What are we reading in May?

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What are we reading in May?

Editado: Abr 30, 2023, 3:16 pm

Wow,the TBR piles are tottering. What will you read in a (futile) attempt to reduce your pile?

Editado: Maio 29, 2023, 4:30 pm

Booktube is doing a Horror Mayhem challenge in May. I am a bit of a wimp where graphic horror is concerned,so I plan to read maybe some SF Horror or weird fiction short stories in May,plus a few other titles which currently are part read left over from April
Dusty's TBR for May
John Gardner - Grendel
Lord Dunsany - The King of Elfland's Daughter
C L Moore - ''Dust of Gods'' ✔
C L Moore - ''Juhli'' ✔
Arthur Machen - The Great God Pan (reread)
John W Campbell - Who Goes There?(R)✔
Octavia E Butler - Bloodchild (R) ✔
William Hope Hodgson - The Voice in the Night
Charlie N Holmberg - Keeper of Enchanted Rooms
Nathan Lowell - By Darkness Forged
J N Chaney - Slip Runner
Patrick O'Sullivan - Quite Possibly Alien
A C Clarke - ''A Walk in the Dark'' (short story) ✔

Editado: Abr 30, 2023, 3:28 pm

I've just started Leviathan Wakes. Read this not long after it came out so its been awhile. Interesting comparing it to the tv series that I fairly recently watched. Listening to the audio this round.

Editado: Abr 30, 2023, 3:44 pm

May reading plan:

Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert
Hyperion - Dan Simmons
Embassytown - China Mieville
The Sheep Look Up - John Brunner
Lagoon - Nnedi Okorafor
River of Gods - Ian McDonald
The Obelisk Gate - N.K. Jemisin
Recursion - Blake Crouch
Have Space Suit Will Travel - Robert Heinlein

Just started on Hyperion this morning.

Editado: Abr 30, 2023, 3:58 pm

I just finished Ambergris and posted my review.

I've got The Citadel of Forgotten Myths in progress, and my sf on deck includes Tigerman, Unconquerable Sun, and Consider Phlebas.

Editado: Abr 30, 2023, 5:22 pm

Still plugging through I Shall Wear Midnight.

Maio 1, 2023, 3:09 am

I started Wormhole by Eric Brown and Keith Brooke, a cold case murder mystery that involves people who promptly traveled far in suspended sleep. Not sure if I'll finish it before it's due back at the library.

Editado: Maio 9, 2023, 8:56 am

About 20% of the way into Ancestral Night, and my overall reaction is sort of "meh." The novel checks all the right boxes but it really isn't moving me. Other books at hand include The Jasmine Throne, After the End of the World, and Untethered Sky. I have a fifth book to pick this month; as of today (5/9) this looks like it's going to be High Times in the Low Parliament.

Maio 1, 2023, 9:57 am

Editado: Maio 1, 2023, 11:06 am

John D Macdonald - Wine of the Dreamers
John D Macdonald was a prolific writer of crime and suspense novels, Wine of the Dreamers published in book form in 1951 was a venture into science fiction. The idea of alien mind control leading to murderous events on earth is not a new trope, but the rational behind the events is given a twist by Macdonald. The quality of the writing, the characterisation and the absence of racism and sexism helped to keep me reading right to the end. Not bad and so 3 stars.

From my 1951 book list to read this month:
The Sands of Mars - Arthur C Clarke
The Outer Reaches - August Derleth
I Killed Stalin - Sterling Noel
Pattern of Conquest - George O Smith
The Longsnozzle Event - Hal Annas

Maio 1, 2023, 11:34 am

Editado: Maio 1, 2023, 3:16 pm

Just finished Time For The Stars as part of my Heinlein Juvenile project, and for all that this is said to be the best of his work for Simon & Schuster, I can't say I enjoyed it. I'm not bothered so much by the casual sexism which was of its time or even the POV character marrying his grandniece (what is it with Heinlein and keeping it in the family? Has he never seen a Habsburg Emperor?), it's more that the cracking pacing that characterises his early books is not there and the 'competent men' that are the core of all early (and now I think about it, late as well) Heinlein books are starting to be a bit smothering.

So something of a rarity, a boring Heinlein Juvenile. Still batting eight for nine, so not too shabby.

Maio 1, 2023, 10:38 pm

I have at long last discovered Avram Davidson and am now reading the short story collection Avram Treasury: A Tribute Collection to commemerate his birth 100 years ago. I see him as similar to Bradbury and Clark and would like to read his novels. Anyone one have a favorite I should start with?

Maio 1, 2023, 11:14 pm

>13 cindydavid4: I think I read one or two many years ago, but they haven't stuck with me. Mostly I remember him for "And all the seas with oysters". Wire coat hangers have never been the same since then...

Maio 2, 2023, 2:49 am

>13 cindydavid4: His short stories are generally considered far better than his novels, just so you know.

Editado: Maio 4, 2023, 1:22 pm

Basically finished up Ancestral Night. File under: Like, not love. Your enthusiasm is going to depend on how well you relate to the main character, as that is basically the only "voice" in this novel.

Next up, probably The Jasmine Throne.

Maio 2, 2023, 11:49 am

Finished Ready Player One which is sci-fi ish, and the TBR has an ARC and the sole remaining Modesitt Recluce novel for me to be caught up, so no sci-fi for a bit.

