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The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula Leguin, 1969
My 6th read of this, because it was being discussed on this forum.
It's still one of the masterpieces of science fiction. The title comes from the Handdara, from the religion of Karhide:
It makes me want to re-read all the other Hainish universe novels as well.
Brasyl, by Ian McDonald, 2008
I read this for overachiever category 50. British Science Fiction Association Award Winner, on the sf challenge on this forum.
This winner of the British Science Fiction Association Award for 2008, has three storylines, each set in a different era of Brazil's history. In 2006, the plot is centered on an aggressive producer of a reality tv show from Rio. Marcelina pursues her idea of a show that would focus on whether to forgive a disgraced, and now aged World Cup star. In 2033, the plot is centered on a young man Edson risen from the slums, and now playing the quasi-legal underworld of future Sao Paulo. In 1732, Father Luis Quinn is a Jesuit admonitory sent into the Amazon to investigate and prosecute some strange goings-on concerning an earlier missionary that have been reported from the far frontier.
Inherit the Stars, by James P. Hogan, 1977
My 2nd read of this, because it's the book of the month for the goodreads.com hardsf group.
What I remember about Inherit the Stars is that it was dry and a touch boring. But I liked the idea of us discovering our past history and ancient aliens which turn out to be "us" (if I remember the story correctly). It's a sure bet the sequels are even MORE dated.
I'm currently reading Mieville's Kracken (for some reason I'm reminded of Neil Gaiman). Anyways, tasty weird writing from Mieville, as always.
Also picked up Diving the Wreck (KK Rusch, hmm, I think that's her name). I didn't realize these stories were from work previously published in Asimov's Magazine. The protocols / rules of salvage diving spaceship wrecks or mysterious rooms are rather strict, which makes for an interesting story. Interactions between the characters seem to me kinda choppy but still, I'm enjoying the book. I like the author, love her Retreival Artist series.
Last Edited on: 9/12/10 11:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Let us know what you think of Diving the Wreck; it was recommended to me by a friend here, whose taste in sf I am unfamiliar with.
Here's my two lastest reads...
Tor Double #29, 1991
Nanoware Time, by Ian Watson, 1991.
War With The Newts, by Karel ?apek, 1936
I'm not sure if the sarcastic tone is common to all Czech writers, or maybe Karel ?apek was just individually influenced by Jaroslav Ha?ek (The Good Soldier ?vejk, 1923) but in any case I like it. Through multiple perspectives, this 1937 dystopia follows the rise of an intelligent but cultureless species of undersea salamander from rumors of obscure interactions with a few humans in the South Pacific to their eventual world domination. Along the way ?apek lampoons every major world power, trade group, and social force of his day, some of which are especially poignant in light of the Munich Agreement that turned over his homeland to Nazi Germany just two years later. I was surprised at how well the book has not become dated; really I think ?apek needs to be considered on a par with Orwell and Huxley. I give the book high recommendations.
Last Edited on: 9/10/10 8:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Good book, with a dark atmosphere. The choppy interaction with people had to have been on purpose, as the main character had a very dismal childhood and she distances herself from others. I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying the plot centers on stealth technology and its mystery, apparently lost during a war. You can find these stories previously published in Asimov's Magazine. Will there be a sequel to this book? - Rusch sets it up. But Diving Into the Wreck is a stand-alone novel. I enjoyed it and gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
The Gentle Giants of Ganymede, by James P. Hogan, 1978
SPOILER ALERT - This book is a sequel to Hogan's Inherit The Stars. While I always try to avoid posting spoilers of the book I am reviewing, even the background situation of this book would act as a spoiler to the science mysteries of the earlier book. Read Inherit the Stars before continuing with this review.
2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke, 1968
My first read of this book was a library copy when it was new in 1968. I was 13 years old, and I still remember that it was my first library reserve. This book probably influenced my early choice of career. My interest was recently re-sparked by a sermon that the Rev. Mrs. was working on, entitled "My God, it's full of stars". But that's getting off topic here.
2010: Odyssey Two, by Arthur C. Clarke, 1982
I re-read this because I had just re-read 2001 - and because it actually is the year 2010 now.
Last Edited on: 9/24/10 4:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
What a bust this month has been, no time to read. Working in the garden, too many good TV shows, too many days working for a living, too much playing on the computer.
I finally finished Kraken by Mieville. Not my favorite of his books. There are two reviews under this title and I pretty much agree with both of 'em. Brit speak? yeah, but I can't begrudge it, Mieville is from Scotland. Had some pretty funny sections but dang, I can't even remember the ending and that was the whole point of the book...... Oh well, three stars from me.
I started several books to finish out the challenge (which I'm wondering if I'll finish); Crash Course by W. Baird, The City, Not Long After, can't remember author and Chasm City by A Reynolds. I gotta start focusing, only one more month left. (Or maybe it's two months?).
I'm pretty new to Sci-Fi reading, except for Star Wars books, so I'm trying to read the most popular ones first.
1984 - Orwell
- Impressed so far. It's not what I would call edge of my seat/bed exciting, but still an enjoyable read. I may have to pick this up for my collection.
Stranger in a Strange Land - Heinlein
Very good. I feel I'm "groking" it well. Heinlein is starting to become my favoite author. I own The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, I'll probably end up picking up Stranger in a Strange Land too (the one I'm reading is a library loan), hopefully I can eventually find a deal for it.
The Maze Runner - James Dasher
Very good book. Easy reading, yet still exciting. Good concept. I just may have to read the sequel.
Brad - The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is my favorite Heinlein (but it's been a long time, so I'm not sure how well it has aged).
My recent reads have been to complete Clarke's Space Odyssey books, which are *not* direct sequels of each other...
2061 Third Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke, 1985
My third read of this book. This is a choppy story set on two different spaceships in the Space Odyssey universe. It came out about the time of the return of Halley's comet in 1986, and is set at the time of the comet's next expected visit to the inner solar system in 2061. One spaceship brings a very elderly Heywood Floyd along on a visit to the comet itself, and Clarke's descriptions are, as usual, quite vivid. Then the other spaceship is hijacked and crashes onto Europa, giving some members of the crew a chance to uncover the mystery of Mt. Zeus. This book just doesn't really add anything to the themes or concepts introduced of the earlier books, is probably the weakest link in the series.
3001 The Final Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke, 1997
This is the last volume of the series, published just before the change of millenium, and is set near the time of the change of the next millenium in 3001. The astronaut Frank Poole, who was killed in the original 2001 by HAL is found drifting out of the solar system and brought back to life. Frank gives a good vantage point from which to view the changes that have come about in humanity's existence over the next thousand years - which are not as much as you might think. Finally, we come to learn more about just where it is that David Bowman and HAL went, and about the monoliths themselves.
Last Edited on: 10/4/10 1:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 3