SF/F reading in April 2017

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by TomTB, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    What's being read in this month of chocolate, bunnies and resurrection?
     
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  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Still reading Greg Bear, but also started on Clarke's very first novella last night, Against the Fall of Night (1948).
     
  3. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Jo, if you are not already into it, then I don't think it is for you.
    Wool should go into your "Abercrombie shelf" ;)

    Reply to this post from the March thread.
     
  4. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Alternating between Crashing Heaven and The Fifth Season.
     
  5. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    The Fifth Season is absolutely great.

    Reply to this post.
     
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  6. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Say @Jack Brewhouse, I was wondering if you've been able to keep to your resolution of reading more SF this year...
     
  7. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    Umm...not sure. I just do. The contents are all separate and distinct. So I when I read about a pregnant lady from Mississippi (light in august) it doesnt mess with the middle class detective (holmes) from 1890. And doesnt get confused with the whaler, or the poetry, or et cetera.

    When I tried reading two books too similar to each other, it doesn't work.
     
  8. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    I'm about 35% into Endymion. I'm finding it enjoyable. The plot is building up gently with a very strong characterisation.
    I'm hoping it is heading towards the Ousters world because they intrigue me: The Fall of Hyperion left me wanting for more.
    I shall see...
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
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  9. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Endymion: Not actually sure whether I’m saturated with this side of the genre and need a holiday or simply, Endymion is not as good as I was hoping for.
    It is enjoyable enough but it hasn’t grabbed me yet. Half-way through the story, it feels predictable and unadventurous. And these are aspects I wouldn’t have ever attributed to the first half of the Hyperion tetralogy.
    At the moment, I’m pushing myself to read and finish it, but more often than not I’m getting distracted by other books.
    In fact, I’m re-reading Appointment in Samarra by J O'Hara, a complete opposite to Endymion. AiS is a fantastic psychological depiction of rather mediocre, morally repulsive characters in a very materialistic and isolated society in the Pennsylvania of the 1930s.

    I’m also looking for some ancient greek historical fiction. Any suggestions anyone? @Boreas ? The last one I read was The Song of Troy by C McCullough: beautifully written by the way. I have been looking into her Masters of Rome Series but firstly is about Rome and secondly, although highly recommended by my sister, it means a HUGE time investment. I’m more interested in stands alone or maybe short series.
    Back to Endymion. I really hope the Ousters are not far away...
     
  10. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Mary Renault is very famous for her Greek historical novels, and the specific one that I've had my eye on checking out is The King Must Die. It's supposed to be the first of a two-part Bildungsroman about Theseus, and I was especially interested in it because it's set in Minoan Crete and features the mysterious sport of Bull Leaping. And as Eric Cline has said, the later myth of Theseus and the Minotaur probably comes from the Minoan period of the Bronze Age. I've read that Renault was extremely knowledgeable in the history, practices, and anthropological studies of ancient Greece, so she wrote her novels to be as anthropologically accurate as was possible during her time.

    If you want a little fantasy mixed in, then Gene Wolfe's Soldier of the Mist features an amnesiac Roman soldier in Classical Greece as Athens was just heading into its golden age of dominance over the Achaean peninsula.

    There were a couple more I bought last year, but the names escape me. Will have to check. Oh, I know the irascible and iconoclast Gore Vidal wrote some historical novels that took place in Greece and also Rome. Maybe you should check them out.
     
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  11. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Finished Caliban's War for the second time. I loved Avasarala even more this time around. She's one of the best characters I've ever come across .. such a head strong bitch but with a warm loving side. Moving straight onto Abaddon's Gate ... Thoroughly looking forward to it.
     
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  12. Christophe

    Christophe Full Member

    Greetings everyone!
    My first post here, thank you Boreas for accepting me here on this wonderful forum!
    Finished Orbitville (Bob Shaw) last week, started Way Station (Clifford Simak) this week. I have been reading quite a few of the classics recently.
    Orbitville was very entertaining. I even found the concept of Orbitville more dazzling than Niven's Ringworld.
    Has anyone read the two sequels that Shaw wrote? Are they worth reading?
    So far I very much like the concept and atmosphere of Way Station.
    Next up: Greg Bear or Peter F. Hamilton. Still have to decide :).
     
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  13. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I've been neglecting my reading again, but I hope to have both of my current reads finished over the weekend.
     
  14. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Welcome @Christophe! Not read any Bob Shaw yet, but Simak's Waystation is a classic. I like it even more than City. As for Shaw, for some reason, I'm least interested in reading his Orbitsville compared to some of the other books of his I've noticed.

    @Elvira and I have recently been reading Greg Bear, so you might as well join us. Have you read any Peter F. Hamilton before or will this be your first time picking up his work?
     
  15. Christophe

    Christophe Full Member

    Thank you Boreas! Very glad to be here!
    Orbitville was the first Shaw book I read. I have some other Shaw books in my collection that are on my TBR pile.
    I have read quite a few Simak books but somehow never got to Way Station until this week.
    Are you enjoying Greg Bear? I very much enjoyed Eon, Blood music, The forge of God and Anvil of Stars.
    As for Hamilton: I only read Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained but I liked them.
    The only thing is that Hamilton's books are mammoth size and sometimes take forever to finish.
     
  16. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Yes, I am. But I've been reading his earliest books which feel structurally flawed, yet have an almost audacious ambition to them that I somehow find compelling and admire, probably more than other novels with better executed denouements but which don't attempt anything significant or out-of-the-box and are padded out. And I like Bear's style of writing, the kind that insists the reader take a careful and active part in assimilating context and implications (at least, that's how it is in these early books). I read some Bear during my teens, but only his Blood Music and his fantasy duology The Songs of Earth and Power, both of which I loved! The fantasy duology was especially impressive, and better than quite a few works by pure fantasy writers I've come across. But then I never picked up another Bear for almost twenty years. Now I'm going to catch up, and I decided to start with his early SF works. I've read Hegira (hard SF), Beyond Heaven's River (space opera) and I'm currently reading Strength of Stones (a limited planetary romance). I'm beginning to see that he's been playing with common themes through all three of these novels, but approaching them from different angles.

    I know that @Elvira has recently read The Forge of God and Anvil of Stars and has loved them, as does @kenubrion. Those will be the next Bear books I'll read.
    I have a love-hate relationship with Hamilton, balances out into annoyance. I think his plots are good, but I find his writing workmanlike, I don't like his crazy amounts of waffle, and I find his juvenile sex scenes off-putting. A 1,000 page Hamilton book can easily be cut down to 500 pages. Others like him a lot more than I do.

    By contrast, Neal Stephenson also writes crazy amounts of digressions, but he's funny, interesting and edifying.
     
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  17. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    This makes Boreas sound, just a little bit, like a dictator.

    All hail king B!

    ;)
     
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  18. Christophe

    Christophe Full Member

    Well he was kind enough to lead me here to this forum and accept my request :)
     
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  19. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    @Christophe is an immigrant over from FB like @Elvira. But while she came directly from the forum's FB page, he very specifically asked for an SF book discussion forum in another group, and I suggested this one! And he actually came and is not spamming! Huzzah!
     
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  20. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Thank you, B!
    I have bookmarked Gene Wolfe’s. I haven’t read anything by him yet but already bought Shadow & Claw during an offer.
    Mary Renault’s books seem very interesting indeed.

    Check out The Song of Troy. I think you might love it. And it is brief.
    I’m sure you are already familiar with Robert Graves Claudius duo, just in case...
     

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