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December 2017 reads

Science Fiction Fans

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Dec 1, 2017, 4:45am Top

My December reading starts with The Simulacra by Philip K. Dick.

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 12:58pm Top

Dusty's TBR for December
Mark W Tiedemann - Remains ✔
Ursula Le Guin - Eye of the Heron✔
Gene Wolfe - Citadel of the Autarch ✔
John Scalzi - The Human Division ✔
Timothy Zahn - Odd Girl Out ✔

other genres
Ngaio Marsh - Swing,Brother,Swing! ✔
Maj Sjowall - The Abominable Man ✔
Preston & Child - Crimson Shor ✔
Elizabeth Lowell - Summer Thunder ✔
Suzanne Barclay - A Touch of Myrrh ✔
Mary Roberts Rinehart - The Yellow Room ✔

Dec 1, 2017, 7:18am Top

I've just started Company town and am enjoying it so far.

Dec 1, 2017, 12:44pm Top

Rereading Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven. Reread Ringworld last year and was reminded that Niven didn't stop there, so this is in preparation for picking up the unread entries in the series sometime in the next year.

Dec 1, 2017, 2:00pm Top

>2 dustydigger: I've read the Wolfe and the Scalzi. I enjoyed both.

Still stuck reading fantasy: Fortress in the Eye of Time and Winter of the Gods.

Dec 1, 2017, 2:08pm Top

I just started Connie Willis's A Lot Like Christmas - frustratingly fun so far. I'll find if it's best read at this season or might cause less angst in summer!

Edited: Dec 1, 2017, 3:51pm Top

I’m using the “What Sci-Fi novel would you consider a masterpiece” thread on Reddit as a guide through my MTBR to pick my next read. For now this has led me to Solaris.

Dec 1, 2017, 6:33pm Top

I haven't been around for some time, but just got back from picking up a book I had on hold at the library. We are Legion (We are Bob) was recommended by my brother who happens to be a Bob. The book blurb made it sound like it might be a fun read. I'll know soon enough.

Dec 1, 2017, 7:43pm Top

>8 GwenH: I keep hearing good things about this book. Just checked and found it on KOLL. Downloading now...

Dec 2, 2017, 8:46am Top

Reading Earth Afire by OSC....

Dec 4, 2017, 7:12am Top

Reading Downward to the earth de Robert Silverberg.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 5:09am Top

>7 divinenanny: Its a couple of years since I was on Reddit. Of course when I saw this post I had to go and look! lol.Was quite gratified to find I had read the vast majority of the titles,and that at least half a dozen of the rest were already on my TBR for next year. Then I had a wander through some of my fave books and surfaced almost an hour later!
Solaris was interesting,but very leisurely paced to say the least!I liked the original film,found the Clooney version a bit bland

Dec 5, 2017, 5:12am Top

>11 h-mb: I think Downward to the Earth is the Silverberg I like best.I find his books a bit hit and miss. I may be reading Lord Valentine's Castle in January or February

Dec 5, 2017, 6:13am Top

I am currently reading The traitor Baru Cormorant and I'm enjoying it very much. Multifaceted and invigorating.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 7:43am Top

Finished with The Prey of Gods (B) yesterday evening; I'd like to like this future urban fantasy set in South Africa (the author does have a snappy sense of humor) but it more congealed than crystallized for me in the end. Considering that the best character is an adolescent guy coming to terms with manhood and sexual identity the hard way (Rhetorical question: Is there an easy way?) it might have worked better as a YA book from the onset, or if the author had lost at least one POV character.

Dec 5, 2017, 7:04am Top

Currently reading Morning Star. Not sure if I'll get to another SF before years end.

Dec 5, 2017, 7:46am Top

Finished Company town which I enjoyed despite a confusing ending that didn't seem to have been set up very well.
Now I'm reading Seven surrenders.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 8:20am Top

I have at least one friend who thinks that this is a case of a taunt novella trying to escape from a bloated novel. As for myself my current thought is that this would have been a good case for where you start with the climactic situation and tell the lead-up to the climax in a series of flash backs.

Dec 5, 2017, 2:48pm Top

I finished another story collection, Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages. Good stories from a person who portrays child and adult episodes with magical byways. And the most strange, the stories with no fantasy.

Dec 5, 2017, 5:00pm Top

Added Persepolis Rising by James S. A. Corey to my reading rotation.

Dec 5, 2017, 7:46pm Top

Still working my way through The Found and the Lost, poor poor pitiful me to have so much UKL reading to do. Aren't you all sad for me?

Dec 6, 2017, 2:14am Top

>21 richardderus: Not very much!

