First things first: Dina – Stunde des Schicksals is now out. If you are looking for the whole Innkeeper series in German, here is the link.
I wanted to ask you about your knitting and if you could knit at all with your hand problems? Or with all the stress with Hugh´s book, Diamond Fire, Innkeeper, selling the house etc. you just had to skip this hobby of yours. Is knitting calming?
Knitting is calming, but I haven’t been able to do it. We finally finished the edits on the Diamond Fire yesterday, so I thought I would fire up the PlayStation. I got my new game, I got my controller, my blanket, my glass of tea, the dogs have arranged themselves around me, I pressed the Playstation button… and fifteen minutes later, my hands said, “Yeah, no.”
I was very sad.
It looks like this will be a long healing process. Gordon is cool with Innkeeper dictation, so that’s where we are.
Stressful crap keeps happening, but I am determined to vacation.
Watching Megalobox about boxing with a beautifully retro style and a completely silly Isekai Izakaya, which is about a little eatery that opens into another world, a kind of Medieval Germany. All they do is eat. It’s great if you want to snack.
Read Paper Magician. A cool concept, but didn’t think there was enough done with it. There is a sequence inside an heart in the middle of it that just goes on and on and on. It’s well written, so it’s more of a case of misplaced expectations. I wanted an exploration of a cool magic system and awesome adventures, but the author wrote a book about the condition of being human instead. It’s in KU, if you’re interested.
Read a translation of a Russian book for a quote. :shudders: No. Just no.
Would love to read some cool SF.
Playing Empyrion again.
Do you like Michelle Diener? I loved Dark Horse and the other two in that trilogy. Haven’t read the most recent series yet. Sure, it’s “light” scifi, I suppose, but sometimes I get stuck in the heavier stuff, especially when I’m stressed. Dark Horse took me away from normal life and dropped me in an adventure in space.
+1 for Michelle Diener. The Dark Horse series is a favourite, the Sky Raiders series is on KU and absolutely brilliant, and her newest, the Verdant String, is already five-star red in my review.
Keep those hands rested, and try a massage or two.
Lynn Latimer says
Yes, Michelle Diener’s series is great!
Sandy Hagman says
I just finish Michelle Diener’s trilogy: Dark Horse, Dark Deeds, and Dark Minds. It is a little light but I found the concept interesting. Perfect books for a relaxing read. I also like Grace Draven’s Wraith King’s books. Radiance is excellent.
Patricia Schlorke says
I agree with everyone about Michelle Diener and Grace Draven (which you may already have read). Unfortunately, unless Amazon has Michelle Diener’s books are for the Kindle, you may have to get Dark Horse, and the other two in book form. 🙂
I’ve heard a lot of good things about A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. Mur Lafferty’s book, Six Wakes, has been nominated for several awards. Just two scifi books you may find interesting.
Not being able to knit is hard–especially if you use it as a stress reliever. Sending you good thoughts.
The wayfares series by Becky Chambers is wonderful – the first book The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is great at building the world(s). I am not a huge SciFi fan but this was a lovely easy pull into the genre that allowed me to tune out and be happy that there was more in the series to read.
I second ‘The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet’. Both books in the series were very enjoyable, although I did like the first one a tiny bit more than the second (5 stars vs 4.5 stars, so both still good!).
Lenore Kester says
Six Wakes is very good – also some other Sci Fi – Tanya Huff’s Confederation and Peacekeeper series are wonderful – the last book just came out recently.
Take care of the hands – practice patience.
Sucks that you can’t even play games. Where’s the real virtual reality when you need it.
That is very sad, indeed, about your hands. I am sorry. Hoping that a few more weeks of healing will mean that you can get back to gaming and knitting…
On good modern SF to suggest for reading, I am afraid that I am absolutely no help as I have gotten far too lazy and increasingly rely on trusted recommendations (such as this blog!). So I have nothing new to suggest…. I am sure that many suggestions will be posted, however, so I shall look for these with interest.
Not SF, but a couple of very English book series (if you have not read them), for a change of pace:
– Vintage: The Modesty Blaise series. Peter O’Donnell’s series, dating back to 1965: often described as the female James Bond (I prefer the novels to the cartoons – personal preference), and;
– Modern: Ben Aaronovitch’s PC Grant series (fun London-based ‘magical police’ series by a former Dr. Who writer).
I grew up reading Modestly Blaise novels– I loved them.
Lauryn M says
+3 I LOVED Modesty Blaise when I was a teen!! Can’t believe some of y’all know that series, sooo vintage!!
Ben Aaronovitch’s series is great. It’s called the Rivers Of London series in the US with the first title being Midnight Riot. This series is definitely read-in-order! Each book builds logically on the world and characters. I have read the whole series multiple times and find something new to appreciate each time.
There are graphic novels in the series too, but I haven’t read those.
Those who are offended by plain red coffee cups are advised that characters of many nonwhite cultures occur in this series, including the principal character who is biracial, his mum’s side of the family from Sierra Leone, various Muslim characters and so on. Be told!
Margaret R says
A great “cozy” mystery series is by Alice Duncan, start with “Strong Spirits”, it’s set in Pasadena in the early 1920’s and is about a “fake” spiritualist medium and her adventures. Light and fun. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I could also recommend another author, R. Lee Smith, she writes fantasy and SF and is excellent, but her stories are very dark and disturbing and may trigger some people. I’m always looking for something good to read myself. I know the hand thing is frustrating but just keep resting
Margaret R says
I just remembered. Charlaine Harris does a “Book & Blog” and she often recommends some good stuff (including Ilona Andrews)
I love Harris’ Shakespeare mystery series.
Yes. Lily Bard is just about my favorite character of hers. Or maybe Harper Connelly.
Margaret R says
I loved Harper and Lily Bard too.
I’m sorry your hands are still recovering, I hope you can heal up quick! ***Sending positive thoughts your way***
In terms of games, I wonder if VR is an option? I don’t know much about it, except that it’s visual, so I’m just throwing ideas out into the wind.
More of a fantasy recommendation, but I’ve just started reading Brent Weeks, and he’s a dope writer.
I’ve read The Paper Magician. Did you read the other books in the series? You’re right, it IS a cool world, and you go a lot deeper in books 2 and 3 (also KU). I’m looking forward to book 4 (The Plastic Magician).
I recently picked up two books you might enjoy. The Demi-Monde: Winter by Rod Rees. If you’re a computer geek like me…. try not to get too hung up at the beginning. Once you’re inside the Demi-Monde, it runs much more like a cool sociology experiment. And I’m really excited to keep reading the series.
I’ve also been reading the graphic novel “Locke and Key”. The first several books are on KU. Reading a graphic novel on a Kindle has been interesting, and the story itself is really good. I wouldn’t recommend a Paperwhite – you’ll want a device that displays color.
Also, it’s an oldie but a goodie. If you’re ever in the mood for amazing characters, pick up Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (the Amelia Peabody series). It’s about a victorian woman who goes to Egypt to be an archaeologist… and occasionally solve crime. I don’t know if historical mysteries are in your wheelhouse, but I love this series for the same reason I love your books – characters you can’t help but fall head over heels for.
Take care of those hands!
Amelia Peabody series is one of my top Audio listens (Jim Butchers Dresden files read by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) shares this top spot) – I have the entire series on audible books and love it (Barbara Rosenblat was the authors good friend and does a wonderful job switching between all the characters.)
Rene Arnush says
Oh, yes! Barbara Rosenblat does a great job conveying the humour as well. There is another version with Susan O’Malley (Maybe the abridged version?) but I didn’t care for her interpretation–her reading just wasn’t British, and missed some of the humour.
mel burns says
Ilona, find a good acupuncturist!
Margaret R says
+1…My best friend in one of her previous avatars was a piano teacher, and experienced a severe case of carpal tunnel. Acupuncture helped with her recovery, so this might be *hopefully* a useful avenue for you as well. Hope you feel better!
I love Rachel Bach’s Paradox series. She also writes as Rachel Aaron in case your SF craving suddenly changes to a dragon craving.
Ilona recommended it ages ago and I loved it!!! Love Devi
Emily M says
I don’t know if you’re using circular or straight knitting needles . I’ve heard circular needles can help with some problems vs straight needles as you’re not carrying all the weight with your hands and wrists.
Take your time making sure you heal correctly so you don’t reinjure yourself. This might be a good time to go to yarn stores to fondle the yarn or rebuild a low stash.
Love when you talk books on your blog. I’ll have to check back later to see comments for other books and authors. This is the best way to find new reads.
I’ve recently read The Rise of the Iliri series by Auryn Hadley. I’m not generally into reverse harem but found this a very good read. 7 of the 10 promised books are out so far.
I’ve also recently discovered the Hamish Macbeth series by M. C. Beaton. This is a cozy mystery series and since you liked Midsummer Murders, you might enjoy it. (Saw one of the TV series make on the books and preferred the books, but might watch it later for the variation.)
In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Helenmary Cody says
When knitting gets too hard on my hands, I do a bit of weaving instead. Still get to play with pretty yarns, but less repetition in the grasping motions. And it is rewarding how quickly you can produce something nice. I did half a dozen scarfs in about 3 weeks at Christmas last year. Had lots of fun combining different yarns to come up with a unique gift for each of my sisters-in-law and nieces!
M Ovalles says
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I heard the audiobook narrated by Steve West (yes, him) and Fiona Hardingham. Its about the waterhorses – horses who come from the sea, and eat meat, and an annual horse race along the beach and a young woman trying to hold her family together. I picked it up due to the description and the narrator. Very nicely done, I thought.
I haven’t listened to the audio, but I really enjoyed this book.
Steve Schneider says
Try the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. I just rad the 1st 2 books.
Looking for cool SciFi: Lois McMaster Bujold!! Super badass, AMAZING world building and beautifully written. Also explores meaningful topics. Highly recommend for everyone. Some books are lighter than others though, but they’re all really good. Just… REALLY satisfying and fun.
Another excellent UF series is The Heartstrikers. Meteor hit the Great Lakes re-releasing magic into the world allowing dragons to wear them natural forms as opposing to their human forms. Super draconic creatures in all meanings of the word, except one. One miserable, wonderful soul who succeeds through sheer will-power of not-killing anyone and its so refreshing. Yes, sometimes blood and gore is the only thing that will satisfy the bloodlust, but there’s enough of that in the book still to be great. Its a thrilling, bloody adventure of nonviolence. Highly recommend. Author is Rachel Aaron.
Lois McMaster Bujold!! Agreed!
Patricia Schlorke says
Agree with Lois McMaster Bujold. Her Vorkosigan series is wonderful. 😀 Those books you can get as e-books. The first book in the series is “Shards of Honor” (just in case you’re interested).
