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Topic: 2014 SF Challenge /DISCUSS /May-Jun

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Subject: 2014 SF Challenge /DISCUSS /May-Jun
Date Posted: 5/2/2014 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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This thread is for continued discussion and questions regarding the 2014 SF Challenge.  If you are new to this, the challenge itself can be found on the 2014 SF Challenge /TRACK  thread, and it is NOT too late to join!

So, here we are 4 months into it.  Are you on track to your goals? 

Personally, I've finished 13 of 40.  It's feels like I'm falling behind with two books that took about one month each,  But actually, 13 of 40 is still on track for end of the year.  The two books that ate up my time in March and April were Syzygie and Redemption Ark.  I was complaining earlier about Redemption Ark, and have come to realize that the characters were actually introduced in some stories set earlier than the whole series of Revelation Space universe novels.  Redemption Ark is full of back-references to those stories which is one of the reasons I found it so hard to follow, I suppose.  So being a glutton for punishment, I have now started the next novel Absolution Gap - and much to my surprise, am enjoying it quite a bit more.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 7/11/14 10:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/2/2014 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
Posts: 826
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I just finished a whopping 7th book.  I think I'm more or less on track to finish 20 for the year.

It was Ursula Le Guin's Lathe of Heaven.  I really wish I liked Le Guin more - she has such interesting ideas and worlds, but her characters don't have enough depth for me.

Brad -
Date Posted: 5/20/2014 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 200
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I dont' think I've read a SciFi in over a month, very unusual for me.  Doesn't mean I'm not reading though.

I get a major score at the church rummage sale.  For being a SCIFI/Fantasy reading I'm accustomed to not finding things I'd like to read at rummage sales.

I found the first 12 books of the Wheel of Time series by Rick Jordan.  It was the last day of the rummage sale, so it was "bag day".  So I got all the books into one bag.  So I got 12 books for $5 total.  yes

  • Except didn't get #3
  • Also accidentally got two of #11
  • 5 of them are hard backs

Not sure if I'll like them or not, but really for that price there was no way I was not getting all those books and just settle for the first one.  I've heard the series is complicated, lots of characters, which I usually don't care for.

Date Posted: 5/20/2014 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 41
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I've been reading a lot of fantasy it seems lately (Name of the Wind just finished)  but I found time over two months to read the whole 2014 Campbellian anthology, far to late to vote on the Hugos, but I deserve a gold star.

Subject: Tom?
Date Posted: 5/28/2014 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Well, I have finally emerged from the Alastair Reynolds universe, and am again logging completed books.  Here's my recent challenge category reads, with links to my goodreads comments on them.  I have just picked up a copy of Jack McDevitt's Starhawk at the library and am now reading that tentatively in the First Contact category.  Maybe it will be moving elsewhere though if he doesn't get back to that early first contact thread.

A7  male writer - Absolution Gap (2003) by Alastair Reynolds, finished 5/25/14 ****
S3  Contemporary Earth - The Multiple Man (1976) by Ben Bova, finished 5/27/14 **

Wierd!  Both Absolution Gap and Starhawk are set in the 107 Piscium system.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 5/28/14 10:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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It's awfully quiet around here...   Meanwhile, I am moving through books again, and currently have finished 18 from my goal of 40.  Recent categories completed are:

F6  First Contact - Starhawk (2013) by Jack McDevitt, finished 6/2/14 ****
A2  US writer - Earthbound (2011) by Joe Haldeman, finished 6/4/14 ***
S8  Parallel Universe - The Portal (2013) by Richard Bowker, finished 6/6/14 ***

I'm now reading Feeling Very Strange; The Slipstream Anthology since yesterday, as a "hot find".  It doesn't fit any of the other categories, but it was a birthday gift on May 7, and yesterday was June 6, so I'm calling it as just under the wire. :)

-Tom Hl.

Date Posted: 6/7/2014 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
Posts: 826
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I've been reading less fantasy and sci-fi this year and more classics and other genres.  I'm currently reading Dorothy Sayers' The Nine Tailors, Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, and have been contemplating a re-read/re-listen of Nabokov's Lolita for one of the Goodreads book clubs that's been having a fantastic discussion of it this month.

 

I have read Kurt Vonnegut's Slapstick since the last time I posted but that's it...  I've read two by sci-fi authors that aren't (strictly speaking) sci-fi at all though they do have small sections that could pass muster --  Stanislaw Lem's A Perfect Vacuum (fake book reviews) and Ray Bradbury's Green Shadows, White Whale  (non-fiction about his writing a moby dick script) but don't know if I'll bother to count them.  

But I did attempt Nnedi Okorafor's latest book, Lagoon but could only find it in audio and since the dialog is written in dialect, the narrators are reading it with an extremely heavy accent and I had such a difficulty understanding them that I returned the book.

Date Posted: 6/9/2014 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 447
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I decided to take a coursera  online science fiction and fantasy in literature course.  All I can say at this point is that I really don't like grimm's fairy tales anymore if I liked them before at all.   It made me go read some Philip K. Dick to reset my brain but since I already read that short story book, it can't count for the challenge. And no,  I have not completed my excel spreadsheet of books read for the year.  I have a pile of books to the left of me -unread- and a pile of books to the right of me -read must be entered into spreadsheet-.  The one that is bothering me is Zane Grey Rider's of the Purple Sage.  I have never read it and I think I should but I can't seem to get to it .  Not that it will help me with this challenge.  The next book for my class is Alice in Wonderland.  Maybe I should have signed up for Fantasy challenge.  The course includes Dracula, Frankenstein, Hawthorne, Poe, Le Guin, Doctorow but it does include Bradbury & H,G, Wells.

Date Posted: 6/10/2014 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
Posts: 8,982
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I have only read 4 science fiction books this year.  My consumption of mysteries, paranormal and nonfiction has increased greatly but for some reason I'm having trouble finding science fiction that I want to read.  However, I was recently given a copy of Mieville's Embassytown and I loved it.  For the (probably) very few out there who haven't read it yet, I totally recommend it.

Date Posted: 6/16/2014 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2012
Posts: 593
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I just finish Ancillary Justice by Ann Lecke and I highly recommend it. 

Date Posted: 6/26/2014 12:42 AM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 447
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I just read How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.  I liked it.  It's a bit unusual so I'm not sure I can recommend it.  It's nominally about time travel but it's in a story universe so there are references  to present tense and subjective phases.  I read it in small pieces.  It's not a book you can just zip through.  It's an autobiography and a survival guide.  I'm going to look up the definition of New Weird  it might be labeled as such rather than purely science fiction.

 



Last Edited on: 6/29/14 7:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/11/2014 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Just thought I would mention that it appears the price of the kindle edition of Ancillary Justice has recently dropped to $1.99.  And that the sequel Ancillary Sword is due out October 7, 2014.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut's writing, in the way it was self-referencing.

I also liked Embassytown a lot, and thought it should have *won* more of the awards it was nominated for.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 7/11/14 10:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 3