What are we reading in April 2023?

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What are we reading in April 2023?

1dustydigger
Mar 31, 2023, 3:20 pm

Another month,another tottering pile of books to read. Share them with us!

2dustydigger
Editado: Maio 2, 2023, 5:45 pm

Dusty's TBR for April
SF/Fantasy
C S Lewis - That Hideous Strength
J R R Tolkien - The Two Towers
J R R Tolkien - Return of the King
J R R Tolkien - The Monsters and the Critics
Jack Vance - Book of Dreams
A E Van Vogt - Slan
C L Moore - Northwest of Earth
Lord Dunsany - King of Elfland's Daughter
John Gardner - Grendel
Seamus Heaney (ed) - Beowulf
Kaufman & Kristoff - Aurora Rising
Holly Black - The Cruel Prince

from other genres
Holly Black - Tithe
Carter Dickson - Death Watch
Sophocles - Oedipus Rex
Judith Cutler - Guilty as Sin

3dustydigger
Editado: Mar 31, 2023, 5:26 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

4ChrisG1
Editado: Mar 31, 2023, 5:43 pm

My plan for April:

Nightfall - Asimov & Silverberg
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Eye of the Heron - Ursula LeGuin
The Power - Naomi Alderman
Gateway - Frederick Pohl
Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
Parable of the Sower - Octavia Butler
A Scanner Darkly - Philip K Dick
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
Blindsight - Peter Watts
Beholder’s Eye - Julie E. Czerneda

5Shrike58
Mar 31, 2023, 6:23 pm

I'm already reading The Mountain in the Sea. The rest of the month looks like Station Eternity, The Art of Prophecy, Bluebird, and Ancestral Night.

6daxxh
Editado: Mar 31, 2023, 9:17 pm

I am reading The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton and then will probably read Otherness by David Brin. I went to the Library Book Sale last weekend and the used bookstore this weekend, so I have a ton of books to pick from. (Took books to the used bookstore to trade and came back with more than I took.) I will probably read The Time Hoppers by Robert Silverberg and finish Fairy Tale by Stephen King which I just got from the library.

7Neil_Luvs_Books
Mar 31, 2023, 10:24 pm

Tomorrow I finish Delany’s Nova. Next I think will be Doomsday Book.

8paradoxosalpha
Editado: Mar 31, 2023, 11:46 pm

I am just starting into Park's Celestis. I have a copy of Shadows of Pnath arriving next week. And I still have the new Elric book The Citadel of Forgotten Myths demanding my attention. I may yet return to Ambergris in April for Finch.

9rshart3
Editado: Abr 1, 2023, 12:10 am

I rarely decide what I'm going to read until I'm ready for the next book. But likely for April are Golden Space, a fairly early Pamela Sargent, Helm by Steven Gould, and The Ginger Star by Brackett

10karenb
Abr 1, 2023, 5:31 am

I'm working on External forces by Shannon Fay, a sequel to Innate magic from 2021.

11anglemark
Editado: Abr 1, 2023, 6:05 am

I have just started on A Finnegans Wake for Toddlers, a picture-book version of Finnegans Wake. It's over a thousand pages long, but it's really good; makes me see Finnegans Wake in a new light.

12chlorine
Abr 1, 2023, 9:55 am

>4 ChrisG1: Yay I really loved Ancillary Justice so I hope you enjoy it too!
A scanner darkly also made a strong impression on me.

13elorin
Abr 1, 2023, 10:17 am

I'm making good progress (for me) on A Master of Djinn. Next up is the novella Mountains of Mourning by Lois McMaster Bujold, a reread I received through Santa Thing. Then two garage sale picks, silly and not SF/F, Flawed Dogs then Stealing Snow. After that probably the next L.E. Modesitt then dipping into the Heinlein juveniles again.

14Stevil2001
Editado: Abr 1, 2023, 10:24 am

Having finished Dragonsong, I am now on to Dragonsinger.

15seitherin
Abr 1, 2023, 12:37 pm

16LolaWalser
Abr 1, 2023, 1:11 pm

>11 anglemark:

weird touchstone alert

17ScoLgo
Abr 1, 2023, 1:13 pm

Despite having read somewhere around 40 CJ Cherryh books, I had not yet managed to get around to her Chanur series. Remedying that deficit by starting into The Pride of Chanur this weekend.

As mentioned in the March thread, I am also back onto Too Like the Lightning.

18ScoLgo
Abr 1, 2023, 1:14 pm

>16 LolaWalser: We've been Rick-rolled!! :-D

19chlorine
Abr 1, 2023, 3:48 pm

I am reading Where Late the Sweet Birds sang by Kate Wilhelm and I am _not_ enjoying it. I picked it up because of my personal challenge to read all Hugo and Nebula recipients but this questions the value of this challenge. ;)
The first part was an independant story and I find I like the second part a bit more but it still feels very hollow and like I somehow have to read the author's mind to understand what she's hinting at.

Therefore I decided to read it at a slow pace and picked up The relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal for longer stretches of more enjoyable reading. This is the third book in the Lady Astronaut series and for the time being just as enjoyable as the other two.

I started a while back a collection of short stories, The mammoth book of Time Travel SF. I read one story every few days and am almost done with it. It's enjoyable but nothing out of the ordinary.

20LolaWalser
Abr 1, 2023, 4:38 pm

>18 ScoLgo:

dangnabbit!!! That prank's so old it's new again. :p

21Karlstar
Abr 1, 2023, 11:11 pm

>6 daxxh: Two great books, I hope you enjoy them.

22majkia
Abr 2, 2023, 2:08 am

Beginning my re-read of The Expanse with Drive. Also starting The Dark Is Rising

23dustydigger
Editado: Abr 3, 2023, 3:56 am

Want to finish The Two Towers today,then will only have a mere 400 + pages of Return of the King to finish my mammoth!
Main reads this week will be John Gardner's Grendel and a reread of Holly Black's debut YA novel,the sharp and quite original Tithe. No sweet little delightful charming fairies in this book. I get the same vibes as from Harry Dresden's contacts with the Fae in the same year,Summer Knight Tread warily with the people under the Hill!

24Shrike58
Abr 2, 2023, 6:19 am

Finished The Mountain in the Sea. I'm not at all familiar with Ray Nayler's short fiction so this one blind-sided me, and there was every reason for it to make the Nebula shortlist. If you're nominating for the Hugo this year, you should try and look at it before the nomination period closes at the end of the month.

25rshart3
Abr 2, 2023, 6:00 pm

>23 dustydigger: I had the same experience with The Uncertain Place by Lisa Goldstein, which I read recently. Nasty faerie creatures who in that case have been giving a certain family favors & good fortune for a couple of hundred years -- with a steep price. They keep their bargains, but not in the way one expected.

26dustydigger
Abr 3, 2023, 4:13 am

>25 rshart3: . I like the fae,the trickier the better. Just like I prefer vampires to be old school predators,not sparkly or brooding romantics. lol.
Just finished Two Towers,poor Sam is tearing his hair out on realizing Frodo is still alive after being stung by Shelob..Must have been lots of readers tearing out their hair back in 1956 (?),I think they had several months to wait for Return of the King to be published! :0)

27Stevil2001
Editado: Abr 3, 2023, 7:16 am

And now to Dragondrums.

