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Topic: Currently Reading January

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Subject: Currently Reading January
Date Posted: 1/1/2009 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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I couldn't wait until I finished the book...... I'm halfway through The Heart of Valor by Tanya Huff.   WOW - this book rocks!  I like the way the backstory is slowly revealing itself.  Very enjoyable!

Date Posted: 1/1/2009 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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Well, I spent 2 weeks in MI over christmas and brought along a few books. The first book I read was Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't anything to rave about. I really didn't care for it's pacing, seeming to speed through the big events and dwaddle in the some day-to-day things. I'll probably read it's sequel but I'm not rushing out to get it or anything.

I also started the Vatta's War series by Elizabeth Moon. Trading in Danger was really good, and now I'm about a third of the way through Marque and Reprisal and really enjoying this one too, perhaps better than the first. I've already ordered the next in the series (among a few other books) with a gift card I had.

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
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I finished that DAW 1979 collection, in which even the less than amazing stories were still zarqin' good reads.  I really enjoyed the variety offered.  There were different literary styles, different themes, ideas, characters...it really was an excellent slice of Sci-Fi. Since I finished it in ought nine I'm calling it the first book of the year. That's 1 so far, WOOO, on to numbers 2, 3, and 4.  I don't have The Complete Robot, Robot Dreams or Robot Visions but I'm not letting that stop me; I'll just have to read those some other time.  It's on to the Robot series by Asimov, the first three books of which I have in omnibus form.  It's HUGE, and the print is tiny, so with all the distractions that keep me away from my reading I'll be lucky to report back before spring lol.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Since I finally revealed it in the swap game, I can post that the first book I finished this year was Stardoc by S.L. Viehl.  I loved it and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.  I don't think I've ever read anything like it, focusing on both medicine and science fiction.

I'm currently reading Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher.  It's not bad, but it's a lot slower-moving than his Dresden files books.

Subject: Jim Butcher
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
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I'm currently reading Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher. 

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That's the first one in the series, right?  I went and bought the book, been thinkin' I should put it on top of the TBR pile.

I was able to download Valor's Trial  from my library, another good read, only into it about 125 pages........  Problem is I can only read it when on the computer.

Finished Blood Debt and I'm a few pages from the end of Marsbound (Haldeman).  Both were good, the first part of Marsbound reminds me of D Gerrold's Jumping Off the Planet.  Characters were a little flat for me, however, still kept my interest.  

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Yep, Furies of Calderon is the first in the Codex Alera series.  It was lingering on my TBR pile, but I offered it in a swap so I had to read it :-p

I read parts I and II of Marsbound in Analog  and loved it...reminded me of older hard SF.  Haldeman is one of my favorite authors anyway.  I think I have part III somewhere, but it's been on the back burner. 



Last Edited on: 1/8/09 7:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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re Stardoc, Matt said,  "I don't think I've ever read anything like it, focusing on both medicine and science fiction."

You haven't read any of James White's Sector General series??? Oh my, are you in for a treat :-)



Last Edited on: 1/8/09 9:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/9/2009 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I think I'm going to have to try the Sector General series out, since I am a Stardoc fan as well. Anyone have it on their shelf?

I finished Marque and Reprisal by Elizabeth Moon and I am finding it an entertaining series. I've got the third sitting in my TBR, but I have so many other books waiting for me that I'm not sure I'm going to read it right away. Right now I've been working my way through the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer and think I'll finish the last book in that before anything else.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/9/2009 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I'll have to look for some James White books, but I've got a lot on my plate now, and I put my account on hold because I'm broke and out of credits.  Oh, well.

I just started Neuromancer by William Gibson today (I love cyberpunk) and also His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik, which is the first book in the Temeraire series...so far it's not grabbing my attention.

Subject: Press Enter
Date Posted: 1/10/2009 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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Pulled out my copy of Blue Champagne from Varley.  I re-read Press Enter and will probably post the book for trade.  Lots of typos in this book. (published by Dark Harvest - I know - who is Dark Harvest?) but discovered it was a signed copy.  I must have gotten it at NorwesCon back in '86.  (Man, that sounds old timey).

