SF/F Reading in June 2017

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

  1. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    What science fiction or fantasy are you all reading?

    I'm still slowly going through Heinlein's collection, The Past Through Tomorrow.
     
  2. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    I'm going to read Greg Bear's Eternity after I finish the excellent Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I just finished Uprooted yesterday and it was very good.
     
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  3. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    I’m reading and struggling at the moment with The Rise of Endymion by D Simmons. This is the final book of the tetralogy. I will definitely finish it but I’m pushing myself to pick it up as I have lost interest in the main two characters.
    I think I need to diversify my reading a bit more and I have just bought following Boreas’ recommendation Julian by Gore Vidal. Most likely this will be my next read.
     
  4. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I just ordered Chibola Burn which should get here sometime this month.
     
  5. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Still rereading Cibola Burn. Nearly finished .. it's still great!
     
  6. R-Hat

    R-Hat Regular Member

    I have ran out of Jenkinsverse canon series. Almost all of the canon series have very high writing quality (except TLM) It's megabytes upon megabytes of pure text, all free online. I've enjoyed it a great deal, I'm waiting for further updates and I'm sampling for some one-shot or non-canon stories. I chose to go by timeline and don't regret it.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/HFY/wiki/ref/universes/jenkinsverse
    http://www.reddit.com/r/HFY/wiki/ref/universes/jenkinsverse/timeline
    There are sci-fi books that describe humans as physically superior, such as due to higher gravity, while galactic standard worlds are less massive, thus producing more frail species. But in the Jenkinsverse, this theme is taken into great and intriguing depth - there are deeper reasons and conspiracies why the aliens are mostly so squishy. This is truly a great collaborative space opera. There are the strong and culturally insane Humans, raccoon-like Gaoians, the grey and notorious Corti, the intellectually average Vzt'ktkk (not kidding), their more intelligent relatives Rttktptkch (or something like that) and a few other races, all of them fun. And of course the not-so-fun Hunters.
    In some of the later parts there is a little too much liberal licentious themes for my taste - lots of militarism and promiscuity, but the sportsmen and bodybuilders among us will love that, while I try hard not to be ashamed. Good stuff to persuade meatheads to read.
    I burned through all of this during work (and weekends). I wanted something about Humans from alien POV and I got that in full measure.

    Also, as this magnificent spring is now almost dried up to a trickle, I have picked some random sci-fi, such as Eifelheim by Michael Flynn. Imagine a first contact with aliens, happening in medieval ages (i.e. before the discovery of New World), happening in the Black Forest region of Germany - or whatever passed for German territories back then, to be historically correct. The main hero is a fairly enlightened and extremely well educated priest, stuff like Sorbonna, Galen, Occam, Buridan, etc. I think it's pretty good and my History and Economics professors would be proud and would love this book. The aliens are alien enough and by no means perfect people. No, it's probably not going to end well, looks like the Holy Inquisition (or whatever passed for it in 1346) is going to make a very historically realistic investigation. I'm about halfway through the book.
     
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  7. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I re-read The DragonCrown War Cycle over the weekend. I am not sure why I like that series but I find myself in the mood for it every so often.
     
  8. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I've got Eifelheim. I've also got The Wreck of the River of Stars (on recommendation from someone in another forum) and his very first book Firestar which I picked up in paperback long ago. Not had a chance to read any of them, but I'm leaning towards Firestar as my Flynn entry point.

    So, I guess you really like these Jenkinsverse stories. My problem is that I can't read for long periods on my computer. Are they available in ebook format at all?
     
  9. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Just looked it up. I've only ever read one book by Michael A. Stackpole: I, Jedi from the Star Wars expanded universe. I've heard from people that he wrote some very good stand-alone fantasy novels like Talion: Revenant and Once a Hero. Have you read those by any chance?
     
  10. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    No, I have only read his DragonCrown books. I am planning to read I, Jedi one of these days. Did you like it?
     
  11. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I can't remember much from it. That's not saying much, since I remember very little from most of the circa 20 or so Star Wars novels I read between the ages of 15-19. The best of them were those written by Timothy Zahn. The Heir to the Empire trilogy which is set shortly after Return of the Jedi, and a further duology he wrote sometime in the early 2000's, I think. Zahn's original trilogy captured the feel of Star Wars best, and introduced the greatest antagonist aside from Darth Vader, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Also introduced Mara Jade, who is my next favourite SW character after Luke Skywalker.
     