It’s hard when your entertainment/stress relievers aren’t available due to injury. After I broke my ankle, I wanted nothing more than to TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE, OMG. Or dance. Or do a kickboxing workout. Because all of those things help me with stress, and it turns out that lying around for two months with a broken ankle is incredibly stressful.
I hope your hands recover quickly, and am glad you are resting them.
Have you read anything by Laini Taylor? I really enjoyed Strange the Dreamer. It’s mythical, magical, and emotional all rolled together. The depth to her characters is beautiful. She has a very lyrical quality to the tone of her writing.
I love everything you do and have asked my library to get a copy of Iron and Magic. Crossing my fingers that they procure it soon! Thank you for the Inkeeper Series! It’s good to hear that you’re taking care of yourself. The hardest thing to do is to listen and take it slow when you need to.
Ditto to bujolds vorkosigan books and arons heartstrikers
Interesting gritty SF: kameron hurleys series about the assasin nyx,
And historical fantasy by Naomi novik. Napoleonic Wars with dragons as a major tactical asset in the war.
Typical stiff-upper-lup-British navy captain get by happenstance paired with dragon.
Temeraire was a great series! Naomi Novik also has a couple of fairytale stories I found really enjoyable (Uprooted and Spinning Silver)
Yes! The fairytale ones are from Slavic folklore. Really well-done on so many levels. I’m afraid there is a certain level of cultural diversity and social justice awareness. Oh, the horror!
Just read Trail of Lightening by Rebecca Roanhorse. Highly recommend, UF meets Native American mythology/world building.
If you like geeky SciFi (e.g. The Martian), then I recommend “We Are Legion” by Dennis Taylor.
For those like me who re-read all of Kate and can’t wait for the 10th book I recommend “Alice Worth” series by Lisa Edmonds.
Now, I can’t figure out if its polity to recommend something that is suspiciously close to Ilona’s work (specifically Kate and Hidden Legacy). However these similarities are just that – similarities. Mostly it has the same “feel” to it, which is why I liked it.
I don’t think it’s that similar at all, especially compared to some series where the author obviously took Kate and changed her enough to stay of of trouble (and there are way too many of these, IMHO).
Lynn T. says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews. I appreciate the update..
Glad to know Gordon is turning out to be excellent dictationist / typist. Good for you both.
Regarding playing games, try VR. I am sure Gordon can hook you up. Just remember there is a learning curve. You might like it. If not, then you will have tried. And your hands will heal.
Regarding SF….. everyone is different. I suggest a subscription to Baen. That gives you a large variety of choice. I grew up reading Isaac Asimov (the black spider banquets), Randall Garrett (Lord Darcy stories which are now available in 1 book) , Robert Heinlein, Keith Laumer (Retief which Gordon will probably get all the Cold War refetences), Anne McCaffrey (Dragonriders of Petn and what is now called The Tower and The Lady series). Andre Norton (Starman’s Son, Beastmaster series), , Spider Robinson, James Schmidt (Telzey and Trigger stories, some of his stuff I read when Flint republished thru Baen a few years ago and talk about story induced nightmares afterward…)…. David Weber (Honor Harrington series and YA tree cats series). David Drake (Cinnabar series), John Ringo (i prefer Special Cirumstance series as other series is too bloody / violent foir me.)
Loiz Masters Bujold ( Miles and Cordelia etc) was a favorite of Dad to discuss during chemotherapy and I have not been able to read thru the tears .
I hope you find something to read to give you a small vacation from reality. Not being able to use hands is a real pain. If you can find a good acupuncturist that you can trust, I would recommend that for pain. I do arculitherapy (ear acupuncture) monthly and it helps me.
I also like McCaffrey’s ship books.
Speaking of cool magic systems have you read oakland arcana? It is UF but very well written.
I really liked Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre. Carrie Vaughn’s Martians Abroad latest is young adult oriented, but very good. Both of these are Sci-Fi.
Have you read The Murderbot Diaries? Still the human condition, but very cool scifi. Anything at all by Wells is excellent.
I am a fiber artist as well so I can understand how you feel about not being able to knit. I am don’t have any SF suggestions, but I have been reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. This book is freaking fantastic, it has caused me to have waves of emotions from being sad, upset, irritated, and stressed out all in a good way. A few other books that I think are good are: Written in Blood-The Others series by Anne Bishop, Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Mass, & The City of the Lost- Town of Rockton series by Kelley Armstrong. Anyways, please get some rest and thank you for all the beautiful stories that you share with us.
Joanne R says
For light and entertaining SF, I love E.M.Foner’s Union Station series. I just finished the audiobook Terminal Alliance: Janitors for the post apocalypse, by Jim C. Hines, which was good, and I’ve really loved the beginners guide to Necromancy by Hailey Edwards for urban fantasy.
Katie Jones says
I’m so sorry about your hands,and the frustration of not being able to do something you love. My mom is passionate about knitting and crocheting but she struggles with rheumatoid arthritis, so she’s started using different tools to help her hands. I’m not sure exactly which ones have helped the most, but she has funky crochet hooks with crazy handles and a “Knitting Aide” machine. Have you tried Portuguese knitting? Its supposed to be easier for those with hand injuries… anyway happy vacationing!
P.S. If you feel like taking a trip down sci-fi memory lane, the Freedoms Landing series by Anne McCaffrey is always a comfort read for me.
I also love Bujold, Novick and Bishop. I just finished The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. It’s an alternate earth, sci-fi story about women becoming astronauts in the 1950’s. Excellent read but there’s a strong focus on the issues of sexism and racism of the time.
Here’s a few books to try: Jessie Mihalik just published The Queen’s Gambit, the opening novella in her Rogue Queen universe. The Daragh Deception by Kenley Davidson was a fun, light read. Also, people of a knitting bent might like to check out Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howie. If you want a blast from the past, then Dune by Frank Herbert is hard to overlook…
Garrick P says
I have been doing a bit of dabbling back into the SF genre for reading, but I’ve found most pleasure in going back through a few oldies-but-goodies. Battlefield Earth, the Thrawn Trillogy, The Martian (OK, OK, not so old), and Star Trek: The Q Continuum.
I have no idea how well they would work, but there are also a couple of voice-controlled games out there to consider: “In Verbis Virtus” and “There Came an Echo”. You could also follow in the, err, shoes of some speed runners and play some turn based RPGs with your toes. 😛
Best of luck!
SF… Try the “1000 Revolution” by Pippa DaCosta. It was new circa 2014-2015 as the “Girl from Above” series. It has killer AI in space and you can practically see the lens flares. It’s one of my favorite series.
Have you read any of the Confederation Novels by Tanya Huff? The first in the series is called Valor’s Choice and it’s one of my favourite sci-fi series. It’s military science fiction and I found the worldbuilding and the aliens sprinkled throughout it great. The main character is human but we see her interact with other species quite a bit while dealing with a pointless war.
I hope things calm down soon and you’re able to enjoy a break!
Yes, I also recommend Tanya Huff’ s Valor series, loved the Tree Cat books. Black Tide Rising , Troy Rising and Into the Looking Glass series by John Ringo. The last two have lots of science in them. The physics makes my eyes cross but great characters. Wen Spencer’s Tinker books and the Ukiah Oregon are favorites. Last but not least the bloodhound/Jo Beth Sidden series by Virginia Lanier most likely from the library as they are not ebooks.
Have you tried Epson salt soaks? Lots of magnesium for your muscles.
All of the books above, and a couple still coming up. (My computer shows last page of comments first – sometimes to my confusion.) I wish Lorna Freeman would release her Covenants series in ebook again. I am wearing my paperbacks out, again. Wonderful world building.
Yes! I am not the only one who recommends Wen Spencer! Both series are great and her use of “place” as an almost character is fascinating. Tinker and Ukiah are both set in (very different) Pittsburgh(s). Tinker has the best opening line of any book since A Tale of Two Cities. Look it up. You won’t want to stop reading…
Oops, also Marc Alan Edelheit’s Stiger alt history / fantasy. It’s very well done and different from the D & D themed fantasy out there.
I’m so sorry about your hands. I hope you can get all the healing rest you need. And a good, restful vacation!
Tasha A says
Probably not what you are looking for but I just finished Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton and I loved it. Middle eastern, wild west theme which is fun. Haven’t picked up the next two books in the trilogy yet but i’m excited to see what happens!
Total bummer about the slow healing. Glad you can work out the dictation deal.
I have such a narrow focus with my reading, I can’t think of anything to recommend that you haven’t already tried. You’ve tried Anne Bishop, right? I can’t remember if you said you have tried the In Death series by J.D. Robb. Not exactly SF, but futuristic. I love them.
I hope you can enjoy your vacation time. Somehow.
AM Scott says
I’d like to recommend my sister’s forthcoming debut, Murder Is Messy: A Space Janitor Mystery (Julia Huni.) It’s a cozy mystery set on a space station and it’s a lot of fun. It will be in KU on July 31st, so for anyone with KU, there’s nothing to lose.
Yes, I’m biased since she’s my sister, but she’s an inventive and talented writer. I’m really excited she’s getting this story out there.
She’s also my developmental editor, so yes, I’m very, very biased! You’ve been warned!
Megan Keskitalo says
I’m sorry that games are hard due to hands. Do you enjoy tabletop games? They make a nice change of pace for me sometimes.
For SF I really like Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Rachel Bach’s Paradox series. More in a fantasy zone and ya, but not too y, is Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. It is incredibly powerful and I needed a minute after it. Ooh, and The Power by Naomi Alderman. Enjoy your vacation!
I’m spending mine rereading Silent Blade and Silver Shark, and I’m always amazed at the world building you two can cram into a book. They really hold up.
I love that show!! We also liked yakitate- about a Japanese bread shop, and food wars. Both are on crunchy roll, and will make you want to snack. Hope the hands heal soon, my husband is currently in wrist braces so I understand how frustrating it is.
I felt the same way when I read The Paper Magician! Hope your hands are feeling better soon!
So sorry to hear about your hands, Ilona! 🙁 Hope a couple of box sets will be enough to keep you busy for a while. Sending good vibes and positive thoughts!
Probably a bit late to the party with this, but here are a couple of books that earned themselves a spot on my brilliant shelf. Perhaps there’s something in there for you:
Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price
Chronicles of the Warlands series by Elizabeth Vaughan
Mark Lawrence might be up your street with either Broken Empire series, Red Queen’s War series or Book of the Ancestor series. They’re all set in a post-technology world, a little bit like Kate’s world, but only a touch.
