October Reading Thread

Parson

This world is not my home
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Finished the last of the Final Days trilogy by Jasper T. Scott and Nathan Hystad, Escape. I give the book and the series my usual 4, maybe a bit weaker than usual. There was nothing very off putting and it was a tiny bit original in places. I read all of all three books and I think that they are certainly good enough to read if you like S.F. Fantasy. --- It seems as though my praise is weak. What I mean to convey is that they are average and worth reading.

Next? I'm tempted to go for a Y.A. blast from the past which was featured in the Book Search thread. Raiders from the Rings by Alan E. Nourse. But will likely go for one I've been hanging on to for a while Interference by Brad Parks. According to the blurb it sounds like a Science Fiction"y" thriller about Quantum Mechanics. I've never heard of it before, but it has 1000+ ratings ave. above 4. So ..... we'll see.
 

Vertigo

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Run out of time for full write ups so:

The Cleansing Fire by S J A Turney - another good instalment in Turney's Praetorian Roman series, set in the time of Commodus, or in this book just before and after his assassination. Turney writes well and gives us likeable protagonists and thoroughly despicable antagonists and a couple of grey-area characters in between. My main complaint with this and all the previous books is the the main protagonists is fantastically smart or fantastically stupid in turn as demanded by the plot. There is little consistency in this aspect of his character. But still a good story and an interesting take on this politically chaotic period of Roman history. 4/5 stars.

The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter - mostly written, I suspect, by Baxter there are occasional flashes of Pratchett's brilliant absurdity to lighten it. The first book presented the reader with an interesting multiverse which worked well and presented interesting social challenges to humanity. The book was good but unexceptional; this second one is, I think, much better. A very good examination of how we humans take so much bad baggage with us when colonising new worlds, whether they be across oceans or across multiple universes. 4/5 stars.

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson - set just after 9/11 (in fact it has been suggested that it had already been mostly written and Gibson had to write 9/11 into it after the event). I'm really not sure where I stand on this one. The writing and story are good, very good even, not the frenetic cyberpunk writing of Neuromancer but still jargon filled; just a different sort of jargon. And this is where my problems began. The whole book is obsessed with and set around the world of high fashion, branding and marketing. I absolutely loathed this aspect, even if it is meant to be satirical (and I'm not sure about that) it still a world of backbiting, appearance-obsessed, yuppie sociopaths and I hate everything about them. I did back then and I still do now. This meant that I simply could neither like nor empathise with any of the characters and the writing was completely filled with Gucci this and Prada that making me skim over at least a third of the actual prose. I suspect that will prevent me from reading further in the series. 3/5 stars (only because the underlying plot was good).

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne - how has it taken me so long to read this? And there are no hot air balloons in it! Having seen Niven's '56 film and Chan and Coogan's 2004 one, both of which included a hot air balloon, I was shocked to discover there was none in the book! Never mind, the book is excellent without it and knocks socks off the movies anyway! And this time Verne manages to not go into full scientific lecture mode, giving just enough fascinating detail surrounding many of the issues of the time (I had no idea how big a problem it was in those days to ensure appropriate fuel stations were adequately stocked with enough coal to keep the world's steam liners running). An excellent short read. 5/5 stars.
 

Hugh

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A couple of Harvey Pekar re-reads: On the Fly and The Beats (this last one a bit patchy).

I never met you Harvey, but I certainly miss you.
 

AE35Unit

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Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne - how has it taken me so long to read this? And there are no hot air balloons in it! Having seen Niven's '56 film and Chan and Coogan's 2004 one, both of which included a hot air balloon, I was shocked to discover there was none in the book! Never mind, the book is excellent without it and knocks socks off the movies anyway! And this time Verne manages to not go into full scientific lecture mode, giving just enough fascinating detail surrounding many of the issues of the time (I had no idea how big a problem it was in those days to ensure appropriate fuel stations were adequately stocked with enough coal to keep the world's steam liners running). An excellent short read. 5/5 stars.
I have that on my shelf somewhere, must get round to it some time. I don't think I've seen any of the films, but I enjoyed Michael Palin's 1988 TV adventure series based around Verne's idea. And its funny but I would have expected balloons too!
 

Danny McG

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Now onto book 3 of the BGT Destroyer trilogy, let's see
Huh? What an unexpected closure!
Bloke's getting his brain stuck into some clone chick's body and he's happy about it! So is his erstwhile partner.

Woke award 2020 to Mr Turner
 

Extollager

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Lali Horstmann's Nothing for Tears, excellent memoir by German woman of end of World War 2 and the following Soviet occupation.

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Extollager

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Rodders, it was one of those books I just kept reading -- more compelling than much of what I read.
 

hitmouse

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Reading Heat by Bill Buford, who was editor of Granta magazine n the late 80s-early 90s, in which he learns to cook Italian food by putting himself through a brutal apprenticeship in the kitchen of a high-end New York Italian restaurant, followed by a stint in Italy ( haven’t reached that bit yet. )

Pretty engaging so far.
 

Hugh

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Poul Anderson "Twilight World" (1961)
Hmm... wonder if Stan Lee and Jack Kirby read this when planning X-Men
 

Paul_C

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I'm currently around half way through Lavie Tidhar's By Force Alone

It started off as nothing more than a slightly off-kilter take on the King Arthur story, but it's got a lot more strange, silly, filthy and amusing and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Fingers crossed that he can keep it going for the rest of the book.
He could :)

It was thoroughly entertaining in a very sweary, lewd, brutal and funny way, and I liked it a lot.

Next up something from Aliette De Bodard - Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight (a short story collection).
 
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