The Expanse Series

51q-9fs-kslThe Expanse is a series of six science fiction novels: Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War, Abaddon’s Gate, Cibola Burn, Nemesis Games and Babylon’s Ashes (to be released Dec 2016). The authors are Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, their pen name is James S. A. Corey.  Lizard Brain is their blog and there you can find out about their books, interviews, Facebook, Twitter and the film series that they are working on based on the Expanse books.

I would include this particular series because it has all the elements of great fiction: deep characters, complicated and plausible action based stories, and by that I mean the details in the series are based on solid scientific principles, space theory and probable future outcomes. We not only care deeply about what happens to the characters, we are intrigued by space exploration, life on other planets and the rogue nature of unfettered technology. Once you start this series you will be compelled to complete it.

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

51rhyptxuglPaolo Bacigalupi creates a thriller that is based on the premise of severe water shortages across the southern United States. The southern states are fighting over the dwindling shares of the Colorado River and this story revolves around the players and those caught in the cross fire. It is a book that could very possible become true in the not too distant future. A must read for the environmentally aware.

Paolo Bacigalupi’s website.


By Gaslight by Steven Price

51omsiecjml-_sy346_I happened to meet Steven Price at a book reading that he gave at Westdale Secondary School in the fall of 2016. He was a very thoughtful and precise thinker and seemed introspective, but he is a poet after all. The prose in his latest book, By Gaslight, has the imagery and emotion of poetry, but it has also captured the intrigue of an old world detective chasing his prey. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good detective mystery, but who also loves to have a world created for them in full colour (albeit this novel does have pervasive foggy weather). A review by the Quill & Quire is HERE.

A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada

A Fair CountruyJohn Ralston Saul talks about Canada’s history and how Aboriginals helped to develop our country. In this startlingly original vision of Canada, thinker John Ralston Saul unveils 3 founding myths. Saul argues that the famous “peace, order, and good government” that supposedly defines Canada is a distortion of the country’s true nature. Every single document before the BNA Act, he points out, used the phrase “peace, welfare, and good government,” demonstrating that the well-being of its citizenry was paramount. He also argues that Canada is a Métis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas: egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada absorbed. Another obstacle to progress, Saul argues, is that Canada has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial non-intellectual business elite that doesn’t believe in Canada. It is critical that we recognize these aspects of the country in order to rethink its future.

I am Malala

I Am MalalaRead about this remarkable young person who has not only campaigned for the rights of girls education, but has forgiven the Taliban shooter who put a bullet in her head!

Malala Yousafzai’s story is an incredible one, she was an outspoken advocate of education in Pakistan, and, after her assassination attempt, over 2 million people in Pakistan signed a Rights to Education petition. This petition helped to ratify Pakistan’s first Right to Education bill. She was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in. Go to her website HERE.

Watch the documentary made about her in 2009, when her school was shut down by the Taliban: