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  1. #1
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Reading in July 2013

    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.
    Mark

  2. #2
    Registered User Michael V. R.'s Avatar
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    Just finished John Wyndham's classic The Day of the Triffids. It had a brilliant idea for an 'end of the world' scenario. Well written in simple, concise language, with an interesting main character. Has anyone read anything else by him? I have 3 others of his sitting on a shelf, but have only heard people talk about this title. I'm interested in seeing if he is consistently good.

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up My beloved reading

    Just finished reading mine classic Cosy Chilling Bedtime Stories by P. Gibey. Love the reading all the time, have read it for 3times now yet still exciting!!!

  4. #4
    I've just finished a short story collection, The Best of Mack Reynolds, by Mack Reynolds. I've been dipping into this book and reading a few stories in between reading novels, as I feel it helps to break things up a bit for me.

    I've really enjoyed this collection actually. Reynolds tends to focus on political and socioeconomic ideas and settings for his stories, and I find his commentary on such issues interesting. His stories from the 60s are heavily influenced by the Cold War and his analysis and criticisms of the times are insightful (even though sometimes his messages aren't particularly subtle). Nevertheless, although the contexts of the stories may have dated, a lot of the core themes are still very relevant today, with definite parallels to modern circumstances and problems.

    I certainly think that his themes could become repetitive for some readers, so it is perhaps best to read the stories as I did and dip into them now and again.

    (As an aside, I've just found on Amazon a 'Mack Reynolds Megapack' for Kindle, as part of the Megapack range. This isn't the same as the collection I read, but some of the stories available in The Best of are available in the Megapack, as well as being available on Gutenberg. I think perhaps some of the best stories in the collection are actually some of those available on Gutenberg, which at least means they are more readily available to readers).

    As for what I'm going to read next, I'm finally embarking on my long-delayed return to some fantasy...

  5. #5
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    I had finished Abaddon's Gate by James S A Corey a few days ago. Very enjoyable book. The series had fallen a bit in my estimation with book 2, but book 3 lifts right back up to one I'm excited to read. And unlike the end of book 2, where some major events happened in a semi-cliff hanger, book 3 ended pretty succinctly with little to suggest where the series is headed for book 4.
    Spoiler:
    Except we can be pretty sure they are headed off into the extra-solar unknown!


    Abaddon's Gate had a solid amount of action, and happened almost entirely in space. As we've come to expect there's lots of political wrangling between the three factions (Earth, Mars, and OPA). The new characters in this one were satisfying and three dimensional. Though it took a long time for Anna's character to have a reason to exist, and even then the reason was flimsy. It felt like she was designed mostly to fill an archetype they wanted filled, but the writers did a solid job of fleshing her out. And that might be my only quibble with the entire book. Which speaks pretty well for the book as a whole.

    Can't wait for the next one.

  6. #6
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Starman: just bought the Mack Reynolds Kindle Pack myself for a rainy day. At about 60 pence (erm, about 40c.?) didn't think I had much to lose. Looking forward to it.

    Dan: my review of the book for SFFWorld is here, if you didn't know; went up over the weekend. I liked it, but it's a difficult one to say much about without spoilers. But I liked it a great deal - but then I liked Book Two too.

    About two thirds of the way through The Long Earth now: really enjoying it.

    M.
    Mark

  7. #7
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Finished up and loved Tuf Voyaging by Mr. Martin. Moving on to The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough, which is his debut novel.

  8. #8
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Finished up and loved Tuf Voyaging by Mr. Martin.
    I've had this in my TBR for a long time (a very pretty 1st printing hardcover that smells delightful). I keep thinking I should read more Jack Vance before I dive into Tuf; I know it's somewhat of an homage. Does this sound reasonable or am I putting way too much thought into it and missing out on a really good time?

  9. #9
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Just read the damn book!

  10. #10
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    I'm on it!

  11. #11
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    (What that probably means, Dan, is don't think so much about it: read the book. )

    It's a good one though, IMO.

    M.
    Mark

  12. #12
    King of the Lurkers. Moderator Keyoke's Avatar
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    Just finished David Wingrove's Daylight on Iron Mountain. Great book, but, didn't enjoy it as much as the first one, Son of Heaven. It seemed to jump more around to give you a broader picture, which was good, but, felt it didn't focus on any of the characters I really liked. Jiang & Amos in particular. Still, solid..

    Probably going to re-read the Commonwealth Saga by Peter Hamilton. Read it some time ago, and I do recall not really focused on Judas Unchained, so, I will re-read the first one, and move onto the #2.

    Keyoke

  13. #13
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    Finished reading my first Iain Banks book, Consider Phlebas.

    Overall I thought it was quite well written and entertaining, though it might have dragged a little towards the end.

    A couple of sections of the book I found especially good, the best being when the main character, Horza, is stranded on an island that's inhabited by sect-like food worshippers or Eaters. Some of the horrific scenes in that chapter were so well done and imaginative that I still think about it. The structure of the novel is unusual though, in that scenes such as this island one and a couple of others are almost like short stories on the side thrown in to the book. It still flows OK but might indicate the inexperience of the writer (at the time) trying to put his ideas into one coherent book.

    Not a lot of hard sci-fi (not that it really bothers me), but enough interesting characters, places and scenes that make up for a good read. Will definitely look into more of his.

  14. #14
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Finished The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough this afternoon. Definitely a mixed bag, Hough did some things well, but I just wasn't connecting with the narrative fully throughout the novel.

  15. #15
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    Finished The Adjacent by Christopher Priest and so far it is the hands down sff novel of the year for me; here is my review from Goodreads:

    "Short review: this is how sf should be written to be interesting, literate and satisfy the desire for "not the same again..."

    Longer review: I would first mention that The Adjacent is connected with all the major C. Priest work (Affirmation, Separation, Dream Archipelago, Prestige, Islanders), has a sort of explanation for both the alt-world of Separation and the connection between the Archipelago and our world (hint: the title), though of course nothing is made that explicit

    The novel (though again it is highly non-linear) follows the "avatars" of a man who is a photographer or a magician (Tibor, Tom, Tomasz, Tomak, Thom and then Trent, Tarent, Tallant etc) and a woman who is a nurse or a pilot in time and space, all in shorter or longer episodes in our world at important times (WW1, WW2 and a future IRGB - Islamic Republic of Great Britain presented in a matter of fact non-sensationalist/judgmental way amidst huge climate disruptions) and The Archipelago

    Just as a small tidbit, there is a passage where one of the recurrent characters flies from the Archipelago and a story similar to the one told by her in our world but set there, to England that is outstanding in execution and reads completely naturally despite the huge suspension of disbelief involved

    Again outstanding sf"

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