The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris, read as a one-off, rather than part of the bigger series
Aaaand Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent
On a separate (sort of) note, do you know if there are any plans to release the first few books in the Kate Daniels series as hardbacks? I’ve been pining for a shelf with the whole series in hardbacks, but it’s not available throughout and it would have been nice for there to be an anniversary version of sorts. Though I realise that it’s not necessarily up to you and I’m certainly not complaining about the method of my Ilona Andrews fix. Just wondering if you had a clue / idea / plans.
Sorry the healing process is being slow, so frustrating. Not a writer, but I type for a living and having your hands out of commission is devastating. If you haven’t read Lindsay Buroker already, her Fallen Empire series is a great entertaining read that goes in some unexpected directions. Her Emperor’s Edge series, while only tangentially SF is also a lot of fun. She’s got some pretty excellent humor in there too that I enjoyed a lot. Jack L. Chalker’s Four Lords of the Diamond series or his Well of Souls series are really good and Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series or Deathworld trilogy are as well. Chalker and Harrison are oldies but goodies if you haven’t come across them yet. I hope the hands are better soon!
Susan Ivey says
I only recently found Sharon Lee and Steve Miller Sci-Fi space opera. I totally love them. I reread them constantly, just as I do your books!
Great world building, great stories about a space-faring people.
I totally binge read them when I discovered them.
Yes, a nice ongoing space opera
Most anything by CJ Cherryh, particularly the Foreigner series.
The Foreigner series was interesting, but I liked her Cyteen books and Chanur Chronicles much better.
Rene Arnush says
If you like a bit of horror, I’d suggest The Laundry Files by Charles Stross–the first one is a bit dry (think Lovecraft) but they improve. They are dark, and juuust reasonable enough that they make my hair stand up. A later book has the absolute best treatment of vampires that I’ve ever run across.
An oldie but a goodie, Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. Also two short story collections by Ray Bradbury, R is for Rocket, and S is for Space.
Kala A. Goriup says
I just finished Robin Hobb’s Live Ship and Rain Wild series. Anything by her is fantastic, but I loved the world building in this series. This leans more fantasy, I think. It was just a lovely escape this summer.
My arthritis in my thumbs have been giving me fits, so I have laid aside the knitting in favor of doing some crochet. for some reason, the crochet is less stressful on my hands. It is also easier to put down and pick up. But that may be because I have been doing it longer than knitting.
Anna Levina says
I would highly recommend everything by Brandon Sanderson, he has very cool magic systems and adventures. Mistborn is a good start
SF? I can share glorious SF Glynn Stewart’s The Castle Federation series is wonderful,
I read the entire series in a week… pretty much every spare moment I had went into said books.
His other series The Duchy of Terra is also astounding and am waiting almost as patiently for the next set in it as i am for shines from you 😛
Get better. Take as long as you need as I happily prefer late books to disabled authors!
I am reading the first part of his Alexandria Station series, the Science Officer. It’s novellas, but available in two collections of 4 novellas each. I also read the first book of the second part and am waiting til I get to it to get more.
Very nice. I am buying, not reading on KU.
Sorry – stupid me relied on memory and it let her down again. Blaze Ward writes the Alexandria Station series.
I read Glynn Stewart’s Starship Mage series just before. I really liked it, but it may be complete.
My apologies to both authors.
I’m so sorry abour the knitting. I just picked it up myself as stress relief and found it quite taxing on my hands so I wondered if you were still able to knit. Hope you make a full recovery, and find other fun ways to de-stress
Good Luck with the hands!
Some Sci-fi suggestions on top of all the above: ‘Terminal Alliance’ and ‘Perdition (The Dred Chronicles Book 1)’ are both good (if very different) books. T.A. has a funny more wacky feel and Perdition is definitely darker.
If you want a Fantasy book that feels like it’s in an MMO try ‘Threadbare Volume 1: Stuff and Nonsense’. It’s both funny and gritty in my opinion. The main character is a teddy bear, but it’s not as cutesy as that makes it sound.
Here are a few recommendations :
Their’s Not to Reason Why Series by Jean Johnson – SF
The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearn – UF
Odyssey One Series by Evan Currie – SF
The Nine Kingdoms Series by Lynn Kurland – Fantasy
The Soulwood and Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter – UF
The SPI Files series by Lisa Shearin – UF
The Katherine “Kitty” Katt series by Gini Koch – SF
The Vatta’s War Series by Elizabeth Moon – SF
Pretty much anything by Mercedes Lackey
Nalini Singh had a recommendation for Laura Florand and she was right – CR
I second the Vatta’s War series. I generally like Elia eth Moon’s writing, but sometimes she goes too far in some direction for me. For example, I liked the first few books in The Serrano Legacy series (I think the series had a couple of other names before that and are like two or three series that are linked.) but one character along the way who became the main character for several books, kept being alternately lauded and vilified, book after book. It’s like the power sstructure kept forgetting how much she had done. But some of the books I liked a lot.
Also, Remnant Population by Moon. Main character is in her 60s or 70s. One of my all-time favorite books.
Kimberly Nilsson says
I second Remnant Population!
Another vote for Remnant Population, and also The Speed of Dark (same author). Demon of Undoing by Andrea Alton. Tanya Huff, C. J. Cherryh and Spider Robinson are all great. Robert Silverberg (Majipoor trilogy among others) is interesting.
Sorry your hands are recovering slowly, it seems frustrating to have so many of your favorite relaxing activities off limits. Best wishes for your recovery.
Susan Linch Ravan says
I second Faith Hunters Jane Yellowrock and Soulwood series and the Iron Druid series. Another UF series not mentioned here is Chloe Neils Chicagoland Vampires series
I really enjoyed the Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown by Robin Mckinley . War for the Oaks by Emma Bull. Breakers Ruin and Bramble Burn by Autumn Dawn. Jennifer Esteps Elemental Assassin Series, and Christopher Stasheff’s Warlock in Spite of Himself series. I have read and re-read all of these many times. I hope any or all reasonate with you and bring bring you the pleasure they have given me.
I am SO sorry. My arthritis, my cervical neck and nerve issues, etc. have all led to having issues with my hands. I hope you find some way to work through this.
Dear Ilona, I wish you the patience to give your hands the time they need to heal and that any crap that happens can be solved without involving your hands.
Have you read Lorna Freeman: Borderlands Novels 1-3? Unfortunately they are only available in German on Kindle, but the English paperback editions are still available. Fantasy with a lot of humor, an unlikely naive hero, intrigue, interesting magic and only a bit of romance. Light-hearted fun, but warm – a bit like the first books by Patricia Briggs.
More Fantasy without the “urban”: (almost) any book from Barbara Hambly and Mercedes Lackey (Valdemar series, close to 2m on my shelf). And for classic SF: the old masters Isaak Asimov, Robert Heinlein or far back Jules Verne. Some of their stuff reads funny today, a lot is timeless.
And if you want to give your brain a break: have you tried gardening (since you moved to a new home there should be plenty of opportunities for creative adaption to your preferences) or skulpting with wood or clay?
All the best and again lots of patience.
Margie B, says
I loved Lorna Freeman, I wished she had finished the 4th book.
I really enjoyed Marie Lu’s Warcross, although it may not be SF enough for you. If nothing else, it might appeal to the gamer in you.
Each time you post about knitting or yarn, I think about picking up the needles again!
Check out the Atrocity Archives by Charles Stress. Higher order mathematics summons eldritch horrors like cuthulu.
Not being able to game….is awful…
I haven’t read Paper Magicians (it’s in my kindle but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet) but if you are looking for a book with some fun magicians have you read Night Circus? I absolutely love this book, the world building is so interesting and out if this world and it’s got a sweet romance to boot.
Night circus is one of my favorite books!
I loved that book. Very lovely writing style and all the cool magic and sweet romance were really nice.
The Night Circus is by Erin Morgenstern. It is really fantasy as literature and an excellent read.
Speaking of Russian books. Have you read The mind dimensions by Dima Zales? It’s written in English and set in the US but had a very Russian SF feel to it. Made me feel quite nostalgic reading it
Bless your heart, that sucks not being able to even relax with your hands! I wish you a speedy and steady healing.
Also, I’ve been binge watching this comedy youtube channel called “It’s a Southern Thing” where they even have a segment called Back Porch Bickering and I kept thinking of you and wondering how much of a southern you truly are and which sides of the porch you would choose , e.g: sweet or unsweetened tea, etc. I think you would like it 🙂
I’ve developed tennis elbow and can’t knit right now. It’s driving me crazy. I can spin a little bit but it’s not portable. I have Anxiety Disorder and it’s my favorite coping mechanism. I hope you can get back to the fun stuff soon.
I had to stop knitting and spinning for my hands so I could keep paying the bills too. It is sad, and I have all this expensive yarn I can’t do anything with. I should do a yard sale eventually.
Are you on Ravelry? You can sell it there for closer to what you paid for it. Especially if it’s indy dyed yarn.
If you can’t get back into knitting or whatever, donate to your public library. Libraries are beginning to offer free lessons, usually led by a volunteer. They could use some good yarn.
So I like intelligent writing (hence big fan of yours) and decided to go back to solid favorites on my reading. I started re-reading Bujold (big award winner) and re-read three of her series. Then Istarted on the Vorkosigan Saga which I had not read. The covers looked a little too retro for my taste, very 80’s. But since I loved the rest of her work, I decided my prejudice on the covers was foolish. Glad I did because it is a wonderful and complicated series. Like IA, she enjoys dense layers to her characters and fascinating plot lines. There is a touch of Russian influence — again like IA. Great love stories. I imagine you have read Bujold, but maybe like me, you missed the earlier works. I should point out that this series continues into 2015 with new books, and I am hoping that Bujold adds a few more.
PS: Yarn can make your fingers worse because dragging it through your fingers while you knit/ crochet irritates the ends of your fingers.
Try doodling? Or hot wax dips for your hands? Paraffin plus baby oil heated in a wax heater for hands. One box paraffin plus 1 small bottle of baby oil. Dip those babies in the hot (not too hot) wax and stick them in plastic bags so the heat soaks in. Good for arthritis, too.
I agree about Lois Mcmaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series. I used to go through bouts where I would read only mysteries, or only romance or only sci-fi/fant. It was never totally satisfing. Then I discovered Ms. Bujold’s books. They have a seamless and skillful blend of all the elements that I most enjoy. For three months, I couldn’t read anything else. As a ” book a day ” reader this led to some frustration but at the time, it was the only thing that worked for me. My local librarian (an absolute jewel of a human being) helped me find other authors with similar abilities (including Ilona Andrews). J. D. Robb’s “In Death…” series, while it’s mystery, interwoven with romantic themes, is more sci/fi and fantasy than most people realize. Since it’s set in the not too distant future, there is a great deal of flexibility to its ” reality”. You might consider Molly Harper’s “Jane Jameson” or “Halfmoon Hollow” series for the lighter side. She writes with a lot of snark and humor. It’s quite enjoyable. As an “oldie but goody”, there’s Karen Marie Moning’s “Highlander Series”. It’s hard to beat time traveling, mystical Hunks from Scotland. For a little “creep” factor, check out Charlaine Harris’ “Midnight, Texas” trilogy or her ” Harper Conelly” quadology( is that a real word?). While Ilona Andrews is the only author whose blog I follow, there’s still a lot of other good writing happening, if you can find it, so, here’s me sharing with you. Take care all.