Maio 2, 2023, 1:01 pm

>13 cindydavid4: Check out the Science Fiction Encyclopedia entry for a nice discussion of his novels. https://sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/davidson_avram

Editado: Maio 2, 2023, 3:55 pm

cool, thanks Im esp interestd in Everybody Has Somebody in Heaven : Essential Jewish Tales of the Spirit I mentioned in my original comments about the book that I had just finished reading IB Singer, and thought their short stories had much in common. Would like to check this out and xplore further

Editado: Maio 4, 2023, 4:11 am

100 pages into my second attempt at Robert Charles Wilson's Spin, and realize why I DNF'd it previously - there are a lot of interesting SF ideas mired in the tedious lives of people who are roles rather than characters. The Genius is there to explain (because all the interesting stuff happens off-stage); the Girl is there as love interest (how very 1950s); and the POV is there to be explained at, and to moon tepidly about the Girl. Will persist with it as I'm hoping the SF will eventually come to the fore.

Editado: Maio 4, 2023, 6:21 am

Starting Lost Places, a collection of short fiction by Sarah Pinsker.

Maio 4, 2023, 1:27 pm

>20 SChant: My thoughts on the book back in 2007 are not far removed from yours. However, at the time, I also thought that the ending was actually fun and hopeful.

Editado: Maio 4, 2023, 2:18 pm

Just one damn thing after another light reading in between two heavy non fictin

Maio 4, 2023, 2:18 pm

>20 SChant: I found the Spin trilogy quite interesting myself.

Maio 4, 2023, 2:39 pm

Going on vacation and just picked up a bunch of books at the library. Apart from a few espionage books and some fantasy, I'll probably read The boy on the bridge, Darkland (stalled on it a few weeks back), Agency and John dies at the end (don't know if it counts as Science Fiction, though)

Maio 4, 2023, 3:01 pm

I think it's totally fair to count John Dies at the End as science fiction.

Maio 4, 2023, 5:09 pm

>18 ChrisRiesbeck: thanks, very interesting and now I have a whole new list of books to read :) do you have a favorite?

Maio 4, 2023, 5:22 pm

>20 SChant: I'm always interested in how differently people can react to a book. I read Spin when it first came out & loved it. But then again, I never got around to reading the follow-ups, or anything else by Wilson, so maybe i...didn't? Hmmm...I also spent quite a bit of that period reading non SFF & am just getting back to it & plan to do a reread. We'll see how it goes...

Maio 4, 2023, 8:27 pm

>28 ChrisG1: I think my favourite book by RCW is still Darwinia. Starts one way and then, for me anyways, takes a complete left hand turn and the book becomes something else. I need to reread that one.

Maio 5, 2023, 5:27 am

I am enjoying some SF horror short stories for Horror MAYhem. Just read a C L Moore Northwest Smith tale,set in subterranea Martian caves,where a million year old god is now just a pile of dust,and there is a portal to the realm of elder gods way older than that. And next up will be the fabulous Dweller in the Gulf,Clark Ashton Smith's very creepy tale of what dwells deep under Martian caves. The golden age authors did not have a happy view of what lies beneath the sands of Mars! lol.
Today should see me finish Grendel,and continue reading Moore's Northwest Smith stories,and then it will be Who Goes There?.

Maio 5, 2023, 7:04 am

I've just started Ocean's echo, which is billed as "Sf romance". I'm hoping it's more of the former than the latter.

Editado: Maio 5, 2023, 10:56 am

>29 Neil_Luvs_Books: The Harvest for me. Big ideas, kindly but in their own way dumb aliens and that hardest of things to pull off in print, a pitiable monster in the Colonel.
I quite liked Spin myself - I certainly didn't see the characters as ciphers. Your Mileage May Vary, I suppose.

Maio 5, 2023, 12:52 pm

>26 paradoxosalpha: Thanks for confirming:-)
The library has classified it as horror, which I don't read, but so far (50 pages in) I am more entertained than horrified.

Maio 5, 2023, 1:42 pm

>27 cindydavid4: It's been so many decades, nothing I say is reliable. I really need to put Davidson into my reading rotation. The title that sticks in my head but not much else is The Phoenix and the Mirror. Just go in realizing that it was one of several series that were never completed. It's also more fantastic history. The encyclopedia seemed fond of his early space operas.

Maio 5, 2023, 2:42 pm

>33 amberwitch:

I characterized the John Dies at the End books as "supernatural horror with a little science fiction, a lot of lowbrow humor, and a fair amount of unsubtle but essentially humane social commentary." The aspect I found genuinely horrific was "the too-recognizable way that the narrator relates his epistemological uncertainty and self-loathing."

Maio 5, 2023, 4:06 pm

>29 Neil_Luvs_Books: Thanks - I'll have to check that one out!

Maio 5, 2023, 4:08 pm

Just finished Hyperion by Dan Simmons. I've seen this book on just about everybody's Top 10 Sci-Fi books of All Time lists & never got around to it. Well, I got around to it. Did it live up to the hype? For me, I must say it did. Conceptually brilliant, lovely prose, the individual tales of the main characters are by turns tense, tragic, horrific, mysterious, romantic. Be warned, the "ending" is a cliffhanger, as the story continues in The Fall of Hyperion. I had to be amused by the manner in which he ended it - I won't reveal it, as I don't do spoilers, but if you've read it, you know what I mean. Since my May reading schedule is full, I'll have to put Fall on my June schedule - don't want to wait long to close this one out. Hyperion is only my second five star rating of the year to date - highly recommended!

Editado: Maio 5, 2023, 9:05 pm

>37 ChrisG1: I think I have read Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos three times and always thoroughly enjoy it. The final two are not quite as strong as the first two volumes but still great reading IMHO. I’ll probably read them again in a couple of years. And then immediately reread Ilium and Olympos. I know many have criticized the Ilium-Olympos duology but I still really enjoy them.

Maio 6, 2023, 12:40 pm

Based on its mention in the April thread, started The Not-Men aka Dragon's Island, in the Tower paperback with the ugliest cover of any book in my library, I think.

Maio 6, 2023, 1:14 pm

I'm reading Witch of the Federation by Michael Anderle which isn't at all what I expected. It is quite political, for one thing, in a good way. Pointing out how limited educational opportunities are for poor people and how the wealthy can siphon the money and opportunities for their own children. Also, the magic, in a science fiction story, is ... limited.

