January 2022 Reading Thread.

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williamjm

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I was not a fan of the magic in the book. It all seemed to be a kind of shared knowledge that the author and the readers knew by heart. After finishing the book I read a review Spinning Silver which would have helped me immensely to understand what was going on. It would have helped to understand a bit more that fey magic was at play. And I probably needed to read something about fey magic before I'd read the story. One of the things I hadn't learned/remembered? but was pointed out in the review was that it is in some ways a sequel. Everyone I read says it works completely as a stand alone, and I would agree, but I suspect I would have understood it more clearly if I had read the first book Uprooted first. For one thing there is a tree that was in a small way central to the story which never made much sense to me, but I suspect would have if I had read Uprooted
I think the review is incorrect to suggest it is a sequel. There might be some thematic similarities (they're both based on Eastern European fairy tales) but as far as I know they're not in the same 'world' and while they might both have magical trees in the plot they're not the same and I don't think magic works the same way in the books.
 

Bick

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I’m now starting The Overman Culture by Edmund Cooper.

I enjoyed The Collapsium, which I just finished, but more on that in another post as I haven’t time to discuss it properly right now. In short, it has much to recommend it.
 

The Judge

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One of the things I hadn't learned/remembered? but was pointed out in the review was that it is in some ways a sequel. Everyone I read says it works completely as a stand alone, and I would agree, but I suspect I would have understood it more clearly if I had read the first book Uprooted first. For one thing there is a tree that was in a small way central to the story which never made much sense to me, but I suspect would have if I had read Uprooted
Well, I've read Uprooted (which I didn't enjoy nearly as much so I'm not going to recommend it -- CTRandall has done a good review of it which might be of interest Uprooted by Naomi Novik where I've also linked to my thoughts on it) and it absolutely didn't add anything to the reading of Spinning Silver, so I'm with williamjm in thinking that review is way off the mark in saying they're linked. There is a loose connection in that they both have a basis in Eastern European/Slavic folklore as william says, but that's about the extent of it.

But I'm really glad you enjoyed the novel, especially taking account of your decidedly non-fantasy-reading background!
 

Garfunkel

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I'm currently reading The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, which is a non-fiction book about trauma. It's an interesting read (not too far into it), but some of the case studies are quite harrowing. I'm hoping to get back to Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress, a fantastic book about writing, afterwards.
 

Hugh

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That's true of some stories and some of his pseudonyms as a tendency as you mention but, just to be clear for those who might not know, that's not always the case and definitely not with the Anson MacDonald stories. Magazines frequently published more than one story by an author but generally only allowed an author's name to appear once per table of contents, so the author selected an alternate name for the other stor(y|ies) and some (like Campbell himself, as Don A. Stuart), used a pseudonym even for superior stories to create a new "brand name" and not confuse their already-established brand.
Many thanks for expanding/clarifying.
In this collection “Elsewhen” was first published as “Elsewhere” by Caleb Saunders
“Lost Legacy” was first published as “Lost Legion” by Lyle Monroe
And apparently "Gulf" was commissioned by Campbell to be written specifically by Anson MacDonald, but by publication date (November 1949) Heinlein had decided to stop using the MacDonald pseudonym so it was published under his own name.
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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7 day into a new challenge year and 12 titles finished. 538 titles to go out of a goal of 550, on pace for ~626.

The good:
"The Way of Kings," Stormlight Archives book 1 by Brandon Sanderson. Re-reading the series for the latest release. I haven't read any of these since book 3 originally came out.
"The Test" by Sylvain Neuval. Sick and twisted, but in a good way. Virtual reality meets immigration enforcement. Fantastic read.

The bad:
“Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond. Ok, so not actually bad, just really disappointing since it was failed to live up to the high ratings given by people I trust.

Currently reading "Obernewtyn," book 1 of The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody. This is another re-read of a series I've not read in years. I'm hoping it's as good as I remember.
 

hitmouse

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7 day into a new challenge year and 12 titles finished. 538 titles to go out of a goal of 550, on pace for ~626.

The good:
"The Way of Kings," Stormlight Archives book 1 by Brandon Sanderson. Re-reading the series for the latest release. I haven't read any of these since book 3 originally came out.
"The Test" by Sylvain Neuval. Sick and twisted, but in a good way. Virtual reality meets immigration enforcement. Fantastic read.

The bad:
“Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond. Ok, so not actually bad, just really disappointing since it was failed to live up to the high ratings given by people I trust.

Currently reading "Obernewtyn," book 1 of The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody. This is another re-read of a series I've not read in years. I'm hoping it's as good as I remember.
What did you find disappointing about Guns, Germs, and Steel?
It is a large, complex book, and it has generated a huge amount of debate over the years, notwithstanding the fact that some academics have been sniffy about aspects of the thesis. I thought it was interesting and provocative.

I took a few weeks to read the the book so I am impressed that you have managed this plus 11 other titles in the last week.
 

Bick

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The Overman Culture by Edmund Cooper was terrific; just finished it. Modern writers take note - this comes in at just under 200 pages. It manages to tell a gripping, novel story, with good characterisation, in half the time it takes most current writers to fashion a stodgy, derivative work. Cooper really ought to be more highly regarded I think as I’ve been impressed with three of his novels now. This one was all rather British too, and read rather like Wyndham’s stuff, which also appealed.

I’m now moving on to There Will Be Time, by Poul Anderson.
 

Rodders

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Glad you liked it, Bick. Edmund Cooper was my Gateway to proper SF and i've always felt he was a little under-appreciated. I read many of his books in quite a short time as a teenager.
 

tobl

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damn sydney poitier died. this years have been a real down for artists. there's a new bob blanton coming out in a few days and apparently we will have a new anita blake, hope it's way better than the last.
 

Mouse

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Finished the Noel Fitzpatrick book. And also finished The Secret Life of Owls last night - nice little book, finished in two sittings (one, for a normal Chronner).
 

tachyon

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Finished Black Water Sister by Zen Cho. It's a fantasy set in present-day Penang, Malaysia.

Really great, highly enjoyable, engaging, fast paced, surprising and fresh. Loved it.

It's quite different from the other books I've read by her (alt-history fantasy Sorcerer to the Crown and The True Queen, which I loved, and second-world fantasy Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, which I didn't love) being set in the modern world of cell phones, internet, rideshare services, and hipster cafes.

Loved the main character Jess, the family dynamics, the clipped rhythm of Malaysian English dialogue, and the twists and turns of the plot.

Next up is A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark.
 

Danny McG

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Today I got the new book by John Birmingham The Shattered Skies, however I've decided to do a re-read of the first book (The Cruel Stars) of the trilogy before plunging into it, just because it's been almost two years since I read it
I've finished The Shattered Skies now, and I enjoyed it a lot.
Recommended for a wide ranging mil sci Fi with occasional humour
 

Danny McG

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This now, I got it just for the cover but I got no idea what's in store for me!
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