Three distinctly different books for this set of ‘picks’. I suppose you could call them genre fiction – one Chinese science fiction, then more scifi in the form of a romance by a well known chick-lit author, and a good old American western with a twist.
The three-body problem / Cixin Liu ; translated by Ken Liu.
Liu Cixin is a well regarded and award winning Chinese author and this book is his first English language translation. It is the first instalment in his apocalyptic space opera trilogy. It sounds fantastic! He has received a lot of press too in the English speaking media as he is so successful in China (here’s a great piece from the New York Times). The story is set during the Cultural Revolution and centres around a government space program that is attempting to communicate with aliens. Ye Wenjie is a woman who is so disgusted by the atrocities she sees committed by the regime she hijacks the program and uses it to encourage aliens to attack earth. “This is a must-read in any language” (Booklist).
Resistance is futile
Jenny Colgan is better known as a successful chick-lit writer, and this is her new book described as a scifi rom-com. One of the oddest book genre mash-ups ever possibly? But it definitely sounds great! (Apparently Colgan is a huge fan of the romances that often appear in the scifi genre). Briefly, this story is about a mathematician who discovers an alien intelligence and falls in love with it. Connie is the mathematician and she is working with Luke on a secret code breaking project, but just what the code is for and who Luke is becomes what Connie’s keen to unravel.
The Winter family / Clifford Jackman.
This is another genre mixing novel, although mainly a western, it’s also described as noir or horror. It is extremely violent, so watch out! It follows a group of outlaws as they travel across America during the 1860s to 1880s. They have their start in the Civil War, a group of scouters working ahead of Sherman’s army, following Augustus Winter, their ruthless leader. It ultimately ends with a bloody showdown in Oklahoma Territory. Says Amazon ” With its haunting, hard-edged style, The Winter Family is a feverishly paced meditation on human nature, violence and the deep contradictions of progress.”