Category Archives: Cannonball Plans

Leap into Miéville Month

And what better way to ring in the new month than with a terrible pun?

It’s been a long time coming but the time of rejoicing is finally here.  A month of nothing but China Miéville.  Your mileage may vary.  When I read Embassytwon back in June of 2011, I made a quiet vow to start gathering Miéville’s novels for the next Cannonball Read.  I’ve had a few of them sitting in a box thanks to the bargain basement prices of Borders’ burnout, but I was missing a copy of Perdido Street Station which was where I really wanted to start the marathon.  And now I have it!

So I’m declaring March to be Miéville Month, if only so I can have the Miéville March Madness Marathon while the rest of the country is busy with regular March Madness and all the bracketing that entails.  More alliteration is always better.  The reading order will look something like this: Perdido Street Station, The Scar, The City & the City, and Kraken.  I’m holding off on Iron Council for a number of reasons, but if I’m ahead of schedule I might add it just to keep the month purely Miéville.

See you on the other side,

Bitter Defeat and Joyous Anticipation

Happy holidays fellow cannonballers and dear wanderers.

Unfortunately, this time of year brings about the conclusion of the Cannonball Read and with it, the end of the first Campaign.  I proved to be less than stalwart under fire and failed to complete the reviews of the last 20 books I’ve read in time for the conclusion of the war.  I’ve read the allotted number, but haven’t posted on a good 2/5ths of them.  It’s disappointing to be sure, but no reason to give up or stop the fight now.

So I hereby pledge to do better in this upcoming 4th Cannonball Read.  Which begins…. NOW!

The Crusades – A Map

Herein lies the final reading list for the second phase of the CBRIII, in no particular order.  Created from recommendations from Facebook, the main Cannonball Blog and goodreads.com.  Thanks to everyone for the excellent recommendations.  Some books were omitted due the lack of a digital edition.   There may be additions, (there already are two) but I will finish these books by the end of the year, and hopefully before then.

Embassytown – China Mieveile  FINISHED
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe – Charles Yu
Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories – M.R. James
Faerie Tale – Raymond E. Feist
Gates of Fire – Steven Pressfield
Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
Dark Tower – Stephen King
Shades of Grey – Jasper Fforde
In the Woods – Tana French
Then We Came to the End – Joshua Harris
Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
PS Your Cat is Dead – James Kirkwood
Stormlight Archive – Brandon Sanderson
Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Crusades – A search for war, wealth and wisdom

Greetings Readers… if you exist and are not just webtrolls.

As the Summer of 2011 starts to show itself, I am retreating to the comforting cool dark of my basement to begin the second leg of my Cannonball, the Crusades.  Like their namesake, these wars are poorly planned, incredibly ambitious and ultimately doomed to failure.  I’m hoping to get enough reading done in the next 2-3 months to justify attempting a Double Cannonball (104 books in 52 weeks) Given that I’m only about 3 books ahead of the regular Cannonball (52 in 52), this is probably a pipe dream.

What I need is a map.  Or in normal terms, book recommendations.  I have a brand-new Kindle with a lot of free space that needs filling.  I’ll be pulling novels off the main CBRIII blog, a number of book podcasts I’ve picked up in the past 5 months and the recommendations of friends, but I’m not confidant that I’ll have enough great options to pick from so I’m opening it up to everyone!

IF ANYONE TELLS ME TO READ THE HUNGER GAMES I WILL STAB THEM!  If I wanted to read Battle Royale again, I’d fucking read Battle Royale again.  Piss off.

Everything else is on the table so let me have it!  We Ride for Xanadu!

A Brief Examination of ‘Hard’ SF

When I started pulling my thoughts together for my review of Alistair Reynolds’ House of Suns, I found myself getting bogged down in a pile of science fiction terminology and information that might be useful for people who aren’t big SF readers, but just slows down the book review.  So I thought I’d break up the review into a quick examination of the subject matter, followed by the review of the actual literary work.  We’ll see how this goes.

Read the rest of this entry

Battle Plans – January

I may have, entirely by accident, picked most of my winter reading list from the just published io9.com 15 best Speculative Fiction Books of 2010 list.

Here’s the docket:

  • Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl (already done.  Review pending)
  • Michael Crichton’s State of Fear (200 pages in.  Yay air travel!)
  • Ito Satoshi’s/Project Itoh’s Harmony
  • N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

And Iain M. Banks’ Surface Detail is on the list, but I’m waiting for a paperback edition.  After I wrap up this SpecFic orgy, I think I’ll go find some classic literature.  Or some popular non-fiction.  Any recommendations?