What SF book are you currently reading? (2015-16)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by TomTB, Apr 24, 2015.

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  1. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Recently finished with Dreadnought, the first book in the Beyond the Frontier (Lost Fleet) series by Jack Campbell.

    Quite enjoyed it, not as much as the majority of the Lost Fleet series ... it started off with 200 pages of politics, which I don't think was really needed (I'm sure it could've been condensed in to under half that) before getting to the good stuff. Rated it 3/5 in the end. Have gone straight into the second Beyond the Frontier book, Invincible.
     
  2. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    As I'm entering those mid-life years myself, I feel the same itch to have another adventure.
    I've been looking at property in New Zealand, thinking seriously about finding a job there, getting a work Visa, and hopefully immigrating. The younger me would have just jumped at it without much forethought... the more mature me is thinking about the particulars, like how much can I sell my house for, what's the exchange rate for US Dollars in NZ, what if this and what if that happens. Last year I did the backpacking thing in the Badlands of Alberta Canada, hooked up with a family visiting from Finland... and found out by day three of a rough hike, that I wasn't in as good a shape as I thought I was! It was so nice though, no smart phone, no tablet, no GPS... it's amazingly scary traveling by compass & map. You can feel a sort of panic work its way into your chest when you know you're lost, and miles away from help if you run into trouble. But it was Canada... everyone's so sickeningly nice up there.:)
     
  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I'm now on Catherine Asaro's The Last Hawk. So far, absolutely fun.
     
  4. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have just checked it out and if it weren't for the hard SF description, I would add it to my list...
    Finished a couple of days ago a very, very noir crime novel Po. 1280 by J Thompson. Now I' m dithering whether to finally jump to Malazan, Gardens of the Moon so I can find out whether I'm cut out for it or not, or to start the Koban series. Eeney meeney money moe...
     
  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Actually @Elvira, I think you'll do fine. The hard SF elements are minimal in this book, which is more of a planetary romance. Good world-building, great set up for politics in a female-dominated, game-playing society, and some light, romantic sub-plots with marginally steamy scenarios (the most egregious being one nipple licking scene). This novel is actually book 4 or 5 in a series, but it reads fine as a stand-alone. And what hard SF elements there are in the book, I'm liking a lot. Some very fascinating biotech, gene tinkering and a pretty cool biological basis for limited ESP, i.e. telepathy. I read around 2 hours past my bed-time last night because I couldn't stop. So yeah, me recommend.
     
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  6. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    and me take carrot...
    Should I start with the Primary Inversion: A Novel in the Saga of the Skolian Empire os shall I jump directly to The Last Hawk?
     
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  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    The Last Hawk is my first Asaro book. Instead of going by publication or chronological order, I just got the book whose plot attracted me most. And I like game-themed books where the game is all important and a path to political power. So I chose The Last Hawk and I'm doing fine.
     
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  8. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Very tricky to get Asaro's books on line. Some of her hard copies seem to be out of print, kindle doesn't do the titles I was looking into, and I do not like 2nd hand books, particularly if I have to pay as if they were brand new in order to have them shipped to CH. Anyhow, I bought the Lighting Strike; prequel to the saga set in the 1980s. Looking forward to it!
    In the meantime, I've got diverted again (this time all by myself) and I have started The Graveyard Book by Gaiman.
     
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  9. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    I go away for a while and the place busts out with posts n stuff. The Skinner, Boreas. Even better than any Cormac books. You'll go straight to Voyage of the Sable Keech then Orbus so if you don't mind committing to three books, better avoid. But again, better than Polity, although it's about the Prador and the war and the implications centuries down the line. Strong sentiments against war hidden in these but just incredible imagination by Asher once again. Blew me away. Finished the reread of Shadow of the Scorpion and started The Line of Polity.

    I'm also sampling Superwoman's Primary Inversion but I think I'll try another, wish Last Hawk was a Kindle book. I think the sixth one was her Nebula winner.

    Also nibbling at Arrival, a new one by the author of the Frontiers Saga that Ben and I loved, and Ryk Brown's style and tone is much different for this generation ship (yay!) tale.

