September 16th, 2021

electric sheep, memes

Zodiac Station, by Tom Harper

Second paragraph of third chapter:
I was always a solitary child. Back then, those white deserts at the top of the globe fired my sense of adventure. I read Willard Price, Jack London, Alistair MacLean. Other boys could reel off every player who ever scored for Liverpool; I could tell you about Peary and Cook, Nansen and Amundsen. I grew up, a lot of things changed but my dreams didn't. If anything, they were more urgent. The Arctic wasn't a place to prove myself, but to lose myself. Somewhere to escape to.
Decent thriller set in a slightly fictional Arctic research centre, where our protagonist arrives to find his boss mysteriously dead and everything in increasing disarray. Like a lot of these books, the plot depends a bit on crucial coincidence and lucky escape, and there is an sfnal McGuffin at the end which justifies the means and motivation of the bad guys, but it's entertaining enough. You can get it here.

This was the sf book (at least, billed as sf) that had lingered longest unread on my shelves. Next on that pile is Hurricane Fever, by Tobias S. Buckell, which I have meantime read and will write up shortly.

The Return of the Discontinued Man, by Mark Hodder

Second paragraph of third chapter:
The king's agent stood, now a Knight of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.
I thoroughly bounced off this, an alternative steampunky history, the fifth in a series featuring the madcap adventures of Algernon Charles Swinburne and Richard Francis Burton across various timelines. (On steampunk I sometimes sympathise with Marigold's dad in Questionable Content.) When I realised that on page 70 I still had no idea what was going on and no particular sympathy for any of the characters, I gave up. But you can get it here, if you want.

This was the top book on my rapidly dwindling pile of those acquired in 2014. Next up there is The Rain-Soaked Bride by Guy Adams.