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November 2011 Reading

Science Fiction Fans

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1brightcopy
Nov 1, 2011, 1:52pm Top

Halloween is gone and November has arrived. Whatcha reading?

I'm still working on Migration: Species Imperative #2 by Julie Czerneda. Waiting for it to heat up a bit...

Also picking out one of my next set of short stories to read. Probably going to just tackle another Year's Best collection, since I have a ton of unread ones.

2Noisy
Nov 1, 2011, 2:57pm Top

Un Lun Dun by China Miéville for me. I don't know why I read this fantasy stuff, when there's so much science fiction waiting for me ...

3whiten06
Nov 1, 2011, 3:50pm Top

I will finish Anathem tonight after work. I really enjoyed it although it went in a direction far from what I expected. A solid 4 star book thus far, we'll see if the ending changes my opinion. Up next, I will finally read this Dune series that I hear is a big deal. :)

4sturlington
Nov 1, 2011, 6:16pm Top

Rereading 2001: A Space Odyssey for a start.

5majkia
Nov 1, 2011, 6:41pm Top

Reading Reamde but it will be slow going as I'm a NaNo'er.

6johnnyapollo
Nov 1, 2011, 7:36pm Top

Still reading A Dance With Dragons...

7andyl
Nov 2, 2011, 4:49am Top

#5

I finished Reamde on Sunday. I started on Thursday and had read about 60 pages at the RPG club before people turned up. Didn't read any when I got back. I just breezed through. But I'm not NaNo'ing which must take quite a bit of your time.

8brianjungwi
Nov 2, 2011, 6:16am Top

5> Majkia: Are you writing SF for your NaNo story?

9romula
Nov 2, 2011, 10:07am Top

Blasted through Old Man's War again last night and this morning. I love John Scalzi's sense of humor.

10AlanPoulter
Nov 2, 2011, 3:42pm Top

Elizabeth Bear's Grail brings to an end her Jacob's Ladder trilogy, about a generation starship which uses continual 'evolutionary' struggle though out its voyage. The twist here is that it has lagged in technological development and the star system it is going to has already been settled. Just started Red Plenty which seems like a cross between a novel and a thesis....

11majkia
Nov 2, 2011, 7:32pm Top

#8 - I am! And having a blast with it. Although i didn't suspect it was going to be quite so funny as its turning out.

12AHS-Wolfy
Nov 2, 2011, 9:25pm Top

Just finished John Wyndham's The Chrysalids and thoroughly enjoyed it. Next up is probably Zoo City.

13iansales
Nov 3, 2011, 3:25am Top

Finished Tricia Sullivan's Maul, which I did not like as much as I had expected to. Full write-up to go up on the blog soon. Also finished Synthajoy by DG Compton, which was excellent. Also to be written up in full on the blog soon-ish.

14anglemark
Nov 3, 2011, 5:58am Top

I am reading Christopher Priest's new novel, The Islanders, and it just keeps getting better. A highly unusual book, like shards of a broken mirror that are slowly pieced together, disguised as a gazetteer of a fictitious world (it's set in his Dream Archipelago). It's gorgeous. Lots of unreliable narrators and overlapping stories. It takes a while to understand how all these stories tie together.

15Sakerfalcon
Edited: Nov 3, 2011, 6:38am Top

>14 anglemark:: I really, really want to read that, so I'm glad to hear good things about it.

Currently reading Terminal World, my first non-Rev Space book by Reynolds. Definitely not in the same class, yet not so horrible as I'd feared given the reviews. But in spite of there being a lot going on, the book is just not terribly compelling.

16pgmcc
Nov 3, 2011, 7:07am Top

#14 anglemark, I have enjoyed any of Christopher Priest's books that I've read and have been tempted to buy The Islanders. Your comments have increased the level of temptation.

17anglemark
Nov 3, 2011, 9:12am Top

I thought The Quiet Woman was a huge let down, and The Extremes wasn't entirely successful, but apart from those, I also like everything he's written and think some of it is among my all time favourites in the field.

18joenba7
Nov 3, 2011, 9:36am Top

I'm on the fourth book of The Dresden Files and am loving it so far. Some of the best stuff I've read, incredibly entertaining!

19Magentawolf
Nov 3, 2011, 11:32am Top

I'm currently slogging through Hell's Gate, but it's terribly hard going. The blurb sold me on a war between magic and technology, but at about 1000 pages in, it's been 90% politicking and screwed up attempts at 'diplomacy'.

20Goran
Nov 3, 2011, 2:14pm Top

Olympos by Dan Simmons. Just finished reading Ilium and it was faaaaaaaaaaaantastic!

21cosmicdolphin
Nov 3, 2011, 2:37pm Top

19 Magnetawolf

A Low Point for David Weber I think.