Dec 6, 2017, 4:45am Top

>21 richardderus: Lol! I'm afraid I tend to look upon UKLs work as a duty rather than a pleasure. I have just started her The Eye of the Heron but only because I needed a title for a group challenge to read a book with a bird's name in the title!Its all about 2 forms of community and government on a former penal colony planet. One side authoritarian harsh and brutal,the other impossibly high minded innocent pacifists in the Gandi mold. Its mostly feminism with sit-ins as far as I can see.lol
Oh well,at least its short,under 200 pages! :0)
Also reading the final part of the Severian saga,Citadel of the Autarch,hoping for some illumination of the story. Its getting more surreal and dreamlike all the time.Very slow going,it takes some reading. Severian with his perfect memory keeps remembering events way back in book 1,Shadow of the Torturer while I with my imperfect memory am a bit hazy about events in a book I read back in 2013 lol.As the books went on,I started to try to carefully watch every event in case it came up again,which also slows progression through the books down! :0).It is immersive,but when I surface after a section,I find I've only read about 10 pages,but I'll get there,probably my final book of the year.

Dec 6, 2017, 7:56am Top

>23 dustydigger:, Tor.com recently published an article about how to better appreciate The Book of the New Sun, worth checking out:

Dec 6, 2017, 1:07pm Top

>22 anglemark: I'm so noble for enduring the suffering, right? ;)

>23 dustydigger: The Eye of the Heron was indeed a trudge of a read. I wasn't enraptured by The Word for World is Forest, either, or Changing Planes. But in a body of work as large as LeGuin's, and as varied, I'm inclined to be forgiving of the occasional lapse in mellifluity (is that a word or dod I just neologize it?).

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 1:10pm Top

>24 Cecrow: Thank you for the great article. On reading Book of the New Sun Neil Gaiman says
''Like The Lord of the Rings, The Book of the New Sun was published before the great age of doorstop fantasy, and so the individual volumes are relatively thin. Tolkien insisted that The Lord of the Rings, three-volume format aside, was really a single long novel, and there’s much to be said for taking a similar approach to The Book of the New Sun. Wolfe’s narrator claims to possess a perfect memory; if you’re less fortunate, don’t linger too long between volumes: they’re short, and a small detail in one book frequently presages a large revelation in a later one.''
(my italics)
Too late with the advice Neil,when I'm into the last part of book four! lol.
All in all an incredible tour de force.

Dec 6, 2017, 1:21pm Top

Finished The sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson, which is ancient-aliens-style science fiction masquerading as pseudo-ancient-african fantasy. The nonconventional language was, I think, its most appealing asset. Worth having read it.

Dec 8, 2017, 11:00am Top

Finished reading The Simulacra. At first it struck me as very disjointed, unfocused even. But Philip K. Dick has a way of drawing disparate characters and storylines together for a satisfying climax, then cheerfully leaving multiple loose ends dangling. I think this might be one of his best.

Next up I'm reading (or should that be re-reading? I honestly don't remember) The Winds of Limbo by Michael Moorcock.

Dec 9, 2017, 10:35pm Top

Reading Neuromancer and loving it. Despite its age, still seems futuristic (except for the payphones).

Dec 10, 2017, 6:07pm Top

Finished Manifold: Space, started the non-SF but associational The Trial of Callista Blake.

Dec 10, 2017, 7:31pm Top

It's been way too long since I've posted on this Group; my apologies. I've been enjoying reading the various threads this evening.

The only science fiction I've read recently was a volume of short stories by Arthur C. Clarke called The Sentinel. I know I read it while still in college (it was a Book Club book, "get 12 for a penny then we'll ship you more than you will ever read in your entire life". Sort of pre-Amazon suggestions) and so it was high time to re-read it. I can't say I loved it the same way I loved Fountains of Paradise, in part because of the huge amount of science involved in it. Still, the ideas were brilliant, such as a yacht race between the earth and the moon and how the earth needs to be orbited to get the momentum going.

I think I'm more in the character-driven sci-fi more than the physics/strict science camp.

That said, has anyone read The Gods Themselves? I've had it on my shelves for decades, and an old interview with Asimov said that he wanted to be remembered for that book more so than the Foundation trilogy. Just curious about the opinions. I'm putting together my reading list for 2018 and thought I'd include it for January.

Dec 10, 2017, 7:32pm Top

In the last few weeks, I've read two really enjoyable science fiction adventures. Ann Leckie's Provenance was clever and amusing and contained good world-building (although it takes place in the Radch universe, it takes place outside their empire). A Matter of Oaths by Helen S. Wright is a 1988 novel that I missed back then that has just been reissued with a forward by Becky Chambers. Like Chambers' books, this revolves around a spaceship crew in a very interesting universe and was quite entertaining.

