Nick's Staff Favorites
Fans of Ann Leckie’s science fiction will surely enjoy her latest novel The Raven Tower, breaking the trend of space opera with a fantasy setting reminiscent of ancient Mediterranean civilization. Leckie utilizes a unique narrative structure to intertwine two seemingly separate stories; one a Shakespearean tale of empire and betrayal, one the life story of an ancient god. The Raven Tower tells the reader a gripping tale while simultaneously establishing an intricately detailed fantasy world for it to rest upon.
Beneath a Ruthless Sun is an all too real history of racism and corruption in rural 1950's Florida, told in a deeply readable narrative that will ensnare readers in conspiracy. Centered around sheriff Willis McCall and the injustices he frequently served to African-Americans and other disadvantaged peoples in his own Lake County, King explores institutionalized racism and the extent to which desegregation was vehemently and unconstitutionally resisted by Southern States.
Walkaway presents a post-scarcity near future where almost anything--food, clothes, medicine, electronics--can be 3D printed with ease. As capitalism seamlessly transforms to oligarchy and social inequity rages on, many disillusioned citizens decide to simply “walk away” from the rat race to inhabit environmentally ravaged or otherwise disenfranchised territory, free to try their hand at creating whichever brand of utopia they prefer. A fascinatingly thorough conception of how spiraling technology will wage war against conventional socioeconomic structures, Doctorow infuses his techno-adventure with lessons all too relevant for humanity as we continue deeper into the 21st century.
The follow up to her Ancillary trilogy, Provenance is a stand-alone story set in the same universe that will provide a great read as your first (or fourth) Ann Leckie novel. It tells the story of Ingray Aughskold, adopted into a powerful family and locked in hypercompetitive struggle with her brother Danach to be chosen as their mother's successor. Ingray concocts a desperate ploy to win her mother's favor, which of course spirals quickly and wildly out of control. Provenance weaves an intricate narrative around deeply human characters and presents a fun and lighthearted read.