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Topic: Currently Reading *MARCH!*

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Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Subject: Currently Reading *MARCH!*
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Ah, another new month.  I love it.  I finished 8 books in January, 10 in February, and I'm hoping to keep up the momentum.  As usual, I've been divided between SF and paranormal, with a couple of fantasy and thrillers thrown in.  Yesterday I started Eternity Row (Stardoc, Bk 5) :: S. L. Viehl, which is excellent, and I've sort of been halfheartedly working on The Mind Behind the Eye :: Joseph Green since it's DAW #2...but I have to say it's rather uninspiring. 

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
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I just started Blasphemy by Douglas Preston, and am *kinda* reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I'm snowed in at my parents' house, so lots of reading/knitting will be going on over the next few days. Next up is Next by Michael Crichton. Possibly the Belgariad after that....it's the only series at their house I haven't read.

 

 

Subject: When it snows - what to do
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
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Read of course.  We got six inches dumped on us a couple of days ago - it still hasn't all melted.  I saw on the news that the east coast is gonna get hit tonight.  Three more weeks 'till Spring.

I finished Legacies by F. Paul Wilson this morning (mostly read in February).  Currently reading Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs.  Very cool cover - beautiful woman with dark blue background and I happened to catch the image in the kitchen light.  There were these background streaks, so I looked a little closer and it turned out to be rain.  You could see the raindrops on her skin.  Really striking book cover.  And........ the book is great reading, I'm more than halfway thru.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 1:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,400
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I've started Omega Games (Star doc #8).  Was kinda tired of this series, but this one is moving well.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/6/2009 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Slow thread this month.

I've been reading more urban fantasy stuff lately.  I finished Enchantment Place (DAW anthology edited by Denise Little) and Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #3) this week. 

I've also started Forests of the Night by S. Andrew Swann.  It has a sort of cyberpunk setting and reminds me of Blade Runner a bit, but it's really weird with all kinds of genetically engineered human/animal mixes.  I'm also hoping to finally read Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series.  I've read part of it in the past, but I want to read the whole series, so I re-started A Princess of Mars today.

Subject: Stuff read
Date Posted: 3/6/2009 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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No posting from me as I've not finished any SF. 

Read a Teagarden mystery by Charlaine Harris. 

Sat down a few nights ago with Tales from Beetle the Bard by JK Rowling.  Writing fairy tales (original) fairy tales is not easy - I discovered this in a writing class I had back in college.  So I enjoyed these fairy tales, they don't parallel any other tales I've read.  Admittedly I haven't thought about it much and I'm no fairy tale expert.  Cool thing was the "notes" by Dumbledore which put a unique spin on each story.  Nice book, background to the Harry Potter universe, proceeds to charity, all told made it worth the price of the book. 

Also finished today Long Hot Summoning by Tanya Huff.  For some reason this book just dragged out for me.  Evidenced by my taking two months to read.

I'd like to read the John Carter series.  Don't think I ever got thu all of 'em.  I'm guessing a lot of these are free on-line, like Gutenberg editions.  If I remember right, Carter went to Venus also - before he went to Mars.  Hmmm  (---where to begin???)

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/6/2009 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I know Edgar Rice Burroughs did a Venus series, but I thought that was with another character altogether.

Subject: kewl -
Date Posted: 3/6/2009 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
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You're right !  - I see a Carson of Venus.  I downloaded a couple of those from Gutenberg Australia and from the local (uh, I guess U.S.) Gutenberg site.  Anyways - lots of Edgar Rice Burroughs on-line.  No excuse to put off reading 'em any more.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/8/2009 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I just finished Century of the Manikin by E.C. Tubb.  It's a short novel from 1972 (One of the earliest DAW books, #18).  Its hard to say specifically what it's about, but in general it seemed like a social commentary centering on a future propaganda-controlled society where violence is repressed, only to build up like a bomb.  Kind of weird, but interesting.

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 3:20 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
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I'm reading An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair now. I finished The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald a few days ago. Next up is another space opera book, but I'm not sure what yet.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/10/2009 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I have been having trouble getting into anything, and have bounced around a bit.  I started an anthology called Man VS. Machine which is about what it sounds like.  It starts with a new Berserker story from Fred Saberhagen (A series I like) but I haven't gotten far into it. 

