I've always been an avid, if slow, reader. To my great surprise, I ended up studying literature (along with CS) for my undergrad degree, which enriched my world in ways that are impossible to quantify and I'd read a lot more now if it wasn't for other responsibilities. I'm using this page to simply track what I'm reading and any thoughts about the books. I try to update it every once in a while...

In Progress - Sci-Fi

    Nothing at the moment!

Completed Reads - Sci-Fi

Hyperion & The Fall of Hyperion
Dan Simmons

So these two books were bizarre and awesome. But they're only really for people with certain tastes, and you really have to read both to get the story sorted out. But I loved them. Simmons studied literature and was an elementary school teacher before he became a full-time author and his love of the literary world is woven into the fabric of these stories. The format of Hyperion is based on The Canterbury Tales, with different characters in the story telling their stories to each other, each in their own chapter, while on a space-pilgrimage, and one of the key characters in the broader world he's created is John Keats, or, rather, some kind of ghost of Keats, so to speak. Through the story, he challenges the reader with indirect questions about religion, humanity, technology, and all kinds of philosophical ideas. But it's also just a damned good story if you don't want to think about these things. All that said, it's a challenge to get through the first book and keep track of what's going on, but if you do, it's a great reward. And the pure creativity and quality of world-building Simmons achieves is a rare find. It actually brings Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to mind, strangely enough -- very, very different, but at it's core it challenges the reader to reflect on what it means to be human.

This is a great book for any big sci-fi fan or possibly someone interested in technology, religion, and philosophy. It's not for someone who needs to understand everything going on...

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.
Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. was a great, fun read. I like a lot of Neal Stephenson's work but he has a tendency to slide into overly intellectualized details (I've tried to get through the first book of the Baroque Cycle twice now and just got bored...) and Nicole Galland's talents reign that in quite a bit and the result is a very fun, fast-moving story about time travel, witchcraft, and government corruption (of sorts). They established the story and hooked me in within the first few paragraphs, to such a skillful extent that I went back and reread the first few pages three or four times just to see how well they get the story going so quickly. I've recommended this book to anyone who just loves to read. And it's one of those books that you can only do justice by reading (the audio book won't do it justice). The story is simply insane, but it's so well written that you'll completely suspend disbelief without any effort whatsoever. It's smart, funny, moves quickly, and is very well-written.

I'd give this to anyone who just loves to read; someone who wants a good, well-written story but wants something light and fun too.