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Time to Try Something Different


Reading + Entertainment

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Phil, Queen's Square | December 22, 2017

In a recent automobile advertisement Matthew McConaughey asks the viewer if they have ever sat in the back seat of their car. Well maybe you should, he says.

So in the spirit of trying something a little different, maybe you read fiction but don’t go near Science Fiction or Fantasy.

Well maybe you should. Here then are some of the best science fiction and fantasy titles of 2017.

In Clockwork Dynasty, an anthropologist discovers an ancient group of mechanical beings. It is part steam-punk, part historical fiction, yet Wilson manages to bring it all together in a thoughtful take on what makes us human and the power of true imaginative writing.

Crosstalk is a romantic comedy and social satire set in the near future all wrapped up in a fantasy novel. Willis’ exuberant humor and warm-hearted, fast-paced plotting transform it into a satisfying, if old-fashioned, romantic comedy. Did I mention the telepathy? Ma Bell got the ill-communication.

Speaking of near future, nobody does it better than William Gibson, but he didn’t write a book this year. Cory Doctorow did, and he’s almost as good. Walkaway is just that: members of society walk away from their lives to start over. Part utopian and part social critique, Doctorow asks the elemental question: How should/can we choose to live.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones is more fairy tale than fantasy. Two sisters (identical twins), discover a chest that opens into two paths: revenge and love. If folklore is more your type of thing pick up Bear and Nightingale, which tells a story about Russian history, through a young child who can see spirits, perfect for curling up on a cold winter’s afternoon.

And two big ones to round out our list: Taste of Honey is pure up fantasy with all the nonsensical names and world building you would expect. It is kind of a blockbuster, and over the top, but it works.

Kings of the Wyld  is an epic fantasy. First Clay Cooper has to put his team of dudes back together. It’s like a fantastical Dirty Dozen.  Rampaging ensues as they attempt to free Cooper’s daughter Rose. Like Taste of Honey, it’s over the top, but in a fun way.

Clockwork DynastyCrosstalkWalkawayDown Among the Sticks and BonesA Taste of HoneyKing of the Wyld