Daily GUIDE-ance:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Two Awesome Books

I found TWO really awesome books in the last couple weeks. Both are from authors I had never even heard of before- just random grabs off the local library shelf. (I'm getting desperate for books, you see.)

Some how I managed to win the lottery both times.

Blind Lake, by Robert Charles Wilson,

is the best sci fi I've read in a long time. He's like Michael Crichton on steroids. He seems at least as at ease in talking hard, believable technology based on real science as Crichton was- only more so, because some of Crichton's work got awfully-- lecture hally-- and Wilson never does. Along side his powerhouse technical knowledge, he also has a gift for story telling. Great, believable characters, suspense. He juggles any number of story lines that seem quite disconnected from each other, but somehow you never get annoyed when he switch's storylines because you are intensely interested in all of them. I can't believe I've never read this guy before! And he also has a more powerful imagination that Crichton did- and I loved Crichton! Anyhow. I'm enthralled. Major props to Blind Lake. I'm getting all this guy's stuff now. And so should you, scumbucket.

Ghostwalk, by Rebecca Stott.

Rebecca Stott, a history professor with her first novel, is at home in the 17th century as Wilson is in the world of scitech. Ghostwalk is a mystery novel... er... I guess .It's a mark of her abilities that even after I finished the book it is hard to really give it a genre. Mystery fits, but doesn't really come close to covering it. The book is set in modern day Cambridge and centers around a historian who has pieced together some facts that possibly implicate The Isaac Newton in a series of suspicious deaths that seemed to have paved his way to scholarly success in 17th century Cambridge. Then a similar series of murders occur in modern times and... the fun begins. I was very impressed with Stott's gift for narrative and character development. I was kept guessing the whole time as to whether I was reading a ghost story or a historical sort of thriller novel. The story is told first person and I would never have thought to approach a narrative as she does- her character tells the story in a kind of emotional sequence rather than chronological sequence. It's terribly clever.

Both my new writer's are terribly good at getting you into their character's heads. I can't say too much for fear of spoiling... But the bad guy in Blind Lake reminded me eerily of an exboss- you feel sympathy and still hate him- and Rebecca Stott gets you so well into the mind of this married guy's affair girl, that I have to wonder if she has experience? Believe it or not, Rebecca, that was actually intended as a compliment.

So there it is. I'm officially recommending both to you.


Renae said...

Cool! I'll have to give them a try. ALWAYS looking for new books!

Eyepoke said...

Cool. I happen to know that Ghostwalk is available on audio (abridged)because I actually listened to it. So I guess I have't really read that one.

I'll mention that both books are peppered with the Fbomb, probably Blind lake more so. I didn't find either book explict or offensive, but there it is. Both a decent step and half above Harry Dresden by way of comparision.

I actually thought Ghostwalk's handling of the chic cheating with the married guy was handled very well. If it'd been Mercedes Lackey or the old Heinlien, they'd have been trying to sell you the whole time on how obviously wise and natural it was to be cheating on one's spouse and how there was never any jealously issues or anything insane like that... Stott doesn't preach. She just tells the story true to life.