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Currently reading

The History of the British Coal Industry Volume 1 Before 1700
John Hatcher
Progress: 59/656 pages
The Draining of the Fens: Projectors, Popular Politics, and State Building in Early Modern England (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)
Eric H. Ash
Progress: 264/416 pages
Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation 1483-1521
Martin Brecht
Progress: 236/543 pages

Revisiting an enjoyable author

Last Year - Robert Charles Wilson

Although I'm a longtime fan of Robert Charles Wilson's books, it's been awhile since I last read one of his new novels. While I can't say for certain why (it's been that long), I suspect the Spin saga had something to do with this; I've always felt that the others were unnecessary, and I didn't want to sully my memory of the first one with inferior sequels. Having fallen out of the habit of reading his books, I really didn't feel motivated to pick up the ones that followed.


That changed after reading the description of this one. I'm a sucker for time travel and well-done (i.e. no WWII wank) alternate history, and this one had both intertwined in its premise of modern-day Americans touring their Gilded Age past thanks to a time portal. As I read it, I was reminded of everything I loved about Wilson's books, which mix interesting ideas with well-developed characters and bring the plot to an enjoyably satisfying conclusion. In some ways it reminded me of Paul McAuley's Cowboy Angels, which also offered a mix of the two genres, though far less successfully than Wilson achieves here. While it falls short of my favorite Wilson work, I finished it determined to read the other novels that I missed. It's good to be back.