June Reading Thread

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"Top Science Fiction, 25 stories selected and Introduced by the authors themselves" edited by Josh Pachter (1984)
Excellent value anthology. Good stories. Recommended.
Pachter says he wrote to over a hundred of "the greatest living science-fiction authors, inviting them to select and introduce the very best SF story they had ever written, or their favourite of their own stories, or the story which they felt most representative of their genre" . From this he got about fifty stories which he originally intended to be published in two volumes. In the event, the two volumes were published in German and Dutch editions only. This edition has been winnowed down to 25 for publication in English and of course contains the more well known names.

Here's the list:
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I have just started Joanna Russ: Novels and Stories (2023) edited by Nicole Rudick. It’s one of those fancy hardcovers from the Library of America. Contains footnotes, etc. Contents:

The Female Man (1975)
We Who Are About to . . . (1977)
On Strike Against God (1980)
The complete Alyx stories (1967 to 1974)
“When it Changed” (1972)

I believe I have read all of these except On Strike Against God, her only mainstream novel. The two novels not included are And Chaos Died (1970) and The Two of Them (1978).
Several audiobooks:

~Lost Ark Dreaming by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (SF novella)
This is an interesting and unusual post-climate disaster novella written by Nigerian author Suyi Davies Okungbowa and set off the West coast of Africa. This is something of a creature feature, but not in the usual sense. The reader explores the post-apocalyptic word featuring five partially submerged, semi-segregated, kilometer-high tower refuges by following three characters: Yekini, an earnest, mid-level rookie analyst; Tuoyo, an undersea mechanic mourning the loss of a spouse; and Ngozi, an egotistical bureaucrat from the highest levels of governance. There are also those left for dead, who seek vengeance...
A fast-paced, compelling and complex little novel.

~A Change of Plans by Dennis E. Taylor (SF short story)
This was an entertaining science fiction short story, that worked really well as an audiobook. The story starts on the space ship Ouroboros, when the crew discovers that the expected habitable planet is not really that habitable anymore. Things get more complicated when it becomes apparent that Earth is dying and the Ouroboros is transporting refugees with the aim of setting up colonies in other solar systems. Return to Earth is not an option for the refugees... A fun little story with an unexpected ending.
~Fantastic Fungi: How Mushrooms Can Heal, Shift Consciousness, and Save the Planet edited by Paul Stamets
This is apparently a companion to the film Fantastic Fungi (which I haven't seen). I listened to the audiobook and found the narrator to be ok, but not gifted in narration. The book deals with a variety of fungi related topics, with each chapter being written by a different person involved with fungi in one way or another. The contributors consist of a team of professional and amateur mycologists, artists, foodies, ecologists, doctors, explorers, and time-lapse master Louie Schwartzberg (hence the film). I especially enjoyed the chapters on myco-remediation, medicinal uses of mushrooms, and the uses bees have for mushrooms. However, the "save the Earth" message was rather heavy-handed (i.e. a hammer was involved). A nice overview of the current state of a fascinating subject. PS: The physical book apparently has loads of colour photographs so reading, instead of listening, might be a better option.​

Busy with: That Night in the Library by by Eva Jurczyk
This might end up a DNF. It's taken until 30% for someone to die, and everyone else is just running around like headless chickens whining about no cell connection and insisting there must be a cell connection, when there obviously isn't. The only way this book gets redeemed is if the too-stupid-to-live and incredibly-immature-whiny characters (they are not teenagers anymore!) all meet with an interestingly messy end (like getting squashed by a shelf full of expensive, rare books).​
I guess I should mention that, between "real" reading, I have been making my way through eighteen large volumes from Fantagraphics of the Prince Valiant Sunday newspaper comic strips. I just finished the last one. The whole collection takes me from 1937 to 1972, when Hal Foster turned the art over to somebody else. (Fantagraphics is still printing collections beyond that point.)

In place of that, I have Home to Stay!: The Complete Ray Bradbury EC Stories from the same publisher. It reproduces stuff from EC comic books like Tales From the Crypt and Weird Science that either outright stole plots from Bradbury or, after he wrote them a surprisingly polite letter, officially adapted some of his stories.
Still not read any Moorcock. Don't know where to start. And every time I come across one its always book so and so of such and such a series
You haven't missed a lot, IMHO. A minor talent who tried to big himself up by scattering scathing remarks about other writers and playing the enfant terrible card whenever possible.

There's a previous discussion here:

Moorcock's exemplarily bad essay on Tolkien
You haven't missed a lot, IMHO. A minor talent who tried to big himself up by scattering scathing remarks about other writers and playing the enfant terrible card whenever possible.
I think his career was largely achieved through a combination of right-place-right-time, a few very good ideas and an amazing productivity. But he could write very well when he took more care over it. I was very impressed with his Mother London (not a fantasy, ironically).
This morning I'm trying Termination Code by Jack Sadē

Trope plot:-
Can the tech people stop the evil AI from taking over the world?
Still not read any Moorcock. Don't know where to start. And every time I come across one its always book so and so of such and such a series
I'd start with Behold The Man. It's short, stand alone and one of his best in my opinion.
I finished London Rules by Mick Herron and started The Ferryman by Justin Cronin.

Regarding the Slow Horses series, now that I'm up to book five in succession, I do tend to agree with Toby here, but probably just need a short break:
I read the first five or so Slough House books, but I felt it was getting a bit samey and stopped there. They were pretty entertaining, though. I get the feeling that Mick Herron is not a big fan of a well-known British political figure.
Not having read that 5th book yet on my earlier comment, I misunderstood the political figure that you'd meant. You meant the one
hit on the head by the paint tin rather than the other one. I also don't know enough about 'First Desk' spies to know if those are based upon actual people too, but he seems to be able to imagine some awful, broken people.

Regarding The Ferryman, I usually dismiss comments like "riveting" and "page-turner" as pure advertising, but (so far) in this case it looks to be the truth.
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