22randalhoctor
Edited: Nov 3, 2011, 7:02pm Top

Finished The Ethos Effect several days ago. I found it quite exceptional (4/5), and I'm sorry its over. If anyone has read it **SPOILER ALERT** and happened to wonder whether I would use the device; my answer is YES and I consider myself to be a fairly decent person. Would you use it?

Now reading the last two (those I haven't read) stories in The Engineer Reconditioned. Looking forward to his latest.

Almost forgot! Listening to Neal Gaiman's Fragile things again. I listened to it a couple of years ago and in my opinion this (the audio product) is one of the most finely crafted things there is on the planet (4.5/5). I'm incapable of giving a 5/5. This really irritated my students back when I was an TA.

I'm particularly found of "Other People" (found in "Fragile Things") and try to get guys in the program I volunteer at to listen to it because I feel its very relevant to D&A recovery.

23suitable1
Nov 3, 2011, 7:44pm Top

#21 - I've started it several times and just can't make it even halfway and I really like Weber's work.

24artturnerjr
Nov 3, 2011, 8:49pm Top

Read Jack London's The Scarlet Plague and several other stories out of David G. Hartwell's The Science Fiction Century, most notably James Tiptree, Jr.'s "Beam Us Home", which I commend to all of you (keep the tissue box handy, though).

25drmamm
Edited: Nov 4, 2011, 8:23am Top

Reading Reamde. Incredible pacing. The first 200 pages have flown by. Of course, good pacing does not always mean a great story, but the other elements are good, too. Some of the characters are a bit cartoonish, but in an entertaining way (Devin "skeletor", Ivanov, etc.)

26sturlington
Nov 4, 2011, 10:14am Top

Finished 2001, which I liked a lot. It's been years since I read it. Now on to The Man in the High Castle.

27psybre
Nov 4, 2011, 12:08pm Top

Reamde for me too. I am supposed to be writing my review for And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life (which I finished the same day my copy of Reamde arrived) but am too compelled to consume new Stephenson.

28pgmcc
Nov 4, 2011, 12:52pm Top

#27 psybre I bought a copy of Reamde when it was released, but I my son has it to give me as a Christmas present, so I won't be starting it until after Christmas. All the good comments about it are very reassuring.

29fuzzi
Nov 4, 2011, 12:59pm Top

Cyteen is on my TBR list, and is sitting on my shelf.

I've tried to read it before, but unlike other C. J. Cherryh books, I just could not get very far into it.

Time to give it another try...

30tottman
Nov 4, 2011, 1:12pm Top

>29 fuzzi: I had the same issue with Cyteen. I really enjoy a lot of her other books but had to put down this one about 1/3rd of the way through and have never gotten back to it.

31Unreachableshelf
Nov 4, 2011, 3:26pm Top

Just finished "Nocturne" by Sharon Shinn in Angels of Darkness. Didn't bother with any of the others, but I like the Samaria series.

32ChrisRiesbeck
Nov 4, 2011, 8:58pm Top

> 13 I was a big big fan of D G Compton. Pretty much everything he wrote was worth the reading. I didn't realize till just looking around that he had some books after Ascendancies.

33rshart3
Nov 4, 2011, 9:58pm Top

>29 fuzzi: & 30
Me too! I love much of Cherryh's stuff, but I found Cyteen draggy, wooden & lifeless. I did manage to finish it, barely. Also I found the main protagonist (I forget her name; the powerful woman who seems to be controlling much of the action) to be very distasteful, though I'm not sure the author meant me to.
It's kept me from reading 40,000 in Gehenna, which I own. I'll try it eventually, since Cherryh is so good -- maybe she finds her way back to life, there.

34ronincats
Nov 4, 2011, 10:22pm Top

I stalled out on Cyteen as well, but I remember 40,000 in Gehenna as one of Cherryh's best.

35Valleyguy
Nov 5, 2011, 12:53am Top

Halfway through Cryptonomicon and still loving it more than I thought I could. I'm seriously thinking of starting the Baroque Cycle next.

Also moving through the Dresden Files on audio. Not sure what I think of James Marsters as narrator. A bad sign considering I like James Marsters.

36cosmicdolphin
Nov 5, 2011, 5:36am Top

I've had the slab that is Cyteen sitting on my shelf for a few years now, and just haven't been able to bring myself to read it.

Cherryh is one of those authors that I stockpile though, mostly you will get something interesting from her work, and it's worth the time.

I did buy Regenesis and add it to my stockpile, so that probably reaffirmed my intent to get round to reading Cyteen eventually. Still, I have 50+ other Cherry books I will likely read first.

37johnnyapollo
Nov 5, 2011, 7:06am Top

>35 Valleyguy: - loved Cryptonomicon but had a hard time with the first book of the Baroque Cycle, Quicksilver - I'm still not sure if I'm going to finish the trilogy.

38iansales
Nov 5, 2011, 7:34am Top

My review of Synthajoy is now up on my blog here.

39fuzzi
Nov 5, 2011, 2:35pm Top

(36) "I have 50+ other Cherry books I will likely read first"

50+?

Wow...I've a measly 20 or so...

40randalhoctor
Nov 5, 2011, 3:43pm Top

Now on to Distress.

Still listening to Fragile Things which is a mix of fantasy and SF. It's read by the author, and he does a very good job of it too.

So many good books are butchered by the reader making the audiobook version that it is notable when a good rendition comes along.

41RobertDay
Nov 5, 2011, 6:21pm Top

> 29 et seq.: I've had similar false start problems with Cherryh; struggled with Downbelow Station and The pride of Chanur (the latter probably because the premise sounded interesting, but when I read it I thought 'wish fulfillment cat fantasy - with politics'). However, Rimrunners and Hellburner I found quite gripping, and I was then able to attack Downbelow Station again, successfully.

42brightcopy
Nov 5, 2011, 7:11pm Top

#41 by RobertDay> wish fulfillment cat fantasy - with politics

That really MUST be your review.

43brightcopy
Nov 6, 2011, 1:03am Top

Finished Migration by Julie Czerneda. Again, it took over half the book to really get started. But once it finally did it was worth it. Getting really excited to start the next one, which I handily got from the library in advance.

44johnnyapollo
Nov 6, 2011, 7:28am Top

Started Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds...

45randalhoctor
Nov 6, 2011, 7:36am Top

I enjoyed Pushing Ice. May have to re-read.

I put Distress down, may return, now reading Starfire.

I seem to need something involving future space travel discovery/crisis/aliens or something in the Weird.

46iansales
Edited: Nov 6, 2011, 8:41am Top

I didn't think Pushing Ice was one of Al's strongest books. I felt the relationship between the two central characters was pushed too far to be implausible. And the ending reminded me a little of something by Sean Williams and Shane Dix.

If you want something to do with space travel and can wait until next April, that's when Rocket Science, the anthology I'm editing, will be published...

47Noisy
Nov 6, 2011, 10:56am Top

Re-reading my review, Pushing Ice had a great first third and last third but the middle was boring. You need to read it quickly, otherwise you may just find that you put it down in the middle and have difficulty picking it up again.

48RobertDay
Nov 6, 2011, 11:38am Top

> 42: Done!

49ChrisRiesbeck
Nov 6, 2011, 11:46am Top

Finished Snuff, starting Probability Moon

50randalhoctor
Nov 6, 2011, 12:45pm Top

>46 iansales: Thanks for the tip on the anthology. Do you have a decent reader lined up for an audiobook rendition yet?

>49 ChrisRiesbeck: Let me know what you think of Probability Moon. I tried the audiobook version but the reader was poor and so bailed out. That doesn't mean it isn't a good book. I may decide to read that series.

51iansales
Nov 6, 2011, 3:38pm Top

I've not even considered an audiobook version. I shall have to speak to my publisher...

52majkia
Nov 6, 2011, 4:09pm Top

Wow Reamde surprised the devil out of me last night. Talk about not being able to predict where a book is going. I love it!

53paradoxosalpha
Nov 6, 2011, 6:31pm Top

I'm about two-thirds of the way through Ares Express. The plot is more linear and centralized than Desolation Road, and yet it seemed slower to get going, but it's on a good roll now, and I should wrap it up shortly.

54Sakerfalcon
Nov 7, 2011, 8:03am Top

Finished Terminal World on Saturday. I can't put my finger on why I found it so unengaging. It had plenty of the stuff I like in it, yet it never stopped being a chore to read. Back to the charity shop it goes.

55romula
Nov 7, 2011, 11:50am Top

Was on a business trip last week so pounded through Mistborn on the plane ride. Moved back in to the Honorverse with More than Honor and started Crown of Slaves.

56pgmcc
Nov 8, 2011, 4:18am Top

I'v just finished Angelmaker. I really enjoyed it.

57cosmicdolphin
Nov 8, 2011, 6:20am Top

Reading Rude Astronauts by Allen Steele

58AHS-Wolfy
Nov 8, 2011, 9:26am Top

pgmcc, good to know that his 2nd didn't disappoint.

59pgmcc
Nov 8, 2011, 9:37am Top

#58 AHS-Wolfy No, it certainly did not. Same fast pace as The Gone-Away World, good humour, plenty of plot twists, entertaining characters, and a lot of fun. Very pertinent to life today.

60tjm568
Nov 8, 2011, 12:23pm Top

I just started The infernals by John connolly. This is the YA sequal to The Gates of Hell are Open, Want to Take a Peek. I read the first one just because I like John Connoly, and I thought it may be similar to The Book of Lost Things. It wasn't, but it was hilarious and wierd in it's own way. Thus the sequal.