A planet and aliens can use magic, but it can't really work on Earth, or at least not easily. So that's interesting.

We'll see how well the rest of the book holds up, but at the moment I'm enjoying it despite it being mostly about teenagers. The angst is, at the moment, definitely limited.

Maio 7, 2023, 12:10 am

Just finished Recursion by Blake Crouch. Quite a roller coaster of a story - a "rippin' yarn" if you will. I'd say it's the most effective use of time travel - and the most original form of it - I've come across. Highly recommended. Will take on Dune Messiah next.

Editado: Maio 7, 2023, 7:44 am

Starting my next Pern book, Moreta, Dragonlady of Pern.

Maio 7, 2023, 4:16 pm

>42 Stevil2001: Moreta is such a great story. I really enjoyed when I read it a few years ago. Maybe my favourite after the original trilogy.

Maio 7, 2023, 6:02 pm

>43 Neil_Luvs_Books: I thought Masterharper was pretty wretched, but am hopefully that by moving backward in publication order, I can get back to some of what I liked about the original trilogy. (I'm doing a sort of hybrid publication/chronology order.)

Maio 8, 2023, 7:48 am

>42 Stevil2001:, >43 Neil_Luvs_Books:, I'd caution against reading the follow-up short story about Moreta that she wrote a couple of decades afterwards. It basically rewrites the ending, and not for the better.

Maio 8, 2023, 9:28 am

Editado: Maio 8, 2023, 10:04 am

>45 Cecrow: Is that "Beyond Between"? If so, little chance. I am keeping my Pern reading fairly circumscribed. There are so many of them, and most of the later ones do not seem to be well-remembered.

Maio 8, 2023, 4:27 pm

Arthur C Clarke - The Sands of Mars
Life on Mars? Arthur C Clarke thought so in this 1951 novel. It was published early in Clarke's career, but perhaps he could already imagine himself as a famous science fiction author. In the book Martin Gibson is the famous writer and he has been invited to travel on a spaceship to Mars with five other astronauts.This is a good solid entertaining read with some fireworks towards the end of the book.

Editado: Maio 9, 2023, 1:54 pm

I've finished my read of The Citadel of Forgotten Myths, posted my review, and started in on Tigerman. Also picking up The Horror Chambers of Jules de Grandin (collected pulp shorts) on the side.

Maio 9, 2023, 11:43 pm

Just finished Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert. Sequel to Dune, continues the saga of Paul Atreides, who feels swept away by powers beyond his control, in spite of his prescient powers. Definitely worth reading & I'm glad I finally got around to it. I expect to read Children of Dune in the next month or two. Next up: Network Effect - I love me some Murderbot.

Maio 10, 2023, 7:24 am

Done with Untethered Sky, which is a piece of epic adventure in an economical package; nicely done.

Now we'll get to The Jasmine Throne.

Maio 10, 2023, 10:53 am

>52 ChrisG1:

I remember liking Dune Messiah the least of the Dune books when I read them in the late 1970s, and I harbor a suspicion that I would like it the best of them now.

Maio 10, 2023, 11:12 am

>37 ChrisG1: Glad you liked Hyperion, I enjoyed that series a lot.

I'm working my way through Termination Shock. It alternates between interesting parts and boring parts so it has been a bit slow going.

Maio 10, 2023, 4:35 pm

>54 paradoxosalpha: Apparently, it wasn't nearly as well received as Dune & understandably so. The edition I read had an introduction by his son Brian, who discussed that, saying the book was a necessary bridge to the later books, which makes sense to me. I liked it for what it was, but yeah, it wasn't the epic work the first one was.

Maio 11, 2023, 10:12 am

I'm about a third of the way through Tigerman and I see that Nick Harkaway has a new novel out: Titanium Noir. It will have to get in line, since I still plan to go back and read Angelmaker.

Maio 11, 2023, 2:11 pm

Finished The Not-Men and started The Kar-Chee Reign.

Maio 12, 2023, 5:45 pm

Finished Beyond the reach of Earth. Enjoyed it; for a trilogy "middle novel", there's a lot happening and some significant developments. I did wonder if the robot Marcus Owen was based on Kim Philby.

Now reading The Third Policeman. Loving it so far. Parts of it I have read out loud because of the redolence of the language. And the expositions on de Selby make me wonder if the late Graham Joyce was familiar with the book, as one of the first things I ever saw from Graham was a local arts fanzine piece on a fictional Derbyshire artisanal philosopher, Harrison Smedley. (Sadly, I can't find the zine now and this is one of the rare times that t'Internet comes up with nothing.) It would not surprise me.

i was reading the O'Brien this evening whilst the BBC's early evening news programme P.M. was on the radio. I lifted my head from the book to hear an interview with a Professor of politics and population dynamics at the London School of Economics, followed by a piece on trying to get an AI to write jokes. I had trouble telling what I was hearing from what I was reading, Either the world has actually always been that daft, or the book was warping reality.

Maio 12, 2023, 7:22 pm

Yes, it's like that!

Maio 12, 2023, 11:20 pm

>54 paradoxosalpha: The Dune book that gave me the most trouble was The God Emperor of Dune. But that was decades ago and I am looking forward to reading it again in the next year or two. I am still working my way through Brian and Kevin’s prequel series before I get to Frank’s six books.

Maio 13, 2023, 4:52 am

>59 RobertDay: I first read The Third Policeman on the recommendation of the lecturer in Irish when I took that course at university in the mid eighties, and loved it. I would assume Graham had read it.

