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Old July 4 2012, 06:06 PM   #918
Daddy Todd
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Considering how busy June was (Pride Weekend, a weekend in Portland, fighting my way back to a regular workout schedule) I got some good reading in, mostly in the second half of the month.

06/01/2012 Devil May Care (audiobook) by Sebastian Faulks
06/10/2012 Redshirts by John Scalzi
06/11/2012 Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within (na) by Christopher L. Bennett
06/14/2012 Fleet of Worlds (audiobook) by Larry Niven & Edward M. Lerner
06/18/2012 The Minikins of Yam by Thomas Burnett Swann
06/19/2012 The Murex (nv) by Thomas Burnett Swann
06/21/2012 Juggler of Worlds (audiobook) by Larry Niven & Edward M. Lerner
06/21/2012 Winged Victory (ss) by Thomas Burnett Swann
06/21/2012 Night of the Unicorn (ss) by Thomas Burnett Swann
06/23/2012 Moondust by Thomas Burnett Swann
06/24/2012 Queens Walk in the Dusk by Thomas Burnett Swann
06/26/2012 The Dryad-Tree (ss) by Thomas Burnett Swann
06/26/2012 The Painter (ss) by Thomas Burnett Swann
06/26/2012 The Sudden Wings (nv) by Thomas Burnett Swann
06/28/2012 Destroyer of Worlds (audiobook) by Larry Niven & Edward M. Lerner
06/30/2012 Green Phoenix by Thomas Burnett Swann

Scalzi. Sigh. I know he's beloved of the geekarati, but he's just not to my taste. His snarky smart-ass protagonists don't appeal to me. It's like those profiles you see on Certain Websites where the dude thinks sneering and flipping you the bird is somehow attractive. No, just tiresome. Thus with Scalzi's characters. It's too bad, because the idea behind Redshirts is kind of cool. Frankly, I enjoy his blog a lot more than his novels.

Read Christopher Bennett's Star Trek: Typhon Pact e-novella The Struggle Within. That's a terribly generic title; the story was better. I was intending to start David R. George III's new Typhon Pact duology (Plagues of Night & Raise the Dawn) right after, but got sidetracked.

Thomas Burnett Swann wrote short lyrical fantasy stories and novels (most were really novellas, by current SFWA definition) about the interactions between humans and the prehumans who populated ancient Earth. Some remembrance of these interactions have come down to us in the form of myths and legends. Swann's stories are truly wonderful. And so very, very gay - in the best possible way. Swann is one of those lost & forgotten writers who certainly deserves to be remembered and read today. He died in 1976; the last time any of his work was in print in English was in 1996. Why doesn't the estate make it available in ebooks, at the very least? My old DAW and Ace and Ballantine paperbacks are getting pretty tattered.

The Niven/Lerner Fleet of Worlds series remind me a bit of those late-career novels by Asimov where he tried to stitch his three independent series into a single future history -- with mixed results. Niven seems to be attempting something similar here, adding context around stories such as "Neutron Star" and "The Soft Weapon". They're enjoyable listening while at the gym or driving back and forth to work, but when the Significant Other gets in the car with me I just shut off the sound system. It's too much work trying to explain how the current narrative fits together with Niven stories he read 3 or 4 decades ago.
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