Books14. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
15-29. The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (15 novels; various novellas)
Perdido Street Station was pretty entertaining. Mieville's excellent at creating stories deeply soaked in a sense of place without ever making the exposition and description so thick that the story itself drags to a halt. The plot was excellent, the variety of alien people fascinating, and the villains amazingly creepy.
The Vorkosigan Saga, however, is collectively one of the best works of science fiction I've ever read. It's not always highbrow, but it's ridiculously readable, and I think I've found a new inspiration for modeling my own writing on. Punchy plots, entertaining characters that I strongly give a damn about, and plenty of witty banter to go around. Plus, Bujold pulls off the impressive feat of a reasonably realistic depiction of a society evolving, bit by bit, over the course of thirty years. And of course the characters develop over that time as well, and the events in their lives continue to have repercussions that extend past the last page of any given novel. Cryoburn, the most recent entry in the series and one of the nominees for this year's Hugo for Best Novel, was actually one of my least favorite novels of the series - but that merely renders it "rather good" rather than "really great".
In other Hugo nominee news, I gave The Dervish House by Ian McDonald a try, and didn't really get pulled into it, so now I'm on to Feed by Mira Grant. Enjoying that one so far!