and time.
       It persuades us that things we do may last and matter."

Chris Hibbert
hibbert at mydruthers.com
Blog:   http://pancrit.org

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