28paradoxosalpha
Editado: Abr 3, 2023, 11:03 am

I am liking Celestis and finding it reminiscent of The Fifth Head of Cerberus. (I see that the pertinent member recommendation has already been made in LT.)

29andyl
Abr 3, 2023, 10:53 am

I'm currently reading Scale by Greg Egan. A murder mystery (at least so far) in an unusual universe.

30ThomasWatson
Editado: Abr 3, 2023, 9:49 pm

Dang! Blink and you miss it - or at least don't notice time passing. Where did March go? Book revisions will do that to you. So will reading The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox by Shelby Foote.

Right now (and off and on through much of March!) reading Babylon's Ashes (The Expanse, Bk. 6) and really hoping a particular character comes to a very bad end. Planning on following up with Discordia (The Nova Vita Protocol bk 3) by Kristyn Merbeth.

31Karlstar
Abr 3, 2023, 11:50 pm

Back to The Chronicles of Amber. Not bad so far, what struck me in the beginning were the very vivid and creative descriptions of the various shadow worlds and Amber.

32andyl
Abr 4, 2023, 3:44 am

>29 andyl:

Finished Scale - not a murder mystery but more of a political thriller in the end.

33dustydigger
Abr 4, 2023, 9:27 am

Enjoyed my reread of Holly Black's debut novel from 2002,Tithe. Some first novel flaws but a good effort. The Fae are definitely cruel and dangerous,but Black certainly makes the Fae courts glamorous and striking and scary. Unusual heroine too,a shoplifting chain smoking outsider who hangs out with trailer park teens like herself. Language and depictions of violence are very strong compared with the normal YA offerings.
Continuing with Return of the King and a vintage crime novel,Carter Dickson Death Watch

34vwinsloe
Abr 4, 2023, 10:01 am

>33 dustydigger:. I have yet to read a Holly Black novel despite the fact that she is a local author for me. I have The Coldest Girl in Coldtown sitting on my TBR shelf. I thought that was her debut, and have not heard of Tithe. I will put it on my wishlist. Thanks for mentioning it.

35sophch
Abr 4, 2023, 11:33 am

I just finished rereading Dune, next up will be Dune Messiah, which I haven't read.

Also picked up Sam Gunn Omnibus by Ben Bova: "A hero without peer or scruples, Sam Gunn has a nose for trouble, money, and women--though not necessarily in that order".... should be interesting.

36RobertDay
Abr 4, 2023, 11:53 am

I burnt through Dissidence fairly quickly, but that wasn't for want of there being grist to the intellectual mill in there - sentient AI robots engaged in dialectic to establish the nature of their existence and their relations to other entities, resurrected humans in simulated environments (or are they?) which reminded me of the Village in Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner, and thoughts on the nature of Left and Right in politics which led me down some interesting byways towards thinking that the labels are ultimately unhelpful and perhaps we are looking more at the difference between top-down government/authoritarian government/Managerialism (the off-stage unified Earth "government" is called The Direction, which is a bit of a clue) versus collective action/communialism (which is not necessarily the same as Communism but may well share some features with it, especially depending on what you may think "Communism" actually is). That Macleod can slip all these undercurrents into what looks on the outside like an action thriller with space mercenaries and sentient robots just goes to show the quality of the author.

I was about to start The Face of the Waters and had actually read the introductory scene-setting preface when a Person from South America delivered me a book by an old fan friend, John Guy Collick's The Star Tsar, which has something eldritch stalking Bolsheviks in deepest Siberia during the Russian Civil War. I'm about four chapters in and finding it well put together. We're in similar territory to Peter Higgins' Wolfhound Century, except in Higgins' book, the Soviet setting was more fantastical (and Stalinist), whilst the plotting in that book fell apart towards the end. I know that Collick took advice on his book from his agent, John Jarrold, who has a pretty good nose for what makes a saleable book. Collick has self-published this (as he did his previous novels, the four-volume The Book of the Colossus (no series touchstone, so I suspect no-one on LT picked that up)), but I suspect that his lack of a mainstream publisher is rather down to his niche approach to setting rather (on the strength of what I've read so far) than any issues with the quality of what he has written.

37ChrisG1
Abr 4, 2023, 6:34 pm

Finished reading Beholder's Eye by Julie E. Czerneda, a light sci-fi adventure featuring a shape-shifting energy being. It took awhile to warm up to it, but I ended up liking it enough that I'll take a shot at the next book in the series before long. Moving on to something darker - A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick.

38Karlstar
Abr 4, 2023, 10:27 pm

>36 RobertDay: I thought The Face of the Waters was interesting, good but not great, certainly not my favorite Silverberg. Good speculative fiction.

39karenb
Abr 5, 2023, 4:21 am

About to race through Exit strategy, then on to Network effect for my Murderbot reread.

40baswood
Abr 5, 2023, 7:10 am

My next SF is Speaker For The Dead Orson Scott Card

41Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Abr 5, 2023, 9:06 pm

>40 baswood: I so enjoyed both the Ender series and the parallel Ender’s Shadow. I noticed a few weeks ago that Card published a final volume that brings those two threads together. I must get to it sometime.

EDIT: The Last Shadow

42ScoLgo
Editado: Abr 9, 2023, 11:06 pm

>41 Neil_Luvs_Books: The correct touchstone is (currently) the 5th one down on the 'others' list --> The Last Shadow

43majkia
Abr 5, 2023, 5:32 pm

I finished Drive amd The Butcher of Anderson Station. Starting The Sundering by Walter Jon Williams.

44Neil_Luvs_Books
Abr 5, 2023, 9:06 pm

Thanks, I always forget that there may be other options. That fixed it.

45Karlstar
Abr 5, 2023, 10:54 pm

>41 Neil_Luvs_Books: Ohh, haven't read that one, thanks for the pointer!

46dustydigger
Abr 6, 2023, 5:20 am

Oh dear,Internet Archive lost their case against Hatchette and 5 other big publishers. They are appealing,but things are looking bad.If the archive closes down that is a major source of reading vintage SF gone down the drain. The publishers are claiming that they are losing lots of cash from readers of IA,but as far as I can see,huge numbers of the books available for lending are out of print and many decades old. Publishers must be seeing this as a major victory in getting rid of libraries of all sorts..Physical books have been repeatedly under threat for 100 years from publishers,no surprise that the same is happening with digital books. IA made some bad decisions about lending out multiple digital copies of books,but now we wait in dread to see what happens next.
Since covid I havent been to a physical library,and as my eyes get worse I read on my laptop as print is often difficult. Online I can adjust the size of the font.
Every single book on my April TBR is from IA.
Now I am worrying about the Luminist Archive,if they too will have problems.

47Stevil2001
Abr 6, 2023, 8:00 am

>46 dustydigger: In my opinion, IA brought this on themselves with their foolish announcement of the emergency library and the national media attention that went along with them. Had they quietly gone on doing what they'd been doing, I don't think publishers would have cared enough to go after them.

I agree that it will be a huge disappointment if this cripples them. I occasionally do some work on the history of Doctor Who, and it's a godsend to be able to pull PDFs of decade-old issues of Doctor Who Magazine, material that will never be reprinted or digitized officially.

48dustydigger
Abr 6, 2023, 3:26 pm

>47 Stevil2001: I agree they were OK when they had waiting lists,just like a normal library. It all went pearshaped when they started issuing multiple copies!
I worry about all the good work they did with books for the print disabled. And apparently WayBack Machine is becoming a much admired and useful repositry for websites etc. Fingers crossed something can be salvaged. Yet another casualty of the covid era messing things up.
Of course I am being very selfish just wanting the status quo,so I can read lots of fab old SF free in my home! lol.

