trueneutral's 2012 books
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Here it goes... the target is 50 books or 15000 pages. Probably the latter considering I'm starting with 600+page-tinyfont-RRMartins.
1. A Storm of Swords Part 1: Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin - 603 pages - 4.5 stars
2. A Storm of Swords Part 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin - 579 pages - 4.5 stars
3. The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - 149 pages- 4 stars
4. Demon Seed by Dean Koontz - 220 pages - 3 stars
5. Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card - 469 pages - 4.5 stars
6. Ender's Game: Formic Wars: Burning Earth Marvel Comics - 176 pages - 2.5 stars
7. Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card - 451 pages - 4 stars
8. The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham - 220 pages - 4 stars
9. The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester - 250 pages - 5 stars
10. Mushishi 8/9/10 by Yuki Urushibara - 720 pages - 4 stars
11. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - 530 pages - 2.5 stars
12. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells - 125 pages - 5 stars
13. Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov - 240 pages - 4.5 stars
14. Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov - 240 pages - 5 stars
15. Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts - 326 pages - 4 stars
16. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett - 332 pages - 4.5 stars
17. Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke - 252 pages - 4.5 stars
18. Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett - 332 pages - 4.5 stars
19. A Good Hanging by Ian Rankin - 288 pages - 3.5 stars
20. Part 1 of Hugo/Nebula Nominated short stories/novelettes/novellas in 2012
21-23. The great dune trilogy by Frank Herbert - 912 pages - 4 stars
24. O scurta istorie a romanilor povestita celor tineri by Neagu Djuvara - 275 pages - 3 stars
25. The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov - 688 pages - 5 stars
26. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds - 217 pages - 4 stars
27. Guild Wars 2: Ghosts of Ascalon by Matt Forbeck - 384 pages - 3.5 stars
28. Guild Wars: Edge of Destiny by J. Robert King - 432 pages - 2 stars
29. Animal Farm by George Orwell - 140 pages - 4 stars
30. The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett - 460 pages - 4 stars
31. The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl - 192 pages - 4.5 stars
32. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham - 208 pages - 4 stars
33. Apel catre lichele by Gabriel Liiceanu - 219 pages - 3.5 stars
34. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie - 826 pages - 4 stars
35. Hell is Forever by Alfred Bester - 140 pages - 3.5 stars
36. The Walking Dead Issues 1-50 by Robert Kirkman - 433 (1300 real) pages - 4 stars
37. The Walking Dead Issues 51-100 by Robert Kirkman - 433 (1300 real) pages - 3.5 stars
38. Turf by Jonathan Ross - 162 pages - 1 star
39. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin - 262 pages - 3 stars
40. The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke - 255 pages - 5 stars
41. The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by John Joseph Adams - 460 pages - 3.5 stars
42. Have Space Suit, Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein - 351 pages - 4 stars
43. Old Man's War by John Scalzi - 442 pages - 4.5 stars
44. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin - 210 pages - 3 stars
45. Marvel's Civil War 01-21 (assorted issues) - 185 (553 real) pages - 3.5 stars
1. A Storm of Swords Part 1: Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin - 4.5 stars
I love how consistent RRMartin's writing style is. The book continues the story, or rather the many stories that happen more or less at the same time. It suffers from a bit of a slow start, but you get fair warning. Instead of diving straight into what happened after Book 2 ended, it starts by looking at what happened during the great battles with the other seemingly less important characters.
The action picks up afterwards and by the time you get to the end it is obvious that the next book you have to read is A Storm of Swords Part 2: Blood and Gold.
2. A Storm of Swords Part 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin - 4.5 stars
Great ending for the third book in the series and rather light on cliffhangers (unlike the previous books)... so it's a good time to take a break from the series and read some other books while Westeros takes a break from all the bloodshed.
3. The Hound of the Baskervilles & The Valley of Fear (Wordsworth Classics) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - 4 stars
Read only The Valley of Fear as the first was already read in 2011.
