Reading in April 2012

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Hobbit, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Daddy Darth

    Daddy Darth Boba Fett Lives

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    Started The Hunger Games and am about 120 pgs in. I was so impressed with the movie I could not wait to start the book. It is in first person which is not my favourite but the writing is good and moves along at a quick pace without too much focus on describing the look of every character or scene. The picture is still pretty vivid though. So far so good!
     
  2. NickeeCoco

    NickeeCoco Reader Staff Member

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    Finished Six Moon Dance by Sheri S. Tepper last night. A very intelligent book about gender, gender roles and reversals. Enjoyed it a lot.
     
  3. hawkeyye

    hawkeyye Registered User

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    Just finished re-reading Revelation Space by Reynolds. I first read it about 5-6 years ago and loved it. However I never read the last book in the series, Redemption Ark. My plan is to read straight through all 4 books and then hit the Prefect and Galactic North to complete all of his Revelation Space books. About to crack Chasm City which was awesome the first time and I'm hoping will be again!

    After that I hope to read all of Peter F Hamilton's books, back to back.
     
  4. chitman13

    chitman13 Staff

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    I finished up the audio book of Orbus by Neal Asher during my long drive earlier this week. Excellent, just as I remembered, while the narrator adds another dimension to the story.

    I started on the audio book of Stark's War by John G Hemry today on my drive back home, and quite liking it. As Rob says, it's got the familiar feeling of the Lost Fleet books, but not quite as polished. Still enjoyable, and good to read one where the action is on the ground rather than space-based.

    When I got back home my order of Starship Winter by Eric Brown was waiting for me. It's one of my top anticipated books of this year (okay, I know it's only a novella), but I'm going to re-read Summer and Fall first before jumping into it.
     
  5. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    As I accidentally posted in fantasy/horror :)o), I am reading Cordelia's Honor By Lois Mcmaster Bujold. I'm really enjoying it thus far. I think this series is probably a winner.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  6. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    i read two more sfnal novels

    the 5th Jackellian novel - Jack Cloudie by Stephen Hunt; it seems that the odd numbered novels (except for #1 which I liked but #2 and #4 were still better) in the series are misses for me.

    I cannot pinpoint why this one did not work that well, but some of the elements were the lack of female main leads, the stereotype Cassarabian setting, the domination of pulp elements and overall a complete lack of interest in what happened. No real sense of wonder or of mystery like in Beyond the Waves or Fire Sea (those two are still huge favorites and among the best sff of today), just a tired by the number story that had a "filler" quality

    Second and much better, The Weight of Numbers by Simon Ings; a wonderful tapestry novel that works unexpectedly well. Not really sf as it takes place from the 1930's to the 00's and from England, to Mozambique to the Apollo missions, though infused with sfnal musings.

    Following a diverse cast of characters who are related sometimes in obvious, sometimes in strange ways, Weight of Numbers is threaded together by the author into a coherent whole that is very satisfying.

    The novel moves non-linearly in time, space and character arcs so it rewards careful reading and I actually reread the first 200 pages once I got there as quite a few early scenes take added significance later, but the pages turn by themselves and the author keeps it absorbing all the way.

    I do not want to rehash the story arcs especially that discovering the connections between them is part of the novel's power, but I would like to make some comparisons.

    For example you can look at Weight of Numbers vs Cryptonomicon as in Adam Roberts' Stone vs IM Banks Culture; in other words a darker, more "realistic" and with somewhat different conclusions take on similar themes.

    In this view both Cryptonomicon and Culture are the typical sf books where things make sense, societies evolve and stuff has meaning (mostly), while Weight of Numbers and Stone form the more "literary" approach where stuff happens, there is no master plan, people live and die while life goes on...

    Or you can look at Weight of Numbers in comparison to the recent Gods without Men (see my earlier post) and note that while the H. Kunzru book is indeed a more "literary" offering as prose goes (say China Mieville vs Leviathan Wakes to add more sf comparisons of recent significance), it is also ultimately less interesting as it piles stuff upon stuff and essentially leaves it there, while Weight of numbers actually concludes storylines and arcs and in very rounded and satisfying ways.
     
  7. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    I finished up Fuzzy Nation today and while it tread a familiar path, I still enjoyed it a great deal. I generally like Scalzi's style and what he does with and to his characters and this one was no exception. He moved me emotionally in a few instances and I thought it was a very readable novel. I'd like to see him do more with these characters.

    No, I haven't read Piper's original Little Fuzzy.
     
  8. DDCOrange

    DDCOrange Registered User

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    Haven't had much reading time lately but did finally finish Moon Flights by Elizabeth Moon. In the end I found it uneven like most short story compilations and can't quite reccommend it unless one is interested in some of the hidden gems (which likely varies depending on taste). One thing is the this series is very heavy on fantasy which in my opinion Moon doesn't do as well as Science Fiction. Something I did like was that a lot of her stories had a healthy injection of humor which kept them from falling flat. The ones that I liked were:

    • Politics
    • And the Ladies of the Club
    • New World Symphony
    • No Pain, No Gain
    • Hand to Hand
    • Tradition
    • Sweet Charity
    • Welcome to Wheel Days

    The story set in the "Vatta's War" universe was a great big let down though slightly humorous.
     
