SF/F Reading in January 2017

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Boreas, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Happy New Year, everyone!

    ♪ ♫ ♬ It's a New Dawn, a New Day, a New Thread ♪ ♫ ♬

    Let's do it monthly now. If it's a new month, and you don't see a new reading thread, feel free to start one.

    So, what science fiction or fantasy are you currently reading?

    I'm on Neal Asher's The Voyage of Sable Keech.
     
  2. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    HNY all. Currently reading Abendau's Legacy by our @jo zebedee .. 75% complete now and this is great, the best book in the trilogy for me. It's non-stop action with lots of nail biting moments.
     
  3. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    I have started Retribution Falls #1 by C Wooding but haven't read much at all in the last few days. BIG family gathering, so I have only been successful at partying rather too much...
     
  4. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Have started the last book in the Space Captain Smith series; End of Empires. Will also be starting the audiobook of the sequel to The Darwin Elevator tomorrow morning.
     
  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Finished the audiobook for Bujold's Ethan of Athos. Now that I've re-read or, rather, re-listened to the first three books and refreshed my memory, I'm ready to continue with the Vorkosigan series this year. My initial impression stands: Shards of Honor was the best of the three with a great protagonist, and Ethan of Athos and The Warrior's Apprentice were a distant second and third. I just couldn't take TWA and EoA seriously, especially TWA. But these are Bujold's earliest novels, so I'm going to cut her some slack, especially since I read her fantasy novel The Curse of Chalion many years ago and remember it being levels better than the Vorkosigan examples I've encountered.

    Overall, not great but not exactly bad, either. I saw a glimmer in SoH that speaks of better novels to come: her short epilogue - full of a heightened, gentle empathy - was probably more powerful in its effect than the rest of the novel that preceded it. Here's hoping the Vorkosigan books end up clicking for me soon.
     
  6. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Boreas, is that really Snow White snorting coke from a mirror?

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.
     
  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    It's, ah...an antidote to poisoned apples.

    You read any good SF&F books lately?
     
  8. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

  9. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Too long; didn't read... ;)
     
  10. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    End of Empires has been my first DNF of the year (didn't take long!). I'll go back to it at some point, but I was losing interest and found myself glossing over long sections then not really knowing what was going on. Sometimes I burn out on a series when I read them all closely together, which I think is the case here. I'll probably try again in a month or two.

    Have started The Abject God by Allen Batchelder, the newly released 4th book in his Immortal Treachery series. 10% in and enjoying it a lot, despite my memory being a tad sketchy regarding parts of the earlier books. Will probably reread the lot when the final book is released, hopefully later this year / early next.
     
  11. Royce Sears

    Royce Sears Well-Known Member

    Just finished Seeing Red: Ambassador #1 by Patty Jansen. Overall, this is an interesting political thriller dealing with both a united Earth government as well as several Alien organizations. It started off slow for me, but the plot thickened and drew me in eventually. I do intend to check out more work from this author, so stay tuned for more reviews... The rest of my review is available on my blog
     
  12. R-Hat

    R-Hat Regular Member

    Last months I finished the (so far) 17 books long Foreigner series by C. J. Cherryh. It's not that I admire her, but she has so diverse styles and some series of her feel just right to read when commuting or in the morning at work. There are awesome authors which I feel like I'm totally satiated and need a break, and then there is the daily bread like C. J. Cherryh or James White (Sector General hospital series) which are a staple food.

    So in January I picked up Cherryh's Gene Wars, a tiny two-issue "series" - I had to really check that I'm not spoiling myself the Alliance-Union universe or anything else.
    The first book (Hammerfall) really reminded me of the Homecoming Saga by Orson Scott Card, because it's so much travelling in the desert, of course not mentioning the Frank Herbert fans. The second book is totally different, but I like it too.

    Royce Sears: Your mention of Seeing Red is interesting to me, because the Foreigner series seem very similar in content, except the character focus is much greater. The main hero is an diplomat, and a linguist, and a popular living target too :) It's a political, bureaucratic thriller more than sci-fi. There seem to be 5 books to the series, so this might keep me supplied.
     
