According to Endicott Studios, today is World Book Day in the UK and Ireland and besides outlining the activities taking place over there to celebrate, Endicott asked what your favorite book of the year is so far.
It is an election year and during election years I always try and re-read The General's President by John Dalmas and David's Sling by Marc Stiegler. If I can't fit them both in, I always go with the Dalmas book. 'Nuff said.
In the new/recent works category - like everyone else I quickly snatched up both volumes of The Orphan's Tales duo-logy by Catherynne Valente as soon as they became available. The only decent, and refreshingly original, adult mythic fiction/fantasy I've seen come out recently. Everything else I've seen to date is all YA or children's book oriented. Sorry, but at 50+ years old I have no patience for anything that juvenile any more, so I've seen nothing of interest on that side of the fence. Not that I don't keep watch for the occasional gem that may get mislabeled.
Surprisingly, this year found me back among the science fiction stacks after a very long absence.
This year I read one of the best, IMHO, novels I have had an opportunity to read in a long time, Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber. A fascinating story that sucked me in with its premise as well as some light Arthurian frosting. I was so intrigued that I even sprang for the hardcover edition, which I rarely ever do. It was such an excellent novel, I do not begrudge the added expense and am anxiously awaiting the sequel, By Schism Rent Asunder due out in July 2008.
With a nod to Edgar Rice Burroughs, S.M. Stirling turned out The Sky People. Again, it has been such a great idea that I'm happy I bought the hardcover edition and I am more than ready for its sequel, In the Courts of the Crimson Kings which is due out in a week or so.
And, I've gotten hooked on Jack Campbell's 'The Lost Fleet' (TLF) series, TLF: Dauntless, TLF: Fearless, and TLF: Courageous. Luckily, TLF: Valiant comes out the end of June 2008.
Not necessarily on the 'new' list ... Tad Williams turned out a pretty decent story with War of the Flowers, and I was fortunate to acquire all three volumes of Jeffrey Barlough's 'Western Lights' series, Dark Sleeper, The House in the High Wood, and Strange Cargo. All excellent reads.
Currently I am about half way through Earth by David Brin, which had so much criticism attached to it that I simply had to read it. And finally, I am one chapter short of finishing The Engines of God by Jack McDevitt.
In the wings, and while I await the Weber and Stirling sequels, I've got Dust by Elizabeth Bear scheduled next, and I found TPB editions of both Threshold and Low Red Moon by Caitlin McKiernan at Half Price Books. If only Alabaster were to become similarly available.