mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

July Fantasy and Science Fiction Reading Blitz

Given it’s been a few months filled with exclusively leadership and management book reading, I focused on fun reading in July.

  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - Fun reading was the goal of July but this book was far from fun, but this book ended up being devastating and heartbreaking. Although it’s a dystopian science fiction story, this book doesn’t really read like science fiction. It’s set in our world, leveraging burgeoning technology, but crossing a moral and ethical boundary we have not yet chosen to cross. The great thing about the flavor of science fiction in this book is you don’t need lightspeed rocket ships or aliens to put characters in extraordinary situations that cause the reader to pause and reflect on their own life and world.

  • Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky - This page-turner follows two mostly separate but intertwined story arcs: humans looking for a new planet to inhabit after destroying Earth (hits too close to home right now) and spiders living on an alien planet (that looks mightily enticing for aforementioned humans) who are evolving at an incredibly rapid pace because of a nanovirus introduced by humans in the past. Things come to a head eventually in a fantastic and unexpected conclusion. If you’re not an arachnophobe or a fan of intelligent design this novel is worth checking out.

  • Redemption of Time by Baoshu - This was originally fanfiction to the absolutely fantastic The Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy that somehow got picked up by the original author, Cixin Liu, who gave his permission for this to be published. Redemption of Time picks up where the trilogy left off and helps fill some of the gaps like the time AA and Yun Tianming spend on the Planet Blue and Yun Tianming’s time amongst the Trisolarans. It introduces some new story elements that I found a bit much but ultimately the book does a great (and clever) job of leaving me more satisfied with the universe Liu wove. If you loved the original trilogy, I’d recommend checking this one out.

  • The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin - I adored Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy - a story about a world afflicted by random apocalyptic seasons. In The Inheritance Trilogy Jemisin creates a universe inhabited by gods mingling among humans and douses the story with conflict amongst humans, gods, and everything between. Each entry in the trilogy (including the novella fourth entry The Awakened Kingdom) is told from the perspective of a different character giving Jemisin plenty of berth to flex her writing prowess. I really enjoyed every story and learning more about the world of this series. The Broken Earth is still a stronger series in my opinion, but The Inheritance Trilogy is still a fantastic series that any fan of fantasy literature should read.

And that was my July in a nutshell: buried in books when not at work! Fire Emblem: Three Houses came out last week so I don’t think there’s going to be much reading in the coming months! 😅