Our reads in January 2022

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Our reads in January 2022

1dustydigger
Dez 31, 2021, 2:52 pm

Another year,more great reads to experience. Share your plans with the group.

2dustydigger
Editado: Jan 26, 2022, 5:39 pm

Dusty's TBR for January 2022
SF/Fantasy
Arthur C Clarke - Rendezvous with Rama
Mary Robinette Kowal - The Calculating Stars
Joe Haldeman - Mindbridge
Harlan Ellison -I Have No Mouth and I must Scream
Roger Zelazny - Creatures of Light and Darkness
Roger Zelazny - 24 Views of Mt Fuji by Hokusai
C S Lewis - The Great Divorce
Eric Frank Russell -Dear Devil
E E Doc Smith - Gray Lensman
Mark Wayne McGinnis - Scrapyard Ship
Simon R Green - Murder in the Dark
Simon R Green - Till Sudden Death Us Do Part
Simon R Green - The House on Widow's Hill
Milton Lesser - Earthbound
Lester Del Rey - Rocket Jockey
Lester Del Rey - Step to the Stars

from other genres
John Ashby - Sea Gift
Susan Cooper - Over Sea,Under Stone
Sophocles - Antigone
Diana Xarissa - The Donaldson Case
William Blake - Songs of Innocence and Experience

3Shrike58
Dez 31, 2021, 5:54 pm

I've just started The Actual Star and will read Elder Race soon after. The rest of the month will probably be dictated by the Library Hold Fairy!

4Stevil2001
Editado: Dez 31, 2021, 7:18 pm

As of tonight, just a chapter into The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. After finishing The Man in the High Castle, decided to keep going in my Library of America Four Novels of the 1960s Philip K. Dick volume.

5daxxh
Dez 31, 2021, 7:55 pm

I thought I would finish The Duke of Caladan before the new year, but I don't think that is going to happen, so that will be my first book for January.

6Karlstar
Dez 31, 2021, 11:09 pm

I have a ton of new books to read this year, including Queen of Storms, Truman, Ardneh's Sword, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars and some others that were gifts, plus I plan to attack my unread list, which is about 40 books long. I have quite a few old SF books that were given to me by a friend that I just haven't gotten to read, yet.

7paradoxosalpha
Editado: Jan 1, 2022, 1:14 am

I expect the library hold fairy to cough up Rogue Protocol for me in the next week or two. I'm just wrapping up my read of Neveryóna, and books near the top of my TBR pile include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Utopia Avenue, The Overstory, Radon Daughters, and Memoirs Found in a Bathtub.

In the not-at-all-sf department, I'm most of the way through brief notes on the art and manner of arranging one's books, and I've recently gotten a copy of The Book of Monelle. Somewhat related to the latter, my recent reading of Occult Paris has led me to queue up Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose Croix in Paris and The Ritual and Monitor of the Martinist Order.

8ChrisRiesbeck
Jan 1, 2022, 3:30 pm

9seitherin
Jan 1, 2022, 5:13 pm

Happy New Year !!

Still reading Obsidio. About half done and my least favorite so far.

10DugsBooks
Jan 1, 2022, 11:27 pm

>2 dustydigger: Rendezvous With Rama is being made into a movie somewhere I read. I will post in movie topic later after some research if no one else has.

11Karlstar
Jan 1, 2022, 11:49 pm

>10 DugsBooks: I saw that too, I think the story said it was by the same director that did Dune?

12paradoxosalpha
Jan 2, 2022, 12:30 am

Yes, there was an announcement that Denis Villaneuve would be directing Rendezvous with Rama. But he's committed to two more Dune films already, so that would have to be a ways out.

13dustydigger
Jan 2, 2022, 6:11 am

>10 DugsBooks: I did hear about the film,and I thought I would do a reread - after about 30 years! - just to see if I liked the book any better than last time! lol. I found the writing excruciatingly dry,nothing really happens,and at the end away goes Rama again. Intriguing ideas and people seemed awed by the mystery,but I thought it should have been a short novella.
So I am starting a reread today. Perhaps it will have a bigger impact now........

14dustydigger
Editado: Jan 2, 2022, 6:42 am

Finished C S Lewis The Great Divorce,and for the most part thoroughly enjoyed this allegory on heaven and hell.I saw a rather disapproving review saying it was ''too preachy''.Well,duh! It is written by one of the most famous modern christian apologists,what did you expect? lol.I have a bit of a soft spot for allegory actually,and of course it doesnt match Pilgrim's Progress (what does?) but it has some interesting and pointed things to say to us. So I'll give this little tale of a dream visit by bus of citizens of a sort of Purgatory to the outskirts of heaven a thumbs up.
Also read a cute little Eric Frank Russell novella Dear Devil about a martian poet who helps a scattered post apocalyptic gang of feral youngsters start out again to rebuild civilisation. OK,a bit schmaltzy at times,but still an enjoyable read.I still enjoy reading Russell for his humour,imagination and optimism.

15pgmcc
Jan 2, 2022, 7:07 am

>11 Karlstar:
That is correct.

16Shrike58
Jan 2, 2022, 8:20 am

Spent as much time as I intend on The Actual Star and basically set it aside after a quick forced march. Very earnest, very "woke," very ambitious, and I mostly didn't care about the author's characters. To put it another way, Byrne is mostly concerned about the metaphysics of meaning and I'm more of the attitude that meaning is whatever you can get away with!

17Maddz
Editado: Jan 2, 2022, 10:09 am

>13 dustydigger: I reread Rendevous with Rama within the last 18 months and found it turgid, to put it politely. I'd last read it in my youth, probably as a library loan.

In terms of a film, I suspect someone is going 'deathstar in the Solar System - whee!' and rather missing the point of the book.

18seitherin
Jan 2, 2022, 2:23 pm

Finished Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Enjoyed the series as a whole. Adding Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir to my rotation.

19Karlstar
Jan 2, 2022, 11:08 pm

>17 Maddz: They will probably tie it to that extra-solar object that recently whizzed through the system.

20SChant
Jan 3, 2022, 8:15 am

Started Iron Widow for my SF&F book group read in January - big mecha, pugnacious protagonist, a bit over-written here and there but quite entertaining.

21Maddz
Jan 3, 2022, 8:41 am

>20 SChant: Oddly, I reread The Moon and the Sun (retitled as The King's Daughter) at the same time as Iron Widow and was struck by the similarity of the underlying theme.

22SChant
Jan 3, 2022, 10:15 am

>21 Maddz: I loved The Moon and the Sun - read it when it first came out. I'm only about 25% through Iron Widow and can't really see much similarity at the moment, apart from the pugnacious protagonist in a sexist society, but perhaps that will become more apparent later.

23dustydigger
Editado: Jan 3, 2022, 11:08 am

I enjoy Vonda McIntyre's work a lot Loved Dreamsnake,though normally I am so not a fan of snakes!And she did great novelisations of Star Trek films,great fun.....

24Sakerfalcon
Jan 3, 2022, 11:31 am

I finished The doors of Eden over New Year and enjoyed it a lot. Nice to see geology forming a large part of the S in SF.

Now I'm catching up with the Liaden universe - finished The gathering edge and starting Neogenesis.

25Maddz
Jan 3, 2022, 12:15 pm

>22 SChant: That is what I picked up on.

26Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Jan 3, 2022, 8:37 pm

I am just finishing up Islands In The Net by Bruce Sterling. It is not what I expected it to be. I was expecting something more along the lines of Gibson’s Neuromancer or in the same vein as the Matrix films. Why did I think that? Because others have billed Sterling as one of the originators of cyberpunk along with William Gibson. It may be that reality has simply caught up to the Sci Fi wonderings of this late 1980s book. So now it reads as a thriller and I have enjoyed it as such. But I am not really sure I would consider it to be Sci Fi now in the 2020s. For example, drone warfare is now commonplace, uploading video by satellite is not unusual, video glasses are on the verge of being retail, and being able to hack and manipulate video feed happens on a daily basis (Zoom anyone?). Interesting. There were some speculative ideas such as suntan lotion that actually changes the pigment production of our cells and drugs that give off pheromones to change perceptions of people in the same vicinity. What other books have any of you read recently that were considered Sci Fi when first published but in 2022 reality has caught up to ideas that were once considered science fiction?

27pgmcc
Jan 4, 2022, 3:28 am

>26 Neil_Luvs_Books:
The Sleeper Wakes by H. G. Wells.

Even the protests in the book have been reflected in recent years.

28supercell
Editado: Nov 19, 2022, 5:06 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

29Shrike58
Jan 4, 2022, 8:13 am

This talk about Sterling has gotten me to wondering what he has done of late, and it turns out that my local library has Pirate Utopia, so I might have to check that out sooner rather than later.

30Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Jan 4, 2022, 10:25 am

>28 supercell: I completely agree! Sterling did accurately extrapolate from the late 80s to now. But I did find it interesting to experience starting to read what was billed as a SciFi novel and then need to readjust my expectations part way through the book to reading a thriller. That was a different reading experience for me - I haven’t had to do that before. Which raises the issue for me of how our expectations for a book influences our reading experience. Do we ever pick up a book to read without expectations of what our reading experience will be. And should that matter? I don’t know… This is what I am thinking about after reading Islands in the Net: Is it possible to read a book without prior expectations of what our reading experience will be? Should we have prior expectations? What is our role as a reader?

Not sure there are definitive answers to those questions but they have really got me thinking.

31RobertDay
Editado: Jan 4, 2022, 10:55 am

>28 supercell: >30 Neil_Luvs_Books: Well, William Gibson's Blue Ant novels were set about ten minutes into the future, and I seem to think that in one of them, the only bit of tech that hadn't been invented yet was an image search engine, and someone announced one of those whilst I was reading the book.

32Stevil2001
Jan 4, 2022, 11:02 am

>30 Neil_Luvs_Books: These are the kind of questions we used to discuss in grad school! "Paratext" is everything outside the text that influences your interpretation of the text, and genre/marketing labels are definitely part of that.