61LamSon
Nov 8, 2011, 2:52pm Top

>46 iansales:
Will the anthology be released in the US at the same time?

62cosmicdolphin
Nov 9, 2011, 6:25am Top

Will be a print book or e-book only Ian?

63Stampfi-Gang
Nov 9, 2011, 6:54am Top

I finished The Invincible by Stanislaw Lem and liked it a lot. Not I'm halfway through The Last Flood by Stephen Baxter. I allready read The last Ark and didn't realise it was not a stand-alone novel. But Flood is way better than Ark so far. i really need to check out Baxter's other books.

64iansales
Nov 9, 2011, 7:22am Top

#62 Both. The print book will be published first, tho I'm intending to send out PDF ARCs beforehand. Afterwards, we'll put it up on Kindle and Smashwords.

65iansales
Nov 9, 2011, 7:31am Top

#46 The book will be available for purchase online, but distribution to shops in the UK and US is bit beyond the publisher's capabilities.

66randalhoctor
Nov 9, 2011, 7:31am Top

63> Stanislaw Lem's Memoirs Found in a Bathtub is laying around here somewhere on my "to read" list. I've been put off by it being a translation, but I've heard nothing but good stuff about his work.

Stephen Baxter is one of my top five authors. I like his Xeelee sequence and Destiny's Children series books especially. Very much Hard SF.

67iansales
Nov 9, 2011, 7:32am Top

So your copy of Memoirs Found in a Bathtub is actually lost, then? Have you tried looking in the bathtub?

68randalhoctor
Nov 9, 2011, 8:19am Top

Lol. No its qued on audio. It would go under "trying something new" so inertia has caused me to put it off. Is it something like Philip K Dick or Vonnegut?

69andyl
Nov 9, 2011, 8:20am Top

#63

In the English editions the Stephen Baxter books are just Flood and Ark. It is interesting that the German edition has gone for "Die letzte Flut".

(Note - following up with correct touchstones).

70paradoxosalpha
Nov 9, 2011, 7:17pm Top

Finished and reviewed Ares Express! Good stuff.

71iansales
Nov 10, 2011, 2:20am Top

Just finished The Uncensored Man by Arthur Sellings. Will be blogging about it soon. Now reading The Testament of Jessie Lamb, which is pretty close to sf.

72andyl
Nov 10, 2011, 4:17am Top

Just about to read Eternity And Other Stories which has been clogging up my to read shelves for a while.

Despite, or maybe because of. Johan's glowing praise, in msg #14, of The Islanders, I am going to leave that until I have a long lazy weekend where I can give it the attention it deserves. I always find the Dream Archipelago stuff to be slower reads and when someone describes this current book it as "highly unusual" it doesn't sound as though I will find this one any different.

73RobertDay
Nov 10, 2011, 10:16am Top

Entertained myself with reading a 1954 issue of Galaxy; a Fred Pohl story that read like something written twenty years earlier, some Sprague de Camp that I found quite objectionable, some decent Sheckley, a factual rocketry article by Willy Ley which shows he knew nothing about aerodynamics, and a serialised novel about a future where the insurance companies run the world which seemed (and mainly was) ridiculous but was strangely prescient over anti-capitalist protestors.

About to start Gibson's All tomorrow's parties.

74romula
Nov 10, 2011, 11:13am Top

Finished Crown of Slaves and now onto Torch of Freedom.

75ChrisRiesbeck
Nov 12, 2011, 10:23am Top

Finished Probability Moon.

> 50 It's aggressively old-fashioned SF -- by which I mean the 1970's -- from data infodumps ("Automatically her mind reviewed the planetary data. Point six nine AUs from its primary, a G8 emitting .48 of Sol's energy per unit area....") to sketchy characters to a puzzle-driven plot involving an apparently primitive humanoid race to a bit of space opera involving a variant of crashing moons. It's dedicated to Charles, her husband Charles Sheffield I assume, and I took it as an OK attempt at an affectionate recreation, a la Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote." It was slow going until page 186 in the hardcover, then went pretty quickly until the end. I put it on a par with Stableford's Daedalus series. OK enough for me to put the next one in the queue, not good enough to call it a hidden treasure.

76randalhoctor
Nov 12, 2011, 2:24pm Top

75: Thanks. I actually like "info dumps" me being a geek and a dork with a science background.

77paradoxosalpha
Nov 12, 2011, 5:56pm Top

Currently reading Scourge of the Gods.

78brightcopy
Edited: Nov 12, 2011, 7:20pm Top

Info dumps are just non-fiction. As such, it's all in the author's ability to make non-fiction interesting. (And, of course, the information having at least some ability to be interesting. There are probably some topics that would be very difficult to make readable info dumps out of.)

79artturnerjr
Nov 12, 2011, 7:54pm Top

>76 randalhoctor: & 78

My thing with info dumps is that a big part of what I read speculative fiction for is that sense of being thrown in medias res, that sort of pleasant sense of vertigo that results from being "thrown" into a situation/setting where you really don't know what the hell's going on (It's pleasant in fiction, anyway. In real life... not so much.) A great storyteller gives you just enough information so that you don't feel COMPLETELY lost & give up on the work; a not-so-great one does info dumps.

80cosmicdolphin
Edited: Nov 13, 2011, 5:24am Top

In Between Selling books at the local con:

Reading Weight by Allen Steele (Damnit..can't get the touchstone..too many Weight Watchers cookbooks)

Eventually I'll get around to his Coyote stuff.

81ChrisRiesbeck
Nov 13, 2011, 3:41pm Top

Reading Devils Planet by Manley Wade Wellman. One of those British pulp reprints from 1951 of a 1942 story from Startling Stories. Will have to scan the cover in. Typical excuse for a murder mystery thriller set on Mars. Silly but just as the thirsty Martians do in the story, we must return to our roots every once in a while.

82rshart3
Nov 14, 2011, 9:52pm Top

Just finished Bitter Angels by C.L. Anderson, who turns out to be Sarah Zettel using another name (didn't realize that when I got it). I'm not sure why she did that, since it doesn't seem that different to me from her other stuff -- but that's fine with me, since I like her books. This was a compelling tale of oppression & intrigue, definitely cybertech-y and dark. Kept me wondering for a long time exactly what was happening and what was going to happen.

Now I've finally started North Wind by Gwyneth Jones. Not sure why it took me so long; I read White Queen ages ago & liked it, and loved Divine Endurance. So far it seems to live up to its predecessor. She does a great job on the misunderstandings of the two races, and their attempts to coexist better (or not).

83artturnerjr
Nov 15, 2011, 5:33pm Top

Taking a break from SF to read The Picture of Dorian Gray.

84cosmicdolphin
Nov 16, 2011, 11:29am Top

Finished Outward Bound by James P. Hogan, one of the TOR Jupiter series of Juvenile SF Novels, and my 100th book of the year. :-)

85AlanPoulter
Nov 16, 2011, 4:39pm Top


>82 rshart3: I liked Escape Plans as well as those you mention.

86AlanPoulter
Nov 16, 2011, 4:41pm Top

I was very impressed by Red plenty. It is not science fiction as such but fiction about science. Just started How to live safely in a science fictional universe and am struggling to maintain interest in it.

87RandyStafford
Nov 16, 2011, 6:22pm Top

Just finished Eye of Infinty by David Conyers (Lovecraftian sf) and Linda Nagata's new YA Skye Object 3270a and am now reading Hodder's The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (like a lot of steampunk, I'm not sure I'd call it sf).

88romula
Nov 16, 2011, 11:20pm Top

Finished Torch of Freedom, The Shadow of Saganami and am working on Storm from the Shadows all by David Weber

89tjm568
Nov 17, 2011, 2:14pm Top

I am about halfway through Phobos the third in the Steve Alten Domain trilogy. I liked the first two, and don't hate this one. I do find it somewhat convoluted though. Alot of jumping around in time, not only the stories perspective, but also characters.

90jlabeatnik
Edited: Nov 17, 2011, 2:21pm Top

91randalhoctor
Nov 18, 2011, 12:15am Top

#90 I enjoyed it. I like the Commonwealth universe even if P F Hamilton writes books you could bludgeon a cow with.

Anyone have any feedback for me on The Physiognomy The Well-Built City Trilogy, Book 1 by Jeffrey Ford? Is it at all Hard SF?

92andyl
Nov 18, 2011, 4:13am Top

#91

No. I wouldn't call it hard SF or even moderately hard SF. Pretty good book though.

93Shrike58
Nov 18, 2011, 6:30am Top

Just finished Reality 36 (A), which I thought was a first-rate cyberpunk thriller.

94randalhoctor
Nov 18, 2011, 8:19am Top

#92 thanks andyl. I'm stuck on hard SF right now.

95anglemark
Nov 18, 2011, 11:20am Top

I love those books by Ford, but think some sort of "weird magical metaphysical realism" instead. More "Flann O'Brien meets Bulgakov".

96randalhoctor
Nov 18, 2011, 7:53pm Top

Finished reading Starfire. It was...well...meh. (2.5/5)

Starting Gridlinked.

Can't get hold of Line of Polity but I've read the rest not counting the Spatterjay story line, which didn't engage me.

97brightcopy
Nov 18, 2011, 9:25pm Top

Yeah, LoP is scarce in the US. Mainly because it wasn't ever published here. According to Asher, publishers said it was "too long."

*eyeroll*

98randalhoctor
Nov 18, 2011, 11:39pm Top

Because it was "too long"? Well I always have thought marketing is inscrutable at best and completely out of touch at worst.

