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Member: Archren

CollectionsYour library (2,081), To read (125), All collections (2,081)

Reviews111 reviews

Tagsread (1,111), sf (934), series (682), fantasy (614), not yet read (388), non-fiction (363), C read (327), classic (253), #1 (235), short stories (209) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meI'm a engineer and sf/f reviewer living in Southern Texas. I love books and reading, and have forever. I have a degree in Physics, and a Master's in Electrical Engineering, but I'm also a member of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts. I like to say that engineering is my vocation and reading/reviewing is my avocation. My husband Curtis, the love of my life, is also a life time reader, and he's also an engineer (M.S. in Aerospace Engineering).

About my libraryThis is the combined library belonging to my husband and me. The tag "read" means that I have read it, "C read" means my husband Curtis has read it. If only Curtis has read something, the associated rating is his. If we've both read it, the rating is combined, but weighted towards my opinion. "Not yet read" means that I own it but haven't gotten to it yet, "C to read" means the same thing for Curtis. "Reading" indicates what I'm currently reading. If there's no tag about reading status, that's probably one of those books we ended up with by accident, and probably don't plan on reading at all. We're trying to avoid listing all the duplicate books we own (a shocking number, now that we're going through them all), just focusing on the titles we have, minus our combined textbooks which no one is interested in.

GroupsSFFWorld

Favorite authorsIsaac Asimov, Greg Bear, David Brin, Bill Bryson, Ted Chiang, Greg Egan, Minister Faust, Jasper Fforde, Neil Gaiman, Peter F. Hamilton, Robert A. Heinlein, John Keegan, Madeleine L'Engle, Elizabeth Moon, Christopher Moore, Larry Niven, Terry Pratchett, Tim Pratt, Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Dan Simmons, Cordwainer Smith, Neal Stephenson, Charles Stross, J. R. R. Tolkien, Jeff VanderMeer, Connie Willis, Gary K. Wolfe, Gene Wolfe (Shared favorites)

Homepagehttp://www.SpiralGalaxyReviews.com

Real nameKaren Burnham

LocationLeague City, TX

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Archren (profile)
/catalog/Archren (library)

Member sinceFeb 12, 2007

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Comments

Ha, figures it's you guys. :-D
Hey! Cool to see you here...will have fun looking through your books..heh, love the tag explanation - very coupley cute I have to say. :)

Now if only we could make the love of my life read more...grrr...
Nice to see you too -we SFF Forum folks have to stick together! :)
Hooray for you, having logged all your books! I gave up entering ebooks after entering about two, since many of my ebooks come in bundles that I don't intend to open until I'm ready to read them.

That's a cute picture of you and Curtis!
So I finished American Gods the other day. You were right, it was great. Very excelent story idea. It took me a bit longer to finish than you however! I just picked up another Gaiman, his collaboration with Pratchett: Good Omens. I look forward to it alot! Thanks again...
I was a member of Charles de Lint's yahoo group for several years. I originally joined it to get an answer to your very question: where to start? After weighing many considered opinions, I prefer this order for the beginning: Dreams Underfoot and Someplace To Be Flying. DU is a short story collection, but his short stories are loved by most people who hate short stories. STBF will let you meet the famous Crow Girls and most of the main shape-shifter residents of Newford.

His standalone novels, such as Moonheart and The Little Country, are memorable too.

The official answer from his website is:

The books have all been written in such a way that you should be able to pick up any one and get a full and complete story. However, characters do reoccur, off center stage as it were, and their stories do follow a sequence. The best place to start is the collection Dreams Underfoot. From there they go pretty much in this order:

The Dreaming Place
A Whisper To A Scream (originally credited to "Samuel M. Key")
I'll Be Watching You (originally credited to "Samuel M. Key")
Memory And Dream
The Ivory And The Horn
Trader
Someplace To Be Flying
Moonlight And Vines
Forests Of The Heart
The Onion Girl
Seven Wild Sisters (also available in Tapping the Dream Tree)
Tapping the Dream Tree
Spirits in the Wires
Medicine Road
The Blue Girl
Widdershins

The Dreaming Place and The Blue Girl are YA novels. A Whisper To A Scream and I'll Be Watching You are, respectively, a horror novel and a thriller; they're darker fare than the other Newford books and aren't really that integral to the underlying, ongoing backstory that takes place off center stage in so many of the books and stories.
I completely understand about the sooo-big pile of to-do reading; I tend to buy way more books than I have time to read. I love library sales! And The Dark Tower is a very time consuming read.

This being said however, I don't feel I am in the position to give an unbiased view of King's style. He was the first "adult" novelist I started reading (with It) and he really whet my appetite for reading in general. Since then I have obviously gone on to other things but I have sought out and read and tried to buy everything he has published since. His stuff is not literary genius, however, and there are even a few novels I detest. Most of his work is akin to enjoying a great, cheap buffet and I love him for that.

Still, the Dark Tower #1 was an anomaly. When I read the original, it almost lost me. I had no idea what was going on. When book #7 was published I re-read the whole series (using the new edition of #1) including all the "related" books comprising probably half of King's canon. The re-write is still very dense. The whole feel of the book is a little lighter and he went back to make connections to some of the prevailing symbology of the DT series. The story fits a little better as a whole, to the rest of the series, is I guess what I am saying albeit long-windedly.

The second and third books still seem to really pick up the pace and explain what is happening far better. If you liked "The Stand", which I believe you mentioned, you should give the next book or two a go when you have time. It really feels similar to me, and I can almost promise you will not regret it!

BTW: I will let you know about American Gods. From all I have heard about Gaiman, I am really looking forward to it. I am reading Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" and it's going a little slow right now, but I hope to start Gaiman soon.
P.S. I just finished reading alot of your reviews. Very nice work! I bookmarked your home page for future reference on new sf books to read. Thanks!
I just noticed your review of the Dark Tower #1 while I was wandering around LT today. (A habit I find myself doing more and more, since I joined just a month ago.) I can appreciate your not being able to get into King’s work and leaning more towards Gaiman instead. In fact, I have just picked up American Gods on Saturday as my first Gaiman novel and look forward to it immensely.

Anyway, I wanted to drop you a note and I don't mean for it to be offensive or anything, but I wanted to encourage you not to give up on The Dark Tower. I know it's a huge commitment, but everyone I have convinced to read past the second novel, has appreciated it. Trust me; the second and third novels really begin to open up the story. I read the first book in 1993 and thought I would never go back to it. After reading everything else of King's I finally thought I would try The Dark Tower again in 1998, and I 'm so glad I did. It's worth it.

So, obviously, feel free to do as you wish, but I just wanted to give you a friendly push in that direction. Welcome to LT!
Yay, a convert! It's awesome, and it keeps getting better! You can even check your bookshelves via mobile phone! I'm going to have fun playing in YOUR bookpile!!
I bumped into your review of Atrocity Archives on LT. Good to see you here too!
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