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  1. #1
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Reading in January 2014

    Welcome to 2014!

    Here's where you tell us what SF you've been reading this month. Whether good or bad, we want to hear what you think.
    Mark

  2. #2
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    I finished Count Zero by William Gibson last night. Fun Gibsony stuff going on in there. The book had enough potential story to be significantly longer than it was. The ending was a bit abrupt - as if Gibson just got sick of writing it (or came flush up against a deadline). I enjoyed the read, just would have liked a bit more.

  3. #3
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    I'm enjoying Jonathan Lethem's Gun, with Occasional Music right now, which a friend recommended. It's an entertaining ride, though modern writers using the Chandler-esque pulp style has always struck me as a little phony and this isn't entirely exempt. At least it's vastly better than Altered Carbon, which badly tainted the whole pulp thing for me.

  4. #4
    Registered User mylinar's Avatar
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    I reread 'The Genesis Machine' by James P. Hogan. I have been carting that book around my various domiciles since I got it in the '70's and only read it once. All I can say about it is that it did not age well. I guess that is one problem when you write something with a heavy science and technology bent. He simply projected existing trends from 1978 into the future, with almost comical results when looking at it now. It was also only his second book, but his first one did not seem so 'quaint' on a reread.

  5. #5
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    Love Minus Eighty-Will McIntosh

    This was an interesting book on several levels.The story revolves around several characters in a future New York City and surrounding areas.Though this book is packed full of future world building,a future NYC,future technology,future healthcare and even future personal viewpoints,the central premise revolves around a program involving certain specific women who have been injured in some way significant enough to cause death.Instead of just dying and being buried or cremated,they are sort of flash frozen with the idea being that men,especially wealthy men,have "dates" with them until they are picked by one of them to be repaired and returned to full health.This is at a time when death has largely been defeated,insurance largely revolves around reversal of death or protection by being frozen.The frozen women,know as "bridecycles",are kept frozen except when men come to decide if they are worthy of being unfrozen and repaired.The cost of that is that these women then marry the men that revived them,cannot divorce and are essentially slaves to them.

    The book focuses in on several characters,some that have direct connections to this program,some that are indirect.The main story is a heartbreaker between a man who ends up putting a woman into this program by hitting her with a car but then ultimately rescues her.There are subplots of varying interest.A lot of incite into this future through the sub plots and they all tie into the main story.

    I enjoyed the book.It's very well written.You really feel what these people feel.You get the horror and dispair,the anger,the hope.The characters feel real.Much of the future technology sounds plausible.

  6. #6
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Just finished Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer. It was a brilliant, lyrical, nearly plotless book. Lots of Jack Vance influence, in both the setting (Dying Earth) and language. From about halfway through to the end it had a very dreamlike quality. Beautiful prose. Much of the diction made me feel dumb, or at least poorly read.

  7. #7
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    After my recent Heinlein reread (Starman Jones), which I enjoyed much more than The Rolling Stones, I'm onto a future release: The Martian by Andy Weir.

    Lots of buzz about this one, another book that was self-published before being re-edited and refined for mass publication.

    Basically, it's Robinson Crusoe on Mars, updated and with a NASA dealing with cutbacks. After a rather melodramatic and wobbly start, it's getting to be at the 'two-thirds read' stage, a real page turner. Lots of hard science problem solving, which should keep the 'real science in SF' group happy...

    M.
    Mark

  8. #8
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    After my recent Heinlein reread (Starman Jones), which I enjoyed much more than The Rolling Stones, I'm onto a future release: The Martian by Andy Weir.

    Lots of buzz about this one, another book that was self-published before being re-edited and refined for mass publication.

    Basically, it's Robinson Crusoe on Mars, updated and with a NASA dealing with cutbacks. After a rather melodramatic and wobbly start, it's getting to be at the 'two-thirds read' stage, a real page turner. Lots of hard science problem solving, which should keep the 'real science in SF' group happy...

    M.
    Sounds interesting, will have to check it out - thanks.

  9. #9
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    No problem, Westsiyeed; when I've finished, I'll write a 'proper' review.

    M.
    Mark

  10. #10
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Just finished John Scalzi's The Last Colony. Fun read. Redshirts annoyed me to no end (and I only got 20 pages in--some day I'll probably give it another go if I find myself in exactly the right mood), but after reading this book, I remembered why I like Scalzi. Quickly moving stories, with pleasant characters, well written fast reads. That's Scalzi. This book, like others in the Old Man's War series flirts with some very large issues and some really neat SF ideas, but keeps a tight focus on the story at hand. On the strength of this I just downloaded The Human Division. Also, every time I read "Hickory and Dickory" I chuckled inwardly. A nice touch.

  11. #11
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    Coelestis by Paul Park (1993).

  12. #12
    I'm re-reading The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons at the moment. I re-read Endymion last year and enjoyed it, and I remeber enjoying this one when I read it a good few years back. This time, however... Well, let's just say the story doesn't exactly move forward with speed. Everything drags a bit too much, and nothing much actually happens. Plus Simmons seems to be info-dumping way too much throughout the narrative. I'm nearly done, though, so the end is in sight.

    I'm also reading Peter Hamilton's latest offering, a children's fantasy called The Queen of Dreams. So far, so good, though very different from anything else he's written!

  13. #13
    I finished The Rise of Endymion, at last. I was starting to lose the patience to read it. Also finished The Queen of Dreams - reminded me of the Narnia books in concept, but a good story and quickly paced. I can imagine this will be a good one for the age it's aimed at.

    I'm now reading I'll Meet You Yesterday by Tom Barlow. So far it's really interesting, and written well, so I've got high hopes it turns out to be a good one. Also started The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross (Sci-fi/Urban Fantasy mash up), and it's good.

  14. #14
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    Aliens:Recent Encounters-Edited by Alex Dally MacFarlane

    This is a book of short stories by different authors built around the alien theme.The book has a broad variety of story types ranging from straight forward sci-fi to fantasy.the stories are all pretty short,most only a few pages.

    I thought the mix was good but a bit uneven.Depending on what you like,some of them may not appeal.The authors are diverse,a few recognizable names included.

    Not a bad read,the good outweighs the not so good in my opinion.

  15. #15
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Finished Ian Tregillis's Bitter Seeds last night. Fun book, very different than most anything else out there. As he describes it: Nazi X-Men vs British warlocks in World War 2. Damn fine premise.

    He does a good job of recreating WW2 Germany and England, though I can't speak for his recreation of the language of the time--he's an American author, and I'm an American reader, it sounded fine to my ear, but perhaps it wouldn't to a British or German ear. He takes major liberties with the WW2 timeline, which rankled a bit, but I guess that's what alternate history does.

    I think he could have done a bit more with the premise. It feels like there is some unfulfilled promise, but then, there are two more books in the series, so I'm interested to see how it all plays out.
    Last edited by Danogzilla; January 9th, 2014 at 09:29 AM.

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