I'm a big fan of all things Sherlock Holmes, but I must say that I prefer the short stories. These longer novellas tend to be over descriptive and good parts of them do not involve Sherlock at all - which is the most interesting and fun bit.
4. Demon Seed by Dean Koontz - 3 stars
A bit different from what is the norm for Koontz, but it was interesting. A very quick read - the rambling AI tells the story very quickly and thankfully it is not allowed to digress too much (although it has an annoying tendency to do so - and to remind you how truthful and non-violent and well-behaved it is :) ).
The ending is a bit lackluster, but if you've been reading Koontz, you know how that goes.
Are you a Dean Koontz fan? I myself am, although I was rather let down by Demon Seed. I'd say it's the only Koontz book that I have not particularly liked or enjoyed, personally it's only worthy of 2 stars in my opinion.
Oh yeah, I've read a lot by him (say 20ish books) and I have to agree this one was the worst. I guess it was some kind of an experiment and funnily enough this edition is the "improved" one, because apparently the first one was awful.
You made me check my list of Koontz books and the ratings I gave them, so I'll downgrade this to 3 stars.
For me 2.5 and under means the book is utter rubbish and I won't even bother finishing it most of the time, so it won't make it here. Talk about not using the whole scale - I guess I *should* rethink it.
5. Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card - 4.5 stars
I had no idea that Card could pull off telling the same story again from a different perspective so well. Of course, part of it is new, the "introduction" to Bean's history and pre-Battle School years. But it really takes off once he joins BS and the story that I remembered started to go on as seen through Bean's eyes. A bit over-analytic, but this is Card's style and after all Bean was the almost inhuman genius, the human brain with all of its potential unleashed through one small teeny tiny gene change.
At various points during my reading of this book I wanted to stop and pick up Ender's Game again and read them at the same time, because of the stuff I'd forgotten. I'm still very VERY tempted to read it again, but I might postpone it for after I finish the whole Shadow series.
This is clearly a favorite and it gets 4.5 stars because only Ender can get 5. And Bean is shorter, so there.
6. Ender's Game: Formic Wars: Burning Earth Marvel Comics - 2.5 stars
I'm not going to say Orson Scott Card wrote this, because he didn't. His name might be plastered there, but that's how far it actually goes. I expected too much from it and got a very weak story peppered with cliche after cliche after cliche. And to top that off it doesn't even finish the invasion, it ends with a massive cliffhanger - which will probably be continued in another series.
The artwork is very good, but if I'm ever reading it again, it'll be as a picture-book and nothing more.
I was going to buy the whole comic-book series based on Card's novels but now I have serious doubts. Maybe the ones that are based on the novels are better, as opposed to Formic Wars: Burning Earth for which they had to "write" (if you can even call it that) new material.
7. Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card - 4 stars
More of the post-Formic Wars years on Earth, mostly about the grabs for power Russia, India and China are making while the Battle School graduates are shuffled around between them.
The main theme is the conflict between Achilles and Bean and Peter's rise to power.
It's a great book, packed with action and political intrigue, military planning and discussions about morality. A very good read, but I doubt I'll be coming back to it in the future (as I certainly will with Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Ender in Exile).
8. The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham - 4 stars
This is the second book by John Wyndham I've read and I must say I'm looking forward to reading his other works. I absolutely loved The Day of the Triffids and this book was as interesting, but maybe not as fluid. At some point it tends to blabber on using the voice of Zellaby (who is a very well developed character and full of surprises, up to the end) on various philosophical topics - which are interesting, but the tone I think is a bit outdated.
The book is fairly short, so all the developments during the 9 or so years that the Children have been in Midwich are presented quite fast. I loved the ending, which is by no means unpredictable, but the execution was so clean and well thought out that I was a bit surprised.
All in all, it is a science-fiction classic and a thought-provoking, engaging and fascinating read.
Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I read The Day of the Triffids last year and really enjoyed it. I'd been wondering if any of his other books were worth a read. Now I've added this to my wish list.
9. The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester - 5 stars
"Eight, sir; seven, sir;
Six, sir; five, sir;
Four, sir; three, sir;
Two, sir; one!
Tenser, said the Tensor.
Tenser, said the Tensor.
And dissension have begun."
What an amazing book... I loved it! This is my second Alfred Bester read, I started with The Stars My Destination which is as good, maybe even a bit better. This easily puts him as one of my favorite authors ever.
The formula is the same, he takes a superpower and builds a whole world around it - a society of the future that has adapted in various ways to the fact that people (maybe all, maybe only some) are gifted with that superpower. In TSMD, it was teleportation, in TDM it is telepathy. Very, very good choices.
The end was a mixed bag, but I loved how they brought the concept of Demolition from the looming but unknown threat that it is during the whole book to what it actually does to the individual - and I'm not going to spoil it because it is an amazing revelation.
10. Mushishi 8/9/10 by Yuki Urushibara - 4 stars
I loved the anime with the same title that was created after the manga - I could say it's my all-time favorite. These are the final 3 volumes of the manga series and they (as far as I remember, it's been a while) have mostly stories that were not in the anime series.
The only reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is that as a black-and-white manga it does not do justice to the series. The anime is so much better, the drawing is very detailed and in many cases it looks like a painting. Also it allows you to visualize much better what the mushi are due to them being in full color and animated.
That said, the manga stands well on its own, but I would read it after watching the anime for full enjoyment.
11. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - 2.5 stars
Amazing they said. Hillarious... you can't put it down. I've actually struggled reading more than one chapter at a time and finished it over what is more than a month.
The Catch-22 itself is great:
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he were sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. (p. 56, ch. 5)
But what's not great is writing a 500+ page book for this, with absolutely no story-line, with random jumps in time multiple times in the same chapter, with conversations that are monotonous and flat (apart from those that border on insanity that are actually very entertaining), with characters that don't evolve past their introductory chapters, with no real plot other than "the war sucks, why are people trying to kill me, you are crazy, no I'm not, maybe you're crazy for thinking I'm crazy, yes maybe I'm crazy....".
So there... many say it's a classic, I've seen many reviews from war veterans that loved it and I can understand why, but for me it was just a book that had a spark but didn't really deliver. It wasn't bad enough for me to dump it, so I finished it slowly while reading other books in parallel that actually had a proper storyline.
15. Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts - 4 stars
This was... different. It had a very distinctive voice and I must say that the author really tried to make it russian... by taking all of the stereotypes of the soviet era and pushing them to the extreme. The beginning is a bit boring (after the bit with Stalin finishes prematurely) and the ending feels quite rushed and cryptic and frankly exagerated.
Nevertheless, I've really enjoyed the book and I recommend it as a very engaging sci-fi satire/thriller with a "hero" that is very hard to kill and whose sarcasm and wit will make you laugh out loud without fail.
16. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett - 4.5 stars
The duke had a mind that ticked like a clock and, like a clock, it regularly went cuckoo.
I love Pratchett's humour. The three witches are absolutely amazing characters, each with a very distinctive personality and a different shade of crazy which makes the book so enjoyable and fun to read. This is one of the best Discworld novels and a must-read for any Pratchett fans.
17. Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke - 4.5 stars
This is a science-fiction classic... and an amazing one at that. It doesn't show its age at all (written in the 70s) and it is written beautifully, making the book almost impossible to put down.
It loses half a star only because it ends so abruptly and you are left with a boat-load of unanswered questions. And if this was the first book in a series, I could've understood that. But as far as I read, the "sequels" are not entirely written by him and not very good so I don't know if I'm going to ever bother reading them.
18. Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett - 4.5 stars
"One minute I'm just another rabbit and happy about it, next minute whazaam, I'm thinking. That's a major drawback if you're looking for happiness as a rabbit, let me tell you. You want grass and sex, not thoughts like 'What's it all about, when you get right down to it?'"
"This is space. It's sometimes called the final frontier. (Except that of course you can't have a final frontier, because there'd be nothing for it to be a frontier to, but as frontiers go, it's pretty penultimate . . .)"
"Woof bloody woof." -- Gaspode the Wonder Dog
These are the Hugo/Nebula nominated short stories/novelettes/novellas for 2012 and most of them are available for free thanks to the good people of WWEnd:
Short stories: https://www.worldswithoutend.com/blog.asp?view=plink&id=830
20. Part 1
The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu - 13 pages - 5 stars
Six Months Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders - 13 pages - 3 stars
The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by Lily Yu - 6 pages - 4 stars
The Homecoming by Mike Resnick - 12 pages - 4 stars
The man who ended history by Ken Liu - 55 pages - 3.5 stars
Movement by Nancy Fulda - 7 pages - 5 stars
Fields of Gold by Rachel Swirsky - 17 pages - 5 stars
21. Dune by Frank Herbert - 5 stars
22. Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert - 4 stars
23. Children of Dune by Frank Herbert - 3.5 stars
Re-reading Dune was great. I think I could read it again one month later and still enjoy it. Sadly, I can't say the same for the other two books - I liked them, but I won't be reading them again anytime soon.
24. O scurta istorie a romanilor povestita celor tineri by Neagu Djuvara - 3 stars
2/3rds of the book focus on ancient and medieval history, which is too much. Especially the first part was really testing my patience. And the modern history which is the most interesting is gone over with such speed it makes you think he was running out of ink.
25. The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov - 688 pages - 5 stars
Simply brilliant. Ends with Bicentennial Man which is a masterpiece.
26. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds - 217 pages - 4 stars
28. Guild Wars: Edge of Destiny by J. Robert King - 2 stars
This book made me appreciate the previous one much more. It was hardly worth my time, but thankfully it didn't take long to read. The beginning and the ending are ok, but what comes in between is just bland. They are fighting these epic battles, but there is zero character development and even when it comes to the battles, it's so much action (and so much of the *same* action) that as some point you just want to skip past it.
I read them for the lore and while it was nice to learn a bit about the history of the group that is central to Guild Wars 2, I could just as well have read only the ending. Ghosts of Ascalon was so much better, as it offered a lot of lore and quite a bit of character development.
31. The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl - 4.5 stars
It's almost like watching a sci-fi version of Mad Men. It's a story in a consumerist future Earth, where everything is driven by advertising. The beginning is a bit slow and confusing, because not much is actually explained, but once the plot starts to take some crazy turns it becomes a fabulous ride.
32. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham - 4 stars
Another great novel from John Wyndham. I was a bit annoyed by the all of the religious discussions and zealotry in the first part of the book, but it did a perfect job at showing how narrow-minded and self-righteous people can be. Unfortunately, having read other novels by him I kinda expected what the ending was going to be, but it fit and I'm happy with it.
Bit on the short side, leaving many questions unanswered, but I enjoyed it a lot and I'm not going to stop until I read everything he's written.
34. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie - 4 stars
Very very enjoyable start to the series (The First Law). I really liked the character development, Inquisitor Glokta being by far the most interesting and unique of the bunch. The humor is great and the dialogue is peppered with sarcasm and interjections especially from Glokta, although some people might be put off by the swearing (not me though, I'm actually happy there's no censorship).
Read this first one as an ebook, but I'm going to buy the set of 3 (first 3) books asap.
35. Hell is Forever by Alfred Bester - 3.5 stars
Short story published in Unknown Worlds (August 1942 Vol. VI, No. 2). I'm pretty much going to read everything he's written because I love his style. This story is about some ever-thirsty thrill-seekers that get more than they wanted - a bit looney and over the top here and there, but overall enjoyable.