If you haven’t enjoyed these yet,
Genevieve Cogman- The Invisible Library
N.K. Jemisin- The Fifth Season
I can’t remember if you’ve said if you’ve read the Murderbot series by Martha Wells yet, but if not you really should.
Colleen Champagne says
Murderbot is great stuff!
Ilona, go to webtoons.com and read unOrdinary. A great story on a what if someone lived in world where everyone had powers, but him…
It’s a great comic and it’s free.
Bill G says
Vacation; a long one, to heal. If you’re looking for a bit of an oddball humor read and it hasn’t been mentioned, James Alan Gardner’s “All Those Explosions Were Somebody Else’s Fault” tickled my twisted funnybone.
Ruth Ray says
I’m going to suggest an oldie. Author is Rick Cook and the series starts with “The Wiz Biz.” It mixes up programming with fantasy and some good satire.
The Last Dog on Earth – by Adrian J Walker – near future, post-apocalyptic – dual narrator – dog (1) and his ‘master’ (2) – set in London. Possibly scarily prescient…. Interesting take on subject and (for me) a page turner
Cold Bath Street – by A J Hartley – ya / ghost / horror – publisher said she couldn’t put it down and read through the night – scaring herself silly. Published in the UK .
Little Eve by Catriona Ward – only 1/3 way through – set in Scotland and parts of England in the 1920s – each chapter in different year – not chronological. Could be classified as fantasy – the author is a wordsmith
Joe D says
i just got 40K:Gladius (4x) and it is very cool, no diplomacy in this dark future there is only war. Also C Vaughns’ second Bannerless novel came out today.
Ilona I hope your hands feel better soon, I’m so sorry that’s happening to you. I use my hands quite a bit (I’m a leather worker and sewist) and would be very sad as well if I lost use of them for a time.
I’m very glad you posted about the SciFi, I will be perusing the suggestions here as well.
I’ve enjoyed Lindsey Buroker’s Fallen Empire Series, and just finished Andy Weir’s Artemis, it was interesting as it’s protagonist is a woman who is also a not-criminal. On the Moon. Fun.
As always I enjoy your work and hope you can do it again soon, but I can wait. Take care.
PS- thanks for keeping us updated!
I am also currently “not knitting”.
On of my medications has gifted me with numbness in my fingertips. I can use my hands, I just drop things because I am not holding them tight enough. My hands also cramp, because I am holding things too tightly.
Which brings me to reason 2 why I am not knitting. Her name is Lady Alvina and I call her Karat. She is 4 pounds of Maine Coon kitten. At 3 1/2 months, she is somewhere between hyper and berserk when awake. (My 20 month old kitten is exhausted trying to keep up.)
Knitting won’t happen for a while – maybe quite a while…
Oh I am so sorry to read that 🙁 maybe Kinect or Wii instead? On the book front, I am currently re-reading and loving the Fortune’s Pawn series which I think I picked up after one of your recommendations. A while ago, I enjoyed Fortune’s rising by Sara King (incredible world building and super interesting character development) and the starship mage series by Glynn Stewart (feels a bit like furies of Calderon – Jim Butcher in Space), maybe you haven’t read those?
Wish you a speedy recovery and lots of fun finding new sf! (Please recommend if you like, I have adored about 90% of your suggestions on the blog:D)
Paper Magician left me feeling similar. It’s good writing, an interesting concept, and even has a decent villain. Yet I felt like it lacked the depth I wanted. It feels a little like a regency romance, a little like a YA novel, and a little like a fantasy, but somehow managed to be not enough of any of those. It’s not bad. It just doesn’t really stand out to me.
I looked but didn’t see anyone suggesting these writers – I know you don’t normally read UF but may I suggest Charles DeLint? He writes UF but most of his is more about the things that you might see from the corner of your eye and the writing is
frequently almost lyrical.
For something newer try Laura Anne Gilmans Devil’s West trilogy; Silver on the Road, The Cold Eye and Red Waters Rising – the newest came out 2 weeks ago.
Colleen Champagne says
I can’t wait to read the last in the Devils West triology. What a super story teller LAG is!
An oldie, out-of-print book that I love as much as any of your books, Taming the Forest King by Claudie J. Edwards. She is a strong female leader, put into a strange patriarchal society to help them with famine. A clash of mores and principles is inevitable.
Edwards prepped me for your books…
Lora Tyler says
Is the Dina book a different version of innkeeper or is it just a translation in German, please?
Dina is the main character of innkeeper. Though they are currently writing about her sister Maud. The book that just came out is the German translation.
It’s the german translation for ‘One Fell Sweep’
I’ve been watching Restaurant to Another World based on a comment blurb on Isekai Izakaya.
Murderbot by Martha Wells was a fun read.
Richard Cartwright says
Hope the hands are recovering. Some reading suggestions:
Nathan Lowell: His “Share” series and the follow ons. Nathan is great in that he writes great characters without a lot of blood and gore.
Black Tide Rising series by John Ringo
Minds of Men by KC Ezell WW2 alt history
Sarah A Hoyt’s shifter books or Darkship series.
Glynn Stewart Starship Mage series
Empire of Bones series by Terry Mixon
I am so sorry that the state of your hands means you can’t knit right now. Hope it gets better FAST. Knitting is my favorite way to unwind and I am miserable when I can’t do it…
For cool SF, I just finished Exile by Glynn Stewart ; he is a canadian author and fairly “new”, but quite good and IMHO getting better with each book.
Otherwise, I definitely second (or third, or whatever the number is by now!) Lois McMaster Bujold and the Vorkosigan saga or her most recent Penric’s books, but those are Fantasy not SF.
Best wishes for a full and fast recovery.
Try “Rivers of London” the goddesses of old still exist in modern London along with magical CIDs : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Grant_(book_series)
About the hands, that really sucks.
Are there any professional musicians in your area?
It’s possible they know someone who can help with your hands and prevent any recurrence.
I enjoyed The Indranan War trilogy by K.B. Wagers. Pretty standard space opera, but it’s well-plotted and well-paced. I also second (or third) the MurderBot suggestion – they’re novelettes, so easy to finish in one sitting if that’s what you’re in the mood for.
There are a bunch of good books in the above comments. If you haven’t already read them try Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld novels. Also, “The Paper Magician” is the first of at least three YA novels with basically the same characters…
Glass Magician was much better than Paper Magician, I had the same criticisms that you did regarding Paper, but Glass I really enjoyed. Have you read “Kill the Farmboy” by Kevin Hearne and Delilah Dawson yet? JUST came in the mail today, I’m so excited for it! The other that has really appealed to me lately was “Threadbare” books 1, 2 and 3 by Andrew Seiple, they are LitRPG which I didn’t think I’d like but the way it is integrated into the story was so cool. Oh and Hot and Badgered by Shelley Laurenston, love her Honey Badgers! Hugs for the hands, I hate that. I type a lot all day long, and have discovered that I can no longer crochet in the evening after work. I still can for a couple hours if I haven’t typed but 🙁 I’ve been playing Oxygen Not Included for months now, I use my roller ball mouse for that and seems to keep hands much better.
I second Jean Johnson’s There’s Not to Reasin Why and her Salik War trilogy. Salik War trilogy was written after TNTRW but occurs before. I can’t recommend them enough. Feel better
I went through a similar thing. I beat my hands up pretty good a few jobs back when I had to work long hours and was doing a lot of a/b-ing via keyboard. Constant toggling of keys really did a number on me for months.
I hope you are able to recover quickly. Maybe try some tablet games with a stylus?
Thank you for continuing Innkeeper in spite of all this. Get that vacation time in!
Mud Mymudes says
You need beautiful cut flowers!
Sorry to hear about your hands. But it does sound like some progress is being made with all the rest.
Have you ever thought of trying weaving? I got a small rigid heddle loom when someone suggested that it was an excellent, inexpensive way to use up all the odd bits of yarn that a knitter collects from finished and failed projects. At the time, I was saving any scrap longer than 1 yard. (Yes, I know.) My hand are, now, also not so fond of knitting (arthritis) so I find that weaving is more my friend. I can still play with all that lovely string and make pretty things while attaining that meditative state that knitting provides.
There are all sorts of video classes that you can take. You Tube is free, craftsy.com is much better but costs. My current favorite is yarnworker.com. Liz Gipson is an excellent teacher and responds quickly to questions.
I hope your hands feel better soon. I found a series that’s a little out there called Super Powereds by Drew Hayes. The first three are available through KU – they are fun and a bit different from my normal reading material. An old throwback – the Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon books from Spider Robinson. They are very light and full of dreadful puns, and were some of the first SF books I read. Then there are the Incarnations of Immortality stories of Piers Anthony. And if you haven’t yet read Jim Butcher, you should although they are more UF for Dresden and pure fantasy for Codex Alera. Another favorite in the fantasy world is Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra.
I’ll second anything by Drew Hayes. I’m particularly fond of the Fred the Vampire Accountant series.
I’m sorry to say but I read all of the sf recommendations here and I didn’t like most of the books others recommended. I have a suggestion for you how to find good sf. If you are member of audible, check out sf. I find the best books when I read reviewers by readers that like the same sf as me. It’s almost never a miss.
Kelly B L says
I am sorry about your hands.
I love Lindsey Buroker’s books. Cover art isn’t my favorite but she builds good worlds.
I also love Tamora Pierce books.
Carol Berg’s, Song of the Beast was a favorite of mine too.
Take care of yourself.
You might enjoy “The Expanse” series by James S.A. Corey, amazing storytelling imho. The Others series by Anne Bishop is pretty amazing as well; I’ve only read “Written in Red” thus far but I loved it. Faith Hunter Rogue Mage trilogy was fantastic as well.
I truly hope you get the rest you need so your hands heal up. Rest, massage, and inflammation control all the way. On the gaming front, I think you might be able to find over-sized controller mods that are designed for people with grip difficulties.
Loads of positive, healing thoughts for you. And holy cow I LOVED “Iron and Magic”!! Can’t wait for “Magic Triumphs”.
