Extra Reading from 2018

It’s time to nominate your favorite 2018 stories for the Planetary Awards, where book bloggers choose the best books and short stories of the year.  I’ve realized that I read very few 2018 books during 2018, so now I’m scrambling to read some more.  (This seems to be an annual event for me.)  Here are a few things I’m considering reading this year:

embers of warEmbers of War

I’ve already purchased a copy of this one, so it will definitely be one of my reads.  The author’s Ack-Ack Macaque has been on my TBR pile for a while, but because Embers of War is a 2018 work, I’ll be reading about a spaceship AI before I read about a monkey fighter-pilot.

smoke eatersSmoke Eaters

Firefighters versus dragons?  Yeah, I’ve got to give this one a shot.  Already purchased.

extinction red lineExtinction Red Line

I’m not sure if I’ll try this one.  It’s part of a series about US soldiers who end up in sci-fi (or possibly paranormal) situations, but this particular book is a prequel, and maybe I’d rather start with book 1 in the series.  Book 1 came out in 2017, though, so it doesn’t serve my purposes here.

green zone warRumors of War

I’m also not sure if I’ll try this one out.  I read the author’s Starship Alexander and gave it four stars (mini-review on this page), but I’m wondering whether I should go for a known four-star author, or take a wild chance at finding one who rates five stars.

mutineers daughterThe Mutineer’s Daughter

I’m on the fence about this one.  This author (as well as some others) has gotten popular writing in the Four Horsemen Universe, and I’m thinking maybe I should read some of that instead of starting with The Mutineer’s Daughter.

100 fathoms100 Fathoms Below

Horror isn’t normally my thing, but this paranormal/supernatural horror story caught my eye.  I’ve read some popular thrillers lately (because I bought them for my parents) and my experience with them makes me afraid 100 Fathoms Below might be a little … I don’t know what to say … too mainstream for me.  That makes me sound like an elitist jerk, which I’m not — I’m a completely different type of jerk.  See my review of Poseidon’s Arrow for a sense of what I’m afraid I’ll get with this book.


Here’s another one about military guys taking on a sci-fi/paranormal/supernatural threat.  Something must be drawing my attention to this type of story.  Nothing in current events, though.  Move along.  Nothing to see here.

ghost marinesGhost Marines

This one isn’t marines versus aliens, it’s marines who are aliens.  Well, maybe it’s marines versus aliens as well, I don’t know.

star wheel skyA Star-Wheeled Sky

Some things about this book’s blurb appealed to me, other things didn’t.  It was recommended to me, though, so I’m putting it on the list.

storyhack threeStoryHack issue three

It’s going to take some time to go through the anthologies and magazines I read during 2018 and pick out possible short story nominees.  I need to read the above issue of StoryHack as well, and I’m way behind on my Cirsova reading.

Leave me a comment below if you have thoughts on any of my choices, or if you have additional suggestions.  Also, if you’re a blogger, don’t forget to make your own Planetary Awards nominations on your blog, and report them on the official nomination post.


  1. I am trying to think if I read any books in ’18 that were published in ’18. That sounds like a lot of work to find out. Maybe that’ll spur me on to start keeping track of publication date. I don’t know, I feel like I need a little bit more to add that bit of data…

    1. I don’t read as many books as you do, so it wasn’t as hard for me to scan through them. I rated several 2018 works of fiction highly, but they were all later books in a series, and I don’t like to nominate those for awards.

      So, I hope one of the above books will be nomination-worthy. If not, I’ll either have to break my rule about later books in a series, or fail to nominate in the awards that I started. Embarrassing….

  2. Thank you for the reminder! I will have to check the publication date for the books I read last year before I vote, but certainly Embers of War will figure high on my list of nominees 🙂

    1. I’m avoiding your review of Embers of War until after I’ve read the book. You always come up with some interesting nominations, so I’m looking forward to your choices.

  3. […] week, I posted a list of 2018 books I’m thinking of reading, looking for something I can nominate as the best book of the year.  I’ve just noticed that […]

  4. […] the start of the year, I posted a list of books I was planning to read for the Planetary Awards.  I’m going to try to blast out mini-reviews of the ones I’ve read before the February […]

  5. […] sticking to my rule, and nominating 100 Fathoms Below by Steven Kent and Nicholas Kaufmann.  I almost skipped this book, thinking it would be “too mainstream” for […]

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