I found that 2022 was a good reading year. Not necessarily as good as 2020 with the new non-fiction and huge re-reads I did, but still a banner year for reading. I re-explored some of my favorite fiction, while also jumping into a pair of exciting new series and exploring a lot of wonderful science fiction! I read 68 books; some pleasurably for the first time and a few pleasurably once again! Here's a brief overview of what caught my attention in 2022!
Starting the year I read the phenomenal non-fiction work Revolution in Rojava which is an accounting of the political revolution which took place in northern Syria during the Syrian Civil War and up to the present. It is an older work (2015) that doesn't take into account many updates, but is still a fantastic look at one of the most revolutionary and democratic experiments in the 21st century in the last place you would expect!
In the first months of the year I also read Stoic Wisdom by Nancy Sherman, which was an excellent modern reading on the great stoic tradition which I aspire to conform to. I also read Michael Coren's The Rebel Christ which is a must read for modern Christians and a truly compassionate look at the revolutionary message Christ espoused.
As for fiction, well that didn't disappoint! I read the exciting new alternate history The Romanov Rescue and Sarah J. Maas's new installment in the Crescent City series House of Breath and Sky which expanded on that exciting new world. I also continued on with a reread of the Honor Harrington series, which rarely fails to inspire joy in the military science fiction reader. I also sat down and read Cory Doctorow's Walkaway which is a radical story of a new society and some amazingly interesting ideas. One of my big recommends from 2022! A fantasy counterpoint would be A Country of Ghosts by writer and podcaster Margaret Killjoy, which is an equally exciting work for its storytelling and ideas!
Another good read was The Word for the World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin, an author I only really got into over the last two years. It, like all of her work, did not disappoint! Really an interesting look into her ideas on violence, pacifism, and the ill effects of colonialism! Very cleverly done, and written at the time of the Vietnam War, which she was of course adamantly opposed to. Interestingly enough, there were comparison's to James Cameron's Avatar film, ones which she amusingly shot down.
One of my big new jumps in 2022 was to get into Ian Douglas's Star Carrier series, where I read the first four books. Expect a full review of that series this year! I was also very lucky to get into David Weber and Timothy Zahn's Manticore Ascendant series which is all the best of Honor Harrington, but without Honor Harrington!
For other fiction, I read Christopher Nutall's Coup D'etat which is a near future thriller and one I sincerely enjoyed. Also, the late, great Eric Flint's alternate history story 1812 Rivers of War which was a work I learned about years ago, and having read, sincerely think it sets the standard for excellent alternate history, but had feared we would never see more! It's sequel was also republished last year, and I'll be reading it this year as well, while sincerely looking forward to more!
In a similar vein to the nonfiction that started the year, I read George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia which, let me just say, if you ever thought Orwell leaned to the right of the political spectrum let his own words in here cheerfully disabuse you! Secondly, a book which paired well with my more utopian reading this year was Joel Wainright and Geoff Mann's Climate Leviathan which took a riveting look at the political theory that may emerge from the looming threat of climate change. Genuinely insightful book on how the world order could respond to this calamitous threat!
Among some of the best fantasy and science fiction I read this year though was Mickey7 by Edward Ashton, which is a short but endlessly funny, inventive and pulsepounding story of the life of a clone worker on a struggling colony and his rough life fitting in with not only his human colleagues, but the dangerous alien life that inhabits that world! Legends and Lattes was just a great low fantasy story that revolves around setting up a coffeeshop for a retiring adventurer, which was oh so fun, and relaxing, to read. There was also Richard Chismar's Chasing the Boogeyman which is a soft horror story where he tells the fictional tale of his hometown serial killer, which as not only a true crime aficionado but also horror reader, loved how he wove the story of his childhood years and home into a truly terrifying/creepy story of an imagined murder spree in the late 80s!
I also finished my reread of the Mistborn Era Two novels just in time for Brandon Sanderson's latest release, The Lost Metal which effectively and heartwarmingly ends the new era on Scadrial. I loved it and I hope all the other Sanderson fans out there enjoyed it too!
However, my big foray into fun reading was in anthologies. The year started with the news that the Expanse series would be releasing all its short fiction in a single collection Memory's Legion which alongside all the previous work, included one last tale from the author which tied up (sort of) a few loose ends and made just as many questions!
The big foray for me though was into some of the amazing anthologies that Baen has released over the years. I started with their recent release Robosoldiers which was a fantastic look at robots, drones, AI and all their myriad uses and abuses on the battlefield. Just a wonderful book.
Next I perused my way through The Founder Effect which is an ambitions project that tracks the founding of Cistercia and the stories of the effort to get the mission off the ground, the trip over, the first colonists and all their myriad struggles, and oh so much more! I sincerely hope there will be more released in that shared universe so I can get my hands on it!
Finally, the most recent release was the horror/scifi anthology Worlds Long Lost by Christopher Ruocchio and Sean Korsgaard who edited the whole compilation. It is, bar none, a collection of some of the best science fiction horror writing ever put together. With stories from old masters and new faces, the anthology was one of the best I read all year! I couldn't put it down, and it gave me some haunting visuals that are still sticking with me! Definitely check this one out! The paperback comes out this year with an all new story from writer/editor Korsgaard which I was priviledged to get a look at and let me tell you you don't want to miss it!
Rounding out the year, I read Origins of the Wheel of Time by Michael Livingston which is a beautiful work by a fan exploring the late Robert Jordan's epic masterpiece. It goes into his notes, what we can glean of his thought process, as well as a long look at all the history and mythology that inspired this modern fantasy epic! If your a Wheel of Time fan check this out!
All in all, a good reading year that I was quite happy with. Here's to a well read 2023!