IV. I have recommended George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire to anyone who has somehow missed it, even if they don’t usually read fantasy. Well-drawn characters, harsh realities of life & death, political intrigue and multiple POV. A fun series.
V. I’ve convinced CRL and PC to read The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. It is a four-book sci-fi/fantasy series written in the early eighties, but that’s like saying The David is a sculpture. The series is simply overwhelming. The author is so obviously brilliant and the books are nearly hallucinogenic as you read them. A far future in which the protagonist passes through a world that has peaked and is in decline and he eventually fulfills his roll in determining the fate of the world. Both of my victims refer to this series when something simply weirds them out.
VI. Recently I have been reading (and listening to) newer sci-fi authors I wanted to recommend - Cory Doctorow (of boingboing) is an excellent author, especially of short stories that address a lot of tech and privacy issues within a wide variety of sci-fi styles.
Charles Stross is a new favorite as well, I enjoyed Halting State, about an MMORPG heist and so much more recently, and have read his multiple award-winning opus Accelerando about a singularity-enhanced future and Singularity Sky.
I’m also reading stuff by John Scalzi who won a Hugo this year (for his blog & reviews) has a very Heinlein-like future universe that many RAH fans will really enjoy - starts with Old Man’s War - just a lot of fun, finished the third one last weekend. (There are two side books I’m going to read as well.)
If you made it this far, thanks & I hope a thing or two is of interest. It’s funny, I always think I don’t read enough.