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  1. #46
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Perhaps it's because US readers wouldn't get the Wessex title reference?
    Yeah, that would be it. Pretty sad book titles need to be changed because of certain people's lack of geographical skills!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Currently reading Eric Brown's The Kings of Eternity, which has more than a touch of the Christopher Priest about it...

    Mark
    True. That was a great read.

  2. #47
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I finished off Dauntless and enjoyed it, good start to an ongoing series and I like some of the things Campbell is doing with the theme of the hero myth.

    Next up, on my new Kindle Fire, is March Upcountry by David Weber / John Ringo. Few chapters in and I like it. I'm, at this point, seeing similarities between this book and protagonist Prince Roger and Miles Vorkosigan.

  3. #48
    Reading through Echoes of Honor and rather enjoying it. It looks like it'll be a novel of two halfs, one of what is happening on Grayson and in the Star Kingdom following the events of In Enemy Hands, the other following Honor and the rest of the gang. Strangely, I'm enjoying the non-Honor parts more at the moment....

  4. #49
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    Just finished Victory Conditions the final book in Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War series. I still can't believe that I shot through it in about a week (fast for me). I found the closing volume very satisfying to say the least. For those who have been bemoaning the lack of space battles in the previous books you will find them here as all the conflicts building in the previous four books finally come to a head. The only thing that I didn't like was the romance angle at the end but overall a great series, highly recommended!

  5. #50
    Registered User Colonel Worf's Avatar
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    Just finished: 11/22/63 by Stephen King - my favorite King book. I really enjoyed it.

    Currently Reading: The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson - I'm still on a time travel kick and enjoyed Darwinia.

  6. #51
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Just finished Eric Brown's Kings of Eternity. Brilliant book.

    The SFFWorld review for 11.22.63 should be up in the next few days, Worf: but the short review is that it's the best Stephen King I've read for years.

    Mark
    Mark

  7. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Just finished Eric Brown's Kings of Eternity. Brilliant book.
    So pleased you liked it Are you writing an official review for it even though Rob already has?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    The SFFWorld review for 11.22.63 should be up in the next few days, Worf: but the short review is that it's the best Stephen King I've read for years.

    Mark
    This is one of the few Stephen King books I've really been intrigued by, think I may try and get around to it before the year is out.

  8. #53
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    So pleased you liked it.
    Thanks for passing that one on, Mark.
    Are you writing an official review for it even though Rob already has?
    I was just thinking that, actually. I'm sure I can't beat what Rob's written, though we do from time to time write double reviews.

    And whilst I don't review everything I read, I am quite tempted.

    So: thinking about it. If I don't, I'm sure I'll pass on my thoughts somewhere.

    This is one of the few Stephen King books I've really been intrigued by, think I may try and get around to it before the year is out.
    Considering I was so disappointed with Under the Dome, this was much more like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by From my review
    Unlike Stephen’s last novel, Under the Dome, which for me was an overlong indulgence of a book that stereotyped the typical King characters to the point of caricature, 11.22.63 is a hefty tome that doesn’t outstay its welcome. Though it is still a little overlong and the ending perhaps too convenient, it does make an engaging and, most of all, entertaining read. It’s the best King I’ve read in a while.
    Mark
    Mark

  9. #54
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    I've been disappointed with some of King's more recent novels too, Under the Dome being one of them. That's good news with 11.22.63, I've read a few other quite positive reviews as well so will be looking forward to reading this.

  10. #55
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Thoughts on Kings of Eternity

    Here’s a book that I had to be persuaded to read, but I am glad I did. It’s a romance, not only in the conventional sense but also the scientific, and consequently has more than a whiff of the HG Wells’ or the Christopher Priest’s about it.