49ChrisRiesbeck
Abr 6, 2023, 6:23 pm

Started Star Healer.

50ChrisG1
Abr 6, 2023, 10:36 pm

Just finished A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick. Nominally science fiction by virtue of near future setting and some dystopian elements. But mostly it's a hazy depiction of drug addiction. Moving on to Blindsight by Peter Watts.

51Shrike58
Abr 7, 2023, 7:26 am

Started working on The Art of Prophecy.

52pgmcc
Abr 7, 2023, 7:57 am

>36 RobertDay:
I am glad you enjoyed Dissidence. Ken really packs the book with ideas and concepts.

I had the wonderful experience of posting a review of Dissidence on Twitter and discovering the following morning that it had been retweeted by Ken.
:-)

53majkia
Abr 7, 2023, 9:42 am

Currently reading The Sundering and enjoying it quite a bit. It reminds me of my favorite SF series, Admiral Geary by Jack Campbell. Lots of space battles with the heroes developing new tactics on how to fight them, and of course getting push back from stolid superiors who think they know better.

54paradoxosalpha
Abr 7, 2023, 12:01 pm

I finished reading Celestis, which reminded me not only of The Fifth Head of Cerberus but also The Gods of Xuma. It was pretty disturbing stuff, well written and full of conceptual provocation. I was pleased to see how well Park used the same sort of astral/subliminal world-perceptions in this sf that he later made integral to his multi-volume portal fantasy Roumania.

55ScoLgo
Abr 7, 2023, 1:08 pm

>36 RobertDay: For me, the Corporation Wars trilogy is what cemented Macleod as an author to follow more closely. I had read and enjoyed a couple of stand-alone novels prior but those three books led me to expand my physical collection of his books, (which is currently up to something like 18 titles).

>54 paradoxosalpha: Your post in >28 paradoxosalpha: led me to order a copy of Celestis, which is currently wending its way here via USPS. I am looking forward to trying a new-to-me author that others have compared to Wolfe! The Fifth Head of Cerberus is such an interesting mind-bender, (I love the anecdote about Kim Stanley Robinson talking with Wolfe about Number Five's real name - and Wolfe confirming that Robinson had discovered the intentional pun he had embedded in the narrative).

56dustydigger
Editado: Abr 7, 2023, 3:20 pm

Yay! Completed my mammoth read for March of the mammoths,a bit late,but 1200 pages of densly packed ornate prose doesnt flow like some James Patterson novel. This reread of LOTR focused my attention on the fantastically described landscapes.I know people tend to see his writing as strongly influenced by Beowulf and Icelandic sagas,but all the way through I was getting other vibes,and finally it clicked,right at the end that to me the prose strongly reminded me of Malory's Morte D'Arthur. Tolkien was crafting a sort of mythology for England,so I found the Arthurian vibes more attractive than the danish. Certainly my mind pictures were much more of a much later time period that vikings '
All in all a very satisfying and enjoyable reread.

57Neil_Luvs_Books
Abr 7, 2023, 3:32 pm

>56 dustydigger: I need to re-read Tolkien. I have read the Silmarillion and The LotR only once and The Hobbit once by myself and once to my daughter when she was much younger. I am certain that a reread will be a different experience 3 decades since the first read.

58Karlstar
Abr 8, 2023, 1:35 pm

>56 dustydigger: Glad you enjoyed your re-read. I'm currently reading The Hive, part of the 2nd Formic War series.

59ChrisG1
Abr 8, 2023, 2:32 pm

Just finished Blindsight by Peter Watts. A fine example of hard science fiction. It's a novel of First Contact in which the aliens are...truly alien. Blindsight takes place in the late 21st Century, when most humans are genetically engineered before birth and almost all maladies are correctable afterward. Many in the human race are abandoning their analog lives for digital ones - permanently plugging themselves into "Heaven." Expect to explore issues of the philosophy of consciousness and what it means to be human in an increasingly digitized and biologically engineered world. It's a dense read, yet I was surprised how quickly I flew through it, as Watts definitely pulled me in.

60amberwitch
Abr 8, 2023, 4:18 pm

>7 Neil_Luvs_Books:
I started Blackout yesterday, and somehow does not feel it as much as Doomsday book, even though it is a sequel.

61Shrike58
Abr 9, 2023, 7:26 am

Finished The Art of Prophecy, which is Wesley Chu's take on the Chinese martial arts epic; about two parts homage and one part send-up. I liked it quite a lot, but it is a bit long-winded, and does lose narrative drive in the middle of the second half, as Chu puts his characters through their assorted "learning" experiences.

Next up: Bluebird.

62rshart3
Abr 9, 2023, 11:45 am

>59 ChrisG1: I must try Blindsight. I liked the Rifters books: well done, and very dark (dark SF or Fantasy being a genre for which I have a sort of horrible fascination).

63gypsysmom
Abr 9, 2023, 12:47 pm

I recently finished Lies Sleeping, the fifth in the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. I know they aren't strictly speaking SF but magic is treated in such a way that it seems technically possible. I love this series.

In a switch from the humourous note of the Rivers of London series I am now reading Last Exit by Max Gladstone which is very dark. I'm still not sure how I will rate this book as sometimes I just want the group to get on with their quest and at other times I'm deeply drawn into the descriptions.

64RobertDay
Abr 9, 2023, 5:36 pm

I've finished The Star Tsar and enjoyed it. The setting is one that's not been used before - the Russian Civil War in the 1920s, with the fading of the early Bolshevik dream in the coming of the Stalinist terror - and although the plot premise isn't entirely new (aliens visiting Russia in the early 20th Century and causing the Tunguska event), Collick has made this the vehicle for a meeting of mind-sets: one of his protagonists is a Commissar with a love of the work of H.G.Wells, whilst the other is an itinerant Yorkshire engineer whose preferred reading is Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom adventures.

There is a problem with the book: Collick wanted to contrast his protagonists and show them growing, so whilst the Commissar is a lesbian, the Yorkshireman is a chauvinist through and through. This is doubtless deliberate on the author's part; how can you show someone changing their mind unless you show what they were like before? But I suspect there are readers who would bump up against things they don't like and reject the book out of hand. And for 'readers', read also 'publishers'.

Which would be a shame. The Star Tsar exposes readers to something they may be unlikely to have come across before, as well as suggesting that those we disagree with may just be capable of change and redemption. I know that John Guy Collick has an agent; it would be good if this book could find a mainstream publisher rather than having to languish in the wilderness of the self-published.

65Stevil2001
Editado: Abr 9, 2023, 7:55 pm

I've started Twenty-First Century Science Fiction, a 2013 anthology of sf published from 2003 to 2011 edited by David Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden. I'll be reading it while waiting for my next Pern book to come in, and then probably pick up some stories between Pern tales.

66karenb
Abr 10, 2023, 8:45 am

Finished up the current Murderbot reread with Fugitive telemetry, another novella.

It's been interesting reading her earlier Ile-Rien books next to the Murderbot stuff. I wonder if she hangs around kids much, with exposure to teenagers encouraging the snark and some of the POV of Murderbot.

