August 31st, 2012, 05:15 PM
Reading in September 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.
September 1st, 2012, 12:36 PM
It never entered my mind
carry on from August: Engine Summer by John Crowley. I like it very much: beautifully written post-apocalyptic coming of age story.
September 2nd, 2012, 02:26 AM
Just finished How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu. I had been looking forward to that one because a great deal of praise had been heaped upon it, I generally like time-travel stories (I recently enjoyed Jack McDevitt's Time Traveller's Never Die), and I was in the mood for some humor.
Alas I found myself disappointed with Yu's effort and was left wondering what the fuss was all about. While not a bad story, it seemed much more sad than funny. I won't go so far as to say it was depressing but even the attempt at an upbeat ending fell a little flat for me.
Also the tale seemed to take twice as long to say half as much (does that make any sense?) and even though it was only just over 200 pages I found myself wondering when Yu would get on with the story and finish it already. Parts of the story were clever and intelligent but the humor was bit too cute for me. Maybe I'm just too picky...
September 2nd, 2012, 09:38 AM
Icehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson. I got partway through this about 5 years ago, and decided to finally reread it and finish it. It's a little better than I remember, but still not very exciting.
September 2nd, 2012, 12:06 PM
I finished Iain M Banks' Matter last night. It was a good read, but not on par with his other Culture novels. I expected a bit more from it. I did like how it grew tremendously in scale at the end (and very quickly).
I'm sticking with Banks and starting Surface Detail today.
September 3rd, 2012, 11:00 PM
I finished The Eternal Flame by Greg Egan and it was excellent; maybe not as groundbreaking as The Clockwork rocket but a top 10 of mine (kind of in my 2nd tier now at around 4-9); there was no dominant character like Yalda and the universe is now familiar, but still lots of great stuff and I am really curious where it will go in volume 3 (Mr Egan gave a hint in a comment to his blog post on FBC when asked a question by someone).
Quantum mechanics, antimatter and new biology; lots of diagrams, some good interpersonal conflict and a great ending again, though this time a bit less emotional than in The Clockwork rocket
September 7th, 2012, 12:50 PM
Finished it last night. Wow. Big book with a lot going on. Some of it was very unpleasant (as one would imagine for scenes taking place in Hell). Lots of ship content. That's always good in a Culture novel. And really fun reveal in the last word of the book.
Originally Posted by Danogzilla
September 25th, 2012, 08:41 AM
I finished Turning Point by Lisanne Norman, first entry in the Sholan Alliance series. It's soft SF dealing with Earth colonists suffering under the rule of violent reptilian invaders until a third species (feline or rather felinoid) comes along to even things up. I did enjoy most of the book which tends to focus on the characters and the unique interspecies telepathic bonding between the two main protagonists, that is until it surfed into corny territories. More than a third of the book deals with the planning of a vital mission which was itself depicted in a mere 10 pages. The latter were horribly executed as the author obviously realized her characters were becoming too powerful and tried to compensate by throwing inconsistencies at her readers. Absolutely nothing is resolved in this truncated and very average book. Not sure about picking up the sequel yet.
September 26th, 2012, 02:46 AM
Eric Brown's Starship Summer was a fun, quick read. I liked the idea of retiring to a distant beautiful planet and watching the blazing horizon every day over a few beers! As usual the characters were developed and interesting (even for only a 100-ish page novella).
Might move onto Starship Fall soon.