SF/F reading in July 2017

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by TomTB, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Boreas, you said last month that you were going to begin reading Reamde. Have you, and if so, how is it going? I'm going to read it unless it sucks.
     
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I started reading it this past week and mentioned it in the General Reading thread. I'm only about 50 pages in at the moment and, so far, I'm enjoying it. I plan to get a significant amount of it read tonight and tomorrow, so I'll be able to give you a better idea after the weekend.
     
  3. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    I got to 37% of Armada. Decent story but it is so similar to Ender's Game. Even the payoff reveal at the end of Ender's Game is used. So now I'm reading We Shaped Our Land With Our Guns, a love story about a man and his gun. With a little cowboy action thrown in. By Louis L'Amour. He's my go to author for a little palate cleansing when I need it.
     
  4. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I'm about finished with House of Chains. I'm not sure what is next for me. I may go back to the Expanse series.
     
  5. D.A. Xiaolin Spires

    D.A. Xiaolin Spires New Member

    I keep a list-- I finished reading twenty SFF short stories in July so far.

    Short Stories:
    My favorite so far is All that Robot Shit” by Rich Larson (Asimov’s). (Came out much earlier than July.) Straightforward language, but incredibly beautiful. Also, I liked being placed into that setting of the robot village, seems quaint. I'm biased though-- I'm a big sucker for good robot stories!

    I just finished reading "Forever Bound" by Joe Haldeman (Clarkesworld, July), an interesting ride where I'm not entirely sure if he's talking about binding humans together (like a more intimate three-legged race) for fighting or if it's really about three-somes and sex. Then, I realized it's both, but does veer to this sensual/sexual/intimate experience.

    I read "Qibla" by Aaron Matthew Walter Knuckey (Daily Science Fiction, June) and it's quite good as flash-fiction, for when you're too pinched on time to commit to a longer short story/novel. I like the imagery of concentric circles of people in outer space, all facing one direction.

    Novels:
    Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
    , which could be renamed as Much Ado About Bollides... I jest, but it's kind of true. I like the first 'novel' (of that duology disguised as one novel). A little heavy on the engineering, but some of it was pretty enlightening. The description and premise of the moon blowing is pretty cool. A deadpan, hit-you-in-the-groin first sentence. I also especially enjoyed the Neil deGrasse Tyson character, but also some of the others, too. I don't want to spoil it, but there's a bit of a shocker a half or three-quarters into it, which most people might know already. It really traumatized me. Clever palindrome title.

    Currently reading:
    Divergent by Veronica Roth, YA novel. The language and pacing is quite good, actually.

    Picked up:
    Cinder by Marissa Meyer, YA novel, sci-fi retelling of Cinderlla. But, didn't get far into it yet, so can't really comment on it.

    ----

    As for Fantasy:

    I read Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch's novels recently, but not in July.

    Short Stories:
    I read twenty SFF stories in July so far.

    Of those, the fantasy one that stands out the most is Catherynne M. Valente's "The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild" which actually came out a lot earlier, in 2015, but someone recently pointed it out to me. I told that someone it came off as "ice cream sundae western that slowly bled into beauty and the beast + hero’s journey all inside a watercolor collector’s house? or a museum? or…?" Lots of question marks because I'm really not entirely sure what was going on entirely (it slips once you try to put your finger on it), but it was an interesting ride.
     
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  6. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    I consider myself quite a slow reader too! ;)

    Welcome to the forum! Why you do go spoil that list with Divergent, is beyond me ...
     
  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Hi @D.A. Xiaolin Spires! I'm so glad you enjoyed Seveneves! Unfortunately, I was already aware of that shocking bit since the bloody publisher blurbs all hinted at it! But that didn't lessen the emotional impact it had on me. The events from before the Big Ride to the end of the first 'novel' were some of the most intense, gripping and emotionally wracking passages I've read in a long time. Actually, the whole first two-thirds of the novel was beautifully done. Excellent albeit long passages of exposition, yet balanced with a focus on detached human responses to extreme situations—both on the far end of ego-fulfilment and the kind of nonchalant heroism that wrenches your gut—that paradoxically heightened empathy rather than diminishing it. It was pretty damn audacious story-telling and had the kind of speculative 'sense of wonder' aspect to it that is becoming increasingly hard to find in more recent SF (from what I've read).

    And thanks for bringing up short stories. I really need to get a move on and read more.
     
  8. BadWolf86

    BadWolf86 New Member

    I am reading "The Always Man: Only The Beginning" by Anthony Hyde.


    So far so good. Hoping to discuss with other readers soon ;)
     
  9. R-Hat

    R-Hat Well-Known Member

    I'm happily grinding the LitRPG dungeon. This time I'm reading Way of the Shaman by Vasily Mahanenko, the classic.
    I like his poetic Russian style and wry humor, I laugh way more often than with American books.
    The only other difference with other authors is, that this is a prisoner, prisoners are sent to virtual reality capsules to mine resources without sensory filters and may be released into the main game world on parole. A very Russian opening, I must say.
     
  10. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Finished Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Absolutely fantastic book. Will try to elaborate further when I have time but this is thoroughly recommended to all.

    9/10
     
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  11. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I finally started Nemesis Games last night.
     
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  12. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    How are you finding your re-read of Hyperion? Still as good as you remembered it?
     
  13. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have just started reading Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber. Great so far!
    If I keep enjoying it, I think I could easily transition to Empire in Black and Gold #1 by Tchaikovsky with its bugs characters.
     
  14. Gideon Marcus

    Gideon Marcus Full Member

    I picked up "More Soviet Science Fiction" to review this month. Currently 131 pages out of 190 done. Enjoying it, but not sure how much of that is the glimpse at another culture's writing vs. actual quality.
     
  15. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I started The Bonehunters last night.
     
  16. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    How's it going with this? Done?
     
  17. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Great so far! I love the incredible world of the ants along all the entomological explanation given by Edmond Wells. However, Jonathan, his nephew, is a very frustrating and pusillanimous character. He fits the story though and I’m guessing how his personal trajectory might be towards the end of the story.
    I have only read about 40% of it because I have sneaked in a crime novel (not an english tittle) and I also felt like some elf magic, so I have also started reading Age of Myth by M. J. Sullivan, following @kenubrion's recommendation. AoM is epic fantasy, very agile and entertaining, perfect while lying on the beach. This is my first by Sullivan and if it keeps entertining me, I will read more of his books.
     
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  18. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    You're in luck as his Riyria Revelations trilogy is even better. And book 2 in the Age of Myth series drops on the 25th of this month.
     
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  19. R-Hat

    R-Hat Well-Known Member

    I'm finished with the Way of the Shaman by Mahanenko for the moment, until anything new comes out. The ending of book 5 is a real punch in the gut, but it's not like it's illogical. The books felt a little too idyllic towards the end and that is a good plot twist to bring it back to reality. Also, I feel closer to the Russian soul already :)

    On recommendation, I started another LitRPG series called Emerilia. The mechanics are classical and true to the genre and the setting is original. However from the books I've read so far, this one is the most dry, least humor, least personality in the characters so far. There are things in the intro that would make a decent book or two if good spin was put on them, that way good plotlines are probably spoiled. Not bad by any means, but it's better for beginners to read, I guess, so things can get even better from there.
     
  20. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    Last night I started Reaper's Gate.
     
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