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  13. Royce Sears

    Royce Sears Well-Known Member

    I've been inundating myself with space operas lately because of the novel I'm currently writing (nearly finished with the first draft... YAY!) My latest find is Exodus by Andreas Christensen. Exodus is a hard scifi novel about a rogue planet that destroys Mars and the leftover rubble heads for Earth. With a window of only eight years before a planet-killing meteor impact, Earth must develop a survival plan. Interesting scifi read for the hard scifi enthusiast. My full review is available here.
     
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  14. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    How long did it take you to finish off the entire Foreigner series by Cherryh and also the Sector General books by White? I'm assuming you read each of the series in one go, one book after the other?
     
  15. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    I have dropped Retribution Falls after having read about a chapter. Nothing wrong with it. I just couldn’t get into the story. I guess I feel a bit saturated and needed a change on genre. As soon as I finish the 800 odd pages of the historical novel I’m currently reading, I will most likely pick either The Last Legend of Earth by Attanasio or Rendezvous with Rama by Clarke.

    This is serious marathon reading! I have read The Faded Sun Trilogy and really liked it. I have also bought Foreigner #1 but I could never digest the 17 books in one seating.
     
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  16. Royce Sears

    Royce Sears Well-Known Member

    I read Rendezvous with Rama many years ago after discovering the Rama series by accident on my way to Italy. Great books, but I tend to like just about anything by Clarke. I just started Battlecruiser by B.V. Larson. I'm only thirty or so pages in but it's definitely got my attention.
     
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  17. R-Hat

    R-Hat Regular Member

    I mostly read one book after another. First two books of the Foreigner series took me about 3 or 4 years. The other 15 books took me about 4-5 months, I suppose. I just couldn't get into the style, which was slow, meticulous and mundane, compared to sci-fi we're used to. It suited me when I was lying down with some illness, but then I was too weak to finish the book or to continue. What got me back was the fact that I could read the first 6 books or so in my native language, which is not what I usually get to read. I think the translator was an autistic genius I once saw on TV in a document, the guy who translates math textbooks (because all math that he invented by himself was already invented by somebody else centuries ago). And numbers and mathematics play a big part of plot in the Foreigner series. I don't think anybody else could get the job. The Foreigner series would be a real treat to anybody with a touch of OCD too. Well, I think I found on average only one or two translation errors per book, amazing! ;)

    As for the Sector General books, that was I think 3 months before that. It really takes around two weeks to read one book, more or less.
     
  18. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    That's interesting. I wouldn't have associated maths with Cherryh's usually sociological works, even though her Cyteen was proper hard SF.
     
  19. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    I have started Rendezvous with Rama and it is getting all my attention. Is this Hard SF? if so, I know what I'm going to be exploring this year.
     
  20. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Yes, it's on the hard SF end of the science fiction spectrum. Most of Clarke's writing is on that end, though not all. Childhood's End, which is his most famous novel and considered by many to be his best, is decidedly not hard SF; it's much more mystical/metaphysical in its themes, but not so far removed as to be considered fantasy. Actually, you'll find that despite Clarke's atheism and disavowal of God, much of Clarke's writing is about...well, God in a sense, in some form or another, or at least an attempt to supplant the exploration of transcendent truth from a religious context and present it from a more secular, rationalist perspective. It's not always obvious with individual novels (with a few exceptions), but you definitely notice this consistent underpinning when you read more of his works. Whatever he might have thought, there's no denying that he was as concerned with transcendent truth as any eschatologist. And his writing is clean, economic, and oftentimes poetic in extracting that quality of wonder yet with an engineer's precision. Elegance in simplicity. Clarke is a great author with whom to start off your hard SF exploration.
    Excellent! <steeples fingers> I'm so going to enjoy making recommendations to you. It's my favourite category of SF other than space opera. Best is when space opera and hard SF come conjoined, like with the works of Alastair Reynolds or Stephen Baxter.
     
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