If time and money were infinite, this is what we would buy and read this week.
How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
This was one of my top five most anticipated books of the fall: a literary sci-fi meta-narative in which Charles Yu (the protagonist) is a time-travel technician, whose job is to repair the damage created by all the shenanigans people get up to in time travel fictions. Like all good time travel stories, it has advance reviews (Wired, io9).
In Praise of Doubt
Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld
If too much certainty, and too little, both pave the way for fundamentalism, this book promises to say some interesting things about walking the middle path. (Wall Street Journal)
Similar to another favourite of mine, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Room tells the story by a young narrator with an unusual and limited worldview. We are able to piece together the clues and create a picture of reality that transcends what the protagonist can convey, and these two perspectives inform and change one another. In this case, the narrator is a 5-year-old boy, who has never left the room in which he lives with his mother. Glowy reviews from The Guardian and O. We’ll find out tomorrow if it can jump from long- to short-list for the Man Booker Prize.
This is the one book that was a top five fall pick for both Mark and myself. If you’ve read Pattern Recognition and Spook Country then you don’t need our encouragement to get on board with this book, but if you haven’t we encourage you to go back and start with those two. Gibson’s next-level language and imagery turns the world outisde your window into a spooky, hyperslick wonderland that is exceptionally fun to spend time in.
Another one on the longlist for the Booker, and a favourite at that, we’d be chuffed about this even if it wasn’t about codebreaking during World War I. But it is. KevinfromCanada sets the stage well, I think.
Update: Both Room and C made the shortlist for the Man Booker. (The covers we showed at the top of the post are the correct North American covers. The covers in the link are the European ones.)