August Reading Thread

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The Judge

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I rather went on a Lindsey Davis binge last month, reading eight of the Falco novels in quick succession, interspersed with some non-Roman historical novels -- Traitor in the Ice by KJ Maitland (murder mystery at Battle Abbey in the reign of James I & VI -- not bad), The Foundling (supposed mystery in Georgian London -- abysmal) and The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier (quilting in pre Civil War US with the Underground Railway -- very good and the best of her work to my mind).

I got another Lindsey Davis, the only Falco I'd not read, at the library, where on a whim I also picked up The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett -- his last book which I'd never been able to face reading before, and though it wasn't as good as the other Tiffany Achings to my mind, it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared. So that got me onto a Pratchett binge, including Going Postal and Making Money, and as, after the disappointment of Unseen Academicals and Snuff, I'd never read the third and last with Moist von Lipwig, I've now ordered Raising Steam, so that's on the agenda when it comes in.

Meanwhile, I'm starting the month in the middle of the non-fiction The King's Assassin by Benjamin Woolley about George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, which supposedly answers whether the dashing Duke actually did poison James I & VI, though James dropped off the perch some 40 pages ago and we're well into Charles I's reign now, and no real evidence as to the murder yet. Apparently there's going to be a TV series based on the book which might be interesting.

So what are you reading this month?
 

Danny McG

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Mil SF/Cyberpunk Revenant: Artem by Jez Cajiao

The blurb:-

Blood, chrome and betrayal.

Sergeant Harry Kabutt has seen better days. He's been shot down, blown up, and then tossed to the wayside by the corporations, left to rot in a ratty apartment in gang territory.
His own limbs? Shredded, cut away, and left to rot on a mountainside. The replacement mods? Likely to fall apart or leave him to die in
sepsis.
No longer an operator of the feared APS mecha, Kabutt has hit rock bottom. But he’s on foot, he’s armed, and he’s in serious pain…
…so, now it’s time to take
that pain and spread it around the mega-city of Artem, see who flinches first.

Revenge never goes out of fashion
 

Randy M.

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If I can find time and stay away during that time, I'll finish Tananarive Due's The Between, which so far has been quite good supernatural fiction.

Next up ... darned if I know. Just picked up Far Below and Other Weird Tales by Robert Barbour Johnson, a thin collection of all his weird fantasy stories, several originally published in Weird Tales. That may tide me over until I figure out what else to read.
 

Elentarri

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Finished Always North by Vicki Jarrett
The majority of this peculiar story is set on an ocean research vessel somewhere between the Svalbard archipelago and the North Pole, in July 2025. The remainder is set in a bleak post-apocalyptic world in 2045, where the ocean is still rising and people are scrabbling for scraps and higher ground. There are a few elements to this novel that didn't really work for me: the strange science-fiction-technological aspect in the second half, the lack of explanation for the major tipping event that resulted in the catastrophe and the very up-in-the-air ending. I did, however, find the characters (including the polar bear) appealing and/or interesting, and the descriptive writing of the desolate arctic voyage beautiful. A strange book, but an interesting concept. Strange cover too. :unsure:
52569300.jpg
 

Dave Vicks

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MURDER NEVER KNOCKS.Mickey Spillane ,Max Allan Colllins.

THE DRIVE FOR SELF.Edward Hoffman.
Biography on Alfred Adler, 1994
 

Hugh

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Clifford D. Simak: "Epilog and Other Stories. Volume 14 of the complete short fiction".
A joy. Sadly though, this is the final volume of the collected short stories.
 

PadreTX

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Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die. Follows the text of the first edition with minor emendations.
 

Randy M.

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Just finished The Between by Tananarive Due, a remarkably assured first novel from someone who's become a major writer in weird/horror fiction. Hilton is married to Dede (pronounced DAY-day) with two children and his family is under threat from a racist who appears to resent Dede's appointment as a judge. Hilton is also beset by dreams he has trouble remembering, and occasional dislocations in time and space that might be a signal of a mental illness. The struggle to protect his family and understand what's happening to him makes for an intense and affecting novel.

Now starting Far Below and Other Weird Stories by Richard Barbour Johnson 'cause sometimes I need a little pulp in my reading diet.
 

Randy M.

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Now starting Far Below and Other Weird Stories by Richard Barbour Johnson 'cause sometimes I need a little pulp in my reading diet.
Robert Barbour Johnson. Sure, I get Barbour right, but I screw up his first name. Geez.
 

Bick

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I've read Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. I posted my (quite lengthy) review on the Heinlein board here.
Basically, I feel is a nice concept, that starts off well, but which is ultimately a badly flawed piece of self-indulgence.
 

Dave Vicks

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On deck DARK IS THE SUN , by Philip Jose Farmer.

Then Veronica Roth's Story collection, The End And Other Beginnings. 2019
 

Toby Frost

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Clockwork Angels by Kevin J Anderson, from ideas by Neal Peart. This is a novel worked up from song lyrics by Neal Peart of the prog band Rush. I believe it was released at the same time as the album of the same name, which I've not heard. That sounds as if it should be utterly bizarre, but so far it's pretty "standard" steampunk set in a world regulated like, well, clockwork. Anderson's writing isn't great, but it's clear, and so much more pleasant to read than This Is How You Lose The Time War.
 

Hugh

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Larry Niven "The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton"
Three stories from Niven's "Tales of Known Space" universe detailing the adventures of global policeman/detective Gil Hamilton and his 'imaginary arm'.
I usually enjoy his short stories, but, these, though well written, don't work for me as I find the basic premise (organlegging - blackmarket selling of human organs/limbs/eyes on a massive scale) unlikely. Maybe I'm not that keen on SF detective fiction either.
 

AE35Unit

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Larry Niven "The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton"
Three stories from Niven's "Tales of Known Space" universe detailing the adventures of global policeman/detective Gil Hamilton and his 'imaginary arm'.
I usually enjoy his short stories, but, these, though well written, don't work for me as I find the basic premise (organlegging - blackmarket selling of human organs/limbs/eyes on a massive scale) unlikely. Maybe I'm not that keen on SF detective fiction either.
I read this a few years ago. It put me off Niven for a while. Did not enjoy them at all
 

Vince W

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Larry Niven "The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton"
Three stories from Niven's "Tales of Known Space" universe detailing the adventures of global policeman/detective Gil Hamilton and his 'imaginary arm'.
I usually enjoy his short stories, but, these, though well written, don't work for me as I find the basic premise (organlegging - blackmarket selling of human organs/limbs/eyes on a massive scale) unlikely. Maybe I'm not that keen on SF detective fiction either.
That's funny. I just picked up a lovely first paperback printing in the charity shop the other day. I was looking forward to reading it. It's one of the few KS collections I didn't have.
 

HareBrain

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After a couple of breaks, I've finally finished Burying the Shadow by Storm Constantine, her 1992 gothic fantasy combining the myths of the vampire with the fallen angel, which is so early 90s I'm surprised it wasn't a huge hit back then. I admired it more than loved it, but I admired it a lot. The worldbuilding is excellent and the anthropological elements very well thought out. Dialogue and description are both good. But it's long and heavy (and lush and heady), characters aren't particularly distinctive, and it's a bit light on action. Still, a solid 4/5, and I think anyone who likes Tanith Lee should give it a go.

I've now moved on to Gemma Bovary by Posy Simmonds, a text-heavy graphic novel I got on spec from the library.
 
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