1.) Artemis by Andy Weir
Devour is not strong enough of a word for how I consumed Andy Weir's "The Martian," even when I was probably the second to last person to read it, but devour it I did and really really liked it's unique storytelling across problem-solving, planetary exploration, and Mark Watney's wry wit.
Andy Weir's second novel, "Artemis," is an excellent follow-up for those that truly adored the scientific exploration in "The Martian." It's... not perfect... and my one big note is that I don't think Andy Weir should write female main characters, but beside a few cringe-y moments, it's SO. MUCH. FUN.
Four stars! It's so much fun, easy to read, as familiar as "The Martian," but as different as you would want from a sophomore outing. Recommended.
2.) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
This book came out 2014 and was a NY Times Bestseller and no one is asking for my opinion, but I finally finished it in February and I'm going to give it a reluctant three-point-five stars. Reluctant because I really wanted and was expecting it to be a four-plus star book. Reluctant because it came so close to being great, but was over-wrought in a few places, a little contrived in a couple places, and then didn't push itself as far as I wanted with it's investigation of culture, theater, and creativity in the middle and after an apolcalyptic event.
I really like the way some of the intersecting storylines wove back onto each other, but then I felt there were a lot of missed opportunities and dropped threads.
Was it well-written? Yes. Was it well-realized? Yes. Does it deserve it's status and accolades? Yes! It's very good.
My final thought- if you're a regular consumer of science-fiction literature and movies, this MAY disappoint you. If this is your yearly or more vacation into science-fiction, then I think you will really enjoy the experience of Station Eleven.
3.) S.T.A.R. Flight by E.C. Tubb
Finished this one a few days ago. It took a few days to get into and then I ripped through it on a two day business trip. Reminds me of the best parts of the Twilight Zone mashed up with 60s science-fiction comics. Eternal youth! Interplanetary travel "gates!" An alien invasion in the realm of "V!"
This book is easy to read for better and for worse. It was great to eat something so junky, but I wish there was a little more substance to it.
I appreciate that it's just a weird sci-fi adventure across dimensions, I like the main character, but his "I've got nothing to lose" demeanor could have been more put-upon, and the adventures in the alien base/dimension could have been more exotic- the tastes that E.C. Tubb gives us are just that- a taste of something more that I think he had brewing in his mind.
Three-point-five stars for this book. The point five means that if you're looking for a pulpy quick sci-fi adventure, it's worth the two or three days it will take to chew through S.T.A.R. Flight.