Reading in October 2011

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Hobbit, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    This is where you talk to us about your monthly SF Reads: whether good or bad, we want to discuss with you what you thought.

    Our Fantasy Book of the Month is our traditional Horror book for Halloween: Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. Discuss here.

    Our SF Book of the Month is a new release: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Discuss here.


    Must also say that SFFWorld member Randy M., one of our biggest Horror fans, has a Countdown to Halloween, with recommendations throughout the month until the day itself. It's a great list: I highly recommend it!

    And many thanks to Randy for putting the graft in.

    Great reading all: and Happy Halloween! :D

    Mark
     
  2. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    I'm going to see October in by continuing with three sci-fi novels from last month.

    Remnant Population - Elizabeth Moon
    I'm past 100 pages, but I've just stopped. Will be picking it up again soon, I hope.

    The Telling - Ursula K. LeGuin
    Think I made a mistake when I picked this up. Haven't got a flipping clue what anyone is waffling about, and the writing style is irritating. Will keep trying, however.

    Goliath - Scott Westerfeld
    It's quite interesting, and it's keeping me going, but I'm not going to be sorry to see this dieselpunk (It's not steampunk, no matter what anyone else says) series end. I've enjoyed them but to me they're too deeply flawed to take seriously, and Westerfeld really doesn't hide how he's setting characters up to develop in certain ways although he has surprised me once or twice.
     
  3. Ropie

    Ropie Member of the Monthâ„¢

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    1984 (again)
     
  4. ShandaLear

    ShandaLear Writer, Artist, Beeyotch

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    I will be devouring Terry Pratchett's SNUFF on October 11th.
     
  5. Shonsu

    Shonsu Registered User

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    I'm trying out Revelation Space. I'm about 100 pages in and so far the narrative is distracting. I can't seem to get into it too well. Especially coming off Ready Player One which was much more direct and less confusing. I'll still finish this I'm sure (I rarely stop partway through a book), but I doubt I'll read the whole series.
     
  6. Westsiyeed

    Westsiyeed The Fifth Dominion

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    I've read a number of Alastair Reynolds books now and really enjoyed them, but started Revelation Space recently and put it down after 100 pages - I just couldn't engage with the story or the characters.

    I think his writing's improved with time so if this is your first Reynolds novel, maybe try one of his later ones - maybe House of Suns (this is one of my favourites), or Galactic North for short stories.

    After just finishing Mistborn (fantastic), I'll start on either Flashback or By Light Alone tonight.

    Ha ha! I think I've read it four times in total - a timeless novel.
     
  7. livens

    livens Registered User

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    Just finished The Boat of a Million Years by Poul Anderson. Not what I had expected at all, but very good! I didnt read the blurb on the cover because I had this one confused with another book about people living on a generation ship that didnt know they were. One of the characters in Poul's book was an explorer and I kept expecting him to run into a giant vid wall or something :) I quickly figured out my mistake and enjoyed the book.
     
  8. JustaStaffer

    JustaStaffer Registered User

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    Working on After the Apocalypse. Short stories by Maureen McHugh. Totally impressed so far.
     
  9. symbolhunter

    symbolhunter Science-Fantasy Zealot

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    I like anthologies and am browsing through Carol Serling's 50th Anniversary edition of the Twilight Zone series which has 19 original stories written in the style of the episodes of the program. Contributors include writers like Mike Resnick, Tad Williams, and Laura Lippman.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  10. Seak

    Seak and I like to party.

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    Finished OSC's new manga, Laddertop, and it was pretty good although it's pretty much just Ender with two girls minus Ender. I'm sure it will branch out after this first volume.

    Also, randomly, started Shadow of the Hegemon and it's really good so far.
     
  11. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    I finish Scott Westerfeld's Goliath last night.

    Eh. 300 pages of 'eh', 200(ish) pages of attempts at excitement and surprises, resulting in a 500ish page book that did little for me, but was still readable. But hey, that's another series done!

    And now to start a new one! I shall be starting David Weber's A Beautiful Friendship today.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  12. Shonsu

    Shonsu Registered User

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    Just finished Revelation Space and it got better about halfway through so I guess I'll go ahead and read the next one in the series. Even though the last 50 pages or so kind of hurt my brain a little lol.
     
  13. Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess

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    I've been busier than usual and I don't have as much time for reading ... well, that's not exactly true. It's partly because when I do have time I'm too tired to read. Still trying to read through everything by Stephen Palmer. Right now, it's Flowercrash.
     