Carolyn Mitchell says
Best wishes for those hands! I’m very hopeful that using Dragon dictation will give you enough of a break to allow them to heal. I’ve used Dragon dictation since the first version, and it felt stupid at first, but now I use it constantly. It allowed me to work from home (I’m a lawyer) and it’s drastically faster than my typing (which is around the speed of a lethargic turtle). Hang in there and get well soon.
Try David Eddings, Belgarian, slow start about the first 2 chapters, then get really good, 2nd series same people is the Malloreon. The Elenium and The Tamuli are also good so highly recommend them too, if you haven’t read them yet. They are still my favorite, for magical sci-fi. As for romance with magical abilities, Marjorie M. Liu, earlier stuff starts with Tiger eyes. Sorry just thought I’d throw those out there
R Coots says
Oh 🙁 No, hands, heal hands! I’ve been there. I hope they continue to heal.
As for scifi suggestions….*points at M.C.A. Hogarth* She has some dark stuff and some lighter stuff. Less about action and more examination of people.
We are a sci fi family. My daughter is an Aerospace engineer. We are always looking for good science fiction. Some of my favorites are: Tanya Huff’s Confederation series, Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre, Ancillary Justice, first of the Imperial Radch series by Ann Leckie (so original and mind bending)
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky is the epitome of cool sci-fi. Single book, not a series. No one does anthropomorphism like this man. So good.
I would recommend House of Blades, by Will Wright. I thought it had great concept.
Here’s to a speedy recovery.
So I haven’t read through all the other comments but would like to suggest Anna Hackett. She is a splendid Australian author and you and she are the authors I refer the most to any one that stands still long enough to listen. 🙂 She writes Hell Squad series which is post apocalyptic with a hopeful outlook! The first book in Hell Squad is Marcus. She also writes a series that starts with a human space station at Jupiter and launches into outer space. The first book is called Gladiator. The theme being that even with unexpected adversity humans can triumph. I really like the world building and the characters. The women are all strong in their own way. The other series she writes is present day adventure. It’s cool because its based on real stuff. The first book in that series is Undiscovered. Hope you enjoy!
Just a couple recs:
For hard SF with a bit of romance Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire Series. She’s a RL physicist so her tech is pretty cool and she combines the romance in that I sometimes miss in other really hard SF.
John Scalzi also has a couple.
Old Man’s War is a series. I would consider it moderate to hard SF. Interesting premise of when you get old you can trade in your body for a new government upgraded one in exchange for enlisting in space forces to fight the aliens.
Also Redshirts. Stand alone. If you like Star Trek this will crack you up as it explores the world of Star Trek as experienced by the characters- who don’t know they are characters being written on and killed off for no apparent reason. It’s lighter fair bit highly entertaining.
And one Fantasy throw in. Annette Marie. The Immortals Triology. Japanese gods with a touch of slow burn romance.She’s an indie on KU and off the beaten path but all of her stuff is so very well written. One of the very few absolute jewels I have found on KU.
I know people have flooded your inbox with suggestions – I hope these are some new ones!
John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series is fabulous. The mix of humor and politics is similar to Ilona Andrews.
So sorry to hear about your continued hand trouble and the lack of knitting. I too had to stop knitting for a while due to an injury, and it was really frustrating. Fortunately time really did do the trick, and I’m back knitting again.
SF books: I would heartily recommend the Paradox series by Rachel Bach, but from previous comments it sounds like you’ve already discovered those. So some older-but-goodies: The Price of the Stars by Debra Doyle and James MacDonald (another writing team!); Hell-Spark by Janet Kagan (back in print!); The Gate of Ivory by Doris Egan; and for sheer silly fun, The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz (preferably the original version, not the edited one, but that’s probably hard to find these days).
Good luck, and keep giving your hands all the time they need!
Have you read Brent Weeks’ Lightbringer series? It’s a really innovative colors/emotions-based world of magic that he does a wonderful job of delving into the nuances and implications of. Also, much sarcasm, humor and “how elase can the author torture the protagonist going on. Excellent, excellent series.
I haven’t read any good sci fi lately but if you are in more of a fantasy mood Starless, the new book by Jacqueline Carey, was fantastic. I can’t recommend it highly enough. A really interesting world and great characters. If you are familiar with her Kushiel series the writing style and pacing are very similar.
Jackie H says
Severeves by Neal Stephenson near future and far future humanity after the destruction of the moon endangers life on earth
Something to consider, once your hands have healed and you’re able to get back to knitting… and you may already know this, but I’m mentioning it just in case it hadn’t occurred to you!… different sizes of knitting needles or a different style of knitting might create less stress/pain in your hands. Personally I find that smaller needles work better for me, and while I know how to knit both English and Continental, Continental style hurts after a few minutes. I know others who find that larger needles or Continental style allows them to keep their hands more relaxed as they knit, and therefore they can knit longer without pain.
(Also circular needles vs straights, shorter vs longer… there’s a lot that you can adjust!)
Hopefully you heal up quickly!
I’ ve thought of something that might help improve both your hands and your stress levels. I remembered that you once liked to play with watercolors. If you still enjoy that, then try this. Make or buy some finger paints. Warm them up and place them in a pan of hot water so they keep warm longer. Moisturize your hands and put them in some kind of protective gloves. ( You can get interesting effects depending on how tight or loose or patterned your gloves are.) Then just play ’til your heart’s content! I hope you have fun.
K S says
Elizabeth Moon writes lots of awesome sci fi. Remnant Population is one of my favorite books, also the Torin Kerr series. K B Wagers has a pretty cool sci fi series out too.
I agree. These are really good authors all. I also enjoyed Sabrina Chase. Thank you everyone for the suggestions. This bookworm has some research to do! Thank you Ilona for the update and wishing you a speedy and complete recovery!
Cool Sci-Fi! I have a suggestion for you… well, multiple, but my top suggestion is Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer. It’s deeply philosophical and heavy on the political intrigue, written as a history of current events in the 25th century by an unreliable narrator who has a habit of talking to the reader and keeping secrets from the reader… just fantastic.
Also, I am currently reading the anthology of sci-fi short stories Hieroglyph, which is chock-full of super interesting ideas and technologies presented in an optimistic way – the whole point is to inspire a new generation to create and do big things!
How about reading P C Hodgell. Awesome author. Books need to be read in order beginning with God Stalk. This author has never gotten the recognition she deserves. Her world building is phenomenal
I will second this. I really think you both would enjoy Jamethiel Priest’s-Bane and the city/gods of Tai-tastigon.
Destruction, soul sucking demons, incredibly detailed world building, taverns, weird gods, great characters, and humour. Unexpected twists and “what the __ did I just read?”
Don’t get to dramatic about hands. I sew up to 6 hours a day then code about 6 hours. All to support my family. I’ve had MULTIPLE HAND SHOTS.
But your still my favorite authors.
I suggest you re-read your own note. Usually experiencing similar problems makes folks MORE empathetic and supportive, not less. I, for one, am glad Ilona is getting the treatment and care that will allow her to heal, and appreciate her generosity in sharing about her condition — it helps others recognize treatment and care is important! I knew a pharmacist who suffered excruciating carpal tunnel syndrome from twisting off caps over many years. After surgery and use of a clever ‘cap opening’ tool, she was able to return to work without pain.
You must be going through a lot of bad stuff if you’re lashing out at your favorite authors on their blog. You have my pity. Please seek professional help. It only makes your life harder when you say and do things that alienate others. A good counselor will help you learn more productive behaviors.
Yes I did reread my comment. It really didn’t come across the way I meant it. I was try to voice my sympathy for her since I know what she is going through. Guess that’s why I’m not an author lol.
I would never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings, especially when it comes to health struggles.
MJ Genualdi says
Broke my wrist in Jan. Spent 14 weeks in a cast and a gazillon weeks in PT.
Tried zinc and selenium- made a huge difference in my pain management.
Check with your doc first but you might try them.
Also, read an article about 6 months ago ’bout a woman who knits with her toes – you might try that and give your hands a rest – please ask Gordon to video you and post it for us if you try that!!! Hope you feel better soon! ?
I’ve mentioned her before, but Seanan McGuire has a fascinating series of the fae starring October Daye. They are set in contemporary San Francisco and I think are really well done (if bloody). I found the first three more expositional, but once the world was built the series was off to the races. McGuire has another series called the InCryptids, which I find a little more light-weight. She also writes under the name Mira Banks.
Hope your hands heal fully. Have you been advised to change your finger position when you type?
October starts her series as a burned out loner, has a frenemy relationship with the ruler of the local shifters, a tortured relationship with one of her parents and winds up mentoring some teens who are probably going to go on to important things within her society, I’ve always thought she would get on with Kate
Aunts…October also has an ancient and powerful aunt who is a boogeyman for the rest of the world.
October’s aunts make Erra look like a nice little old lady with cats.
Oh yeah I was thinking of the aunt who keeps her promises but there’s a bunch of other equally terrifying aunts as well.
Mira Grant, I believe. The zombie series has a short story that is simply heart-breaking and one of the best single line action descriptions and emotional impact all in one.
October series was my gateway to McGuire, but I love the Incryptid and The Wayward Children series.
Of course, these days I might simply love more light-hearted fare, as I lean Innkeeper over Kate when it comes to re-reads.
Very oldie but still one of my favorites is Lord Valentine’s Castle by Robert Silverberg. It is a trilogy but that starts the ball rolling for the Majipoor world and related stories. It’s SF but still weaves in fantasy elements to make it interesting. His other fave of mine is Gilgamesh the King but that’s not SF. Probably why I like Roland in your KD series.
Ok I just want to know what translation of russian book ? I generally hate when authors use Russain language in their books it never comes out as it should . You of course is an exception.
I’m so sorry your hands are being so slow to forgive you. It’s no fun when you can’t do the things you love to do. I hope you manage some good R&R. Congrats on finishing edits!
I felt the same way about Paper Magician!
Hope you have a relaxing vacation.
Pilates lady says
I loved the Paper Magician. It was very unusual. I read the other books in the series as well. Very different, but very entertaining.
I read through some comments and was surprised no one had recommended The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Sorry if it’s a repeat and I missed it!
It won the Arthur C. Clarke award in 1996 and a handful of other awards. It is SF but not a battle based SF. It makes it on my top ten books of all time. Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s 1st trilogy also has a spot on there but it’s not SF.
It’s really, really good, but I did not sleep for two entire nights after reading it. Haunting is the word. I would only read this when I’m feeling pretty centered.
The comment above relates to The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. I haven’t read the other.
Van P. says
Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio is a brilliant SF!
Hope you enjoy your vacation!
