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  1. #1
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Reading in July 2012

    This is where you talk to us about your monthly SF Reads: whether good or bad, we want to discuss with you what you thought.

    Book Club Reading: The Fantasy Book Club Book this month is Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko. Discuss HERE.

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  2. #2
    Just finished Caliban's War. Gonna start The Stars My Destination.

  3. #3
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Started Iain M Banks' Inversions last night. He has yet to let me down.

  4. #4
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    I am about 70% (450/650 pages) in The Sacrifice Game by Brian D'Amato - the sequel to the amazing In the Courts of the Sun - and this one is even badder, more brutal, explicit and crazier than the first book (which was not tame by any stretch), all narrated in the same unforgettable voice of Jed de Landa, though so far it is Jed 2 (the 660's Maya one) for most of the book and of course that is part of why I really love this one as In the Courts of the Sun was quite good in the modern 2000's part but awesome in the 660's Maya part which had more alien sense of wonder than the sf with aliens out there...

    Lady Koh, 2 Jeweled Skull, Hun Xoc, 1 Gila and a few others are back and of course quite a few new characters appear, there is one unforgettable game of hipball for the fate of our heroes and much more, not to speak of a human version of the Sacrifice Game and many more goodies...

    Still about 200 pages to go and I am curious where it will end (supposed to be a trilogy after all) but the book so far delivered what i expected and a whole lot more...

  5. #5
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    Just started The Long Earth by Pratchett and Baxter. Not as funny as Pratchett's other novels, but it has some great SF ideas in it. The writing in the first 40 pages is great and it reads quite fast. Very promising.

  6. #6
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Over the past weekend, I had to set down Brin's Existence. I made it through 260 pages, but even that took me 2 weeks - a very slow pace for me. It was well thought out and intricate, but also too 'clever' for its own good. The only way I can think to describe the sensation is to say that it left me with the extremely annoyed feeling one is left with when encountering a self-proclaimed 'know-it-all,' who has only served to reveal the gaps in his/her omniscience.

  7. #7
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWilliam View Post
    Over the past weekend, I had to set down Brin's Existence. I made it through 260 pages, but even that took me 2 weeks - a very slow pace for me. It was well thought out and intricate, but also too 'clever' for its own good. The only way I can think to describe the sensation is to say that it left me with the extremely annoyed feeling one is left with when encountering a self-proclaimed 'know-it-all,' who has only served to reveal the gaps in his/her omniscience.
    I feel this way after watching/hearing interviews with Brin. His personality has turned me off from his books. I probably shouldn't judge a writer's work by their personality, but I'm human and we are sometimes shallow critters.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Danogzilla View Post
    I feel this way after watching/hearing interviews with Brin. His personality has turned me off from his books. I probably shouldn't judge a writer's work by their personality, but I'm human and we are sometimes shallow critters.
    Has anybody read his Uplift Saga? I've been trying to decide if it's worth reading. The only other thing I've read by him was The Postman way back in middle school, and I loved it then (but don't know what I'd think now). Obviously, it'd be very different from the Uplift Saga, but I'm wondering if anyone here has read the latter.

  9. #9
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    MUCH discussion HERE about The Uplift Saga.

    In short, though, for me, loved the first three (Sundiver, Startide Rising, Uplift War), really didn't like the rest.

    Others quite like them.

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  10. #10
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    I plan to read more novellas, especially ones mentioned in the Hugo and Nebula wins. I've started with Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge by Mike Resnick. Good stuff, the whole history of humanity condensed in about 50 pages (ebook) , seen from the perspective of an alien team of archeologists exploring the cradle of Man.

    The other SF book I've read this month is a fun alternative to R Daneel Oliwav robot books. A Lee Martinez has Mack Megaton as the protagonist of The Automatic Detective: a robot designed as the ultimate weapon that has developed the Freewill Glitch, and who in between driving taxis is doing a good impersonation of Philip Malowe or Sam Spade, complete with trenchcoat and fedora, as he is trying to find missing friends and put a stop to some evil plans from the underworld ganglords. He is helped along the way by a gorilla, a rat sized police detective and a blonde bombshell that doubles as a genius inventor.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    MUCH discussion HERE about The Uplift Saga.

    In short, though, for me, loved the first three (Sundiver, Startide Rising, Uplift War), really didn't like the rest.

    Others quite like them.

    Mark
    Thanks! That's what I get for not using the search function

  12. #12
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    I just finished Merchanter's Luck by C.J. Cherryh. I really like her Alliance-Union series and though it is very short at only 208 pages this little novel is a welcome segment. I've already read Rimrunners which was quite good and had some unusual luck at the used book store and found two more books in this series. What I like about Cherryh is that her stories are more about people than they are about spaceships, battles (though they are there). There is a very human side to these tales and her characters are not always perfect or heroic as they struggle with their inner demons. Anyway enough blathering, good read here!

  13. #13
    After re-reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea last month I decided to read some proto-SF, so I've made my way through Jack London's The Star Rover, The Scarlet Plague, and I'm now going over the Professor Challenger stories by Conan Doyle.

    Of the Professor Challlenger stories my favorite's been The Disintegration Machine, though The Lost World and The Poison Belt were enjoyable enough, the problem is that they do come across as being incredibly dated. The Land of Mist, on the other hand, is downright awful and it is taking a lot of willpower to get through it... so much so that a couple of days ago I decided to take a break and read Terry Pratchett's The World of Poo. That one came across as a breath of fresh air (and yes, I know that The World of Poo is not really SF).

    As for my future plans,I will probably follow with Jurassic Park and Crichton's The Lost World, just for the sake of comparison. After that I'll go on to read The Long Earth.

  14. #14
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Got to the end of Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 and I still can't remember the order of the numbers in the title without looking at the spine of the book

    I didn't understand the way this book was worked out because it had some really beautiful moments in it, such as the descriptions of 'surfing' the rings and sailing in the clouds of Saturn, the Terminator city that travels around Mercury (a' la Inverted World), the adventure through the tunnel under Mercury and being flung off into outer space in a space suit, awaiting rescue. The rest of it was just filler to me, with rather mundane interplanetary politics and a predictable mystery/thriller element taking up the majority of the book. I did like the idea of
    Spoiler:
    pieces of planetary moons being sold off for use in terraforming and the construction of starships
    but this really felt like a book of ideas held together by a pedestrian set of characters on a mission to solve a terrorist crime. Why is it that people in space operas are always like spoiled children who just happen to be 123 years old?

    OK, it was well written and had some excellent moments but my interest in 2312 ebbed and flowed and as such I couldn't consistently enjoy it.

    *** stars

  15. #15
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Ropie: You've pretty much said what I thought. I wanted to enjoy it, and there were parts that were lovely, but in the end I wasn't as enthusiastic about it as I had hoped to be.

    Think I preferred Alastair Reynolds' Blue Remembered Earth, which was similar but had less introspective navel-gazing than KSR.

    Mind you, I expected 2312 to have more of that, anyway.

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