Reading in September 2012

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

  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.


    Mark
     
  2. algernoninc

    algernoninc Now I'm an axolotl

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    carry on from August: Engine Summer by John Crowley. I like it very much: beautifully written post-apocalyptic coming of age story.
     
  3. DDCOrange

    DDCOrange Registered User

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    Just finished How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu. I had been looking forward to that one because a great deal of praise had been heaped upon it, I generally like time-travel stories (I recently enjoyed Jack McDevitt's Time Traveller's Never Die), and I was in the mood for some humor.
    Alas I found myself disappointed with Yu's effort and was left wondering what the fuss was all about. While not a bad story, it seemed much more sad than funny. I won't go so far as to say it was depressing but even the attempt at an upbeat ending fell a little flat for me.
    Also the tale seemed to take twice as long to say half as much (does that make any sense?) and even though it was only just over 200 pages I found myself wondering when Yu would get on with the story and finish it already. Parts of the story were clever and intelligent but the humor was bit too cute for me. Maybe I'm just too picky...
     
  4. Colonel Worf

    Colonel Worf Registered User

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    Icehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson. I got partway through this about 5 years ago, and decided to finally reread it and finish it. It's a little better than I remember, but still not very exciting.
     
  5. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    I finished Iain M Banks' Matter last night. It was a good read, but not on par with his other Culture novels. I expected a bit more from it. I did like how it grew tremendously in scale at the end (and very quickly).

    I'm sticking with Banks and starting Surface Detail today.
     
  6. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    I finished The Eternal Flame by Greg Egan and it was excellent; maybe not as groundbreaking as The Clockwork rocket but a top 10 of mine (kind of in my 2nd tier now at around 4-9); there was no dominant character like Yalda and the universe is now familiar, but still lots of great stuff and I am really curious where it will go in volume 3 (Mr Egan gave a hint in a comment to his blog post on FBC when asked a question by someone).

    Quantum mechanics, antimatter and new biology; lots of diagrams, some good interpersonal conflict and a great ending again, though this time a bit less emotional than in The Clockwork rocket
     
  7. odo

    odo Registered User

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    Sounds great! I'm checking NetGalley every single day, but no ARC (not so "A" in this case, but Night Shade is a bit behind this year) to be found yet :(
     
  8. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    actually there has been an arc on NG for a while now but you need to check by name (Egan) not under publisher where it does not appear (no clue why) - Night Shade has Tainted City up too on NG btw if you are a fan but same, check under name
     
  9. odo

    odo Registered User

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    Oh, thanks! You've made my day :) I haven't read The Whitefire Crossing, so I won't request Tainted City yet, but I'll check for other Night Shade titles (The Constantine Affliction by Tim Pratt, for instance).

    Thanks once again!
     
  10. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    You are welcome - that one (Constantine affliction) is also on btw and a little surprisingly Bloomsbury has Teleportation Accident despite that is a 2013 US title

    Back on topic, after finishing my reread of Eternal Flame last night I have a bunch of historical fiction to read (most notably Kate Morton latest tbp October and huge asap) and two small press steampunk-ish novels that can go either sf or fantasy in classification (Exile's Violin and Indigo Pheasant) but I may also continue Empty space (MJH) or get seriously into Zero Point (N. Asher) or finally finish one of the two A Roberts novels I have not yet read (On); also angling for Hydrogen Sonata and Fractal prince but not yet
     
  11. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    I finished Van Name's One Jump Ahead the other night, went and found the next, Slanted Jack, got a good deal on that, hardcover too this time. I like the series, Jon & Lobo are pretty good characters, Jon is kind of a goody two shoes that almost starts to grate, but then some good action and stuff kicks in. But its kind of nice to have a break from gritty once in awhile. Has some cool tech too, just is what it is, no big descriptions, just works, I like that part where you dont have to be a physics wizard to get it.

    Still waiting on my copy of Gibson's Stealing Light from BD UK, should be here any day now.
     
  12. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    finishing up my Scalzi pile. cant believe i waited like 6 years to read old mans war. what a great read.
     
  13. Luke_B

    Luke_B Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    I'm reading The Uninvited by Liz Jensen. It's not genre SF, but reviews I've read that say it's cross genre; it's a literary thriller with SF and fantastical elements. From what I understand the plot involves a worldwide outbreak of children committing horrible acts of violence for no reason, as if possessed by some malevolent force. We view these events threw the eyes of an anthropologist with Aspergers. Kindle tells me I'm 13 per cent through and so far the unique narrative voice is pulling me through.
     
  14. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    Yeah! My book Stealing Light showed up from BD UK just now! Man its a 600 pager too! I gotta finish up Slanted Jack before I jump on that.
     
  15. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    Finished it last night. Wow. Big book with a lot going on. Some of it was very unpleasant (as one would imagine for scenes taking place in Hell). Lots of ship content. That's always good in a Culture novel. And really fun reveal in the last word of the book.
     
  16. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    To be honest that reveal was telegraphed big time; still an excellent book, was my top sf (and all around for that matter) book of 2010; just waiting impatiently for Hydrogen Sonata

    Back on topic, a copy of Fractal Prince is on its way here and should come tomorrow, while I may also continue Empty Space (MJH) or On (A Roberts), or start seriously Hegemony (M. Kalina) or Zero Point (N Asher); I exhausted my epic mood for a few days (with the pretty good Pillars of the Earth) as well as the romantic/historical/suspense mood (with the awesome, blow me away Secret Keeper) so back to sf for a few days
     
  17. scumby

    scumby Registered User

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    My SF September Reads Thus far

    I've read two SF books this month.

    First, Veteran by Gavin Smith. It was supposed to be a high octane shooter book, and it delivers that way, but I had a hard time relating to the characters. Not a bad story, but I was hoping for better.

    The other book I read was Caliban's War by James SA Corey. It was excellent. Better than the first book in the series, which I enjoyed quite a bit as well. This will definitely be one of my top SF reads of the year.

    Cheers!

    Jeff
     
  18. chitman13

    chitman13 Staff

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    I'm putting all my reading time into Great North Road at the moment, not that I have much reading time on an average day. I'm enjoying it and about 2/3rds of the way through, but it really needs to pick up some more pace. After the first few hundred pages focusing almost entirely on a murder investigation it was a nice change to switch to the planet of St Libra, and Hamilton does his usual thorough job of creating a new world. However, I'm just not feeling this one as much as his previous novels, but I'm hoping that the last few hundred pages deliver.
     
  19. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    I have finished Hegemony by Mark Kalina, a series debut which reminded me a lot of the early Honorverse novels; lots of promise in a fast and engaging read set in a compelling universe; raw thoughts in the book thread in the promotion zone
     
  20. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    It's about three weeks until Fire Season by David Weber & Jane Lindskold officially releases (not sure if it'll ship early or not), so I decided to take a break from Beardy Martin and go for a re-read of Weber's A Beautiful Friendship.