Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson and The Monarch of the Glen by Neil Gaiman

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I might be reading a little too quickly. Just two weeks ago, at the end of my Casino Royale post, I mentioned that I was going to choose my next book from one of the various Humble eBook Bundle or StoryBundle collections that I’ve already purchased. I have already finished two ebooks from StoryBundle since then.

My poor organizational skills

When I purchased my first two bundles, I made it a point to tag them accordingly when I imported them into Calibre. Then I got lazy or forgetful, and that didn’t happen anymore. Not having the books tagged made it very difficult to choose my next book, so I went through my old emails and tagged books from a dozen different ebook bundles.

While I was tagging books, I noticed that StoryBundle’s Epic Fantasy Bundle was still on sale, and I hadn’t bought it yet! I even lucked out because there was a Neil Gaiman novella in there, but it felt like cheating!

The Monarch of the Glen by Neil Gaiman

This one was a short and easy-to-read novella. I read the first chapter before going to sleep, and quickly finished off the rest during the next evening. It takes place after the events of American Gods and follows Shadow in his travels to Scotland.

I don’t know how much I can say about something so short. I enjoyed The Monarch of the Glen just as much as I enjoyed American Gods. This time I had a better idea of what to expect going in, though.

Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson

I ended up reading Constellation Games from StoryBundle’s Video Game Bundle. The synopsis sounded interesting, and Cory Doctorow thought it was a brilliant novel. That was enough reason for me to give it a try.

Constellation Games is the story of Ariel Blum, a video game developer living in Austin, TX, and making first contact with a coalition of alien species. It felt like a fresh and novel viewpoint for a first-contact story. Most of the books that I’ve read involving first contact end up being told from the viewpoint of some genius with eight doctorates. Telling the story from the point of view of a game dev blogger was very easy to relate to.

It was also fun reading a book that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. There’s a lot of humor in here. All of the comedic science fiction that I’ve read has been British, and almost all of it was written by Douglas Adams. I enjoyed reading a more American take on the genre.

“Ah, and the lovely Jenny,” said Tetsuo, pinching her hand carefully in what I guess was a suave gesture. “I didn’t know you had a private car and driver!”

“That was a taxi,” said Jenny.

“That explains why it was so ugly,” said Tetsuo.

Leonard Richardson Constellation Games

I only read a few pages of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother. It was overloaded with leet-speak buzzwords. It felt too much like watching Hackers, so I put the book down pretty quickly. Constellation Games suffers from the same problem, but not to the same extent.

I would say that I definitely enjoyed reading Constellation Games, and I look forward to reading anything else Leonard Richardson decides to write. I would also be very interested in playing Caveman Chaos, a fictional game from his book.