Over the past several years, I’ve read less and less. There are lots of reasons for this, but those reasons all fit in the file drawer labeled “Distraction”. It has been a very long time since I’ve finished an SF novel that I would consider “current”.

Using Hugo nominees for Best Novel as a guide, it looks like I stalled completely in 2013. That year I started but didn’t finish two of the nominated novels and didn’t read any of the others. In 2014, the same. I dnf’d two of the nominees and didn’t attempt any of the others. In 2015 and 2016, I didn’t read nor attempt to read any of the nominees.

Looking at this year’s Hugo nominees, I see an opportunity to reconnect. Three of the Hugo nominees are sequels, and two of those are sequels to previous Hugo winners. I haven’t read any of those, but in doing so I’d be reading a couple of previous Hugo winners in addition to this year’s stuff, so bonus.

When I’m finished, like them or not, I’ll feel able to rejoin the conversation.

Here are the books I’ll read:
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (currently reading)
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (nominee)
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (nominee)
Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer (nominee)
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (nominee)
A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (nominee)
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
The Dark Forest bu Cixin Liu
Death’s End by Cixin Liu (nominee)

I have till July 15th if I want to finish in time to vote. No deadline at all if I don’t care about voting. I’ll leave that in the air.

My history of posting lists isn’t so good. There’s something it that is unmotivating. At the moment, I’ve starting reading again in a big way and I’d love to post here more regularly. I’m very interested to find out if I like these books or not. If the list doesn’t damage my enthusiasm, then I’ll post something here about each one.

I won’t force myself to finish them. I will treat each of these like I do other things I read: if I’m not looking forward to getting back to the book after reading 40 pages then I’ll drop it and move on.


– I read 40 pages of All the Birds in the Sky and set it aside. No real connection there for me.

– Once I got 250 pages or so into The Fifth Season, I skimmed to the end. There was some powerful stuff there. Some images/emotions will stick with me, including a dead boy on the floor at the beginning and his mother, and the power of the orogenes. After these two books, I wonder if this is a problem between me and fantasy in general? Reading this book, I was thinking, “yeah, that’s a nifty idea” but just wanted to move on. I’m not interested in the sequel. People love this book so I’m sure it’s me.

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