Dec 10, 2017, 8:42pm Top

>31 threadnsong:

I read The Gods Themselves about 40 years ago. Based on that memory, I'd agree with Asimov that it was a more satisfying (and really, more ambitious) work than the Foundation trilogy.

Dec 11, 2017, 8:01am Top

>31 threadnsong:, >33 paradoxosalpha: I agree. I also last read it 40-odd years ago, and the main thing I remember thinking was that it was most unlike Asimov (in a good way).

Dec 11, 2017, 9:15am Top

>31 threadnsong: I reread The Gods Themselves quite recently and found that it aged well for me. (First reading was, yes, about 40 years ago.) If you enjoy Asimov's work generally, this book should please you.

Dec 11, 2017, 1:02pm Top

Just finished Speaker for the dead now doubting, or read the clarke's time odyssey series or reread asimov's nightfall

Dec 11, 2017, 2:01pm Top

Just finished Arcadia by Iain Pears. Like most alternative universe, time travel, or space travel SF, the science is gobbledygook. But like most Pears, the plot twists are clever, the worldbuilding good, and the social & literary allusions enjoyable. Tricksy guy, this Pears....

Dec 11, 2017, 3:19pm Top

Finished a reread of Niven's Ringworld Engineers this afternoon. I know I read it was when it was still fairly new, but unlike the original novel didn't leave all that clear a memory. This says nothing against Ringworld Engineers, since a story like the original Ringworld is a tough act to follow. This second book is clearly, to me, the set up for further adventures, so the ending fells somewhat less like closure. That's fine. I reread Ringworld last year, which reacquainted me with the fact that Niven hadn't left the story at that point. In the near future I'll catch up with the Ringworld stories I haven't read yet. I know they get mixed reviews, but then, what books don't?

Dec 12, 2017, 5:23pm Top

Basically finished up Sorcerer to the Crown (B+) and found it to be an enjoyable novel that seemed a little lighter weight than I expected, though I look forward to seeing what Cho does further with her characters.

Dec 14, 2017, 5:48am Top

I've just finished the first of Brian Stableford's emortality series, The Cassandra Complex. A thriller plot wrapped around biological concepts.

Dec 14, 2017, 2:17pm Top

I really, really loved Sea of Rust. I posted an entire come-on about it on Facebook:
It's #Booksgiving y'all! Need something fast, for your SF-reading #IAmTheResistance-shouting bestie?


SEA OF RUST from Harper Voyager fills the bill. Read my 5-star review to learn why. It's a damn-near-perfect read at any time but has special meaning now. Thanks, C. Robert Cargill.

But seriously. This is good old-fashioned SFnal storytelling with all its layers.

Edited: Dec 14, 2017, 3:27pm Top

Finished Mark W Tiedemann's James Tiptree Jr Award nominated Remains,nice blend of mystery,adventure,cyber-enhanced humans and even a little romance,which was nicely done.Also lightly sketched but well delineated habitats on the Moon,Mars and space stations,all with diferent social setups and cultures,which makes a change from the normal one size fits all. The ending was a little abrupt after long drawn out investigations ,but satisfactorially tied up the complex motivations and agendas of the various characters and groups.I will look out for more of Mark's work. He was a major member in our Shelfari SF group,but after Leafmarks folded he decided not to come to LT,our loss.
And YAY!!!!! Fished Gene Wolfe's Severian quartet with Citadel of the Autarch.Rich, evocative,brilliantly written,also puzzling,bewildering and obscure with a very enigmatic protagonist, I ended up more confused and dazed than ever by the end of the book!. lol. Still reflecting and absorbing this series,definately needs a reread armed with the knowledge gained in the first read if I am to make even a modicum of sense from this densely written epic. A major work,but not at all easy. :0)
Only Timothy Zahn's Odd Girl Out and John Scalzi's Human Division left to complete my 2017 SF/F TBR. I have already prepared my TBR for 2018,some good stuff there. I shall,of course,as ever,have to share my list with you,at the end of the year :0)

Dec 14, 2017, 3:31pm Top

About a quarter of the way through a short story collection, Question of the Day: The Andre Polk Memorial Anthology. It's a collection of shorts by indie authors I'm a part of who hang together on a Facebook writing group more or less focused on the subgenre space opera. Andre was one of our more active members, and a promising writer, who unfortunately suffered from sickle cell disease. Complications arising from his illness ended his life abruptly. The group honored his memory by assembling this anthology. Andre sparked conversations by asking his "Question of the day..." which was usually (but not exclusively) about the art and craft of writing fiction. I was unable to contribute to the anthology (bad timing) so I'm making a point of at least reading it.

