I read some more stuff.
I’m trying to get into talking more about what I’m reading and hit some of the highlights. Since my latest novel, Matrix Trigger, went off for a development edit, I’ve gotten caught up on some genre reading. As always, you can find what I’ve read on Goodreads. Here are a couple of gems I read:
Nonfiction: I’m a fan of exploring new ideas and delving into research. While Dr. Angela Duckworth’s book is not without faults (her research is incomplete and it is marketed as self-help), I found the book insightful, engaging, and carried more weight than most self-help books. It does overly value her research couched in terms of success and does not look for instances where grit fails to produce the results desired. Still, it puts me in the mind of Kahneman’s work in ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’.
Fiction: As Invisible Enemy is a military science fiction novel, I wanted to do a deep dive into the novels that define the genre. A few of the novels I read did not impress me at all, but one stood out as a strong example of a well written story and carefully constructed universe. That is, of course, the popular Honorverse series lead by David Weber’s On Basilisk Station. Set on a conflict backdrop that’s gleans heavily from the British and French military, it paints an excellent picture of political intrigue, leadership, and reasonably well done space battles (which in the end, neither ship won though one side and crew mostly came out of the encounter). There’s some hard science fiction realism—not quite as good as Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, but far better than other novels which play at being military science fiction—there’s a healthy mix of character, plot, political play, and military engagements. I’m not sure where the rest of the novels of the Honorverse go, but I’d be willing to read further and get a better handle on the genre itself.1
Those are a couple of books I wanted to share. There are plenty of others. I read twelve books in the month of October, which is a blistering pace when you are not actively writing a novel. National Novel Writing Month is here, so my reading will taper off a bit. Until next time!
If you’re interested in the military science fiction genre, buyer beware of what is popular in the market on Amazon. Military SF sells well in Amazon's subscription service, known as Kindle Unlimited, but thus far I’ve found the quality of the work within that real to be far less than what I’ve been willing to pay (and I always pay for to support any author who has sweated over a novel). I’ll continue to read in the genre and find those gems that might be worth a second glance or download. I’m particularly interested in finding more indie Military SF diamonds in the rough to share.