Sometimes when I'm reading Hugo finalists I don't know anything about them beyond the author's name and that they must be sf/f (because otherwise they wouldn't be Hugo finalists), and discovering literally everything about a text as you go can make a good book even better.

33Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 4, 2022, 3:13 pm

>31 RobertDay: interesting… Gibson’s Blue Ant trilogy is in my TBR list for 2022…

34Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 4, 2022, 3:15 pm

>32 Stevil2001: paratext… I like that label. Makes me think of when I read Robertson Davies’ What’s Bred In The Bone a couple of decades ago while Eurorailing it through the Alps. I am certain that the scenery out the train window influenced how much I enjoyed that book.

35Stevil2001
Editado: Jan 4, 2022, 3:51 pm

>34 Neil_Luvs_Books: I don't know if it's what Gerard Genette had in mind, but I know what you mean. I taught a class that focused on paratexts once; I had a student do an interesting paper about different Harry Potter book covers. (The original UK front cover arguably gives no indication it's a fantasy novel.)

I am about to start Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I think I last read this in high school so I am looking forward to seeing what I get out of it.

36Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Jan 4, 2022, 6:44 pm

I just finished the short story The Finite Canvas by Brit Mandelo. It is excellent. This one used the structure of a story being told within the story. It is an interesting approach because it permits the author to use the character who is listening to ask the obvious questions of the character telling the story. I liked it very much.

Up next is Stephen King's The Dead Zone. I have read a few of King's novels: the entire Dark Tower series and The Stand. He can write incredibly engrossing stories. How does he have such a prolific output?

37RobertDay
Jan 4, 2022, 7:03 pm

Just finished Mappa Mundi. I was struck very much by the thought that in 2001, an author could only imagine achieving mass thought control through complex and potentially dangerous nanoware infestation; twenty years later, we seem to have achieved that through the far simpler vehicle of social media. The arguments are all there: a boon to humankind vs. a threat to freedom and democracy; how people identify with groups/tribes and how they react to new ideas or cleave to old ways. And bad actors from all sides are active in the novel as in real life. I found the whole thing rather chilling and quite compulsive reading. But it was still spoilt slightly for me by occasional bits of sloppy writing, sloppy editing and unconvincing world-building; and I still kept reading one character's name as "White House" instead of "White Horse", up to the very last instance where Robson really did mean "White House", much to my surprise.

Next up will be my Christmas present, Beyond the Hallowed Sky.

38Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 4, 2022, 7:10 pm

>37 RobertDay: Interesting synopsis. Another SciFi novel for which 21st C reality has caught up somewhat to the science fiction from a couple of decades ago.

39ScoLgo
Jan 4, 2022, 7:55 pm

>37 RobertDay: My copy of Beyond the Hallowed Sky is currently en route. Since it is the first book in a trilogy, I may just shelve it until the sequels are released so I can read them together at my own pace. Nonetheless, I will be interested to read your thoughts on the book should you feel inclined to post them.

40ScoLgo
Jan 4, 2022, 7:55 pm

I began the year with a delightful fantasy novella, Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison.

Next up: Began Imprimatur last night and am about to start into my first Joyce Carol Oates with The Gravedigger's Daughter.

I see Tim Powers released his third Vickery & Castine novel today. Stolen Skies will be on my TBR shelf shortly.

41Stevil2001
Jan 4, 2022, 8:39 pm

>35 Stevil2001: If I had started it yesterday, it would have been thirty years to the day after it takes place!

42ScoLgo
Jan 4, 2022, 10:50 pm

>41 Stevil2001: Strange how our youthful future is suddenly here. I saw a blog post over on WWE that January 1, 2022 is the date of the events in Zardoz.

This year is also the temporal setting for Soylent Green, (although, Make Room! Make Room!, was set in 1999).

43haydninvienna
Jan 5, 2022, 12:37 am

>40 ScoLgo: I give Travel Light six out of five. It ought to be a lot better known.

44bnielsen
Editado: Jan 5, 2022, 2:00 am

>36 Neil_Luvs_Books: You should read Kings "On Writing". There's a bit on alcohol and drugs and a car accident that left him almost fatally wounded. Touchstone: On Writing

45pgmcc
Jan 5, 2022, 3:25 am

>40 ScoLgo:
I will be interested in how you like Imprimatur. I found it very enjoyable.

46andyl
Jan 5, 2022, 5:59 am

>37 RobertDay:

I really enjoyed Beyond The Hallowed Sky. Some typical MacLeod touches in how he builds his future Scotland.

47pgmcc
Jan 5, 2022, 6:47 am

>46 andyl:
Hear! Hear!

He does near-future very well. Of course, he does far-future really well too. His work has never disappointed me.

48Sakerfalcon
Jan 5, 2022, 6:48 am

49Stevil2001
Editado: Jan 5, 2022, 8:17 am

>42 ScoLgo: I enjoyed Nicholas Whyte's round-up of 2022 in sf literature and film: https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3834524.html The novels were The Secret by Eva Hoffman, Black Oxen by Elizabeth Knox, and Staring at the Sun by Julian Barnes. The films include one based on the sf play Harvest by Manjula Padmanabhan; I have read the play and published about Padmanabhan's sf, but haven't seen the film.

50ScoLgo
Editado: Jan 5, 2022, 11:55 am

>43 haydninvienna: I give you full credit for the Travel Light book bullet, Richard. It's a wonderful little story that I am very happy to have picked up in a print version. I really liked Mitchison's Memoirs of a Spacewoman when I read it in 2018. This one was even better. I'm going to have to look for more of her work.

>45 pgmcc: I am currently around 50-ish pages in and enjoying it very much. This is another book I picked up on from a discussion in haydninvienna's thread over in the Green Dragon.

>49 Stevil2001: Thank you for that link!

51dustydigger
Editado: Jan 5, 2022, 4:41 pm

Hey scoLgo! Thanks for reminding me of Memoirs of a Spacewoman. I last read this in the early 90s. I am struggling through The Calculating Stars,and wanted something to read while taking a few days break from Kowal and also Rendezvous with Rama where the crew are rather tediously plodding across the massive Rama plain.. A story of another,very different ''Lady Astronaut'' will be a nice break! lol. Never heard of Travel Light,so I will also read that too. Only around 300 pages between the two titles. I always marvel how the old authors could produce fascinating work in such a few pages.

52Shrike58
Editado: Jan 6, 2022, 8:34 am

So, since the library came through with Black Water Sister, and it seems unlikely that I'm going to get a renewal, that goes to the top of the pile. I also picked up Pirate Utopia. At this point I'm not feeling as psyched-up as I was to tackle Too Like the Lightning.

53ScoLgo
Jan 5, 2022, 6:07 pm

>51 dustydigger: Good luck with The Calculating Stars. I'm still scratching my head over all the awards that book won a couple of years ago.

I think you might enjoy Travel Light. It is legend-based fantasy & not SF but it packs a lot of story into only 134 pages.

54AnnieMod
Jan 5, 2022, 6:12 pm

Inheritor closed the first Foreigner arc nicely. Unless I get distracted, I plan to read a few more of these this year...

55ScoLgo
Jan 5, 2022, 7:01 pm

>54 AnnieMod: I hope you continue. The next trilogy (2nd arc) was my favorite out of the entire 21-book series.

56AnnieMod
Jan 5, 2022, 7:05 pm

>55 ScoLgo: Oh, I will continue for sure. I just don't know when exactly and how many I will fit this year (although the next one is on its way here from the library so... next few weeks probably for that one). But I am also reading Cherryh's other big universe and none of those books are short :)

57Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 5, 2022, 7:19 pm

>55 ScoLgo: Cherryh is great! I have only read her Alliance-Company-Union novels plus The Faded Sun. I hope to get to her Foreigner series at some point. I have read so many very positive reviews of that series.

>44 bnielsen: I’ll look for that essay by Stephen King. It sounds interesting. Thanks for the suggestion.

58AnnieMod
Jan 5, 2022, 7:27 pm

>57 Neil_Luvs_Books: Just give the first novel some time - it takes a bit to get used to the style (which is true for some of the Alliance-Company-Union novels as well anyway but in a different way) :)

59Stevil2001
Editado: Jan 5, 2022, 8:44 pm

I am on to my last Dick for now, Ubik.

60karenb
Jan 5, 2022, 11:32 pm

Enjoying all the love for Naomi Mitchison. I've enjoyed everything of hers that I've read.

Trying to decide if I need to reread Seven of Infinities before book group next week. (I suggested the book, so I read it in 2020.)

61Sakerfalcon
Jan 6, 2022, 7:39 am

>54 AnnieMod: I hope to join you with the second Foreigner trilogy this year.

62drmamm
Jan 6, 2022, 8:56 pm

Just downloaded Leviathan Falls. Coming down the home stretch!

63AnnieMod
Editado: Jan 6, 2022, 9:01 pm

Back to my novellas reading from late last year: Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters is flawed but actually works and I liked the world building.

64Karlstar
Jan 6, 2022, 10:14 pm

>46 andyl: >47 pgmcc: I think you guys got me with a new author.

65karenb
Jan 7, 2022, 1:34 am

>63 AnnieMod: Oooh, that sounds interesting. And my library has it, yay.

66pgmcc
Jan 7, 2022, 1:54 am

>64 Karlstar:
It’s called team work.

High-five, andyl.

67SChant
Jan 7, 2022, 3:52 am

Started Rediscovery: Science Fiction by Women (1958-1963). Stories by women writing for the pulps in that era. A few new names to me.

68andyl
Jan 7, 2022, 4:44 am

>66 pgmcc:

It doesn't hurt that Ken is a really nice guy too. I also read his Selkie Summer novella towards the end of last year too - which I guess is fantasy. The only difference in the world (that I can see) is that selkies exist.

69pgmcc
Jan 7, 2022, 4:56 am

>68 andyl: I really enjoyed Selkie Summer. I got an e-text version through ER and then bought the hardback version. Ken is one of my "buy-his-work-as-soon-as-it-is-published" authors. As you say, he is a really nice guy, and selkies exist.