Yesterday I started Darkover Landfall by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  It seems to have potential as a good colonization novel, but the main character is too annoying.  Maybe it's because the book is kind of old, but there is a chauvinistic aspect that I just can't get around.  It's intentional, I'm sure, to address gender issues, but the guy is such an ass than his chauvinism IS the story and I don't even feel like finishing it.

Today, though, I started Plutonium Blonde by John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem, and I love it.  It's about a sort of old fashioned private detective of the Sam Spade type, but in a high tech future.  It's hilarious and I think I'm going to love this series.

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I read Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. It was my first Liaden Universe book and while it was good, I guess I was hoping for something exceptional and it just didn't hit me that way. Part of it is that I wanted to read these in the best order, but I can't seem to figure out just what order that is. I think now that I should have started with Agent of Change, the second story in the same omnibus I have (Partners in Necessity), but Conflict of Honors was the first in the omnibus, so I just started there. Only it seemed there were many parts of the book where I was just missing something. Now looking on the Liaden Universe website the suggested reading order is to start with Agent of Change...so I wonder why the omnibus has it as the second story after Conflict of Honors?

What is it about the sci-fi/fantasy genre that makes trying to find out a series order so confusing!? Maybe I'm just too much of a newbie here :P

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/10/2009 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Hey Sarah...I don't accept it as gospel, but this site has a series order posted: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/sharon-lee/

I have found errors on this site before, just as a disclaimer.

Date Posted: 3/11/2009 3:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,757
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yeah, the authors seem to suggest reading Agent of Change first http://www.korval.com/liad.htm , so it's weird that they'd be in the other order in the omnibus.

since i found them at the UBS out of order, i actually read them in chronological order within the universe - the two prequels first (Local Custom and Scout's Progress), then the three in Partners in Necessity (but i don't remember in what order, since i actually had Agent & Conflict in mmp, then had to get the omnibus to get Carpe Diem), and then Plan B and I Dare.  they made sense to me that way.  i don't particularly get why the authors would recommend reading the prequels in between Plan B and I Dare, since the one is an immediate sequel to the other.  i'd probably read the prequels before Plan B if you've got them all.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/11/2009 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I always read in publication order, if I can.  Prequels aren't always meant to be read first.  It seems to me more often they explain things you are already supposed to be familiar with.  I've mentioned the Patternist series by Octavia Butler before.  I read four books in an omnibus that had been helpfully arranged chronologically.  Her original book, Patternmaster is set in the future, so it came last in the omnibus, but it really sets the stage for all the other books, some of which make little sense on their own.  I was really annoyed with that publication afterwards.

Date Posted: 3/11/2009 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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So far for Liaden Novels I've got the omnibus (Conflict of Honors, Agent of Change, Carpe Diem) and Local Custom in mmp. The others are on my WL. I think I'll read Agent of Change next. I think I might have to just go buy I Dare because the WL line is taking forever on that one.

Date Posted: 3/11/2009 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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Miller and Lee were bumped around by publisher's.  One dropped them and another folded.  But they never stopped writing the books.  The time line order is not the publishing order.  I personally do not recommend reading in the timeline order.   The two Crystal books would not be where I recommend starting.

But I agree that Conflicts of Honor doesn't fit in first.  It has a less Liadian point of view than the other books.  So it feels much more outside looking in.

http://www.korval.com/faqliad.htm

Date Posted: 3/11/2009 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,400
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I'm reading Duplicate Effort by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.  I'm enjoying it.  I usually like her books even though I feel she often can use more editing.  Ironic that her other job is editing.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 4:58 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,757
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ah, i wasn't necessarily recommending reading the Liaden prequels before the main novels, just before I Dare if you have them.  i read them in the order i did mainly because i didn't know they were prequels.  i looked them up, saw that that was the order, and only figured out later that they were prequels.  though since Local Custom has a Terran learning about Liad as a main part of the plot, it introduces a new reader just fine as well.  i still thought that they were wonderful without having read the other books first.  :)

Date Posted: 3/14/2009 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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I had to fly out of town unexpectedly and grabbed 2 books off of the TBR pile.

Wouldn't you know that I would choose 2 that grabbed me and then I didn't want to take care of the out of town business :-)

Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi - laugh out loud funny! I just love Scalzi's sarcastic tell it like it is characters ... but when the alien blob of jello talks that way also ... I'm afraid the people on the plane thought I was demented :-)

Victory Conditions by Elizabth Moon - a sort-of satisfying ending to the series. Although the ending did seem rushed, the rest of the book was excellent.

