Superfluous Matter
Books - 2019

So...no blogging in 2019. But lots of reading! Here is my list for the year since my last post.

  • How Long 'til Black Future Month, by N.K. Jemisin
  • The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Farthest Shore, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Tehanu, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Tales from Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Other Wind, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Daughter of Odren, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Unreal and the Real, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Fated Sky, by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
  • Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • The Library at Mount Char, by Scott Hawkins
  • The Big Sheep, by Robert Kroese
  • Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Green Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Blue Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Savage News, by Jessica Yellin
  • Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration, by Bryan Caplan and Zach Weinersmith
  • The Consuming Fire, by John Scalzi
  • Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
  • Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie
  • Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie
  • Provenance, by Ann Leckie
  • The Peripheral, by William Gibson
  • Fall, by Neal Stephenson
  • The Broom of the System, by David Foster Wallace
  • The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood
  • Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, by Stephen King
  • Elevation, by Stephen King
  • Gwendy's Button Box, by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
  • Mostly Dead Things, by Kristen Arnett
  • All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
  • Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: The Assasin's Road, by Kazuo Koike
  • Stories of Your Life and Others, by Ted Chiang
  • Exhalation, by Ted Chiang

Last year my "discovery" (i.e. an author who's been around forever and I'm regrettably finding very late) was Octavia E. Butler. My failure to discover this science fiction author is almost certainly a result of the her gender and race and the fact that the science fiction space is dominated by old white men. So this year I made an attempt to consciously seek out more books in the fantasy and sci-fi space by women and people of colour and this effort was tremendously rewarding. I wish I had read Ursula K. Le Guin's "Earthsea" series as a kid instead of Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series which devolved into a ridiculous Ayn Rand love-fest. Similarly, Tomi Adeyemi's young-adult "Legacy of Orisha" series is looking incredibly promising. Ann Leckie's "Imperial Radch" books were fantastic too, and provided super interesting perspectives on the perception of gender.

My other favourite new author of the year was Ted Chiang, a short story science fiction writer. His "Story of Your Life" was the basis of the spectacular film "Arrival" and every story of his I read leaves me thinking about it for days afterwards. He is exceptionally talented.

Other noteworth novels from the list above were: "The Mars Trilogy," "The Sparrow," "The Library at Mount Char," and the always enticing Neal Stephenson's "Fall."

I always feel like I should read more non-fiction, but I never really get to it. However I'm very glad I made time for "Open Borders" this year as it was fantastic. I won't argue its points here, but it is a very thoroughly researched graphic novel (illustrated by one of my favourite web comic artists) which basically destroys almost every anti-immigration argument out there. It advocates for fully open borders without limit all over the world and backs up every claim. Read it, it's fascinating.

Previous post