October's Obdurate Observations Of Outstanding Ouevres

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Connavar

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Read Farmer's The Green Odyssey. This posits a galaxy settled by an ancient and now defunct human civilization, of which Terra and other planets were colonies. A Terran spaceman, stranded on a barbaric planet, has no hope of rescue and struggles to make his way in the world. Then he hears that a spaceship has appeared and, with hope reignited, struggles to make his way to it. It's a cleanly written quest adventure and fun, though with a relatively vague protagonist and not as much weight or mythic resonance as might be expected from the title. I gather this is supposed to be a classic and one of the landmark contributions to "planetary romance". If it's supposed to be all that, it may well be overrated and some might find it disappointing. But I'd recommend it as a fun read.

Which series like that would you recommend ? I would like adventure science fiction about humans in new planets with aliens, barbaric lifestyle. Like Jack Vance Planet of Adventure series even if it doesnt have to be that great but fun read, interesting hero.

I like those kind of stories, SF but i dont know where to find them. I read my SF by one author at a time, i dont know follow subgenre, story type in SF. But i have seen bad tv, film versions that make crave good book version.
 

Adasunshine

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I've just finished Un Lun Dun and am now half way through Kraken... both by China Mieville.

xx
 

Extollager

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The next story in Bradbury's The October Country is "The Small Assassin," which was meant, I suppose, to be a real horror story building to a shocking thrill. Reading it again some years after the last time, it seemed merely unpleasant to me, and markedly inferior to Chekhov's "Sleepy," a story with a somewhat related plot.

http://www.online-literature.com/donne/1248/
 

Extollager

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Then we come to "The Crowd," an outstanding story in The October Country. As a creeper about the awakening to the alienness of the crowd, it belongs with Leiber's "You're All Alone." My reading of the Leiber, though, is that it's a gnostic fantasy (a thesis I should probably develop in a separate comment one of these days). The Bradbury carries no metaphysical burden. It's economical and haunting.
 

Extollager

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And next is "Jack in the Box" (in Bradbury's October Country). This is pretty good, and more than any of the stories so far in the book reminded me of other sf/fantasy stories. In that basic theme of escape from a confining world-of-its-own it reminded me

--first, and perhaps least relevantly, of Lovecraft's "Outsider"
--Peake's Gormenghast books, in which Titus must leave the castle
--the original Outer Limits teleplay about the house that is a brain or brain that is a house
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--the original Star Trek "For the World Is Hollow, and I Have Touched the Sky"
--and Heinlein's "Universe"
 

Rodders

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I've just finished "Leviathan Wakes" by James S. A. Corey which was a real page turner in my opinion. Now on to "Germline" by T. C. McCarthy.
 

Lord Soth

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Yes I also enjoyed Leviathan Wakes, I'll be following that series with interest.

Finished Asher's The Departure this weekend, a good solid read although I must admit he came across a little to heavy with his own viewpoints on politics, the state and bureaucracy..., but either I grew accustomed to this or it relented on the latter half and the story grew better because of it (and I'm someone who agree's with a lot of Asher's points).

Anyway, have now started my (signed edition!) of Hamilton's Manhattan in Reverse.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Done with Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second in Scott Lynch's The Gentleman ******* Sequence.

A decent book, but not quite as enjoyable as the first. And that is not a good thing, considering I already thought the first was 'pretty good' but not great. Overall, the series is a decent read, but not one of the best out there. The main reason for my underwhelmance (that's right) is the fact that the novel feels a little too much like the first. Locke and Jean plan a heist, Locke and Jean get more than they bargain for, Locke and Jean experience trials, tribulations and personal loss, Locke and Jean come out fine in the end. All with a fair amount of witty repartee, of course. It's fine, as I said, but nothing that really strikes me as particularly exciting or engrossing. I can't find myself either identifying with, or strongly caring for, either character. And their bromance was getting tiresome by the end.

Still, I don't dislike the novel, or the series. I will probably still delve into the next installments, if only because I don't like giving up on a series midway (unless I truly hate it). Of course, Lynch seems to have been inspired by GRRM and Rothfuss when it comes to releasing sequels; his Republic of Thieves is now well over two years overdue.

For my next read, I haven't quite made up my mind, but I'm leaning towards Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. Or maybe The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I could, conceivably, also go ahead with The Passage by Justin Cronin...