67ChrisG1
Abr 10, 2023, 8:58 am

Just finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I'll confess that YA fiction is not my thing, but Ready Player One was a kick in the pants & I enjoyed it quite a bit. It appeals to the nerd in me. If you like vintage video games, 80's pop culture (my teen years were in the 70's, but I got enough of it to enjoy it), and clear cut good guys vs. bad guys story lines, you'll like this book.

68elorin
Abr 10, 2023, 11:19 am

>67 ChrisG1: I recently picked up a copy at a used book store and it's on my TBR list near the top. I can't recall if it will be a re-read or if I have just seen the movie.

69Karlstar
Abr 10, 2023, 3:52 pm

>ChrisG1 It also helps if you are a Rush fan!

70paradoxosalpha
Editado: Abr 10, 2023, 5:56 pm

I'm halfway through the lightweight cthulhvian/jauniste adventure Shadows of Pnath, which reminds me a little of The Club Dumas while falling far short of it. I think I'm aiming at John Crowley's Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr next.

71andyl
Abr 11, 2023, 4:38 am

I have just read The Strange by Nathan Ballingrud - which is a story about growing up on a weird Mars set in the 1930s. Weird echoes of old school Mars stories and Westerns pervade it but Ballingrud transcends them and makes it more than that.

I am currently reading City of Last Chances which is fantasy.

72Shrike58
Abr 11, 2023, 8:13 am

>71 andyl: The reviews I've seen have made that novel sound very interesting.

73Sakerfalcon
Abr 11, 2023, 10:43 am

I've been on holiday and read Beyond the hallowed sky while I was away. I really enjoyed it.

74ScoLgo
Abr 11, 2023, 11:09 am

>73 Sakerfalcon: It's good to hear positive reviews for this! I have just ordered the sequel, but am waiting for the third book to be published before starting into the trilogy.

75andyl
Abr 11, 2023, 11:23 am

>74 ScoLgo:

I read Beyond the Reach of Earth a week or so ago. I liked it but not as much as the first in the series.

76baswood
Abr 11, 2023, 12:08 pm

I read Son of the Tree by Jack Vance last night: it is an early story from him published in 1951. It is all over in 110 pages but Vance proves that he can write a good story. It is not overcomplicated and as a science fiction adventure story it moves quickly through the gears and so 3 stars.

Next one up from 1951 is The Alien by Raymond F Jones.

77pgmcc
Abr 11, 2023, 12:36 pm

>73 Sakerfalcon:
I thought it was great. The second moves the story on and the characters grow and develop in it.

78paradoxosalpha
Abr 11, 2023, 1:00 pm

I'm definitely a MacLeod fan, but I find that he reads really fast. So I'll hold off for the whole series to be available, like >74 ScoLgo:.

79pgmcc
Abr 11, 2023, 2:17 pm

>74 ScoLgo: >78 paradoxosalpha:
Ken did a great thing in Beyond the reach of Earth; he included an 8-page summary of Beyond the Hallowed Sky. It meant I was able to refresh my memory of the first book without having to reread it.

The third book is due out next year. He is submitting the final draft in June of this year.

80Sakerfalcon
Abr 12, 2023, 6:41 am

>77 pgmcc: I'm really looking forward to continuing the series.

81ChrisG1
Abr 12, 2023, 3:10 pm

Just finished The Eye of the Heron by Ursula K. LeGuin. Loved this book. While the setting is science-fictional, the story could just as easily have taken place in Australia or the American West. Two groups of exiles, sent 50 years apart to a planet being used as a penal colony, find their differing values and ideas coming to a head. LeGuin's prose is excellent, her exploration of the interaction of differing cultures is thoughtful and insightful. Highly recommended.

82paradoxosalpha
Abr 12, 2023, 3:59 pm

As anticipated, I've wrapped up my read of Shadows of Pnath and posted my review. Now I've just read the epigram from Franz Kafka that opens Crowley's Ka.

83baswood
Abr 12, 2023, 5:38 pm


Raymond F Jones - The Alien
Science fiction novel published in 1951, by an author that was comfortable in the genre of science fiction adventure stories and who made his name writing for the pulp magazines. Rather forgotten these days I think because his stories were better than many. The Alien starts with the discovery of an artefact in the asteroid belt. Archeologists, scientists and linguists are tasked to solving the mystery of something that could be a portal. They succeed in translating a series of instructions to enable an alien entity to be reborn. The alien boasts of tremendous powers that he can share for the race that can bring him back to life. The scientists and experts are working in isolation from planet earth because of the febrile nature of their home planet. People have everything they need, but have become bored dissatisfied, no leader has emerged that can move, or unite the people in the search for progress. The alien or Great One could fulfil that need. The story develops into a space opera with the earth born scientists on a desperate mission to find the home planet of the race that destroyed the Great Ones planet.

There are interesting developments as the story moves along at a brisk pace. It is a plot driven novel with minimal characterisation, but Jones wrote well enough to keep me interested. Racism and sexism were largely absent and Jones knew how to spring a surprise and hold his story together. 3 stars.

My next book is a short story collection from 1951 edited by Groff Conklin Possible Worlds of Science Fiction

84karenb
Abr 12, 2023, 10:59 pm

Telepathic translator on the job for an alien cultural attache in future New York City: working on Drunk on all your strange new words by Eddie Robson for tomorrow's book group. It's a murder mystery, too.

85dustydigger
Editado: Abr 13, 2023, 10:18 am

I am doing a booktube challenge,we are reading Beowulf in a variety of translations,one a week (Tolkien,Michael Alexander,Burton Raffel,Sean Heaney) and finishing the month with a read of John Gardner's Grendel Its pushed aside my actual TBR, I think a lot of them will be pushed back to May,but its fun. Amazing how different translaions can be in tone,style and appeal.
I have been relaxing at bedtime with John Scalzi Kaiju Preservation Society,just light fluffy nonsense,good fun and a relief from multiple RL trials and tribulations :0) . I think my next bedside book will be Northwest Smith adventures,one story a night from C L Moore's collected stories,Northwest of Earth Purple pulp prose at its finest

86tardis
Abr 13, 2023, 12:59 pm

>85 dustydigger: I was in my favourite comics shop yesterday and they were just unpacking Bea Wolf, a modern middle-grade graphic novel retelling of Beowulf, featuring a gang of troublemaking kids who must defend their tree house from a fun-hating adult who can instantly turn children into grown-ups. I didn't take the chance to look it over but it looked cute.

87UncleMort
Abr 14, 2023, 3:36 am

Still working through the Riverworld series. Nearing the end of The Dark Design

Not as good as I remember from 40 odd years ago. As I mentioned before, the books read as if PJF made it up as he went along. It lacks structure and coherence.
Interestingly, I don't remember anything about the ending. I'm wondering if I even finished it all those years ago.

88andyl
Abr 14, 2023, 4:29 am

Just started The Coral Bones by EJ Swift. Set in three times - early Victorian, roughly now, and some point in the future, the lives of three women intertwine with the story arc of the Great Barrier Reef.

89Shrike58
Editado: Abr 15, 2023, 7:43 am

Knocked off Bluebird; it was nice to read a space adventure where, for a change, the author seemed like they were having fun, while not wasting my time.

Next up: Either Station Eternity or Spear. The basic premise of the first really doesn't excite me, but the author seems to be developing a career that I need to take seriously. Nicola Griffith's book I also feel more obligated to read than am excited about.

