These are the books I read throughout 2020. It's been a while since I read these, so this isn't a book review. It's a blurb about what was most memorable, because that's all I remember about them.
Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
On the cover is supposed to be a space clown. This is two novellas jammed together. The entire series consists of "maybe we should do something to save our federation" followed by "we didn't do anything and everything worked out because it was all part of some plan thousands years/books ago."
Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
This one breaks the series cliche by having a space clown who wasn't part of the plan. The big twist at the end is that it was all part of the plan after all.
The Shining by Stephen King
Entirely different than the movie. More intense and supernatural. More interesting than I've found most Stephen King novels. Worth reading.
The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin
Every so often while reading I would think "this is so unbelievable" and then I'd remember that's exactly how awful the past was (when this book was written). Very interesting hard sci-fi and social sci-fi (is that a thing?). Read it.
Agency by William Gibson
A follow-up to The Peripheral. There's a lot of phone calls between the future-present and an AI in the past. I don't remember how it ends.
Read The Peripheral instead.
Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny
A classic road trip story. A man drives a car across the country because planes don't work due to all the giant mutant bats or whatever.
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
A universe full of hard-ish sci-fi tech that's actually interesting and not too magical. And it fits in with a good story on the politics of a small colony and it's archaeology. Physics, Politics, Archaeology, what more could you want.
Nexus by Ramez Naam
A novel premise in this novel. What if there were drugs that gave you telepathy. Obviously the government would try to take it away. I will be reading the sequel.
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
It's pronounced "Seven Eve's" after the most annoyingly unrealistic part of the novel. Some how over thousands of years the children of seven different women all stuck on a space station together never cross blood-lines results in seven different species of humans. If the novel ended earlier I wouldn't have any complaints.
The Pillars of Earth by Ken Follett
So long. So very long. Most of the novel I was rooting for justice against the many evil characters while they did even more evil things. The eventual justice is a little unbelievable.
Blindsight by Peter Watts
A great novel premise and original hard sci-fi elements. I want to explore more of the aliens in the story.
Echopraxia by Peter Watts
A follow up to Blindsight. A lot of nothing happens and what does happen is of no consequence. Read Blindsight instead.
Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds
A follow-up to Revelation Space with a stupid ending. There are some interesting world building here, but it doesn't explore the most interesting parts from Revelation Space. Read Revelation Space instead.
Breaking Strain by Paul Preuss
A complicate title that I still don't really understand. Arthur C Clarke made the character in a short story and then Paul Preuss wrote novels about that character?? A crushable mystery set in space. I thought the characters background would be explored more.
Maelstrom by Paul Preuss
Sequel to Breaking Strain with the same main character. I was hoping they would explore her background more, but its mostly another easy-to-read mystery set in a different part of space.