Hmmm... Any suggestions?
 

GOLLUM

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....I found myself thinking that, if I want to compare "Skeleton" to a story/ies by another author, maybe I should refer to Flannery O'Connor. (The great and indispensable Flannery O'Connor.) She's known for writing stories that lead up to a moment of grotesque violence.
She's really that good eh? I should add that I bolded that piece of the quote.

I've been eying off a copy of the complete stories of Flannery O'Connor in a local bookstore for over 1 year now but not known enough about this writer to know if she is worth shelling out my hard earned for. I first became aware of O'Connor around that same time from a discussion of her work on our national radio book show program here in OZ with someone who had done a biography. It included a recording of a speech given by O'Connor in the 50s I think? possibly to a bunch of academics...sorry can't recall now. Anyway, I was impressed by her both sharp and mischievous wit and forceful character..always a little off-centre, quirky even, at least that is what I got from the voice and the words that tumbled out of it. Another author whom I have become interested in recently, also from the 'South' is Eudora Welty.
 

LittleMissy

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I am currently reading George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones and am 29% in according to the Kindle app on my phone.

So far, I am loving it! Once I reach the end, I hope to be able to 'safely' dip my toes into the GRRM section of the forum :D
 

Timba

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Done with Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second in Scott Lynch's The Gentleman ******* Sequence.

A decent book, but not quite as enjoyable as the first. And that is not a good thing, considering I already thought the first was 'pretty good' but not great. Overall, the series is a decent read, but not one of the best out there. The main reason for my underwhelmance (that's right) is the fact that the novel feels a little too much like the first. Locke and Jean plan a heist, Locke and Jean get more than they bargain for, Locke and Jean experience trials, tribulations and personal loss, Locke and Jean come out fine in the end. All with a fair amount of witty repartee, of course. It's fine, as I said, but nothing that really strikes me as particularly exciting or engrossing. I can't find myself either identifying with, or strongly caring for, either character. And their bromance was getting tiresome by the end.

Still, I don't dislike the novel, or the series. I will probably still delve into the next installments, if only because I don't like giving up on a series midway (unless I truly hate it). Of course, Lynch seems to have been inspired by GRRM and Rothfuss when it comes to releasing sequels; his Republic of Thieves is now well over two years overdue.

For my next read, I haven't quite made up my mind, but I'm leaning towards Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. Or maybe The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I could, conceivably, also go ahead with The Passage by Justin Cronin...

Hmmm... Any suggestions?

I found The Passage by Cronin to be engrossing and I am eager for the sequel.
 

Extollager

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She's really that good eh? I should add that I bolded that piece of the quote ("The great and indispensable Flannery O'Connor.").


For me, yes, she's that good. I'll send a list of recommended stories later today if I can. I stand by my adjectives. I'll add some. She is large-souled (far more than most authors) yet notably unsentimental.

She's one of those authors over against whom you can line up many other authors and the other authors will be exposed as writing stories that are less true in craftsmanship. Never heavy to read, her writing is formidable.
 

Ursa major

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So far, I am loving it! Once I reach the end, I hope to be able to 'safely' dip my toes into the GRRM section of the forum :D
Far be it from me to dissuade you from joining in over there, but you would be taking a really big risk of discovering what happens in A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons.

In my opinion, you'd be better reading those books before you take the plunge. (That's what I did - okay, ADwD wasn't yet out when I joined in the debates - and have never regretted holding back.)
 

Extollager

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For me, yes, she's that good. I'll send a list of recommended stories later today if I can. I stand by my adjectives. I'll add some. She is large-souled (far more than most authors) yet notably unsentimental.

She's one of those authors over against whom you can line up many other authors and the other authors will be exposed as writing stories that are less true in craftsmanship. Never heavy to read, her writing is formidable.

Some excellent Flannery O’ Connor stories:

“A View of the Woods,” “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” “Good Country People,” “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” “The Artificial Nigger,” “Greenleaf,” and “Parker’s Back.” But this is just a selection of a few and I could easily have recommended more.


