SF Masterwork series continued...

Fried Egg

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Looks like the series is still going strong. Upcoming publications for the new year are as follows:

The Long, Loud Silence by Wilson Tucker (12 Feb 2015)
The Unreal and the Real Volume Two: Outer Space, Inner Lands by Ursula Le Guin (8 Jan 2015)
Mission Of Gravity: Mesklinite Book 1 by Hal Clement (11 Dec 2014) *
The Unreal and the Real Volume One: Where on Earth by Ursula Le Guin (9 Oct 2014)
Stand On Zanzibar by John Brunner (11 Sep 2014) *
Monday Begins on Saturday by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky (14 Aug 2014)
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr. (10 Jul 2014)
A Case Of Conscience by James Blish (8 May 2014) *
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (8 May 2014) *
Jem by Frederik Pohl (10 Apr 2014) *
The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson (10 Apr 2014) *
The Godwhale by T. J. Bass (13 Mar 2014)
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett (13 Feb 2014)
Dr Bloodmoney by Philip K. Dick (9 Jan 2014) *
Half Past Human by T. J. Bass (9 Jan 2014)

* - Previously published in the series
 

Ogma

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The Unreal And Real Volume 1: Where on Earth is missing off the list which will be out in 9th October 2014

The reference to Mission of Gravity as Mesklinite Book 1 suggests Star Light is on the way in the near future.

I love this series. I have discovered so many of my favourite authors through it.
 

GOLLUM

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Okay, haven't updated on the upcoming releases for a while but it looks something like this at the moment:

The Phoenix and the Mirror by Avram Davidson (10 Oct 2013)
Interestingly this was published under VG's new look Fantasy Masterwork series. There appears to be a number of these new look Fantasy Masterwork publications but they're not a part of the original numbered series and not something I will be pursuing. I'm focusing all of my efforts into keeping up with purchasing the ongoing SF series as they are released, the latter Genre being one I'm am far less familiar with in comparison.

Given how the SF series doesn't appear to be relenting anytime soon I may need to build another wing onto my Library in order to manage shelf space.

Also Michael J Bishop's Transfiguration came out in November accroding to Amazon. I've not yet seen this one here.
 

williamjm

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And finally I've got a few SF Masterworks that I'm thinking about reading in the near future, any thoughts from you all on...

-Bring the Jubilee
-Take Back Plenty
-Cities in Flight
-The Prestige
-Dhalgren; I started this one several years ago and never finished it. Seemed too weird and disjointed....and this is coming from a huge PKD fan...I felt like Delaney was trying too hard to be SF's James Joyce and it just wasn't working. I'm willing to give it another shot though!
I didn't like (or finish) Cities In Flight. Some nice ideas, but the characterisation is poor and it was hard to care about what happened.

The Prestige is good and worth reading, although I prefer the movie version.
 

hegg

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I couldn't find a specific Connie Willis thread, so decided to pop in here and comment..

Recently finished the Masterworks Time is the Fire: The Best of Connie Willis. Going in to it I was pretty excited, what with the book being made up of a whopping ten award-winning stories. But by the end I was quite glad to be finishing it and moving on to something else.

I really enjoyed a couple of stories, namely A Letter From the Clearys - about a small family holed up in a village somewhere, post-nuclear strike (of which no great detail is given, which I liked), and also The Last of the Winnebagos, which I thought had a really refreshing and original premise - a virus has killed all dogs and the Humane Society has become an over-bearing and ominous police force.

Other than that I can't say I really enjoyed the others very much. I found quite a lot of the characters to be...annoying, if I'm honest, not very likeable. And the chemistry between some of the main characters in a couple of stories did not work for me at all. Also, a few of the twists and turns were quite predictable.

I thought this would be a good introduction to Connis Willis but it hasn't really worked! Does anyone have any other recommendations? I'm still keen to read more, maybe these just weren't quite for me. Perhaps a novel?
 

hitmouse

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Re Connie Willis. I strongly recommend To Say Nothing of The Dog. Most enjoyable SF novel I read in 2013.
 
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Connie Willis is another I've been meaning to get to...I've heard great things about Doomsday Book, and the time period surrounding the Black Death really interests me.
Just finished Non-Stop, really enjoyed it. A lot more of an action-packed page-turner than I was expecting.
On to Downward to the Earth. Only other Silverberg I've read was Dying Inside which was awesome --one of the best SF books I've ever read. So far, the SF Masterworks series has been really worthwhile!
 

hitmouse

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I have just started The Doomsday Book. It is in a similar vein to TSNOTD i.e. time travelling academics from the History Dept at Oxford University, but I understand The Doomsday Book has a quite different tone, and is less of a comedy of manners than TSNOTD. Only about 10 pages in so far.
 

hegg

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Thanks for the recommendations! Looks like both of those are Masterworks too, which is nice, I'll try and get hold of them.
 

antiloquax

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Unquenchable Fire

Has anyone read Unquenchable Fire by Rachel Pollack yet?

It is probably the most disorientating book (in an oddly good way) I have ever read. Seems very much a fantasy novel to me though, doesn't seem to sit right in this Sci-Fi genre.
I've just read this and loved it.

I very much enjoyed the unusual future that Pollack imagined here. I often enjoy it when an SF writer invents a religion and this had to be one of my favourites. I loved the way the spiritual events shaped the story and how Pollack weaves extracts from the holy "Pictures" or stories of the Founders into the novel.

I aim to read more of her stuff.
 

Mangara

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Re: Unquenchable Fire

I've just read this and loved it.

I very much enjoyed the unusual future that Pollack imagined here. I often enjoy it when an SF writer invents a religion and this had to be one of my favourites. I loved the way the spiritual events shaped the story and how Pollack weaves extracts from the holy "Pictures" or stories of the Founders into the novel.

I aim to read more of her stuff.
Here is my review after reading it last year, it was bizarre but enjoyable!

Despite being a SF Masterwork, Unquenchable Fire is very much a work of speculative fiction. Set in an America following a spiritual revolution, science is the last thing on the mind when surrounded by miracles and spirits.

Immensely imaginative the story follows Jenny, a young woman chosen for great things who just wants to live a regular life. The main theme of the book is how losing control affects Jenny who is trapped in a world where ritual and religion is the only thing holding society together.

The imagery in the stories of the founders is rich, and the stories will stay with you a while after reading them. I can’t help but feel that there is a lot of the spiritual aspect of the book which went straight over my head, due to lack of familiarity with subjects such as Tarot, a subject the author is an expert on.

I found this book to be a challenge, by taking a location familiar to the reader but changing the rules of society so completely led to a disorientating feel to much of the book. A bit too abstract at times I found it difficult to follow, but the narrative is rewarding enough if you can manage to stick with it.

 

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