SF/F reading in April 2017

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

  1. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    Damn! Missed it! I hope it was fun...
     
  2. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    I have this duology and I was wondering precisely about your point. Did you enjoy them?

    Thank you for the recommendations. I had already bookmarked Childhood's End but will look into the short stories too. The Omega Point discussion was one the turning point in this book for me, and would love to explore it further.
     
  3. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    It's the perfect medium for re-reading .. for me in any case.

    I've kind of come to learn that audiobooks are only good for me for certain books - ones I've read previously, and ones which are fairly light. My main problem is that I often lose concentration when listening, so I can miss 5/10/15 minute stretches because I'm thinking of something else. By the time I've zoned back in, I've often lost track of what's happening. Whilst this isn't an issue for re-reads or less demanding books, it is for others.

    If I'm being honest with myself I think possibly this is the reason why I didn't get on with the Culture books. I think if I'd read them rather than listened, my opinion of the series may well be different. Consider Phlebas is more action oriented than the following books, and (dare I say it) a bit 'lighter', so this is possibly why I enjoyed listening to this one, and didn't enjoy the latter books I got to.

    I'll carry on listening to audiobooks, but I'm going to need to be very selective of which titles I go for.
     
  4. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    It was a bit like a school disco .. you know, where the boys stand on one side, and the girls on the other. We were plucking up the courage to speak to each other, but never quite got around to it.
     
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  5. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    @TomTB where are you? We are getting close to Party Numbers... 4 logged in!
     
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  6. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    And posting/responding at the same, too!
     
  7. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    I'm a girl and multitasking is my middle name!
     
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  8. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Story of my life. Too late to the party :(
     
  9. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Four? Wow, you people are so chatty. They should call this place a chat place or something
     
  10. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Oh, and Dark Intelligence (Transformations) by Neal Asher. I have tried it a couple times already and am going to finish it this time. I'm at 55% after two years.
     
  11. Royce Sears

    Royce Sears Well-Known Member

    I've been absent for a bit due to editing, work, and pitching my latest novel to agents. It's been a busy time, but I've managed to add a few more books to the "Read" list. Off topic for Scifi, but only slightly is The Giver- a short, YA novel that came highly recommended from several friends for the concepts it explores. Consider Phelbas by Ian M. Banks- while I liked this one to some degree, I found it long-winded and dissatisfyingly disconnected. Nemesis Games by James S.A Corey- Yet another great novel in The Expanse Series. I'm totally hooked on these books.

    I'm currently reading: The Silk Code by Dr. Paul Levinson, A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson, The Human Divison by John Scalzi, and a writing craft book entitled Techniques of the Selling Writer

    Full reviews are available on my blog.
     
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  12. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    Courage!
     
  13. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I also think that Consider Phlebas is not the most cohesive of the Culture novels, but I still like it. While you can generally pick up any Culture novel as an introduction, I usually recommend The Player of Games as the most straightforward starting point. Consider Phlebas is unlike all the other published novels that follow within the Culture milieu.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
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  14. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I've had the same experience with audiobooks. I've found that I get along with them much more if I've already read the novel before. I think picking up Leviathan Wakes on audio might be a good idea to refresh my memory before I continue the series.

    I seem to have no problem with audio narration when it comes to educational lectures or non-fiction, in general.
     
  15. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Dark Intelligence got great just after the point I had quit, naturally. Now we're back in the Polity and sort of taking up where Orbus ended so I'm in rapture, already bought book 2 of the trilogy.
     
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  16. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    The new Polity trilogy is set on Spatterjay? I'll be reading Orbus next.
     
