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Thadd Selden

Joined 1 year, 5 months ago

Maker, sailor, appreciator of the natural world. I live in Sacramento, CA with my wife, daughter, and house full of pets.


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Thadd Selden's books

To Read (View all 5)

Currently Reading

Alia Gee: Suncatcher (2014,, Inc.) No rating

It's 2075 in a post-climate change, post-pandemic, post-peak oil world. Professor Radicand Jones has earned …

I requested that my library get a copy of Suncatcher by Alia Gee after it showed up on a list of solarpunk fiction books. My overall take on it is that it was interesting and mostly engaging but honestly it felt like it was self-published and in desperate need of a talented editor. I think with someone doing both some more proof-reading and helping to call out parts of the book that were clunky, under and overexposed, or just felt rushed or unfinished then it could have been fantastic and reached a far wider audience.

The bones of the book, story, characters, and world-building are all very good. The casual approach to the dystopian future it's set in serves to make it a bit more jarring and I really liked the representation of such a setting being not lawless and anarchic but instead corporate and bureaucratic. I also liked the …

Kemi Ashing-Giwa: Splinter in the Sky (2023, Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers) 4 stars

The dust may have just settled in the failed war of conquest between the Holy …

My brief review of Splinter in the Sky by Kemi Ashing-Giwa is that it's a good, engaging space opera and fans of the genre (especially ones who prefer sci-fi novels that don't feature lots of non-human characters) will enjoy. Because of the linear narrative and single point of view character, it took me a few chapters to get into the story and familiar with the setting, but once I did I had trouble putting it down.

My only complaint is that early on a lot was made of the linguistic element of the colonialism that was the main theme of the book but with no clear idea of who was speaking what languages and when it became difficult to relate that back to the overall story, and the whole concept faded out as the action picked up. It would have been nice to see something like a different font or …

David Wong, Jason Pargin: If This Book Exists, You're in the Wrong Universe (2022, St. Martin's Press) 5 stars

If This Book Exists, You're in the Wrong Universe is the last (latest?) book in the John Dies at the End universe by Jason Pargin (earlier titles published under the pseudonym David Wong). I've enjoyed all four books and hope that there will be more. The books are all weird and funny and somewhat philosophical but more in the stoner philosophy than the heavier and more important stuff. If you make it through the first few chapters of any of these books and find them engaging then you'll probably like the whole series.

Since I haven't talked about previous books as I read them this comment is covering the whole series but the books are so much alike in both themes and style that my feelings apply to them all.

The books are primarily from the point of view of David Wong, a bit of a loser who through chance …

Cory Doctorow: The Lost Cause (TOR) No rating

It’s thirty years from now. We’re making progress, mitigating climate change, slowly but surely. But …

I really enjoyed‘s latest #solarpunk book, The Lost Cause. I think one of the things Doctorow does well is to imagine a near future that is entirely plausible and doesn’t rely on new magical technology. This book, set a generation into the future, feels like a very plausible path from here to there and that makes it much more engaging than some similar works.

Like his other near-future novels that I’ve read, Doctorow is realistic about political changes and simply extrapolates out the trends that we’re currently seeing. In his vision of the next generation facing the climate emergency there are still hyper-capitalists trying to “fix” everything by sticking their heads in the sand and assuming technology will save us, arch conservatives who want to undo all the progress and close the doors to their increasingly fragile sanctuaries, idealistic progressives going to the front lines to apply real …

Ken Follett: Armor of Light (2023, Penguin Publishing Group, Viking) No rating

I had to return Armor of Light since it’s a new book and I couldn’t renew it. Also, it’s 750 pages and I only have so much time to read. I’m a little more than half-way through but enjoying it so far. Maybe not as much as other Pillars of the Earth books but I’ll wait to finish it for a full review.