Editado: Maio 13, 2023, 6:39 am

Just did a reread of Octavia E Butler's Bloodchild for my Horror MAYHEM challenge on Booktube.Butler said that she found short story writing very very difficult,but with Bloodchild she produced a rich, nuanced, complex and horrifying SF horror masterpiece in a mere 27 pages. Highly recommended.
Cant say that I quite accept Butler's assertion that this is NOT about slavery,oppression and the intricate and complicated relationship that arise in such cases. The story has stuck in my mind since my first reading,and I gained even more insight on a second reading.
Really need to read more Butler.......
Read little from my official TBR so far this month,partly because of non stop public holidays with all the visitors etc,and reading too much fluff and nonsense on my kindle unlimited,great fun but distracting :0).Plus I have ongoing eye problems,so I can only read for short periods then must rest my eyes :0(
Next up The Voice in the Night

Maio 13, 2023, 6:32 am

>59 RobertDay: Now reading The Third Policeman. Loving it so far. Parts of it I have read out loud because of the redolence of the language.
I've got the audiobook - totally agree with your comment about the language.

Maio 14, 2023, 11:06 am

Just finished Network Effect by Martha Wells. Installment #5 in her popular Murderbot series & the first at a full novel length (350 pgs). While I think I prefer these stories at novella length, it was still a good read & advanced the saga of our beloved rogue SecUnit. Next on my list is a Heinlein classic - Have Space Suit - Will Travel

Maio 15, 2023, 9:57 am

Finished Have Space Suit, Will Travel by Robert HeinLein. A classic old Heinlein juvenile, it was a fun little read. I like how he always managed to slip a few interesting ideas to chew on. It was written in 1958 - the year I was born & it shows. I discovered Heinlein juvies in my Jr. High library & flew through several of them, so this was a trip back in time. Moving on to River of Gods by Ian McDonald.

Maio 15, 2023, 10:08 am

>66 ChrisG1: River of Gods is one of those books that I first borrowed from Overdrive only to purchase a print copy for anticipated re-reads. If you enjoy it even half as much as I did, you will likely want to also check out Cyberabad Days, a collection of related short stories.

Maio 15, 2023, 11:06 am

>66 ChrisG1:
I enjoyed Have Space Suit, Will Travel when I was in my youth.

River of Gods was a great read for me. I am very fond of Ian’s writing.

Maio 15, 2023, 3:28 pm

I finished Tigerman and posted my review. It was a good read, though not so long on science fictional elements. I'm going back to The Horror Chambers of Jules de Grandin while I pick my next novel.

Maio 16, 2023, 2:14 am

Just started The Peripheral by William Gibson. I forgot how much I like his writing, and his worldbuilding.

Editado: Maio 16, 2023, 7:48 am

Another fan of River of the Gods here, and of Ian in general. Also love Gibson's writing, and need to get to The Peripheral soonish.

Currently re-reading City of Brass so I can go on with the series, and a period mystery, An Untimely Frost which I'm trying to stick with but not sure if it'll work out.

Maio 16, 2023, 9:45 am

I'm reading Light from uncommon stars which is a blend of SF and F.

Maio 16, 2023, 10:50 am

Added Travel by Bullet by John Scalzi to my rotation.

Maio 16, 2023, 6:41 pm

Finished The Third Policeman without any further serious warpage of reality. Now reading a recent Future War novel (in the great tradition of The Battle of Dorking, where serving or recently retired senior officers criticise their political masters in thinly-disguised fiction), General Sir Richard Shirreff's War with Russia. Set in 2017, Russia (so far) has attacked Ukraine but only as a diversion to the main assault on the Baltics. The Ukrainian army has capitulated almost without a shot and Russian armour has driven all before it. So much for experts, then.

Shirreff does at least acknowledge that NATO expansion eastwards would be a legitimate concern for Russia.

Editado: Maio 16, 2023, 11:07 pm

>70 amberwitch: I just read The Peripheral a few weeks ago and also really enjoyed it. The streaming series was also good but not as good as Gibson’s writing. I must get to the sequel, Agency.

Editado: Maio 17, 2023, 3:43 am

Just started Unraveller by Frances Hardinge. She writes seriously good and sometimes quite dark kids and YA fantasy.

Maio 17, 2023, 6:32 am

I'm back to Michel Jeury's amazing stuff, this month. I'm curious: have some of his books been translated into English? Have you ever heard of him? He died in 2015, if I'm not mistaken. No one said a word. Sad. A genius.

Editado: Maio 17, 2023, 7:10 am

Starting my next Pern book today, Nerilka's Story.

Editado: Maio 17, 2023, 6:15 pm

>74 RobertDay: I can throw my mind back to 2017 and I can understand that someone looking at Moscow's grab of Crimea and the Donbas would come to that conclusion. This is without knowing that, at the same time, there was a purge of the Ukrainian military high command, and the new men had a determination that next time would be different.

Maio 17, 2023, 7:48 am

As for current reading, I finished with The Jasmine Throne and I'm not sure that it was worth the effort; such is typical of my relationship with books that have won the World Fantasy Award. It'll be interesting to compare notes with the others in my book group this evening. My bottom line might be that the antagonist of the novel is too much of a comic-book character, and that is arguably an insult to comic books.

Next up: High Times in the Low Parliament. It at least has the virtue of being short!

Maio 17, 2023, 9:03 am

>77 glarzat:

The name Michel Jeury is unfamiliar, which works would you recommend starting with?

Editado: Maio 17, 2023, 9:08 am

Looks like Jeury in English translation is limited to Chronolysis, at least as far as novels are concerned.

Maio 17, 2023, 3:39 pm

Finished The Kar-Chee Reign, flipped the Ace Double, and started Rocannon's World. There's an enthusiastic frontispiece by Donald Wollheim on the great things he's expecting from this new author.

