September 2019: Reading Thread

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Teresa Edgerton

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I’ve started M. John Harrison’s The Pastel City. Terrific so far - Harrison certainly writes very well. His prose, while being highly readable, is dense in detail and impression. His work seems a little like Moorcock, if only Moorcock would take a little more time or care. Also maybe a little like Ballard - but perhaps this simply means I’m saying there is a prose similarity between New Wave authors? Any road, I’m enjoying it.
If you continue to enjoy The Pastel City, you might want to look for the collected Viriconium novels and short fiction, entitled (not surprisingly) Viriconium. I liked the short stories the best, although the novels are impressive, of course.

It was published about 15 years ago, but I imagine is probably not difficult to find even now.
 

dannymcg

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I've moved away from my usual choices for this one (25p in a charity shop) and I'm trying an autobiography.
Ordeal by Linda Lovelace.
Her story of how she was regularly beaten, abused, raped and mind controlled into becoming the porn star.

TBH I'm finding it somewhat depressing and it's going to be difficult to finish reading.
I'll probably bin it as today progresses
 

Rodders

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Finished Ground Zero. I have two more Repairman Jack novels to go to finish the series and then finish off by rereading Nightworld. Kudos to F. Paul Wilson for writing a consistently entertaining series.

I couldn't put off Dogs of War any longer. I am one chapter in and it's a pretty graphic start.
 

Venusian Broon

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I’ve started M. John Harrison’s The Pastel City. Terrific so far - Harrison certainly writes very well. His prose, while being highly readable, is dense in detail and impression. His work seems a little like Moorcock, if only Moorcock would take a little more time or care. Also maybe a little like Ballard - but perhaps this simply means I’m saying there is a prose similarity between New Wave authors? Any road, I’m enjoying it.
Yes! I adore Harrison! He sometimes he gets a bit sidetracked, and you really need to be a fan boi/grl to take some of the harder to digest books, but the prose is always wonderful. I get the connection to Ballard too.

I think my it is because I started reading voraciously by the end of the seventies as an nine year old and therefore I had a great deal of the new wave of SF at hand, so it's my 'natural' starting point for SF. :)

I noticed that in the Guardian's 100 best books of the 21st Century so far, they put Light in at 91. Hear, hear!
 

dannymcg

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I've moved away from my usual choices for this one (25p in a charity shop) and I'm trying an autobiography.
Ordeal by Linda Lovelace.
Her story of how she was regularly beaten, abused, raped and mind controlled into becoming the porn star.

TBH I'm finding it somewhat depressing and it's going to be difficult to finish reading.
I'll probably bin it as today progresses
I gave up on the Linda Lovelace story,
the writing was too repetitive.

I'm now making a start on Cold Storage by David Koepp -2019.
(The blurb says an Andromeda Strain type story...we shall see)
 

vanye

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Genuinely curious - what did you like about it?
I‘m a lazy old coot, so I‘ll just copy my comments from April. But the main thing for me was the great storytelling. Had me totally spaced :D
While most modern books (especially fantasy) just can't seem to get into a story without spilling a few hundred pints of blood and gore on the first pages, The long Way to a small angry Planet is the exact opposite. Very character driven, but still a great, imaginative story told by a master storyteller. I'll tell y'all all about it when I've read the whole book, but for me it is already easily the best read in ages.

The long Way to a small angry Planet by Becky Chambers was indeed just as good as the first impression. Great storytelling, very personable characters - really a "feelgood comfort book". Something seldom found in SF. Loved it and already have the follow-up on my list.
 

dannymcg

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I See by My Outfit was serialized in Holiday, a pretty lavish-looking magazine, so Beagle had that visibility -- or maybe it was that the book was an expansion of the magazine serial -- I'm not sure of the exact situation. Beagle also wrote about LotR for Holiday -- that's where his introduction in The Tolkien Reader came from.

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dask

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Finished The Night Boat by Robert R. McCammon. Well told and exciting horror thriller, perfect for this time of year. Since I finished it sooner than I expected I decided to start another novel before getting in a short story collection:



Want to know how to write or sharpen your craft? Read this guy. How he plots and plans and brings things all together is awe inspiring. The story takes place in one of the creepiest places on Earth: 1880s London, fog and all. What a great place to visit for a time traveler. High hopes for this one.
 

