January UN-official SFF-KIT: "Excuses, Excuses..."
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In January your challenge is to read an SFF you meant to read in 2018, but never started/completed.
I know I have any number of those, and I can't be the ONLY one...?
What's on your list to read?
For sure, you aren't the only one. I'm planning to get to Deadhouse Landing by Ian Esslemont in January. (apparently touchstones aren't working right now)
Mine is one I have been planning to read for decades! The Time Machine by H.G. Wells - not sure how I have never got to this before.
I have a small stack of Heinlein books that I have been working through in 2018, and REALLY want to read and rehome, or keep if they impress me enough to consider a future reread.
My first choice for January is Rocket Ship Galileo.
This is the perfect opportunity for me to finally get around to reading Jim Butcher's The Aeronaut's Windlass. If I am not mistaken, I have been meaning to read this one for more than one year (it seems that long).
My main goal for Fantasy is to read Turn of Light however, there are several carry-overs from #RRSciFiMonth I wasn't able to read which are carry-overs from years past (don't ask / longer story) which I aim to read in January since I spent 3wks getting through my Winter virus in December! (oyyy vie) I shared that list previously in one of the other groups - here it is:
Trans-Continental Girl in the Gears via audiobook
Far Orbit Apogee
2016 Nebula Awards Showcase
The Tesla Gate via audiobook
The Robot in the Next Cubicle
Almost a Millennium
--- there are more but I've decided to start with these, honestly at this point my TBR for January is leaning on the heavy side and most likely I'll have to *pace myself* and remember, I have TWELVE MONTHS to read all the lovelies I desire to read! lol Which of us is guilty of being an overachiever? lol
I want to read Children of earth and sky by Guy Gavriel Kay as a new book, taking place in the same cities, is out next year.
I’m rereading The Lord of the Rings, which I’ve been intending to reread for several years now.
Originally I planned to read The Compleat Werewolf, and Other Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction, by Anthony Boucher, as I have had this patiently waiting for a couple of years now. But I'm on vacation and the Werewolf is not to hand, but a volume of Fredric Brown stories, Honeymoon in Hell, is available. Brown is one of those authors I've never read but have been meaning to. So, Honeymoon in Hell it is.
Finished my first book of the year, that qualifies for this, since I had TRIED to finish it yesterday! Brilliance by Marcus Sakey, and interesting alt history.
I had two planned for the month -- Terra Nova and The Boatman -- but the horror book that I started last night seems to be more dark fantasy than horror The House, so that one may end up fitting in here also, as I'd definitely meant to read it in 2018. So, we'll see--I may have three in this category to start out the year!
I had meant to read All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris last year, so that's my pick for this month.
I finished The Calculating Stars Mary Robinette Kowal today (it was excellent, btw)and as I truly meant to read it in 2018, it fits here. Of course, there are quite a few more books I intended to read last year, so there's more to come....
My pick for this month is Uprooted by Naomi Novik, which I wanted to read last year after a friend read it and really liked it.
So far I quite like it, although I find it a bit stereotyped.
I am planning on reading American War by Omar El Akkad, a post-apocalyptic story that I have been trying to fit into my reading since I read a glowing review of it by Sturlington last year.
I picked this up in December 2018 and had planned to finish the year with it, but it spilled over into the New Year!
Artifice (The Silver Ships Book 12) (by S.H. Jucha) - Alex Racine has led his expeditionary force to the edges of Federacy space to confront Artifice, an omnipotent digital entity that poses an existential threat to the Omnians. This is the twelfth installment in Jucha's family-friendly space opera and has First Contact with not one, but no less than four "alien" species! In this story, there is a lot more action and less exposition, which makes sense since, if you've come this far into the series, you know everyone by now! BUT, the technology is a bit anachronistic, the aliens more than a little familiar for being "aliens", the logic behind one of Alex's major decisions a bit obtuse, and quite frankly, the climax was paradoxically, anticlimactic. That all said, for those following the Silver Ships overarching saga, it concludes the Nu'all story arc satisfactorily (even if we do see more of them in future stories,) and sets the stage for further adventures.
I meant to read Contact by Carl Sagan in 2018 for a book-club meeting originally scheduled for a couple of months ago. The meeting got moved to next weekend, so I'm trying to get through it now!
I finished Children of earth and sky by G.G. Kay which was as good as the other books of this author.
I'm reading The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal - I read her short story The Lady Astronaut of Mars last year and loved it (you can read it for free on the Tor website), so I purchased the novel that goes back and tells her earlier story, but I never got around to reading it last year. Very good so far!
I finished my January book today:
The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
A poet who is converted by Scotland Yard into an undercover policeman trying to take down a group of elite anarchists finds himself thick in their midst, elected to their top council of seven leaders, each going by the name of a different day of the week. As his adventure unfolds, Syme (aka Thursday) begins to question not only his own role in the drama, but the very fabric of the world.
