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  1. #46
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    City by Clifford D. Simak. Quite a pessimistic view of mankind as seen from the '40s. It's a bit dated in some respects, but on the whole it's a pretty interesting read.
    Was wondering what you thought about it, Ben. A Hobbit favourite, reviewed HERE btw.

    To my younger self, City was a bit of a puzzle on first reading. So I read it again. And have a few times since. These days, thirty-odd years on, City is one of my Simak favourites: more than that, it is one of my all-time favourites. And yet I still really don’t know why....
    It has dated (and towards the end, horribly) but there are parts I love. Dogs and robots left in stewardship of the Earth? Humans abandoning the Earth?

    Mark
    Mark

  2. #47
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    I finished Isaac Asimov's Foundation last night. Not sure what to think of it.

  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    I finished Isaac Asimov's Foundation last night. Not sure what to think of it.
    I felt that way too for some reason.

  4. #49
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    It feels like a book that definitely is there to lead you into sequels. And, truth be told, I have no desire to see where it goes.

  5. #50
    Registered User beniowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Was wondering what you thought about it, Ben. A Hobbit favourite, reviewed HERE btw.

    It has dated (and towards the end, horribly) but there are parts I love. Dogs and robots left in stewardship of the Earth? Humans abandoning the Earth?

    Mark
    Yeah, I found it pretty cool how the dogs and robots are left in charge and how they handle the responsibility. I still sort of wonder what was up with those ants.

  6. #51
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    After reading some of the stories in Jack Vance's first book of his Tales of a Dying Earth I wanted to take a little break to let them digest. While I was breaking I picked up Lois McMaster Bujold's second omnibus Young Miles. I had previously started it and decided at the time I didn't feel like reading it right then (I had gotten only a little over 100 pages into the first book of the omnibus). Man, I FLEW through it this time. Great book(s)! I'm hooked on Miles now. I have the third omnibus in my TBR which I'll get to soonish, and have the fourth on order. Very happy I picked it back up.

  7. #52
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    Rapture of the Nerds

    I just finished Rapture of the Nerds by Doctorow and Stross. I was really disappointed. I have loved books by both these authors in the past, so I had high hopes, but I really struggled just to get through this book. I really just didn't care for any of the characters, and their vision for the future wasn't very compelling.

    Jeff

  8. #53
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    I finished The Hydrogen Sonata by IM Banks; it was excellent though maybe not the best Banks or the best of 2012; still need a reread and time to see how it wears for me, but it's very Excession like (with Excession itself mentioned a few times and its ITG - interesting times gang - a sort of model for the current group of "concerned" Minds), a sort of upgrade of that with the world building of Surface Detail, so it lacks a little the strong human(oid) characters from Transition or Surface Detail.

    The best characters are Minds (their names beat anything in the Banksian ouevre to date, true) and avatars and maybe the uber bad guy, though even there, the bad guy in Surface Detail was badder and cooler in many ways...

    Still sense of wonder galore and the book just stands far out in the sf of 2012 by that alone - maybe not since Consider Phlebas there was so much sense of wonder in a Culture novel though Surface Detail I think came close and Matter a little farther, but again the larger than life characters of CP (Horza, the SC agent, Krayklin etc are missing here)

    Hydrogen Sonata has so many cool little things that is hard to even enumerate them - some highlights are a guy with 4 heart and 52 penises in a continual orgy, someone else who retreats into sound so he takes out his eyes and replaces them with ears inside the eyeglobe, the special instrument to play the title sonata on and so on, so on...

  9. #54
    Rogue Warrior
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    Sounds good, Thanks for that, Liviu. I havent read any Banks yet, but now I'm on this big scifi kick, I'm sure it wont be long!

  10. #55
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Wow, that makes me very happy. Excession is my favorite of the Culture books. The ship stuff turns me on in a big way. Mine should be arriving soon. Can't freaking wait.

  11. #56
    Read interesting books
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danogzilla View Post
    Wow, that makes me very happy. Excession is my favorite of the Culture books. The ship stuff turns me on in a big way. Mine should be arriving soon. Can't freaking wait.
    On rereading the book, there are even lots of subtler similarities with Excession in addition to the obvious ones, though again Hydrogen sonata is a more complex book

    Back on topic, as sf now I am looking at Fractal Prince (still unconvinced after a quick browse, cluttered prose again), The Uninvited by Liz Jensen (more of a dystopia mainstream stuff and as usually with the author, a cannot put down first person narration when started if in the mood for that) and The Last city by Nina D'Aleo (again prose not quite working for me but will keep trying) though I am more focused on a really funny contemporary novel from Howard Jacobson (Zoo Time).

    Also thinking of getting a review copy of a January Tor release called Kassa Gambit by MC Planck; the blurb seems interesting but yet unsure if to ask for a review copy or wait to check it out when released...

  12. #57
    Registered User livens's Avatar
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    Half way through The Unreasoning Mask, it is taking everything I have not to throw this book in the recycle bin at work. I have resorted to reading it with a mean looking scowl on my face, just to let the book know that I am not enjoying it.

  13. #58
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Thanks to a short discussion with Rob B last night, I started the first Serrano omnibus, The Serrano Legacy, by Elizabeth Moon.

    Only got about 30-40 pages into the first novel but I liked it.

  14. #59
    Felis silvestris Hellions's Avatar
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    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.

  15. #60
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    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.

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