Mary Jo says
My hubby suggested a game you could probably play with minimum impact on your fingers. MechWarrior #3 and the Pirates Moon expansion (circa 1999). He said the best controller would be a joystick for a fighter pilot. If you can find it and don’t mind old graphics.
He plays nearly all the same games that you have mentioned and has watched all the anime you have spoken about as well. The two of you have the similar tastes and also share problems with your hands. He is a type 1 Diabetics with severe neuropathy in his hands and legs.
For sci fi I always go back to Anne McCaffrey, lots of different series in various sci fi areas. Love them. For a magical world with some science in it try Wen Spencer’s series Elfhome about the city of Pitsburgh being slung into an alternate reality where magic exists.
Hope your hands are getting better and wanted to say that all your fans out here who are actually connected to reality were shocked and upset that people have been abusing you regarding a free series. I mean really?? Having been hospitalized three times in the last two months I know how reality can be like dealing with a pissed off Godzilla stomping through your life.
I appreciate the huge amount of work you are doing, 4 books in one year, wow.
Get better, take supplements, drink teas, see the Dr.
So Innkeeper takes a few more weeks, we’re fans, we’ll wait.
Lisa Harris says
Hi have you tried looking at hand/arm knitting. I watched a video on YouTube and it doesn’t look as stressful on your actual hands or fingers. Just need bigger wool. Feel better xxx
For odd systems of Magic
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, dense prose and historical but also amazing.
Anything by Tanya Huff is going to have well thought out system of magic (if it isn’t her sci fi books which are also cool).
Have you read Space Opera by Cathryn Valente, it’s amazing and funny and lovely.
Yoon Ha Lee squares the circle by creating an interesting sci fi series with a system that is essentially magic(although mathematically driven), plus fascinating moral dilemmas and interesting characters. I would highly recommend these books.
If you haven’t read Marque and Reprisal by Elizabeth Moon it is one I would recommend based on your likes. A really interesting trilogy that layers personal, family and political strife in a sci-fi setting.
For oldies but goodies my personaI favorite is Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Song.
And if you just want beautiful space battles, no one does better descriptions than David Webber. His words paint better battle pictures than Legends of the Galactic Heroes did in animation. (But LGH is a great sci-fi anime watch if you haven’t tried that avenue)
May your brain spin many tales while your fingers rest.
Donna A says
Marque and Reprisal is book 2 of the Vatta’s War quintet. And there is now a Vatta’s Peace series too (book two just came out in Febuary). Great series, both of them.
Yes, David Weber’s military slash political sci-fi is top notch. I have all books in the Honor Harrington series including spin-offs. Also great are his collaborations with other authors like Steve White.
Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series is my favorite of dragons/sci-fi. Also her Rowan series for psi/sci-fi.
Samuel Delaney’s novel Babel-17 is definitely one of my faves.
Of course Orson Scott Card as well (Ender series). Other oldies are Robert Heinlein and Ursula Le Guin.
Feeling very nostalgic now, since I discovered sci-fi in my early teens in the 80’s. Great stuff. Best escapism for surviving puberty and high school. Sci-fi is definitely cool.
Carla Moore says
Ilona I just finished Calculating Stars: A lady Astronaut by Mary Robinette Kowal… and it’s fantastic! 1950’s feel SF but dealing with Race, Women rights, Climate change, and Anxiety disorder… It’s smart and witty… And you’ll love it all the way to the end!
I also adore Martha Wells Murderbot Diaries, bks 1 and 2 are out and bk3 will be released next month…
Kelly Jacobs says
I’m sorry your hands are still hurting. I’m currently re-reading The Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher.
Wiki says “The series chronicles the coming-of-age of a young man named Tavi in the realm of Alera, an empire similar to Rome, on the world of Carna. Every Aleran has some degree of command over elemental forces or spirits called furies, save for Tavi, who is considered unusual for his lack of any. As the aging First Lord struggles to maintain his hold on a realm on the brink of civil war, Tavi must use all of his intelligence to save his family from diverse enemies.”
Hello! Hope you feel better soon!
I recently read the Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker. Fun quick read, no emotionally wrenching stuff.
Sheila - in England says
Try the Class 5 series by Michelle Diener – a great trilogy. I was sorry there didn’t appear to be further books about a world in another galaxy!
Try Semiosis by Sue Burke
or The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Michelle Paige says
You should check out Michael J Sullivan. His books are amazing. Especially the Riyria series. Start with Theft of Swords. It’s a fantasy adventure about two thieves set in a horse riding medieval like setting.
I asked Google to translate the title from German to English and got this: “The Fate of Destiny” which is fine but no mention of an inn? Of course, Google is a native speaker of no language except 0 and 1 so it’s amazing it can translate anything.
Anything by Barbara Hambly. She has varied themes that cover SF and SF&F, and all of her stories are complex and characterizations are excellent. She can get a little dark, too, as with her Winterlands/Dragonsbane, James Asher/Vampire, and Benjamin January series. CJ Cherryh’s Faded Sun series is a classic and complex SF that is one of my favorites. I also really like Andrea Host, an Australian author. I think my reread rate with her books is almost as high as with yours, especially her Stray series. Of course, there is always classic SF to go back to. I notice Amazon is offering more and more classic SF as Kindle content with reasonable prices.
I forgot to mention Liz Williams. She has a very interesting SF story based on Russia, Nine Layers of Sky, that you might enjoy. Her SF has never disappointed me. Her Detective Inspector Chen series is fantasy and gets a little dark for me, so I haven’t finished that series.
Barbara Hambly is one of my favorite authors. Her Benjamin January series is great–historical mystery. I highly recommend The Ladies of Madrigyn.
OMG, Dragonsbane was such a good book!!! I love most of her stuff, too. The BDH has similar tastes.
I also like Charles de Lint. His novels really sparked the Celtic lore, fae and the like for me. Think that’s why I enjoy Patricia Briggs’ novels so much.
Charles DeLint was one of the first Urban Fantasy books I read. they are great. Emma Bull has both SF and Fantasy too.
Don’t know if someone has mentioned this already, but have you read Carysa Locke? She has this telepathic space pirates series which is quite recent and it was a lot of fun. Its a sci fi romance. As a self published author I thought it was pretty good.
Susan B. says
Wen Spencer’s Elfhome series, starting with “Tinker” is one of my many favorites. Currently rereading Lee and Miller’s Liaden Universe series. (The arc of the story I’m currently in centers around a person who uses knitting to help determine such things as interdimensional space.) Both series are scifi which includes magic. You get extremely good story lines, believable characters, action, laughter and tears. And like your (our authorlords’) series, you become extremely invested with the characters, and keep wanting to go back and visit all the time. Each new book or story is a welcome gift. Thank you authorlords, for each gift you give. Please get well, rest completely, and as a prior comment said, we’ll wait as long as you need for the next story. Personally, I have been known to wait for 10-20 years for a sequel, and been pleased as punch when it finally showed up, being proved correct that it was worth the wait.
Anything by Wen Spencer is good to excellent. She has one of the most unique voices I have ever read. My reread rate for her would be sky high but she doesn’t write fast enough. All of her stories are worth the wait, but each “world” is different so people don’t always like all of her stories.
Second this. Endless Blue is more or less straight SF and possibly my favorite of hers.
Love both Wen Spencer and Lee and Miller. Their stories stay with reader for a very long time and full of great ideas. Also wanted to mention Catherine Asaro, The Ruby Dynasty series, a great writer of SF and fantasy, and chemical physicist, and Sarah Monette/Katherine Addison (The Goblin Emperor and Melusine series).
Cynthia Spiller says
I am currently reading Autonomous, an original and engaging sci-fi novel . The science is very different from most science fiction novels and the characters are flawed realistic people. I still do not know who will turn out to be the good guys vs the bad guys.
How about a boxset?
Expanse is clever science fiction and I really have enjoyed it while stuck at home in plaster.
On Netflix, and more series planned for Amazon.
Blue shift by Jane O’Reilly was pure fun sci fi with the second book due out soon. Well written with a good characters in a fully thought out world.
Knitting is pretty calming, I think it’s almost meditative in a sense? I remember there was a stretch of time when I was knitting almost every day for a few hours each. I ended up with aches in my wrists (oddly enough) and in the center of my palm. I also write and code so the aches got worse but bandaging it definitely helped. I had to lay off the knitting and crocheting, but sometimes taking time away from a hobby just helps you think of new ideas ??.
I agree about Paper Magician. It was an interesting read though if there was more exploration in the actual folding magic, it would have made me feel more involved. Regardless, I went ahead and finished the trilogy. There are some chapters in the second and third book that describe the magic in a way that’s very engaging and makes you almost want to take up origami. So it could be worth it to finish the series.
I’ve seen this suggested in the comments above but I would like to reiterate it regardless. The Wayward children series by Seanan McGuire are some of the best stories I’ve ever read. Each book (Every Heart A Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Beneath the Sugar Sky) is engaging and emotionally wrecking. The writing is beautiful and conjures this sense of pure magic. You want to be with the characters as they explore and grow. You can feel their pain and struggles. Each book is not too long, more novella than novel, but the stories weave together into something that feels very real.
I hope you get a chance to read them and I hope your hands feel better. Take it slow and easy, there’s no doubt in my mind that the horde of us will be eagerly waiting your return.
I don’t know how to knit, my mother actually tried to teach me once when I was a child but I soon lost interest. I bet it’s calming, but it’s definetely not my thing. I’m sorry for your hands, but it’s better to let them heal and take your time than rush it. On the bright side, once fully healed you won’t have to worry too much. And you will be able to play with the PlayStation as much as you want (same with knitting).
Agree on paper magician. The concept is great and so is the magical system behind it, even if the author didn’t fully develop it. However, I found the heroine too rash in her decisions… she is the Gryffindor whose courage makes her stu*id and cloud her judgemeng. And I still couldn’t fully connect with the couple (even after reading all 3 books). I liked them, but I didn’t particulary loved them either. I much preferred the fourth book (the plastic ), mainly for the heroince. However, even there I can’t say I’m fully satisfied because the love interest is, in this case, sweet and kind but ultimately bland. A series I would recommend is Darkest London by Kristen Callihan. It has little to do with Paper magician, but I loved it.
And it’s not IF, but a paranormal romance set in the late 1800.
Tiger Lily says
I just finished the third in a trilogy, The Privilege of Peace by Tanya Huff. It is marines in space. I love all the different beings and the characters. It is the trilogy after the war ends. There is a series of five about the war. Valor’s Choice is the first in it. I love the female in charge although she is all knowing…but I like that in my space marines.
Dear Ilona, read Linesman by S.K. Dunstall.
Hope you feel better soon.
So glad you’re getting used to dictation! Spare the hands!
