Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

The four best books I read this year

These were my favorite reads this year. Give them a try! (These books are recently published, but not during 2021.)

ECHO IN ONYX. This fascinating page-turner from Sharon Shinn is about a royal society where a select few have dopplegangers (exact replicas of themselves) who are integrated into society and accompany and interact with their primary individual in fascinating ways. I was totally immersed in this book. The first book in a trilogy–also available in audio book.

 

KLARA AND THE SUN. A Booker Prize-winning book by literary author Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s a surprisingly believable view into the mental world of a humanoid-looking AI. The story conveys a sweet and sometimes unbearable poignancy. Ishiguro is a master of irony, where the reader is aware of things that the main character is not. Some may find it a bit slow, but I didn’t.

 

THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET. If you’ve read David Mitchell’s science fiction, you’re already a fan. He’s a total powerhouse literary writer and this one, with small elements of fantasy, is historical fiction set in 18th century Japan. The main character is a Dutch merchant who run afoul of his corrupt employer and harbors a secret love love of a Japanese woman.

 

GREAT STORIES DON’T WRITE THEMSELVES.  From the brilliant teacher Larry Brooks, a clear-sighted, inspiring guide to using major turning points in the novel, using a popular mystery book by Robert Dugoni as an example. His structural approach to the novel is the most helpful advice I’ve ever been given. I recommend all his other books as well!

Kay in Year’s Best

 

 

Just released . . .

Step Into The Future

The finest selections from a banner year for short-form science fiction, Year’s Best SF 16 is the boldest, most eye-opening compilation to date from award-winning editors and anthologists David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer.

Brilliant visions, both dark and hopeful, of what might await humankind over tomorrow’s horizon.

Contributors include:

Kay Kenyon
Alastair Reynolds
Michael Swanwick
Vernor Vinge
Joe Haldeman and others

Nonfiction Inspires Fiction

It’s all cannon fodder. Everything you do, are, and think about goes into your fiction. Why? First of all, you can’t help it. You are your best source of experiences and facts. Next, you need tons of material to write short stories and novels; you have to mine the world to get stuff.

Short Stories from Newspapers

Take nonfiction, for example. If you’re like me, you do read nonfiction, for general education, out of curiosity about things, and to get a break from fiction. But often nonfiction will spark stories. Read More…

Who Am I, Anyway?

I’m always surprised at the similarities reviewers see between my stories and those of other writers. For myself, I have such a blind spot about that. Maybe the author is the last one you should ask.

Here’s the comparison that Library Journal made in last week’s review of Bright of the Sky:

“Reminiscent of the groundbreaking novels of Philip K. Dick, Philip Jose Farmer, and Dan Simmons, her latest volume belongs in most libraries.” Read More…