November Reading

While still waiting for the manuscript from my editor and writing for NaNoWriMo, I was also reading at a breakneck pace. I hit my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 57 books, which doesn’t seem like much, but that is a 10% increase from last year and a reasonable goal. I’ll post a wrap-up of what I enjoyed this year in a later post.

So what did I read this month that I enjoyed?

I didn’t find a standout non-fiction that I enjoyed last month, though David Gaughran’s author centric works were quite well done and a good refresher to ensure I’m still hitting the basics with my novels. So what were some interesting reads this month? First up:

Children of Time
By Adrian Tchaikovsky

This book started out slow, but gained momentum. The human part of the story was much less interesting than the alien/uplifted creatures. I enjoyed the generational storytelling through the narrative device introduced early in the novel, and the uplifted aliens were some of the most well thought out in terms of communication, culture, civilization, lifespan, etc. It reminded me of Vernor Vinge’s Tines in the depth Tchaikovsky went to shape their story and ended it in a surprising but inevitable way. You’ll find the fallen humanity portions of the story wearing as you’re itching to get back to the aliens story and how they’ve progressed.

Next we have some military science fiction:

Still researching and reading in the military SF genre, mining for Indie gems (more on that next month), I’ve gone back to Weber’s Honorverse series. This second outing did not disappoint as a story, but I thought Honor was getting the Mary Sue trope when they showed her doing the combat training scene early in the book. It turned out to be more of a Chekhov’s gun (albeit much more delayed than how Anton Chekhov would have imagined it), and the story rode relatively smoothly from there. There’s a lot more political intrigue and diplomacy in this book. It also deals with a lot of touchy subjects that don’t seem all that touchy or radical today, but this book came out nearly three decades ago. From a military point of view, it leans less into the tactics and more into politics—well thought out, though it relies more on history than new paradigms. Not much new in terms of the science fiction though Weber discussed how technology plays a large factor in tactical advantages. If you liked the On Basilisk Station, you’ll enjoy The Honor of the Queen.