July 2021 Reading Discussion.

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dask

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Finished this:
World'sBestScienceFiction1966.jpeg

Great selection of stories. One of the best books I've read in a long time. Won't pretend I understood the ending to every story but each was a joy to read. No slogging here.

Now reading this after being inspired by the HBO mini-series The Pacific.

CombatPacificTheater.jpeg
 

Extollager

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Willa Cather’s My Antonia. It’s very good. Someone identified it as a novel he loved when I asked about that.
 

Parson

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I finished Freedom's Fire a series by Bobby Adair. This is a 6 book set of smallish books (1392 pages over 6 books). It is the story of earth's rebellion against alien overlords. It is set in the relatively near future. The story is mostly told in the first person. The story picks up as Kane puts a lifelong plan to rebel against the Grays into action.

The series has a lot of interesting twists and seems to me to be a study of how a charismatic military leader thinks and acts. The back story is highly believable. The science is not explained but it is all either alien or tweeked from the alien technology. Some of it seems pretty far fetched by today's understanding of physics but did not go beyond the pale for me.

My biggest frustration was a steady stream of snark between a couple of good friends and since I don't look kindly on snark that degraded the book in my estimation.

On the whole, solid military S.F. Easy 4 stars.
 

Danny McG

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Back to sci fi

The ninth metal by Benjamin Percy

(What happens after a strange meteor storm, the Earth suddenly has pockets of a new metal, causing a 'gold rush' scenario in various countries)
 

Bick

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I'm close to finishing Nicholas Nickleby.

I'm also now reading Alan Dean Foster's Call to Arms, the first volume in his Damned Trilogy. It's fun, and an interesting premise. I especially like the idea that humanity is the only intelligent species in the galaxy that is fractured into local groups who fight each other. This results from Earth's fractured geography - an unusual condition for planets upon which sentient species develop in this series' universe. It's quite inventive and different to most other space opera. The actions of individual humans in the plot is much less convincing, but I'm going along with it.
 

Danny McG

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Nah, I think it's the author trying to do a Terry Pratchett "eighth colour" kind of thing.
I'm only into chapter two so more should be revealed soon

Quote from the book:-

"The monorail is powered by the very track it slides upon. A track made from the ninth metal. Omnimetal."
 

Vertigo

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Quote from the book:-

"The monorail is powered by the very track it slides upon. A track made from the ninth metal. Omnimetal."
I confess that quote would make me very hesitant about that book. A bit like unobtanium; smacks of magical handwavium! Will be interested in your final verdict!
 

Cat's Cradle

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I'm curious too, about your reaction to The Ninth Metal, Danny. I was a DNF, and gave up fairly early. I thought the book sounded as though it had great potential from the blurb, but found the writing style nearly intolerable, and the characters/storylines beyond hokey. Seems like something that might have been written 50 years ago... I could not suspend my incredulity, CC
 

Danny McG

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I've got as far as an explanation that there are apparently 8 'noble metals' and this is the 9th
 

Bick

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I've got as far as an explanation that there are apparently 8 'noble metals' and this is the 9th
Ah, okay. The noble metals are all metal elements, so there cannot be one we don't know about. I think some folk already count 11, as they include mercury, copper and rhenium as well as the well recognised 8. So perhaps the 9th in the story is rhenium (element 75, Re). There's enough of it about to be used industrially, however. It's used to make super-alloys for turbine construction.
 

Danny McG

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Ah, okay. The noble metals are all metal elements, so there cannot be one we don't know about. I think some folk already count 11, as they include mercury, copper and rhenium as well as the well recognised 8. So perhaps the 9th in the story is rhenium (element 75, Re). There's enough of it about to be used industrially, however. It's used to make super-alloys for turbine construction.
I finished the book but the last few chapters dragged a bit.

The story was ok (I've read worse) but couldn't decide what it wanted to be....

A sf near future thriller?
A rip-off of Stephen King's Firestarter?
An eco yarn about unscrupulous mining companies wanting to destroy the nice lakes and forests?
A twisted family murder whodunit?

So it goes
 
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