  17. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    I have read Prince of Thorns by M Lawrence. This dark fantasy story has a very exciting and promising beginning, then it loses strength and originality half way through, only to rescue itself in the final part.
    My problem with Jorg, the main character, is the fact that he is only 10 or 14 years old, depending on the timeline. No child at those ages can be such a gray eminence in dealing with cynical matters and devilish acts. These are traits of old souls who have endured long years of innumerable sufferings.
    Jorg also seems to have a single mood setting: he is always angry; well sometimes angrier. This turns him rather predictable in his actions and the shock the reader might experience at the beginning of the novel, because of his lack of empathy towards others, wears thin half way through it.
    There are some interesting developments at the end of the book, which for me, saved this story.

    I will begin tonight The Players of Games by Banks.
     
  18. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    I didn't say that. It's not on Spatterjay but that's all I'll say. The story takes up about a few decades after Orbus and references the entire Polity storyline at some point. I didn't know that when I bought it, just that a new Neal Asher book was an automatic buy. Well, the beginning is slow AND never references the Polity and ECS, prador, AI, anything. Starts as a totally new story and direction. I put it aside (at 55%!) within 10 pages of it becoming the best Polity book yet so thank goodness I gave it another shot last week.

    Finished it an hour ago and I'm already well into book 2, War Factory. A tear inducing dedication in this book is from him to his wife who passed in 2014 and he decided he was done writing for good in spite of his promise to her that he would always keep writing. Thank goodness for all sci-fi fans he reconsidered and produced a masterpiece, and the trilogy is now complete as of last February.

    Glad to see you're beginning Orbus because it means you did continue and read Voyage. Orbus is just incredible.
     
  19. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Nice, I'm glad it's good! After I finish Orbus, I'll get on to some of his stand-alone Polity works starting with Prador Moon. As for The Voyage of Sable Keech, I thought it was great. As good or even better than The Skinner in some respects. It also took a while to get the momentum going - a feature for most books that contain large casts with many multiple points of view - but once it did, it had some great action, plenty more Spatterjay weirdness and general lethality, and some spectacular battles against and between true behemoths. Will be looking forward to Orbus for more of the same, and especially more of the 'villain' Prador, whose intensely cunning and amorally pragmatic drive for survival I really like.
     
  20. R-Hat

    R-Hat Regular Member

    I'm still binging on Reddit's Jenkinverse (Humanity, Fuck Yeah). One must say, the writing has gotten really good. I love to see that the main canon author has gotten himself a Patreon account (and a hefty support from the community when he suddenly lost his job). There's just one series from a newbie author that's rough around the edges, but since I'm reading according to internal chronology, who cares, timeline is timeline. Writing sci-fi must be a very difficult job, but it seems that the comments sections on Reddit are always rife with experts who offer both the hard physics and story ideas for next chapters.

    However, this month there is the new installment in the Foreigner space opera by C. J. Cherryh. Long awaited, the Convergence book is #18. I got the e-book now and I'm looking forward to reading it. Technically, in the whole 17 books, there are like two books in which qualify as a proper dramatic space opera, but it's a perfect reading for work that is moving slowly in the mornings. My internet and other digital freedoms at work are getting more and more restricted. A big part of my work is being done via a security hole basically, since the offline software search algorithm sucks. I think this security hole is there with tacit agreement of the IT. Once in a while it stops working and I imagine some overly enthusiastic IT guy just blocked this search engine (not Google sadly, not anymore) and then hours later the other more realistic IT guys chew him out and turn it back on again and save their livelihood. The way this is going, I won't have internet access at all and I won't be able to answer half of the things that customers ask me. Until then I better send myself on e-mail lots of megabytes of good reading to stock up for the bad times. Sending myself reading via e-mail still works, one-way. Just two months and then I'm gone from that place. I kind of like this work, and the power to read shamelessly though secretly when I'm not on call, but the hours are too long and the security measures are growing like cancer.

    Right now I still keep the Cherryh books from The Era of Rapprochment (beginning with Serpent's Reach that I finished) and also the Faded Sun trilogy, but they're tough to read, intense and complex. I like to be able to do two things at the same time - work hard and meditate hard as well (as ar-hats are known to do :) ), so the reading needs to give in, be softer to soak up the spare attention.
     
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