The San Diego Sci-Fi/Fantasy Meetup Group Message Board › Book Recommendations from 06/05/06 Meeting

Book Recommendations from 06/05/06 Meeting

A former member
Post #: 28
Science Fiction

Shweta: Iain M. Banks' The Player of Games. Set in the universe of The Culture, in a far future where science has eliminated sickness, death and hunger. Master game player Jernau Gurgeh travels to an alien empire to compete in a game tournament; political complexity ensues.

Jeff: Peter F. Hamilton's Judas Unchained. Follows Pandora's Star. Set in a star-spanning civilization of the twenty-fourth century. A ship is sent to investigate the mystery of a disappearing star, only to inadvertently unleash a predatory alien species that poses a terrible threat to the Commonwealth.

Nathaniel: Wil McCarthy's The Collapsium. In a wondrous future, the secrets of matter have been unlocked and death itself is a memory. The world is endangered by the bitter rivalry between two brilliant scientists--one the world's greatest genius and the other its greatest monster.

Eli: Elizabeth Moon's The Speed of Dark. An autistic man is offered a "cure" and must decide if he should submit to a surgery that might completely change the way he views the world and the very essence of who he is.

Fantasy

Nathaniel: Barbara Hambly's Dragonsbane. Epic adventure of sorcery, intrigue and battle in a world where the politics can be as deadly as the magic and the dragons.

Ann: Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking. A law enforcement witch goes solo as a PI, teaming up with a vampire, and gets in over her head in Cincinnati's supernatural politics.

Shweta: James Hetley's The Summer Country. A modern woman discovers her lineage to the sorcerers of Camelot, and must travel through the Summer Country for her birthright.

Zack: Guy Gavriel Kay's The Last Light of the Sun. Kay takes up the history and mythology of ancient Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Norse cultures in this saga.

Stacey: Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory's The Outstretched Shadow. A young mage discovers forbidden secrets that lead to his banishment; he becomes caught up in a brewing war as he learns that the world is far more complex than his teachers ever knew.

Nathaniel: Patricia McKillip's The Riddle-Master of Hed trilogy (beware: spoilers in the glossary!). The epic journeys of a young prince in a strange land, where wizards have long since vanished but where magic is waiting to be reborn.

Allison: Felicity Savage's Humility Garden and Delta City (later published together as Garden of Salt). A fantasy of Byzantine complexity and unique flavor, in a world where the relationship between two sentient species is mediated by religion. The cultures are fascinating and disturbing, with some magical arts that are both hauntingly lovely and compellingly creepy.

Zack: Jo Walton's The King's Peace. Ringing with the clash of arms, rich with high magic and everyday life, The King's Peace is an epic of great deeds and down-to-earth people.

Historical Fantasy

Jim: Susannah Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. In 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging, most people believe magic long dead in England--until the reclusive Mr. Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight. Written in a perfect mimicry of its historical period's tone, and winner of many awards. Will be discussed at Mysterious Galaxy on August 16!

Brent: Tobsha Learner's ­The Witch of Cologne. A Jewish midwife (and secret student of the Kabbalah) in 17th-century Germany falls into the hands of the Inquisition.

Shweta: Tim Powers' ­The Anubis Gates. Steeping together in this time-warp stew are such characters as an unassuming Coleridge scholar, ancient gods, wizards, the Knights Templar, werewolves, and other quasi-mortals, all wrapped in the organizing fabric of Egyptian mythology.

Dave: Wilbur Smith's ­River God. An epic of war and love in ancient Egypt.

Shweta: Jo Walton's ­Tooth & Claw. Walton was "wondering what a world would be like if the axioms of the sentimental Victorian novel were inescapable laws of biology." She had read Anthony Trollope's Framley Parsonage and thought the characters' behavior made no sense for humans...but made sense for dragons. Welcome to a version of early Victorian England where to "die of consumption" means you were eaten.

Shweta: Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer's ­Sorcery and Cecelia. In 1817 in England, two young cousins, Cecilia living in the country and Kate in London, write letters to keep each other informed of their exploits, which take a sinister turn when they find themselves confronted by evil wizards.
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