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Topic: Currently Reading November

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Subject: Currently Reading November
Date Posted: 11/1/2008 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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Halfway through an Emma Bull book - Bone Dance.  Quite good, I was worried there the first half of the book.  Also about 50 pages into Grimspace.  So far this is one of those "chick lit" books with a strong female central character, mourning the loss of her last love.  I had to skip to the last page and she's in love with someone else now.  Blah blah - but there does seem to be a good backstory and surprisingly I'm actually liking this book so far......... 

What're you reading and is it any good?

Date Posted: 11/2/2008 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 49
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I just finished two re-reads, Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury and Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. Both excellent! I'm getting ready to start The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham for a group read over at LibraryThing--it must be nearly 40 years since I last read it, so am interested in how it might have aged.
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/2/2008 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I just started Triple Detente by Piers Anthony.  I have some issues with Anthony, but this is an older SF novel (and his only one published by DAW) and I thought I'd give it a try.

I'm still also reading my way through all of Tanya Huff's books, though most of them would probably be described as Paranormal/Fantasy rather than SF.



Last Edited on: 11/2/08 8:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/2/2008 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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Currently reading ...

I was almost finished with Asaro's Primary Inversion, and then my friend bought me The Swarm by Frank Schatzing so I started it.

Then Pratchett's Men at Arms showed up in the mail and I started it. Then I remembered I had to read a book before I gave it to a teenager (Armageddon Summer by Yolen and Coville), and I started it.

Then the copy of Elliott's Jaran that I'd gotten my daughter for her Christmas visit arrived - and I pulled my copy off the shelves and started reading it again, during commericals on TV.

And I have Armageddon the Musical by Rankin out in my truck to read on breaks at work.

This is embarrassing, LOL. I sound like I have reader's ADHD.

Subject: I sure can pick 'em
Date Posted: 11/2/2008 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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I'm currently reading

Venus on the Halfshell, by Kilgore Trout - campy tending towards dumb.

S. - A Novel About the Balkans, by Slavenka Drakulic - so horrifying I can't even say whether its well written.  Maybe after I finish it and get some  some distance.

-Tom Hl.

 

Date Posted: 11/2/2008 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2008
Posts: 336
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Just finished Spindrift, by Alan Steele.  Haven't decided what's next, although I have a lot of mysteries on the TBR shelf.

Date Posted: 11/3/2008 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 55
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So here's where you guys are...

Currently reading Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe. I just started it this morning and it almost made me late to work. It's the third in the series and by now Latro is in Egypt. Interesting insites in to Egyptian everyday life and technology. I've already learned half a dozen new things about Egypt.

Also reading Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman. That is not SF but it is very interesting.

Just finished The Sunrise Lands, next to the latest in S.M. Stirlings post-apoc world. Very good stuff! 

 

Subject: HEY BARB
Date Posted: 11/3/2008 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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Yup, we're here.  You and Millerbug seemed to be the only ones left - the room was so empty it echoed.  The latest edition of Analog has a story by KK Rusch and it appears to be a Retrieval story.  Although I must admit that I haven't read it yet.  Will let you know.

I started Spindrift, then it got set aside...... TomHL said it was set in the same universe as the Coyote stories.  I'm thinkin' I should go find it.....

I'm almost done with Bone Dance (well written and I like Emma Bull) but the story didn't really push my button.  Got in the mail Blood Price by Tanya Huff (recommended by Matt) so I'm about 30 pages into that book (it's pretty good).

sidenote:  I hate this comment box, you don't dare go back a screen to look at anything or you'll loose everything you wrote.  And the "Edit Reply" doesn't let you see any of the previous comments from the board.  I've lost two carefully crafted discussion texts by trying to reread comments.  Just saying............  ! !



Last Edited on: 11/3/08 4:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/3/2008 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 55
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I've read Bone Dance but I'm afraid I don't remember it. I LOVED War for the Oaks.

 

Date Posted: 11/3/2008 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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Ditto on War for the Oaks - it blew me away.

Was the reason I hunted down her Falcon, Bone Dance and Finder. The only one left on the TBR pile is Bone Dance. But nooooo. I have to finish the 6 I have started ......

