Sixteen Series to Finish
While keeping tabs on my 2013 To Read list and planning for the 2014 edition, I’m starting to build a list of series I have started. I don’t necessarily plan to finish every saga that I’ve begun, but there are some that definitely deserve more attention. Here are the most blatant offenders, in no particular order. Ideally I would knock out another book in each over the coming year or so.
L.E. Modesitt, Jr. – Recluce Saga
I’ve only read the first book (of sixteen?), but it was one of my favorite fantasies of 2012. I have several follow-ups in my home library that have slowly risen to the upper reaches of my To Be Read pile. My fantasy reading time is somewhat limited though, and other books muscled their way ahead during 2013.
Mike Resnick – Starship
I’ve taken down four out of five in this series; so close to wrapping it up! Unfortunately, a recent flap in the SFWA over needlessly misogynistic comments from Resnick has soured me a bit on reading his stuff. I’ll get over it eventually I suppose, since the guy has enough Hugos to sink a proverbial battleship and I feel obligated to see what the fuss is. The Starship books are light and funny, never quite deep enough to be favorites, but sufficiently entertaining to want to finish.
Dan Abraham – Long Price Quartet
I really have no excuse for not finishing this. I’m a big Abraham fan, but somehow I’ve let the remaining three books linger far too long.
Steven Erikson – Malazan
Book Five of this insanely long epic is on tap for later in the month. I’ve been hitting these at about a one per year pace; at this rate I should wrap up the series by 2020. The Malazan books are arguably the best fantasy out there right now, in my humble opinion.
Poul Anderson – Polesotechnic League
Nicholas Van Rijn is a fairly disgusting character, but somehow this is one of Anderson’s more readable series. Baen has edited the whole of the Van Rijn sequence into sequential volumes; much easier than pulling the stories out piecemeal from ancient, fragmenting collections. The Flandry books are also classic, but some of Anderson’s less savory politics seep heavier into those.
Steven Baxter – Manifold
I read the first book in this dense, Hard SF trilogy, while the second sits glowering on my bookshelf. My only excuse for not reading it is that hardbacks are heavy and I don’t like taking them on the bus. I shall have to man up soon.
Greg Benford – Galactic Center
I’m three books into this one, but have yet to really catch on fire. Sometimes Benford works for me, sometimes he doesn’t. Still, this is listed as a must-read, far-future, space war on a massive scale. One or another of the books ought to grab me.
Edgar Rice Burroughs – Martian Tales
This is more for a history lesson than anything else, though the first two books were fun.
George Alec Effinger – The Audran Sequence
When Gravity Fails is the book everyone talks about, but there are two more set in the Budayeen. My ongoing cyberpunk reclamation project demands that I read them.
Eric Flint – 1632
I have read far more in Flint’s signature universe than is perhaps healthy, yet am still just scratching the surface. My enthusiasm for the whole affair probably peaked in the second book of the main sequence, 1633, but I remain impressed by the work Flint has done with his alternate history. I’m also amazed at the fan community and their constant outpouring of fiction and research. It would probably take a month at least for me to catch up on everything that Baen as published in this universe.
M. John Harrison – Kefahuchi Tract
I still haven’t written a review of Light. Something about it defies my ability to create a witty summary. There are two more following, including the Coode Street Podcast’s choice for best book of 2012. If it beats out my pick, 2312, I’d better read it.
Jack McDevitt – Academy
I’ve read all but the newest Alex Benedict book, so have dug into the Academy series for a change of pace. The first two books were good, but he’s just hinting at the deeper potential in this “implacable menace from deep space” concept. I have high expectations.
Neal Stephenson – Baroque Cycle
Oh my. I read the first of these back in 2007 or so. Stephenson’s books are intimidating, much as I enjoy them, so I somehow keep putting this off. Ebooks should help, since my Kindle doesn’t weigh nearly as much as the dead tree tome. 2013 had a lot of dense paperweights on the Reading List; Stephenson may take his turn in 2014.
Timothy Zahn – Quadrail
Zahn’s stuff is more of a light snack between meals. I enjoy his books, even if I don’t remember much about them afterwards.
Dan Abnett – Eisenhorn
I don’t read many tie-ins. I make an occasional exception for Warhammer 40,000 though, just for old times’ sake, and I definitely make an exception for Eisenhorn. I think these are the consensus pick for Best Warhammer Books Ever.
Brad Beaulieu – Lays of Anuskaya
Winds of Khalakovo was one of my favorites of the year (so far). I was going to read the next books anyway, but Beaulieu was kind enough to send review copies to me. Now I’m definitely going to read them (soon) and probably say glowingly positive things after.