Forgot password?  |  Register  |    
User Name:     Password:    
Blog - General Entry   

2018 Reading: Novels, Part 2

On 01/11/2019 at 04:53 PM by daftman

See More From This User »

Earlier I skipped over one of the oldest books I read last year, Out of the Silent Planet, by C. S. Lewis. Published in 1938 as the start of a trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet imagined space travel before we really knew what it is like and it shows, but it is a fun adventure story with some moments of deep thinking. Like Clark after him, Lewis was adept at describing in rich detail the alien vistas and creatures he imagined. Later I read its sequel, Perelandra, which in some ways is the inverse of its predecessor. Perelandra is mostly a series of deep thinking moments sprinkled with adventure bits. I don't want to bash it because it is very good at what it is doing but I do hope that when I read the third book of the trilogy this year, it hews closer to the first one.

space trilogy

This is what my set of books looks like. I love quirky old cover art.

After Perelandra I read through the entire A Series of Unfortunate Events series—all thirteen books—in a month and half. I hadn't intended to read it all at one go but just as the episodic nature of the first few novels started to wear thin (go live with a new relative, something unfortunate happens, repeat), an overarching narrative started to emerge and I was hooked. The tragic-comic episodes became a tragic-comic epic and I had to find out what happened. The series definitely gets a recommend from me, even if I wish the ending had cleaned up more the dangling threads. It is easy, delightful reading.

Again taking a temporal trip, I traveled back to 1947 to read Robert Heinlein's first novel, Rocket Ship Galileo. It's fun seeing people hypothesize how something might play out when we can look back from the other end of history to see how it really did. In this case that thing was man's first trip to the moon. Next up was the early dystopian novel Brave New World, published in 1932. While I haven't read 1984 yet, I know Big Brother in that book enforces rule by threat of punishment, whereas the government in Brave New World keeps its populace in line via extreme conditioning in childhood to enforce its adult caste system; drugs and compulsory R&R are for the adults. It would be an interesting double read with 1984. Maybe I'll get to that this year.

Rocket Ship Galileo

The most recently published book I read last year was from 2017. Six Wakes takes place in a future where human cloning is fairly easy and common. A six-man crew pilots a colony ship that will take four hundred years to reach its destination, cloning themselves into new bodies when they get too old. But they wake twenty-five years into the mission and find their former bodies murdered and their memories of those years missing. Which one of them killed everyone? Will it happen again? This is an especially cool story because it delves into what the political and ethical ramifications that such cloning would bring to the world.

Six Wakes

You all have seen the movie Coraline, right? Well guess what. The book is real good, too, and no surprise there. Almost everything Neil Gaiman does is great. The final novel I got through last year was Serafina and the Black Cloak, the story of a girl trying to stop a mysterious man and his nefarious cloak that consumes children whole. It's not a subtle novel, neither in its themes nor its mystery, but it's an intriguing narrative with fun characters.

Whew! And that was my best year in reading: 33 novels (A Series of Unfortunate Events really boosted that number). But that's not all! Check back to see the comics and other miscellany I read (assuming I write those blogs). Thanks for sticking with me this far!



Super Step Contributing Writer

01/11/2019 at 06:02 PM

I've read Brave New World and felt so-so about it. I have yet to read 1984


01/11/2019 at 08:41 PM

It's hard for me to imagine society getting to the point described in the novel, but their system would be nigh unstoppable once in place.


01/12/2019 at 08:25 PM

I love old scifi novel covers. I used to collect the books, but I ran out of room, so now I just collect scans of them. 


01/13/2019 at 08:24 AM

That works! I also love the smell of old books. I'm weird like that lol


01/15/2019 at 12:29 AM

Oh, I know exactly what you mean. I watched a local indie film at a festival a little while back called "That Smell" all about a local old used book shop and the smell of the books. I voted it my favorite of the bunch I saw that day. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

01/15/2019 at 02:38 AM

1984 is worth the read. Timeless book. The movie is great too, but SO depressing and hard to watch. 


01/16/2019 at 11:09 PM

Then I will stick with the book! Tongue Out

Log in to your PixlBit account in the bar above or join the site to leave a comment.