The Ghost Brigades

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This book is a really good sequel, and just as good as Old Man’s War. While some of the characters reappear, the story stands on its own and is quite entertaining. I enjoyed this book a lot. There’s something about bright green genetically engineered super soldiers killing aliens that makes me happy.

[award: nominee prometheus 2007]
[isbn: 0765354063]

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Old Man’s War

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I’ve owned this book for a while, and now really regret not reading it the second it hit my shelves. Its amazingly good for a first book, and is definitely as good as The Forever War and Forever Peace, and better than Starship Troopers. I’m very very impressed with it. An excellent book if you’re into combat scifi.

[awards: nominee hugo 2006]
[isbn: 0765348276]

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The System of the World

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The final book of the Baroque Cycle, and it feels like a real achievement to have gone through them all. They have their slow spots, but also excellent action and characters I love. Best of all, this book focuses on the latter two, with only one section of long theoretical dialog (about the nature of God in this case), which was so common in the other books and somethings so hard to follow. This story line was well worth the 2,500 or so pages it took, and the last book was a pleasure to read. It feels like there should be more books in this universe, but I’m not aware of any — perhaps later?

[award: winner prometheus 2005]
[isbn: 0060750863;0060750863]

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The Accidental Time Machine

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Joe Haldeman does good work, and in general I have really liked his books. They’re easy to read, fun, and interesting. Better than that, they’re all quite different in the topics they cover, so he’s not in a rut. The only exceptions have been There Is No Darkness, which wasn’t very good and Forever Free, which I thought was lazily plotted. This book is no exception to the rule, and I really enjoyed it. One theme to Joe’s work that I am noticing is that the “sex scenes” are always anti-climatic, which is interesting to note.

I’d like to have heard more about the One Year War, but there is scope for that to be another separate book. I don’t think this book suffers from the lack of coverage, and its mostly tangentially interesting because I’d like to see how a society transforms itself in that way.

[award: nominee nebula_novel 2007]
[isbn: 978044101667;0441016162]

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The Diamond Age

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I loved this book. I think its going on my list of all time favorites. The first half of the book is better than the second, but I think that might be because young Nell resonated much more strongly with me than older Nell. I read this book because it came up at a scientific conference where I went to a presentation about 3D fabrication, and its now entirely clear why the presenter thought this was relevant, given 3D nanotech fabrication plays a strong part in this book. Excellent read.

[award: nominee prometheus 1996; winner hugo 1996; nominee nebula_novel 1996]
[isbn: 0553573314]

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Mona Lisa Overdrive

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This is the book which wraps up the Sprawl series (Burning Chrome, Neuromancer and Count Zero). Its a great book, with several separate story lines which are beautifully molded together by the end of the book. It also wraps up the confusing elements of the various other stories nicely. I really enjoyed it.

[award: nominee nebula_novel 1988; nominee hugo 1989; nominee prometheus 1989]
[isbn: 0553281747]

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Cyteen: The Vindication

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This is the final book in the Cyteen trilogy (proceeded by Cyteen: The Betrayal and Cyteen: The Rebirth). This book is good in that it avoids much of the politics that mired the first book. Additionally, its nice to see Ari2 and Justin resolve some of their differences, even if its from a position of mutual distrust. The series doesn’t really resolve the problem of Ari’s research, but I assume that theme is covered more in later books.

[isbn: 0445204303]
[award: winner hugo 1989]

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Cyteen: The Rebirth

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This book is a follow up to Cyteen: The Betrayal, and was originally published in the same volume as it. The book would make little sense without having read Cyteen: The Betrayal first. Apart from that its a good book, and much more readable than the first. I think that’s mostly because all the important scene setting is done and we can finally get on with things. That was my impression with the first book too — the second half was better than the first.

[award: nominee hugo 1989]
[isbn: 0445204540]

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