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Topic: October...what are you reading?

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Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Subject: October...what are you reading?
Date Posted: 10/11/2009 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I just finished The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  I thought it was very good, and it made me laugh a few times.  I will definitely be reading the rest of the books.

But...

This might sound a little nasty, but I just don't get the hype.  It's good and funny, but it's a spoof.  Or maybe "pastiche" is better.  I liked it, but there is really nothing original.  It hearkens back to the space opera of the '40s and '50s.  The satire reminds me strongly of Kurt Vonnegut and Bob Shaw, both of whom I also admire.  Adams is good, but I guess I expected more from all the hype surrounding the book.

At it's core, I think this is a science fiction book for non science fiction readers.

Subject: October reading
Date Posted: 10/12/2009 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
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Finally, finally I'm about to finish The January Dancer by Michael Flynn.  Very difficult read for me, just couldn't keep track of all the story lines - following an alien artifact and the different stories.  It finally started coming together about half way thru the book.  I was going to write a review, then rethought it, just too much trouble to explain.  I had to check this book out of the library twice.  Yoiks.  Did I like the book?  Yes, wouldn't recommend it however.

I agree about the Hitchhiker, but there's a lot of books that don't deserve the hype.  (I'm thinking of Twilight.)  It's one of those "meh, go figure...."  I liked the movie much more than the book (Hitchhiker I mean).

Date Posted: 10/12/2009 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Finished in September:

Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan. Rated four stars.
James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, by Julie Phillips. Rated four stars.
Have His Carcase, by Dorothy L. Sayers. Rated four stars.
Children of the Night, by Mercedes Lackey. Rated three stars.
Burning Water, by Mercedes Lackey. Rated three stars.
Jinx High, by Mercedes Lackey. Rated two stars.
Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones. Re-read.
Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie. Re-read.
Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, by Agatha Christie. Re-read.
Three Act Tragedy, by Agatha Christie. Re-read.
Elemental Magic, by Sharon Shinn, Jean Johnson, Carol Berg, and Rebecca York. Rated four stars (if I throw out the novella by Rebecca York).
Ilario: The Stone Golem, by Mary Gentle. Rated three stars.
The Onion Girl, by Charles de Lint. Re-read (though I wasn't sure until 80 pages from the end).
Widdershins, by Charles de Lint. Rated four stars.

 

Up in SF in October:

All the Windwracked Stars, Carnival and Dust, by Elizabeth Bear

Bright of the Sky, by Kay Kenyon

Hyperion, by Dan Simmons

The Light Ages, by Ian R. MacLeod

Moon-Flash, by Patricia McKillip

The Prefect, by Alastair Reynolds

The Silver Metal Lover, by Tanith Lee

Six Moon Dance, by Sheri S. Tepper

Slow River, by Nicola Griffith

The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon

The Collected Short Fiction of C.J. Cherryh



Last Edited on: 10/13/09 3:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/13/2009 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
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I'm reading through some of the third party authored books from Asimov's foundation/robots universe. I just read Mirage, Chimera, and Aurora by Tiedemann, and "Have Robot, Will Travel" by Irvine. They were all okay. The writing style is fairly similar to Asimov, but the plots are a bit more complex, and they don't seem to have asimov's strange obsessions with the mens room and agoraphobia.

I may move on to the Caliban trilogy by Roger Macbride Allen next, or I may switch to something else first, I'm undecided.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 360
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Just finished "When Worlds Collide" by Balmer and Wylie. For a book written in the 1930's, it still rings true. People are people, no matter when I guess :-)

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 10/12/2009
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Currently reading Yasunari Kawabata's "Beauty and Sadness" and then moving onto the Enchanted Forest Chronicles...

Date Posted: 10/17/2009 5:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2009
Posts: 122
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So far this month I've read Starfish and Maelstrom by Peter Watts, Eifelheim by Michael Flynn, and Ice Hunt by James Rollins. I finally found copies of the rest of the Rifters Series by Watts - Behemoth: B-Max and Behemoth: Seppuku. Those will be next up, along with The Last Colony by John Scalzi and The Folk of the Fringe by Card. Then a quick jump out of the genre for Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and Kite Runner at the end of the month.

Next month begins The Challenge. Nothing but SF for the foreseeable future.



Last Edited on: 10/17/09 5:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/17/2009 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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I'm going out of genre as well for the rest of the month.  I just got 3 of the Black Widower books (Asimov)  The Spy Who Haunted Me (Simon Green)  The Name of the Wind (Rothfuss)  & Imager (Modesitt).  I can't read science fiction right now because the book on the top of my want to read list is Connie Willis To Say Nothing of the Dog and I want to use that for my time travel book in the challenge. I think I have enough non science fiction distractions to easily occupy me for a few weeks.

Date Posted: 10/17/2009 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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I loved To Say Nothing of the Dog. I wish I could use it for the time travel book in the challenge.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/17/2009 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I'm still mostly reading Stephen King...I'm even trying to see if I can weasel one or two King books into being counted for the SF challenge ;).  This month I've finished Dreamcatcher, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Pet Sematary.  Dreamcatcher, at least, was semi-SF since it deals with an alien "invasion." 

Bob, have you read much by Card before?  Folk of the Fringe is blatantly a Mormon book.  I still enjoyed it, but was a little surprised by some of the content.

Date Posted: 10/18/2009 2:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2009
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I've read everything else he's written. This all that's left. I really like his writing style, and it's a quick read. It takes a lot to get me to walk out of a movie or quit reading a book. If that happens, I'll let you know

Date Posted: 10/18/2009 3:20 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Have you read his novella "Stonefather"? I found it in the anthology Wizards: Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy. I actually enjoyed it more than I've enjoyed anything he's written in a long time. . . until the end, when he rushed through his conclusion (I assume because the story was already stretching too long). In the intro, the editors claim that there is supposed to be a novel out soon set in the same world, but I can't find any evidence of that on his website or Wikipedia (yet). But if you want a Card fix, I'd suggest giving that a try. . . and the rest of the anthology is pretty strong as well.