99brightcopy
Nov 19, 2011, 12:13am Top

#98 by randalhoctor> Yeah. I can only guess the publishers had never heard of Peter Hamilton or Tad Williams.

Asher must have learned his lesson, as he told me "To my mind, Polity Agent and Line War are more like one book". I wonder if the reason they became two had anything to do with the LoP experience.

100iansales
Nov 19, 2011, 4:08am Top

Finished The Testament of Jessie Lamb. First half is good, then it turns into a YA novel. Read The Garments of Caean by Barrington Bayley, which was bonkers but not far from hackwork. Currently reading Infidel, Kameron Hurley, the sequel to the excellent God's War.

101Shrike58
Edited: Nov 19, 2011, 9:09am Top

I consider myself lucky to have picked up a copy of Line of Polity used; not that I've gotten around to reading it!

As for what I'm reading right now I just finished Carrie Vaughn's superhero pastiche After the Golden Age (B+).

102AlanPoulter
Edited: Nov 19, 2011, 9:15am Top

Gave up on How to live safely in a science fictional universe as it is written mostly in 'Hitchhikerese'. Egans' Zendegi is hitting the spot...

103ChrisRiesbeck
Nov 20, 2011, 11:13am Top

Finished Devils Planet, now to Consider Phlebas. I wanted to avoid the bends coming up to modern times too quickly. Then will do something in this millennium.

104drmamm
Nov 20, 2011, 4:15pm Top

Finished Reamde. I liked it a lot. Great pacing, and I like Stephenson's writing style. Although this is my first Stephenson novel, I can see why his hard-core fans would be disappointed - more of an action adventure than a deep exploration of some esoteric concept. Many of the characters (not all of them) were a bit cartoonish as well.

I'm definitely going to read more of his work.

105Valleyguy
Nov 21, 2011, 12:39am Top

104-Yeah, not looking forward to that one, but still have other Stephenson novels to tackle.

Read Fool Moon and on to Grave Peril. I don't love these, but I'm giving them a chance due to strong recommendations. I'm probably giving them longer chance than I normally would because the library in my new town has a terrible audiobook selection, but has all of the Dresden Files on hand.

106jmnlman
Edited: Nov 21, 2011, 9:38am Top

105:Fool Moon is often cited as being the weakest by fans . From my own experience it does get better.

107paradoxosalpha
Nov 21, 2011, 9:19am Top

Finished Scourge of the Gods and Scourge of the Gods, The Fall; now I'm on to Ythaq. For whatever reason, my mid-November SF reading consists of BD (i.e. French comic books).

108Stampfi-Gang
Nov 23, 2011, 5:25am Top

@ #69: Thanks for the correction. I should have checked the English title but I didn't have the books at hand and was too lazy...

Anyway, I think I should read more English originals anyway. I'm on my way through the Space Odyssey series in English and I enjoy the books a lot. I allready finished 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010 Odyssey Two and I'm really close to the end of 2061: Odyssey Three. Need to buy the last book of the seris as well as the books Arthur C. Clarke wrote with Stephen Baxter. I enjoyed Baxter's books but even more the stuff Clarke wrote. Imho among the best sci-fi ever, I really need to get more of his stuff. Amazone used books here I come...

109randalhoctor
Nov 23, 2011, 8:12am Top

#108: Yeah. I really enjoyed the 2001 series too. Really made me feel I was entering "profound knowledge". Stephen Baxter's Exultant series was IMOHO most excellent. I loved Transcendent but could never get the last of the series (Resplendent).

110sturlington
Nov 23, 2011, 9:46am Top

Just started 11/22/63 on 11/22/11. It has time travel in it so I guess it can be considered science fiction of a sort.

111Valleyguy
Nov 23, 2011, 11:54pm Top

106: Yes, Fool Moon was messy, and I prefer simplicity. I will continue to give it a chance because I know Butcher wrote a longer arch that the stories fit into. Kind of like the tv shows I like, that started average and then picked up steam.

108: Loved the beginning and end of the series, the two middle books were readable though.

112cosmicdolphin
Nov 24, 2011, 6:15am Top

Melome (Dumarest of Terra #28) by E. C. Tubb

113SimonW11
Nov 24, 2011, 6:40am Top

Sf umm The H-Bomb Girl did not realise it was a YA when I picked it up an ok read but oh so PC.

114RBeffa
Nov 24, 2011, 1:51pm Top

I also started King's 11/22/63 and certainly consider it SF with the time travel. Really enjoying it so far. The writing is very good.

115pgmcc
Edited: Nov 24, 2011, 3:04pm Top

#114 The first ever episode of Dr.Who was broadcast on Saturday, 23rd November, 2011, the day after JFK was killed. I mentioned that fact at work today and my colleagues asked me if I were suggesting a connection between the two events. Now that I hear King's 11/22/63 features time travel, then perhaps there is.

