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  1. #46
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    After finishing the brutal but excellent Cold Commands, I was planning to read more fantasy (Warlock's Shadow/Deas) or the hybrid Iron jackal/Wooding when I opened the new Murakami novel 1Q84 which is already talked in Nobel and genius terms and is not yet even officially out on English until Tuesday (Oct 25th).

    While I respect the author's style and bought and plan to read his main earlier novels at some point, I did not expect 1Q84 to just grip me from the first page and never let go; it is a big book and I am for now only about 1/4 through so it's early but that Nobel talk doesn't seem so farfetched since at least so far, yes the novel is pure genius; unfettered imagination in a 1984 (and yes 1984 is an intentional allusion to Orwell) Japan that subtly changes when one of two main protagonists walks through a highway maintenance tunnel to escape the traffic jam she is stuck in a taxi on a freeway and make her very important business meeting (which turns out to be an assassination (!) ); and the Earth has two moons now, while there is a joint US_USSR effort to build a base on one of it...

    There is an excellent NYT article about the author and book HERE if you want more information
    Last edited by suciul; October 23rd, 2011 at 08:54 AM.

  2. #47
    Sith Lord DarthV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livens View Post
    If you make it through all 3 be sure to read Galactic North afterwards. I forget which ones exactly, but a couple of the short stories in there finish up the series.
    IF? Finished up Revelation Space last night and loved it. Unless he really drops the ball on the others, I won't have any problems!

  3. #48
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Darth: Be interested to read what you think of the others: I think Revelation Space is actually one of the weaker novels, so you might be in for a treat with the others!

    Mark
    Mark

  4. #49
    Sith Lord DarthV's Avatar
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    Nice! I'm going to do some horror reading for the rest of the month, then jump back in to the Reynolds books.

  5. #50
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    Spent the last couple of days reading Adam Roberts' novelette Anticopernicus. Whilst only about 40 pages, the story was quite original and had an interesting "explanation" for the missing dark energy in the universe. Robert's prose and characterisation made the read all the more enjoyable.

  6. #51
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    I am almost done with the second book of 1Q84 (the book originally appeared in 3 parts, though here in the US it has been published as a huge 900+ one) and it is awesome; just unbridled imagination, great characters and a very adult attitude

  7. #52
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    Just finished reading Conquistador by S.M. Stirling. Maybe not his strongest effort but still well worth the read. I love the way Stirling can take the most preposterous daydreams and turn them into first-rate adventures. Often I find myself wondering what I would do in the same situation; it's one of the things that make Stirling's books a lot of fun. In this case the story is about a World War II vet living in Oakland who accidentally opens a portal to an alternate California in a world where the western hemisphere was never discovered or settled by Europeans. When he realizes that he could move back and forth from this alternate Earth to the present one he, with the help of some war buddies, decides to found his own empire on the other side.
    What unfolds over the next sixty years makes for one great read.
    Stirling always has a knack for writing strong female characters and this time is no exception. Adriene Rolfe is one kick-butt girl anyone would want on their side.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua A.C. New View Post
    Who? Singh? Le Guin?

    For Singh, I don't yet have an opinion. I met her at ReaderCon a few months back and she's into a bunch of stuff I'm into from a different position. The ideas in Distances are really neat. Very beautiful and sensual view of an alien culture. The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet is at the bottom of my pile right now and I don't remember much about it.

    For Le Guin, The Dispossesed and Left Hand of Darkness are widely regarded as her best and I really love them, particularly the former. I also really liked Birthday of the World for a very thoughtful view of what culture in (and then out of) a generation ship might be like. I recently got Always Coming Home, which is an ethnography more than a novel. I haven't read it yet but was curious because people keep telling me how difficult it is.
    I read The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossesed and really liked them. Hungry for more I turned to Always Coming Home and found it to be a major disappointment. It reads like a college anthropology text. Very thorough, very detailed, and very boring. Avoid it like the plague! I haven't read Le Guin since, just because of that.

  9. #54
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    I finished Embassytown by Chine Mièville the other day. The last hundred pages felt a little rushed but they did give the book some excitement towards the end. I loved the concepts and the world-building in the book and found the first few hundred pages very engaging. Unfortunately I didn't find the plot all that compelling, particularly due to fact the protagonist was relegated to passive observer for much of the time. This did improve towards the end of the novel and overall I think this is a good book, but not China's best. In some ways it was an old fashioned soft science fiction book, and reminded me a lot of something like The Left Hand of Darkness. It's certainly not the groundbreaking hard science fiction space opera that many seemed to hope it would be, but it's not trying to be either. In fact, the space opera elements felt a little tacked on, and things like the Immer were superfluous to the book I felt. This could be one of the books of the year for me, but I've still got a lot of highly buzzed books left to read in the next two months.

  10. #55
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    I read Eric Brown's Necropath and thought it was excellent. Some very interesting characters (that you could sympathise with) and the story was a nice blend of sci-fi and fantasy. It kept a good pace with no diversions or filler at all, which is what I like in a novel.

    Looking forward to reading the next two in the Bengal Station series (and Brown is becoming a favourite lately, after also reading the excellent Kings of Eternity not so long ago).

  11. #56
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I've got Necropath on the pile, I'm looking forward to jumping into it.

  12. #57
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    While reading a huge (1150+ dense pages) non-sff (though very strange) novel that took 18 years to write and 4 to translate into English - Parallel Stories by Peter Nadas - I noticed that Solaris Rising, the reincarnation of the Solaris sff non-themed anthology now edited by Ian Whates was published today and since it had stories by P. Hamilton, A. Roberts and A. Reynolds among many others, it was a must buy and I got my kindle copy.

    I read the Hamilton story which is the last and while short and not really sf, works very well as a self-parody (famous writer that penned the hugely popular and quite explicit sf door stopper series Day's Twilight (!!!) gets in trouble over a long ago story) and the Adam Roberts story which features another crazy explanation of a sf trope, this time the paradoxes of time travel and superb prose and characters. The Reynolds story also seems awesome and there is much more including Ken McLeod, Jaine Fenn, Ian McDonald, Stephen baxter, Stephen Palmer, Eric Brown and Keith brooke, Ian Watson, Lavie Tidhar and a few others

  13. #58
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    While I respect the author's style and bought and plan to read his main earlier novels at some point, I did not expect 1Q84 to just grip me from the first page and never let go; it is a big book and I am for now only about 1/4 through so it's early but that Nobel talk doesn't seem so farfetched since at least so far, yes the novel is pure genius; unfettered imagination in a 1984 (and yes 1984 is an intentional allusion to Orwell) Japan that subtly changes when one of two main protagonists walks through a highway maintenance tunnel to escape the traffic jam she is stuck in a taxi on a freeway and make her very important business meeting (which turns out to be an assassination (!) ); and the Earth has two moons now, while there is a joint US_USSR effort to build a base on one of it...

    There is an excellent NYT article about the author and book HERE if you want more information
    Thanks for this post and link - I saw another review positive review today and now have this on order from the library.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    I've got Necropath on the pile, I'm looking forward to jumping into it.
    Cool, interested to hear what you think (when you get to it).
    Last edited by Westsiyeed; October 31st, 2011 at 04:11 AM.

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