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

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

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  1. Sir Arthur

    Sir Arthur Full Member

    I just finished Passage at Arms by Glen Cook. Great military sci fi. He really did a great job of conveying the stress of the battle scenes, and the pressures of living in close quarters for months while hiding and waiting for the enemy. This book was set in the universe of his Starfishers trilogy. I think it just moved up in my TBR pile.

    Speaking of a long wait on my TBR pile. I'm going to start Neuromancer by William Gibson tonight. I got it from my local library in ebook format. It was a fairly long wait, but worth it to read on my Kindle after two consecutive "old fashion" books.
     
  2. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Dropped Galactic Empire Wars already and enjoying Line of Polity instead.
     
  3. Haven

    Haven Full Member

    I just snagged a copy of this, my first Stephenson book after Snow Crash.

    I'm about 5 chapters in, and its pretty damn good so far.
     
  4. Haven

    Haven Full Member

    I 'm actually suprised you liked this series.

    I read all three, and while the first one was memorable in an old but gold way, the remaining books were far too generic for my taste.

    Mainly I didn't exactly like the way that mankind is still segregated into what is essentially cold-war factions...One would think they would've moved past that in space
     
  5. Sir Arthur

    Sir Arthur Full Member

    Bailed on Neuromancer. 20% in, and not holding my attention at all. I doubt I'll be quick to pick up another cyberpunk book. Just not my thing.

    I'm to read some fantasy for a change of scenery. The next sci fi book I read will most likely be the second Culture novel.
     
  6. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    @Sir Arthur, I've also moved another Glen Cook science fiction novel up my reading list: "The Dragon Never Sleeps". I'll also get to his Starfishers trilogy at some point. Glad you enjoyed "Passage at Arms". Now that I think back on it, it really is a very good book. Interesting that you bailed on "Neuromancer". I've not read Gibson, yet. For some reason, I've kind of avoided him for many years (since I was about 18/19, actually). Don't know why exactly. One reason might be that I just built up the hype too much in my head and that when I would end up reading it, that it just wouldn't live up to expectations. But I actually like cyberpunk ethos...a lot: high tech, low life is generally the gist of it, irrespective of what tropes you try to identify. So, I'll really have to get around to it.

    @Haven, can't believe that you've not read any of Stephenson's other novels after "Snow Crash", especially since I remember you mentioning that you liked (loved?) that book. I think most of Stephenson's books after "Snow Crash" have been better than SC (those that I've read: "The Diamond Age", "Cryptonomicon" and "Anathem"). Stephenson has always had a problem with his novels - he writes these big shaggy dog stories so jam packed full of ideas and wonder but doesn't always bring them to a satisfactory end (at least, not as satisfactory as I would like). Nonetheless, he's a star, and one of the reasons I love reading his books is for all the exposition and digressions on various topics he gets into: language, cryptography, architecture, value of money, mathematics, etc. I'm really looking forwards to "Seveneves" and the orbital mechanics that I expect to find in there.
     
  7. Sir Arthur

    Sir Arthur Full Member

    This has been on my TBR list for a long time. It sounds very interesting, and no doubt Cook does a good job with it. I also plan to read his Dark War trilogy.
     
  8. Haven

    Haven Full Member

    I have actually tried my hand at reading Anathem, but it didn't appeal to me as much as Snow Crash for some reason.
     
  9. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I needed 80-100 pages for it become smooth going (not needing to constantly refer back to the glossary for term definitions/subtleties). Did you get past that mark? "Snow Crash" is definitely an easier read. You should try "The Diamond Age" instead and see how you like it. It's also an easy read. "Anathem" is definitely the most immersive of his books I've read.
     
  10. ofer

    ofer Regular Member

    Yeah, the first 80 pages of Anathem were brutal. The story gets much better later on. Interestingly enough, we both read the same Stephenson books, although I still maintain that Snow Crash was the most fun. I plan to read Readme at some point, after discovering (Following Ben's post in the gaming thread) that it has a lot of gaming elements.

    I'm currently reading Leviathan Wakes by James Corey and enjoying it - the action never stops for a minute. Will probably finish it today or tomorrow.
     
  11. Haven

    Haven Full Member

    Yeah this is probably where I gave up. I read this one a looong time ago, when I wanted instant connection rather than eventual fulfilment :p

    That being said, I finished SevenEves and I was quite spectacularly impressed. I will withhold my full opinions till you guys finish reading it and reply back here
     
  12. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Glad you're enjoying Leviathan Wakes .. it's certainly a page turner, as is the rest of the series!
     
  13. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    And book 5 is due out in 3 days, I think?

    Will defo be reading this soon.
     
  14. btkong

    btkong Administrator Staff Member

    Reading Steel Word by BV Larson, self published military science fiction. Reminds me kind of like Terms of Enlistment and overall pretty good stuff if you like The Lost Fleet, Starship Troopers, Terms of Enlistment, and Old Man's War. That military science fiction from the eyes of a rookie getting shit on and sent off to die on horrible missions, yet somehow thriving.

    I also have Seveneves by Neal Stephenson I'm working through at the same time. Starting off slooow, but that's expected from Stephenson.

    The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. So far, it's pretty damn good. His first adult dystopian science fiction novel since The Windup Girl and for me, it's hitting all the right notes.

    So yea, it's sort of a science fiction month for me right now!
     
  15. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Started reading Nemesis Games ... good to be back with Holden et al! This is the first SF I've read for a while, been on a Fantasy trip of late.
     
  16. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I finished reading "Old Man's War" some days ago. It was decent. I thought it was just OK for most of the novel, but at a certain point I started to enjoy it more. I didn't think I was going to pick up the sequel, but now I'm going to. Reviewed it for the blog. I'd be interested to know (of those who've read it) how your opinion differs from mine.
     
  17. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    I really enjoyed it, but agree in as much that it's hardly ground breaking stuff .. just a fun read. The sequels take the series in a good direction imo, and whilst not being as 'fun', introduce a great over-arching plot, which is rather gripping at times.
     
  18. Haven

    Haven Full Member

    Exactly my reaction.

    A fun, satisfying read, but nothing groundbreaking.
    I think this is a great series to recommend to newcomers( Atleast I thought the same when I first read it way back)
     
  19. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I was reading Daniel Polansky, but had gotten Reynolds' "Slow Bullets" which was taunting me. So, I picked it up and finished it in about 4-5 hours over two sittings. Loved it. Now back to Polansky.
     
  20. ofer

    ofer Regular Member

    I agree with both @Haven and @TomTB - while not groundbreaking, it was a fun, satisfying read. I read your review and agree with most of it - except for the part where you say it is not particularly well-written. I thought it was - I mean, it wasn't a masterpiece of prose, but the writing did the job and wasn't awkward, and that was good enough for me.

    Also agree with you that the book is reminiscent of old-school sci-fi. It took several ideas from the 1950's and 60's and combined them with a more modern approach.
     
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