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Thread: Reading in November 2011
November 11th, 2011, 06:56 AM #16
Still reading Penumbra. I like it, but then the style is typical of Eric Brown and it ticks all the boxes for me.
Also started Honor Among Enemies by David Weber, the 6th Honor Harrington book. I like the direction it's going, but I'm starting to wonder when he'll write a story where Honor doesn't start out in the worst possible position. I can see *why* he does it, but having all six books more or less have her coming from behind to save the day (which I'm guessing she'll do here again) is starting to grate a little with despite how much I enjoy the stories and prose.
November 12th, 2011, 05:37 AM #17
Earlier this week I finished Sundiver by David Brin. Although I did manage to enjoy it at times, I think the author tried to cram way too much and ended up with underdeveloped characters, murky politics and endless boring descriptions of the sun's nuclear reaction at work.
Sundiver is part SF mystery and part Space Opera. The mystery just doesn't work as we're dealing with unknown quantities (aliens) and the reader has no chance to do any guesswork. Our sleuth is a tad too clever (he's a tad too "fill in the blank" for that matter) as convenient deductions keep flowing along. Everything feels shallow, the setting is mired in muddy foundations and the reader plows blindly along with bare bones explanations while frustration sets in. For example, Brin keeps alluding to the main character's extraordinary yet tortured past but never gives us the full story.
I keep reading that the following books in the Uplift series are completely different so I'll give the author another go at some point despite the relative disappointment with this novel.
November 14th, 2011, 07:55 PM #18
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
Just finished Blackout by Willis. Am starting All Clear but am not going in with a full head of steam.
One of the ways she creates tension is by having characters not paying attention to what others are saying (running off before something inportant is said or just not letting the person say it). Like this (way of creating tension) is needed during the bombing.
Also right at the beginning on All Clear (and I do not think this is a spoiler) the historians, who are prone to panic, feel they can not let each other know where history may be altered.
It does not seem like normal interaction.
November 14th, 2011, 08:52 PM #19
Reading The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge.
Im a huge Vinge fan. His are some of the best books Ive ever read. So I was super excited to get into his latest book and go back to the Tines world. A few chapters in and Im not impressed.
He has definitely changed as a writer. This is not the Vinge I know and love! Very slow pace and boring so far. If the storyline turns out to be just politics I will be very disappointed. This book really needs a second storyline off planet.
Spoiler:Well, One of the main characters is having dreams about the Blight, which may not be dreams.
November 15th, 2011, 08:48 AM #20
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I've been reading SF for decades, but somehow I kept dancing around this one thinking it would be too gloomy.
It is indeed about one of the most horrible moments in WWII, but it needed to be written, and I needed to read it, even if I wasn't so sure before. This is only my second Vonnegut read, after Cat's Cradle, but I plan to rectify this soon.
November 16th, 2011, 04:46 PM #21
Finished up Eric Brown's Xenopath, the second in the Bengal Station series, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Brown creates memorable characters and has a real knack for writing a well-paced stories that hook you in. I'm surprised he's not a more talked about author - every novel I've read so far has been of a pretty high standard. The conclusion to Xenopath was a very nicely wrapped up, happy ending, which could have easily made this the final book in a 2-part series.
Even better to look forward to Cosmopath, the final in the trilogy!
Have now started Peter F Hamilton's Manhattan in Reverse.
November 16th, 2011, 08:37 PM #22
Once I finish How Firm a Foundation, which is good but more wordy than I remember the other Safehold books, I'll be divining into The Mandel Files, an omnibus of the first two Greg Mandel novels by Peter F. Hamilton.
November 16th, 2011, 10:36 PM #23
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Ada, MI, USA
I have just read Mindstar Rising , a little while before in the summer of 1996 and I even remember how I bought it at the Borders in Paramus, NJ (I think it was not yet at the mall at the time, or anyway it was somewhere down on two levels but low, not in the place it moved to in later years), one the first few books bought when i moved to NY in 1996 and was so impressed that I wanted anything by the author asap; of course Reality Dysfunction came soon after and that is still one my all time favorite series/books of all time...
As sf, still waiting for A Rising Thunder earc which got delayed by an editor illness from what Ms. Weiskopf (the Baen chief) said on the Bar...
November 17th, 2011, 01:26 AM #24
Well, I tore through next month's discussion book, Andreas Eschbach's The Carpet Makers, in just under 24 hours, leaving me well ahead of schedule for the month. Now I'll have to decide what to read next in my bonus days.
November 17th, 2011, 04:29 AM #25
I agree entirely with this:
....and I've just finished Honor Among Enemies by David Weber (HH#6). After what I thought was a good, but repetitive 5th book, this one gets right back to where I expect the series to be, and possibly one of the better novels so far. I particularly liked the extra charcaters introduced like Ginger Lewis and Aubrey Wanderman and thought they added a much needed element to the story that could have been dominated by too much Honor. I'm now straight on to In Enemy Hands.
November 17th, 2011, 05:31 AM #26
I've been reading through Vatta's War by Elizabeth Moon these past few weeks. Have nearly finished Command Decision, book four out of five now. I've seen it described as a military-sf series, even though there isn't that much action involved. It does take place in the future, on colonised worlds, on their space stations, and on space ships.
I feel that while the series always stops short of greatness, it has a really nice quality to it. Some strong female characters, and an atmosphere that draws you in, especially when they visit the various space stations.
I'm sometimes left wanting more action, or at least a quicker pace, but have enjoyed the series, and I'm looking forward to the ending.
November 17th, 2011, 05:59 AM #27
November 17th, 2011, 07:01 AM #28
I agree. There's also quite a bit of political drama involved, especially in book four, which makes your point even more valid.
I wish there was a masterpiece of this specific genre, because I think it can be done. But nothing I've read or heard of so far is quite there. Have enjoyed both Young Miles and Dread Empire's Fall, and want more of the same. About to start Honorverse.
November 17th, 2011, 07:30 AM #29
I wish there were more books like Vatta's War, to be honest. Everything similar seems to be military sci-fi.
Have you tried Ms Moon's Serrano books? They might be good for you.
November 17th, 2011, 07:43 AM #30
I haven't, but now I will. Thank you.