    The story runs in two themes. The present, (well, set in 1999), involves a novelist, Daniel Langham, living a life of quiet solitude in Kallithea, Greece. Here he seems content in whiling away his days writing and being reclusive, though he finds that his mundane life can be one of interest to others. This includes his new neighbour, artist Caroline Platt, who he meets and soon falls in love with. Unfortunately he is reticent to pursue the relationship further because he has a great secret, which is connected to 1935. A pile of yellowed paper kept by Daniel tells of this secret, which involves Jonathon Langham, also a writer, who whilst living in London is asked to meet his publisher Jasper Carnegie at his country retreat in a place called Hopton Wood. There with another author, SF writer Edward Vaughan, Jonathon experiences a strange event that will affect his life forever: he meets an extraterrestrial that appears through a portal in the middle of the woods.

    By the end the link between the two initially separate threads, one told in the first person, the other in the third, is clear. To mention how it comes about here though would spoil things.

    This is a book which cleverly and subtly evokes the tales of HG Wells with the shifting realities of Christopher Priest. And as with such authors, particularly Priest, the SF is often slight, yet essential to the plot, although here the book is more of a character study than a space opera. This is a book where above all you engage with the characters, to the point where the science-fictional elements become overshadowed by the people you read about.

    With its focus on character and plot, it is knowingly old-fashioned, yet at the same time enthused with an energy and enthusiasm that keeps it contemporary. It is also pleasingly positive and optimistic by the end, in a manner befitting Arthur C. Clarke, that decent people do good things and consequently deserve reward, though it must be said that initially Jonathon in 1935 is not a particularly pleasant fellow. It is also a tale of taking chances, of not missing opportunities, of not playing safe.

    It is, in summary, a joy to comprehend and I polished it off in 48 hours.

    A surprisingly pleasing experience and one that might be a favourite read of 2011.

    [LATER EDIT: And interestingly, now that I've gone and read Mark's and Rob's thoughts on the book, it is quite scary how, on this one, we have thought similarly. Kudos, gents!]

    Mark
    Last edited by Hobbit; November 26th, 2011 at 06:36 PM.
    Mark

  11. #56
    Registered User Colonel Worf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitman13 View Post
    So pleased you liked it Are you writing an official review for it even though Rob already has?



    This is one of the few Stephen King books I've really been intrigued by, think I may try and get around to it before the year is out.
    It's definitely worth it. I like Duma Key and Lisey's Story from this century, but 11/22/63 is a cut above.

  12. #57
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    I got through the first part of Colin Greenland's Take Back Plenty last night.

    It's not too bad, I suppose. I'm not exactly sure about things he's referring to (like races and peoples), and the male character Tabitha found is really, really creepy.

    Like... really creepy.

  13. #58
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    While my sff reading has been scantier than usual for some reason and I read much more literary stuff than usual (I am on an A. Robbe-Grillet binge for example and getting some Claude Simon for good measure too), I read in-between Count to a Trillion by JC Wright and was very disappointed; this is my Goodreads mini-review:

    "This is a novel that I had high expectations from and I was pretty disappointed by; for its scope and content I wanted to give it a C but the writing style simply prevents me from that as it is pure pulp sf that has had its expiration date some 50 years ago.

    Like in several other books in the past decade (one being the atrocious sequel to a great (for its time of course) Van Vogt series penned by Mr. Wright himself), the author tries to marry the pulp sf conventions - throw in concept after concept in a madcap non-stop action with no depth both in world building and characters, no particular bother to understand or explore human relationships beyond the surface - with modern high grade sf and it simply does not work since the book is way too self-serious for its style and way too silly in style for its content so to speak.

    Not to speak of the math gibberish that annoyed me here and there but again i wouldn't mind such in a "fasten your seat belt and join the ride fun novel" that does not take itself overtly serious, but I mind in sf that tries to get at Reynolds or Egan levels in content

    I plan to have a full review on FBC and go into more detail with textual examples and all and I may just check the next installment to see if things improve, but it will be far from the priority of this one."


    Hopefully Angry Robot will release the e-arcs of two high expectation books soon (Great game/Tidhar, City Light Shadows/Whates) as I see no sf of interest until January when Reynolds and McAuley will be available to buy...

  14. #59
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Thoughts on Kings of Eternity
    Great review, Mark. I will certainly be getting this one now!

  15. #60
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Thanks Ropie. I was pleasantly surprised: hope you are too!

    Mark
    Mark

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