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June 2019: Reading Thread

Victoria Silverwolf

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I have barely started Wilders by Brenda Cooper (2017), one of several "advanced reading copies" I received from the editor of Tangent Online for doing short story reviews. Seems to be something about high tech cities and the wilderness outside in the near future.
 

williamjm

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I've been going through more of the Hugo novella nominees.

I read the first two Murderbot Diaries stories by Martha Wells (the second of which is nominated). I enjoyed them both, I don't think the stories are necessarily doing anything particularly innovative, but they're a lot of fun to read. I think the title made me think it would be more military SF based, rather than the Murderbot of the title being more of a security guard (albeit a very well-armed one) who would much rather spend their time watching soap operas rather than trying to save humans from the consequences of their own recklessness. I think the first story had a stronger plot than the second and more of a mystery about what exactly is going on, but they were both good.

I also read the second and third Binti novellas, having read the first a couple of years ago. I had mostly liked the first novella when I read it, despite some misgivings about how quickly Binti forgives and moves past some of the events that happen to her. To be fair, the second story does address some of those misgivings by trying to show how she is still haunted by the events of the first story. The initial premise was good, but I don't think it was well executed. It feels like there are far too many plot points and world-building concepts packed into two relatively short stories, while Binti does get some decent character development it feels too accelerated and most of the supporting characters don't really come alive. The third story was particularly weak with some really lazy deus-ex-machina plotting.

I've now taken a break from the novellas to read Adrian Tchaikovsky's latest novel, Children of Ruin. It's a bit early to say whether it will live up to Children of Time, but it's off to a good start.
 

Parson

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I read the first two Murderbot Diaries stories by Martha Wells (the second of which is nominated).
Artificial Condition has a lot to live up to. All Systems Red (Book 1) won the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella; 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella; 2018 Alex Award; and the 2018 Locus Award

As I remember the 4 books, I would say book 2 is the weakest link in the chain.
 

williamjm

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Artificial Condition has a lot to live up to. All Systems Red (Book 1) won the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella; 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella; 2018 Alex Award; and the 2018 Locus Award

As I remember the 4 books, I would say book 2 is the weakest link in the chain.
That's good to know, looks like I've got more to look forward to.
 

dannymcg

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This morning I'm starting Cari Mora, the new Thomas Harris novel.
I've also started Billy Bunter of Greyfriars, this came up in the Connections thread and I couldn't resist downloading a couple of Bunter books as well
 

Bick

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I’m now starting the fifth and final book in Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War series, Victory Conditions. Hopefully this will end the series well. I’ve really enjoyed it so far, but I’m not naturally inclined to read series like this so it’s been quite a commitment to undertake a 5 book series. I probably enjoy looser series more, (such Pip & Flinx or Discworld), at least generally speaking, as a weak entry in the series doesn’t have to derail it, and you can skip volumes/episodes if you like. With ‘tight’ series that are basically one long novel, once you’re committed, your kinda stuck with it, and if it goes off the boil, you’re stuffed (I’m looking at you GRRM). This has been good though, so maybe Moon is a more reliable author and if this ends well I might risk other series by her, you never know.
 

tobl

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This morning I'm starting Cari Mora, the new Thomas Harris novel.
hum thanks, didn't knew he had written a new one. read the preface... i don't know. seems like the same general thing he wrote before. i'll wait for your critic
 

Vertigo

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I’m now starting the fifth and final book in Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War series, Victory Conditions. Hopefully this will end the series well. I’ve really enjoyed it so far, but I’m not naturally inclined to read series like this so it’s been quite a commitment to undertake a 5 book series. I probably enjoy looser series more, (such Pip & Flinx or Discworld), at least generally speaking, as a weak entry in the series doesn’t have to derail it, and you can skip volumes/episodes if you like. With ‘tight’ series that are basically one long novel, once you’re committed, your kinda stuck with it, and if it goes off the boil, you’re stuffed (I’m looking at you GRRM). This has been good though, so maybe Moon is a more reliable author and if this ends well I might risk other series by her, you never know.
You are aware that Moon is now writing a follow on series called Vatta's War with, I think, two books out already? I have no idea how many books it is likely to be and haven't read either of them yet myself.
 

Bick

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You are aware that Moon is now writing a follow on series called Vatta's War with, I think, two books out already?
Yup - I think it’s called Vatta’s Peace though. I’ve seen them but I’ve not read reviews yet.
 

Ian Fortytwo

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I'm reading The Wandering Earth and nine other stories, by Cixin Liu. I have never read this author before, as these are short stories they should be good starting point.
 

dannymcg

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I'm reading The Wandering Earth and nine other stories, by Cixin Liu. I have never read this author before, as these are short stories they should be good starting point.
He wrote an incredibly dull trilogy that nobody really liked.
However there was an 'Emperors new clothes' effect and everyone raved on about how good it was.
 

hitmouse

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He wrote an incredibly dull trilogy that nobody really liked.
However there was an 'Emperors new clothes' effect and everyone raved on about how good it was.
The trilogy was absolutely brilliant IMHO. Had a greater density of cool sf ideas per page than anything I have read in years. Give it another go.
 

Vertigo

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He wrote an incredibly dull trilogy that nobody really liked.
However there was an 'Emperors new clothes' effect and everyone raved on about how good it was.
Sorry, third vote! I loved them. Sometimes possibly a little intensely hard SF, which is generally to my taste but certainly not to everyone's.
 
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