70dustydigger
Editado: Jan 7, 2022, 6:41 am

Interesting. I havent got around to reading any McLeod yet,maybe next year :0)
There are very few authors whom I ''buy-their work-as-soon-as-published''. C J Cherryh's Foreigner series,Lois McMaster Bujold Vorkosigan universe,Jim Butcher Dresden Files,and Charlie Stross Laundry Files. I used to include John Scalzi,but disked the Imperox books struggled with book 1 and didnt bother with the others. Apart from Xmas book vouchers I cant afford buying many books,so I am selective.I normally read library copies first before buying books anyway. I look on with envy at all those BookTubers with their massive libraries of hardbacks. All immaculate brand new books that look untouched to me. lol.
Most of my books are tatty paperbacks,often decades old,with faded yellow pages.BookTubers would regard me with horror.lol.
So,people,who are YOUR ''buy-their-next-work-as-soon-as-it-is-published? authors

71SChant
Jan 7, 2022, 7:06 am

>70 dustydigger: China Mieville, Octavia Cade, also Stross's Laundry series, and non-SF Sara Paretsky. Everything else is library or wait for paperback.

72Sakerfalcon
Jan 7, 2022, 8:11 am

>70 dustydigger: Margaret Atwood, Patricia McKillip (though I haven't seen anything new from her for a few years now), Jeff Vandermeer. Probably some others that I can't think of right now. I do try and wait for paperbacks as a rule.

73Maddz
Jan 7, 2022, 8:14 am

>70 dustydigger: Steven Brust, John M Ford (yes, I do have Aspects on pre-order!), and non-SF Lindsey Davis. Not many others these days. Normally, I wait until the paperback release and buy the ebook then (or wait until it appears in a deal).

74pgmcc
Editado: Jan 7, 2022, 9:55 am

>70 dustydigger:

SF
Ken MacLeod
Nick Harkaway
Unfortunately Iain Banks’s departure made his inclusion on the list redundant.
Neal Stephenson dropped off the list because of Seveneves.

Non-SF:
John Le Carré, sad to say another whose inclusion on the list has outlived the author.
Umberto Eco, and another.
Aidan Truhen
Kevin Barry
Haruki Murakami
Wu Ming
David Mitchell dropped off this list because of Slade House

75elenchus
Jan 7, 2022, 9:52 am

>70 dustydigger: So,people,who are YOUR ''buy-their-next-work-as-soon-as-it-is-published? authors

William Gibson, specifically the clothbound edition. I'm planning to read Agency in 2022, it's been waiting on the shelf.

76AnnieMod
Jan 7, 2022, 11:22 am

>70 dustydigger: In our genre in English: Kim Stanley Robinson, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Ben Aaronovitch (yeah, I know, he is fantasy). Jack McDevitt, Jodi Taylor and Ian McDonald kinda belong on the same list but I am behind on some of their current series so it is more a "get but wait" with them. Some newer authors can join occasionally.

Of course "get the latest" and "read the latest" are two different operations sometimes.

77Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Jan 7, 2022, 11:38 am

>70 dustydigger: Hmmm… good question, which authors do I buy as soon as their book is released? I don’t think I have any authors who are like that for me anymore. It used to include Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert. But I haven’t come across any current authors to replace them. I was consuming C.J Cherryh quite ravenously for awhile but became luke warm toward her work after finding both The Faded Sun and Cyteen not as engaging as the others in her Union-Alliance-Company universe. But there is still all of her Foreigner series for me to delve into.

These days I am mostly going on recommendations. One recommendation a couple of years ago that resulted in buying as soon as released is Ann Leckie. I really enjoyed all four books in her Imperial Radch universe. Her work was a nice new surprise for me. Leckie has really excellent story telling and universe building skills.

78ScoLgo
Jan 7, 2022, 11:36 am

>64 Karlstar: I own 14 Macleod novels so I obviously really like his writing. Beyond the Hallowed Sky is likely not a great place to begin with his catalog though because it is book one in a planned trilogy.

I first read a couple of (borrowed) stand-alone novels. For me, the better of the two was The Restoration Game, which I liked more than The Night Sessions. (In fairness, I need to revisit TNS because it was the very first Macleod book I read and I'm not sure I 'got' his style. A re-read might elevate my rating.)

I just recently read Newton's Wake. Lovely example of Ken's work in a stand-alone novel. Might make a good starting point for the new reader.

Another good place to start might be The Corporation Wars trilogy. All three titles are fully published and tell a complete - and highly imaginative - story. I recommend this trilogy over starting with The Fall Revolution because it is less complicated, (The Fall Revolution consists of a trilogy, with the addition of a fourth book that imagines a different path forward from the first book - but that's not the complicated part... ;)

I have bought the books but have not yet read, the Engines of Light trilogy so cannot comment on whether they would be a good place to dip into his catalog.

His other fans in this group may have better-targeted recommendations.

79AnnieMod
Editado: Jan 7, 2022, 11:41 am

>78 ScoLgo: (and others up thread) I really need to get back to Ken MacLeod - I liked Intrusion and got a few of his others but never got around to them. And I need to separate him in my head from Ian R. MacLeod (who I had read only stories from) because I keep mixing them up. Maybe if I finally read more from both, I will manage to keep them separate :)

80nrmay
Jan 7, 2022, 11:42 am

Just finished Sea of Rust by C Robert Cargill.
Robot wars; companion to Day Zero

81ScoLgo
Jan 7, 2022, 11:43 am

>70 dustydigger:

Tim Powers
Kameron Hurley
Nora Jemisin
Nick Harkaway
David Mitchell
Mark W. Tiedemann

If they were still alive, these authors would make the list...
Octavia Butler
Gene Wolfe
Ursula k. Le Guin

I also really love Caroline Cherryh's work - but she is much too prolific for my wallet to keep up! ;) -- (I have managed to acquire hardbacks of all the Foreigner books and The Faded Sun trilogy)

82AnnieMod
Jan 7, 2022, 11:47 am

>81 ScoLgo: "but she is much too prolific for my wallet to keep up!"

That's what the library is for (until someone publishes an edition I like anyway...then all bets are off)

83haydninvienna
Jan 7, 2022, 11:50 am

>50 ScoLgo: You gave me credit for the Travel Light BB. I’m returning the favour by crediting you with a BB for Memoirs of a Spacewoman, which I have just bought.

84ScoLgo
Editado: Jan 7, 2022, 11:56 am

>82 AnnieMod: Oh absolutely! I have been using Overdrive extensively to read her Alliance-Union books. I also first read The Faded Sun via Overdrive loan. The trilogy was so good I had to buy the BC hardbacks when I found a matched set on eBay for less than $15.00, (delivered!).

EtA: >83 haydninvienna: I hope you enjoy it, Richard!

85AnnieMod
Jan 7, 2022, 11:59 am

>84 ScoLgo: I had been chasing them via ILL - my library (digital and paper) does not have a lot of the earlier ones (and none of the Merovingen ones) so ILL had been assisting :) But yes - I am on the lookout for nice editions of a lot of them - I know I will reread a lot of them sooner or later... Although the Mri novel (the Faded Sun trilogy) is not really my favorite (I liked it but something was off). But then I fell in love with her writing with Cyteen (in a botched translation with a missing last chapter - but that's a story for another day) so... the Mri novels were very very different. I may need to reread them, now that I had read more of hers and don't have the expectations I started with (not for quality but for the type of books)...

>81 ScoLgo: If we need to list the ones that are not among us anymore, my list will get a LOT longer... :)

86justifiedsinner
Jan 7, 2022, 12:08 pm

>70 dustydigger: I had a new one this year:

Martha Wells (Murderbot only)

but also a bunch of short story writers

Kelly Link
Carmen Maria Machado
Ted Chiang

87ChrisRiesbeck
Jan 7, 2022, 2:02 pm

>70 dustydigger: I had the same reaction to Scalzi's Imperox, though I still read anything new in the Locked In universe. Authors that jump my queue if new books come out include Margo Lanagan and Jo Walton. I'm likely to eventually get anything by Alastair Reynolds but there's no rush.

88Shrike58
Jan 7, 2022, 3:16 pm

I generally don't buy novels, but that might be a commentary on living in an area well-served with public libraries; I tend to read a book once and that's it. As for the folks who bounced off the "Imperox" books, the series improves greatly with the second book; I wasn't that impressed with the first book myself.

89RobertDay
Jan 7, 2022, 5:49 pm

I started buying novels as I got to know more writers - I saw it as helping keep my friends in beer money! I also see it as encouraging publishers to come up with more books by the sort of authors I like. And increasingly, I found libraries cutting back on their fiction purchasing; and of course, in the UK many areas have reverted to the days before the Public Library Act.

Over the years as I've become marginally better off, I've increasingly gone for hardbacks for certain authors, though over the years availability or my own financial state have dictated just quite what I can get in hardback and when. Add to that certain books not coming out in their first editions as hardbacks, and you'll understand that I don't have a homogenous collection of any author's work. Iain M. Banks comes closest - I only lack 'Player of Games' in HB - but then again, that illustrates another problem, that of publishers changing jacket designs; IMB suffered badly from that. Oh for the days of the Gollancz yellow jackets!

Anyway: here are the sff authors who I buy/bought on sight (as some are no longer with us):

Iain (M.) Banks
Lois McMaster Bujold (Miles Vorkosigan stories only)
William Gibson
Graham Joyce
David Langford
Anne Leckie
Ken Macleod
Ian McDonald
China Miéville
Christopher Priest
Kim Stanley Robinson
Bob Shaw

And for good measure, non-genre authors bought on sight are:

Patrick Leigh Fermor
Clive James

90ChrisRiesbeck
Jan 7, 2022, 6:50 pm

91rshart3
Editado: Jan 8, 2022, 11:11 pm

>70 dustydigger: Like many of the others, I have fewer buy-as-soon-as-published authors than I used to. The only fantasy & SF ones I can come up with are: John Crowley, P.C. Hodgell, Jim Butcher Harry Dresden (for some reason I can't get interested in trying the other series yet), Elizabeth Moon, Benedict Jacka.

