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Topic: SF Challenge DISCUSSION THREAD (6/10)

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Subject: SF Challenge DISCUSSION THREAD (6/10)
Date Posted: 6/1/2010 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Welcome to the month of June!

Sorry I was kind of AWOL last month -- I was doing a bit of travelling. (Check out my LiveJournal page in a couple days if you want to know exactly how much I did -- I promise, it's impressive, lol.) Glad you all continued to plug away in my absence!

Because of the travelling I read zero SF novels last month. . . I'm very sad. I assume you all did better? ;)

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 6/2/2010 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I've done no better with my SF reading.  Nothing that would count for the challenge is holding my attention.  I've been reading a lot of Stephen King.  One of the books was SF (The Running Man) but I didn't have a category for it.  I'm not at all sure I'll finish the challenge.  I've been a little disappointed with the overall quality of the books I have read, so I can't say it's been as much fun as I'd hoped.

Date Posted: 6/2/2010 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I also might not finish the challenge, but I'm not qutting yet!  I read 1984 last month (it crossed over into the classics challenge, too!) and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.  I didn't realize that the novel was where the term Big Brother originated.

Subject: challenge reading
Date Posted: 6/4/2010 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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I've been pretty lucky with my reading.  I've mostly just picked a book and then plugged it into the list.  And most of 'em were pretty good.

My library has had a lot of new SF on the shelves.  I was worried that the budget problems would drastically limit the buying of new books, but hasn't happened yet.  This year they have three manadatory week-long closures, leave-without pay, to make up the money shortfall.

Anyways........., I had to comment on my current book, Connie Willis' Blackout.  Not my normal kind of SF reading.  I usually begin her books being frustrated and resigned to chaos, trusting that all will come together in the end.  Well holy cow - I'm finding Blackout to be a fascinating read, hard to put down.  It's about the people during WWII in London during the Blitz, courtesy time travel.  I don't know how authentic it is, but it sure reads authentic.  Obviously tons of research went into this.  Betcha Blackout wins one of the big awards.  And there's a sequel!  Woohoo.  Yup, I'm recommending it.

  Too bad I can't use it in the military SF category.  sad

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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I'm so glad everybody's loving Blackout! (At least everybody I know that's already read it.) I have it sitting on my shelf, but I'm patiently (okay, not so patiently, but I try) waiting for All Clear to come out because I HATE cliffhangers. . . ;)

Subject: Dayslacker
Date Posted: 6/5/2010 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 175
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May was another slacker month for me. I read two SF novels and couldn't manage to find a category for one of them. I'm finally going to have to start planning my reads for the rest of the year, I guess, if I want to finish this challenge. I'm looking forward to making some progress this month!

I just finished End of Days: An Apocalyptic Anthology, edited by Anthony Giangregorio and published by Living Dead Press. IMO, the stories weren't really worth the time it took to read them, with a few exceptions. And if you are bothered by poor editing, then I suggest skipping this book. This was probably the most poorly edited book I've read in a decade.  I know some people don't care about grammar and spelling and punctuation, etc. but I do. If I'm distracted from the content of the story because I can't figure out what a sentence means, then somebody needs a good smack upside the head with a copy of  The Chicago Manual of Style (chosen because it's quite hefty and hardcover, not for relevance to the subject at hand).

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2009
Posts: 122
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I finished Parable of the Talents by Butler a few days ago. It was much better than I was expecting it to be. Of course, it's in the post-apocalyptic, rebuilding civilization subgenre which is one of my favorites, so that gave it a leg up. The book would qualify as either post-apocalyptic or minority author. It's part of a series, but reads well as a standalone.

Date Posted: 6/15/2010 1:48 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2009
Posts: 122
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I just finished Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson. If you're looking for a fictionalized biography of Galileo, this is the book for you. There is a thin, thin thread of science fiction that is ultimately unsatisfying, in my opinion.

Subject: Galileo's Dream
Date Posted: 6/15/2010 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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thin thread of science fiction that is ultimately unsatisfying, in my opinion

___________________________________________________________________

Good to know.  I thought the book (hardback) was rather overpriced anyways.

Date Posted: 6/16/2010 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2009
Posts: 122
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I highly recommend The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I couldn't put it down. I just finished it in one day of reading.

Subject: Bright of the Sky, by Kay Kenyon
Date Posted: 6/22/2010 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Just finished #20: Work written by a female author.
Filled with: Bright of the Sky, by Kay Kenyon
Other categories this book could fill: Space Opera; First Contact; Work written with a third-person omniscient narrator.

My capsule review: Yuck. Poor technical skill and absolutely awful characters make this the worst book I've read for the challenge, despite the interesting world-building.

My full review, no spoilers: http://community.livejournal.com/sf_book_reviews/98553.html

Date Posted: 6/22/2010 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I finished reading Eva and I feel a little motivated to read another book for this challenge, so I'm starting Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, for the science fiction masquerading as fantasy category.

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I just finished Dragonflight.  I think if I had read this book a few years ago I would have been overjoyed, if only because of the shear length of the series.

Subject: Six Moon Dance, by Sheri S. Tepper
Date Posted: 6/27/2010 12:04 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Just finished #11: Feminist SF.
Filled with: Six Moon Dance, by Sheri S. Tepper
Other categories this book could fill: Soft/Social SF; Work written by a female author; Work with a third-person limited multi-perspective viewpoint; Work set in a human interstellar empire; Work set on a single human planet that is not Earth; Work set in a galaxy with multiple non-human intelligences in contact with humans.

My capsule review: Thought-provoking and delightful. I was reminded of Carnival, by Elizabeth Bear; The City and the City, by China Mieville; and The Anvil of the World, by Kage Baker -- that should give you some sense of the diversity of ideas in this novel. And while I wasn't reminded of a specific C.J. Cherryh title, the aliens compare pretty favorably to some of hers in terms of how well worked out their alienness is.

My full review, no spoilers: http://community.livejournal.com/sf_book_reviews/98798.html

Date Posted: 6/27/2010 4:13 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 36
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just getting back into the groove , just finished  Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet : Victorious  & Alastair Reynold's House of Suns

 

next up is Dark Space , Book 1 of The Sentients of Orion by Marianne De Pierres