For good science fiction Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta series is a great. I also reccomend Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden universe if you haven’t read those yet. 🙂
I second the recommendation for the Liaden universe books. Also recommend David Webber’s Honor Harrington books (and the related books as well)
Ilona, I’m so sorry that your hands are still giving you such trouble. At least it WILL get better, eventually.
I like to hand knit, but I have found that I want to be finished with garments long before it is reasonable to expect any knitter to be finished. My impatience lead me to the Incredible Sweater Machine, which is a knitting machine that I now consider one of my very favorite toys.
All the stuff that I enjoy most, the planning and thinking and designing, is still there, but the part that I considered the drudgery (row after row of just trying to keep the consistent yarn tension and just repeating the same stitches) is done in a snap with the machine. My friend says that she loves that part and it is Zen for her, really calming and satisfying, so a machine is not for you if you feel as she does.
I will say that with a little practice you can make a long-sleeved sweater in about three hours with the machine, AND you just slide a carriage back and forth so it is a lot easier on the hands. If you think you might be interested, I think the updated version of my machine is available. I saw some on eBay for about $200 not too long ago. Just a thought. If you only did some of that while your hands heal it would allow you to knit as you convalesce.
Here’s hoping your hands heal super fast! 🙂
Turns out that if you only want the same machine I have, nothing fancier or updated, you can get a brand new one on eBay for about $100. I just checked.
I’ve been on a non fiction run ( except for your stuff). Just finished listening to endurance by scott kelley. He spent a year on the space station. I didn’t expect to, but I really enjoyed it. I listen at 1.5-1.75. Also enjoyed the attention merchants by tim Williams, ahistory of advertising, and the truth machine, which is about blockchain, if you want a change of pace.
Good SciFi – try “We Are Legion (Bobverse)” by Dennis E Taylor. It’s got so many homages to science fiction tv shows and movies. Hero saves brain thru cryogenics, wakes up to unexpected future, and saves the universe with help of Von Neumann technology. I listened to it and loved the narrator as well.
My favorite sci-fi right now is Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera trilogy Machineries of Empire, starting with Ninefox Gambit. It’s fan-freakin-tastic.
I’m also in love with Becky Chambers Wayfarers series, starting with A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet. SO GOOD.
poor hands, I have carpal tunnel in both of mine from 15 years of cake and cookie decorating, even 8 years after I stopped it flares up when I sew or do too much sketching.
Ruby Lionsdrake/Lindsay Buroker has great sci-fi, Anna Carven, Linnea Sinclair (one of my all-time fave book heroes, minus yours, is Kel Paten from Games of Command, sigh). For a younger more adventure futuristic style there’s James H Schmitz (his heyday was the 1950s-60s) Andre Norton (Forerunner was the first sci-fi book I ever read) and Doris Piserchia has some strange but cool stuff from back in the 70s.
oh, and Naomi Lucas’ wonderfully weird cyborg shifters, one guy is part spider and does macrame and collects roaches, another is part jackal and literally pees a circle around his territory (Sean would approve), and there’s a shark guy who just REALLY wants to bite the heroine.
You’re probably already familiar with all these sci fi books, but just in case:
The Wess’har series by Karen Traviss
The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
The House Immortal series by Devon Monk
Tanya Huff has two sci if series that are on my “to read” list – Confederation and Peacekeeper
I hope you feel better soon!
Hour of Destiny? Which innkeeper book is that?
It’s Innkeeper 3 – One Fell Sweep
Sorry your hands are interfering with your fun. I couldn’t tell if you were recommending reads or asking for recommendations. But since so many people are recommending, I’ll go with that — “The Tairen Soul” books 1-5 by C.L. Wilson are so good. Everyone deserves their HEA, but I really could’ve kept going with this one (as I could with your series).
Take care of yourself.
Emilie Vezina says
Thank you so much for all your hard work, I really like your books, they are fun and inventive. It is so rare to see fantasy, SF and romance so well mixed. Every one of these genre is difficult to pull off on their own, putting all three together can become a nightmare fast, yet the two of you seem to do it effortlessly and seamlessly. Bravo!
If you are looking for books with cool magic systems, you can’t go wrong with Brandon Sanderson, he is the master of crafting complex and unique magical system going hand in hand with complex plot. He can be a little dry sometimes but very few in the last fifteen years comes close to his level of details and thoughts put into his worldbuiding or his different magical systems.
I wish you a swift recovery for your hands and the best of luck with the rest of your writing/dictation.
Glynn stewart has some awsome scifi. Also, he can do math and does fact checking to make it seem like it belongs in the science fiction.
DITTO Glynn Stewart!!
Mwahahaha! Read all of the comments and now have an excellent reading list for the rest of the summer. Glad to hear that you’re being good to your hands. Just had a friend tell me that warm wax treatments really make a difference with her arthritis.
I recently read a couple of books by Daniel O’Malley – The Rook and Stiletto. He’s a new author and the books are 500 and 480 pp. He’s from Australia and has a master’s degree in medieval history. Loved, loved, loved The Rook from the first chapter. Stiletto was a bit slower for me at first but I was completely hooked by the third chapter. These are big books with complex plots and an unusual take on the development of magical traits.
An old favorite is Anne McCaffrey. I loved The Ship Who Sang and Restoree. And, of course, her Dragon Rider, Dragon Song, and Dragons of Pern are wonderful.
Enjoy your vacation. Hope you feel better soon.
If you want “an exploration of a cool magic system and awesome adventures” then I cannot recommend Diane Duane enough. The series starts with the book So You Want to Be a Wizard. There are 9 or ten in the series now plus some shirt stories and bonus content (which you will end up hunting down – be warned it will consume you).
It’s YA, but don’t let that out you off – also they cannot be overhypped, so I will go on. Delicious, delicious books…yum, nom nom nom…
Also excellent is a webcomic called Erfworld. Same thing, “an exploration of a cool magic system and awesome adventures.” But for adults.
Both are tight, in that the more the author goes into it, the more unfurling happens – it’s practically fractal. No loose ends.
I have to stop now and restart one of the series…but which one….?
Totally agree re Diane Duane and Daniel O’Malley. They are great.
Funny. A. Just read The Rook – completely recommend. B. Rereading To ride Pegasus. We must have similar taste
Susan Tobin says
I’ll try those!
Ellen Johnson says
You might enjoy PC Hodgell’s Kencyrath series. Starts out with Godstalk, (now in a compendium called Dark of the Gods). She just finished her penultimate book–it is at the publisher now. Very in depth world building with complex characters.
I’m hoping that your recovery is proceeding at a swift pace. In the meantime my to be read list is growing (not that it needs to expand) with all these suggestions
I forgot to mention Sharon Shinn
Keri Arthur, especially her Outcast series
Suzanne Johnson, Sentinels of New Orleans series.
In more vintage SF, have you ever read Lloyd Biggle Jr? Monument or The Still Small Voice of the Trumpet?
Have you ever tried Nathan Lowell? His Age of the Solar Clipper stories are excellent, the story of Ishmael Horatio Wang. We enjoyed them very much.
I agree, very good series.
Excellent suggestion! Great world setting and character development. I read it and then bought the audio. He has a great voice. I think Andrew will love it a hare more then Ilona.
Paula Lieberman says
Here’s another recommendation for S. K. Dunstall, there’s a three book series out, and a new book that might be in the same universe but does not seem to be a sequel or prequel or whatever, coming out soon from them [S. K. Dunstall is a sister-sister writing team]
Older stuff–Cheryl J. Franklin’s books. Fire Get is SF which has a feel of fantasy–but it’s SF. Some of the later books in the series or which tie into that universe, are much more clearly SF, and include spaceships. There’s a book by Jennifer Weingart[en] published by DAW years ago, which alas I’ve forgotten the name of. And there are Time Past and Time Future by Maxine McArthur, I really wish there were a third book for completion. There’s another author teasing at the edge of my memory that I can’t think of at the moment…. the first book was Warchild, maybe? Or maybe not…
I agree about JW, Grasp the stars, I keep waiting for another book from her. also like SK Dunstall. next month is the new book.
If you can get your hands on a copy of Gate of Ivory by Doris Egan, do so. She is the same person who has written a lot of the scripts for House.
Her storytelling is rich, her world is unique, her protagonist one very human and identifiable. Gate of Ivory is 3 books put together. I have read this thing at this point, has got to be at least 20 times.
Another recommend, read the Chronicles of Kencyrath by PC Hodgell. Start from the beginning. Major amazing world-building, quirky characters, and deep themes. Due to writing this, I’ve just found out a new one in the series comes out on August 1. I really really want to find out what happens to a bunch of characters that I’ve gotten to know. Again, these are books that I’ll read over and over and over.
Finally, on the fantasy side of things (and definitely urban fantasy romance), the two series by Seanan McGuire, the October Daye series (she’s a part-shee, somehow ending up as hero for the realm, involved in a long game of the shee gods in some way she doesn’t know how yet, niece of the sea witch, constantly dealing with things falling apart as the other side of the long game uses her as a pawn)- I read every single one of these as they come out, and then there’s the series about a family of cryptozoologists, the Incryptid series, lots of fun, lots of great cryptids who even marry into the family sometimes. And of course, the nemesis organization that wants to hunt down the family, the Covenant of St. George.
Ignacio Sagüés says
For SciFi I would recommend the Kris Longknife series.
And Schooled in Magic for the exploration of a world and magic construction.
103 degrees filthy air because of wildfires everywhere but let’s talk old school SF. I’m sure you’ve done the classics Asimov foundation series and always dune by Frank Herbert. Also not SF but recommend The Goldfinch for deluxe writing. BUT challenge yourself with that book. Start when the boys live in las vegas. Maybe sevond section. Your motto is rest. Dont quit. Rest.
Katie B says
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! Many of them I’ve read, but as always a few that are new. Good luck with your hands and dictation Ilona. Thank you for all you do for the BDH.
The sweep of the blade chapter was a great surprise.
Susan Tobin says
Yes loved the surprise chapter
I love your books and hope your hands get well soon.
For some relaxation and stress relief try this track by Macaroni Union
And for something to give you a laugh
Also for some SciFi reading the Dahak series from David Weber. His Apocalypse Troll is pretty good too.
Timothy Hart says
Try the Kutheran Gambit by Michael Anderle. It has vampires, werewolves and aliens. It is a really fun series.
Timothy Hart says
I hate spell check. It was supposed to say Ilona.
LOL You gotta admit though, it’s perfect.
I finally got Iron read yesterday and really enjoyed it. I’ll need another read for details but nothing new about that.
Maxed out my library holds on all the book recommendations and have a list! Always looking for more favorites.