On a nonfiction note, I'm also reading Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos.

Dec 15, 2017, 5:04am Top

As a special (almost) Christmas treat I'm re-reading Kalin, fourth volume in E.C. Tubb's Dumarest saga. As I recall it's one of my favourites from the series, although I don't remember exactly why. As usual it involves a beautiful woman with strange powers who probably won't make it to the end of the book.

Edited: Dec 16, 2017, 1:00pm Top

I am reading another Harry Harrington book Invasion Earth . It starts out very juvenile but now it is quite interesting. One funny thing to me is that there is an interview between the main character and the US President which absolutely timestamps the novel by the description of the President's mannerisms.

It is interesting in that Earth appears to be the battle ground of 2 alien races. Contact is made with both and both claim to be trying to save Earth from the other. Is one lying and the other truthful? Are they both lying? This is a problem. How does Earth take sides with one or the other or none. The method of communication is logical too.

Nice premise ... It is a fast read so I will know soon.

Edited: Dec 16, 2017, 11:22am Top

>45 Lynxear: I think you mean Harry Harrison not Harrington.

Dec 16, 2017, 1:24pm Top

>46 justifiedsinner: Yes I did... I finished the book, it is quite a fast read... the beginning was iffy and the ending was the same but the middle 3/4 of Invasion Earth was quite good. I enjoy his SciFi books even though they are a bit juvenile but I am not a great fan of his alternate fiction.

President Regan gets a cameo role in the book... not by naming him directly but in the one page or so that he is in the book he reaches for a jelly bean and comments about knowing something about theatrics. The book was written in 1982 so it makes sense. He has no contribution to the plot but it was a chuckle to realize who this was. The only thing it did do was time stamp book and the event as happening in the 1980's.

This is the second book that I have read of his where Russia and America co-operated seamlessly together and eventually that sort of happened with the breakup of the old Soviet union....for a while anyway.

Dec 16, 2017, 3:22pm Top

>37 rshart3: I wasn't aware that Pears wrote SF. I've recently read a crime novel by him that I enjoyed, though crime novels are usually not my thing, so I guess I would like SF by him. Plus I love time travel, so this is going on my wishlist! Thanks for mentioning it.

Dec 16, 2017, 4:56pm Top

>48 chlorine:
While Pears' crime novels tend to be on the light and fluffy side, his more serious literary fiction books (Arcadia included) tend to be more cerebral. Both sets are good, though. It's just that your expectations of one set might not translate onto the other.

Edited: Dec 17, 2017, 8:10pm Top

After having a bit of a PKD fad over the last month or so I'm nearly finished and greatly enjoying Ubik. Also about to start a re-read of Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks. It was my first Banks and absolutely hooked me at the time - hope it still stands up nearly 30 yrs later.

Edited: Dec 17, 2017, 9:21am Top

>50 SChant: Use of Weapons!! I was leery of sitting down for days after reading that! lol

Edited: Dec 17, 2017, 9:56am Top

Finished Timothy Zahn's Odd Girl Out #3 in his enjoyable though not mind taxing Quadrail series.Halfway through my final SF/F read of the year,Scalzi's The Human Division.
And have completed my target of 100 SF/F/UF books for the year. And made some progress with reading the top award winners. Slow going because of locating free or cheap copies. Some prices are downright ridiculous, and the Kindle is quite poor in its coverage of old books,but I'm getting there.Should finish by end of next year :0)
Hugos - 54/66 completed
Nebulas - 43/53 completed
Locus - 32/47 completed

Have had an enjoyable week browsing WWEnds lists,and here are my planned reads for 2018.

