Goals for 2012: Novel reading

Because of my focus on short fiction, novel reading has taken a backseat the last few years, and I imagine that will continue for the next few years. Novels are more of a time investment and with everything else going on, something has to take a backseat. That said, here are a few goals for my novel-reading in 2012:

1. Get current on George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire

In 2011, I read the first 3 books in the series and enjoyed them all immensely. I’d like to catch up with the last two in 2012. Finding the time to do that might be tricky, but given what I’ve read in the first three, I think it would be worth the effort.

2. Re-read Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land

Michael Burstein’s recent post convinced me to do this. It took me 3 tries to get through Stranger the first time and after I finished it, I decidedly didn’t like it. But my experience has broadened and my attitudes have changed in the dozen or more years that have passed since I read it. I think it is time to give it another try.

3. Start Stephen King’s Gunslinger series

Enough people have said enough good things about it that I think it’s worth taking the time to read at least the first book in the series.

4. Read some Mike Resnick

I’ve never read a Mike Resnick novel. It’s about time I corrected that. I know that he and Jack McDevitt have a collaborative novel coming out in 2012, but that doesn’t count. I want to read a good, representative Resnick novel. And I’m open to suggestions on this one.


  1. Mr Resnick is extremely prolific and has written in a bunch of subgenres in Fantasy and SF. So picking out books is non-trivial.

    So maybe you’d like one of my favorites:

    Stalking the Unicorn: Private Detective in our world winds up in a fantasy version of NYC working a case. Its a good showcase of Resnick’s penchant for humor. I looked for this book years ago after accidentally reading first a story about the protagonist that takes place after this novel and wanted to learn more about Mr. Mallory.

    There are also two sequels 🙂

    Kirinyaga: A fixup novel of some short stories about a terraformed planetoid colonized by Kenyans. I’ve heard some criticism from African authors about the book, though.

    Probably not a good one for your first, Birthright the Book of Man is Stapledonian in its scope, a linked group of stories of a future history of man expanding through the galaxy. He has plenty of stories, not in this volume, set in this history, such as “Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge”

    I also like The Dark Lady but that one is currently out of print.

    1. I wrote a post a few months back talking about writers that I haven’t read, but always wanted to read. Mike is one of them. I picked up Kindle versions of Santiago and Kirinyaga. The Branch was unavailable. Hopefully I can get to them soon.


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