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Topic: Currently Reading *JULY!*

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Subject: Currently Reading *JULY!*
Date Posted: 7/1/2009 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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Read 50 pages of Adam-Troy Castro's Emissaries From the Dead (An Andrea Cort Novel), and gave up. Just didn't grab me.

Oh well. Next person on the list may like it :-)

 

Date Posted: 7/2/2009 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,536
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I am reading the sequel to Plague Year called Plague War by Jeff Carlson.  It picks right up where Plague Year left off and is pretty good so far.

Let me know if you are interested in it when I finish.  I bought it new from Amazon.

Date Posted: 7/2/2009 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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My TBR stack is getting way too big. . .

 

I have two Elizabeth Bear novels I just received that I want to get to this month; Wild Seed by Octavia Butler; several Sean Stewart novels that are just waiting for me to decide what I want to read first; Storyteller by Amy Thomson; and Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan.

 

And that's just the sci-fi! I am also still making my way through all of Agatha Christie's novels in publication order, I'm picking up Dorothy Sayers' novels as they become available in hardcover here on PBS, and I'm still doing research for my story and so reading anything that seems relevant to that. Harrumph. At this rate I'll never get to the housework. :)

Date Posted: 7/3/2009 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 360
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eh, housework is over rated ;-)

Subject: Summer reading
Date Posted: 7/5/2009 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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Work is getting in the way of my reading - but I've managed almost all the Charlaine Harris books.  Not SF, I know.

Did manage This Is Not A Game by Walter Jon Williams.  Review on-line.  Thriller book, not really my definition of SF, but it does take place in the now or very near future.   

Now reading Time Storm by Gordon Dickinson, but I'm losing focus.  Just too hot maybe......

Date Posted: 7/6/2009 1:20 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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I have a very soft spot in my heart for Time Storm. I found it when I was pretty young and in a big cat phase. :) I haven't read it in quite a few years, so I don't know how well it holds up, but it holds fond memories for me. Hope you enjoy it despite the heat!

Subject: The Change
Date Posted: 7/6/2009 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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THE PROTECTOR'S WAR, by S.M. Stirling, 2006.

This is the second novel of "The Change", set in 2007, eight years after Dies the Fire. My dislike for the character Juniper Mackenzie continues, but fortunately Stirling is now tracking many more characters, and the effect is dilluted.

I was drawn in by the intense plotting, and the pitching of characters along long-term trajectories that I could anticipate the consequences of. The action is far more gruesome than I care for; but after a while I just got numb to the descriptions of arrows being shot through people's heads, for example.  I am enjoying the occasional reference to books, movies, and events which occured in our timeline, but not in this 2007 - and laughing at the excessive attention Stirling seems to be paying to the meals the characters eat.

To my disappointment, the conceptual premise is not explored any further than it was in the first novel, except that we learn that combustion engines based on a work/energy cycle experience unprecedented loss of efficiency - and that nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons both suffer from an inability to achieve critical mass. So, does the Sun now burn with nuclear fusion and no fission, I ask. But no one in the story spends any time thinking about it.

Finally, I recommend that you have A Meeting At Corvallis on hand before starting this, because the plot just continues across both books. There's no putting the series down now.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 7/6/09 9:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/7/2009 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 5/12/2009
Posts: 27
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I just started reading Dune. So far it's alright, but I wouldn't put it in my top tier of best sci-fi.

Date Posted: 7/12/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 68
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Tom, I just picked up all three of the Change series and am looking forward to reading them.  I am a big Stirling fan.

Kendra - Altered Carbon is a masterpiece -- I love that book so much.  Richard Morgan is terriffic!

 

EDIT: forgot to say what I am reading! 


Not exactly SF but I just started Jonathan Maberry's Pine Deep trilogy... Ghost Road Blues is the first book.  Good so far... kind of a slow start and a bit of a strenge shifting in writing styles in the early chapters.  I wonder if it's his first novel?  Anyway, the style seems to have settled down into a voice I am enjoying.



Last Edited on: 7/12/09 10:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/12/2009 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 360
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I just started reading Dune. So far it's alright, but I wouldn't put it in my top tier of best sci-fi.

BLASPHEMY!!   ;-)

I love Dune and would have to put it in my top tier. It is also one of the few books I try to reread at least once every 3-4 years. And I like the whole series, although it isn't at the same level :-)

 

Date Posted: 7/12/2009 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 102
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I loved the Dune series.  I got to Chapterhouse  Dune before I needed a bit of a change.  Plan on getting back to it though some time this year. 

 

MaxE-  I love Richard Morgan's stuff(although I have only read 2 so far)  I have read Altered Carbon and Thirteen and enjoyed both of them.  I see he has a fantasy book out now The Steel Remains I believe is the title.  Not sure I'll read this one though, not a big fan of fantasy anymore.  I'll read it occasionally though.

 

I'm currently reading--Rainbow's End, not enjoying it though.  Also read Waltz with Bashir(graphic novel), really enjoyed that one.

 

Phil

Date Posted: 7/13/2009 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2009
Posts: 122
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I just finished The Mount by Carol Emshwiller. I enjoyed it immensely, and highly recommend it. I've just started By Heresies Distressed by David Weber. It was just published - it seems like I've been waiting forever for it.

Subject: More July reading
Date Posted: 7/17/2009 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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Finished some short story books, Asimov's Skin Deep, Identify Theft and Other Stories (all by R Sawyer, includes short story "Shed Skin" which I found very thought provoking, apparently Sawyer won an award for this short) and Star Colonies.  Also finished Forever Free by Haldeman - odd ending, not at all what I was expecting......... Also almost finished with Orbital Resonance by J Barnes.  Easy reading.