  14. chitman13

    chitman13 Staff

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    We talked about this on twitter and the fact that my copy isn't due to be shipped for another week :( However, in my complete and utter impatience I got the e-version. Finished the first part and around 1/3rd in and ABSOLUTELY LOVING IT. I can see why it's aimed at the YA crowd, at least from what I've read, but I'm hoping the rest of the novel raises the stakes a little. Very interesting so far :)
     
  15. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    I can also see why it's YA, but in a way I was actually expecting it to be teen. I'll comment on this more in a review, but the science in it is way beyond teen. A lot of what's been mentioned wasn't covered - in my education at least - until I got to maybe the later end of high school or even sixth form.

    Seems a bit odd to have a 12 year old girl as the protagonist of a YA novel, but I'm not complaining. Steph rocks.
     
  16. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    While not sf and not a novel - though it is full of sfnal references including penning a kind of sf short story inside to make some points and explain some stuff , i have just finished David's Deutsch The Beginning of Infinity, a masterpiece tour de force of natural philosophy as it stands today - while I still do not fully buy the multiverse arguments for which the author (a celebrated physicist specializing in quantum compunction) is quite famous - most of the book holds perfect with what i strongly believe.

    Cannot recommend this one enough highly enough for any sf lover - or anyone interested in the "big things" - and I loved especially the demolishing of the Copernican mediocrity arguments, of the 'space ship Earth" speciousness (as rightly pointed out by the author, the biosphere of Earth still actively tries to kill us as spending several days without clothes in the cold will surely prove it so having some primitive technology like animal clothes and having the advanced tech of today is again philosophically identical, the difference being in the scope of action and enrichment of lives allowed by the later) and of the madness of 'sustainable development" (another myth that is thoroughly demolished), though of course empiricism and its many guises get a powerful beating too (what is the difference between seeing the stars with the naked eye or as wiggles on a screen from a radio-telescope - as the author points out there is none from a philosophical point of view since both are mediated by quite a few intermediary steps end results of a lot of applied knowledge, just that the naked eye comes from millions of years of slow evolution, the radio telescope and the screen from more concentrated knowledge created in the recent 2-3 centuries)

    Also the book is very accessible and the author ended each chapter with a glossary of terms and a recap of arguments - I guess to try it to make even more accessible
     
  17. livens

    livens Registered User

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    Really enjoying The Dark Beyond the Stars by Frank M. Robinson. No great awe inspiring technology but the story has me hooked. He created a big mystery around the main character Sparrow and keeps you guessing the whole way through, giving you just enough clues so you dont get frustrated.

    Im hoping it ends well, I really would like to have fond memories of this one.
     
  18. chitman13

    chitman13 Staff

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    I'm ploughing through A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber at the moment and really enjoying it. The first part about the discovery of the treecats was great and ended wonderfully, but now I'm getting into the meat of the story. I can't help but find similarities between this and Fuzzy Nation though, but that was going to happen considering the subject matter of both novels. I'm loving the characters though, both Stephanie Harrington and Lionheart :)
     
  19. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    That's two I've heard enjoying it then, Mark.

    Currently about halfway through the rerelease of Jack Campbell/John G. Hemry's Stark's War. Solid stuff. Good page-turner, not going to win any awards, but a pleasingly predictable read so far.

    Mark
     
  20. Joshua A.C. New

    Joshua A.C. New Joshua A.C. Newman

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    The Telling is one part brilliant, one part not. Le Guin has this thing about avoiding conflict in her writing that I don't quite follow. It feels like, in order to avoid a traditional story arc (exposition, escalation, resolution, denouement) she tacks a chapter on the front and back and makes sure the conflict doesn't really resolve. It feels like in The Telling, she was sort of moving the goal posts around — the government is such a straw man of an opposition that, when things start to get tense and scary, things come out OK due to their incompetence.

    On the other hand, her discussion, through Sutty (who is so like the Ekumen character in The Dispossessed that I wonder if they're the same person), of the unintended consequences of intercultural contact is wonderful.

    Like a lot of later Le Guin works, once I realized that the story ended a chapter before the book did (and started a chapter later), I enjoyed it much more in retrospect.




    Now, I'm a slow reader. Sometimes that means I get backed up. Like now. On my blog, I have a rule that, if you tell me I simply must read a particular book, I'll put it on my Amazon wish list and then you'll have to buy it for me.

    It's resulted in a rather daunting pile of reading, but at least most of it is good. The ones that aren't, I'm not sure what to do about. I mean, they're presents, right?

    Currently I'm reading:

    • Heaven Chronicles by Joan Vinge (research for a project)
    • Distances by Vandana Singh
    • The Woman who Thought She Was A Planet by same
    • The Stars my Destination
    • and I'm forgetting at least one, maybe two

    I'll probably finish the second of the Heaven Chronicles in the next week. It's a real page turner. Distances is pretty floaty; I'm not even sure how far I am through it.