Charlie Jane Anders - All the Birds of the Sky
Poul Anderson - The High Crusade
Catherine Asaro - A Quantum Rose
Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Earth
Paul Bacigalupi - Windup Girl
Greg Bear - Darwin's Radio
Emma Bull - Bone Dance
Lois McMaster Bujold - Paladin of Souls
Edgar Rice Burroughs - Chessmen of Mars
Orson Scott Card - Xenocide
Michael Chabon -The Yiddish Policemens' Union
C J Cherryh - Convergence
C J Cherryh - Cyteen
Arthur C Clarke - Dolphin Island
Susannah Clarke - Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
John Crowley - Little,Big
E R Eddison - The Worm Ouroboros
Randall Garrett - Lord Darcy
Joe Haldeman - Camouflage
Harry Harrison - Planet of No Return
N K Jemison - The Fifth Season
N K Jemison - The Obelisk Gate
Kornbluth & Pohl - Wolfbane
Fritz Leiber - A Spectre is Haunting Texas
Abraham Merritt - The Moon Pool
China Mieville - Perdido St Station
Larry Niven - Ringworld
Andre Norton - Night of Masks
Edgar Pangborn - West of the Sun
Terry Pratchett - Lords and Ladies
Cherie Priest - Boneshaker
Christopher Priest - The Inverted World
Kim Stanley Robinson -Blue Mars
Kim Stanley Robinson - 2312
Kristine Kathryn Rusch - Diving into the Wreck
Robert J Sawyer - Hominids
Clifford D Simak - City
Robert Silverberg - Lord Valentine's Castle
Clifford D Simak - All Flesh is Grass
Clifford D Simak - Time and Again
Vernor Vinge - A Deepness in the Sky
Vernor Vinge ; Rainbow's End
Thomas Watson - The Plight of the Eli'antra
Robert Charles Wilson - Spin
Connie Willis - Blackout
Timothy Zahn - The Domino Pattern
Timothy Zahn - Judgment at Proteus
Wildside Megapack - SF Crime and Detectives:selected stories

read - 0/48
Cant wait to get started,lots of interesting stuff - but EEK,some really massive tomes!!!!(yes I am looking at you,Asaro,Cherryh, Bujold,KSR,Mieville, Vinge,etc) Cant wait to get through the award winners challenge then I will be reading nice short 1940s-1970s books,barely a handful over 250 pages long.
Let me get back to finishing Scalzi's Human Division,and official end this year's TBR.then I'll wish everyone happy holidays and see you in the New Year. Still got masses to do for Xmas!

Dec 17, 2017, 10:21am Top

I had a bookshop expedition to Manchester yesterday, and amongst other things came back with the Strugatsky Brothers' Hard to be a God in the Gollancz 'SF Masterworks' edition, and managed to devour about half of it in waiting for people to finish things they were up to.

Dec 17, 2017, 5:54pm Top

Finished Persepolis Rising by James S. A. Corey. Mildly disappointed at the beginning, but fully engaged by the end. Can't wait for the next one to come out.

Dec 17, 2017, 8:14pm Top

>54 seitherin: Ordered this one from the library. This has been an excellent series so far!

Dec 17, 2017, 8:19pm Top

>55 SChant: It has been. I can't remember when I've enjoyed a space opera as much as I've enjoyed this one.

Dec 18, 2017, 5:18am Top

Dec 20, 2017, 3:48am Top

I'm reading Inherit the Earth, the second volume in Brian Stableford's Emortality series. It's much better written than the first volume, The Cassandra Complex (chronologically first, but written later), combining a good thriller plot with well integrated biological and sociological issues.

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 2:38pm Top

Finally finished my SF/F for the year with Timothy Zahn's Odd Girl Out in the Quadrail series,and John Scalzi's fun The Human Division You can always expect a light,fast moving, entertaining romp with Scalzi's Old Man's War series. Have ordered and am looking forward to the final book in the series,appropriately named The End of All Things

Dec 21, 2017, 4:51am Top

Still reading Seven surrenders which demands more concentration than I really have at this time of year.

Dec 21, 2017, 11:24am Top

>60 Sakerfalcon: 'Tis the season. My next read was going to be Wolfe's Sword and Citadel, and I'm already reading Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos. I may reread Van Vogt's War Against the Rull instead.

Or I'll just drink egg nog and sing Christmas carols badly off key...

Dec 21, 2017, 6:08pm Top

I am currently reading and have just about finished Autonomous by Annalee Newitz. It was a Big Idea suggestion on John Scalzi's blog and it was too interesting to pass up, especially since much of the action takes place in Canada. It is set in 2144 when robots are ubiquitous. Unlike people, they are considered property until they earn their freedom. Humans are born free but many of them have to become indentured in order to survive so many humans find themselves in the same situation as robots. Big Pharma has a stranglehold on drug production except for a few pirates like Jack Chen. She reverse engineered a new drug that makes work pleasurable but it soon becomes obvious that the drug causes extreme addiction. Except the problem isn't with Jack's formulation as the original drug caused addiction but that has been covered up. Jack is trying to fix the problem while hiding from the patent police. I am just loving it.

Dec 21, 2017, 6:11pm Top

>61 ThomasWatson: Or I'll just drink egg nog and sing Christmas carols badly off key...


>62 gypsysmom: Wishlisted with my "thanks" muttered sulphrously at you and Scalzi.