Picked up Drood by Dan Simmons from the library - yoiks!  big book..... I've only read as far as the train wreck.  I'm not a Dan Simmons fan and also not a fan of Victorian fiction.  So why did I get this?  I dunno - it was just there on the table.....

____________________________

Loved Dune, was bored by the follow-ups.  Love Richard Morgan, can't fathom him doing fantasy......

 



Last Edited on: 7/17/09 4:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/17/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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Alison sezs : "all by R Sawyer ...."

Did you see where Flashforward is coming to TV?

Oh yeah - what I'm reading ... just finished Tanya Huff's Heart of Valor - it's a keeper!

Subject: Flashforward and syfy
Date Posted: 7/18/2009 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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The gist of Flashforward lends itself to lots of different stories - so probably won't be that much scifi (or should I say syfy?----snarl).  Anyways, I'm curious about it.  I hope it doesn't take up Sawyers time too much.  I really would like to read the next book in his WWW series.

I think it was Matt who introduced me to Tanya Hearts' Valor series.  Most excellent - that's another series where the next book can't come out fast enough.

And yay!  Zoe's Tale finally arrived late yesterday.  Drop everything.......................

Date Posted: 7/19/2009 3:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,757
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i read Diamond Star by Catherine Asaro today, and i really enjoyed it as i have the entire Skolian series.  though it focuses mainly on Del, a character i don't remember hearing much about before, we do catch up some with the rest of the family which is good.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 7/19/2009 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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The valor series is great!  The latest one is out in paperback, and my keeper copy is on the way.

Date Posted: 7/19/2009 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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I envy the people who just discovered the Valor series.

I tried her other books, but didn't really get into them. I wanted the SF!

I had to wait 5 flippin' YEARS between book 2 and book 3 :-)

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 7/19/2009 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I read Tanya Huff's Blood series first, and I still like that just as much as the Valor series, I think.

Date Posted: 7/20/2009 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,536
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I am finishing Some Will Not Die, by Algis Budrys.  Very military themed, which is not my taste,  but an interesting take on after the plague kills 90% of humans.

What kind of name is that, does anyone know?

Date Posted: 7/20/2009 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 175
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I'm just starting Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. I've been meaning to get to this for a while now, and since I started it I'm kicking myself that I didn't read it sooner. It's excellent so far!

Not really sci fi, but I just finished reading The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. Not what I was expecting. Not sure how I feel about it yet.

And Pamela, I believe Budrys was of Lithuanian descent. But don't quote me on that!

 



Last Edited on: 7/21/09 7:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: The Change, book 3
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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A MEETING AT CORVALLIS, by S.M. Stirling, 2006

I've been writing reviews of stand-alone novels for a long time now, and I think I know how to avoid giving spoilers, by describing the basic premise without giving the plot. But the problem with reviewing a later book in a series, is that even the basic premise can contain what would be a spoiler with respect to one of the earlier books. That is the case with these books of "The Change", so all I can really say is that this one follows very closely on The Protector's War. Be sure to have both books on hand when you get started. Stirling must have written them together; this writing has exactly the same strengths and weaknesses for me, as I previously described in the earlier reviews. There is a firm conclusion (in fact, it gets a little sappy at the end, I think), and yet it leaves open the seeds of the further sequels.

But there is no progress at all, towards understanding why or how "The Change" happened in the first place. I keep waiting for the intelligence behind the concept to interact in the plot, but there haven't even been any clues laying the groundwork for that. Maybe it's time for me to read some real science fiction again.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 7/22/09 10:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 7/23/2009 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Speaking of Oryx and Crake, has anyone read The Blind Assassin by Atwood?  I'm about 50 pages in, but it's really dragging and I wondered if it was worth reading.

I'm past the halfway mark in Valor's Trial.  Good story, and I'm glad she's doing a 5th.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 7/25/2009 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I finished Valor's Trial.  I liked it and I'm already looking forward to the next one.  I've been reading more fantasy and other stuff lately, it seems.  I had to look back at the last true SF book I've read...it was Eternity Row by S.L. Viehl back in May.

That's the 13th book I've read by Tanya Huff, that ties her with Patrick F. McManus for 9th on my all-time list.

Subject: end of July
Date Posted: 7/30/2009 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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DUKE ELLINGTON, by James Lincoln Collier, 1991.

This was a quick but interesting read for me. Because it is written for young people, it spends some time portraying Duke Ellington as an admirable role model, and in some ways he is. At the same time, it is careful not to discourage young students of music from formal studies, which Duke resisted during his entire life.

But what fascinated me was the description of black culture, and the history of jazz, in the first half of the twentieth century. I remember Duke Ellington's funeral in 1974 (I was a sophmore in college), but my taste in jazz ran more to bebop and fusion, so his original music was "old", and his later orchestral works were unappealing. In this book, I saw him as leading a cultural wave through the jazz and swing eras.

While reading this, I listened to an album I own called "Money Jungle" - a compilation of a 1962 recording session of him with Charlie Mingus and Max Roach. It's definitely not the kind of music his fame was built on, but more the kind I like. There are reworks of some of his older band compositions mentioned in the book - like Warm Valley. But I definitely want to check out some of his 1930s and 1940s work now.

REMNANT POPULATION, by Elizabeth Moon, 1996.

This is a clever Hugo-nominated novel about Ofelia, an old woman who stays behind on a planet, after her colony is evacuated. Her first several months of solitary self-discovery give a fascinating perspective on her earlier life. But then another human colony begins to be established far up the coast, only to be destroyed by native intelligent beings that no one knew of. The true nature of those native beings is revealed only through the subjective eyes of Ofelia, who is far wiser than anyone ever gave her credit for. This is a very emotionally rewarding read.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 7/31/09 12:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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