  9. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    After an unexpected detour into some contemporary literature (a very charming Last Will by Bryn Greenwood which is completely non-sfnal though it features an important secondary character who believes herself to be an alien abductee so showing the penetration of sfnality in today's life), back to sf with two books I just got; Dead water by Simon Ings and Existence by David Brin
     
  10. pox

    pox Registered User

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    I read all three this weekend. Really enjoyed them, and didn't personally see the criticism levelled against the third book by the Amazon reviews at all.
     
  11. DDCOrange

    DDCOrange Registered User

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    Just finished The Reality Dysfunction by Peter Hamilton. It was one of the best reads I've had in a very long time! The last 200 pages were so good I had one of those "can't put it down" sequences and was up very late finding out what happens next. And many people say this is the weak book in the trilogy! Many, many thanks to those on this website who recommended it. Hamilton just never disappoints. On to the Neutronium Alchemist!
     
  12. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    It's because the third book goes off on one, adds more to plotlines that shouldn't have existed, and just went completely off the rails relative to the previous two.
     
  13. pox

    pox Registered User

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    The only serious complaint I had was
    crow barring the 'pods' into the capitol. Everything else seemed to flow pretty well from things telegraphed earlier in the series. I saw her executing Coin coming pretty early on so it can't have been too disjointed.
    It did the usual thing sci-fi does and kinda stuttered to sudden halt dropping threads where it may, but surely we're used to that.
     
  14. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    I read about 150 pages so far (out of some 557) from Existence by David Brin and my reaction till now is "this should be impressive, but somehow it leaves me cold" and i am not sure why, while of course I may get more impressed later as i definitely plan to finish it if only for the expansive world building. It may be the writing that somehow grates, or the geopolitical cliches, or the characters who are mostly meh so far though a few have potential...
     
  15. Westsiyeed

    Westsiyeed The Fifth Dominion

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    That's good to hear, I've had The Reality Dysfunction on my to read pile for ages but for some reason haven't gotten to it (maybe the 1100+ pages is putting me off). I've read reviews that the plot unfolds very slowly, which is usually one of my pet dislikes in a book.

    Probably why I loved his short stories in A Second Chance at Eden!
     
  16. beniowa

    beniowa Registered User

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    Finished Faith by John Love a couple days ago. The battle between an alien ship and a ship of social outcasts is like watching a chess match where both sides are constantly changing the rules. Such a game is engrossing, strange, and confusing. Perhaps it's a bit more convoluted than it really needs to be, but it's quite an interesting read.

    Now reading Among Others by Jo Walton for the Hugos
     
  17. Daddy Darth

    Daddy Darth Boba Fett Lives

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    Stayed up late last night to finish The Hunger Games - a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing read. And it did not clock in at any where near the usual 800-900 pg average most books I read these days are so I was able to get through it pretty handily. As much as I liked it I think I would have enjoyed it even more had I not seen the movie first and had all the visuals in my mind. The adaptation was pretty damn close. I am gonna go ahead and get right into the next one, Catching Fire, I think. I only have the vaguest guess as to how things will go from here which is great. So many of these multivolume series telegraph whats coming. Sure, there is going to be a rebellion or something, I think but how its going to go I don't have the foggiest.

    I'll keep you posted.
     
  18. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    I finished Existence by David Brin; very ambitious with a lot of work behind it, but it greatly annoyed me in quite a few ways (from the Facebook/Twitter future, to the leftist intelligentsia pet themes politics and ideology to the non-Western characters which just made me cringe in the usual liberals a la NYT Thomas Friedman way of trying to be sympathetic but having no clue and becoming quite offensive on occasion - I wonder if an US/UK author talking say about an Irish character would feel the need to remind people every few phrases about some Irish stereotype, the way when talking say about a Chinese character they feel the need to remind every few paragraphs about the ancestor reverence or the extended family or... - and ironically in Existence there are a few Western characters of Japanese, Indian etc ethnicity based on namings and all those are "normal" like the rest, only the local natives have to be "different"...)

    The fundamental philosophy of the book is ; "we did not get to ride rockets to the stars 60's like but we'll ride silicon wafers with our minds inscribed within using ballistically launched tin-cans" and by itself that would have made fine sf, but the book tries to be a panorama of a few decades from now future and to me at least it failed quite badly at that

    Anyway on completing it and then reading the smug Afterword which only added to my annoyance I felt like badly slagging this one and giving it a rare one star rating, but sf needs ambitious books like it so I would say overall a 3 star - 1 star per execution and 5 per ambition
     
  19. Colonel Worf

    Colonel Worf Registered User

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    Currently reading Spin by Robert Charles Wilson. I've read Darwinia (Good) and The Chronoliths (OK) by him previously. I think I've finally found a book by him that I am absolutely going to love, though.
     
  20. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    I'm about 100 pages into James Swallow's Faith & Fire, the first Warhammer 40k Sisters of Battle novel. It's not perfect, but I have to say I'm enjoying it somewhat.