Dec 23, 2017, 5:17am Top

I'm re-reading The Blood Red Game by Michael Moorcock. Whether I enjoy it as much today as when I was a mad Moorcock fanboy remains to be seen.

Dec 23, 2017, 2:30pm Top

Finished Pangborn's The Trial of Callista Blake and about to start McAuley's In the Mouth of the Whale.

Dec 23, 2017, 4:17pm Top

>63 richardderus: I sense a little sarcasm there. I'm only paying forward what so many other people have done for me on this thread. I've finished Autonomous now and it was good to the end.

Dec 23, 2017, 4:59pm Top

>66 gypsysmom: *sigh*

It's arriving here tomorrow.


Dec 23, 2017, 5:13pm Top

Just started Beginning Operations, the first omnibus of Jim White's 'Sector General' stories. Not read these since they appeared in John Carnell's 'New Writings in SF' series of anthologies.

Dec 24, 2017, 3:55am Top

Finished Use of Weapons and found it just as gripping and disturbing as when I read it 20-odd years ago.

Now reading Madeline Ashby's Company Town. I enjoyed her Machine Dynasties books and this one is shaping up to be just as good.

Dec 24, 2017, 7:00am Top

>69 SChant: Use of Weapons or Player of Games will be my next Iain M. Banks reread. I have found my rereads of Iain's books even more rewarding than my initial reads.

When I first read these two books I preferred "Player of Games" to "Use of Weapons". I found many people preferred them the other way round. There appear to be two camps in this regard.

Dec 24, 2017, 9:00am Top

Essentially washed my hands of The Janus Affair (C+) this morning; its plot of who is behind the killing of the suffragettes of Britain never achieved escape velocity for me and books keep getting published.

Dec 24, 2017, 12:30pm Top

>70 pgmcc: I really liked them both but Player of Games struck more of a chord with me. Probably because of the atypical plot and central conceit.

Dec 25, 2017, 4:29am Top

Company Town started quite well but has become increasingly muddled and implausible. I'll finish, but it's a bit of a disappointment.

>70 pgmcc:; >72 ScoLgo: I really like both of them - Banks is one of my fave SF authors.

Dec 25, 2017, 11:18am Top

>48 chlorine: are you talking about his art detective stories? Love them, but also am a big fan of his more serious work (Arecadia, Stone Fall and Dream of Scipio were my favs)

Dec 25, 2017, 11:20am Top

>52 dustydigger: Terry Pratchett - Lords and Ladies is great. The other witch bools in the series are Witches Abroad and Equal Rites. Enjoy!

Now reading way station, a bookgroup selection. Never heard of the book or the author (this is written in 1963)I am really liking it so far

Edited: Dec 26, 2017, 9:59am Top

>52 dustydigger: I really bombed on the whole WWE thing this year, and as next year looks to be busier for me (writing, of course), I probably won't put up a list for 2018. If I do, it'll be a short one!

Finished reading Question of the Day: The Andre Polk Memorial Anthology. Like all such collections some stories were stronger than others, the standouts being those with clear beginnings, middles, and endings. I seem to be reading a lot of short stories these days that somehow end without coming to a conclusion. The last tale in this collection was of a story that has no end because the imaginary author of the tale didn't live to tell it. Quite appropriate, for a memorial to an aspiring author.

I'm well into Wreckers Gate by Eric T. Knight, yet another indie offering not yet listed here. (I need to reacquaint myself with how that's done on LibraryThing.) It's an epic fantasy that hits the ground running and maintains a respectable pace. In other words, so far so good. Since I'm reading this one on a Kindle Fire, which I don't carry on the daily bike commute, I'll have a paperback in the bag for lunch break reading. This time it'll be War Against the Rull by A.E. Van Vogt. Read this one a very long time ago, in my earliest teens, when I first started really digging into the home town library.

Dec 25, 2017, 7:55pm Top

We are Legion turned out to be a very fun read. Maybe not great literature, but I found myself imagining myself in Bob's situation and was constantly amused and surprised. I can recommend, especially if you have any kind of technical background or interest.

Dec 26, 2017, 10:00am Top

Edited: Dec 26, 2017, 4:50pm Top

>76 ThomasWatson: Thomas,perhaps you should go back to just trying for 10 books,that may be more achievable Choose some nice short vintage SF,barely 200 pages long! :0) Keep away from challenging stuff like Cloud Atlas and Gene Wolfe,or massive tomes like Doomsday Book!
I think I will post the Pick N Mix challenge,but not do a forum thread for it,(so little response and I haven't much time these days for being admin of a group there). But we'll see. I said the same thing end of 2016 and ended up doing a thread after all! lol.