There *are* a lot of authors I keep an eye out for. Some of them don't seem to be producing as much, or at all; most famously in recent years, George R.R. Martin, but also Richard Paul Russo & Ian Pears. Hodgell was in that category for quite a few years, but happily started publishing again.

Other favorites I watch out for, but don't automatically buy, include Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Okorafor, C.S. Friedman, Melissa Scott, Ann Leckie, China Mieville (he's almost on the buy-everything level), Liz Williams, & N.K. Jemisin.

In the mystery genre, C.J. Sansom, Steven Saylor, and Ruth Downie.

I used to follow more series, especially in supernatural fiction (Ann Rice, Laurel K. Hamilton, Faith Hunter, etc) but I find that at a certain point, most of them get top-heavy & repetitive. The only ones I'm currently sticking with are Harry Dresden, Alex Verus (Benedict Jacka), and a couple of the mystery writers.
There's a certain quality of great series that gets one totally involved. I remember when I first read Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin books, and the last one was published. As soon as I saw the title Blue at the Mizzen I shouted "yes" with a fist pump, because I knew it meant he'd finally become admiral. The best series produce that kind of reaction. Or times when the protagonist does something and one thinks "DON'T do that!".

Interesting thread -- thanks for starting it.

92Maddz
Jan 8, 2022, 4:02 pm

>91 rshart3: Oh gawd, I should have added P C Hodgell to my list! She's another buy on sight author. Sadly, there's only going to be (at most) 2 more volumes in the Kencyrath series...

94dustydigger
Editado: Jan 9, 2022, 5:49 am

Wow! what a great response to my comment. It seems as we get older we get more picky about selecting fave authors,and they our faves start popping off! lol.
I got a little agitatedin 2019 when C J Cherryh brought out Alliance Rising. Mr Dusty was looking at me slightly askance as I yelled at my computer screen shouting ''No Carolyn,dont start a new series before you finish Foreigner!.You are getting on,take care of your health and keep writing!'' Fortunately she has since produced two more Foreigner books,but she is 80 this year.Please give our Bren a happy ever after as much as is possible. And please dont kill off Ilisidi. And can we have more of Cullen and that intriguing Kyo War. And........ Oh dear,C J,take care of your health,and please write very quickly.Lol.
check out this rather nice article about Bren-ji - https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/1/28/1830190/-The-Language-of-the-Night-Na...

95SChant
Jan 9, 2022, 6:55 am

>94 dustydigger: Alliance Rising is a pretty good piece of space opera - with more nuanced females and less of the angsty young male character than she has been prone to in her Merchanter universe. I for one would like to see a follow-up to it.

96Shrike58
Jan 9, 2022, 8:19 am

Finished up Elder Race, which is my introduction to Tchaikovsky and enjoyed well enough to look at more of his work.

97rshart3
Jan 9, 2022, 12:09 pm

>94 dustydigger: How did I forget to put Cherryh on my list?? Overall, she's a longtime favorite. However, she would be on the "watch" list rather than the "rush out & buy" list. A few of her books/series have left me cold. I didn't like Cyteen or Gehenna at all. And I gave up on the Foreigner series after two (three?); they just didn't interest me. That leaves a ton of fantasy & SF that I've loved and, in many cases, reread.

98justifiedsinner
Jan 9, 2022, 12:56 pm

>91 rshart3: Yes, what did happen to Richard Paul Russo?

99rshart3
Jan 9, 2022, 1:43 pm

>98 justifiedsinner: I have no idea. As far as I can tell, he hasn't published a novel for over 15 years. His worldview is pretty bleak. I hope it didn't overcome him. Maybe he just moved on to other things...

100Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 9, 2022, 4:36 pm

>95 SChant: that’s right! I still need to read Cherryh’s Alliance Rising! How did that book slip of my TBR list? Looking forward to finally getting to that one in 2022. Thanks for reminding me.

101kaida46
Jan 9, 2022, 8:56 pm

I'm hoping to get through some of the older SF classics I found at thrift stores. So far in the last month, I've read two of Asimov's David Starr Space Ranger books from the 50's. Written before my time but I wanted to explore some of those old classic space swashbuckling tales. Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus, Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter, and The SFWA Grand Masters Vol I and Volume II. It seems to me that the stories included are either very good or they put me to sleep. It's hit or miss a lot of times with story collections. Continuing to read Vol. I today, the stories I liked the most so far were from Clifford Simak and Jack Williamson, and L. Sprague DeCamp. While reading Williamson's With Folded Hands the rhodomagnetic humanoids, (robots), are attempting to 'protect humans from every harm' in the story, no spoilers here... Uncannily timely to me with what has occurred in the world the last 2 years.

102dustydigger
Editado: Jan 10, 2022, 10:29 am

I rarely read horror,I am too wimpy. I am not keen on post apocalytic/dystopian works,they depress me. And I am not so keen on AI stories,which rarelyend well for we humans.
So how come I have just finished Harlan Ellison's Hugo winning short story the harrowing and nightmarish I Have No Mouth...and I Must Scream.?
I suppose it is far too late to become a Luddite and destroy all machines. We are well on our inevitable way to meeting AM!!!!!!! :0)

103Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 10, 2022, 2:00 pm

104RobertDay
Jan 10, 2022, 6:06 pm

Finished Beyond the Hallowed Sky. Just when you think Macleod has exhausted all his ideas, he brings you something new, his Balkanised Britain split between two power blocs - and then something new is thrown into the mix. And I loved the idea of the British Council as an active secret intelligence agency!

After a short break with something non-fictional, I shall read Lagoon. I'm also lining up bit of a purge on Gene Wolfe, starting with a re-read of The Shadow of the Torturer. I last read the Book of the New Sun possibly thirty years ago; and I've never gotten around to either The Book of the Long Sun or The Book of the Short Sun. But I was reading some scholarly articles on Wolfe in an old issue of Foundation (the journal of the Science Fiction Foundation (https://www.sf-foundation.org/)) and I thought it was about time I made a start on this series.

105Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 12:09 am

>104 RobertDay: I read Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun for the first time just this past summer and greatly enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading the other volumes in his Solar Cycle at some point. I was quite weirded out that I had never heard of Gene Wolfe before last summer and I have been reading Sci Fi since the 1970s. Weird how one can miss important authors along the way.

NOTE: that touchstone above for Wolfe’s Solar Cycle does not take you to the correct webpage in LT. it should take you to this webpage instead. https://www.librarything.com/nseries/944/Solar-Cycle
Not sure why that error happened.

106elenchus
Jan 10, 2022, 11:53 pm

>105 Neil_Luvs_Books:

Right, weird and yet altogether unsurprising that it will happen for some author or another, and probably several. I've learned not to take it as a "failing" on my part, and be happy I came across them eventually.

The internet and places like LT certainly help avoid that, compared to the 1970s (also when I began reading genre fiction in earnest).

107AnnieMod
Jan 11, 2022, 2:09 am

I actually managed to finish reading a magazine before its next issue come out: Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2022. Review in the work if someone is interested. Nothing Earth shattering but a few nice tales (some of them even being SF and not Fantasy) :)

108paradoxosalpha
Jan 11, 2022, 10:27 am

>104 RobertDay:, >105 Neil_Luvs_Books:, >106 elenchus:
I did my first complete Solar Cycle read in 2020-1 (including a re-read of the Book of the New Sun), and it was certainly one of the most challenging and satisfying fiction reading projects I had tackled in years. It's a little tempting to go back and re-read immediately, because there's so much that probably gets even more interesting with the full frame in view.

109ScoLgo
Jan 11, 2022, 12:17 pm

>108 paradoxosalpha: I did the same in 2017 and am just about ready to read it all again. This time I will have Lexicon Urthus and Book of Horn, Gate of Silk to hand. I fully agree with your last sentence; every time I reach the end of a Wolfe book, I have a rather fervent urge to turn back to page 1... ;)

110Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 4:28 pm

>109 ScoLgo: >104 RobertDay: >106 elenchus: >108 paradoxosalpha: I felt the same need to reread tBotNS right after completing it last summer. But I am resisting until I read the other Solar Cycle volumes. 😀 I have been listening to the ReReading Wolfe podcast and have been greatly enjoying it. Since the pandemic began they have been discussing one chapter of BotNS every two weeks. I found it late and am still trying to catch up with the current episode. They are really fun to listen to. https://podtail.com/en/podcast/rereading-wolfe/

111ScoLgo
Jan 11, 2022, 4:41 pm

>110 Neil_Luvs_Books: Thanks for the link!

Another fun Wolfe-centric podcast, (that I have previously mentioned in this group), is found at Alzabo Soup.

112justifiedsinner
Jan 12, 2022, 12:07 am

Haven't read Moorcock in years. I pulled The Revenge of the Rose from my too large stack as a quick read. It's an Elric novel. Elric, an albino sorcerer-warrior known as the White Wolf (cf The Witcher), is the last of his race. He is a Melniboné, a cruel race that ruled over subject races using fire-breathing dragons that can burn down cities (cf Game of THrones).
Modern fantasy owes a great debt to Moorcock.

113Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 12, 2022, 12:15 am

>111 ScoLgo: thanks for the Alzabo Soup link. The ReReading Wolfe podcast often mentions that one.

114paradoxosalpha
Jan 12, 2022, 10:27 am

>112 justifiedsinner:
Moorcock is presumably still writing, being one book into a fiction "trilogy" The Sanctuary of the White Friars that mixes his multiverse and time travel fantasy staples with autobiography.

I have been super impressed by the Elric bandes dessinées by Julien Blondel, which are highly creative adaptations of the original books. Blondel has taken some surprising and effective liberties with the plots and characters, evidently with Moorcock's blessing. The English edition of the fourth volume of these is due out this month.

