• Published a book you want to tell us about? Uploaded a YouTube video you want to share?

    Normally you'll need 100 posts to self-promote, but with an upgraded membership you can do so with your first post.

    Find out more here: Become a Supporting Member

May 2019: Reading Thread

Status
Not open for further replies.

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
7,553
Location
Scottish Highlands
Over the Christmas holidays I read Xenophobia, I have to agree that you got it correct in your review.
Panic as needed and fighting as needed at the required points in the plot.
Nevertheless I enjoyed it as a first contact story, I've read a lot worse at times
Yes, as I said, well written and an enjoyable, easy read, which is why I didn't slate it completely. But those were definitely weak points and, interestingly, I found pretty much exactly the same weak points in Anomaly, another first contact book by Cawdron.
 

Randy M.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
1,355
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss
Fun Victorian romp with the daughters -- actual and created -- of certain eminent Victorian gentlemen; it could be retitled The League of Extraordinary Daughters. Mary Jekyll's mother dies leaving the death of her father a mystery, and impoverishing young Mary. Afer disbanding her household, Mary finds information that pushes her to seek help which then propels her into several adventures. Goss incorporates the circumscribed opportunities of a Victorian woman of good birth in narrowing the range of experience and action for someone like Mary, while also deftly characterizing how those challenges are met and sometimes circumvented. In the process Mary meets a group of women who become comrades in adventures. I enjoyed this and look forward to reading the sequel later this summer; a third book will be published late this year, as well.

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
Hadn't read this before, apparently the first salvo in what became fantasy-of-manners novels. I'm impressed by Kushner's concision when delineating the city of Riverside and environs, both the spare physical description and the social/cultural setting. Politics, governmental and sexual, mingle and provide motivation for the action as a swordsman of impeccable repute and accomplishment gets absorbed into power plays. Good read and I look forward to reading the sequel later this year.

Now I'm dipping into Time Burial by Howard Wandrei, a collection of pulp short stories that are proving fast-paced, fun and imaginative.


Randy M.
 

Rodders

|-O-| (-O-) |-O-|
Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
4,070
@Rodders - Does the Old Man's War series get better? I thought the first book was OK, too lighthearted and it felt generic, like John Scalzi was playing it safe.
I have been enjoying them, but not as much as the first one.

Old Ma's War kind of sets the scene for the other books. Ghost Brigade was actually pretty good, but it too me a little while to get going. The Last Colony isn't bad, but the setting is a little different than the others.

It makes my train journey pass painlessly enough. :)
 

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
7,553
Location
Scottish Highlands
The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell - No review of this one as I find both the good and the bad points in this series (The Saxon tales aka The Last Kingdom series) are much the same with each book. And therein lies a bit of a problem. They're beginning to get a little tired now. He's still writing them just as well and the stories are still just as good but it's just that we now know all the main characters pretty darn well; we know what sort of stuff they're going to be thinking, we know how they're likely to react in particular situations and we know how they're likely to behave. There were a few new characters but Uhtred's very close POV is getting, like him, a bit tired. In short they're becoming predictable. When the book started from the perspective of Uhtred's son I was pleased as this was indeed a new POV but sadly it rapidly switched back to Uhtred and stayed there. I will keep reading them but the now predictable characters and the naturally very predictable history is starting to drag a little.
 

dannymcg

"It places the lotion in the basket"
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
3,409
Location
Cumbria UK
I've spent this last three hours reading a novelette by Karin Slaughter and Lee Child. Cleaning the Gold.
Will Trent from the GBI meets up with Jack Reacher, initially to covertly watch him as a suspect, then to actively work with him. Finally they reach a strange conclusion about the real reason they are in that location
 
Last edited:

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
8,142
Location
Iowa
I've given up on Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro. It was as advertised a coming of age love story .... so clearly not in my sweet zone, but I wondered if it would look different written by (I'm assuming) a Japanese national. The only difference I could see was that the characters were much more educated and intelligent (speaking about Nietzsche, Miles Davis et. al.) but they both did not care for Japanese culture so it was not giving me what I wanted. (I only attempted this book because it was free with Amazon Prime.) Next up The Oracle Year by Charles Soule. We'll see if I can stick this out. Especially since I've just discovered a new book by Laurence E. Dahners, Psychicians. --- He's one of my guilty pleasures.


Edit: Now I'm really in trouble. He has two new books. I have also picked up TerraForm #15 in the Ell Donsaii story series.
 

Hugh

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
945
Diana Athill "Somewhere Towards the End"
I read this because I'm interested in autobiographical accounts of the experience of old age. This was written when Diana was 89 (she actually lived into her hundred and second year) so she's certainly qualified to write on this subject. I did find it worth reading, and really enjoyed her prose. I was worried at first that it was going to slip into a simple memoir of her earlier life and lovers, but this turned out not to be the case. The book itself is somewhat slight at 183 pages in this edition, with two, sometimes three, blank pages between the sixteen chapters, but it works. Many thanks to @The Judge for the suggestion.
 

