September 2022 Reading Thread.

Rodders

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Are the new Alien books any good, Danny? (I read and enjoyed the Steve Perry ones back in the day.)
 

Danny McG

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Are the new Alien books any good, Danny? (I read and enjoyed the Steve Perry ones back in the day.)
This is maybe the second one I've read in the last decade so I couldn't really say.

There's references in it to events/characters I know nothing about so it's clearly meant to be in a sequence - that doesn't bother me much, I've read enough SF books out of order over the years to cope ok with a bit of vagueness
 

Rodders

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Judge Dredd: Year Three

6405BBD2-03CE-42D7-B52F-F8E3E421F2CF.jpeg
 

Danny McG

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I'm dithering about getting a book by Tommy Rhattigan about a kid growing up in an abusive household who has a close call with the Moors Murderers.
However it'll make @Pyan 's day if I buy it, just because of the title and my geographical location
1963: A slice of bread and jam
 

Elentarri

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Finished Pure by Andrew Miller. Historical fiction novel involving reclamation of an overstuffed and polluting cemetery, set a few years before the French Revolution, but where the main character (an engineer) uses the metric system, which was only developed after the Revolution.
 

Rodders

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thanks ubergeek. I might pick up some of the newer Alien books then. Tie in novels are something of a guilty pleasure Of mine.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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When the Chattanooga library has book sales, they divide them up into categories, of course. One of their categories is "Old and Quaint." These are hardcover books, not in very good condition, from many years ago, that would not be of much interest to serious collectors.

I am about to start two books that would fall into such a category. They are The Story That I Like Best (1925; my copy is the ninth edition, 1927) and My Favorite Story (1928; my copy is the fifth edition, 1930.) Both are in poor to fair condition, with covers worn and the pages yellowed by the hand of time. Both are smaller than modern hardcovers, maybe about six inches by four inches or so. The thickness of the volumes is about an inch, I guess. Both books were not meant to be sold in stores, but were given to subscribers of Cosmopolitan. (This was, of course, long before it became a sexy women's magazine!)

Each has an introduction by Ray Long, editor of the magazine of the time. Each has six stories selected by their authors, with an introduction as to why each chose that particular work. (I presume the stories appeared in the magazine, although I don't think this is explicitly stated.) Each author has a photograph. Both books also have a photograph of Long.

They both contain this rather charming statement opposite the copyright page, in italics and capitals, set out in this fashion:


THIS BOOK IS
DEDICATED
TO
THAT GREAT NUMBER OF
INTELLIGENT
AMERICANS
WHO ARE
CONSTANT READERS
OF
COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE
IT IS SENT TO YOU
WITH THE
CORDIAL GOOD WISHES
OF THE WRITERS
AND
THE EDITOR


The second volume contains this message, in much smaller type, without italics and with normal capitalization, in a box below the above greeting:


This book is not for sale. It may be obtained only with a subscription to Cosmopolitan.


Take that, booksellers!

The authors who appear in the volumes are a mixture of those well-known and widely read today (Ring Lardner, W. Somerset Maugham), those whose names may be known to a fair number of folks, but are probably not often read (Edna Ferber, Fannie Hurst, Irvin S. Cobb) and those of whom I have never heard, and who are probably almost entirely forgotten these days (Peter B. Kyne, James Oliver Curwood, Meredith Nicholson, H. C. Witwer, Sir Philip Gibbs, Montague Glass, Robert Hichens.)
 

Randy M.

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Hichens wrote "How Love Came to Professor Guildea", a staple in older ghost story anthologies. Otherwise, very obscure writers.
 

Danny McG

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I'm having a read of The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith (JKR)
I've read some of the other Cormoran Strike books.

This one seems to be about a creative person who gets a bad time from internet trolls who are jealous of her success - it seems like the writer is going a bit Mary Sue
 

Cat's Cradle

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Are the new Alien books any good, Danny? (I read and enjoyed the Steve Perry ones back in the day.)
Hi Rodders. I just noticed your question about the Alien novels. I've listened (using Audible) to some of the newer ones, and will give you a few thoughts. I'll mention that I also really enjoyed the Steve Perry books I read, I guess in the 90s. The Dark Horse comics that started in the late 80s also told some good stories.

