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Books Read - February 2005

The numbering is for the whole year...

#6 The Graveyard Game by Kage Baker: Last month I mentioned that I was working my way through the Company books by Kage Baker. To restate the premise: a future corporation has discovered time travel and immortality, and uses these tools to create an immortal race of cyborgs out of abandoned children who were lost to history. These cyborgs will arrive at the future the long way; in the meantime, they work for the Company preserving historical artifacts for the mortal owners, who live in the year 2355. In this book, two of the characters we've met before try to uncover a few secrets: What happened to one of their friends? What does the Company plan to do with immortal cyborgs once the year 2355 rolls around? How is the Company manipulating everything? The fascinating thing about this book is that, unlike the others, it's somewhat contemporary. It begins in the late 20th century and ends in the late 21st, which means that instead of playing around in known history, Baker extrapolates our own own world into the future.

#7 Blackout by James Goodman: This is a nonfiction account of the New York City blackout of 1977. I have fond memories of that summer, having been only seven years old. The blackout was an exciting adventure for me, probably because I wasn't personally touched by the rioting or the looting. A fascinating look back.

#8 Magic by William Goldman

#9 No Way to Treat a Lady by William Goldman: I mentioned having read one of Goldman's memoirs last month. These are two of his novels, and they're both murder mysteries. Magic is about a magician, his lost love, and the people he kills. Yes, you read that right. As for No Way to Treat a Lady, Goldman himself tells the story of how he got the idea for the book. He was thinking about the Boston Strangler case, and suddenly the idea came to him: what if there were two Stranglers? Goldman sets this novel in New York City, where one man is terrorizing the citizens by strangling people in their homes, and he even calls up a cop to brag about it. Then a second Strangler gets into the act, stealing his headlines, and he plots to take his revenge... Both are fast-moving suspenseful books.

#10 The Life of the World to Come by Kage Baker: I'm now caught up with the Company novels, and in my opinion, this was the best of the lot. In this book, a lot of questions are answered, as we get to see the people whose machinations led to the events of the previous books...plus we get a fascinating look at the future as the year of the Silence, 2355, approaches. Baker answers a lot of questions in this book, but also leaves many questions unanswered, and I am eagerly awaiting the next one. Of course, since this one came out in December 2004, I'll probably have to wait a while...

#11 Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson: Last month, the American Movie Classics channel broadcast the film Somewhere In Time (1980). Now, I had never seen the film, but I had heard a lot about it, so I recorded it on the TiVo and then made a copy to VHS. Watching the film made me eager for more, so I got Bid Time Return out of the library. This book is the novel that the movie was based on. It's a charming time travel love story, about a man in the 1970s who sees a picture of an actress from 1896 and falls in love with her. He manages to hypnotize himself to go back in time, where he meets her and she falls in love with him. And then...well, I don't want to give it away.

Comments

It's the fourth. I'm afraid I haven't seen it in mass market, though, only in hardcover and trade paperback.
I just finished _The Life of the World to Come_, while not having read either _The Graveyard Game_, nor her Company short story collection, _Black Projects, White Knights_. I've decided to reread the entire series once book seven comes out (or is imminent).

I think Alex's AI is my favorite character.
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