    But the really good news: Sara King's sequel to the most kickass sci-fi book I've ever read, Fortune's Rising, is finally out, Fortune's Folly. I lament not being able to rope anyone here into trying Sara King, especially FR and her fantastic military space opera The Legend of Zero.
     
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  10. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Well, you've got my attention!! forgive my ignorance but why isn't Sara King popular in this forum? Anything dodgy about her...? I have just checked her out and she did indeed catch my eye... Apart from your recommendations for Fortune's Rising and The Legend of Zero, have you also read Guardians of the First Realm? If so, any good? :)
     
  11. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    I've just purchased Consider Phlebas on Audible @Boreas. I'm gonna do it. I'm finally going to start it! Eek..
     
  12. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    So, I came home Wednesday evening around 22:30 after having watched Edge of Tomorrow. I enjoyed the movie so much that I immediately searched for the book it was based on and downloaded All You Need Is Kill. Read for approximately an hour before falling asleep. Thursday evening around 21:00, I thought I'd get another 1-2 hours of reading before bed. Picked up All You Need Is Kill. Didn't stop till past 02:30 when I finished the book. Woke up bleary eyed this morning at 07:00. The book just wouldn't let me sleep until it was done with me. Closest military sf novel to approach the psychological intensity and feeling of solitude/loneliness from Felix in John Steakley's classic Armor. If you read the book, you'll find the Tom Cruise movie only keeps to the very basics of the plot. Everything else is different. The movie is also a lot lighter in tone and hints at a potentially happier ending. The novel takes no prisoners and is very melancholy. I'm so glad I watched the movie first. If I'd done the opposite, I doubt I would have liked the film as much.

    Will go back to The Last Hawk today, which I'm only half-way through. All You Need Is Kill turned out to be an unexpected though excellent detour.

    Hope you enjoy it. I'm guessing you tried it out by listening to the prologue on Youtube and found Peter Kenny's narration to your liking? Will look forward to your opinions on the "Consider Phlebas" discussion thread!

    Edit: I'm considering now re-listening to CP along with you. It really makes my walks more enjoyable.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  13. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Yes I have, Elvira. Totally different than her sci-fi and wonderful story. The protagonists become friends you really care about, and the supernatural is well done and pretty original. Sara's got range. And the huge numbers of 5-star reviews for all of her books are legit, which you realize when you get into her books. She's a major talent.
     
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  14. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    I didn't .. I just jumped straight in (although it turns out Audible do samples too ...). I'll post my thoughts once I've made some more progress.
     
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  15. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I'm now re-listening to Consider Phlebas whenever I go out walking. How far have you gotten Tom?
     
  16. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Not very ... Horza (sp?) has just been picked up by some mercenaries.

    I only tend to listen to & from work, which is around 45 mins each way.
     
  17. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I'm about 30% into Lighting Strike by C Asaro. I'm relieved the romantic plot is beginning to pick up pace and change direction.
     
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  18. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Haven't had much time to read the last couple of days, unfortunately. I just have around 100 pages left before I'm done with The Last Hawk. I've been conflicted as to whether to pick up a 19th century novel next or move onto a science fiction work. But I finally got two of the 2016 SF published books I've been waiting to read and so the balance definitely seems to be tipping in favour of genre. The Medusa Chronicles by Reynolds & Baxter and The Malice by Newman are now both at hand. The likelihood for a Reynolds work is now strong: either TMC or Blue Remembered Earth.
     
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  19. ecgordon

    ecgordon Well-Known Member

    I've recently read Malka Older's debut novel, Infomocracy, in between books one and two of the Le Guin's Earthsea trilogy. Currently reading novellas from the Hugo voter packet.
     
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  20. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Glad you were finally able to make it @ecgordon! I also got myself the Hugo novellas to try out. First time I've done this. Finished off Sanderson's Perfect State, which had an interesting premise but left me feeling meh. First Sanderson I've read since Elantris was published. I already read Reynolds' Slow Bullets last year and the next novella I'll be attacking will be Polansky's The Builders. I have a feeling I'm going to like the Polansky one.
     
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