On recent trips, I’ve squeezed in a little reading, including The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi, which is listed as the first of three, but which I found just fine as a stand-alone. Another book that I approached with apprehension, but which soon drew me in, was Sarah Beth Durst’s The Queen of Blood, another “first” in a projected series, but which certainly doesn’t leave a reader hanging. The Mechanical, by Ian Tregillis, has a truly fascinating setting, although I really didn’t care much for the majority of the characters. A number of people have recommended Barsk, by Lawrence M. Schoen, which I also found interesting, but one aspect of the plot hangs on Chomsky’s theory of universal grammar. That’s not surprising, given that Schoen is is a psycholinguist, but, especially in retrospect, that aspect bothered me a little, possibly because I have trouble buying Chomsky’s theory. I also read Zelda Fitzgerald’s Save Me the Waltz, intriguing in a strange way, possibly because it provided an insight into a historical personage who was always referenced but never really explained or explored in anything I’d read about F. Scott Fitzgerald. Last of all, I finally finished Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer, which was well-written, opened strongly for me, provided surprising twists, and then ended with the story incomplete [apparently another volume is coming] with characters I liked less and less.

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