115justifiedsinner
Jan 12, 2022, 10:37 am

>114 paradoxosalpha: It is interesting that the Wikipedia article on Grimdark doesn't mention Moorcock since in many ways he can be regarded as the founding father.

As I said I haven't read him in years. I used to be a big fan my LT catalogue has 43 book listed. Thanks for the info about the graphic novels, I'll have to check them out.

116paradoxosalpha
Jan 12, 2022, 6:27 pm

I just wrapped up my quick read of Rogue Protocol by posting my review, allowing me to return to 2001: A Space Odyssey, of which so far I've read only the ("millennium edition") front-matter.

117paradoxosalpha
Jan 12, 2022, 9:41 pm

>115 justifiedsinner:

Eh, I just looked at that forthcoming graphic novel Michael Moorcock's Elric Vol. 4: The Dreaming City, and it seems to have had its release date pushed back to March.

118elenchus
Jan 12, 2022, 10:48 pm

>116 paradoxosalpha:

Now you're ahead of me so I'll refrain from reading the review. Might just nudge me to purchase the next installment, though. It amounts to comfort reading at this point.

119paradoxosalpha
Jan 13, 2022, 12:51 am

>118 elenchus:

I've set the hold fairy after the next volume, and I expect fulfillment quickly.

120dustydigger
Editado: Jan 13, 2022, 4:44 am

Years ago I read Neil Gaiman's fantastic Sandman series - all except #4 Season of Mist which probably been nicked from the library. I waited 6 months before giving up.Very annoying. Anyhoo I have just located it on Open Library so I will finally read one of the most important volumes in the series. Better late than never.All I need now is time to read it,my books in progress list is ridiculous this month. Six books on the go already!
Finished Rendezvous with Rama.Just as clunky as ever,but I think this was partly deliberate,to ground the tale as credible,plus contrast the dry plodding prose with the mystery of the vast spaceship.Ideas are 5 star,and only seem a bit dated now because Clarke has had a thousand imitators.Still can only give it 3.5 stars though because of the wooden style,the difficulty of easily working out what Rama really looks like and the paucity of action except for the lame uninspiring Mercurian bomb plot.That really annoyed me as we were deep into exploring Rama,and was pretty pathetic
Intended to read Creatures of Light and Darkness,glimpsed Zelazny's 24 Views of Mt. Fuji by Hokusai which we all discussing here last month (I think) and I ended up starting it last night.lol.
What with Sandman and 24 Views popping up unexpectedly in the schedule,no wonder I have 6 books on the go at the moment!

121Karlstar
Jan 13, 2022, 10:04 pm

>112 justifiedsinner: I haven't read Revenge of the Rose in years, how is it compared to the older Elric novels?

122pgmcc
Jan 14, 2022, 4:46 am

>120 dustydigger:
I read and loved Rendezvous with Rama many moons ago, and before the attempted sequels came out. Having enjoyed the book immensely I was hoping for more and was comforted by the comment at the end of the book that, "...the Ramans do everything in threes". I waited years, about 17 as far as I recall, for a sequel from Clarke, but none came. Then, out of the blue, appeared RAMA II by, in BIG, BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS, ARTHUR C. CLARKE, and, in very small capital letters, GENTRY LEE.

When I see authors presented on a book cover in that fashion I interpret it as an up-and-coming, or possibly the "would-be" up-and-coming, author hitching a lift on the coattails of an existing big name. Be that as it may, I bought the book and read it. The addition of another author's name had somewhat tempered my enthusiasm so I was not expecting too much. In that two author situation I assume the new name wrote the book and the big name gave their name to it with some oversight of the product. What I got was a repeat of Rendezvous with Rama.

On the arrival of The Garden of Rama I thought, "Ah, the third and final episode. I hope this is good." I did not find it so. I found it a slog and turgid.

Knowing that ...the Ramans do everything in threes" I was quite disappointed to discover a fourth book coming out. By then, my enthusiasm for the series was slipping. However, I borrowed Rama Revealed from the library and by the time I was a quarter way through I decided that, for me, RAMA was dead. I could not scrape up any enthusiasm to waste my time reading the rest of the book.

I still have fond memories of Rendezvous with Rama and even reread it a few years ago. I have no liking for the sequels. :-(

I felt disappointed that a great premise for a good trilogy had been wasted.

The director of the new Dune film, Denis Villeneuve, is intending to make a film based on Rendezvous with Rama. In an interview he said he likes to keep closely to the source material. I will watch his film when it comes out.

123RobertDay
Jan 14, 2022, 7:22 am

>122 pgmcc: I avoided the sequels for a long time until I came across Rama II in a remainder shop and I had a pound burning a hole in my pocket. I was surprised that it was better than I expected (though I suppose my expectations weren't that high). But Garden of Rama had not a lot happen at very great length, and Rama Revealed was a Shaggy God Story, except that God stayed resolutely offstage.

And then a few years back, I was given the two Gentry Lee-only sequels. They were dreadful.

124EmmaStapley
Jan 14, 2022, 7:26 am

Este utilizador foi removido como sendo spam.

125dustydigger
Jan 14, 2022, 12:54 pm

>122 pgmcc: >123 RobertDay:
Well,I have stayed away from those toxic sequels for decades,and will continue to do so. lol.

126pgmcc
Jan 14, 2022, 12:56 pm

>125 dustydigger:
An excellent choice, monsieur!

127justifiedsinner
Jan 14, 2022, 2:59 pm

>121 Karlstar: I must admit I don't remember much of the other Elrics. I must have read them nearly 50 years ago. I think this one was more philosophic and it had a happy ending which is unheard of in Moorcock.

128Karlstar
Jan 14, 2022, 3:28 pm

>122 pgmcc: You summed it up nicely, the sequels were very disappointing. Can't remember a thing about them.

>127 justifiedsinner: A happy ending? Shocking sacrilege! If I remember it was longer than the others and even Moorcock admits some of the early Eternal Champion novels were very formulaic, so I guess he put more into Revenge of the Rose.

129dustydigger
Editado: Jan 14, 2022, 4:16 pm

Finished Zelazny's 24 Views of Mt Fuji,by Hokusai Everyone at that time,1985, was flocking to write cyberpunk. Trust our Roger to manage a really different take on the subject. lol.

130Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 14, 2022, 4:32 pm

>126 pgmcc: Good to hear these reviews of the Rendezvous With Rama sequels. I also picked up Rama II years ago in a remainder bin and have yet to read it. Maybe I’ll give it away as a Xmas gift instead next year! Nah… I’ll end up reading it at some point I am sure. But clearly, there is no point in picking up the others at my local used book shop. 😉

131RobertDay
Jan 14, 2022, 6:15 pm

>130 Neil_Luvs_Books: The sequels - especially those penned by Gentry Lee only - fall into that category of books which deserve the portmanteau review "I read this so you don't have to."

132Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 15, 2022, 12:41 pm

133ChrisRiesbeck
Jan 15, 2022, 4:57 pm

Finished Fire and Hemlock, about to start Omega by McDevitt.

134rshart3
Jan 16, 2022, 12:05 am

Well into the 2nd volume of the Southern Reach trilogy, Authority. The same situation from a different angle. It's just as creepy, and well done, as the 1st novel. It's making me think of the old Buffalo Springfield song - paranoia strikes deep - stop, hey, what's that sound? etc. I'm not sure what's happening; I love books like that, where one has to keep trying to figure it out.

135ScoLgo
Jan 16, 2022, 12:45 pm

>134 rshart3: I borrowed all three books from the library in 2017 and liked them well enough that I bought the omnibus for a future re-read.

Have you watched the Annihilation movie yet? Despite all the changes to the story, I thought it was a decent adaptation.

136elenchus
Jan 16, 2022, 1:45 pm

>135 ScoLgo:

I've not yet seen the movie (or read the books, for that matter), but one impressive part of the film adaptation was the sound design. This article clued me in and provides handy sound clips.

137paradoxosalpha
Jan 16, 2022, 3:34 pm

>135 ScoLgo:

I admire Alex Garland's work, but his film of Annihilation had less of an impact on me than Ex Machina. I realize it was likely because I had already read the novel, and I was a little frustrated with features of the book that were abandoned (like the anonymity of the central characters), even though there might have been decent cinematic motives for the changes.

>136 elenchus:

The sound design is indeed excellent in that movie.

138RobertDay
Jan 16, 2022, 6:12 pm

Finished off Lagoon in pretty short order; very impressed. Review to follow.

Now started on The Shadow of the Torturer. I'm planning to work through the Solar Cycle by picking each one up after a break of two other books. So after a brief non-fiction break, then it'll be Inhibitor Phase.

139rshart3
Jan 16, 2022, 7:41 pm

>135 ScoLgo: No, haven't seen it. I can already note significant differences from descriptions of the film and what I'm reading.

140Shrike58
Jan 17, 2022, 8:01 am

Finished Black Water Sister and I thought that this was outstanding. Very different from Zen Cho has done before. You can call it urban fantasy but it's urban fantasy that verges on being horror, while still being something of a comedy of manners.

141Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Jan 17, 2022, 4:26 pm

>138 RobertDay: Let me know when you start reading The Urth of the New Sun if you wish a reading companion. I also want to read the entire Solar Cycle but after completing The Book of the New Sun last summer I would appreciate a reading buddy to help me understand what is going on. Like >134 rshart3: I appreciate books where you are also trying to figure out what is going on by placing the reader in the same shoes as a character who is trying to figure out what is going on around them.

142RobertDay
Jan 17, 2022, 6:19 pm

>141 Neil_Luvs_Books: That sounds like a good idea. The first time I read it, a few years had elapsed since I finished Book of the New Sun and I was not entirely certain I got the gist of what was going on.

In a way, this decision to promote the Solar Cycle in my reading programme came out of reading a couple of learned articles in an old issue of the Science Fiction Foundation's journal 'Foundation'. They made me realise that this was a proper bucket list item and I ought to get on with it!