90vwinsloe
Abr 14, 2023, 8:42 am

>89 Shrike58: FWIW, I loved Spear. It's short, and if you have any interest in Arthurian legend at all, you'll like this.

91ScoLgo
Abr 14, 2023, 9:36 am

>90 vwinsloe: I too loved Spear - and I'm not that big a fan of Arthurian legend stuff! ;)

There is something about Griffith's writing style that works for me. I mentioned elsewhere that it's not a perfect book but it fit my mood perfectly when I read it, which was in December. It turned out to be only my third 5-star read of 2022.

92majkia
Abr 14, 2023, 10:00 am

I'm currently reading Born of Hatred by Steve McHugh and Two of Swords by K J Parker. The latter is very much like his latest series, The Siege, which I'm delighted to discover, as I loved all three books of the Siege.

93RobertDay
Editado: Abr 14, 2023, 10:54 am

Two-thirds of the way through The Face of the Waters. Enjoying it, though my world-building side keeps butting in to say "five generations in and the humans still have... (insert everyday manufactured object that you'd be hard put to make out of seaweed)?". But i try to ignore that voice and get on with the story.

94ChrisRiesbeck
Abr 14, 2023, 1:50 pm

Finished Star Healer, about halfway into Custer's Last Jump.

95Karlstar
Abr 14, 2023, 10:24 pm

Done with The Hive, it was good. Now on to Termination Shock.

96Shrike58
Abr 15, 2023, 7:46 am

>90 vwinsloe: Short has a virtue all its own! Griffith's Hild turned into one of those books that I more respected than liked (the follow-up is apparently forthcoming).

97vwinsloe
Editado: Abr 15, 2023, 8:54 am

>96 Shrike58:. I'm reading Hild now. It does take a bit to get into, although, at 200 pages in, my olde Anglisc vocabulary is improving which makes it flow a bit better.

But I do like shorter books. If it can't be done in 300 pages, maybe it can't be done.

98seitherin
Editado: Abr 16, 2023, 1:21 pm

99spaceowl
Editado: Abr 15, 2023, 7:32 pm

Just finished Starship Troopers for the sixth or seventh time since my early teenage. It's part of my project to re-read his Juveniles in the format I originally owned them in. I realise that there isn't consensus on whether or not Troopers was a Juvenile; I'm counting it anyway for old times' sake.
Some things come over clearly; it's a GE&C lesson (Civics for US readers) disguised as a war novel. Heinlein had one of the most engaging voices in the fiction of those times, but this time the message does overpower the medium. I can't agree with the strange theory that failing to spanking children leads via juvenile delinquency to the fall of Western Society, but see below.
The best parts of the novel are still the initial drop on the Skinnies' planet, and the boot camp scenes. After that there is a tendency of the author to information-dump on his readers at random moments, down to the curiously lacking-in-tension battle on Planet P.
(Also, being in command of your father who is also your Platoon Sergeant? What was the assignment officer thinking? Unhealthy power dynamic going on there).
Political discussions seem to be the best way I can think of to start a fight on a discussion board, so I'll just say I still don't fully agree with the author's worldview. However he was a natural writer, so I'm still open to him explaining it to me nevertheless.

On to Between Planets.

100dustydigger
Abr 16, 2023, 6:32 am

Finished Seamus Heaney's famed translation of Beowulf. A bit quirky,but impressive. Still I think I prefer Burton Raffles translation. Also read Tolkien's The Monsters and the Critics. Interesting and it did usher in a time when the work as a piece of art,rather than a mine of info for archaeologists and historians, became important. Not so sure about some of his ideas,but it was an interesting piece of work.
Next week it will be fun reading John Gardner Grendel to see what the monster thought of it all,but this week's classic will be Oedipus Rex and continuing with That Hideous Strength. I'd forgotten just how LOOONNGG,and very leisurely paced ithat is. Love all the university common room politics going on. I wonder if Lewis's fellow dons anxiously pored over the don characters in the book and worried if any of that subtle but spot on satire was aimed at them personally!

101majkia
Abr 16, 2023, 8:26 am

I finished Born of Hatred. I'm enjoying the series, but it is super violent.

Starting Blood of the Cosmos by Kevin J. Anderson. I do love the Saga of the Seven Suns. Sorry to be nearing the end.

102elorin
Abr 16, 2023, 2:02 pm

>99 spaceowl: I am not undertaking RAH'S juveniles methodically but am also rereading them. Wikipedia describes them as 12 novels with 13 (Starship Troopers) rejected and published by another publisher, and many count Podkyane of Mars as a 14th although Heinlein didn't consider it a juvenile.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinlein_juveniles

103Karlstar
Abr 16, 2023, 2:11 pm

I finished The HIve, which was quite good for a pre-quel. Moved on to Termination Shock, which has a really bizarre beginning.

104Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Abr 16, 2023, 3:10 pm

>99 spaceowl: I tend to read RAH the same way. I enjoy the writing and so will put up with some of the worldviews that don’t necessarily jive with my own. That’s a good project to reread his juveniles. I actually only ever read about half of them. One that has been on my TBR list is Have Spacesuit Will Travel. I was reading a class copy in grade 9 and the summer started before I could finish it. So… gotta get to that one to see how it ended after starting it 4 or 5 decades ago!

105spaceowl
Abr 16, 2023, 4:54 pm

>104 Neil_Luvs_Books: Same for me - only about half were easy to get hold of in the UK, by which I mean the ones published by New English Library. It was quite hard to find a lot of the other half, published by Pan UK, at least through Middlesbrough's single bookshop. People have no idea (or remember only too well!) how difficult it was to get hold of books that the LBS didn't stock. Looonnnggg waits involved; you really had to want that book.

>102 elorin: Heinlein was wrong; Podkayne was definitely a part of that series, at least as far as I was concerned. It should be said, in light of the book being about adolescents, that the cover art NEL put on the book around 1972 was absolutely inappropriate. Considered with the covers they put on the Barsoom series, the feeling is left that NEL didn't expect great things of its readership...

106baswood
Editado: Abr 18, 2023, 9:31 am

Finished Possible Worlds of Science Fiction - edited by Groff Conklin. A collection of short stories that was published in 1951.Conklin says in his introduction that none of these stories had been published in book form; all had been selected from magazines. Many of the famous science fiction novelists made their name in the pulp magazines and so there are stories by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Theodore Sturgeon. Short stories from pulp magazines are not going to have much literary merit, but that is not what I look for in these collections. I want to be amazed, surprised, be taken on an incredible journey, feel a sense of wonder and some of these stories had these elements. 3.5 stars.

Groff Conklin edited another collection of stories in 1951 called In the grip of Terror I don't know how much science fiction there will be, but it is my next read.

107elorin
Editado: Abr 17, 2023, 12:24 am

>105 spaceowl: I agree that Poddy has juvenile characters but the themes are far more challenging than those in The Star Beast or Rocket Ship Gallileo. I'll grant the author's right to say that Podkayne was not written for the original set of juveniles. I don't know about the cover, my edition is a hardback with a faerie on it, but I am looking into it.
I can't find the cover I remember but I will find the two copies LT says I have and identify them tomorrow.
Podkayne of Mars

108andyl
Abr 17, 2023, 9:17 am

Starting The Midas Rain (an ebook only novella) by Adam Roberts today. It is billed as a sf heist thriller

109ChrisG1
Editado: Abr 17, 2023, 9:35 am

Just finished Nightfall by Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg. A story of a worldwide apocalypse - not on Earth, but on another planet. It shows the prelude, event & result on a group of characters, mostly university professors. Decent story, but I found the characters rather two-dimensional - a frequent criticism of Asimov's writing. Moving on to Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler - high expectations for this much-praised book.

