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clong's 50 book challange for 2018

50 Book Challenge

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Jan 2, 6:41am Top

1. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson - after finishing the massive new Sanderson book, I decided to go back and reread some of his early novels.

Jan 2, 3:00pm Top

Good luck and happy reading in 2018!

Jan 4, 3:10pm Top

2. Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson - another re-read. I found it a bit of a letdown after the first book, although the ending has a stunning surprise.

Edited: Jan 6, 5:14pm Top

3. The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson. Another reread. An improvement over book two on multiple levels--both characters and world get quite a bit more complex.

Edited: Jan 8, 8:05pm Top

4. The Space Merchants by Kornbluth and Pohl - another reread in preparation for reading the sequel for the first time. This one has really stood the test of time.

Jan 13, 11:11am Top

5. The Merchant's War by Frederik Pohl - This felt like a darker and less inspired retread of the same material, but with a much less likeable protagonist.

Jan 13, 2:29pm Top

Good luck with your challenge! 😎🤘

Jan 17, 4:00pm Top

6. Catch a Falling Star by John Brunner - I kind of liked this, until the very end.

Jan 21, 4:06pm Top

7. Supertoys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss - a couple of excellent stories, intermixed with several so-so stories, with a couple of unconvincing preachy stories to round things out.

Edited: Jan 27, 1:29pm Top

8. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson - a quick reread of one of my all time favorite fantasies. Almost done with revisiting all of my books by him.

Feb 4, 9:14am Top

9. Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks - Yet another Culture novel that explores fascinating concepts but fails to deliver compelling characters.

10. The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross - not nearly as good as The Atrocity Archive

Feb 10, 1:17pm Top

11. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson - This one was better than I had remembered.

Feb 17, 2:02pm Top

12. The Deceivers by Alfred Bester - The worst science fiction novel I have ever read.

Edited: Feb 24, 3:44pm Top

13. At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft - first half was reasonably entertaining, second half was deadly.

14. The Graveyard Game by Kage Baker - not a particularly compelling story, but it does add layers of complexity the Company Universe.

Feb 25, 11:31am Top

15. The Silver Eggheads by Fritz Leiber - this was pretty awful.

Edited: Mar 12, 7:57pm Top

16. Look into the Sun by James Patrick Kelly - some thought-provoking content, but weighed down by unsympathetic characters and a slow pace.

Edited: Mar 17, 7:20pm Top

17. A Feast Unknown - by Philip Jose Farmer - starts off really awful, improves to being only sort of awful.

I seem to have picked out some real stinkers of late.

Mar 29, 7:42am Top

18. Beyond Apollo by Barry Malzberg - A book in which essentially nothing the protagonist relates to you is to be trusted. Malzberg is a fascinating and unique voice.

Mar 29, 5:40pm Top

19. Mouse and Dragon by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller - continuation of a story that I have absolutely loved when I read it several years ago...This was fine but not great.

Mar 30, 8:02pm Top

20. Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber - good stuff. A re-read.

Edited: Apr 10, 4:08pm Top

21. Sturgeon in Orbit and 22. E Pluribus Unicorn by Theodore Sturgeon - Each of these contained several stories that were new to me (somewhat surprising, given that LibraryThing says I have now read 147 different Sturgeon short stories!). I found Orbit to be somewhat disappointing, and Unicorn to be consistently quite good.

Apr 14, 1:03pm Top

23. Cruel Zinc Melodies by Glen Cook - this one took a long time to develop any momentum (and the edition I bought at a used book store had a section misprinted, so that didn't help). This is a fun, entertaining world, but both it and the characters in question seem to evolve at a glacial pace.

Apr 22, 11:09am Top

24. The Ophiuchi Hotline by John Varley - I liked this quite a bit; I think maybe I understood the ending.

25. Black Legion of Callisto by Lin Carter - dated but fun.

Edited: May 12, 10:25am Top

26. Tactics of Conquest by Barry N. Malzberg - surreal story with a typically unreliable narrator who is playing a chess tournament (sanctioned by mysterious aliens) on which rides the fate of the universe.

