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  1. #1
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    SF Reading in July 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/Hobbit
    Mark

  2. #2
    Curmudgeon in training Donutz's Avatar
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    Reading Permutation City by Greg Egan, based on a recommendation on this forum.

  3. #3
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    I read another in the SF Masterworks collection, Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg.

    The novel's about a man who has a very unique power (telepathy) but finds out as he ages that he is losing it.

    This is the first book I've read from the author and it's very well written; Silverberg has a wide vocabulary and tells a convincing story with in depth characterisation. Another thing that I noted was although it was written in 1972, it didn't feel dated at all (which I usually find for books pre-70's or so).

    I thought it became a little disjointed towards the end, and the ending just sort of petered out, but otherwise it was a great read.

    Does anyone have any other recommendations from him - hard for me to pick, he's kind of prolific!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Westsiyeed View Post
    Does anyone have any other recommendations from him - hard for me to pick, he's kind of prolific!
    I remember enjoying The Book of Skulls, also from 1972. I read it many years ago, so I don't know if I would still think the same, but at the time I liked it a lot. Other famous novels from him are Downward to the Earth, Nightwings, Tower of Glass... He has a lot of them.

  5. #5
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Finished Neal Asher's Gridlinked last night. Asher's first book, and the first Agent Cormac book. It was pretty good. Fasted paced, some fun fights, introduction to some neat tech. It wasn't artfully executed or anything; it read like a first book. His The Skinner is a tremendous improvement. I'm looking forward to more of his Polity books.

  6. #6
    Cibola Burn or On the Steel Breeze... hmmmm

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by farseer2 View Post
    I remember enjoying The Book of Skulls, also from 1972. I read it many years ago, so I don't know if I would still think the same, but at the time I liked it a lot. Other famous novels from him are Downward to the Earth, Nightwings, Tower of Glass... He has a lot of them.
    I really, really liked both Nightwings and Downward to the Earth. Tower of Glass is OK, but I didn't think it was quite as good. Those are the only three I've read, but Lord Valentine's Castle is also pretty well known and Book of Skulls is supposed to be great.
    Last edited by Jussslic; July 1st, 2014 at 05:13 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Danogzilla View Post
    Finished Neal Asher's Gridlinked last night. Asher's first book, and the first Agent Cormac book. It was pretty good. Fasted paced, some fun fights, introduction to some neat tech. It wasn't artfully executed or anything; it read like a first book. His The Skinner is a tremendous improvement. I'm looking forward to more of his Polity books.
    Personally I think that the Cormac series gets better with each volume, though the second, The Line of Polity, was one that I struggled to get trhough initially. Not sure why now. But I have to say that Brass Man, Polity Agent and Line War are just great. Same with the Spatterjay trilogy - Voyage of the Sable Keech is an improvement on The Skinner, while Orbus takes it a step further (and is one of my favourite Asher books!). Cowl is the only one of Asher's books I'm indifferent about, but it is a stand-alone in a different setting.

    I've just finished Leviathan Wakes by James S A Corey. I've read it before but wanted to refresh my memory of this and Caliban's War before moving on to the others. Really enjoyed it, again.

    Also reading Life on the Preservation by Jack Skillingstead. A strange one, for sure, but interesting and potentially a very good book, depending on where the story goes and how he deals with it.

  9. #9
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitman13 View Post
    Personally I think that the Cormac series gets better with each volume, though the second, The Line of Polity, was one that I struggled to get trhough initially. Not sure why now. But I have to say that Brass Man, Polity Agent and Line War are just great. Same with the Spatterjay trilogy - Voyage of the Sable Keech is an improvement on The Skinner, while Orbus takes it a step further (and is one of my favourite Asher books!). Cowl is the only one of Asher's books I'm indifferent about, but it is a stand-alone in a different setting.
    Good to hear. Not much Asher talk around here.

  10. #10
    Just started reading the Sprawl trilogy by William Gibson the other day. My husband's been recommending it to me for a while now, and so far I'm really enjoying it.

  11. #11
    Registered User Azazel's Avatar
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    Just finished reading Lexicon by Max Barry. It was a very enjoyable read but the ending did disappoint me, i thought it was going for a good twist on a trope but instead it turned out to be a fairly cliche ending, i did have some problem with the magic system but once it was explained a bit more my suspension of disbelieve finally kicked in and i was okay with it from there on in. All in all it was a good read with the ending being the weakest part for me.

  12. #12
    I just finished Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach and, even expecting something both good and fun to read, was pleasantly surprised. This was a pretty great book, an intriguing storyline that left me wanting to know more, and a wonderul chief character and surprisingly fleshed out supporting cast. Highly recommended.

    I moved on immediately to it's sequel, Honor's Knight.

  13. #13
    Smell what Yoda is cookin Bodhi's Avatar
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    Just finished..

    I read "The Tunnel Under the World" by Frederik Pohl after I did some research on the original influences for some story ideas. I keep thinking that I won't enjoy a story as much if it was written during a different era, but actually I think I ended up enjoying more.
    The many references to cigarettes, women's dresses, and advertisements were amusing, but did not distract from the twists and turns that made for a great finale (second half). A great mystery that felt a little cliched around part IV but made up for it in part V. Ultimately, I feel Mr. Pohl could have ended it more properly by reducing part VI to a few lines.
    Expect me back around noon. Or midnight.

  14. #14
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    Read Glasshouse by Charles Stross and thought it was overall OK, with ups and downs.

    The first few chapters were a rush - full of inventive ideas in a technologically advanced future. Then the technology turned down a bit as the story focused on the characters lives in the experimental 'glasshouse', which was also a great part of the book as some of the inhabitants turn to underhanded ways to gain points in the system.

    But from about 2/3rds on I thought it lost it's way; became too convoluted and lost what made it good at the start. Probably won't read another of his.

  15. #15
    Man of Ways and Means kennychaffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westsiyeed View Post
    I read another in the SF Masterworks collection, Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg.

    The novel's about a man who has a very unique power (telepathy) but finds out as he ages that he is losing it.

    This is the first book I've read from the author and it's very well written; Silverberg has a wide vocabulary and tells a convincing story with in depth characterisation. Another thing that I noted was although it was written in 1972, it didn't feel dated at all (which I usually find for books pre-70's or so).

    I thought it became a little disjointed towards the end, and the ending just sort of petered out, but otherwise it was a great read.

    Does anyone have any other recommendations from him - hard for me to pick, he's kind of prolific!
    Silverberg is amazing! and prolific is a vast understatement as he wrote under dozens of pseudonyms as well as his own name. http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?54

    Up the Line has always been one of my favorite time-travel stories.

    The Masks of Time I loved as well

    Novella - Sailing to Byzantium

    You might try his Nebula and/or Hugo winners.
    Last edited by kennychaffin; July 7th, 2014 at 04:48 AM.

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