Maio 17, 2023, 7:37 pm

Reading Before the Golden Age. edited by Aasimov- 1930’s era sci fi. Pretty good, easy reads, fun and entertaining if you like that kind of thing.

Editado: Maio 17, 2023, 9:38 pm

>83 ChrisRiesbeck: I still need to read Rocannon’s World and reread Le Guin’s entire Hainish cycle. Of those I have only read City of Illusions, The Left Hand of Darkness, and The Dispossessed. I remember really enjoying Left Hand and Dispossessed. City of Illusions was just ok when I read it back in the 80s. Maybe next year I’ll get to all of them…

Maio 18, 2023, 8:21 am

Nerlika's Story was a very quick read, so now I am on to the last Tiffany Aching book, The Shepherd's Crown.

Maio 18, 2023, 12:02 pm

Oh I loved that! Just be forwarned to have some kleenex handy when reading the first chapter.

Maio 18, 2023, 1:25 pm

I finally finished Termination Shock, it was ok, but I kept putting it down for a day or two, which is not a good indicator that it was a great book, for me. I may pick up The Naked Sun because my review here on LT is completely empty and I don't recall much about it at all. Robots and more robots, if I remember right.

Maio 18, 2023, 2:59 pm

>88 Karlstar: It has been decades since I read The Naked Sun but I remember quite enjoying it.

Maio 18, 2023, 4:36 pm

>85 Neil_Luvs_Books: Rocannon's World is fun and well done but way more stuffed with pulp-ish bits than I expected. A real contrast to last month's The Dispossessed. Definitely an above average Ace Double though with Davidson's The Kar-Chee Reign on the flip side.

Maio 18, 2023, 4:37 pm

Finished Rocannon's World, about to start Ethan of Athos.

Maio 18, 2023, 5:28 pm

I've finished and reviewed The Horror Chambers of Jules de Grandin. And after many months of threatening to do so, I've finally embarked on Consider Phlebas, by means of a remarkably battered secondhand copy.

Maio 18, 2023, 10:46 pm

>92 paradoxosalpha: As I remember it, the main protagonist is a spy who gets remarkably battered too -- so the book's condition is appropriate. ;-)

Maio 19, 2023, 9:39 am

Finished War with Russia. Nuclear Armageddon is avoided through cyberwarfare and a resourceful British squaddie who everyone is shocked to find isn't special forces. Most of the action is set in the Baltics, because that's where the author did a lot of his service in various staff posts with NATO. Yet Belarus plays no part, Russian forces are depicted as (mainly) effective, and there is no role for mercenaries. The whole thing reads like a 400-page briefing or a situation report, which I'm sure the author was very skilled at producing.

Now having a break with some non-fiction before cracking on with Caliban's War.

Maio 19, 2023, 11:47 am

>91 ChrisRiesbeck: I agree, Rocannon's World felt more like an Andre Norton novel than the typical LeGuin. I enjoyed it though.

>89 Neil_Luvs_Books: I'd forgotten how much Asimov was setting the stage for Spacer vs. Earth conflict in this one. Enjoying it so far and I don't expect that to change.

Maio 19, 2023, 12:14 pm

>90 ChrisRiesbeck:, >95 Karlstar: I read through all the Hainish fiction in publication order a few years ago, and it's really impressive when you go from City of Illusions to The Left Hand of Darkness. Only two years apart, but Le Guin really levels up as a writer in those two years! To quote myself, "Just within the first chapter, you notice a depth of character, a depth of world, and a depth of theme that were absent in the three League of Worlds novels."

Maio 19, 2023, 2:02 pm

>96 Stevil2001: I really cannot say enough good things about Le Guin’s LHoD. I read it while a university student and it had a profound impact on me having been raised in a very conservative Lutheran church. It made me think of things in a way that my faith community at that time had put blinders on. Thank God for Ursula Le Guin - it would have taken me much longer to become the adult I am now.

Editado: Maio 20, 2023, 12:12 pm

I finished Persepolis Rising last week and immediately started Tiamat’s Wrath. I suspect I’ll finish TW this weekend. Excellent reads. Very engaging characters and plot as was true for the previous volumes in The Expanse and as others have noted on LT, I appreciate how the authors weave social commentary into their writing. Really excellent writing.

I’m getting lots of reading done these days because as REM sings, where I live, “It’s the end of the world as we know it.” At least that’s what it feels like when I have to turn on my lights on the drive home at 5 pm because the wildfire smoke is so bad here in Alberta. I am now wearing a mask outside because the particulates get in the back of my throat. Wish I could do something for my eyes. On this website I am in the middle of the reddest zone in the middle of Canada. It feels somewhat apocalyptic. 😳

Maio 20, 2023, 2:41 pm

>98 Neil_Luvs_Books: Hopefully those areas get some rain soon so the wildfires end and you get some relief soon. The smoke in the air is a daily item even here on the news in NY state.

Maio 20, 2023, 5:29 pm

>98 Neil_Luvs_Books:
Wishing for relief from the fires. It is a predicament I cannot imagine. Keep safe.

Editado: Maio 22, 2023, 10:07 am

Just finished River of Gods by Ian McDonald. How much did I like this book? I changed my mind several times as I went along. Initially, I was aggravated by having 10 different POV characters - that's a lot of introductory ground to lay. I stuck with it due to the reputation of the book & author & it paid off. He makes you work for it, but I found it to be one of the better novels I've read in the cyberpunk sub-genre. Next, I'm trying yet another new (for me) author with Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor.

Maio 21, 2023, 2:04 am

>101 ChrisG1: Just finished River of Gods by Ian McDonald. How much did I like this book?
The follow-up Cyberabad Days is pretty good too. I've generally enjoyed most of his work.

Editado: Maio 21, 2023, 9:39 am

About 25% of the way through Aftershocks, by Marko Kloos. It is straight down the middle military SF and I enjoyed his earlier Frontlines series. The twist with Aftershocks is that the protagonist served on the losing side of the war and has to deal with the aftermath after being released from prison camp. It's a nice fast-paced read.

