Down by the Book and Game Yard

It’s been a busy month here at Casa Popov. Between job applications and interviews, an erratic work schedule, catching up on reading, and testing out some mods for classic games, it’s left me with little time to get any writing done this April.

I’ll be doing some write-ups of the mods I’ve been testing out, as I think they’re incredibly interesting and worth talking about.

In the meantime, here are some books coming out this year that caught my attention – as well as what I’m currently reading.

Fantasist Paul Jessup has a new novel out called The Silence That Binds.

Nicole Galland has released a sequel to The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., which she co-wrote with Neal Stephenson. It’s called Master of the Revels.

The third and final book in Tyler Whitesides’ Kingdom of Grit series, The Last Lies of Ardor Benn, hit shelves late last year, in December. I’d failed to take notice of this series, which sounds engaging and full of low fantasy fun. As such, I’ve got the first book in the series, The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn, in the mail.

I never read just one book at a time. I like being able to switch between different genres and authors to suit different moods. It’s simply how I’m wired. So at the moment, I’ve got my nose in three books:

Diablo III: The Order by Nate Kenyon. An exceptionally well-written media tie-in leading up to the events in the ARPG Diablo III, Nate Kenyon knows how to set a mood. And set it he does. If nothing else, this book communicates the darkness and atmosphere of the Diablo games really well. Kenyon’s an established horror writer, and does magnificent work here, connecting the events of Diablo II to Diablo III.

Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber. This beast of a book can only be read slowly. It’s chock full of observations and insights and weaves in insights from a disparate number of schools of thought, including anthropology, history, sociology, economics, and numismatics. It’s an astonishingly thoroughly-researched and unique text and a crowning achievement by the late David Graeber.

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson. The first of three books in the Baroque Cycle. It’s a mammoth book, sometimes a slog, frequently under-edited and overwritten, with characters who don’t speak remotely like real humans, but instead are more like walking Wikipedia entries. I read it before, back around the time of its release. And despite my frustrations with the characters and prose, it’s an exceptionally well-researched novel, and that makes it worth my time, as it completely immerses readers in the era. Perhaps even too much. Like I said, it’s a frustrating book. But a lot of love and effort went into the Baroque Cycle and it shows. Points for effort.