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  12. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Talion Revenant was one of the first fantasy books I read, all those years ago. I liked it at the time, a decent S&S standalone. Not touched anything else by him tho...
     
  13. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    Finished The Rise of Endymion and I have found the last third of the book exhilarating, entertaining and conceptually very good.
    Simmons has woven a rather complicated web leaning heavily on mythical pillars. I enjoyed most of the plot developments, I was often happily surprised but others disappointed:
    The love story part: anyone could see this coming right to the final detail. Besides, I found a bit annoying how Simmons uses Aena’s voice to hold information from the reader. He lets us know she owns all knowledge, however, when asked by Raul, her answer always was “It is not time yet, Raul” I guess Simmons wasn’t ready to tell it yet.
    I wasn’t enamored with Raul and quite often he sent me off to sleep during his loooooog travels. Equally, he would irritate me with his comments and reactions: we just didn’t click. Aenea was a bit too stoic, too clever and disengaging at times. Not my ideal main character.

    Another flaw, in my opinion, was when Simmons decided it was time to catch the reader up and the recourse of lecturing was used: Aenea enlightening her disciples. That’s a bit lazy in my eyes.
    There are many characters intervening in this final book and I have found many of them very compelling. I loved all the Machiavellian plots between the Church, the Pax and elements of the Technocore. I also enjoyed every minute of the brief encounters with the Ousters and I would have loved to read more about them.
    The references to the old Earth religions with their philosophical inferences were cleverly drawn and wisely interconnected.

    Maybe I’m being unfair as Simmons set such a high standard with his previous books, in particular with Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, I feel it was a good final book although the weakest of the tetralogy. I also believe Simmons could have thinned out a couple of hundred pages, in particular, those regarding Raul.
     
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  14. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    These were also my favourite parts, and while I did find Raul's and Aenea's plot-threads made for less compulsive reading, I remember thinking that the ending was quite an emotional punch.
     
  15. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Well-Known Member

    I guessed it the second the issue was introduced... that was part of my problem.
     
  16. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Fair enough. You do know what the end result is going to be, but you don't know the how of it (at least, I didn't). I still remember finding it a fairly powerful scene.
     
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  17. R-Hat

    R-Hat Regular Member

    People have been compiling their own PDFs, which they can not share without some detective work on your part (without author's permission). Based on their data I'd say the canon has about 4,000 pages of A4 text, give or take a thousand (1-2 million words), that's a lot of copy-paste. My solution is to read on my Boyue T62+, it's an Android tablet with e-ink and lots of jailbroken gimmicks (I could boast for another paragraph). I installed Chrome and I browse the websites directly. Physical book is mentioned as a future possibility, as a place to list donators. Maybe the donators can read the blog better and they know more.

    I enjoyed my Heinlein as much as anybody, but I don't know if I will continue with Flynn after I finish Eifelheim. I need some sci-fi about hard-won human normality. And yes, it has to be sci-fi. Or fantasy. Japanese history just will not do, the setting is too mundane, thus hard to consume :) I am the guy who carefully picks some decent anime, because it's the only visual medium which often portrays the spiritual energy work somewhat realistically. I need my normal and anything without such strange things just doesn't reflect my daily experience. I know it makes little sense to look for normality within exotic circumstances, but that's what I identify with :)
     
  18. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Started my reread of Nemesis Games (Expanse #5) today. This was probably my favourite book in the series first time round, so looking forward to it!

    Listening to it at 1.5x speed so shouldn't take me as long to get through this time! :)
     
  19. Dtyler99

    Dtyler99 Regular Member

    Thanks to Diziet Sma for pointing me to this board!

    After time out for work and general busyness, on the June read list is KSR's New York 2140 and William Gibson's The Peripheral, which finally made it to the top of the stack after trying to hide under my bed for several months. Balancing that with my reread of Steven Erikson's The Malazan Book of the Fallen; just started the seventh volume, Reaper's Gale. Haven't made up my mind on the new Neal Stephenson collaboration; it sounds promising in a System of the World kinda way (yay!), but I'm way leery after the execrable seveneves (boo!).

    Glad to see on this board admirers of Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, the first SFF books I read that made me think there's more to the world than pulp (and has been a guiding inspiration in my own career since).
     
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  20. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I'm guessing you already read Eon? I've got to get to these books, but after I read The Forge of God.
     
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