books read 2015

Books read: 89

New-to-me authors: 34
Books by women: 46 (+ 2 which have both a male and a female writer)
Short story collections: 4 (+1 written by one author)

Science fiction books: 39
Fantasy books: 27

Most read authors this year: Kristine Kathryn Rusch (7), Carol Berg (4), and E. R. Burroughs (4)

Best fantasy:
Catherynne M. Valente: The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden and Catherynne M. Valente: The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice

This duology blew me away with its originality and creativity. But it’s not an easy read; to get the most out of it, reader has to keep thinking and make connections between the nested stories. And keeping track of the stories within stories within stories wasn’t easy, too. I’m going to read a lot more from Valente this year.

Kara Dalkey: Euryale

Myth, mystery, and history in Ancient Rome.

Anne Lyle: The Alchemist of Souls

Alternate Elizabethan history with magic. I already have the next books and plan to read them soon.

Joss Llewlyn: The Razor’s Edge

One of the first reads last year, this was almost an opposite to Orphan’s Tales; a fun and easy read.

Terry Pratchett: Witches Abroad

What can I say; I love the witches.

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: Reindeer Moon

A young woman’s survival tale during Stone Age, with a little bit of magic.

Best science fiction:

Hannu Rajaniemi: The Quantum Thief

Very ambitious book with lots of high concepts and original stuff.

Scott E. Tabert: A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk

It’s heavily based on Midsummer Night’s Dream with lots of gags and lines for Shakespeare fans. Another fun and light-hearted read.

Karen Lowachee: Warchild

A thoughtful exploration of war and cultures meshing, from the POV of a troubled, orphaned teenager.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Masterminds

I loved how Rusch ended her long-running Retrieval Artist series.

Favorite non-SFF books:

Howard Pyle: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

This 1800c retelling (for kids) gathers up the most famous tales and a couple I don’t remember encountering before. It’s available at

Judith Tarr: Lord of the Two Lands

Historical fiction with Alexander the Great!

Kris Nelscott: Smoke-Filled Rooms

Rusch writing historical mystery set in the turbulent times of Chicago in the 1960s.

Comics read: 35 (I actually read a lot more comics but didn’t review them.)
Best comics:
Elfquest: Fire and Flight
Elfquest: 2: The Forbidden Grove
Elfquest: vol. 3: Captives of Blue Mountain
Complete Elfquest vol. 4: Quest’s End

The original ElfQuest comics are still one of the best I’ve ever read. And they’re available online for free:

Best movies:
I saw only 16 movies in theatres in 2015, somewhat less than I’d intended.

The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Inside Out
Avengers: Age of Ultron

Biggest movie disappointment:
Fantastic Four

Words fail me with this.

This is the post where I’ll track the books and comics I’ll review and my progress on reading challenges.

Sci-Fi Experience 6

Just for Fun (12) 11
Women (7) 43 done
Comics (12) 30 done
TBR (12) 32 done
New (15) 31 done
Clocks, Cogs and Mechanisms (6) 9
women of genre (12) 12 done
once upon a time (4) 14
pick & mix (10) 9

1, C. J. Cherryh: Serpent’s Reach (sci-fi)
2, Karen Wyle: Playback Effect (sci-fi, women)
3, Scott E. Tabert: A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk (sci-fi, clocks, TBR, New)
4, Joss Llewlyn: The Razor’s Edge (fun, new, experience)
5, Karen Lowachee: Warchild (experience, TBR, women)
6 Kristine Kathryn Rusch: A Murder of Clones (experience, women)

1, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind (experience)

6, John Yeoman: Dream of Darkness (new)
7, Jacqueline Garlick: Lumiere (new, women, clogs)
8, Edgar Rice Burroughs: Synthetic Men of Mars (fun)
9, Elizabeth Bear: Undertow (women, TBR)
10, Nancy Jane Moore: Conscientious inconsistencies (women, TBR, new)
2, Essential X-Men vol. 8
3, Fantastic Four: The End

11, Carol Berg: Song of the Beast (women of genre, women, new)
12, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Search and Recovery (women)
13, Edgar Rice Burroughs: Llana of Gathol (fun)
14, Diane Duane: Dark Mirror (women)
15, M. John Harrison: The Pastel City (TBR, new)
16, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Peyti Crisis (women)
17, Charlotte E. English: Black Mercury (cogs, women, TBR)

4, Essential X-Men vol. 9

18, Helene Wecker: The Golem and the Jinni (women, women of genre, new, once)
19, Agatha Christie: Towards Zero (women)
20, Pat Cadigan: The Mindplayers (women, women of genre, TBR, new)
21, Kalayna Price: Grave Witch (TBR, women, women of genre, once, new)
22, MeiLin Miranda: The Machine God (TBR, women, once, cogs, new)

5, Excalibur Classic vol. 1: the Sword is Drawn
6, Excalibur Classic vol. 2: The Two-Edged Sword
7, Excalibur Classic vol. 3: The Cross-Time Caper book 1