May 6, 2:22pm Top

27. Interstellar Empire by John Brunner - so-so space opera.

May 12, 10:23am Top

28. Marsbound by Joe Haldeman - somewhat of a dud.

Edited: May 16, 7:50pm Top

29. Virtual Light by William Gibson - very interesting world building and a moderately interesting story. As I seem to often find with Gibson, I didn't particularly care about what happened to the characters.

Edited: May 19, 1:24pm Top

30. Worlds Apart by Joe Haldeman - Not bad, but not really my cup of tea. This one felt pretty Heinleinesque to me (not that I've read much Heinlein since my teens). Our young brilliant female protagonist spends a lot of time thinking about and having sex older male engineers in a society with open and varied marriage structures.

May 27, 4:00pm Top

31. Obsession: Tales of Irresistible Desire edited by Paula Guran - This collection of mostly-new-to-me stories proved a bit of a mixed bag.

May 29, 8:50am Top

32 Swords Against Death by Fritz Leiber - more F&GM fun...

Jun 5, 8:43am Top

33. Swords in the Mist by Fritz Leiber - and more

Jun 22, 7:57am Top

34. Swords Against Wizardry and 35. The Swords of Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber - fun... I need to get my hands on a copy of book 6.

Jul 2, 8:18pm Top

36. Everything's Eventual by Stephen King (audiobook containing only five of the stories from this collection)

37. Good Omens by Neai Gaimand and Terry Pratchett -

38. I am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson -

I listened to all three of these as books-on-cd during a recent road trip. Unfortunately some of the discs (checked out from the Library) were damaged...so I missed parts of Good Omens and some of the King short stories.

Jul 3, 11:15am Top

39. Tower of Glass by Robert Silverberg - this one had potential, but in the end didn't delve very deeply into the issues it raised.

Aug 5, 12:05pm Top

40. The Best of Robert Silverberg was fairly decent...

Aug 7, 8:03am Top

41. Mind Wizards of Callisto by Lin Carter - superficial but fun; clearly following in the footsteps of Barsoom stories.

Edited: Aug 11, 8:26am Top

42. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman - a reread...great book.

Aug 17, 8:18am Top

43. The Subtle Knife and 44. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman - Revisiting this series after several years, I found that it's pretty darn near the top of the ya fantasy list.

Aug 20, 3:32pm Top

45. The Weapon Shops of Isher by A.E. Van Vogt - interesting concepts and an interesting setting. But characters are not particularly compelling and I remain a skeptic of its libertarian world view (and the basic idea that giving everyone guns will make us all safer).

Edited: Sep 3, 5:53pm Top

46. Daughter of Regals and Other Tales by Stephen Donaldson - None of these stories was terrible and a few were quite good. I continue to be baffled by the popularity of the Thomas Covenant universe (one "story" from this world is included here).

Sep 6, 7:22pm Top

47. The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester - Revisiting this book after many years was fun. Ground-breaking ideas, bravura storytelling and complex characters.

Oct 6, 7:58am Top

48. Redemolished by Alfred Bester - an odd book. The lost prologue to the novel doesn't really add anything, and the early stories are pretty awful, but a few of the articles were quite interesting.

Oct 15, 11:12am Top

49. The Crisis of Classical Music in America by Robert Freeman - I agree with much but not all of Freeman's analysis, but found some of his anecdotal evidence unconvincing. And his outlook much gloomier than mine.

Oct 26, 8:20am Top

50. Gods and Pawns by Kage Baker - a bit of a mixed bag. I really enjoyed the first couple Company novels.

I finished my 50th book on October 25.... Netflix has definitely been eating into my reading time the past few months.

Oct 29, 7:40am Top

51. City of the Chasch by Jack Vance - fun escapism.

Nov 2, 7:52am Top

52. Servants of the Wankh by Jack Vance - more of the same...

Nov 5, 10:21am Top

53. The Dirdir by Jack Vance - ditto.

Nov 7, 8:06am Top

54. The Pnume by Jack Vance - finishing a reread of the four book series. An entertaining homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter books.

Nov 9, 7:44am Top

55. Top of the Heap and 56. Give 'Em the Ax by A.A. Fair - starting to re-read of a bunch of A.A.Fair novels which I recently picked up at a used bookstore.

Group: 50 Book Challenge

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