February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by GOLLUM, Feb 1, 2012.

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  1.  
    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Please let us know what you are all reading for the month of February.

    For my sins I've restarted Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens (featured in the Book club subforum) along with a couple of other shorter works.

    Cheers.
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    Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer author of novels

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    I'm about to start Neil Peart's Ghost Rider - drummer of Rush. :D
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    CyBeR

    CyBeR New Member

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    Just finished Wofgang Hohlbein's Charity and am nicely moving along to Robert Jordan for the next week or so. Starting on The great hunt today (still no George R.R. Martin or Steven Erikson in the mail).
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    Hypnos164

    Hypnos164 New Member

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    Finished Control Point by Myke Cole - which was a pleasently different take on urban fantasy, though not without some issues.

    Started Stealing Light by Gary Gibson - seems interesting so far
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    Extollager

    Extollager Active Member

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    I just reread Fritz Leiber's short story "Rump-Titty-Titty-Tum-TAH-Tee" -- which strikes me as a probably unintentional "rewrite" of Lovecraft's "Call of Cthulhu"! The Leiber story reads as a satirical and very clever fantasy, but look at it from a slight angle and it's a horror story about an ancient, malevolent entity and madness spreading throughout the world....
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    D_Davis

    D_Davis New Member

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    I'm about half way through When We Were Executioners, the second installment of J.M. McDermott's Dogsland trilogy. As per usual with McDermott, it is incredible. This guy can do no wrong. This is the third thing I've read from him in as many months (the other two being short stories - Death Mask and Eulogy, and King Basilisk's Palace) and each piece has been stunning.

    When We Were Executioners is not an easy read. It is reminding me a lot of a fantasy version of The Wire. It's story that is intensely focused on its characters, almost to a pointillism extreme, and the way they live their lives in a fictional city as seedy and dangerous as The Wire's depiction of Baltimore. There are cops, robbers, whores, drug runners, kingpins, soldiers, corruption, death, debauchery and disease around every corner.

    Why McDermott isn't among the most popular fantasists writing today will forever be a mystery to me.
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    J-Sun

    J-Sun Active Member

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    Just finished Bruce Sterling's The Zenith Angle and have read the first page or so of Greg Egan's collection Luminous, but just remembered I was going to read another E.T.A. Hoffmann story at some point, so may do that. But then back to Luminous.
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    Lord Soth

    Lord Soth Mumbling though life

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    Well, have gone through the Grass for his Pillow and Brilliance of the Moon in Lian Hearn's Otori series, and to be honest they are not really up to parr for my tastes. She doesn't do action, the fight / battle scenes are worse than useless and the political side is really lacking. It all seemed so rushed, very disappointing to be honest. I am not going to bother with the remaining books, as they seem like cash-ins to me.

    I also tried The Emperor's Knife by Mazarkis Williams, but put it down after a hundred pages in as I really wasn't bothered about any of the characters or or the story.

    Am now reading Crack'd Pot Trail by Erikson - had this for ages but finally picked it up. It's definately different, i am in two minds if I will like this yet as (at least at the start) it is wildly different from the rest of the Malazan books.

    Next I am thinking it may be fine to read GRRM's latest, but I was hoping to re-read the whole series first but at the rate he's going I have plenty of time.
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    Diggler

    Diggler Beam Me Up Scotty

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    Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison. I've only read the first 5 stories, but they are definitely memorable so far. My personal pick would have to be Flies by Robert Silverberg. While Philip Jose Farmer's Riders of the Purple Wage is just incomprehensible to me.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting. I would agree with you about "Flies", which is a fine (not to mention tremendously disturbing) story; but I have also always had a great fondness for Farmer's entry... that one is a rich piece of work that practically assaults the reader on a number of levels, and repays many rereadings....
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    Diggler

    Diggler Beam Me Up Scotty

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    I did actually re-read Riders of the Purple Wage and have to admit it is quite a good story. I was so put off by the absurd poetic style of the first chapter that I just skimmed past it completely. This time I endured, and was rewarded with a very entertaining story that actually had me chuckling on a few occasions :)
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Glad you enjoyed it this time 'round. One of my favorite characters, out of all those I've encountered over the years, is that crazy old man, Grandpa Winnegan....
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    Diggler

    Diggler Beam Me Up Scotty

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    With his beard to his groin and hair to his knees. looking like a wrinkly old male version of Lady Godiva. :p
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    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    Does my own manuscript count? :D Been reading it over so many times I've forgotten where I am up to in other books.


    Seriously though, I'd say when I find the time to read next this month, it will be Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay.
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    Alex The G and T

    Alex The G and T Thar! That Blows.

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    I think I ought to be able to wrap up (so to speak) The Worm Ouroborous tonight. (Eric Eddison, 1922)

    The eldritch tone is set by archaic language and weird spellings. It's a dreamy saga, reminiscent of Arthur Machen, Lord Dunsany or Lovecraft in his dreamquest mode.

    I've been working on it for several weeks, with an occasional respite in lighter reading. According to the daily mood of the reader, the relentless flood of verbiage can be delightfully soothing and mesmerizing; alternately a bit eye-glazing.

    But it's a classic! And free from Project Gutenberg.
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    Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Active Member

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    Welcome to the forums Alex, The G and T.

    Glad to hear you are enjoying "The worm Ouroborus", it is indeed a classic although not everyone finds the prose style so pleasant.
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    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

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    That book was one of the first i read when i was newbie as a reader and wasnt used to different prose style. I get so annoyed by the poetic,stiff prose style. I wonder how i would feel many books, prose styles later now.

    Zane Grey is overrated western author better to forget about ever reading again was what i felt then.
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    purple_kathryn

    purple_kathryn Uberly purple

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    Graceling by Kristen Cashore - which I'm reading primarily because I liked the cover :p
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    No One

    No One Orange Aide ;)

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    With Carl Sagan's Cosmos finished for a second time I've now started a HoopyFrood's copy of Yann Martel's Life of Pi.

    Half way through and thoroughly enjoying every page.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know as I'd class it as "eldritch", not even in the sorcerous passages involving Gorice; but he does capture the language of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with incredible fidelity, as anyone who has read much from those periods (at least, when they stay with the original orthography) can attest.

    It is one of those books that most modern readers have a lttle difficulty with because of that (and the older storytelling model), but once the adjustment is made, I think it repays the effort many times over. I've read this novel probably eight or nine times, and enjoyed more each time. While I've not yet read the others (Mistress of Mistresses; A Fish Dinner in Memison, and the unfinished The Mezentian Gate) as often, I would say the same applies to them. If I were not so buried in current projects, I'd love to go back and reread these yet again....
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