It started with a book…


So a little over a year ago (to be exact, 1 month before Gencon 2015) I read a book a few of you might have heard of, Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora. I had been meaning to read it for years, because as a long, long time online rogue I had heard about it from every EQ rogue I knew (shout out the the Safehouse!), and anyone that was seriously into shady characters in fiction would tell me I was missing out. So I read it, and I loved it. Since I was going to Gencon (for the first time since a Milwaukee Gencon in 1995), and had been trying to get back into writing, I decided I would see if Scott Lynch was going to be on a writers panel. He was, and I went to about 7 hours of panels that year. And my eyes opened to all of these great authors that I hadn’t read. You see, I had fallen into the trap of reading the same authors I had always read, often re-reading a book 6 or more times because it was a favorite. Because of that, I would often go into the book store looking for specific names and then right back out. Listening to all of these new to me names and the great stories and audience interactions they had at the seminars really got me amped up.

At the same time as Gencon 2015 and it’s aftermath, I had started using twitter more heavily, and when I came back I decided to follow every author who’s panels I had attended I could find on twitter, as well as some longtime favorites. Now twitter has an interesting effect with writers, when you follow a good author, you see their interactions with other authors and before you know it, you’re following even more authors. And authors love to extol other authors, so you hear about all the great books they have coming out. And then the books start coming in (because what kind of human being could not run out and purchase books from all these awesome writers you are being exposed to?) and I was struck with profound sadness that I had missed out on years of many of these great writers because I had allowed myself to settle in to a “comfort zone” of what I read.

So for jumpstarting the reading bug again I blame Scott Lynch, Elizabeth Bear, Chris Jackson and Aaron Rosenberg, but also thank them wholeheartedly. And Elizabeth exposed me to Chuck Wendig via her retweets, which led to a whole host of new authors.

So here’s my list of all the books I’ve been privileged to read in the last year+, in semi chronological order:

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
Hammered by Elizabeth Bear
Scimitar Moon by Chris Jackson
Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Zer0es by Chuck Wendig
The Kick-Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig
Avarice by Annie Bellet
Range of Ghosts, Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear
Control Point by Myke Cole
Jhereg by Steven Brust
The Hall of the Mountain King by Judith Tarr
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K Jemisin
Terms of Enlistment, Lines of Departure, Angles of Attack by Marko Kloos
Black Wolves by Kate Elliot
Waters of Versailles by Kelly Robson
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor
The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
Star Wars Aftermath by Chuck Wendig
Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig
Chains of Command by Marko Kloos
The City Stained Red by Sam Sykes
City of Stairs by Robert Bennet
Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
ExIsle by Peter Clines
The Beasts of Tabat by Cat Rambo
Fools Assassin by Robin Hobbb
United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas
The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
Wild Cards-Deuces Down anthology
Wild Cards Death Draw Five anthology
Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
Blightborn by Chuck Wendig
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Gemini Cell by Myke Cole
The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
Uncanny Magazine Issues 11/12 (heard so much about Alyssa Wong I sought this out and found many other great authors in both issues)
The Harvest by Chuck Wendig
Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
The Thousand Names by Django Wexler
Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
A Daughter of No Nation (in progress)

Books I have bought but need to read still:
Updraft by Fran Wilde
No Small Bills by Aaron Rosenberg
Worldwired and Scardown by Elizabeth Bear
Wilds Cards Inside Straight, Lowball, Busted Flush, Suicide Kings, Fort Freak
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan
The Autumn Republic, The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan
Inda by Sherwood Smith
The Knights of Breton Court by Maurice Broaddus
Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
Pirates Honor by Chris Jackson
Ink Mage by Victor Gischler
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig
Mockingbird, The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig
The Barrows by Annie Bellet
Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear
The Mortal Tally by Sam Sykes
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Javelin Rain by Myke Cole
The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu
The Twenty Sides Sorceress Omnibus by Annie Bellet

All told have read around 55ish works past year, with about 30 in physical and digital TBR piles. Considering I also plowed through 3 feet of history and anthropology books, I’m glad to be an active reader again. A big thanks to all the authors who let me crawl into a portion of their brains for awesome adventures.