Okay, here are the newer books I've read:

Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon

Rated this 4 stars out of 5 - quite good. A mining colony uncovers planetside the remains of an ancient alien civilization that had encountered our Xenomorphs. Really felt as though it belonged in the world of the original two Alien films. Good characterization, some very clever/spooky on-world scenes. Most of the action takes place in space, and is very well done. I'm becoming a fan of Lebbon's writing.
~

Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden

Rated this 4 stars - quite good. Depicts, mostly, what happened on LV-426 between the movies Alien and Aliens; Newt, her family… the colonists. Not sure we absolutely needed this backstory, but I did find it all very engaging, and well done.
~

Alien: The Cold Forge by Alex White

Rated this 2.5 stars - sorry to say it was just OK for me. I didn’t care much for the characters (most seemed very generic/one dimensional), didn’t buy the scientific set-up/explanations. There was a lot of action, but not much true story - had a fight-off-the-aliens video game feel to me.
~

Aliens: Phalanx by Scott Sigler

Rated this 5 stars - This is an odd one… the world of Ataegina has on it a human civilization depicted as basically at a medieval-level of technology/development. Ataegina becomes infested by ‘demons’ who kill approx. 90% of the human population. The demons are the Xenomorphs. A trio of young warriors leads the fight against the demons, to save the remaining humans.
This might be a YMMV sort of thing, but I really loved this… it’s probably my favorite Alien novel since ADF’s novelization of Alien. Great characters, great strategies by the humans, and just really terrifying/threatening use of the aliens. I think it's possible some might think the aliens didn't feel Ellen-Ripley-Universe aliens, quite enough, but still, it all worked for me.
~

Also:

I did listen to: Alien 3 (William Gibson’s screenplay)

Rated this 2 stars - I am a big fan of Gibson, but this just didn’t work for me. Enough said.

Hope that helps! CC
 

williamjm

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I read Robert Jackson Bennett's Locklands. I have enjoyed the trilogy, but I think this was my least favourite of the three books. It's not that it was bad and the plotline here was a logical extrapolation of events in the first two books, but I found the story of Sancia and her friends trying to build something for themselves in the ruthless society of Tevanne to be more compelling than the epic war with the fate of the world at stake that provides the plot of the final book. There did seem to be a lot of action scenes and journeying, which sometimes took precedence over the characters, at time it felt more like a Brandon Sanderson book than something by Bennett. I think the best characterisation came from the flashbacks about Clef and his history, which tied up a lot of loose ends in the backstory. The society of Giva was probably the most interesting idea in the book, but the plot didn't spend enough time there to fully explore it. The story does come to a satisfying conclusion, and I think the resolution was cleverly done.

Now I had started Guy Gavriel Kay's All The Seas of the World, hopefully it will live up to his other books in the setting.
 

Foxbat

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Just finished Crusaders by historian Dan Jones. I learned a huge amount and found it to be a relatively easy read.

For my next book, I’ve decided to pursue a related topic. Just starting El Cid: The Making Of A Legend by M. J. Trow.
 

Elentarri

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1610: A Sundial in a Grave by Mary Gentle

1610 is an important year that will change the future – one way or another. Valentin Rochefort, professional duellist, spy and demoted aristocrat, gets caught in a conspiracy to assassinate the King of France. While fleeing to England manages to acquire an arrogant, charming, tag-along teenage duellist, and a shipwrecked “demon”. Swashbuckling adventure, more conspiracies and planned assassinations, as well as kinky stuff, ensure. So do cruelty, revenge and forgiveness. I doubt the historical accuracy of the novel, but since I haven’t been steeped in English or French history, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. In any case, this is an “alternate history” where characters are trying to change the present to affect the distant future. This is an interesting book, and an enjoyable story, with characters you would love to skewer in a duel and others that you would love to skewer people for.​
 

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