Won't have access to the computer for next week so I'm going on "hold" - now I get to decide the next book I want to read...........maybe Teranesia by Greg Egan.  Yay! 



Last Edited on: 1/10/09 10:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: my first two books of 2009
Date Posted: 1/10/2009 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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THEY WOULD NEVER HURT A FLY; WAR CRIMINALS ON TRIAL IN THE HAGUE, by Slavenka Drakulić, 2004.

For this book, Drakulić attended the trials before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of celebrity defendants like Slobodan Milošević and Radislav Krstić as well as minor participants. Her stated desire was to come to an understanding of how seemingly normal citizens could come to commit these acts. By the sheer number of offenses that took place, it cannot be attributed simply to a few pathological cases set loose, or a cabal of opportunistic politicians. Drakulić does a great service in drilling into a diversity of cases of different natures, as well as Yugoslavia’s Tito era communist heritage. She observes the defendants from the public seating, through glass walls, and interprets their gestures and facial expression. However, this is not an impartial journalistic report. She calls on numerous memories of her own life, and of her mother, father, and daughter, sometimes using them to invent an inner life for the individuals she is observing. This book then is a personal memoir about her observations of the trials and what it meant to her.   There's a lot more I could say, but this is off topic in a science fiction forum, so I'll let it go at that.

THE CASSINI DIVISION, by Ken MacLeod, 1998.

This novel is a direct sequel to The Stone Canal, and it continues his themes of smart-matter machine intelligence, and evolving human/posthuman political systems.  The main character here, Ellen May Ngewthu, is introduced at the very end of The Stone Canal, as a soldier and a leader of the Cassini Division. She encountered Jon Wilde and Meg as they escaped New Mars on their way back to the Solar System. The 24th Century Solar Union, much to their suprise turns out to have a quasi-utopian world civilization. But in The Cassini Division, Jon and Meg are just background characters as we follow Ellen across Earth searching for the centuries-lost physicist who made intersteller travel possible, and then back to her home space near Callisto, where the Cassini Division is charged with protecting humanity from the posthumans that have transformed Jupiter, and then on to New Mars to prevent any potential of a posthuman singularity there. It is a very good sf story, but as I mentioned, does not introduce any new concepts to MacLeod's universe.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 1/11/09 8:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/14/2009 9:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I finished Neuromancer by William Gibson today.  Awesome book. 

Date Posted: 1/14/2009 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
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I've been thinking about reading Neuromancer later in the year.  I figure I need some more recent SF after all the Asimov.  I was thinking of borrowing my buddy's copy of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.  It's on a LOT of must-read lists, the description looks promising.  Has anybody here read it? 

Anyway...I finished The Caves of Steel and I'm halfway through The Naked Sun.  I can definitely see a difference between his short story writing and his novels, but I'm still fascinated by it.  Sometimes it seems a little drawn out, but I haven't minded just yet.  When I'm not reading, I wish I were, and that's about as good an endorsement I can offer about any book.  It's kind of light reading, in a way, so I'm having a lot of fun with it. 

His short stories seem to feature far less description, plot and character development...usually his characters get a name, one aspect physical description (like Donovan's red hair), a psychological quirk, and a style of speaking.  Then it's all action.  The novels spend a lot more time on things like eating and walking, lots of setting (though I still don't feel confident with my attempts to envision the Expressway strips).  I'm having a blast, and just hope that the other books in the series might return to some more technical references to the robots.  I really got into what I guess is the "hard sci-fi" aspect of his writing (that's what that means, right?), getting down to the nuts and bolts of robotics.  I loved the robopsychology, but these books are much more focused on humans and their quirky societies however many thousands of years into the future, which suffices for the time being.  I'll come back when I'm done with Robots of Dawn.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/14/2009 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I am having a nice day book-wise.

After I finished Neuromancer, I went out to spend my "Christmas Bonus," which was a $75 gift certificate to the Saratoga Downtown Business Association...which includes Borders.  Anyway, I liked Neuromancer so much I got five ore William Gibson books at Borders: a nicer copy of Neuromancer and the two other Sprawl books, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive, the novel he wrote with Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine and Idoru.