My memories of those two days...
http://www.fantasy-matters.com/2011/09/keys-to-tardis-unearthly-child.html#more

116pgmcc
Nov 25, 2011, 5:32pm Top

OT, but thought some of you might wish to know:

Iain Banks interview on BBC Radio 6 on Sunday (27th November) at 12:00noon (GMT) - Talking about music and stories of student life and squatting.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017pncn

117gypsysmom
Nov 25, 2011, 8:54pm Top

I'm listening to WWW:Wake right now. I'm ashamed to admit, as a Canadian, that I haven't read any of Sawyer's books. The audiobook is quite well done. Sawyer did an introduction and apparently pops up somewhere as a character. The characters' voices are done by different narrators which makes it more like a radio play than an audiobook. (Yes, I am old enough to remember radio plays!)

118brianjungwi
Nov 26, 2011, 12:20am Top

A friend passed me Lord of Light which I'm loving so far (only a few pages in). I remember reading a couple of Zelazny's Amber books in high school, I feel I should search around to see what else he's written.

119randalhoctor
Nov 26, 2011, 9:47am Top

#118: I liked it too.

120cosmicdolphin
Nov 26, 2011, 10:38am Top

118 brianjungwi

A Night in a Lonesome October is another of Zelaznys to look out for. Hard to find, and a very different book to Lord of Light. But some of Zelaznys best work.

121brianjungwi
Nov 26, 2011, 11:22am Top

120> thanks

122artturnerjr
Nov 26, 2011, 12:06pm Top

>120 cosmicdolphin:

I've been wanting to read that one for a while now; sounds a bit like a prose version of Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. 8)

123randalhoctor
Nov 26, 2011, 6:58pm Top

Just finished Gridlinked. I really enjoyed it a great deal. long (pp.423) but very good (4/5).

I have a question regarding the "broken" golem 25 Mr. Crane: In Gridlinked Mr. Crane was bested by two ECS golem thirties and his brain removed and destroyed. How is it then that in Brass Man his bits were found, assembled (mostly), and Mr. Crane resurrected, if his brain was destroyed?

I'm sure it was explained. I just can't remember. Perhaps my brain has been partially destroyed by a golem 30 or maybe just all that proper living.

124bj
Nov 26, 2011, 7:56pm Top

Finally got through all 5 books of A song of ice and fire and I'm very relieved that it's over. I kept reading it thinking/hoping that it was going to go somewhere but it never did. Oh well, can say I've read them now. Have moved on to hull zero three and am enjoying that so much more. I read embedded inbetween books 4 and 5 of ASOIAF and I really enjoyed that which I think made a dance with dragons drag so much more.

125tardis
Nov 27, 2011, 12:34am Top

Just started Reamde and am about 130 pages in. Good so far.

126cosmicdolphin
Nov 27, 2011, 6:43am Top

Angado (Dumarest of Terra #29) by E. C. Tubb , my 28th and last Dumarest book of the year. The remaining 4 books had smaller print runs and are now stupidly expensive.

127Unreachableshelf
Nov 27, 2011, 1:20pm Top

>124 bj:

It's not over. Well, I guess it might be over for you if you're tired of it. But the series isn't.

128majkia
Nov 27, 2011, 4:27pm Top

a bit more than halfway through Goliath and loving it.

129brightcopy
Nov 27, 2011, 7:36pm Top

123> Re: Mr Crane (Agent Cormac series spoilers)

Skellor uses his Jain technology to reassemble the fragments of the AI crystal. It's a technology that in many ways is far beyond the top-of-the-line Polity technology.

130brightcopy
Nov 27, 2011, 7:41pm Top

I read the rather excellent Peter Watts short story The Things. It was the story of the movie The Thing, only told from the standpoint of the "thing". It added a wonderful new dimension on the whole story. You can read it online:

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/watts_01_10/

Other random freely available short stories I loaded onto my phone and read over the holidays:

Bad Medicine by Robert Sheckley (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/9055)

Scales by Alastair Reynolds (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/scales/)

Time Considered as a Series of Thermite Burns in No Particular Order by Damien Broderick (http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/05/time-considered-as-a-series-of-thermite-burns...)

131LamSon
Nov 27, 2011, 7:46pm Top

Starting Stealing Light by Gary Gibson. Liking it so far. Unfortunately, the two sequels seem to be hard to find in the US.

132johnnyapollo
Nov 27, 2011, 8:25pm Top

Starting Gridlinked by Neal Asher...

133brightcopy
Nov 27, 2011, 11:46pm Top

Just finished Regeneration by Julie Czerneda. A good finish to the series, though once again a bit slow at the start. I wonder if anyone else can comment on how common that is in her other works?

What next? So many books to choose from, but I keep putting off The Princess Bride. May have to take a scifi sabbatical.