36. The Walking Dead Issues 1-50 by Robert Kirkman - 4 stars
37. The Walking Dead Issues 51-100 by Robert Kirkman - 3.5 stars
Awesome series, very nice artwork, great story. Well, at least up to a point. With the risk of offending some die-hard fans, I gotta say that after issues 60-70 I started getting slightly bored and annoyed. It's this cycle of - it's fucked up - it's better - it's fucked up again - it's better again - and it goes and goes until we run out of main characters or they have nothing to lose anymore.
I decided to stop at issue 100 because it's a round number and it's also the start of another "boy are they fucked now" cycle. I'm not really curious to see what happens next, but maybe that'll change in half a year. Honestly I'd like to see more about the actual zombies than this soap opera in which the zombies have taken the role of minor nuisance - zombies are bad, but they are mindless and only want to eat brains, but humans on the other side, oh boy, the humans. They provide so much fucked-up-ness it's hard not to use it. Makes the whole series devolve into a generic post-apocalyptic story in which we see how bad humans can be to other humans when they need to survive. No thanks.
Ok so enough ranting, I still enjoyed reading it quite a bit and I'm probably going to see it through, unless its creators decide to publish 1000 issues of up-and-downs.
38. Turf by Jonathan Ross - 1 star
Not worth the trouble. A mess of vampires, aliens and mobsters that barely starts and then it ends.
39. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin - 3 stars
This is one of the earliest dystopian novels and, while I didn't really like it all that much (because of the writing style), I don't regret reading it. It's one of the sources of inspiration for Orwell's 1984 and the story is very similar. I loved 1984, but We is written in a completely different style, read somewhere that it is described as a prose poem. It's written as the diary of one D-503 (they get numbers in the OneState) that goes through a lot of psychological turmoil throughout the book becoming more and more confused and delirious after meeting the rebel woman I-330. He starts having a "soul" and suffers from "imagination", things that have been banished in the OneState - which is built on the premise that humanity needs to be happy and it can only achieve that through the lack of freedom and by living and thinking only according to rigorous mathematical concepts.
40. The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke - 5 stars
Oh wow. This is one brilliant SF book. Its scope begins narrow (and slightly confusing) and becomes so wide it's almost overwhelming. From one city on a very distant future Earth, you travel (as the title suggests) to the stars and back and then piece together the history of humankind that spans billions of years. It reads as an adventure (Alvin's, the main character of the book), but woven into it a lot of issues are tackled such as religion, the stagnation of the human race (with two completely opposite examples), the achievement of scientific perfection, mortality vs immortality and most of all, fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of being discovered.
The only thing I can complain about is that the science in it is at best iffy and most of the technology used is considered so advanced that it just works and we don't care how or if it makes any sense - or is regarded almost as being magic. It might annoy some people, but it is not the focus of the book and I accepted it as such.
I recommend this book to anyone, be it a fan of science fiction or not.
41. The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by John Joseph Adams - 3.5 stars
Big collection of unlikely (quite a few of them make use of the supernatural) Sherlock Holmes stories written by known and unknown authors. You can find a few gems in there, but most stories are nothing to write home about and a few of them are quite bad, written by authors that clearly have no idea what Holmes is about. I've read this book over more than half a year and I sadly don't remember much about the stories in the first half of the book... a sign of how unremarkable they were.
I really liked Merridew of Abominable Memory by Chris Roberson, Commonplaces by Naomi Novik was a very nice sidestory involving Irene Adler and The Adventure of the Pirates of Devil's Cape by Rob Rogers was fun. Neil Gaiman's A study in Emerald was ok, but I expected more from him.
Still, I doubt I'm ever going to read any other Sherlock stories not written by Doyle.