Bick

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I‘m a lazy old coot, so I‘ll just copy my comments from April. But the main thing for me was the great storytelling. Had me totally spaced :D
Interesting, thanks. I didn’t personally notice much storytelling in it - I felt that was a distinct weakness. Horses for courses I guess.
 

Brian G Turner

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Finished reading Tom Holland's Rubicon, which I found to be a superb narrative history of the rise and fall of the Republic of Rome that really brought the period alive.

Also finished reading The Iliad, which I found dull as a work of literature, but absolutely fascinating for its description of early Iron Age tribal living and beliefs.
 

Ian Fortytwo

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I've almost finished reading How to be a Footballer, by Peter Crouch. It is full of humour and plenty of miscellanea on transfers, players their fads, cars, houses, and tattoos. Also about managers. It is a worthwhile read.
 

Vertigo

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Also finished reading The Iliad, which I found dull as a work of literature, but absolutely fascinating for its description of early Iron Age tribal living and beliefs.
Pretty much how I felt about it! Though I found it a little less dull once I figured out that I, as a modern non-scholarly reader, could be forgiven for skipping the long list of names that kept appearing! ;)
 

Elckerlyc

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Finished A Song For Achilles by Madeline Miller, the story of Achilles and Patroclus, told by the latter. It's about their lives, their love and the looming fate of Achilles that effects their moves and choices. The second half of the novel covers the 10 years of the Trojan War. A somewhat different view on Troy and possibly (I suspect, reading the above) decidedly less dull then the Iliad.
It certainly was an well written tale and kept you reading even though (or just perhaps) you know how it ends. The story (in first person) is told by Patroclus, who dies before Achilles meets his end. You keep wondering how this will be resolved by the author. Well, she does that in a uniquely, moving and convincingly way. Recommended. Though I also admit that I liked Miller's second novel Circe better, perhaps this concerns a less well-known person from the Greek Mythology.

Next, The psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas. A time travel murder mystery. Have read up to (short) chapter 9 so far. The story is interesting but the characters remain a bit flat. The continuing changes of POV (5 up until now (though now is a dubious word in a time travel story))
is not my thing, but we'll see how it goes.
 

Bick

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I've almost finished reading How to be a Footballer, by Peter Crouch. It is full of humour and plenty of miscellanea on transfers, players their fads, cars, houses, and tattoos. Also about managers. It is a worthwhile read.
I’d heard very good things about this and think I may get it now given your positive review.
 

HareBrain

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I put aside Armageddon by Max Hastings for a while, because it was relentlessly grim. I then read most of Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky, before setting it aside because it didn't quite work for me. I then read The Goddess Project and The Empyreus Proof, for the first time in their published form, and finished both (and enjoyed them, though it would have been a bit of a disaster if I hadn't).

Now teetering on the brink of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Slightly daunted by its length and the fact that whenever I open it at a random page, nothing much seems to be happening. But people I know seem to like it, so ...
 

Parson

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You mean, like the Old Testament?
Exactly! All those begets and begats… spare me!
:eek: :giggle: Part of me wants to talk about all the hidden insights in those names and what they point to, but instead I will share what my Dad sometimes did when he read the Bible at our meal table (something that happened on ave. twice a day). He would read and say and "hard name" begat "hard name."

I've just finished Shock Wave by Lindsay Buroker. It is very accessible S.F. lite book. It is a little more hard S.F. that your run of the mill Fantasy S.F. clearly some thought went into the science. It has a kinda campy feel. What I liked especially about it is that we have a hero who is always trying to do the right thing and honest thing, even what that is dangerous to him personally. There is also some clever banter in the book. It is part of a series, so far only 2 written (iirc). If you want something light, fun, with only small amounts of mayhem, this would be a good choice.
 
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dannymcg

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:eek: :giggle: Part of me wants to talk about all the hidden insights in those names and what they point to, but instead I will share what my Dad sometimes did when he read the Bible at our meal table (something that happened on ave. twice a day). He would read and say and "hard name" begat "hard name."
They got Tom Sawyer the Sunday School prize!
 
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