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I'm about a third of the way through Turning Point by Lisanne Norman and am enjoying it so far, but it is kinda slow-moving in that there hasn't been much action so far. It is the beginning of a series, so there is a lot of backstory and characters and world-bulding going on. The developing relationship between the two main characters is interesting, though, as is the world-building. I am hoping for action though, since there is a war going on and potential alliances to be formed.

 

How's Primary Inversion going for you, Karen? I've got it in my TBR and almost picked it up before choosing the other (which came in the mail yesterday and cought my interest after reading the prologue).



Last Edited on: 11/4/08 9:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/5/2008 3:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,735
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i liked Turning Point, and the rest of the series by Lisanne Norman (though if i remember right, it just sort of stops and there hasn't been a new book out to continue the story), but i *loved* Primary Inversion and the rest of the Skolian Empire series by Catherine Asaro.

this month i'm looking forward to reading Foundation by Mercedes Lackey, The Phoenix Endangered by Lackey & Mallory, and Brisingr (Inheritance, bk 3), among other things.  i'm hoping there's a recap at the beginning of that last one, as it's been almost two years since i read the other two!

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/5/2008 8:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I finished Triple Detente by Piers anthony (weird) and Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff (good) last night. 

I have Turning Point on my TBR pile, but I want to get the whole series before I start.  I have 1, 2, 6, and 7 so far. 

I started Fool Moon by Jim Butcher yesterday.  I just got the set (up through #9, I think) in hardcover omnibus editions from Zooba.  They have some great deals.

And I started my 8th Tanya Huff book, Smoke and Mirrors.

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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Well, I finished Truning Point a couple days ago. I liked it, I liked the characters, but it moved kinda slow. Not enough action or suspense for me I guess. I have the scond and third books in my TBR (which are a lot thicker so I am hoping more happens in them), but I think I'll try something else before going back to them.

I've got some Tanya Huff books coming in the mail, and are anxious to get started on those.

Date Posted: 11/11/2008 3:41 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,735
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after four days, i finally finished Brisingr (Inheritance Book 3) by Christopher Paolini.  fortunately, it did have a recap of the first two in the front.  :)  i finally noticed about 50 pages before the end that there was no way this was finishing up in this book, and i thought was supposed to have been a trilogy.  an author's note after the ending confirmed that originally it was going to be a trilogy but book 3 was getting to be so massive that it got changed to have 4 books in the cycle instead of 3.  since book 3 was still 750+ pages, it's just as well!

Subject: Old Timey SF
Date Posted: 11/11/2008 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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Well, just finished The Big Time by Fritz Leiber.  I looked up info on this book and if I remember right it won the Hugo in 1956.  Which is the reason I read it, if it's a Hugo winner it should be good, right?  Some large scale concepts involving time manipulation and the ending came together nicely but lets just say I'm kinda glad it was a short book.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/11/2008 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I tried to read Spin by Robert Charles Wilson because it won a Hugo.  I couldn't get through it.

Subject: Spin
Date Posted: 11/11/2008 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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I had to force myself  to finish Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell when it came out. 

(I loved Spin and even predicted it would win an award.) Hmm, I'll bet Matt and I have low percent similarity......

Date Posted: 11/11/2008 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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Ha! I agree with you, Matt! It wasn't a keeper at all.

I like his earlier stuff a LOT better - like Harvest or Bridge of Years.

Subject: November 2008
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Not all of my reading is sf, but so far this month, I've read these...

VENUS ON THE HALF-SHELL, by Kilgore Trout

This was a re-read. A number of Kurt Vonnegut's novels feature the half-baked plots of hack science fiction writer Kilgore Trout. I think Philip Jose Farmer must have had a lot of fun filling those shoes, half-baked plot and all. Crappy metaphors and cheesey porno plot elements that completely fail to arouse. And to come full circle, this book contains numerous synopsis of the fully unbaked plots of hack science fiction writer Jonathan Swift Somers III. In the end, the protagonist finds the wacky answer the ultimate question of the meaning of life. Makes me wonder if Douglas Adams read this before writing his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

THE LIVES OF A CELL; NOTES OF A BIOLOGY WATCHER, by Lewis Thomas

I enjoyed reading these short essays; Lewis Thomas makes some insightful observations about human society, medicine, language, and the conduct of science, among other things. Because I found it difficult to read more than a small handful per day, I spread it out over a month, dipping in between other books. If there is any primary concept in his thinking, it would be the view of human society and natural biosystems as superorganisms - just as cells are individual organisms cooperating within our human body.