143paradoxosalpha
Jan 17, 2022, 6:36 pm

>141 Neil_Luvs_Books: I appreciate books where you are also trying to figure out what is going on by placing the reader in the same shoes as a character who is trying to figure out what is going on around them.

And yet that's not what's going on in the Solar Cycle, where narrators (Severian especially) almost always know more in retrospect than they let on in the telling.

144Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 17, 2022, 6:54 pm

>143 paradoxosalpha: that is true, but as a reader you don’t realize that until later in the narrative. At least I didn’t clue in right away. Mind you, even though it is the Autarch that is ultimately narrating the story, he doesn’t seem to necessarily have an omnipotent view of events.

145Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 18, 2022, 12:01 am

Just finished reading Stephen King’s The Dead Zone. He is such a great story teller. I really enjoyed it. Next up is Leviathan Wakes.

146dustydigger
Jan 18, 2022, 6:15 am

I will be reading a lot of Winston juvenile the next few weeks. Five of them are going to be free to read on kindle unlimited,and I have others free online so eventually I will have read and ticked off 26/37 titles on my WWEnd Winston SF list.Wont buy any,so I may stall at that point.
Six months ago I had only one book to read to comple the Locus Best SF list.Still at 49/50,because I just cant get into Chip Delany's Dhalgren Three attempts so far,never get to 300/740 pages. Dislike the characters,dislike his obsession with sex,we dont seem to be getting anywhere.Looks like it will have to be the ''bitter medicine '' route,where I read about 10 pages a day while eating my boring breakfast porridge.I had to do that with KSRs Blue and Green Mars.Took many months.lol. Oh,I had to do the same with 100 Years of Solitude,it took me several weeks,and it was only 200 pages long.:0)
So the fun Winstons will hopefully compensate for the annoying Delany. Some people think Dhalgren is one of the best SF books ever. Cant see it myself,unless there is a major change of pace,a more lively plot,and an awesome twist,development and brilliant ending.......oh dear........

147CharlotteW2
Jan 18, 2022, 8:04 am

>146 dustydigger: I can't finish a book I'm not enjoying, never have done. 100 pages is usually where I "commit or quit". I did go longer with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because it seemed to be an Important Book.

148vwinsloe
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 9:00 am

>146 dustydigger: I finished Dhalgren once I accepted its dated attitudes. Perfect book for its post sixties era, including sexual liberation, hippie lifestyle, almost an hallucinogenic read. Notable payoff in the end.

149AnnieMod
Jan 18, 2022, 1:44 pm

>146 dustydigger: I give a book 50 pages (or less for some). If it does not work for me, back on the shelf it goes. I strongly subscribe to the idea that every book has its time and forcing yourself to read it when it is not its time makes you miserable and makes you hate the book.

150elenchus
Jan 18, 2022, 1:54 pm

>149 AnnieMod:

Notably you write "back on the shelf it goes" and not "then I'm done with it"!

I take a similar approach, believing if a book's on my shelf at all, I've done a fair bit of considering already and the book deserves a chance at being read in the most generous frame of mind, and not limit it to a single sink-or-swim decision.

151AnnieMod
Jan 18, 2022, 2:05 pm

>150 elenchus: Yep. I (almost) never give up on a book completely and never after a single failed attempt at reading it (some of my favorite books annoyed me the first time I tried to read them) - and when I do give up, it is because I tried a few times and it just does not work for me (and even then... give it a decade or 2 and I may be back). Every book has its time - and if it happens that it is not in your timeline - well... it happens.

152rshart3
Jan 18, 2022, 9:31 pm

Time for Nancy Pearl's Rule of 50 (created by well-known reader's advisory expert Nancy Pearl):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR61l7F8sr4 (you may have to copy & paste into a browser)

153Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 19, 2022, 12:29 am

>146 dustydigger: I read Dhalgren back in the summer of 1980 and quite liked it then but did not find it an easy read. There will be no triumphant end. But I still liked it for its mood and aimlessness. Guess it was just where I was at back then as a freshman in university. The book that took me three attempts to finish it over three decades was The Silmarilion. I finally got through that one by power reading quickly and not letting myself stumble over the stilted prose. Reading it quickly like that allowed me to have an overall sense of Tolkien’s universe which is absolutely brilliant. But good grief I could not stand the writing in that book. Especially after being enthralled with The Hobbitt and The Lord of the Rings.

154Maddz
Jan 19, 2022, 2:36 am

The Invisible Library series. Now caught up - finally read book 7 The Dark Archive over a year after purchasing it, re-reading the rest of the series before I did. Yes, I know book 8 is out, but I've not got it yet - I'm waiting for it to drop in price a bit before I do. It has to be said that the plot twist wasn't entirely a surprise - it had been telegraphed in the earlier books. Still fun, and enjoyable though.

155dustydigger
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 5:09 am

I rarely give up on a book once I start it,perhaps no more than 2 or 3 a year,and I dont add them to my LT shelf,they go off into the void unread. Some books I may skim after the halfway point,(huh,thats nearly 400 pages with this book)but all too often I somehow miss some important plot point and have to go back and find it,which defeats the purpose. lol.
If the book is on a WWEnd award list I feel obligated to read it all so I can change the thumbnail to green on the list page.That is what is so annoying with Dhalgren,I want to complete the list at last - and of course show off my accomplishment to you folks! :0)You know me and my obsession with lists.

156Shrike58
Jan 19, 2022, 7:35 am

Reading over the assorted thoughts on giving a book its space illustrates the pitfalls of living and dying by the library "book on hold" notice; normally you have your two weeks and then it might be months before you get back to it. Speaking of which, You Sexy Thing is now waiting for me.

157vwinsloe
Jan 19, 2022, 9:06 am

>155 dustydigger:. I very rarely give up on books either. There are too many books that I have struggled to read only to be richly rewarded in the end, for me to give up on something that is highly recommended. In fact, I think that many of the books that have been the most difficult for me to read were the ones that made the most long standing impression.

158rshart3
Jan 19, 2022, 10:44 am

>153 Neil_Luvs_Books: I'm with you on the Silmarillion. I'm a lifelong Tolkien person since 1960, with many many rereadings of the Hobbit & trilogy. It would be great if he'd reworked the Silmarillion material into something like LOTR; the sweep & concepts of it are very good, but instead we're stuck with that fake-medieval epic, stiff presentation. I haven't read most of the other stuff that's been dragged out & published, but what I have read is even worse.

159paradoxosalpha
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 11:44 am

>153 Neil_Luvs_Books:, >158 rshart3:

The Silmarillion was all right for someone practiced at reading religious scripture, I guess. The Book of Lost Tales was in a different mode--very Dunsanian--and needed to be read aloud. I didn't bother with its copious editorial apparatus.

160Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 19, 2022, 12:55 pm

>159 paradoxosalpha: Interesting to read The Silmarilion from the perspective of religious scripture. I had never thought of approaching it that way. But I can see how that filter might work. So it becomes entirely dependent upon whether a reader wants to read scripture when reading The Silmarilion. 😀

161ScoLgo
Jan 19, 2022, 2:46 pm

>155 dustydigger: "...I feel obligated to read it all so I can change the thumbnail to green on the list page."

This describes me as well. I'm trying to get through all of the Hugo winners (14 to go!) and therefore have Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on my list for this year. HP is so very much not my type of thing but it somehow won the top SF award in 2001 so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I also rarely DNF books. I abandoned one title in 2021 but have already done so twice this year. Could not connect at all with The Gravedigger's Daughter. As a bit of a completist, I also figured I should read the first three Harry Potter books before attempting the Hugo winner. Only made it a few chapters into book #1 before stopping. If I'm going to read about a young wizard going off to wizard school, I'd much rather re-visit Earthsea.

162elenchus
Jan 19, 2022, 3:19 pm

I am wrestling with a virtual stack of books, read in 2021 but as yet un-reviewed. Relevant to this group is my review of the third Culture novel, Use Of Weapons.

I'm working my way through the series in publication order. Originally intended to read & review the Culture essays after Weapons, but I may read & review State Of The Art next, as it includes one of the essays.

Anyone know if the essay "A Few Notes On Marain" was ever published officially? "A Few Notes On The Culture" was included in Banks's short story collection (SotA), and maybe elsewhere. I haven't found "Marain" anywhere but online as a PDF, I understand posted online by Ken MacLeod at Banks's behest.

Guessing that "Marain" will be included in the upcoming The Culture: Notes and Drawings.

163Unreachableshelf
Jan 19, 2022, 9:46 pm

I'm just starting Sweep of Stars but it seems promising so far.

164elenchus
Jan 20, 2022, 10:58 am

>162 elenchus:

And stumbled across this rumour of a new edition of The Culture:
https://www.librarything.com/topic/338907

FS doesn't always publish an entire series, so maybe it's only the first novel, if any. But Culture has the advantage (in this case) of being episodic: readers don't need to have read the first to enjoy the last. Could work very well for the FS model.

165Sakerfalcon
Jan 20, 2022, 11:30 am

I've started Precursor, the fourth book in the Foreigner series. It's really good so far, much faster-moving than some of the previous books.

166ScoLgo
Jan 20, 2022, 12:13 pm

>165 Sakerfalcon: That 2nd trilogy is my favorite out of the entire series, at least so far. This might be old news for some but Cherryh made the following announcement on her blog back on December 20...
Right now I m working on the next Bren book while Jane makes another pass through Alliance Unbound. The name of the next Bren book (you heard it here first) is Defiance.

Good to hear she is still working on this series!