Whoa, this was one crazy ride. I'm not certain that I completely understand what's going on in here, but I do know that it's a complete hoot. Think The Prisoner meets a darker, more urbane Narnia.
>31 scaifea: I read this in high school and probably need to read it again! I likely did not get as much out of it as I could now.
Just finished The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.
Enjoyable, wouldn't rave about it. But kept me wanting to read to the end.
>32 rabbitprincess: I think if I'd tried to read it in high school I most definitely would have been totally lost.
My (first?) read for this challenge was FANTASTIC. I finished Terra Nova by Shane Arbuthnott yesterday--it's the follow-up/finish to his debut novel, Dominion, and I simply loved it. It's marketed as MG, but this series is one I'd recommend to young readers and adults alike. The series sort of balances on the line between MG and YA (especially in the second book), and there's an argument to be made that it's more science fiction than fantasy or vice versa, but whatever it is, I LOVED it. If you're following this thread, you should pick up the first book in the series :) Full reviews written for both books. This was my first 5-star read of the year, if you hadn't already guessed!
(And, by the way... for those who are reluctant to start a series before it's fully released, this two-book series is complete. The author has said he's not sure if he'll write more books about the main character or not, but the two books are complete in and of themselves.)
I meant to re-read The Rifter by Ginn Hale last year, but I didn't, so I am doing it now. It is really good and has been several years since I read it last. I have read it at least twice before. My excuses for not reading it last year is that it is fairly long and I wanted to read a lot of other things that are shorter, and also that I tend to binge-read it at the expense of other activities, so I couldn't start it while I had coursework to complete on a close deadline. And during break I kept getting sick and had holiday obligations. (I do know how the story turns out now, so I should be able to do other things while reading it this time.)
I talked about The Rifter more in another thread because apparently I want to read two books at the same time. (Actually, I needed a break from the other book, which I want to finish but it is tiresome to read all at once.)
Finished The Three-Body Problem yesterday. Chinese author Cixin Liu, covers a lot; historical fiction (cultural revolution), math, science, ecology, aliens, contact.
>39 Kristelh: Are you going to read the other two books in the trilogy?
Finished Rocannon's World by Ursula K LeGuin last night. I started a re/read of Ursula K LeGuin's oeuvre last year but didn't get very far (because shiny) - didn't even get through all the Hainish books (this is my third Hainish; it's #3 in Hainish Cycle, chronologically). Just as well to be slow, seems more fitting to have my reading wander through her worlds in a more leisurely fashion anyway.
I've read Alif the Unseen which I have been meaning to get to for a long time. Once into it, the book became one that was hard to put down, Fantasy with djinn and computers in an unidentified Middle East country.
I finished Honeymoon in Hell for this month's challenge. It's a collection of SF stories from the 1950s. I really enjoyed it, but it does have a very strong 1950s feel. Lots of atom bomb/Cold War stuff. Another reviewer described all this as dated--I prefer to think of it as "of its time". Fredric Brown has a conversational style that I particularly enjoyed.
Finished The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher. For a first book in a new series, it has some room for improvement but overall, it is a solid piece of fantasy/ adventure writing and I am intrigued enough to want to read the next book in the series.
And, I finished The Boatman (full review written). Unfortunately, while the other book I read for this challenge was phenomenal, this one left a lot to be desired. This review wasn't quite a rant, but... well, it wasn't good.
I bought The empire of ashes as soon as it appeared in my bookstore, but didn't get around to it last year. Now that I have finally finished it, I am a little underwhelmed. 560 pages of warfare in minute detail is a bit much. And at the end it just sizzles out without proper conclusion.
I've read Players at the Game of People by John Brunner which I started in July. That was just before I got totally distracted by a complete reread of the whole Liaden series and never got more than a few pages in. It was ... interesting.
I just started All Together Dead, but only managing to get a few pages read in the evenings this week - I'm in Azerbaijan, and that means I have a full day in the office and then 3-4 hours of conference calls with the UK and the US every evening... Long travel day home on Saturday, so should get a lot read then.
Success - managed to finish All Together Dead on Saturday. I thought it was well-done - things are getting more and more complicated for Sookie Stackhouse as she's gotten into the middle of various plots - vampires against vampires, humans against vampires - as well as having a were-tiger, a couple of vampires and a telepath interested in her. Lots to juggle in this one, and it looks like things are only getting more and more complicated for Sookie.
Finish up! February will be here by Friday...
Have you made your "Colony" choices for next month's challenge?
I was able to finish one more for this month. Last year, I had started listening to the audio of Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb, I think for the creatures month. I did not like the audio narrator at all and didn't make it very far. I owned a Kindle edition as well, but wasn't able to get to it until this month.
>66 Robertgreaves: We read that book in our science class in 8th grade. I always thought it was strange to read a novel in science.
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