Now that I'm done with the Kelly Link collection (above) I'm moving on to two things.
First, another short story collection: Occultation
by Laird Barron. It's a weird, creepy, brilliantly written set of stories with a modern horror flavor. At times reminiscent of Lovecraft, though I think the similarity or imprint is overstated in the reviews I've read. I'll have more to say about this when I finish, because the stories are so different from one another (well, most of them) that I won't really know how to sum it up until I'm finished. I've been trying to think of the last time I read a stronger single-author story collection, and I'm having a hard time without reading for Big Names.
Also, a little more in the direction of "fun" is Old Man's War
by John Scalzi. I think it would be fair to refer to this as an update of Heinlein's Starship Troopers
, in fact Scalzi thanks Heinlein in the front of the book. The twist here is that in the future, an off-planet colonial group recruits Earthlings on their 75th birthday to undergo a physical "renewal" process and take part in an alien war. The tone varies between straight-ahead and lighthearted, without ever veering too far into the serious. Scalzi's a capable and proficient writer without really being a stylist at all, but that's OK. He reminds me of Heinlein in that regard, with the breezy, confident, wisecracking narration.
I'm not too far into Old Man's War
yet I can already see why it's so popular.