1. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte (2018). Reviewed here.
  2. City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer (3rd edition 2004). First volume of VanderMeer’s Ambergris trilogy, which has just been released in a new one-volume edition. Deeply weird book full of squids and mushrooms; the back matter is even weirder, and marvellous, and probably not included in the omnibus, more’s the pity.
  3. On Fragile Waves by E. Lily Yu (2021, forthcoming). Fabulist novel focusing on the experiences of an Afghan refugee family in Australia. I have mixed feelings about this book, which I will explain in a review closer to its publication date.
  4. The Typewriter Revolution by Richard Polt (2015). Engaging look at the present-day typewriter enthusiast counterculture, exploring how the epitome of bureaucracy can become a subversive tool; plus lots of advice for people who want to acquire, use and maintain old manual typewriters.
  5. Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear (2019). Fascinating space opera with engaging aliens and worldbuilding that is nonetheless not a fun read due to its unflinching focus on emotionally abusive relationships.
  6. Where Do Camels Belong? by Ken Thompson (2014). Polemic challenging our assumptions about invasive species: what makes them invasive, whether invasive actually a problem, et cetera. About half of the points made are valid, or are valid in some contexts but not others. It depends, as usual.
  7. Typewriters for Writers by Scott Schad (2014). A buying guide for writers who want to use typewriters, based on the writer’s own collection, experiences and opinions (he’s awfully exercised about the absence of the “1” key). Lots of photos result in a very large Kindle file size.
  8. The Book on the Edge of Forever by Christopher Priest (1994). Reread occasioned by Straczinski’s announcement that The Last Dangerous Visions really, for sure, truly is coming out this time.
  9. To the Letter by Simon Garfield (2013). Book about the art of letter-writing that spends rather more time than I expected on letter-collecting.