RogerBW's Blog

2017 in Books 02 January 2018

In 2017 I read 124 books, down again from the previous year.

I was a Hugo voter again, and thought that the shorter fiction in particular was vastly improved compared with other recent voting years; I had serious choices to make among multiple good stories in almost all categories. I'd already read three of the Best Novel nominees before the list was announced, and I still reckon Ninefox Gambit was the best of them by my lights.

In SF not eligible for the Hugo: Linda Nagata's The Red: First Light and Karen Traviss's Going Grey both impressed me, but there weren't any other really amazing books.

On the other hand, the non-fiction The Rules of the Game does a hard job superbly well, and I continue to recommend it to everyone who has even a slight interest in the subject, or the period. That was my big fat slow-to-read book for the year.

I managed to avoid giving up on any books this year, hurrah! Which is not to say that I'm less willing to give up, but I got better at not starting books that I wouldn't want to finish. Too Like the Lightning came close; the other book that went into my In Brief, Avoid category was Ernest Cline's Armada.

I've carried on with my chronological (re-)read of Allingham, Marsh and Brand, and nearly finished; just two more books to go. I'm still mostly enjoying them, and I managed not to overdose this time, by interleaving plenty of other books. I welcome suggestions for the next series-reading. Probably Sayers first, since I've only reviewed one of hers so far.

I've been keeping up with Neil Bowers's book-per-month re-read of the joint Hugo and Nebula winners; the ones I've read before mostly don't stand up well, but Rendezvous with Rama did better than I expected, and there were a couple of gems, particularly Dreamsnake. As I write, I've just forced myself to plough through Ender's Game, which I hated first time round and which (spoiler!) didn't get much better on re-reading.

See also:
The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata
Going Grey, Karen Traviss
Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee
Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer
Armada, Ernest Cline
Dreamsnake, Vonda N. McIntyre
The Rules of the Game, Andrew Gordon

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