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Favorite Fiction I Read in 2011 & 2012

Kim Boykin
 
Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5) (Silo series)
Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5) (Silo series)
"Unusual and compelling postapocalyptic fiction. This book collects the first five parts of Howey's 'Silo' series. (I didn't like the rest of the series as well. I also read his book 'Sand,' which was set in an interesting world but wasn't nearly as good as 'Wool.')"
Emma (Fourth Edition)  (Norton Critical Editions)
Emma (Fourth Edition) (Norton Critical Editions)
"I hadn't read any Jane Austen since high school. I really enjoyed this one."
The Dog Stars
The Dog Stars
"A postapocalyptic novel set in Colorado, with a pilot as the main character. I gave a copy to my dad, who's a pilot and a sci fi fan and lives in Colorado, and he enjoyed it too."
The Hunger Games (Book 1)
The Hunger Games (Book 1)
"The Hunger Games are a deadly reality-TV show organized annually by the government of a postapocalyptic North America. The protagonist is a teenaged girl. The first in a trilogy. I enjoyed all three."
Round the Bend
Round the Bend
"A novel about airplanes and about religion in the modern world, set in England, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. By the author of the postapocalyptic 'On the Beach.'"
The Girls: A Novel
The Girls: A Novel
"About a pair of conjoined ('Siamese') twins growing up in a small town in Canada. But mainly about growing up and human relationships and being a person."
What Alice Forgot
What Alice Forgot
"An Australian woman gets a bad concussion and forgets the previous ten years of her life, including the existence of her three children and the reasons she's getting a divorce. Interesting reflections on married life."
Frankenstein: Prodigal Son: A Novel
Frankenstein: Prodigal Son: A Novel
"Frankenstein wasn't Mary Shelley's invention; he was a real person, and so was his monster. Both of them are still alive in the 21st century, and there will be a showdown in New Orleans. Like all of Dean Koontz's novels, this one tries to find hope and redemption amidst even the most vile aspects of human existence. I enjoyed all five books in this series."
The Last Policeman
The Last Policeman
"A pre-apocalyptic mystery. The asteroid that will probably destroy civilization, if not the entire human species, is on its way, but a New Hampshire policeman continues to do his job. (The sequel is good too.)"
The Year of the Flood
The Year of the Flood
"Set in a near-future North America, where corporations control everything and genetic engineering has run amok. It's the sequel to 'Oryx and Crake,' but you don't need to read that one first, and I liked this one better."
The Other End
The Other End
"A left-wing secular humanist version of the Apocalypse. Fun."
Forever: A Novel
Forever: A Novel
"A novel set in Ireland and New York City, from the 18th through 21st centuries, with the same main character for the whole book. Discounting the magically extended life span of the protagonist, this is basically regular old fiction. It's well written, and I enjoyed learning more about the history of Manhattan, where I've been living for the past five years."
Existence
Existence
"Much of what David Brin predicted in his 1991 near-future sci fi novel 'Earth' came to pass, and I fully expect that much of what he predicts in this 2012 near-future sci fi novel will also come to pass, especially re: the uses of computer technology."
Pattern Recognition
Pattern Recognition
"By a science fiction author, but it's not really science fiction, though there's a lot of computer stuff involved. I wasn't sure I'd be all that interested in a story about trends and pop culture and marketing, but I liked it. And I enjoyed Gibson's observations about travel."
The Host: A Novel
The Host: A Novel
"Yes, this is by the author of the 'Twilight' books. No, I haven't read any of those. This is entertaining science fiction about aliens who take over human bodies."
The Godwulf Manuscript
The Godwulf Manuscript
"My husband has started rereading Robert Parker's entire series of Spenser mysteries, which started with this one from 1973, and I've been reading them, too. They're good fun, with snappy dialogue, and they're also entertaining period pieces."
The Magnificent Spinster: A Novel
The Magnificent Spinster: A Novel
"I read this mainly because the protagonist went to Vassar, as I did, and is a teacher, as I am. There wasn't as much about either Vassar or being a teacher as I'd wished, but I liked it."
The Devil's Alphabet
The Devil's Alphabet
"In a small town in Tennessee, many of the people have transformed into three entirely new species. Our protagonist is one of the 'skips' who was not changed. Science fiction with a murder mystery thrown in. (Ignore the book's title. There's no reason for the word 'devil,' and 'alphabet' is a stretch.)"
Ready Player One
Ready Player One
"A fun story set in a near future in which much of the human race spends much of their time in a virtual reality called the OASIS. A book for video game geeks and fans of 1980s pop culture."
Gone Girl (Thorndike Core)
Gone Girl (Thorndike Core)
"A thriller about a young woman, recently married and living in New York City, who disappears. Creepier than I like, but engaging, with some interesting reflections on how young women try to be the 'Cool Girl' for young men."
The Andromeda Strain
The Andromeda Strain
"I'd somehow never read this science fiction bestseller from 1969. I enjoyed it."
Homer & Langley: A Novel
Homer & Langley: A Novel
"A novel based on the lives of a pair of brothers who lived on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and were notorious hoarders. Pretty good, but I liked Doctorow's 'City of God' better."
Nine Dragons (A Harry Bosch Novel)
Nine Dragons (A Harry Bosch Novel)
"I ran out of other stuff to read and borrowed this mystery from my husband, and I enjoyed it. Settings include L.A., where I'm from, and Hong Kong, which I learned a lot about."