110seitherin
Abr 17, 2023, 11:15 am

Added House of Gold by C. T. Rwizi to my rotation.

111karenb
Abr 17, 2023, 12:02 pm

>108 andyl: I'm often up for a good heist story. It's so new that I hadn't heard of it; maybe our library system will buy a copy, as they take recs for ebooks too.

112andyl
Abr 17, 2023, 1:58 pm

>111 karenb:
I only noticed it because Adam tweeted about it the other day (and no-one had heard of it).

113amberwitch
Abr 17, 2023, 2:19 pm

Started Darkland by Liz Williams yesterday. Not too sure about it. Gave me a bit of claustrophobia in the first two chapters so may abandon. Immediate impression is a mix of Darkover by Marion Zimmer Bradley (for the SF and Fantasy mix) and All the windwracked stars by Elizabeth Bear (for the norse mythology as Science fiction).
I really liked her urban fantasy series about Detective Inspector Chen, so would like to like this series as well.

114pgmcc
Abr 17, 2023, 2:36 pm

I have started reading, The Leviathan Wakes.

115majkia
Abr 17, 2023, 5:11 pm

>114 pgmcc: I'll be rereading it in May.

116RobertDay
Abr 17, 2023, 5:26 pm

>114 pgmcc: This is weird. That's the next thing on my reading pile, too!

117pgmcc
Abr 17, 2023, 5:36 pm

>115 majkia: & >116 RobertDay:
Synchronicity!
Great minds!

118karenb
Abr 17, 2023, 7:47 pm

>113 amberwitch: Hm, Darkland sounds interesting, but I missed it when it came out.

119paradoxosalpha
Editado: Abr 17, 2023, 8:34 pm

>114 pgmcc:, >115 majkia:, >116 RobertDay:, >117 pgmcc:

Wow. I guess its steam engine time for The Expanse. I really enjoyed the Netflix series, but I don't think I'll ever make time for the books, due in no small part to the verdict rendered by Moid Moidelhoff.

120elorin
Abr 17, 2023, 11:34 pm

Starting Between Planets by Heinlein, although I have to unwrap a rubber band to do so.

121spaceowl
Abr 17, 2023, 11:58 pm

By strange coincidence, just finished Between Planets. Mine didn't need elastic bands (just).

Not a bad yarn, even though years haven't been kind to it. As with all Heinlein, the writing and plotting is excellent. Venus doesn't look like it does in the book, but I kind of wish it did. The real life Solar System is such a disappointment.

Throwaway, but still fun. Going to try Space Family Stone next.

122Shrike58
Editado: Abr 18, 2023, 8:09 am

Finished Station Eternity and that turned out to be a much better novel than I expected; now looking forward to the follow-on book(s). Basically, Lafferty's story is as much a send-up of murder mysteries as it is one. Also, while Lafferty's situations are absurd, her characters are not.

123karenb
Abr 18, 2023, 8:45 am

>122 Shrike58: You just summed up Station Eternity better than I did. Wasn't it good? I enjoyed it a lot. Lafferty's work gets better the more she writes, and it's good to see.

124majkia
Abr 18, 2023, 8:53 am

>122 Shrike58: >123 karenb: I really enjoyed her Six Wakes. Will have to check this one out.

125eafb36
Abr 18, 2023, 3:46 pm

I'm slowly reading through the Blue Ant series by William Gibson. Right now I'm on book 2, Spook Country.

126amberwitch
Abr 19, 2023, 1:23 pm

Started A talent for war by Jack McDevitt yesterday. The first in the Alex Benedict series. The other books in the series I've read have all been told from the point of view of Chase Kolpath, his assistant, (and it was quite a long time ago), so it is kind of funny to see her from the outside, and find out how the two meet op.

127karenb
Abr 19, 2023, 2:25 pm

Working my way through Bluebird by Ciel Pierlot. A little space opera mixed in with assassins, apparently? Good pace though.

128sophch
Abr 19, 2023, 6:51 pm

>87 UncleMort: I picked up Gods of Riverworld a few weeks ago, haven't seen it before.... Thought for some reason it was only a 4 book series.
So I'm also trying to reread the series. To Your Scattered was as good as I remember (20 years ago for me) but I'm now in the Fabulous Riverboat and have slowed down.... not as good but I remember bits and pieces. Can't remember the last 2 books at all so should be interesting...

129andyl
Abr 20, 2023, 4:14 am

I've just started Infinity Gate by Mike Carey.

130UncleMort
Editado: Abr 20, 2023, 4:56 am

>128 sophch: Just finished The Magic Labyrinth which is the fourth and last book in the series. I'm not sure how Gods fits into the main series. I too found The Fabulous Riverboat heavy going but the books pick up again so persevere.
All in all they were a good read. I did find the "info dumping" of the characters previous lives a bit annoying but overall I would recommend them.

131ChrisG1
Abr 20, 2023, 10:30 am

Finished Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. My first by this author & I can see why she's highly regarded. Dystopian novels are not my favorite, but the writing & characterization engaged me. Written in 1993, the "near-future" is nearly the present - from 2024-27. Global warming is the cause of a breakdown of the economy & society in general. The main character is a black teenage girl whose resilience & resourcefullness is constantly put to the test as her world crumbles around her. Highly recommended.

Time for a palate cleanser, so I'm starting the next Murderbot book.

132Stevil2001
Abr 20, 2023, 12:32 pm

I started my next Pern novel today, The Masterharper of Pern.

133vwinsloe
Abr 20, 2023, 5:13 pm

>131 ChrisG1: I liked the sequel Parable of the Talents even more than I did Parable of the Sower. She was such a good writer.

134ChrisG1
Editado: Abr 21, 2023, 3:32 pm

I made quick work of Exit Strategy, the 4th installment in Martha Wells' popular Murderbot series. The quality of these stories has been consistent & I'm enjoying them quite a bit. Moving on to The Power by Naomi Alderman.

135ChrisRiesbeck
Abr 21, 2023, 4:48 pm

Finished Custer's Last Jump and started Shambling towards Hiroshima, which I'm finding hilarious so far, and much lighter than the other books by Morrow I've read.

136spaceowl
Abr 22, 2023, 5:10 pm

>135 ChrisRiesbeck: Custer's Last Jump was such good fun. Waldrop is a genius to not only give us Airborne Cowboys and Indians but to give it a semi-credible setting as well. He's one of my favorite writers; I just wish he was more readily available on this side of the pond without resorting to ebooks or Amazon.

137baswood
Editado: Abr 22, 2023, 6:52 pm

Groff Conklin - In The Grip Of Terror
Published in 1951 this is a selection of horror stories edited by Groff Conklin. He says in his introduction that it is a pretty gruesome collection of horrors, some more subtle than others, but all calculated to strike terror one way or another. Not much in the way of science fiction here, but I did like Margaret St Claire's: Hatchers Pet. Some hoary old chestnuts here but a solid collection and so 3.5 stars.