Maio 21, 2023, 10:48 am

And onto my next Pern novel; jumping all the way back to the chronological beginning with Dragonsdawn.

Maio 21, 2023, 2:31 pm

>104 Stevil2001: I really liked Dragonsdawn when I read it years ago. On par with the original Dragonriders of Pern trilogy and Moretta, I think.

Editado: Maio 22, 2023, 4:57 am

Been reading mostly light fluffy stuff this month,been rather poorly and couldnt concentrate in on any stuff that needed mental effort. Mostly reading Hornblower in Space sort of stuff. I have a soft spot for that subgenre,and military SF as a whole.
I see drmamm,post 103 above,is a Marko Kloos fan. I have been eyeing the Frontlines series,will start it soon. For just pure fun I read John Hindmarsh's ridiculously over the top stuff,and am waiting for book 6 in the Jack Foster series,coming out end of this month.

Maio 22, 2023, 9:31 am

>101 ChrisG1: Your touchstone goes to the Jack Chalker book with a similar title.

I'm enjoying The Naked Sun a lot this time around, possibly because things have changed so much in recent years that I can see what Asimov was getting at when he created Solarian society. It is moving way up in my rankings of Asimov novels.

Maio 22, 2023, 11:14 am

I'm about halfway through For the First Time, Again by Sylvain Neuvel. It's the third book in the Take Them to the Stars trilogy. I really liked the first book, A History of What Comes Next and I intended to read the next but somehow I skipped over that and got #3. From what I've read so far, I'm not sure I have missed too much in not reading #2. Anyone read all three and can advise if I should pick up #2?

Editado: Maio 22, 2023, 1:27 pm

I finished Tiamat’s Wrath and immediately started the last volume, Leviathan Falls. I have noted before how I like how the authors weave in a little social commentary into their narrative. This morning I just read an example. Here are two quoted paragraphs from pages 65 and 66 in the paper copy published by Orbit:

“She kept coming back to the uncharitable thought that if the underground were just made up of Belters, the problem would have been tractable. Or if not that, at least she’d been sure a solution existed. Belters were viciously independent, but they also understood what it meant to rely on the community around them. Skipping a seal replacement didn’t only risk the life of the slack bastards who’d cheaped out on their work. Failure meant the death of everyone on the crew.

“The colony worlds were acting like their safety could exist separate from the well-being of all the other systems and ships. It couldn’t be so hard to see how accepting a little restriction and regulation benefited everyone. But inner-worlds culture didn’t measure it that way. For them, being better meant being better than the person next to you, not both of you sharing the same increase.”

That passage reminds me of the campaign slogan of one of our mayoral candidates in the last election here in my city. Their slogan was “it’s your turn to get ahead.” Really? Ahead of who? Does that mean its someone else’s turn to drop behind? Who choses who gets to get ahead and who drops behind? Thank goodness that candidate did not come close to winning the election.

Maio 23, 2023, 7:24 am

>108 gypsysmom: The second book is probably essential to get the most out of the third.

Maio 23, 2023, 8:57 am

Finished Travel by Bullet by John Scalzi. Just a fun read.

Maio 23, 2023, 3:25 pm

For Horror MAYhem I have just finished Michael Shea The Autopsy,and George R R Martin's Sandkings. Way way out of my comfort zone! lol
Next up will be John W Campbell Who Goes There? At least that is a little less graphic,but still a tough read for wimpy old me!
I think first I will read some fluff,kindle unlimited SF,just light fun to clear my mind of horrors. :0)

Maio 23, 2023, 8:49 pm

I'm continuing with the fourth of the Innkeeper series, Sweep of the Blade. It's better for bedtime than my recent reads, but also calls out to me during the day.

Maio 24, 2023, 7:12 am

Started Mike Carey's Infinity Gate, a multiverse novel that seems to be the start of a trilogy.

Maio 24, 2023, 8:47 am

>113 Jim53: I had not heard of the Inkeeper Chronicles. What an interesting concept. Thanks for mentioning it.

Maio 24, 2023, 10:35 am

Finished Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor. As they used to say on Monty Python: "And now for something completely different!" I'm not really sure how to describe this novel. I'd say, don't come to this expecting a coherent story - it's a bit of a mish-mash. Part sci-fi alien invasion, part super hero, part african mythology, part commentary on modern Lagos, Nigeria. If you can manage to just go with it, you can be fairly entertained. Moving on to Embassytown, which will be my first China Mieville.

Maio 24, 2023, 10:40 am

I'm on the home stretch of Consider Phlebas. Considering how lauded the Culture is, I have been surprised at the extent to which the book is pretty conventional space opera, but I am enjoying it. The increasingly intelligent handling of interstellar travel in recent decades of sf seems to have left me with an allergy to FTL "jump drives," although Banks does a little better than pure handwavium for the technology.

Editado: Maio 24, 2023, 2:56 pm

Finished Seven Surrenders last night. What a complicated and amazing work Terra Ignota is so far! I find myself completely carried away by it.

Also about halfway through Chanur's Homecoming. It's interesting to see how Cherryh has connected this to Alliance-Union. I'm still curious from which human faction Tully originates? Incidentally, it is slightly odd to be reading two separate works at the same time that both have characters with the same name, (Tully).

Planning a quick break with the new Tim Powers novella, After Many a Summer, before starting into The Will to Battle, if I don't decide to pick up Nick Harkaway's new one, Titanium Noir first. The Harkaway arrived in my mailbox yesterday and I am very, very tempted...

