April 2022 Reading Thread

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Brian G Turner

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Nope, I'm an Austenite, so I give marks for an elegant, pellucid style, and florid and ornately purple style completely put me off. I did finish it, but I spent the entire time wishing the bloody narrator would just cut to the chase and tell us what happened in as few words as possible.
I guess his style just didn't work for me!
I enjoyed HPL when I was younger - but now the language just reads as too overblown for my current tastes:
 

Hugh

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Vernor Vinge "A Fire Upon the Deep"

I can't remember who I first noticed recommending this (and there've been a number since), but it's yet another book that I wouldn't have read without having first heard about it in these threads. I don't usually read SFF of this length (close to 600 pages) but it's been ideal to lose myself in for a few days of spaced-out-non-covid- negative-testing-raised temperature. Whether it's one that will stay with me, I don't know at this time.

Others here have commented on this book perceptively and at length, so I won't say much. I did think the concept of consciousness changing as you move away from the centre of the galaxy was original. I was also impressed by the subtle (to me) way the author created a (for me) feel-good ending by killing off the strong male characters (heroic self-sacrifice or internal reconstruction) and leaving positive strong capable female characters to carry the story forward.
 

BAYLOR

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Vernor Vinge "A Fire Upon the Deep"

I can't remember who I first noticed recommending this (and there've been a number since), but it's yet another book that I wouldn't have read without having first heard about it in these threads. I don't usually read SFF of this length (close to 600 pages) but it's been ideal to lose myself in for a few days of spaced-out-non-covid- negative-testing-raised temperature. Whether it's one that will stay with me, I don't know at this time.

Others here have commented on this book perceptively and at length, so I won't say much. I did think the concept of consciousness changing as you move away from the centre of the galaxy was original. I was also impressed by the subtle (to me) way the author created a (for me) feel-good ending by killing off the strong male characters (heroic self-sacrifice or internal reconstruction) and leaving positive strong capable female characters to carry the story forward.

It's marvelous , I could not put it down. :cool:
 

worldofmutes

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Finishing up Stanisław Lem’s Tales of Pirx the Pilot. It follows astronaut Pirx who seems to have trouble following him everywhere. The insightful thing for me is that, space is empty and extraordinarily dangerous. Sure, there may be space pirates, or if there isn’t, at least we like to think so. However, the vacuity of space and the feeble and seemingly futile quest for adventure in the cosmos is never for the faint of heart. Like David Bowie sang, “For here, am I sitting in a tin can? Far above the world… Planet Earth is blue,
And there's nothing I can do” what does one do lightyears from home, and I have to speculate… today we have talk about “space hotels” and such things. It would be cool indeed to say, “oh, yeah, I’ve been to space and all that. No big deal, really. I liked the peace and quiet.” It seems like we are heading toward another capitalist monopoly on space travel. Space exploration, however, could make us very rich, rich with minerals and resources and high in fiber! Well, I like Lem, and after briefly leafing through Fiasco, I wanted to know who Pirx was. A witty and clever little guy navigating space and his wayward adventures into strange, unexplored places of the universe!
 

HareBrain

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Lord Foul's Bane by Steven Donaldson. No idea why I was struck with the desire to reread this when I gave my copy to charity a couple of years ago. Maybe advancing senility or mind-control. We'll see if I get further than last time.
 

Danny McG

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Lord Foul's Bane by Steven Donaldson. No idea why I was struck with the desire to reread this when I gave my copy to charity a couple of years ago. Maybe advancing senility or mind-control. We'll see if I get further than last time.
I enjoyed that one, fair enough it was when it first came out and I devoured just about any reading material.
Since the advent of the ebook it's much easier to DNF and download something else instead - back in the day it was a long trip to the library so you shrugged and carried on reading.
 

Hugh

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Lord Foul's Bane by Steven Donaldson. No idea why I was struck with the desire to reread this when I gave my copy to charity a couple of years ago. Maybe advancing senility or mind-control. We'll see if I get further than last time.
I remember struggling/wading/sinking through the first trilogy. I couldn't understand why so many people at the time (early 80s) seemed to think it was brilliant. In the end I decided they just hadn't read much SFF. Never again.
 

tobl

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goddammit... jack higgins died. man this is getting bad. in the past 2 years it has been a fall of writers
 

Rodders

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I speak for myself, but I'm at the age where all of my favourites and heroes are passing.
 

HareBrain

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I remember struggling/wading/sinking through the first trilogy. I couldn't understand why so many people at the time (early 80s) seemed to think it was brilliant. In the end I decided they just hadn't read much SFF. Never again.
I think a lot of the ideas and imagery are different to almost anything else and have a real power to them (Andelain is still the best expression of mystic-natural beauty I think I've ever read), and I guess the extent to which you respond to them depends on whether the prose style is to your taste. I thought they were great when I read them in the 80s, when I was much less bothered about the actual writing. My recent attempts to reread have foundered on the prose, but possibly I'll tolerate it better this time. Certainly in the couple of chapters I read last night it had a real propulsive force to it. That's not to say it won't develop a repulsive force later.
 

Toby Frost

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