23, Ekaterin Sedia: The Secret History of Moscow (genre, women, new, tbr, once)
24, Howard Pyle: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (new, once)
25, Andrew Dymond: Dark Side of the Sun (new)
26, Kalayna Price: Grave Dance (once, women, tbr)
27, Jennifer Roberson: Lady of the Forest (once, women)
28, Edgar Rice Burroughs: Pirates of Venus (fun)
29, Edgar Rice Burroughs: John Carter of Mars

8, Excalibur Classic vol. 4: The Cross-Time Caper book 2
9, Excalibur Classic vol. 5
10, Avengers vs. X-Men
11, AVX: Consequences
12, Uncanny Avengers Vol. 1: The Red Shadow

30, Catherynne M. Valente: The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden (women of genre, women, new, once)
31, Elizabeth Bear: One-Eyed Jack (fun, once)
32, Terry Pratchett: Witches Abroad (once)
33, Clay and Susan Griffith: The Rift Walker (once)

13, Essential X-Men vol. 10
14, Essential X-Men vol. 11
15, Elfquest: Fire and Flight
16, Elfquest: 2: The Forbidden Grove
17, Elfquest: vol. 3: Captives of Blue Mountain

34, V. E. Schwab: Vicious (new, genre)
35, Catherynne M. Valente: The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice (women)
36, Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith: The Kingmaker (cogs, fun)
37, Hannu Rajaniemi: The Quantum Thief (new, TBR)
38, Agatha Christie: Murder in Mesopotamia (women)
39, S. M. Blooding: Fall of Sky City (new, women, cogs)

18, The New Fantastic Four
19, Fantastic Four, Vol. 5: Disassembled
20, Fantastic Four, Vol. 6: Rising Storm
21, Complete Elfquest vol. 4: Quest’s End

40, M. K. Hobson: The Native Star (new, women, women of genre)
41, Judith Tarr: Lord of the Two Lands (new, women, women of genre)
42, Hannu Rajaniemi: the Fractal Prince
43, Kara Dalkey: Euryale (tbr, new, women of genre, women)
44, Jennifer Fallon: The Immortal Prince (women, new, women of genre)
45, Anne Lyle: The Alchemist of Souls (women, women of genre, new)
46, John Scalzi: Lock In (fun)
47, David Weber: On Basilisk Station (new)

22, X-Men Forever volume 1: Picking Up Where We Left Off
23, X-Men Forever volume 2: The Secret History of the Sentinels
24, X-Men Forever volume 3: Welcome to Mother… Russia!
25, X-Men Forever volume 4
26, X-Men Forever volume 5: Once More… Into the Breach

48, Laurie R. King: the Beekeeper’s Apprentice (new, women)
49, Jean Rabe, editor: Athena’s Daughters vol 1
50, Daniel Suarez: Influx (new, pick&mix)
51, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: Reindeer Moon (new, tbr, pick&mix, women)
52, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: The Animal Wife (women, pick&mix, tbr)
53, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Snipers (pick&mix, women, rip)
54, Naomi Novik: The Blood of Tyrants (fun)
55, Agatha Christie: The Moving Finger (rip, women)

27, X-Men Forever 2 volume 1: Back in Action
28, X-Men Forever 2 volume 2: Scream a Little Scream
29, X-Men Forever 2 volume 3: Perfect world
30, X-Men: Bishop’s Crossing

56, Kristine Kathryn Rush ed.: Fiction River: Fantastic Detectives (rip)
57, Seanan McGuire: A Rose-Red Chain (women, rip)
58, Kristine Kathryn Rusch ed.: Fiction River: Past Crimes (rip)
59, Peter O’Donnell: Saber-Tooth (rip, tbr)
60, Peter O’Donnell: I, Lucifer (rip, tbr)
70, Hannu Rajaniemi: The Causal Angel (fun)
71, Tarquin Hall: The Case of the Man who Died Laughing (new, rip)

31, X-Men: X-Cutioner’s Song

72, Vicki Pettersson: The Scent of Shadows (pick&mix, women, new, TBR)
73, Carol Berg: The Spirit Lens (women)
74, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Streets Where We Live (women)
75, Jeff VanderMeer: Annihilation (sci-fi month)
77, Mike Ashley ed.: The Feminine Future (sci-fi month)
78, Lois McMaster Bujold: Penric’s Demon (fun)
79, Philip K. Dick: Martian Time-Slip (sci-fi month)
80, Cherie Priest: Fiddlehead (women, cogs)
81, Linda Nagata: Memory(women, new, sci-fi month)

82, Carol Berg: The Soul Mirror (fun, women)
83, Emmi Itäranta: Memory of Water (new, sci-fi ex, women)
84, Nancy Kress: The Probability Moon (women, sci-fi)
85, Susan Kaye Quinn: The Third Daughter (clog, women, new, tbr)
86, Kris Nelscott: Smoke-Filled Rooms (rip from october)
87, David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas (new, experience)

32, Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest
33, Fantastic Four: Masters of Doom
34, Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 1
35, Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 2