My next book is Jack Williamson - Dragon's Island

138ChrisG1
Abr 23, 2023, 10:36 am

Just finished The Power by Naomi Alderman. This was a mixed bag for me. The premise was...too improbable, rather like in comic books, how Peter Parker got his powers by being bitten by a radioactive spider. Not a fatal flaw - many sci-fi books require a suspension of disbelief to enjoy. The main characters are not admirable or easily identified with. It's mostly about power & how the new powers gained by women change power dynamics - I'll confess a dislike for power-dynamics based analysis - and taking it in an ultimately nihlistic direction. On the other hand, it's extremely well written. I can see why it's gotten a lot of positive attention.

139majkia
Abr 23, 2023, 3:25 pm

I've finished The Saga of the SEven Suns and the follow on Saga of Shadows. I really enjoyed this space opera series, which is quite focused on socio-cultural aspects of aliens and humans creating a shared galactic arm. Lots of space battles but also focus on individuals caught up in the fight against the Shadows, who want to end all creation.

Aliens are interesting, with Ilderans having a neural network which unites them, Hydrogs who live inside suns, robots created by a dead civilization, Virdani trees that remember everything and can communicate instantaneously across light years, and wentles who are water creatures.

It is a bit hard to follow since there are so many threads, but in later books Anderson gives you a line or two when the focus changes that help with remembering who this being is and what is going on with them.

The wrap up was quite satisfying, and managed to tie all the myriad threads together.

140Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Abr 23, 2023, 4:49 pm

Well, I had intended to read Doomsday Book this month but for whatever reason, I ended up picking up Dune: House Atreides. It was a fine read. Interesting for a Dune fan like me to read. I found it more interesting than the Legends of Dune trilogy that I read earlier. My plan is to read Dune: House Harkonnen, Dune: House Corino, Dune, and Dune Messiah before the film Dune part 2 is released later this year. I plan to eventually reread to the end of the series. It has been a couple of decades since I read Chapterhouse Dune and I have never read the Brian and Kevin final installments Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune. Should be fun.

But for the rest of this month I am taking a Dune break and returning to The Expanse. Time to finish the final trilogy.

141ThomasWatson
Abr 23, 2023, 7:39 pm

Well, I did manage to finish Babylon's Ashes this month, but decided that, before the month is out, that third volume of Foote's civil war trilogy is going to be done. I've been reading that monster so long I can recall when I started! I hate lingering loose ends. I'll get back to science fiction with Discordia when I've got this mammoth read behind me.

142elorin
Abr 23, 2023, 11:43 pm

I finished some silliness and a graphic novel volume 1 and am reading Ready Player One. I might be rereading it but I am not sure.

143paradoxosalpha
Abr 24, 2023, 12:31 am

I finished reading Crowley's Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruins of Ymr and posted a short review. I've started Finch.

144RobertDay
Abr 24, 2023, 8:37 am

Now half-way through Leviathan Wakes and enjoying it, but that's mainly through comparing it to the show. At times, it seems the show has the more complex plot.

145seitherin
Abr 24, 2023, 10:52 am

Finished The Race by Nina Allen. Liked it well enough.

Added A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon to my rotation.

146pgmcc
Abr 24, 2023, 10:52 am

>144 RobertDay:
I have about 50 pages to go and have really enjoyed it. The screen adaptation was good and I am trying not to compare it with the books, but treat them as separate entities. This is, of course, upset by my imagining all the characters as they were on the screen.

147Stevil2001
Abr 24, 2023, 12:46 pm

>144 RobertDay:, >146 pgmcc: The show I think is more complicated (or, at least, visibly more complicated), since it can show us perspectives other than Holden and Miller's. A lot of what's in the foreground of season one is in the background of book one.

I actually found the non-Holden Roci crew kind of flatly characterized in book one, so having seen the show helped in that I imagined their performances, which fleshed things out.

148RobertDay
Abr 24, 2023, 6:09 pm

>146 pgmcc: >147 Stevil2001: Yes, I did that with the rest of the crew, too. Mostly it was fine, but I noticed that Alex was described very differently. I held on to visualising him as per the show.

I read an article online a few weeks ago about the Belter language; I was surprised to find that it was a creation for the show, expanding massively on what there was in the novels. Unlike other created languages in SFF shows, Belter was visualised as a genuine creole language.

149Shrike58
Abr 24, 2023, 7:48 pm

Finished Spear, which wound up impressing me enough that I had to give it five stars; there being almost nothing I could mark it down for.

So much for this month; I do expect to get to Ancestral Night sometime next week.

150amberwitch
Abr 25, 2023, 3:00 am

>149 Shrike58: I liked Ancestral Night, though I thought it benefited from having read the Jacobs Ladder trilogy. The references are subtle, but they are there.

151anglemark
Abr 25, 2023, 3:38 am

>149 Shrike58: I read Spear to review it for a fanzine, and I loved it.

152Shrike58
Editado: Abr 25, 2023, 7:27 am

>151 anglemark: Not sure that I'd care to see a follow-up though, as the book is perfect in and of itself. Then again, once you set yourself on the Arthurian Trail, you have to end up with a scene where a sword gets tossed in a lake!

153anglemark
Abr 25, 2023, 8:22 am

>152 Shrike58: I loved how she wove in related Irish myths and other Arthurian tales into the Peredur story, and the new take on Excalibur and Arthur, and on the Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere triangle. Etc. Fun, playful, inventive.

154ChrisG1
Abr 25, 2023, 10:16 am

Finished Gateway by Frederik Pohl, which he considered to be his best novel. The narrative alternates between the protagonist's journey of exploration, and his journey inward in the aftermath. Moving on to Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie.

155Neil_Luvs_Books
Abr 25, 2023, 12:46 pm

>154 ChrisG1: I thoroughly enjoyed Gateway. The sequels were interedting/enjoyable but not near as good. The Ancillary series is very very good.

156Stevil2001
Abr 25, 2023, 2:34 pm

I used to be big on the Arthur mythos in high school and college (read T. H. White, Mary Stewart, Jack Whyte, T. A. Barron, and more), but haven't really read any of it since. You all are making me want to read Spear!

157karenb
Abr 25, 2023, 5:03 pm

>156 Stevil2001: I overdosed on Arthurian novels after The Mists of Avalon came out, but I've read Spear and it's definitely worthwhile. Spear incorporates more than the TH White stuff, so it's not just a retelling of the White. Spear also sticks with the essentials of the story, too, which means it's a short novel but concentrated. Good stuff.

158ChrisRiesbeck
Abr 25, 2023, 6:32 pm

Finished Shambling towards Hiroshima, taking a mystery break with Hamlet, Revenge!.

159ScoLgo
Abr 25, 2023, 7:42 pm

>131 ChrisG1: The Parable duology is a pretty dark place to start with Butler! ;) I thought those books were excellent but am glad my first was the Xenogenesis trilogy. The next one I tried was Kindred, which is an amazing read. The only skiffy element there is the time travel, which is essentially handwavium. But the character study and the unflinching exploration of power dynamics, (a theme throughout Butler's writing), is highly impactful. Kindred, for me, was a very moving book that way. It's too bad she was unable to produce the third Parable book before she died.

>149 Shrike58: I had the same reaction to Spear. I have read nearly everything Griffith has written at this point so I obviously like her writing style. I'm not a huge fan of Arthurian fantasy though so did not have high expectations. Perhaps that is why the book surprised me into giving it 5 stars? ;)

>150 amberwitch: I really enjoyed Bear's Jacob's Ladder trilogy so onto the TBR wish list goes Ancestral Night.