(edited to fix an incorrect touchstone)

Maio 24, 2023, 1:06 pm

>118 ScoLgo:

Terra Ignota is great all the way through, but I think I liked Seven Surrenders best. I would encourage you to go on with the Palmer rather than interrupting it with other novels. There's an awful lot of detail that's helpful to keep fresh as you progress through those books.

Maio 24, 2023, 2:47 pm

>119 paradoxosalpha: Good advice, thanks. I will likely deny myself the Harkaway for now but the Powers is very short at only 81 pages. I find it helps me avoid burning out on a single narrative to intersperse other titles between installments so I plan to at least take the small break a short novella offers.

Seven Surrenders sure featured a lot of reveals; these first two books have surprised me with many unexpected plot twists.

Editado: Maio 24, 2023, 8:53 pm

>120 ScoLgo: >119 paradoxosalpha: I have heard so many people laud Terra Ignota. I’ll have to place that on my TBR list.

Maio 24, 2023, 10:23 pm

>119 paradoxosalpha: >120 ScoLgo: >121 Neil_Luvs_Books: Same here. I wasn't familiar with it but it sounds intriguing.

Maio 25, 2023, 12:26 am

Had to DNF Embassytown. Gave it 50 pages and my eyes were just glazing over...

Maio 25, 2023, 6:37 am

Finished David Mogo Godhunter, which is a reasonably good first novel straddling urban fantasy and magic realism. Next up will be High Times in the Low Parliament.

Editado: Maio 25, 2023, 1:08 pm

Now starting my antepenultimate Pern book, The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall.

Maio 25, 2023, 10:28 am

>113 Jim53: >115 vwinsloe: Seems a similar concept to Simak's Way Station.

Maio 25, 2023, 6:58 pm

>125 Stevil2001: Ok, now you are heading into uncharted Pern territory for me. I never read that one: The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall. It’s on my daughter’s bookshelf…

Maio 25, 2023, 8:07 pm

>127 Neil_Luvs_Books: My wife has been my guide through the Pern books; she said that if I liked Dragonsdawn, it was a good companion.

Maio 26, 2023, 8:28 am

>126 justifiedsinner:, funny, I have not read Way Station and it is a Hugo winner, at that. It'll have to go on my wishlist. Thanks.

Maio 26, 2023, 9:29 am

>129 vwinsloe: I read Way Station last year and enjoyed it: https://www.librarything.com/review/212722478

Editado: Maio 26, 2023, 10:24 am

Stevil2001 Thanks. Good review, and from the prices on Thriftbooks it appears to be still popular.

Maio 26, 2023, 2:50 pm

Finished The kingdom of copper. A strong second book. Just starting Quantum Space.

Maio 28, 2023, 4:39 am

Just finished an enjoyable reread of John W Campbell's Who Goes There? for Horror MAYhem. Yes the writing is clunky,a bit confusing at times,there is little characterisation,but the initial premise is so strong, so striking,that we stay glued to the story all the way through. Its been ripped off a million times,but the premise of a monster that can completely eat someone,and use the new tissue to create copies of humans down to cell level is very unnerving to say the least! lol.

Maio 28, 2023, 7:35 am

Starting my penultimate Pern novel today: Dragonseye (also known as Red Star Rising), a story of the Second Pass.

Editado: Maio 28, 2023, 11:40 pm

Finished The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin. This is the second installment of Jemisin's highly awarded "The Broken Earth" saga. Highly original & well told science-fantasy. Lots of turns & twists - highly recommended. I'll be certain to arrange my reading schedule to get the last installment read in July.

Based on the enthusiastic recommendation of a book-tuber, I'm going to dive into the first volume of an epic fantasy series - Malice by John Gwynne. The author is going to have to sell me on this, cuz committing to a huge chunker of a fantasy series is no small matter for me. Has anyone read this?

Maio 28, 2023, 9:53 pm

>136 ChrisG1: I think that might be the wrong touchstone. I keep seeing people recommend Gwynne, but I haven't read anything by him yet, I'll be interested to see what you think.

Maio 28, 2023, 11:40 pm

>137 Karlstar: Lol - I need to be more careful - thanks for pointing it out.

Editado: Maio 29, 2023, 7:57 am

>136 ChrisG1: Malice was a DNF for me. my comment at the time: I really really dislike coming of age novels and having to deal with asshole boys beating up on each other. Of course, YMMV.

Editado: Maio 29, 2023, 8:48 am

Finished High Times in the Low Parliament; interesting high concept (no pun intended) but it really didn't move me. It would probably make a good visual production.

Maio 29, 2023, 8:44 am

>136 ChrisG1: The 2nd and 3rd books of the Broken Earth trilogy were the only books for which I paid retail in a long, long time. I had never read anything like it. In my view, N.K. Jemisin deserved each and every one of those Hugos.

Maio 29, 2023, 9:05 am

Sterling Noel - I Killed Stalin
Published in 1951 and with a title such as I Killed Stalin I was not expecting a work of great literature which is certainly did not prove to be. It is pulp fiction, which was also an alarming anti-communist rant. It was published at the height of the Senator Joe McCarthy's red scare programme and so it is a reflection of it's times, however with all this taken into consideration it still feels over the top when reading today. It is an alternative history novel.

Editado: Maio 29, 2023, 1:35 pm

Angela Carter - The Passion of New Eve
Angela Carter explores sexual desire in this dystopian science fiction novel. Sex dominates this novel, painful, erotic, disgusting perhaps, but mostly controlling, it is life pushed to extremes as the veneer of civilisation dissolves, as extreme climatic conditions are tearing the world or at least America apart. I can see some people rating this novel as five stars, but for me, who can hardly keep pace with modern trends in violence and feminist literature, I give it a cowardly four stars.

Maio 29, 2023, 2:32 pm

>139 majkia: Thanks, I'll keep passing on Gwynne. I think in between reading my book about Lincoln, I'll pick up Trumps of Doom and continue my Amber re-read. I do seem to remember this one is where the series lost a lot of interest for me, but we'll see.