The age of the book (1974) especially shows when he discusses computers, and when he names specific amounts, and even occasionally obsolete science. But many of the essays are more philosophical and timeless. Personally, I could have used a little less philology, and a little more philosophy of science, but that's just me. DW tells me this book was required reading in at least one of her liberal arts undergraduate courses.

A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ, by Walter Miller

This was first published in the form of three novellas in the mid-1950s, and then reworked into a novel in 1959. It won Hugo Award for best sf novel that year. Everyone who reads science fiction knows this book, so I will not write a plot synopsis.

My edition contains a recent forward by Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow, Children of God), in which she describes coming back to read it after many years. I had a similar experience with this book. I had read it in high school, and then twice more for two different sf classes in college. Now, at the age of 53 I have come back to it for the 4th time.

Stylistically and topically, the book is still fresh. The issues of state vs. religion, and science vs. religion raised in the center novella (Fiat Lux) are still with us. I think Miller's position is summed up by Abbot Dom Paulo when he argues against Thon Taddeo's claim for the full freedom to speculate, using the story of the expulsion from the Garden of Eden not as an account of creation, but as a story of temptation. He grants the intellectual freedom, "But to abuse the intellect for reasons of pride, vanity, or escape from responsibility, is the fruit of that same tree."

INTRODUCING BUDDHA, by Hope and Van Loon

I pretty much read this illustrated comic-book-like survey of Buddhism in one sitting. Other than gaining an appreciation for the diversity of thought that is lumped together in the name of Buddhism, I didn't get much from this reading. The information on Hinayana and Mahayana made some sense, but then I had ideas about those before. This book does an especially bad job of describing Vajrayana - not that I understood it before, but I certainly don't now.

 

Currently, I'm reading Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Way of the Warrior, and next up is Robert Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy as part of a bookcrossing bookray.

-Tom Hl.

 



Last Edited on: 2/10/15 2:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 55
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Citizen of the Galaxy was one of my earliest SF books. That one and Have Spacesuit Will Travel started me on my SF journey at a tender age.

I finished Soldier of Sidon and it was very good. Now reading tht tenth in the Starfist series - A World of Hurt.

We have been watching a lot of dvd's at my house and that has slowed down my reading. But winter is sneaking up on us and I'm sure I will get to pick up the pace again. 

 

Date Posted: 11/13/2008 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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I haven't finished these yet but I'm reading Dust (E Bear - book is upstairs, I think this is the author), Mindlight (M Davis), Blood Trail (T Huff) and Dark Universe (can't remember author).  All are very good and very different from each other so easy to keep separate in my head.

I especially like Dark Universe where the people live underground without light.  How is this possible you ask?  They use sound to help them "see" - I would have thought this very far-fetched except I saw a segment on TV about a blind teenager who clicks with his mouth to interact with his surroundings, kinda like a bat using radar.  Quite amazing, he was shown riding a bike, walking, etc. 

Anyways, back to my reading.......

Subject: Robert Charles Wilson
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Well, I liked Spin quite a bit, but Axis less.  Is there going to be a third book?  This is the first time RCW is writing a series. 

I prefer stand-alones, and up till now RCW has been an outstanding writer of stand-alone sf novels.

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 11/13/08 10:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Citizen of the Galaxy bookray
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Spacecat,

If you or anyone else wanted to join the Citizen of the Galaxy bookray, you would contact bookcrosser "Erishkigal" to find out if new readers are still being accepted.  Here's the journal record so far -> http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6210941

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 11/13/08 10:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/14/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Alison...I saw that thing on TV...20/20, right?  That kid was incredible.  Anyway, the book Dark Universe was written by Daniel F. Galouye

I just finished Now Wait for Last Year by Philip K. Dick.  I really liked it.  It was weird and psychological, and got kind of deep into the nature of love and hate.  Quite fascinating, I thought, and I liked the ending.  I am starting Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said today.

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