For the uninitiated,over on the Worlds Without End site I have a yearly challenge. People can choose to try to read 10,20,40,or 80 SF,Fantasy,and Horror books,made up of any books found on the WWEnd excellent wide ranging booklists. Come and join in,everyone is welcome!.

Dec 26, 2017, 6:26pm Top

>70 pgmcc: Rereads can often do that. I've come to understand that a reread is more than just "reading the book again"; rather, you're reading a different book because you know so much more about the structure of the book that lies ahead of you. Also, you will almost certainly have learnt more about life, the universe and everything since you last read the book, and that can change your perspective. Sometimes, a book does not survive a re-read. But for a good book, often it will.

As I said in an earlier post, I've just started reading the Jim White 'Sector General' omnibuses, and these include some stories that I read many years ago when they first appeared in short form (anthologised, mostly). At this point I'm reading stories I first looked at in the early 1970s and which were written in the early 1960s. I'm still finding them good (mostly), though I mentally keep filling in dry, witty ripostes to some of the dialogue in a way which I'm sure Jim might have done if he'd been more sure of his readership and publishers.

And as for Iain M. Banks? Well, all I can do is repeat something I said when I last re-read Consider Phlebas. That was the first time I'd picked up the book seriously in twenty-odd years, and when I re-read the first line of the first Culture novel, my jaw hit the floor.

"The ship didn't even have a name."

It was a striking opening line when I first read it. But now knowing all the background of the Culture, the way ships choose names and the sort of names they choose, suddenly that line told me volumes. It told me that the situation was desperate, because Ships put great importance on their names. And it told me also that Banks had so much of the Culture worked out such a long time before anything about it ever appeared in print.

Dec 27, 2017, 11:36am Top

>75 cindydavid4: Way Station is my favorite Simak book. I am glad you are enjoying it!

Edited: Dec 27, 2017, 12:49pm Top

>80 dustydigger: The books I put on the list didn't cause the problem. I found myself unexpectedly busy in 2017, and when time to spare is in short supply writing, not reading, takes the priority. ;-)

I may go for a short WWE list for 2018. Could probably just recycle the ones I didn't get to this year and have a set of ten.

Dec 27, 2017, 4:00pm Top

Just finished Kingdoms of the Wall by Silverberg : some kind of ethnographic SF.

Dec 29, 2017, 9:51am Top

Currently reading The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman....

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 10:56pm Top

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe (B+) will be the last book finished of the year; it was a pleasure to read a story for a change that I didn't feel obligated to nickle and dime to death.

Dec 30, 2017, 7:20am Top

The best two books I read this year were The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate. That's really saying something because in my experience middle books in a trilogy are usually a let down. I can't wait to start the New Year with the last of the series.

Dec 30, 2017, 9:45am Top

As for my five favorites of the year those would be The Hanging Tree, City of Stairs, Ninefox Gambit, The Delirium Brief and All Systems Red.

Dec 30, 2017, 10:58am Top

> City of Stairs was my highest rated SF book of the year.

Dec 30, 2017, 7:52pm Top

>80 dustydigger: Would joining WWE challenge even fair when I tend to read 80-180 F&SF books/yr in the normal course of events?
If I eliminated re-reads it might be a challenge and since finding LT this month I've only finished books so maybe it will be .....

Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 5:30am Top

Hi Quondame! You would be most welcome. Members choose how many books they want to read,and of course there are loads of other intriguing challenges too,from reading a few trilogies to reading massive tomes,so any one can tailor their challenges to their tastes.
check out the challenges available this last year to see the scope

Dec 31, 2017, 3:54pm Top

My favorite readings (or re-readings), in order read, were Cloud Atlas by Mitchell, Martian Time-Slip by Dick, Gaia's Toys by Ore, Summerland, and Nothing Human by Kress.

Jan 1, 12:40pm Top

>91 dustydigger: Went ahead and made a list for 2018, hoping for a triumph of optimism over reality. Haven't seen a 2018 Pick & Mix registered at WWE yet.

Jan 3, 12:31am Top

>91 dustydigger: Thanks! I went over and added books to my list. What a great resource. Do you only list award winners/short listers? I tried finding a book I just finished that will likely never win any award and it wasn't recognized.

Jan 3, 9:59am Top

>94 quondame: No, all books in the SF, Fantasy and Horror genres can be listed but the listing is done by volunteers. There is a thread where you can request a book to be added to the site.

