SF/F Reading in June 2017

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

  1. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    With all this talk about Gene Wolf, I'm starting The Fifth Head of Cerberus.
     
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Excellent choice! But I thought you were going to take a little break from SF?
     
  3. Dtyler99

    Dtyler99 Well-Known Member

    The Baroque Cycle was fabulous fun. Enjoyed every page immensely.
     
  4. Dtyler99

    Dtyler99 Well-Known Member

    Just picked up The Rise And Fall of D.O.D.O. last night. Weighs in at 742 pages -- appropriate Stephenson heft! Can't wait to get started.
     
  5. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    But I did! A week off and two crime novels...:)
     
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  6. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I'm on the final story of Wolfe's The Fifth Head of Cerberus: I have been bewitched.
     
  7. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    The Fifth Head of Cerberus by G. Wolfe.
    There are some great authors who love making a point about displaying their talent. Sometimes their narrative can be a bit clunky in their effort to reveal their brilliance.
    Then, you have authors such as Wolfe: he is a demanding writer who riddles with his readers and expects them to work at it. *cough Attanasio*
    He is also one of those seducers, who weaves the narrative web carefully, deceitfully and in an irresistibly tempting way in order to tangle and trap the reader as the reading progresses.
    With TFHoC you never know where you stand, who is truly the narrator nor where the story is heading to. You keep all the story pieces Wolfe throws at you along the way, as they will be relevant later rather than sooner. If by the end of the story, you end up with a few loose pieces, it means you need to go back because there is something in the story, subtly suggested although crucial, that you have missed.
    TFHoC is, as @Boreas rightly suggested, reminiscent of Borges. He plays with concepts such as singularity, identity, and dreams daring the reader to keep up.
    It is also one of these books that after finishing it, replays in your mind and tempt you to rethink other possibilities. And I will do just that. Simply great.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  8. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    Tonight, I am going to start Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It was a Father's Day present from the kiddos!
     
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  9. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I will be reading Reamde first. Supposed to be a fun techno-thriller, although not as deep as most of his other novels. I checked the TRaFoDODD and it looks like a lot of fun! I didn't expect Stephenson to be capable of a collaboration, so this will be an interesting experience.
     
  10. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    So glad you liked it, although I was confident you would! My next few suggestions for Wolfe would be to pick up a collection of his shorts or his more pastoral novel, Peace.
     
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  11. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    The sample of DODO reads like Stephenson rather than the other author so there's that. Wonder how that works, he writes a word then she writes a word and repeat?
     
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  12. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I'm unsure what to read next. So, until I make up my mind I have started Sandman Slim#1 by R Kadrey.
     
  13. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    I'm reading this currently! I really like it so far, although finding limited time to read at the moment. I imagine you'll finish it several weeks before I do!! :)
     
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  14. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    Alas! I was blocked last night from starting it--the kiddos giveth and taketh away--but hopefully tonight.
     
  15. R-Hat

    R-Hat Regular Member

    I have discovered the ultimate guilty pleasure reading. I love playing RPGs all my life and... Surely you know that some fantasy series are written based on actual play matches of Dungeons & Dragons. Now, let's take the computerized RPG principles and you have a LitRPG. It is a fairly rare fiction genre (which means, you actually have to buy most of the books, not easy to find freebies) but it has me hooked. This is very popular in Japan, but so far all I read was typical western RPG. Now, I hope I find some way to smuggle the books to work. They run out extremely fast and the only supply I have is a very dry CJ Cherryh's Cyteen series. The sci-fi bureaucratic political thriller about corporate and court intrigues is not what I need right now.

    Me being a beginner, I must absolutely recommend The Land series by Aleron Kong, which clocks at decent 6 books of pure fun. Then I have read first 2 of 3 in the Lion's Quest series by Michael-Scott Earle. These are a great fun too, although the "normal world" passages aren't that good and in the beginning I have often wondered if I'm reading some 50 Shades of Grey for men. A mysterious (female) billionaire is interested in you! Yes, this is mostly fantasy with some light sci-fi sprinkling. I would not believe how fun can the sword & sorcery genre get, if someone spices it up with skills, xp, levels and quests, all with interface. That's me, who did not finish Ronald Feist's Riftwar series (gave up around the book 18 or so), did not finish the Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (1 book to go), and did not even think of various Malazian books of fallen, Swords of truth, chronicles of Shannara, songs of ice and fire, or whatever. The mainstream fantasy genre takes itself way too seriously to serve its true purpose - self-knowledge.
     
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  16. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    @btkong is a fan too! He's done a best of list, here: http://bestfantasybooks.com/best-litrpg-books
     
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  17. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    What is your opinion about American Gods by Gaiman? I'm avoiding the TV series as I would like to read the book first. However, I have read very polarizing reviews about it.
     
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  18. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    A disappointing re-hash of themes and motifs that were much more elegantly expressed in the comics series, The Sandman. Read his various comics output, or the tongue-in-cheek fairy tale that is Stardust, or even his many, very good children's books that seem far darker than his adult novels. I also think quite a bit of his short story output is good, so picking up one or two of his collections would be worthwhile. I say give American Gods a pass...watch the TV series instead, and if you really like that, then give the book a go. But for sure read his brilliant comics series, which is more literary, vibrant and varied than AG, and also far more poignant.
     
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  19. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    Hmm... I really enjoyed American Gods but I agree it is not his best book (that, I would argue, is Neverwhere). I have not watched the TV show, though.
     
  20. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    But then again, I thought AG was crap, so she'd probably rather enjoy it ;)

    Agree on the Stardust front. It's just about my favourite book!
     

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