Maio 29, 2023, 2:36 pm

>143 baswood: There are some 2.5 star reviews there too and as many people gave it a 2 or less rating as gave it a 5. Seems like it is a very polarizing book.

Maio 29, 2023, 3:34 pm

I finished Consider Phlebas and posted a review, thumbs up.

Maio 29, 2023, 5:45 pm

>145 Karlstar: I forgot to say I gave it a 2

Maio 29, 2023, 6:13 pm

Forgot to post that this weekend I finished The Ginger Star by Leigh Brackett. I enjoy her stuff. This is like pulp adventure crossed with antihero cynicism. Since I tend to rotate genres, Nicholas Nickleby is the current fiction book.

Maio 29, 2023, 6:19 pm

>146 paradoxosalpha:
Consider Phlebas was my first Banks; I never looked back.

Maio 29, 2023, 6:50 pm

I am currently reading Lame Fate Ugly Swans by Arkady Strugatsky. My head is almost ready to explode, lots of words I am having to look up and I AM LOVING IT!!

Editado: Maio 29, 2023, 7:42 pm

>136 ChrisG1: Yes, my daughter and I both really enjoyed Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy when we read it last year. I gave Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy to my daughter for Xmas. We are looking forward to reading that one soon.

I just finished reading the last volume of The Expanse. I had tears of … not sadness … not joy … satisfaction? at the way it ended. These last three books, which have been my May reading, Persepolis Rising, Tiamat’s Wrath, and finally Leviathan Falls were excellent. I am so glad that one of my nephews suggested I read this series a couple of years ago.

Maio 30, 2023, 4:21 am

I enjoyed Patrick O'Sullivan's Quite Possibly Alien in the Hornblower in space sort of subgenre,some interesting twists on the normal tropes,and interesting characters, and worldbuilding,though I couldnt get into the followup book at all and soon gave up on it.
Its the end of the Horror MAYhem month,interesting but tough on my wimpy nerves. :0) Now sorting my TBR for June while reading a vintage Cyril Hare mystery

Maio 30, 2023, 6:14 am

Currently reading and loving Titanium Noir by Nick Harkaway.

Maio 30, 2023, 7:29 am

Finished Caliban's War and enjoyed it a lot. I'm getting a good idea as to why there are differences between the novels and the tv show. For instance, this novel has Avasarala's PA, Soren, as a significant character. He is quite well written and makes an interesting foil to Avasarala - a similar character but with a different presentation which would make a working relationship between the two of them workable in real life. I initially thought that it was a shame he wasn't in the tv show. But I came to the conclusion that you can't have too many characters in a tv show, and he would be one that could safely be removed.

Doing that requires other changes; and I began to see that the differences between novels and shows (in this case) could be the butterfly effect: an accumulation of small changes forced by various practical decisions about making a screenplay out of a novel.

Now reading Hidden Wyndham, a biography of John Wyndham Lucas Parkes Beynon Harris. This wasn't originally planned for this early a read, but I recently read an old copy of the UK scholarly journal Foundation, and it had an article in it on Wyndham following the Science Fiction Foundation's acquisition of his papers and those of his younger brother, Vivian, who started but never finished a biography. Having read that, I decided that I ought to promote Hidden Wyndham up the slopes of Mount TBR.

Maio 30, 2023, 7:49 am

>146 paradoxosalpha: There is something in The Culture for everyone, I think. I read The Player of Games first, and it remains my favorite.

Editado: Maio 30, 2023, 11:11 am

Ok, yeah - I've decided to DNF Malice 100 pages in. Not because it's terrible - it seemed fine & would be mildly entertaining, but nothing original & I didn't want to commit to what would be 2800 pages (for the entire series) of OK escapist fantasy.

Maio 31, 2023, 3:00 pm

I enlivened a boring flight by re-reading Showboat world by Jack Vance (or, well, The magnificent showboats of the lower Vissel River, Lune XXIII South, Big Planet, as it's called in the Vance Integral Edition). Some roguery, some Vancian flaws, but largely entertaining.

I also read Flann O'Brien's The third policeman, which sits in that area between post-modernism, fantasy and perhaps morality plays? Either way, I loved it -- its refreshing use of language being a not insignificant reason why.

Editado: Maio 31, 2023, 4:50 pm

I totally grooved on The Third Policeman, and I was strongly reminded of it not too much later when I read Memoirs Found in a Bathtub. (You wouldn't think so from the LT description field of the latter, but that's just about the basically negligible framing documentary conceit, not the story itself.)

Maio 31, 2023, 4:55 pm

>157 Petroglyph:, >158 paradoxosalpha: This seems to be the month for The Third Policeman!

Maio 31, 2023, 6:53 pm

Jun 2, 2023, 11:09 am

I stumbled across a series by Rachel Aaron and blazed through Nice Dragons Finish Last and One Good Dragon Deserves Another. Fast reading, fun characters, light romantic thread. I'm starting book 3 today.

Jun 2, 2023, 10:42 pm

>161 elorin: June thread has started.

Jun 3, 2023, 12:34 am

>162 rshart3: Yes, I know. I read those two books in May so I posted it in May's list intentionally.

Jun 3, 2023, 3:18 am

>126 justifiedsinner: I agree. The Innkeeper books have a strong paranormal element, and use magic rather than science to create species-appropriate accommodations, and have a romance element that I don't recall from Simak, but I did think of Way Station.

I just started Paul Park's All Those Vanished Engines. It has a very meta feel at the beginning and appears likely to require a lot of attentive work.

Jun 11, 2023, 1:58 pm

>75 Neil_Luvs_Books: Good luck hunting down Agency - it is a treat. At almost the same level as The Peripheral.

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