The Greatest Show on Earth
Over the weekend, my writing productivity plummeted as I sat down and read the big pile of eBooks that had been, predictably, piling up all around me. I started with this one because evolution is fun and it has pretty pictures (for which I should probably have got the hardback edition). Lots of cool writing ideas, obviously. I'm much better at biological and political SF than I am at mechanical and technical SF. Biopunk?
Guns, Germs, and Steel
I should say anthropological SF, because that's even more fun. This book really gives me a lot of solid tools and ideas for world-building. It has also enlightened me to the point where I can never right classic Fantasy, ever. Without hanging a lampshade on everything by saying MAGIC a lot. So. Sorry? It's probably for the best. There are so many writers who are so much more qualified to write Fantasy than I am. This is an excellent source for alternate history, though. I need to write more of that.
Packing for Mars
This book was surprisingly unhelpful when it comes to the kind of SF I like to write, but it's pretty awesome nonetheless. If I ever write a 'mundane hard SF', this'll be the book I turn to for the space portions. That'd be pretty interesting, really...
1491: New Revelations of America Before Columbus
Charles C. Mann
Going back to anthropology by way of focusing on the interesting bits, reading this rather horrifying book about how there were whole unknown civilizations running the length of the Americas, doing their own thing and being ridiculously well-fed because they mastered the environment...and then they all pretty much died of DEATH (and also being stabbed sometimes.) Admittedly, it did encourage me to write Fantasy again, because there's a lot of mysterious stuff lying around for people to explore.
The Lost City of Z
Like this. Pretty cool, eh? Some guy wanders into a jungle looking for stuff while his comrades drop like flies of horrible illnesses, interacting with tribes of Indians and getting a more dim view of the civilized world every second. Then he doesn't come back and a journalist has to find him 100 years later. Neat.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
This was surprisingly good in eBook form, mostly because all the illustrations were already black and white so you didn't miss anything. Still, I'm glad I have the hardcover already. This one deserves it. Oh, and something about magic.
Back to writing, so I can get another book out on Kindle and totally link to it in one of these articles at some point.