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Old November 29 2011, 11:07 AM   #76
JoeZhang
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Just finished The Clone Redemption - like all of Kent's books, it varies from being quite effective to be quite poor. The biggest problem for me is that we were introduced to a threat a few books back and
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Old November 29 2011, 04:58 PM   #77
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

stj wrote: View Post
Re Clarke's Childhood's End, the big reveal about Karellen was a silly touch that pulled me out. It was way too much like those SF stories where two of the characters turn out to be Adam and Eve.
Well, there's not many ways to do


Scalzi did move away from the Heinleinism so far as ideals go, which greatly improved the stories.
I would agree with that. As I said upthread, there's stuff in Old Man's War that rubbed me very much the wrong way, in the same manner Heinlein does. By the time we reach Zoe's Tale's general feeling that senseless war is not a good idea, the series had grown on me considerably.

I also think that the rationale for old recruits fails in the face of the practical rationale for young recruits: They are naive (especially if they're convinced they're street smart,) and much more susceptible to indoctrination.
But on the other hand young people have their whole lives ahead of them, which old people don't. It may be less practical, but it has a kind of moral logic to it (in the sense it feels more moral than the system we actually have where people die as seasoned combat veterans before they're 21.)
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Old November 29 2011, 06:09 PM   #78
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

stj wrote: View Post
I really liked Sundiver, Startide Rising and managed to enjoy Uplift War. But the concluding trilogy just got to be too much for me.
This. Read it all-but damn he goes to some strange places in the second trilogy, if you will call it that. I enjoyed Uplift War and Startide Rising a lot. Sundiver was like early Piper to me-a hint of what was to come.

I think Scalzi is hovering around the Trap. His book sold(Old Man's War) and he's being tempted w/monetarily to keep the franchise going even though his creativity will be, in the end, stifled. Check Allen Steele and his Coyote series-done a while ago, but he's still milking it.
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Old November 29 2011, 07:09 PM   #79
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Mistral wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
I really liked Sundiver, Startide Rising and managed to enjoy Uplift War. But the concluding trilogy just got to be too much for me.
This. Read it all-but damn he goes to some strange places in the second trilogy, if you will call it that.
Yeah, the meme dimension was very odd...
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Old November 29 2011, 07:47 PM   #80
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Mistral wrote: View Post
This. Read it all-but damn he goes to some strange places in the second trilogy, if you will call it that.
Intended read them all, though yes, I've heard the second trilogy has some big issues. Been a while since I've read full book series before this year, and I've sure gone down some rather bad paths (the 2001 series is downright unreadable by 3001, and I didn't hate Gentry Lee's Rama trilogy but it wasn't exactly great, and then there's the last two Dune books...).

I think Scalzi is hovering around the Trap. His book sold(Old Man's War) and he's being tempted w/monetarily to keep the franchise going even though his creativity will be, in the end, stifled.
Mm. The afterwords of Lost Colony and Zoe's Tale make it clear he's pretty much done with the series (but then, after Lost Colony came Zoe's Tale). I enjoyed the books but I'd be quite content if Scalzi didn't write any more books in the setting. It's a very, very thin setting, for one thing - Scalzi's less interested in world building than getting a few good plot ideas and running with them... which, by the way, is just fine by me.
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Old December 5 2011, 10:20 PM   #81
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

"Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang" by Kate Wilhelm

That's one of the books where the title alone is nearly enough to make me read it (the other part is that it's in the "SF Masterworks" series which I'm slowly making my way through). It was good and I liked the use of clones to make a point about the importance of individuality.
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Old December 5 2011, 11:01 PM   #82
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Santa Klaus wrote: View Post
Finished re-reading Simak's City for the first time in over 20 years, and was again stunned at its power and depth. There are few future histories as simultaneously entrancing and disquieting as these tales of evolution and loss. Man leaving Earth to become aliens [or succumbing to ennui] and dogs striving to build a new world without killing and war -- and whether there is any hope for humanity to overcome its essential violence and inhumanity. Mutation, philosophical breakthroughs that can transform a society overnight, alternate universes, putting human [and canine] consciousness in alien bodies, robots of uncommon humanity and vision... this one has it all and more. Mournful, even elegiac at times, it reflects the postwar idea that perhaps humans had come about as far as their innate limitations and bloodlust would be able to take them.
I got "The Trouble with Ants" as part of a collection called "The Last Man on Earth", years and years ago. It seemed weird. Later I ran across "Epilog" in another collection and realized that it was a series of stories. I eventually ran across the collected "City" and picked it up, although I haven't read it in a while.

cb31 wrote: View Post
Iceworld by Hal Clement. It's a fun book and it's nice to have humans be the Aliens once in awhile!
I have Clement's "Cycle of Fire" and re-read that earlier this year. Quite a bit of the same theme there, too.