Later, I went to the library to see if they had any interesting audio books...I am not a huge fan of them, but I sometimes like them in the car.  I got The Historian which I hear can be tedious to sit down and read, so I thought an audio book might be better.  Anyway, it turned out the Library was having one of its periodic ten cent book sales, and I blew a whopping $0.80 and got: The False Mirror by Alan Dean Foster, The LaNague Chronicles by F. Paul Wilson (a 4 in 1 omnibus I previously had on my wsh list), Deadman Switch by Timothy Zahn, The California Voodoo Game by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, A Clockwork Orangeby Anthony Burgess, and finally The Green Hills of Earth by Robert A. Heinlein - I think this is the last Heinlein colection I've never gotten my hands on.  I may have already read all the stories elsewhere, but this was one of his original collections of the Future History stories.

Well, it was an exciting morning for me.

Also, if anyone wants my old, somewhat beat-up copy of Neuromancer, PM me your address and I'll send it along for free. 

Subject: William Gibson
Date Posted: 1/14/2009 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Matt,

You should know that Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow's Parties could each stand alone, but are set in the order I named them.

I'm currently in the middle of Spook Country.  Have read all those others already.

-Tom Hl.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/14/2009 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Heh.  I am really picky about reading books in order, even if it doesn't really matter.  Oddly, Virtual Light was one of the only Gibson books Border's didn't have.

I have Spook Country on the way from BOMC2.com 



Last Edited on: 1/14/09 4:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/14/2009 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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MattC -

If you got your hands on The California Voodoo Game by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, and you like to read in order ... you need Dream Park and The Barsoom Project!

Just watching out for ya :-) Ha!

(And I'll take Niven any day, over Gibson!)



Last Edited on: 1/14/09 7:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/14/2009 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Ha!  Karen, don't underestimate the extent of my SF nerdiness!  The California Voodoo Game was one of the only Niven books I didn't already have.

Date Posted: 1/15/2009 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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Just finished Lee and Miller's Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon.  Probably my least favorite of the Laid books.  But still on my keeper shelf.   Next up are some library books.  Have the third Greywalker on hold at the library.  And thinking of Spook Country by Gibson.  It's now on the library shelf rather than the waiting list.

I am totally Gibson over Niven.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/15/2009 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I am totally Gibson over Niven.

:-p

Yeah, so am I...but I really liked The Mote in God's Eye.

I'm all about vampires right now...I started listening to The Historian,  and I'm concurrently reading The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton, Glass Houses by Rachel Caine, and I also started slowly reading The Essential Dracula which is an allegedly scholarly edition of Bram Stoker's novel with the footnotes taking up at least as much room as the text itself.  Some of the notes are pointless, but some are fascinating.



Last Edited on: 1/15/09 6:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: more on William Gibson
Date Posted: 1/15/2009 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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William Gibson's Pattern Recognition and Spook Country are slightly related.  I think I would read Pattern Recognition first.

Gibson vs. Niven?  Aw, just go read 'em both.

-Tom Hl.

Date Posted: 1/15/2009 10:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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Loved Pattern Recognition.  Almost gave up on Gibson after Idoro.  I guess the pop icon stuff just felt so distant rather than intimate.

Date Posted: 1/19/2009 9:13 AM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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(Looks around ... am I the only one here? Four days without a post from anyone?)

I'm finishing up GRR Martin's Inside Straight.

The first half of the book was good ... the second half is dragging. Same problem I had with most of the other Wild Card books - he seems to forget about the Aces and Jokers I find interesting and continues the story with ones I don't give a hoot about.

Oh well.

 

Subject: reading
Date Posted: 1/19/2009 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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Got three books read last week:  Teranesia (Greg Egan) Wake (Robert Sawyer) and Summon the Keeper (Tanya Huff).  All good reads.  Wake was a serial in Analog (Nov-March).  Story is about consciousness and the awakening of the "Webmind" - good characterizations, logical and well written and I actually found myself shedding a few tears at the end.  The only thing I wanted was better closure for Hobo.  Maybe Sawyer will add something when the book comes out. I also wouldn't be surprised if Wake gets nominated for one of the big awards.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/19/2009 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I've been reading a lot, but haven't finished anything lately except for The Lunatic Cafe which is not science fiction. 

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