134iansales
Nov 28, 2011, 7:13am Top

I polished off an Ace double during a train trip on Saturday: Time to Live, John Rackham / The Man Without A Planet, Lin Carter. They were both bad. Currently slogging through Songs of the Dying Earth, which I have to review for Interzone.

135randalhoctor
Nov 28, 2011, 8:10am Top

129> Yeah. That's it. I forgot to mark the post as a spoiler.

Thank you.

Also, thanks for the short story links.

136paradoxosalpha
Nov 28, 2011, 12:54pm Top

Just starting The Fifth Head of Cerberus, which I've meant to read for years now.

137BigJoel55
Nov 28, 2011, 4:39pm Top

Reading Dune after more than 20 years away. I knew it would be good, but I am amazed at how engrossing it is.

138brightcopy
Nov 28, 2011, 4:41pm Top

Having consulted my catalog and realized I don't own a copy of The Princess Bride, I have instead started Drumlin Circus. I feel my review upon completion will be the best review for this work on the entire site. Sadly, it will also be the worst.

139anglemark
Nov 28, 2011, 4:53pm Top

Myself, I'm reading The Freedom Maze, which is also the first e-book I read (I miscalculated how long my previous book would last and in panic had to buy some e-books). I had no idea what it would be about, but I enjoy it so far.

140edgewood
Nov 28, 2011, 6:22pm Top

Just started reading Incandescence.

141randalhoctor
Nov 28, 2011, 6:47pm Top

brightcopy: I enjoyed Scales, Nice shorty.

142brightcopy
Nov 28, 2011, 8:44pm Top

Good to hear!

For anyone interested, I've found there's tons of scifi stories freely (and legally) available. Of course, I'm sure there's some who will claim that me copying the webpage over to my phone and stripping out the surrounding site isn't legal. To them I blow a hearty raspberry.

143randalhoctor
Nov 28, 2011, 9:50pm Top

Now reading JEM

and

listening to The Quantum Thief

144Cecrow
Nov 30, 2011, 7:52am Top

Reading Bioshock: Rapture by John Shirley; never played the video game but the book's premise drew me in. Great in the first half, now tipping over into the horror genre which I've never been a fan of, but at least I saw it coming ...

145Sakerfalcon
Nov 30, 2011, 8:34am Top

Halfway through Against a dark background. It's a good read so far.

146Magentawolf
Nov 30, 2011, 10:32am Top

I'm currently reading three or four books at once right now, I keep getting distracted with the new shiny! There's still 51 books in my 'to-be-read' pile(s), too...

Age of Odin, Falconfar, Metal Swarm, and The Morgaine Saga in my car.

147anglemark
Nov 30, 2011, 10:59am Top

And now I have just started on Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself, since he'll be one of the guests of honour at the Swedish national science fiction convention next year. The first five pages were good! ;)

148artturnerjr
Nov 30, 2011, 7:47pm Top

>143 randalhoctor:

Learned from this site that JEM won the National Book Award for Science Fiction, which I thought was fascinating because previous to learning that I was unaware that there WAS a National Book Award for Science Fiction! :D

>147 anglemark:

I'm currently reading three or four books at once right now, I keep getting distracted with the new shiny!

Always reassuring to see I'm not the only one with this problem. Having figured out how to download books to my cell phone has not helped matters much. :/

149nhlsecord
Nov 30, 2011, 7:54pm Top

I finally got Reamde from the library just before going to see a doctor so I started reading it while I was waiting. I got interested in it immediately, which is great. Yesterday I started reading
The Pride of Chanur by CJ Cherryh and, just like the first 2 times I read it, I don't want to do anything else but read it and never finish.

150justifiedsinner
Edited: Nov 30, 2011, 7:56pm Top

#148 I think 1980 was the only year the NBA was awarded for Science Fiction. It was also awarded for Mystery and Westerns in that year.

151artturnerjr
Nov 30, 2011, 7:58pm Top

>150 justifiedsinner:

Which would help explain why I'd never heard of it. :D

152cosmicdolphin
Dec 1, 2011, 6:34am Top

Far Traveller Edited by J. Andrew Keith
Far Traveller (Issue #2, Fasa 1302) Edited by J. Andrew Keith (Sorry Touchstone is fried)

153psybre
Dec 1, 2011, 1:28pm Top

Finished Reamde yesterday and found it entertaining throughout, although of lesser caliber than his previous works with fewer concepts and a bit too distant in tone from the punk for my taste. Now reading Cosmonaut Keep by Ken MacLeod.

154pgmcc
Dec 1, 2011, 3:58pm Top

#153 I started reading Cosmonaut Keep when visiting my daughter in Edinburgh. I enjoyed reading about places I knew but in the future.

While I enjoyed the three books in the trilogy I found that onced I'd finished the last book the total was much more than the sum of the parts. A great trilogy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

155jnwelch
Dec 1, 2011, 4:06pm Top

I'm starting Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, one of his I've never read.

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