Kegg wrote: View Post
Finished up Zoe's Tale and thus the Old Man's War novel series. Moved on to David Brin's Sundiver (and thus the Uplift series), and so far this book's been doing a good job of holding my attention and throwing out some odd stuff. The concept of Uplift - species raising other species to sapience across the universe, and humanity as the only known example of a species which raises ourselves (although we've been helping chimps and dolphins) is just a really cool premise, and would be more than enough to hang a novel on - but Sundiver seems to have more going on than just that. Think I'm gonna enjoy this overall.
I've had "Sundiver" sitting on my "maybe" shelf forever, but had a tough time getting into it. Finally a few weeks ago I decided to skim the book and see if could grab me that way. It did. Now I'll have to sit down and read the whole thing, although I realize I've been spoiled on most of the developments.
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Old December 11 2011, 04:55 PM   #83
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Finally finished Pohl's Coming of the Quantum Cats, which was a lot of fun and one of the better multiple-universe stories I've ever read. I'm not sure which I find more amusing, the thought of Nancy Reagan as president or Stalin as a bank robber turned clothing tycoon. Thanks a lot for the suggestion, it's a perfect example of why this is a crucially important thread!

On to Crompton Divided by Robert Sheckley.
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Old December 11 2011, 09:48 PM   #84
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux



The Skin Map (Bright Empires #1) by Stephen R. Lawhead

ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY Kit Livingstone has led a terribly humdrum life. Even his girlfriend is dull. But soon all that changes when, with the help of his deceased great-grandfather, Kit is catapulted into worlds unknown in The Skin Map, the first book of the Bright Empires series by prolific writer Stephen R. Lawhead. Dynamic settings are mixed with unpredictable adventures as we follow Kit through his new life, which includes parallel worlds and time travel. Most interesting is the lost map many are battling to find, the map that is crucial to traveling the cosmos and, more importantly, getting back to Earth. And yes, it's tattooed on the mapmaker. But soon the reader discovers that, as intriguing as the map is, that's not the real prize. It's only square one.
It's alright so far. It's not particularly well written, but it's been a quick read so far, so I'll probably go ahead and finish it up.
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Old December 12 2011, 01:34 AM   #85
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

It's been more than a decade since the last time I read it and I figure I've forgotten enough by now that much of it will seem new.
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Old December 12 2011, 03:20 AM   #86
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

^good call, I've been getting the itch to do that again soon.

Crompton Divided looks promising, it's about a guy who apparently had multiple personality disorder which was "cured" at an early age by having two of his three personalities taken out and put into other bodies -- and now as an adult he wants to find the hosts [who live on different planets] and reintegrate the three together again.

Never read anything by Sheckley before, this should be fun.
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Old December 12 2011, 05:19 PM   #87
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

I'm in full re-read mode, having recently finished Foundation and currently working my way through Alternities due to a thread about similar stories that cropped up recently.
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Old December 13 2011, 08:01 AM   #88
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Just started "Swords And Deviltry", the "first" Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser book. While I've read a story here and there, and had the excellent Chaykin \ Mignola mini, I've never sat down and just read them all in order.

Seemed like a good winters read and I'd forgotten how much fun these books were.
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Old December 13 2011, 09:31 AM   #89
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Surface Detail by Iain M Banks...
First sci-fi I have read in a long long time...
Have been on an extensive Fforde and Pratchett trip....
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Old December 14 2011, 07:23 PM   #90
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

"Blackout" and "All Clear" by Connie Willis

I actually read "Blackout" during the summer and finished "All Clear" last week, but the break didn't really matter (it was easy to pick up on all characters and what their current situation were).
The great part of the books: The setting. Willis description of life in WW2 London (during the Blitz and later the V-1 and V-2 attacks) is extremely detailed and believable. Honestly, there were parts where I was wishing she hadn't written a time travel story and just focused on characters living during that time.
The not-so-good-part: time travel.
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