Cool Sci Fi? If you haven’t read the old master Robert Heinlein…start with Time Enough for Love or Friday.
My first sci Fi was Witches of Karres by James Schmidt ( I was 11). I’ve rebought the book over ten times in the last 45 years because people just don’t give it back. It’s so funny. His other stuff is good too…
Mary Landers says
LOVE Witches of Karres ! I was 10 when my mom read it to us in the evenings. It was a great intro to science fiction 🙂
In the “someone else has probably recommended this” category, have you tried Dragon Naturally speaking software? The reviews say that its ability to learn your preferences has improved dramatically and it might be worth buying and training your Dragon for when your hands need a rest.
I like The Chronicles of St. Mary series by Jodi Taylor. Time traveling historians!
April whites time travel series immortal descendants is awesome too and she started a spin off now from a few of our fav characters!!
I offer a second on a few authors, Anna Carven (SF with some Romance and interesting alien cultures), Tanya Huff (Valor series 1 and 2), Lindsay Buroker (Just re-read her Forgotten Ages duology, and her Fallen Empire SF series), Martha Wells (ALL of hers – in process of re-reading Il-Rien, and glad of Murderbot Novel announcement), Lois McMaster Bujold (ALL of hers – SF or F), S K Dunstall (Linesman Trilogy), Sharon Lee/Steve Miller (Liaden series), Wen Spencer, and Elizabeth Moon (Remnant Population, heroine who I want to grow up to be).
Adding Julie Czerneda – she has several series, but I really enjoyed her SF Species Imperative series – future Earth, Alien cultures, mysteries and scientific theory. Adding Violette Malan – She writes fantasy, about a pair of mercenary partners – really enjoyable adventure series. Adding Kristine Smith (her SF Jani Kilian series is finally all on Kindle). Adding Rosemary Kirstein (her SF/Fantasy Steerswoman series is also finally all on eBook). Adding Kate Elliott – various series, some fantasy and some SF – really glad that her Jaran quartet and her Highroads trilogy are on eBook now. Adding Connie Willis (To say Nothing of the Dog is a great intro to her work – alternate history, time travel, humor and drama intertwined). – and cheers to having favorite authors on eBook, so I don’t have to dig through boxes and shelves of books, unless I WANT to.
FWIW, I had/have Carpel Tunnel issues with some arthritis, including surgery, and was shocked at how long nerve damage takes to heal. But it eventually does get better. As long as I have respect for the pain and don’t go back to the ‘shake it off’ school of thought, I can do my work and hobbies again, just as intensely, but admittedly for shorter periods of time. Anyway, best wishes on having patience with your healing process and figuring out accommodations to keep your joys in life – and thank you, thank you, for sharing your worlds with us.
I totally agree on the Martha Wells recommendation, All of her books are amazing. All of them. Lois McMaster Bujold-same. Wen Spencer is great, as is Elizabeth Moon, but for Fantasy and sheer poetic enjoyment in her writing, I love Patricia A McKillip. The kind of fantasy that takes you back to being 12 and dreaming of romance and laughter.
K H Jansson says
Right, so SF where a tad harder. So I put a few that came to mind. Then added some for those that wants some sustenance while waiting for the next installment or book from you.
I devoured the ‘IRON AND MAGIC’. Top notch.
Where did the videos go? After only saw some snippets, not even that.
Did the recording fail?
Author:Title (# in series, name of series)
Isaac Asimov : The Caves of Steel (1 of 4, Robot Series)
Isaac Asimov : Foundation (1 of 7, Foundation series)
Arthur C Clarke : Rendezvous With Rama (1 of 6, Rama)
A E Van Vogt : The World of Null-A (1 of 3, Null-A)
Alex Huges : Clean (1 of a few)
Justina Robson : Keeping it real (1 of 5 )
Larry Niven : Ringworld (1 of 4, Ringworld)
Jack Campbell : “The lost fleet:Dauntless” (1 of 6 (11), The lost fleet)
Jean Johnsson : A soldiers duty (1 of 5, Theirs Not to Reason Why)
Fantasy (While waiting 🙂
Author:Title (# in series, name of series) [Comment]
James Barclay : Dawnthief (Del 1 av 7 i serien Chronicles of The Raven) [Group dynamics]
Brandon Sanderson : Steelheart (Del 1 av 3 i serien Reckoners) [If a ton got to have powers]
Brandon Sanderson : Mistborn: The Final Empire (Del 1 av 3 i serien Mistborn) [Reagent magic]
Anne Bishop : The invisible ring (1) [Suprise wont tell]
I LOVE Anne bishop what is this book tho!?’
no one has mentioned the alis a Rasmussen, aka kate Elliott the Highroad trilogy kept me re reading it for quite some time.
I am exploring a career path of my chosen industry ( think old dog new tricks)
new, being how the industry is evolving. I have to take lots of pictures (on my phone)
save them to pictures on computer so can upload to show I did assignments
Yipes Yeeps Drats and gosh nab it, post got me distracted and now I want to go check out new books to read
Oh well, back to the career path
Robert I. Katz says
If you can get ahold of Courtship Rite by Donald Kingsbury, it’s probably my all time favorite science fiction novel. It won the Compton Crooke award and was a Hugo finalist. Unfortunately, it’s out of print and isn’t available on kindle. Aside from that, any of the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks, particularly Use of Weapons and The Player of Games. Also, another of my all time favorites is Camp Concentration, by Thomas Disch.
Thanks for all the book recommendations – Ben Aronovitch also brilliant and well worth a read: https://www.orionbooks.co.uk/Authors/Ben+Aaronovitch.page
SF David Brin Sundiver series.
Marian Bernstein says
Your poor hands. I have had a carpal tunnel surgery on each of mine- I sympathize. If you want a little silliness, try Piers Anthony. Also, Patricia Mckillip’s The Riddle Master of Hed trilogy.
Ooh! I haven’t seen the Riddle Master in so long!
Best fantasy books EVER !!!
For quick insta-fun reading, I’d suggest Webtoons. Some of the art is just breath taking, not to mention some storylines you might enjoy! I’d suggest Siren’s Lament, UnOrdinary, I Love Yoo, and The Devil is a Handsome Man. Possibly Lookism.
Recently, I’ve enjoyed Michelle Diener’s Dark Horse trilogy and A.M. Sohma’s Second Age of Retha.
Hope I could contribute to your reading enjoyment! We really hope your hands feel better and that life lets up a bit while you heal!
Karen Robards’ “The Ultimatum” (2017) and “The Moscow Deception (2018)
are a little bit SIFY, but a whole lot edge of your seat, don’t start this book before going to bed or you won’t get any sleep, can’t read fast enough, and so hilarious, all while feeling like being on a scary roller coaster ride. They should be read back to back because like the AL’s books, and a great dessert, one just isn’t enough. They actually read as Part One and Part Two, starting 2 weeks later. These 2 and “Saturn Run” are the only really memorable books other than the ALs that I’ve read in the last 2 years, and I’ve read many. I really want these books (Ilona’s included) to be made into movies.They all read as if they were already movies. Enjoy. ?
Ilona, Have you tried the compression gloves with open tips for typing, knitting, etc. such as Dritz Creative Comfort Crafter’s Comfort support gloves. Apparently they are comfortable enough to wear all day and all night.
Hope this helps. ? ?
Tina Marie says
I recently read Lisa Blackwood, A gargoyle and Sorceress Tale. I really enjoyed it; it was different, an interesting take on fae, vampires, and gargoyles, of course. I also love Melanie Rawn’s Exiles. It is kind of torture, since the trilogy is incomplete for over 20 years now, but I love it enough to have worn out the spines on each book at least 12 times. Yasmine Galenorn’s The Wild Hunt series is also great. There is not as much graphic sex in this series, and they are coming out quickly. Jenn Stark has a great complete series, Immortal Vegas, and a new series, Demon Enforcers. I dont often read books without magic, but I fell in love with Meli Raine’s Harmless and Shameless series. There are two trilogies that take place prior to those, which are also wonderful, Breaking Away and Coming Home, but Harmless and Shameless are my favorites. You dont need to have read the previous trilogies to understand what’s going on in any of them, but it does provide background on the characters. Right now, I’m rereading The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu. One last recommendation before I stop is Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. It won’t be complete until September. It is supposed to be YA, but it is extremely dark and twisted. It is about triplets born every generation to rule an island , supposedly a line chosen by their goddess. They are raised together until 5, then separated and trained in whatever talent they have by a foster family with the same talent. The year they turn 16, they have one year to kill each other and the last one standing is queen until she has triplets of her own. It is so good, but I dont really see how it was deemed YA. I’ll stop now. I could go on all day! ???
ms bookjunkie says
There’s a new(ish) book out titled Knitting Comfortably: The Ergonomics of Handknitting, written by Carson Demers, that *might* be of interest to you. It’s hella expensive and only out in print form, but trusted sources (knitting podcasters) say it’s a buy it now. (I’m waiting for the ebook or for someone in Europe to offer it for sale because OMG the shipping charges from the States. And customs will surely have their hand out also… Do I buy yarn, or an ergonomics book? Yarn? Ergonomics book? The decisions a knitter has to make! I think I’ll convince my library that they should buy it…)
As for cool SF, I realized I haven’t yet read the newest Liaden installment. It’s only been six-ish months since Sharon and Steve released it. Oops!
Starship mage – Glynn Stewart
New to me, just found him, space opera with magic twist.
Get well soon Ilona (or at the very least – really ENJOY your convalescence 🙂
Have you read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers? If not – it’s on offer on kindle and gets a 4.2 on Goodreads.
If you like Elves, Vampires, weird magic, and feisty heroines, Lisa Shearins Magic Lost, Magic Found series is a romp to read. Light humor, dire consequences from failure, romance, pirates, magic…..as I said, a romp.
Sorry, not vampires but tall luscious sexy Goblins.
Now I have a whole list of things to read. If you want good SF I can second the recommendations for Glynn Stewart’s Starship Mage. Christopher Nuttall also writes some good SF, and fantasy. Barbara Hambly is always wonderful, and if you haven’t come across the Silent Tower and its sequels, do try them – a wizard and Silicon Valley and walking between worlds – so good. As for trad heroic fantasy my top recommendation would be Helen Lowe’s the Wall of Night trilogy. For a totally different approach, if you haven’t come across them, do please try Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Light…Vampires, witches daemons and science!
Sorry the hands are not healed yet, patience and rest – and I suspect you don’t do either very well. Wish you better soon. And dictation may not be your method of choice, but Sweep of the Blade continues to be just fabulous.
I agree with you about Paper Magician. She lost me in the sequence of the heart. I think her Frozen book is much better at looking at the condition of the heart.