And let me say too how I love writings by Joseph Mitchell -- not in the same league as O'Connor but another American author whom this reader (who tends to focus on British or Russian authors) relishes. Up in the Old Hotel is an omnibus volume. I recommend these items:

[a]from McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon: “The Old House at Home,” “Mazie,” “Professor Sea Gull,” “Lady Olga,” “Evening with a Gifted Child,” “The Cave Dwellers,” “King of the Gypsies”
from The Bottom of the Harbor: “Up in the Old Hotel,” “The Bottom of the Harbor,” “The Rats on the Waterfront,” “Mr. Hunter’s Grave”
 

Extollager

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"The Scythe" is surely one of the best stories in The October Country. A poetic and disturbing use of the Grim Reaper emblem. It may be distantly related to a classic supernatural story, Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw" (I'm thinking particularly of the catastrophe to Erickson's family), but it's a modern classic of its own. Like a very different story, Lovecraft's "Colour Out of Space," it combines weird horror and pathos. And then Bradbury takes it further in a way you don't see coming. Bradbury has good control of his materials, where it would have been easy to make a misstep.
 

soulsinging

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Done with Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second in Scott Lynch's The Gentleman ******* Sequence.

The main reason for my underwhelmance (that's right) is the fact that the novel feels a little too much like the first. Locke and Jean plan a heist, Locke and Jean get more than they bargain for, Locke and Jean experience trials, tribulations and personal loss, Locke and Jean come out fine in the end. All with a fair amount of witty repartee, of course. It's fine, as I said, but nothing that really strikes me as particularly exciting or engrossing.

For my next read, I haven't quite made up my mind, but I'm leaning towards Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. Or maybe The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I could, conceivably, also go ahead with The Passage by Justin Cronin...

Hmmm... Any suggestions?

I mostly agree with you on Red Seas. After a certain point, it became simultaneously absurdly complicated for them and absurdly easy for their quadruple crosses to work. And the second I read the little prologue teaser, I knew immediately how it would turn out... no tension whatsoever. Being so glib is fine in a 100min Oceans 11 movie, kind of underwhelming (like that word) as a 700 page novel. Especially when the pirate adventure dropped in the middle is so lively when compared to the totally extraneous other robbery. As to his delay on the books, last I heard the poor guy's personal life had kind of gone to pieces (lost loved ones, divorce), so I cut him some slack on that.

As to next read, I started the Passage and found it pretty engrossing but set it aside becos my schedule makes tackling a juggernaut like that difficult at the moment. I really enjoyed Name of the Wind. I read it around the same time I discovered Lynch (and Chrons, Abercrombie, and GRRM not coincidentally) and preferred it to Lynch on the whole.
 

Fried Egg

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With my horror month's reading behind me, I've started Roger Zelazny's "The Dream Master".
 

Diggler

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Seeing that there has been a horror month going on SFF Chronicles, and it is also the build up to Halloween, I decided to read the Books of Blood Series by Clive Barker. I was a bit late to start these, so have only made it up to about 90% through book 2, but all I can say is WOW!

The stories are violent, intelligent, imaginative and extremely well written. I can't see myself stopping till I have read all six of them!
 

GOLLUM

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Some excellent Flannery O’ Connor stories:

“A View of the Woods,” “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” “Good Country People,” “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” “The Artificial Nigger,” “Greenleaf,” and “Parker’s Back.” But this is just a selection of a few and I could easily have recommended more.

And let me say too how I love writings by Joseph Mitchell -- not in the same league as O'Connor but another American author whom this reader (who tends to focus on British or Russian authors) relishes. Up in the Old Hotel is an omnibus volume. I recommend these items: [a]from McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon: “The Old House at Home,” “Mazie,” “Professor Sea Gull,” “Lady Olga,” “Evening with a Gifted Child,” “The Cave Dwellers,” “King of the Gypsies” from The Bottom of the Harbor: “Up in the Old Hotel,” “The Bottom of the Harbor,” “The Rats on the Waterfront,” “Mr. Hunter’s Grave”
Thanks.

As I'm getting the collected stories of O'Connor I'm assuming I'll have those listed...watch this space.

That would be the same Mitchell who worked for the New Yorker? I recall reading one or two of his pieces from a New Yorker anthology I stumbled across a few years back. I recall being impressed with what I did read of his.

I would have to say that my favourite American female writer was the late, great Angela Carter, her short fiction in particular being a highlight for me. If O'Connor proves to be of a similar stature then I'll be more than pleased with my purchase....:)
 
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