The Martian by Andy Weir
2014, Crown Publishers
Review Summary: One of the best novels I’ve read for quite some time. Gripping and realistic, a modern spin on the castaway theme, where everyone knows where the stranded person is – but just can’t get to him.
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
2009, Night Shade Books
Review Summary: The Windup Girl exceeded my expectations in every way – a wonderfully crafted, timely, subtle and complex storyline set against a grim, almost hopeless – and depressingly realistic – environment.
Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand by Samuel R Delany
Review Summary: Stars is, as was Triton, an amazing, very unique novel, and I am extremely impressed with Delany’s skill and ability to explore the topics he tackles.
A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle
1960, Ballantine Books
Review Summary: It is definitely a novel of an earlier time, but at the same time the characters are such that the novel has a touch of timelessness about it as well. Or perhaps its just the pacing I’m reacting to, as Beagle shows a unique touch in bringing an otherworldly sense of unhurriedness to the novel that dovetails remarkably well with the subject matter.
Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
2008, Ace Books
Review Summary: I continue to highly recommend this series, though I do occasionally feel like I’m reading a not-quite-trashy romance novel – highly intelligent, endearing, and fascinating, but nevertheless “romance”.
I continue to be extremely impressed with Briggs’ characterization in this series. Though her plots continue to be not that complex, the complexity of the characters makes this an entirely engrossing novel. Her take on the supernatural is likewise fresh and unique in my experience, retaining some awe and mysticism while at the same time helping through her down-to-earth main character to make the supernatural characters as real as any ordinary human.
I continue to highly recommend this series, though I do occasionally feel like I’m reading a not-quite-trashy romance novel – highly intelligent, endearing, and fascinating, but nevertheless “romance”.
Dust by Elizabeth Bear
2007, Bantam Books
Review Summary: My only real complaint with Elizabeth Bear’s Dust is that it went by way too quickly. I look forward to seeing what the further adventures entail, to see what exactly the author is attempting to say in this unique setting.
Eifelheim by Michael Flynn
Review Summary: I highly recommend Eifelheim as a unique, fascinating, and unexpected offering in the genre.
Blindsight by Peter Watts
Review Summary: Blindsight is a fantastic read, concise and hard-hitting, without sacrificing either the very solid thought-experiments the author is playing out or the characterization or emotional impact of the story.
Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
Review Summary: Blood Bound is as solid and rewarding as its predecessor.
A Grey Moon Over China by Thomas A. Day
2007, Black Heron Press
Review Summary: A Grey Moon Over China is an excellent, well-written, dark, thoughtful, and innovative novel, and I highly recommend it.