Books January 2023
Here’s the stuff I read and liked in January 2023.
Under Hill, By Water by Josh McCrowell
My gaming group’s current game. It’s silly. It’s fun. It suits what my group wants from games at the moment. And the Shire we’ve made has become something of a playground for revolving GMs. This is good. If your game group likes to have a small game on the back burner in case someone needs to take a break this game is perfect for that.
Inspiration for my solo game One Too Many.
The Peripheral by William Gibson
I enjoyed this, but could understand someone putting it down. The plot feels driverless. The idea of it, however, is fascinating. It’s hard to explain what’s going on in it. Basically a version of time travel exists but it only allows signals to pass between eras. This means it’s possible to skype and remote work in different timelines. And then of course there’s a murder.
A Stitch In Time by Andrew J. Robinson
A Star Trek novel about Garak written by the actor who played him. It shares some DNA with John Le Carre’s earlier (more genre) novels. Plotwise it’s pretty jumpy, but, honestly, Garak’s the only Star Trek character where shame and self-loathing are integral to the character and I can relate to that. I hear all this got retconned out of existence by the Picard show, which is too bad. It’s a fun read.
The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville
A novel set in the 1950s in a Paris where World War Two remains ongoing and surrealism makes literal weapons. This read as a love letter to the Surrealists, but the best bits had more John Blanche (of Games Workshop/Warhammer fame) than Max Ernst.
The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck by Alexander Laing
This was a weird novel. Written and set in the 1930s, it’s very much for readers who read Lovecraft a decade earlier but had then moved on to mysteries. Gideon Wyck is an awful professor at an isolated medical school in rural New England. His experiments are decidedly strange and he earns the animosity of most everyone he meets. Various events unfold and the whole thing walks a fine line between a natural or supernatural explanation. A decent read, but pretty grisly at times in a clinically medical way.