Surprising how much reading I can get done when there's no computer available. :-)

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/14/2009 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I finished The Plutonium Blondeby John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem.  Excellent book, if you don't mind it being a bit slapstick and goofy.  I liked it, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series (I think I'm only missing #5 now).

Subject: Tom's reading
Date Posted: 3/15/2009 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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COLLECTED TALES, by Nikolai Gogal, Russian, 19th century

I had previously read Gogol's Dead Souls so I thought I knew what to expect from this. But I was surprised by the supernaturalism of the earlier Ukrainian stories. After a while I came to think of them as written to a weekly television show level of entertainment rather than a literary audience. Situation comedies in some cases; thrillers in others. The later Petersburg stories are definitely more intentional and serious. And then there is the very wierd "The Nose".

SNOW CRASH, by Neal Stephenson, 1992 (new sf writer #2 for 2009 for me)

I've been reading science fiction since I was about ten, about forty years ago. Lately I've been getting recommendations to read some Neal Stephenson, so this book was my introduction to him. I enjoyed the story and found its very active plot engaging. There are a lot of speculative concepts pulled into this book, the Metaverse, the franchising of society, a human intelligence virus, Samurai and Aleut culture - but somehow it didn't seem as creative as I thought it should. I think my problem is that Stephenson directly explains everything about his world to the reader. I prefer the approach taken by William Gibson in Neuromancer where you are just thrown into the middle of it, and have to figure things out on your own. So the puzzle aspect was missing for me. Still, as I mentioned, the plot was a real wild ride, and I was kept wondering how things would go for Y.T. and Hiro. So I expect I will be reading more Neal Stephenson.

THE OX-BOW INCIDENT, by Walter Von Tilburg Clark, 1940.

It's been a long time since I read a "Western", but this novel is more a psychological study of characters set in 1880s Nevada, than a cowboy story like Shane. It examines closely the relationships between the men, from a pre-feminist perspective that would probably not be possible today. The West of that time was populated primarily by men, who lived lives largely uncontrolled by the influences of civilization, and yet were still constrained by a rigid moral code. That code was not one of internal self-control, but one that demanded immediate and harsh correction of the frequent deviations. It is the rumor of major violations of the code - rustling and murder - that after much posturing leads to the self-appointment of a posse to pursue the perpetrators. The decision-making, and its consequent events are the drama of the story. Clark had extensive experience in theater before writing this novel, and it shows.  Having been written at the beginning of World War 2, I think Clark's commentaries on the rule of law, and guilt by both commission and omission, relate to the rise of fascism in the world. It's a warning, as in "this is how it happens".

-Tom Hl.

 

Date Posted: 3/15/2009 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 624
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Finished Asimov's Robots of Dawn. Loved it, as always :-)

 

I'm trying to ignore Crichton's Next staring at me reproachfully from the foot of my bed and am instead reading an Art History fiction- Girl in Hyacinth Blue, I do believe. It will probably be awhile before I get back to sci-fi, sadly. I'm keeping all my Asimov books, and several others, and am trying to space them out between the stacks of books I'll be posting on here. So it'll be art fiction and classics for awhile, then onto Robots and Empire. I may finish Next somewhere in there as well. 

Date Posted: 3/16/2009 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 340
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I'm reading Impostor by Valerie J. Freireich. It's the third in her loosely linked Polite Harmony of Worlds trilogy. I'm finding it a bit of a difficult read because of some of the subject matter, but I'm enjoying being challenged at the same time.



Last Edited on: 3/16/09 5:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/20/2009 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I finally finished Ecce and Old Earth by Jack Vance, which is the sequel to Araminta Station.  I started this book back in December, and have only been reading in short chunks, a few pages a day, mostly.  I thought the first book moved slowly but remained interesting because it had a very interesting plot and lot of mystery.  This book was just slow.  It picked up the story where you'd expect, and ties up the loose ends, but it wasn't very well done.  More than 200 pages were spenton the one character's investigation, when you know from the previous book most of what she's doing is pointless!  The ending was decent, at least.

Ther eis a third book in the trilogy, Throy uninterestingly enough :-p  I have heard it's not a great book either, but I would like to finish the trilogy.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a copy anywhere.

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