167dustydigger
Jan 20, 2022, 1:00 pm

Apart from suffering while reading Dhalgren I am having a similar hard time with Abaddon's Gate. Its on theWWEnd Locus Award list. I thought I had better read the first two in series before tackling it. Leviathan Wakes was an OK read,though I didnt like the characters much. Hated the Miller character developments,and the foul mouth female politician wasnt to my taste either in Caliban's War. Took a while reading that.but read both within months in 2019 and have made several attempts on Abaddon's Gates since and dont like it so far. Hate the Melba plot against Holden,I would have liked just a nice space exploration plot about a BDO but no such luck :0(.
Oh well,at least we have now gone into the Ring. 200/540 pages completed so a long way to go. When I did try the TV series I only managed a couple of episodes and gave up on it. Once I do complete the book I will NOT continue with the series.......but it could be a long long time at the rate Iam going.
Thats the problem working through lists,you read the titles you fancy first,and as you near the end you are left with books from your least fave subgenres or difficult authors

168ScoLgo
Jan 20, 2022, 1:04 pm

Speaking of CJ Cherryh, I'm now reading her Age of Exploration books. Recently finished Port Eternity and am currently about halfway through Voyager in Night. These are not as gripping as the Company Wars books I have read but are still an interesting tangent within Alliance-Union.

Also picking along in the non-genre Imprimatur, which is somewhat reminiscent of Eco's, The Name of the Rose. Reading online (Open Library), so it's pretty slow going. Good story though.

Next up from the Hugo Winners List will be Asimov's The Gods Themselves. Pretty sure I read this at some point in my youth but I don't recall it. At all. Perhaps things will come back to me as I begin reading?

169AnnieMod
Editado: Jan 20, 2022, 3:27 pm

>168 ScoLgo: I quite liked the Age of Exploration books when I read them a few years ago. :)

I guess we are on a Cherryh bend around here - I just started Cyteen - which was my introduction to Cherryh a bit over 20 years ago (in a botched translation which among other issues decided to skip the last chapter or so after skipping over random parts all over the book (badly random)). Despite that, I liked the ideas so I reread it back in 2008? 2009? before Regenesis and what would you know, the murderer is actually revealed in the book (and the book did make sense). Now rereading it in my "read Cherryh in order" thing (well, kinda, I may skip around but I try to keep the series in order) and it makes a LOT more sense after the Gehenna book and actually having seen how the azis work before. Plus I think that I glossed over a lot of the parts of the novel last time (or I've totally forgotten them).

170Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Jan 20, 2022, 1:25 pm

Oh my goodness! How am I ever going to get through all of these books?! So many great suggestions in this thread and from past months. I feel like I am missing out on Cherryh’s Foreigner series. Plus there is the Culture series by Banks that has been on my radar for years. And then there are books that I still want to reread such as many of the ones by Asimov. How am I going to do this?

Last year, on a lark, I decided to work my way through the titles in the Masterpieces of Science Fiction published years ago be The Easton Press.
https://www.worldswithoutend.com/lists_EastonPress.asp
Why? Just because and I had a few of these EP books already in my library from when I was a graduate student. I am first and foremost a SciFi fan who dips his toe into fantasy every now and then (Donaldson, Tolkien, and Lewis primarily). But my reading choices were limited by what I knew. So this Masterpieces of SciFi list seemed like a good way to expand my reading in SciFi. But having become a member of LT last year and participating in this SciFi group I now realize there is still so much good stuff out there.

I guess that’s a good thing. I will never run out of SciFi to read for as long as I live! 😀

171AnnieMod
Jan 20, 2022, 1:30 pm

>170 Neil_Luvs_Books: Of course the problem with the ER list is that they usually published just one volume in a lot of the series - Gateway, The Snow Queen, Helliconia Spring, occasionally more than one but rarely the complete series.... Or is it just me that tends to go and try to read the rest? :)

172Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Jan 20, 2022, 2:10 pm

>171 AnnieMod: yup! I am the same way. This is how I ended up reading the entire Gateway series was because the first book was on this list. I never would have read that whole series otherwise. So of course my TBR pile of books keeps growing as a I read the first volume in a series on this list and I think to myself “but then what happened?”

But this is where our LT SciFi group is so helpful. We are able to advise people whether or not a series is worth pursuing. For example, I am likely not going to pursue the rest of Clarke’s Rama series as a result of the reviewing from the good people in our SciFi group.

173AnnieMod
Jan 20, 2022, 2:20 pm

>172 Neil_Luvs_Books: If I enjoy the setting, I will chase even the books people don't usually like... I can be easily entertained sometimes. :) Plus the publishers back home tended (still do really) to start translating and publishing a series and leave it mid-series (some of them because they went bankrupt (the 90s were an interesting time in Eastern Europe), some because it was not selling well so they decided to stop - the biggest Bulgarian SF&F publisher does that a LOT). I hated that. So now I just read the whole thing if I can - just because! :)

174ScoLgo
Jan 20, 2022, 2:31 pm

>169 AnnieMod: I'm not disliking the Age of Exploration books. These two are just not grabbing me quite like the five Company Wars books I have read to date. Other Alliance-Union favorites (for me) are Serpent's Reach and Wave Without a Shore. Also, the Unionside 'trilogy'; I read Forty Thousand in Gehenna first, which as you mention, turned out great for Cyteen because I got most all of the little references to Gehenna. Regenesis was also an excellent read for me.

There is a rather large gap in my Cherryh reading in that I have not yet gotten to the Chanur books. Maybe this year...?

Oh, and my first ever Cherryh was Cuckoo's Egg, which is part of Age of Exploration. I really enjoyed that one.

>170 Neil_Luvs_Books: One at a time Neil. One at a time... ;)

>171 AnnieMod: said, "Or is it just me that tends to go and try to read the rest? :)"

It's not just you... ;)

175AnnieMod
Jan 20, 2022, 2:45 pm

>174 ScoLgo: Did not think you do not like them - just mentioned that I liked them :) I find that Cherryh can write different books (unlike some other writers) so I had been enjoying working through her novels (even Hestia and Brothers of Earth which are very early book and show it).

One little tip about the Chanur books if I may (I read the last 2 of them last year so they are very fresh in my mind) - the middle 3 are really one big story split into 3 books. The omnibuses split them into 1-3 and 4-5 which makes sense because of page numbers and so on but books 2-4 really need to be read close together or you lose the track a bit :) The first serves as a prologue, the fifth is an epilogue... so in a lot of ways it is a trilogy in 5 books more than a 5-books series.

176ScoLgo
Jan 20, 2022, 2:54 pm

>175 AnnieMod: Thanks for that! I will plan to read them all fairly close together. When reading a series, I generally will do 1 or 2 other books between installments as it helps me remember which events happened in each book. With Foreigner I mostly read each arc (trilogy) as one book since that is basically how she wrote them. I wonder what this next arc will bring?

177AnnieMod
Jan 20, 2022, 3:08 pm

>176 ScoLgo: I'll catch up with Foreigner - Cyteen kinda jumped the queue because it came from ILL and needs to go back on time - the plan was to read the 4th Foreigner one this week :)

The only reason I actually started Foreigner that early (I am still in the late 80s with the chronological read of her other novels although I seem to have skipped over the Ealdwood books so need to go get them as well and I am not yet sure what I am doing with the Heroes in Hell books) is because I did not want to be left over with just the lot of them if I did not like them much if I had gone strictly chronologically. I like them though so... back to normal order... kinda... maybe. We shall see. I can see a lot of Cherryh in my 2022 reading. :)

178rshart3
Jan 21, 2022, 12:36 am

>176 ScoLgo: It's hard NOT to read the Chanur books close together: even more than many of her other series, they're real page-turners.

179RobertDay
Jan 24, 2022, 5:49 pm

The Solar Cycle partial re-read got off to a good start with The Shadow of the Torturer, which I dashed through in short order. I was surprised how much I remembered from my last read, thirty-odd years ago, but also by how much this was a new read. The juxtaposition of fantasy themes in a deep future setting kept me on my toes, but mostly I found I was absorbing the atmosphere and the sombre, brooding nature of the world-building.

Having a short break with something non-fictional, then picking up Inhibitor Phase before going on to The Claw of the Conciliator.

180tjm568
Jan 25, 2022, 10:37 am

Almost done with Leviathan Falls. This is the final book in the series (9 books). Overall I enjoyed the series. Some characters were better than others. Never really cared for Holden, but liked a bunch of the others. The tv series had some decent moments, but was a bit slow off the mark. The supposed final episode was very disappointing. Seems like they are really hoping someone picks it up for more seasons or a movie is offered. Many plot lines left dangling.

181pgmcc
Jan 25, 2022, 10:48 am

>180 tjm568:
i watched the screen adaptation. I have not read the books but a colleague has, and he tells me the tv series only covered the first six books. As you say, they will be wanting someone to take up an option for the remaining three books.

My colleague gave me hints that there is a lot more in the three final books. Had I not known the recent season was supposed to be the end I would not have guessed. As you say, they have left a lot of links to the future. It sewed the seeds for future episodes. I would suggest there are some negotiation tactics at play.

Holden was not a particularly likeable character, but he was not despicable. I liked Amos. He was very direct. :-)

Now I have to decide whether to read the books or not.

182andyl
Jan 25, 2022, 10:54 am

>181 pgmcc:

The TV series also covers some of the events in the novellas and short fiction.

183pgmcc
Jan 25, 2022, 11:10 am

>182 andyl:
So now I have to preorder the short fiction omnibus volume coming out in March.

Thanks, andyl. :-)

184Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Jan 25, 2022, 5:06 pm

>180 tjm568: >181 pgmcc: >182 andyl: I am consuming Leviathan Wakes right now. One of the faster reads for me in a while. The narrative goes down easy like a tall cold smooth beer on a hot summer night. I ordered the rest of the series. I am completely engrossed in it. I watched the first few seasons (three? I am not watching the current season - have to renew my Prime subscription). I really enjoyed the episodes I watched except for that one story arc where they were on another planet on the other side of the … what is it called? The interstellar transporter geodesic dome thingy that floats at the edge of our solar system. Sorry… its been a couple of years since I watched an episode! 😀 But I am finding the novel much more engrossing. Which is typical for me - I usually enjoy the read more than the viewing. But that does not mean that the TV series is bad. I think it is quite good. Something about reading a good narrative that is simply a much more all-encompassing experience for me.