Date Posted: 10/18/2009 3:58 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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Bob, have you read much by Card before?  Folk of the Fringe is blatantly a Mormon book.  I still enjoyed it, but was a little surprised by some of the content.

less recognizeable is that the whole Homecoming Saga is a total ripoff of sections of the Book of Mormon.  i read the first book when it first came out and was able to go and find the verses that had the same story, although of course it changed from the tribes to space and was greatly expanded.  (the Nephites and the Lamanites?  or something like that, it's been a while.)  i was able to do that for the first three books, and didn't recognize the later books as verses but mom told me she did.

Card's Lost Boys remains one of the creepiest books i've ever read, because so much of it was such an accurate picture of Mormon life that it made the other parts more believable for me.

Date Posted: 10/18/2009 4:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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I didn't know that about the Homecoming saga! Thanks for the trivia.

 

I think Card's Lost Boys is ridiculously creepy too, but only because I'm terrified of bugs :).

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/18/2009 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Lost Boys is my favorite book by Card.  I think that's because it was partly autobiographical and very realistic.

Saints was the creepiest of his book for me.  It's historical fiction about the Mormons moving west, and I don't think it paints a very flattering picture of them, especially Joseph Smith.

But since we're here, Card's short story Dogwalker is also one of my favorites, and really got me hooked on the Cyberpuk genre.

Date Posted: 10/18/2009 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
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I just finished Dune. I liked it A LOT better than the movie. The movie was so gross I had to turn it off. I probably won't read another SF book until October, because I have some thrillers I want to read.

Date Posted: 10/18/2009 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 175
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Recently finished Armageddons, an anthology of EOTW fic. Very good! Edited by Dozois and Dann, if anyone is looking f or it. A few stories were a little flat, but most were excellent.

Currently reading The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier. Really good so far.

I've been picking up smaller books lately. Feel like I never have time to read, so I have at least a small chance at finishing a few books each month if they're short...

Anyone have a good deal on post-apocalyptic sci-fi? Let me know!

Subject: Metropolis
Date Posted: 10/24/2009 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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John Scalzi was the editor for Metropolis, about five stories, all thought provoking, taking place in our near future.  Recommended!  The introduction said this collection was originally an audio book, so if you're into that....... 

Subject: TomHl
Date Posted: 10/27/2009 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Sorry, I've been out of circulation lately.  Life has been crazy, and forum-posting got cut.  Since my last post...

The Bane of the Black Sword, by Michael Moorcock

Dinosaur Summer, by Greg Bear

Stormbringer, by Michael Moorcock

The Gold Coast, by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Wild Shore, by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Legion of Space, by Jack Williamson

-Tom Hl.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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What did you think of the Kim Stanely Robinson stories? I've been considering putting them on my (incredibly crowded) wishlist for a while, as I love stuff about California, but I've never read Robinson before. (I'm also not a huge fan of post-apocalyptic stories.) How were they?

Subject: KSR Orange County novels
Date Posted: 10/30/2009 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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I first read all three of Kim Stanley Robinson's Orange County novels as they came out, which was spread out over a few years in the 1980s.  In the past two months, I re-read all three of them, and still like them quite a bit.  They are related to each other, not sequentially, but as three alternate futures for the same Orange County (extensive suburban area of Los Angeles).  The first time I read them, I was not aware of the extent to which subtle geographic references, a few plot events, and one character, were re-used in different ways in each.  But watching for that now just added to my interest.  They can be read stand-alone, or in any order.  They are -

The Wild Shore - a post-apolcalypse novel set in a world where the US was nuclear bombed, and then quarantined by the rest of the world for 100 years.  A first-person narrative, and coming of age story.

The Gold Cost - a future of overdevelopment and overpopulation where some individuals try to find meaning in their lives.  A dystopia.

Pacific Edge - a future where deliberate population reduction and choice of sustainable lifestyles has led to a technological but low key network of villages in Orange County.  A utopia, but still with human drama.



Last Edited on: 10/31/09 11:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/30/2009 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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LOL, I know where Orange County is. . . I'm an L.A. native, it's why I was interested in the books in the first place. :)


Since they can be read in any order, maybe I'll start with Pacific Edge (when I can find it). . . as I mentioned, I'm not a huge fan of post-apocalyptic or dystopian fiction. It's generally just too depressing, and I prefer to escape. So I'll start with the upbeat one, and if I like that I'll move on to the harder ones. . . *wink*

But of course, that'll have to wait until after NaNoWriMo, and probably after the Challenge too, because I think I've already filled all the categories that these would fit in. . . I thought about it some more and I actually Green Mars ages ago, so it wouldn't even fit in my "author you've never read before" category, alas.

Subject: KSR
Date Posted: 10/30/2009 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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I thought I remembered that you were in LA area, but there is also a somewhat known Orange County in Florida, so I thought it might not be obvious to everyone. Me, I live in Waukesha County. Books are rarely set here, although American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, happens not far away.
Date Posted: 10/30/2009 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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I see. I didn't realize there was on Orange County in Florida. Though it stands to reason there would be. . . so maybe it's more that I didn't realize there was an Orange County in Florida that anyone outside of Florida cared about. ;) I wonder if they have any orange groves left either? The one here certainly doesn't. . .

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/30/2009 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Bah.  There's an Orange County here in upstate NY, too.

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