160dustydigger
Editado: Abr 26, 2023, 3:19 pm

Completed my reread of C S Lewis That Hideous Strength. Its a bit of a weird one this book,all sorts of religion,philosophy, morality,even angels and demons ,mixed higgledy piggledy with denunciations of modern science and education,vivisection and any old things..There are longueurs,and some odd plot developments,but also there are beautiful passages. Also horror! There is a banqueting scene that mixes comedy and horror in a surprising way,and all the wicked ones come to a satisfyingly gruesome end! lol.
I was also reading some fluff at the same time,Amie Kaufman's Aurora Rising,just a light fun read when That Hideous Strength got a bit heavy! :0)
Now reading Holly Black The Cruel PrinceHavent read any SF this month apart from C S Lewis,just fantasy and various pieces of literary criticism about Lewis,Tolkien and Beowulf. Hope to get back on track next month.

161baswood
Abr 26, 2023, 6:41 pm

Dragon's Island - Jack Williamson
A science fiction novel from 1951, which is strongly anti racist and has a strong female lead character. All this goes against the grain of many science fiction novels of this period and took me completely by surprise having read his Seetee Ship published in the same year. This is a story about mutants and genetic engineering that has plenty of surprises and twist and turns in the story telling. Williamson writes well enough in this genre and keeps the story and mystery rolling along as well as some science fiction on genetic engineering. It is an earth based story, which is an adventure thriller which kept the pages turning. This together with its basic message of tolerance that does not become too schmaltzy makes this a 4 star read.

162Stevil2001
Abr 27, 2023, 7:50 am

I should start I Shall Wear Midnight, the fourth Tiffany Aching Discworld novel, later today.

163AndreasJ
Abr 27, 2023, 9:57 am

Not sf, but in part about sf: Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate. Only a relatively small part of it is directly about sf, but I imagine all of it should interest many here.

164spaceowl
Abr 28, 2023, 1:06 am

Just finished Starman Jones in my Heinlein Juveniles readthrough; one of his better ones, I thought. Quaint, like all the other ones, but as this is set outside of the Solar System the quaintness isn't quite so pronounced (no Martian Canals or Swamps on Venus). The lead character is a bit dull and there is necessarily a level of sexism appropriate to a book written while the Korean War was still raging, but there is, as ever, a charm to Heinlein's writing that, for me anyway, can get past it.
Next one is Time For The Stars. I'm going into this one fresh, having never read it when I was younger. Should be interesting.

165RobertDay
Abr 28, 2023, 10:26 am

Just finished reading Leviathan Wakes. Interesting.

I was reading it in a roadside café last night and I suddenly realised that the letters on my car registration plate are ROC. Now, I'm not the sort of person who gives their cars names, but if I were, with that display of synchronicity, I'd be calling my car 'Rocinante'.

166justifiedsinner
Abr 28, 2023, 10:31 am

>165 RobertDay: Keep it away from wind turbines.

167Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Abr 28, 2023, 5:16 pm

>165 RobertDay: I am about 150 pages into Persepolis Rising (The Expanse 7) and am thoroughly enjoying it as much as the previous volumes. I have been finding each of these novels in The Expanse to be real page-turners. I am surprised at how many pages I have read before I feel like I should get up and do something else.

I came across a great cartoon on FB earlier this week. It is a drawing of someone scrunched down in a lounge chair nose in a book with a large full bookshelf behind them with the caption "I was about to clean the house when I realized that this book isn't going to read itself."

Captures my sentiments so well...

168RobertDay
Editado: Abr 28, 2023, 6:43 pm

I've now added my review of Leviathan Wakes. I considered it to be workmanlike writing, but shot through with humour and some very mundane touches about life and work in space. I described it as Heinlein-esque.

And then I hit the part where Miller summarily executes Dresden, which most Belters think harsh but fair, or worry about the political consequences rather than the moral ones. And then today, the Chairman of the BBC resigned because he'd been found out for facilitating a humongous financial loan for a previous Prime Minister who, just co-incidentally, was the person who was going to have final say on whether he got the job as Chairman of the BBC; and the airwaves were full of supporters saying "Well, he followed all the rules" when, for any ordinary, moral person a progression of

a) Applying for a job
b) Facilitating a massive loan for the person who decides who gets that job, and
c) Getting the job

would be so obviously corrupt that you couldn't begin to imagine that anyone could think any different. And I began to see Dresden as the end product of all those leaders of industry, media or politics who are happy to park their sense of what is right for their own advantage. And I began to see Leviathan Wakes as a bit more than just a space opera.

Now taking a break from genre and reading something for research that relates to my next book project.

169ChrisG1
Abr 28, 2023, 8:59 pm

Just finished Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. This one took me awhile to warm up to, mainly due to alternating timelines in the first half. But I knew it was a popular book & I trusted it was for good reason & it came together for me. Now I expect I'll continue the trilogy down the road. Next: The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.

170Neil_Luvs_Books
Editado: Abr 29, 2023, 10:22 pm

>169 ChrisG1: I can’t remember if it is in the 2nd or 3rd book of the Ancilliary trilogy but there is one very cool part about perfectly timing a series of …

Nah… you gotta read it for yourself without forewarning. It’s a very good trilogy. And I quite liked the fourth book in the same universe: Providence.

EDIT: I did mean Provenance. 🤦‍♂️

171UncleMort
Abr 29, 2023, 5:00 am

Just finished Reality Check by Dave McCreery. A debut novel that started off poorly. Badly written and poor characterisation. Almost gave up on it but it did get a bit better. Maybe editorial feedback during the writing. Anyway, it didn't grab me and I won't be reading the next book in the series.

172pgmcc
Abr 29, 2023, 6:07 am

>168 RobertDay:
That is a great post about Leviathan Wakes and the real life origins of Dresden.

I hope you have many happy hours in you Ocinante.

173majkia
Editado: Abr 29, 2023, 6:39 am

>168 RobertDay: >172 pgmcc: Daniel Abraham wrote a great series The Dagger and the Coin which first brought him to my attention. It also has a lot of political depth. I rated that series highly and consider it one of the best I've read. And I see a lot of similarities between The Expanse and that series.

174vwinsloe
Abr 29, 2023, 9:20 am

>170 Neil_Luvs_Books: Heavens, I think that you mean Provenance.

175pgmcc
Abr 29, 2023, 11:55 am

>173 majkia:
That sounds interesting. I will have to investigate. Thank you for the pointer.

176Neil_Luvs_Books
Abr 29, 2023, 10:20 pm

>174 vwinsloe: 😀 yup! Provenance. The dangers of writing posts on an iPhone with the silly auto-correct. Drives me nuts sometimes how Apple thinks it knows better than me what I mean to write. 😜

177paradoxosalpha
Editado: Abr 29, 2023, 11:33 pm

I have just started The Citadel of Forgotten Myths, and I expect it to go quickly.

178ChrisG1
Abr 30, 2023, 9:41 am

Just finished The Stars My Destination by Alfren Bester. Rather a weird one. A revenge tale in a future where teleportation becomes not only possible, but commonplace. Considered a sci-fi classic, but only so-so for me. Now I'm moving on to Hyperion by Dan Simmons. I'm a bit embarrassed that I've never read this...

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