185karenb
Jan 26, 2022, 9:20 am

Now read The Upper World by Femi Fadugba. Set now in London, and 15 years into the future. Contains actual math and physics, as a student is tutored in those subjects for their GCSEs. (Author is a quantum physicist, among other things.) Protagonist is a British black male teenager/adult, which isn't exactly common in SF. So, teens in London, at school, soccer practice, surviving -- oh, and time travel.

Enjoying it so far!

Already in development for Netflix by Daniel Kaluuya, who wishes that it had been around when he was a teenager in London.

186paradoxosalpha
Jan 26, 2022, 11:58 am

This week I read Exit Strategy and When the Green Star Waned: one rather new and one quite old sf story.

187Maddz
Jan 26, 2022, 12:58 pm

Peter Shandy. All 10 novels but not the short story. Cosy mysteries featuring the Balaclava Agricultural College in Balaclava County. Rather whimsical, especially book 5, The Curse of the Giant Hogweed but light and enjoyable. Surprisingly, they all have a strong ecological theme for the time they were written and set!

188ScoLgo
Jan 26, 2022, 2:01 pm

Recently completed...

Voyager in Night - 3 stars. Good writing and premise but I had some trouble keeping track of the character iterations. Some of that may have been due to e-book formatting as I borrowed the Alternate Realities omnibus from Overdrive. I thought the ending was nicely done and left some question as to what really was occurring all along.

Semiosis - 3.5 stars. Intriguing first contact/colonization story. Humans interacting with an intelligent bamboo was much more riveting than I had expected. Definitely plan to read the sequel soon.

The Gods Themselves - 3.5 stars. One of the better Isaac Asimov novels, IMHO. A story in three parts with the 2nd section written from the perspective of aliens in another universe. Asimov did a decent job of imagining a very different type of alien species and his hard science explanations of interactions between the universes was dumbed down nicely for a lay reader like myself to follow along without getting bored/mired in the details. In the third section, he also managed to write a female character that had actual agency and wasn't there only to be condescended to by the male characters. Not all that typical for a male writer in the early 1970s so kudos for that.

Now reading Lud-in-the-Mist. Only a couple of chapters in but I'm already enjoying the writing style. Also starting on The Sunset Warrior Cycle. I haven't read the original trilogy since it was first published in the late 1970's. Here's hoping it hasn't been too harshly treated by The Suck Fairy™.

189Maddz
Jan 26, 2022, 3:13 pm

The Forest Kingdom. What happens after the companions escape Asperfell...they end up in a fantasy palace that reads very much like Versailles - with the same inequalities and simmering resentments that culminated in the fall of the Ancien Régime.

The Best of L Sprague de Camp. An anthology which I enjoyed reading back in the 80's, and enjoyed almost as much. Some of the sociology seems old-fashioned now - there's a strong flavour of the mores of the 40's and 50's, and obviously it was written prior to feminism, but the stories hold up well.

190dustydigger
Jan 26, 2022, 6:00 pm

I have read a lot of stuff this month,most of it lighter stuff or books that are quick read page turners. I will finish Sophocles Antigone but there are about 6 books I am partway through,and wont finish in the next five days,including Creatures of Light and Darkness, Illuminae, The Kingdom of Gods and a couple of Weird Tales by Robert E Howard and Arthur Machen
Unable to focus because Mr Dusty has to take a trip abroad,and the amount of documents required is phenomenal,and all having complications or difficulties to sort. Vaccine pass,a visa,tickets from two different providers,covid tests here,then on arrival.yellowfever form,......All to be done in next 10 days.
My brain is whirling around,maybe even my eyes! lol.No wonder I have been sticking to light stuff. Didnt even attempt to start Dhalgren or complete Abaddon's Gate.
Oh well,I will have the best part of 4 weeks to do nothing but read. Bliss!

191Shrike58
Editado: Jan 27, 2022, 10:05 am

Finished up You Sexy Thing, which while is certainly not bad, also didn't strike me as being great. Though if there are follow-on books I'll certainly give them a chance. I'm probably not being fair to the author, but the last few genre books that I read before this novel just impressed me more, and the ones that I'm currently starting are intriguing me more.

192seitherin
Jan 27, 2022, 10:01 am

Finished Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. Really liked this one. Added Gemini Cell by Myke Cole to my rotation.

193Karlstar
Jan 27, 2022, 2:43 pm

Finished Sabriel, which was good, back reading To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, which is a fun read, about 60% of the way through.

194drmamm
Jan 28, 2022, 2:32 pm

I just finished Leviathan Falls, and therefore the Expanse series. Not flawless, but I thought it was a fitting and satisfying end to an excellent series. There were some surprises and some "yeah that makes sense" character arc completions. It's one of the few books that could have used about 50 more pages, because I felt the plot took bigger and bigger jumps as it got closer to the finish. The epilogue was a little odd, but also kind of funny.

195ChrisRiesbeck
Jan 28, 2022, 4:31 pm

Finished Omega, about 1/3 into The Time of the Ghost.

196SChant
Jan 29, 2022, 5:07 am

Reading Dispatches from Anarres. As with any anthology it's a bit mixed but so far pretty good stories, by authors that are mainly new to me.

Also part way through Children of the Sky, the final part of Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought. So far it's less gripping than the early books - feels like he's putting too many arbitrary twists and turns in just to liven the story up. Still a decent read though.

197RobertDay
Jan 29, 2022, 10:39 am

Made an early start on Inhibitor Phase. Enjoying it so far.

198Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 29, 2022, 1:52 pm

>194 drmamm: good to hear that you found The Expanse a worthwhile read. I am just starting on that journey. Almost finished book one.

199Unreachableshelf
Jan 29, 2022, 4:07 pm

Planning to read an egalley of The Kaiju Preservation Society this weekend.

200paradoxosalpha
Editado: Jan 29, 2022, 7:11 pm

I just picked up Network Effect from the public library, but I want to wrap up reading 2001: A Space Odyssey before I start it.

201elenchus
Jan 29, 2022, 7:47 pm

I'm close to finishing Mason & Dixon, and part of my reward for finishing will be to pick up Rogue Protocol and Exit Strategy so I can complete the original four-part novella section of Murderbot Diaries. I'll decide whether to continue with the series based on how the novellas go.

202paradoxosalpha
Jan 29, 2022, 8:39 pm

>201 elenchus:

I know some people list Gravity's Rainbow as sf, and I think it if qualifies then Mason & Dixon should too. Would you agree? Do the "crazy anachronisms and supernatural oddities" (quoting my own review) help or hurt its sfnalism?

203Karlstar
Jan 29, 2022, 11:13 pm

Just finished To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. It was decent, I think I liked the first 75% better than the last 25%.

204Maddz
Jan 30, 2022, 2:35 pm

Charlotte MacLeod's Sarah Kelling series. More cosies. I previously owned around 8 or 9 in a print edition, a couple more (The Bilbao Looking Glass and The Gladstone Bag) I read from the library and at least one (The Plain Old Man) was completely new to me.

With toothache and no available appointments at the dentist until Wednesday, cosies are all I'm up for. Fortunately, I can cope with a couple of ibuprofen a day and avoiding biting into anything tough (it's a front tooth).

205Neil_Luvs_Books
Jan 30, 2022, 4:09 pm

>204 Maddz: A problem tooth is no fun to nurse! Take care, Maddz.

I just finished Leviathan Wakes and thoroughly enjoyed it. Hopefully Caliban’s War arrives in my mailbox in the next couple of days.

206elenchus
Jan 30, 2022, 9:38 pm

>202 paradoxosalpha: I think it if qualifies then Mason & Dixon should too.

I do agree, and I'd add Gibson's The Difference Engine as an SF comparator: Pynchon has an interesting mix of historical and whimsical, so there's lots on surveying and astronomy observations falling into the former, and then stuff like Philadelphia coffee houses circa 1760 serving up double latte half-cafs like a Starbucks barista.

Of course there's a lot more, and about halfway through I realised my fav comparison was actually Lewis Carroll. So many of the absurd and ridiculous scenes were strongly suggestive of historical reference, skewered knowingly, the way Carroll did with so much with Alice, and it's only the obscurity of the target that makes modern readers think it was "non-sense". Pynchon also loves to throw in versifying, though nothing as memorable as "The Walrus and the Carpenter" or "Jabberwocky".

207dustydigger
Editado: Jan 31, 2022, 4:12 pm

Hey,over 200 posts this month! Just like the good old days.
Keep up the reading and chat in February! :0)

208karenb
Editado: Jan 31, 2022, 8:59 pm

>203 Karlstar: Plate o' shrimp! I'm reading that now, for a book group. (See next month's topic.)

209Maddz
Fev 1, 2022, 2:06 am

Finished the Rhys Madoc series aster my game last night. These were virtually unknown to me - I'd only ever had The Wrong Rite in hardcopy; the others I'd never found. Not bad - unlike the Peter Shandy series, they aren't too whimsical and I felt the plots a little less far-fetched than the Sarah Kelling series.

210MaureenRoy
Editado: Maio 18, 2022, 2:51 pm

From Margaret Atwood I read The Testaments when it was first published. It's a worthy sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. I'm also re-reading her MaddAddam trilogy - Oryx and Crake, The Year Of The Flood, and MaddAddam; I started reading this trilogy after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, after learning that Atwood's PhD dissertation at Harvard University was on the beginnings of science fiction. My only complaint on the trilogy is that it's hard to keep straight some of the minor characters in MaddAddam because they were never fully portrayed.

211Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Maio 18, 2022, 5:17 pm

>210 MaureenRoy: I really enjoyed Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy. The Year of The Flood was my favourite of the three.

212Stevil2001
Maio 19, 2022, 7:58 am

It's not sf per se, but I am reading The Complete Debarkle, an account of the "Sad Puppies"/"Rabid Puppies" Hugo controversy. Good research, but very clearly self-published.

213RobertDay
Maio 19, 2022, 9:11 am

Have some of us discovered the secret of time travel? This is January's thread...

214Stevil2001
Maio 19, 2022, 10:03 am

Oops!

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