I am a reader. I have been a reader since I was a child, especially of science fiction and fantasy. I remember back when I was around ten, reading a book series about an alien called a “Martinean” who everyone called Martin E. Ann, assuming that was his name. Except for the boy who knew he was an alien of course. I don’t remember anything about that series aside from that, but it shows that I have been reading for awhile. I have read some Isaac Asimov, Ben Bova, Piers Anthony, Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, Terry Pratchett, Alan Dean Foster, Robert Jordan, and more. Currently I picked up a new book at the library from Timothy Zahn, called The Third Lynx. Noting this was the second book in a series, I also picked up Night Train to Rigel from the non-recent stacks and read it first. Now before I continue, I should say that there are a few types of books. There are those that you take one look at and then leave on the shelf. Then there are those that you read for a bit and then realize that reading that book is just a waste of time, so you either force your way through it just so you can say you finished it or you stop reading it. I actually had a book of this type recently, a Star Trek Titan book part of a post-Nemesis movie about Captain Riker and his starship, Titan. I read one by a homosexual author who put a scene in the book that served no purpose other than to say that he believes in homosexual relationships. In fact, you could remove those pages entirely and no one would ever realize it was missing as it had no bearing on the plot. Anyway, I digress. After finishing that one, part of the third category I have yet to mention, I checked out another one where they found entire groups of the giant sentient “spaceships” Captain Picard and company encountered at Farpoint way, way back in the very first Next Generation episode. After getting about halfway through I realized that the book was just not my type of book so I stopped reading it.
The third category included those books that you read and finish, but are just not memorable. You finish the last page, close the book, and go, “meh- whatever.” The last category is the book you just can’t put down. Timothy Zahn is one author who writes books like these, at least in my view. Star Wars fans might find his name familiar as he had the first books out in the newly approved-for-writing post-episode-VI universe. This first trilogy consisted of the books Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. Leia and Han Solo are now married and give birth to twins Jacen and Jaina, and later Anakin (you know who he’s named after…). Luke starts taking on students would would become new Jedi. I read this series about ten or so years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. When he wrote a couple more Star Wars books I was quick to read those as well. He introduces a new enemy known as Grand Admiral Thrawn. He was an extremely brilliant alien strategist bent on keeping the Empire alive after Palpatine was gone.
His new books star a character who bears some resemblance to Thrawn in that he is is quite brilliant in his own trade, as an investigator, or spy. Once employed by a government agency, Frank Compton had a falling out and was fired, though not for lack of competence. He has just taken on a job for someone when another one falls in his lap in the form of someone who dies just as he finds Frank. Frank picks from his pocket a quadrail (futuristic train that travels interstellar distances) ticket in his name, and leaves immediately to discover an answer to this mystery and is led to the one who would hire him, leaving the first job on the backburner- or did he? The employer for the first job is only revealed later in the book, and the job he was hired to do not until the very end. There are some imperfections in the books, but overall they are also books that I can’t put down. I will definitely be adding Zahn to the list of authors I will be keeping an eye out for, and I will have to read the other books he’s written as well.
3 thoughts on “Currently reading…”
The Zahn Star Wars novels are by far the best. I have read and re-read them several times. The rest of the (surely there are at least) 100 novels are as you say “Eh- whatever.” While I was still reading the other novels, I did appreciate the fact that they had some chronology to them unlike the Trek novels.
I know what you’re saying- I kinda’ stopped reading the Star Wars books when I got weary of the drawn-out war with the Yuuzan Vong (sp?). And yes, the Trek novels can each generally be placed anywhere in the timeline. Just before or after such-and-such episode in season yep of series uh-huh.
During my pregnancy I picked up reading books again and I’m glad – reading my first fiction novel in years right now since I normally like non-fiction. Sci-fi, not so much 🙂