I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it more, but I'm glad to hear the reactions nevertheless--I'd seen this recently, and wondered whether it would be a good Christmas present for frends of mine who love the original Holmes stories. Guess it's back to the drawing board, after all! I hope your next read is more up to par!
PS. There aren't many reviews in place on this one--even if you don't usually, just your above reactions would be helpful for others also if you don't mind!
Heh, sorry for ruining your gift idea. I got the book on the spot after seeing it on the shelves in the bookstore ... I don't really regret buying it, although it wasn't cheap, seeing as I liked the list of authors and the premise.
I usually post my reviews but this time I didn't because it's sort of incomplete. I've read the book over more than half a year and I don't quite remember much about the stories in the first half. That nothing was so remarkable to be remembered could be a sign :)
LE: Review edited and posted.
42. Have Space Suit, Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein - 4 stars
You see, I had this space suit.
How it happened was this way:
“Dad,” I said, “I want to go to the Moon.”
“Certainly,” he answered and looked back at his book. It was Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, which he must know by heart.
I said, “Dad, please! I’m serious.”
This time he closed the book on a finger and said gently, “I said it was all right. Go ahead.”
“Yes ... but how?”
“Eh?” He looked mildly surprised. “Why, that’s your problem, Clifford.”
This is what got me hooked - well this and the fact that I hadn't read any Heinlein. This is perhaps not the best book to judge him by, considering it is part of his books written for a younger audience, but I liked it and I shall be reading more by him in the future.
It reads like the dream of a young kid coming true - which it is - and more than that, it's worded and described as seen through his eyes. This tone is a perfect fit as he goes through some incredible adventures that might sound like the work of a youngster's crazy imagination. And credit to Heinlein, he does a good job at that, considering he was 50ish when he wrote it in 1958. Here and there it shows its age and the science is a bit iffy, but it quickly goes so far into the "future" that it doesn't really matter anymore.
I liked the characters, they had a lot of personality (even if they fall into somewhat predictable categories) and the whole book was a funny, action packed and very entertaining romp.
43. Old Man's War by John Scalzi - 4.5 stars
I enjoyed this book. A lot. It's nothing too complicated, but I loved the combination of military SF and satire. Some reviewer said it's "like a better Starship Troopers, which it was supposed to be"(markohei) and I can add to that (I haven't read Starship Troopers yet) that it has a The Forever War vibe to it. I loved the humour (very witty or sardonic) and the premise (when old people reach a certain age they have the option to join the "space army" and fight aliens, while being rejuvenated with the aid of very advanced technology not available on Earth). The first book is very military in the fashion of shoot first, ask questions later because everybody's out to get you, but I'm hoping that the followups in the series (which I'm going to read asap) get more serious about interstellar politics.
44. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin - 3 stars
A coming-of-age story, also a becoming-a-powerful-wizard story. Didn't really pull me in, felt awfully generic at times and I have to say that I expected much more from it. And it's a pity, because the setting is interesting - so I might give the series a second chance and read the next book in line.
I also feel that the way the story is told (like a legend) feels too detached - you can't connect with the main character properly. He takes power for granted, makes a big mistake then goes through turmoil and peril in a story of redemption - and all I felt was "oh, ok, what next?". Maybe I expect too much from a YA novel - but hey, Have Space Suit, Will Travel delivered wonderfully.
45. Marvel's Civil War 01-21 (assorted issues) - 3.5 stars
Very nice crossover storyline. Still plenty more to read, but taking a break for now.
Well this is it. I was planning to finish another book, but I had to take a break after reading quite a lot during the xmas vacation.
It was a very good reading year, I think I doubled the amount of books read compared in 2011 (I didn't really keep count, but it feels that way). Overall I read very good books, only a few disappointments here and there, added Alfred Bester to my favorite authors list, discovered John Scalzi and Joe Abercrombie, started reading some SF-classics from Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein and had fun in Terry Pratchett's Discworld.
The new year is almost here and I shall be starting from 0/50 once again!
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