SF/F reading in July 2017

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

  1. Kanly

    Kanly Well-Known Member

    I finished Slow Bullets. It wasn't what I expected. I thought it was going to be some epic story like what I'm used to from Reynolds but it wasn't...and at the same time it was. It's kind of hard to explain. he sets up a big mystery and instead of writing about the main mystery he writes about a group of people who are sort of stuck dealing with the after effects. I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book as much as but by the end I was convinced. It was weirdly satisfying but also not because I wanted the story to continue and get to the big stuff. It's sort of a mix of a generation ship story, a military story, a survival story and a story about memory all wrapped up in a way that's hard to separate.
     
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  2. Kanly

    Kanly Well-Known Member

    I have a hard time getting into fantasy. I've tried so many times but I always end up getting bored and not finishing the book, or not going past book 1. It's weird, because I remember loving The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings when I was young and even really enjoyed watching the Lord of the Rings movies. The closest I can get to fantasy is stuff like what I just read recently, Lord Valentine's Castle which is science fiction but leans pretty heavily to the fantasy side of things.
     
  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    You should also try Reynolds' Pushing Ice. It's similar to Slow Bullets and a full novel. I would love for there to be a a sequel to this one, and also for his Terminal World.
     
  4. irrlicht

    irrlicht Regular Member

    Kanly, I know exactly wgat you mean. I have tried so many times to read Song of Ice and Fire or ither random Fantasy books I came across and I just got bored. I can't even reread stuff I liked as a kid. I always thought that's strange since I am very much into tabletop RPGs and Magic the Gathering, but I guess that's different. The Master of Whitestorm is an exception for me, possibly inspired by replaying Skyrim recently. I hate particularly post-LotR movie Fantasy schlock with a passion. That stuff is offensively bland and generic. If I get into a Fantasy novel at all, it's usually something old, written before the genre conventions were that set in stone.
     
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  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    My preference is definitely for science fiction over category fantasy, but there's plenty of really good fantasy novels around that have nothing to do with the epic or even sword-and-sorcery subset of the genre. @Kanly, what is it about fantasy that you can't get into? And @irrlicht, have you tried Guy Gavriel Kay? You might like his Under Heaven, in which the setting is a secondary world analogue of the Tang Dynasty. With a few exceptions, most of Kay's novels are about a 1/4 parts fantasy or magic, and about 3/4 parts history. But they are not true historical fantasies since the stories are never set on Earth; they are always secondary world analogues of mediaeval Italy, or of Byzantium, or Moorish Spain, or during the Viking incursions into Briton, etc.
     
  6. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    The problem with fantasy, as well with any other popular genre, is its reiteration because is predictable, boring and utterly unexciting. And there are sooooo many mediocre copycat fantasy books that make the process of finding the little jewels rather hard.

    But then, I wonder? Don't you ever feel like having a break from reading those great, challenging and thought provoking books?
    Right now, I have finished Age of Myth by M. J. Sullivan. Was it a great, an original book, a conceptually illuminating story? Hell no! Did I enjoy? Yes. It was an easy, fun and highly entertaining book.
    For me it is like food: after eating new, exotic, rich food for a few days, I just feel like having, plain, unsophisticated and predictable chicken soup.
    When that happens I revert most likely to noir novels and sometimes to fantasy too.

    So, what are you chicken soup type of books?
     
  7. irrlicht

    irrlicht Regular Member

    @Boreas I am amazed at the kind of recommendations you can conjure up. That sounds quite interesting! I'll try to track that down, I love China-related fiction and the Tang dynasty was one of the most interesting periods. @Diziet Sma Oh yes, I have plenty of books like that, too. Usually, I choose bookseries based on some franchise for that. Sometimes it's Star Wars novels, Warhammer 40k or Magic the Gathering. Stuff you can read in a day or two. I also have a weakness for really dumb male-oriented books about real adventurers doing extreme mountain climbing or deep-caving or whatever. I guess my tastes are pretty juvenile!
     
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  8. Kanly

    Kanly Well-Known Member

    It's not that I don't like fantasy. I do, but all the stuff I've tried over the last few years has left me bored. My chicken soup books are usually thrillers like those by Robert Ludlum, Lee Child, Frederick Forsyth.
     
  9. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I mentioned Under Heaven because of your interest in China (it's very good), but of the books by Kay I've read, I think my favourite is probably the Sarantine Mosaic 'duology', a story over two books featuring a mosaicist as the protagonist who leaves his home of Varena (analogue of the Roman empire's final capital, Ravenna, before and after the Fall) and travels to Sarantium (analogue of Byzantium/Constantinople) on a prestigious royal commission to decorate a 'church'. I thought it was a fantastic and moving story, slowly building subtle layer upon layer, and reaching an emotional crescendo with a wonderfully poignant dénouement. Kay is probably one of the best fantasy authors of the last two decades.
     
  10. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    No kidding. He has an encyclopedic mind and the drive to share with all of us the wondrous science fiction he has read. Which is a lot.
     
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  11. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Ditto!!
     
  12. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    These fall more into the thriller category. However, if you also enjoy Crime and Noir novels have a look at this and please add your recommendations:

    http://bestsciencefictionbooks.com/forums/threads/crime-fiction.281/
     
  13. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    You exaggerate. I find I've not read up to 70% of the SF/F titles you often mention or list.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  14. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    I started reading Polaris by Jack McDevit. I remember not being too enamoured by the first book in the series, but I also remember @Sparrow saying the first book wasn't necessarily the best book in the series, so fingers crossed this is a good'un
     
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  15. Kanly

    Kanly Well-Known Member

    I'm reading Seveneves. I'm about 20-30 pages in and so far so good. Really liked the way it started.
     
  16. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Thanks for mentioning that Tom. I didn't get into book 1 either and I haven't gotten to book 2 although I did buy it. Now I've got a new sci-fi book to read, and hopefully a series.
     
  17. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah the first one was one of those 6/10 books which was fairly instantly forgettable, yet wasn't awful to read. Only read the prologue of Polaris, but I'm enjoying it more than I remember enjoying the first in the series.
     

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