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  1. #1
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Reading in May 2008

    This is where you tell us what you're reading in SF this month. Good or bad, please let us know what you thought.


    Over to the Book Clubs....

    The Fantasy Book Club discussion is on The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon. A new recent classic of the genre?

    The SF Book Club discussion is on River of Gods by Ian McDonald. An award nominee: is it deserved?

    Join in if you can!


    Mark / Hobbit
    Mark

  2. #2
    Hello, friends.

    I am currently reading Revelation Space, just started it though. So no real opinion of it yet. Except, that it seems to be a lot more closely tied to Chasm City than I had first thought.

  3. #3
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    In SF I'am reading two books too, Death's Head 2 - Maximum Offense - by D. Gunn; if you liked the first one, you will love this one - mayhem and black humor galore, and Sven is still top form, killing or bedding whatever moves, depending on context...

    I've also started House of Suns by A. Reynolds, and while it is similar with the 2M AD novella - same main characters and universe, so everything except ftl - immortals, Dyson spheres, moving stars, thousands of years as moments since after all relativistic travel is slow as opposed to the size of the Galaxy - the action looks somewhat different, though I suspect the reasons for what happens are similar. It looks like the best Reynolds to date, will get to it also soon.

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    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Still reading Air, for me it's a slow read, a bit of a feel-good tale and far from the great book I anticipated from the reviews I read Still, 300 pages in it seems to be getting better rather than worse..

  5. #5
    Registered User Bliss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ropie View Post
    Still reading Air, for me it's a slow read, a bit of a feel-good tale and far from the great book I anticipated from the reviews I read Still, 300 pages in it seems to be getting better rather than worse..
    Geoff Ryman's Air? I read that one not long ago. It wasn't anything like I was expecting either. But then, I hadn't read much about it except that it was given high praise. I liked it, though I think it was a slow beginning - stick with it!

    I'm about to start on Charles Stross' Halting State.

  6. #6
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Bliss View Post
    Geoff Ryman's Air? I read that one not long ago. It wasn't anything like I was expecting either. But then, I hadn't read much about it except that it was given high praise. I liked it, though I think it was a slow beginning - stick with it!
    Finished it this morning. You're right, it got a lot more momentum in the last quarter and in a nice way all the slower reading that came before makes sense once the whole book is digested. I can't say I really enjoyed Air as much as some others I've read this year but it is a wholesome book and the character of Mae is one of the most well-rounded I have come across in SF. In fact, the fine characterization generally kept the book going for me (even if at times it was difficult to accept some of their motives). The scenes where Mae is dealing with and contemplating the potential loss of her house to Mr Hasheem were particularly poignant I thought. The blurb on the back says it's a finely crafted novel - it certainly is that.

  7. #7
    I recently did a book exchange with a friend, we each gave the other 2 books to read that we may not have tried ourselves. One of the books given to me is called Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. I'm about 200 pages into it and it's a fairly difficult read. I think it was written during an acid trip but the story is starting to come together.

  8. #8
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    I'm abut 50 pages into Neuromancer and have to say I am loving it.

  9. #9
    dw4rf thrinidir's Avatar
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    Stand on Zanzibar and Neuromancer are already on my ever-growing (not decreasing, mind you) pilo o' shame...sigh

  10. #10
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrinidir View Post
    Stand on Zanzibar and Neuromancer are already on my ever-growing (not decreasing, mind you) pilo o' shame...sigh
    ..Must..stop..buying..books! I am pleased to report my to-read-pile is now down to about 7 or 8 books. I would like to get to the stage where every time I finish a book I have to buy or borrow a new one to read, just seems the right way round to me.

    Edit - just noticed that this is my 1000th post - do I get a medal?
    Last edited by Ropie; May 6th, 2008 at 08:23 AM.

  11. #11
    A man under the Oak Tree. bio's Avatar
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    Yes - you won one very delicious ( smaczny, schmeckthaft, vkustnyj ) medal made from pasztetówka ! Bon Apetit !
    sorry for my grammar, correct me when necessary .
    Last edited by bio; May 6th, 2008 at 05:12 PM.

  12. #12
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bio View Post
    Yes - you won one very delicious ( smaczny, schmeckthaft, vkustnyj ) medal made from pasztetówka ! Bon Apetit ![/I].
    Thanks - what is that, a kind of processed meat? (Who'd have thought my 1001st post on a SF forum would contain the word "meat", twice?!)

  13. #13
    Registered User Bliss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ropie View Post
    Finished it this morning. You're right, it got a lot more momentum in the last quarter and in a nice way all the slower reading that came before makes sense once the whole book is digested. I can't say I really enjoyed Air as much as some others I've read this year but it is a wholesome book and the character of Mae is one of the most well-rounded I have come across in SF. In fact, the fine characterization generally kept the book going for me (even if at times it was difficult to accept some of their motives). The scenes where Mae is dealing with and contemplating the potential loss of her house to Mr Hasheem were particularly poignant I thought. The blurb on the back says it's a finely crafted novel - it certainly is that.
    I loved Mae but I found the pregnancy creepy and a bit disturbing. I wasn't sure if the ending with the child was supposed to be uplifting? (trying not to give too much away here). If you liked Ryman's style, you might like to try his Was. I remember liking that one a lot though it's completely different to Air.

    Oh, and I love Neuromancer!

  14. #14
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bliss View Post
    I loved Mae but I found the pregnancy creepy and a bit disturbing. I wasn't sure if the ending with the child was supposed to be uplifting? (trying not to give too much away here). If you liked Ryman's style, you might like to try his Was. I remember liking that one a lot though it's completely different to Air.
    I quite like his style though Air was a bit wishy washy overall, or maybe vague is a better term. Still, he is probably amongst the better writers at the moment. And yes, Mae's pregnancy was on the strange side. I found the ending quite sad as I suppose anyone would; it didn't leave me with a sense that all would be right though I get the feeling we are purposefully left to make our own minds up as the author doesn't seem to be too preechy, thankfully.

    Thanks for the recommendation. Have you read The Child Garden? That one is quite highly regarded too and was in the SF Masterworks series recently.
    Last edited by Ropie; May 7th, 2008 at 08:56 AM.

  15. #15
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    I read about half of House of Suns By A. Reynolds - the Kingdom Beyond the Waves book entranced me so much I spent several days rereading it to fully enjoy it and could not get into another major sff book, just read from some books that I do over longer periods of time in between.

    As of now House of Suns seems to be that A. Reynolds book that I've been waiting for, an extraordinary mind-bending hard space opera that we glimpsed throughout all his other novels. I hope the book keeps being excellent to the end and does not squander its brilliance so far.

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