The Big Peat

Darth Buddha
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
2,281
I read The Imaginary Corpse by Tyler Hayes. Full review coming a little, but its a fun idea (a dream world formed of fictional characters that their creators believed in so much they became real) with a so-so story.

Also read Last First Snow by Max Gladstone. First book of his I didn't like; possibly because I had the wrong expectations. But it just felt a little flat.


The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell - No review of this one as I find both the good and the bad points in this series (The Saxon tales aka The Last Kingdom series) are much the same with each book. And therein lies a bit of a problem. They're beginning to get a little tired now. He's still writing them just as well and the stories are still just as good but it's just that we now know all the main characters pretty darn well; we know what sort of stuff they're going to be thinking, we know how they're likely to react in particular situations and we know how they're likely to behave. There were a few new characters but Uhtred's very close POV is getting, like him, a bit tired. In short they're becoming predictable. When the book started from the perspective of Uhtred's son I was pleased as this was indeed a new POV but sadly it rapidly switched back to Uhtred and stayed there. I will keep reading them but the now predictable characters and the naturally very predictable history is starting to drag a little.
Roughly how I felt too. It's remarkable that he managed to stay entertaining as long as he did with the scenario, particularly as its only three hairs removed from about 40 of his other books to begin with.
 

pambaddeley

Finally published that blooming book!
Supporter
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
841
Read The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones.
 

Pedro Del Mar

I am content
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,263
Location
Darwen Tower
Recently finished Road Brothers by Mark Lawrence. I'm not as much of a fan of short stories as I am novels, and although there were some good stories here I didn't enjoy this book as much as the other series he's written.

Currently reading The Sett by Ranulph Fiennes. Wow, what a story, it set off at a great pace and quite a few chapters in and it's absolutely engrossing so far!
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
8,142
Location
Iowa
Currently reading The Sett by Ranulph Fiennes. Wow, what a story, it set off at a great pace and quite a few chapters in and it's absolutely engrossing so far!
The book is a little controversial. Will be eager to hear your take after the end.
 

dannymcg

"It places the lotion in the basket"
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
3,409
Location
Cumbria UK
This weekends literary feast is Moderan by David R Bunch, a collection of his short stories set on this war-torn world of the far future.
I'm into the third story and so far it's awesome, the planet paved over in thick grey plastic, near cyborg men in Strongholds and massive war machines roaming the landscape.
I think I may have read this third tale in a SF anthology many many years ago, possibly late 1960's. Still great stuff
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
5,859
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
This weekends literary feast is Moderan by David R Bunch, a collection of his short stories set on this war-torn world of the far future.
I'm into the third story and so far it's awesome, the planet paved over in thick grey plastic, near cyborg men in Strongholds and massive war machines roaming the landscape.
I think I may have read this third tale in a SF anthology many many years ago, possibly late 1960's. Still great stuff
An author with a unique and disturbing style. When some of his work was published in Fantastic in the early 1960's, several letters were printed in the magazine from readers who really hated his work.
 

Rodders

|-O-| (-O-) |-O-|
Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
4,070
I finished Scalzi's The Last Colony. It was good, but the ending felt rushed.

I'm taking a break from the Old Man's War series and have gone back to Repair Man Jack. "All The Rage" is my next read.
 

tobl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
577
reading christopher g nutall A Learning Experience. interesting and amusing most f the time
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
8,142
Location
Iowa
@Parson No Spoilers please!
:giggle:Couldn't even if I wanted to. I've read some of the discussion but none of the book.

------

I couldn't wait. I laid The Oracle Year aside. Nothing against it, the opening was intriguing and I will most definitely get back to it, but two new Laurence E. Dahners books were too much to wait for. I know they are going to give me heroes worthy of the name and interesting scientific insights. I suspect Charles Soule and Oracle Year will give me tortured heroes, shades of gray, and likely no satisfactory resolution. That is not the way I like my fictional worlds to work. So I read Psychians last night and It gave me everything I expected. This is one of Hyllis Family Stories and one of the better ones. The Hyllis family is a family of "gifted" people (telepathic and telekinetic style gifts) in a post apocalyptic world. The tech available is about 1850's, and most of the best stuff is still being savaged 500? years after the apocalypse.

Next up is TerraForm by Dahners this is story 15 of his best selling Ell Donsaii stories. Perhaps a bit less on the "lite" side of SF then the Hyllis family stories and set in near future earth. These have all been crackerjack stories and I don't expect this one to be any different.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top