Andrew Liptak over at The Verge included Frontlines in a list of thirteen sci-fi series starters to fill up that new Kindle you got for Christmas. I’m in some really lofty company there, along with James S.A. Corey, Ann Leckie, Linda Nagata, John Scalzi, and N.K. Jemisin.

My favorite reads this year were the Broken Earth trilogy books by N.K. Jemisin, and the Expanse novels by James S.A. Corey (fellow Wild Cards writers Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham). The Expanse is just a rollicking good military-ish SF opus (although more Firefly than Battlestar Galactica as far as military detail goes), and the Broken Earth books are an eclectic and original post-apocalyptic melange of fantasy and SF that is very much its own thing.

With the sixth Frontlines novel out in two weeks, the series stands at over 600,000 words. If I wrote epic fantasy like George R.R. Martin or Brandon Sanderson, that would be maybe two books instead of six, so keep that in mind when you hear people bitching about release spans between books.

Speaking of Kindles and such, here’s my Christmas purchase this year:

That’s a Kindle Oasis 2, the new waterproof model with the 7″ e-ink display. I had the original Oasis, but surrendered it to Robin pretty much as soon as it arrived because it’s far more suitable for one-handed reading than her old Paperwhite. The new one is heavier than the old model, but the extra screen real estate is great, and it doesn’t need an add-on battery cover to get decent battery life anymore.

I find that I read far more on a dedicated e-ink device than on a tablet. My attention span does not get taxed with notifications and alerts, and there’s no way to check email or Twitter on a Paperwhite or Oasis. And it’s much easier on the eyes than a backlit tablet screen.



Mike Hall · December 28, 2017 at 10:55 am

Congratulations on your purchase. I’ve been sorely tempted but have so far have refrained.

How much memory did you go for? My wife is currently using two of the original Paperwhites – one just for SF & Fantasy – as they topped out at 1200 books and my current generation Paperwhite has just told me to delete some books to give enough free memory to allow the latest software update. My conclusion is that Kindles never have enough memory – at least for avid readers who do not want to rely on being in range of a Wi-Fi signal – and I’m attracted to the 32Gb version of the Oasis.

    Marko Kloos · December 29, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    I got the 32GB WiFi version because that’s the one they had in stock at Best Buy when I was there. I am not planning on loading Audible content on it (I use the iPhone for audiobooks), so I guess those 32GB will be overkill. But for the $30 price difference, I’ll take the extra memory.

Dan Paddock · December 28, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Solid recommendation. Currently absorbing all my books via Audible because I can do laundry and dishes and the like while listening. However, my son just went on his first Cub Scout campout and if we stay with scouting, I’ll need a more efficient reading device for camping. When we switched to ebooks I didn’t think I’d go Kindle but its hard to argue with the battery life and ability to read outside.

Your comment about book releases is very kind to Mr. Martin. In the time since Dance with Dragons dropped, you have released 6 books with room for a couple more before ToE was published. Your professionalism is appreciated.

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