Edited: Jan 3, 4:12pm Top

>94 quondame: though,as a caveat,if the book has an indie publisher,or is self published,it may be absent or not allowed.. But as JS says,all other books can be requested for addition.
I love WWEnd. It has so many fabulous lists and the layout is so well done. I honestly dont know if the four original creators of the site ever had a chance to sleep back in the early days! lol..
Back in 2013 they caught the attention on twitter etc of female SF/F readers,and set up the Roll Your Own Women of Genre Fiction challenge which took off tremendously. When I joined the site in 2012 there were barely a handful of posters,only the main awards were listed,and very very little apart fromthe major authors were fully represented.Then there came the first Women of Genre Fiction challenge in 2013. The challenges took off like rockets,and the original guys were inspired around 2015 to engage the services of some uber-users of the site to supplement their heroic efforts,and WWEnd has never looked back. Really huge numbers of books have been added,and women authors have exploded from a mere few dozen,to nearly 1800. The gals who came over from Twitter etc for that inaugural Women of Genre Fiction challenge in 2013 have truly shaken up the site. Its an incredible revolution.
Anyone interested in seeing the list of female authors should check it out
For anyone interested,The Women of Genre Fiction requests participants to read 6,12,24,or 48 books by 6 or 12 female authors new to them. A great challenge to widen the horizons of most SF readers,male or female.
Mind you,amusingly,there is now a challenge on WWEnd calledMen of Genre fiction.The blurb says ''There are many male authors who write genre fiction but some readers prefer to read female authors. If you are one of those readers, this challenge is for you! Expand your "girl power horizons" and challenge yourself to read more male authors in 2018.'' Its a whole new world,folks.:)

Jan 3, 4:03pm Top

>96 dustydigger: The Women of Genre Fiction is totally one of my things - I've been adding to my own list of Women F&SF writers for years, ever since one of those best lists drawn up by twenty-something guys came to my attention early this decade. Though it makes me a little sad to think of my list of about 800 being lost in a sea of 1800. One of the few things that distracts me from reading is making reading related lists.

Jan 3, 4:44pm Top

Quondame,I am notorious on this site for producing reading lists of various kinds here at the drop of a hat,so I known the distractions of lists,and certainly WWEnd has ample lists!.I found the site by sheer chance back in 2012. I was doing a challenge on dear old shelfari where I had to read 12 books each from 12 different genres. I had faded away from the SF/F genres years before,but when I discovered all those lists on WWEnd I wanted to complete them all!.lol .Am still heroically attempting to at least conquer a few of them,but its great fun failing!. I completely reawakened my love of SF (fantasy not so much,but I do like UF) and the last 5 years have been chockablock with fascinating and thought provoking books.

Jan 3, 7:18pm Top

>98 dustydigger: I'm thinking it's actually about time I cut back on F&FS especially the super girl get a warm fuzzy were or teen girl leads the rebellion type UF. Elves and monsters that are more fun to be with than our families have been done to death. Though looking at all those award lists on WWE make me want to fill in the holes.

Jan 4, 1:56am Top

>97 quondame: You might find this site useful then - https://sfmistressworks.wordpress.com/ It went on hiatus last year but I plan to restart it this year.

Jan 4, 2:10am Top

>100 iansales: Thanks! Entering books into LT is making me feel like I have to reread everything I can't remember from the 70s through the early 2000s! So many books!

Jan 7, 6:42pm Top

>33 paradoxosalpha: >34 RobertDay: >35 ThomasWatson: A little late but still very much a thank you for your comments on Gods Themselves. I waited until the challenges for 2018 were started and well under way (and I had emerged from the needs/demands of the Yule season) before returning to this thread.

This may be my first Asimov read, and I'm glad that it is recommended as being a satisfying one. I dabbled in reading the Foundations Trilogy decades ago but it was more science-driven than character-driven so I put it down in favor of authors like de Lint and Midori Snyder. With sites like this one and friends whose opinions I trust, though, I'm able to revisit the science fiction universe.

All in all, I'm enjoying this book immensely. Reading it at an older age is quite satisfying: I fully understand the perils of politics within a science department or a work group and I would not have understood that basis in my early 20s. The fact that Asimov starts the entire book with Chapter 6 - what chutzpah! And happy belated birthday, Mr. A.!

Jan 8, 10:33am Top

>102 threadnsong: Glad to see that you're enjoying it. I first read it in my late teens and enjoyed it, but reading it again after (ahem) a certain age, and with years of work in a laboratory behind me, I definitely had a different perspective. There was more to the story than I remembered.

Jan 10, 12:18pm Top

Recently bought Dark Forest by Cixin Liu. Seems interesting.

Jan 10, 12:33pm Top

>104 Rodemail:

It is the second in a trilogy and does not work on its own at all. Make sure you read "The Three-Body Problem" first.

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