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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old January 31 2012, 06:33 PM   #211
Sho
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Christopher wrote: View Post
At least for the "sonic driver" or screwdriver, there's some legitimate scientific basis for the idea. So it can kind of work as a credible term for a device in a different fictional universe than the one where it originated.
Yeah, in the scene in question Quinn is using the sonic screwdriver to disconnect a piece of equipment from its power source, and the way I made it work for me was to ponder that he might be using directed sound waves to manipulate some sort of release mechanism inside the device's enclosure to avoid having to open and risk damaging it. Since it was a clandestine operation it sort of made sense to use less invasive tools to avoid tripping alarms or leaving behind toolmarks, or at least enough sense to resume reading .
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Old February 1 2012, 02:43 AM   #212
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Just finished Tim Powers' Declare. Basically a Cold War spy tale with a supernatural foundation. I picked it up solely based on some positive mentions, and I really enjoyed it. I'm planning to eventually try The Anubis Gates by him, as well.

Next up, Summer Knight, the 4th Dresden Files book.
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Old February 1 2012, 02:48 AM   #213
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I just finished New Frontier: House of Cards, about to start on New Frontier: Into the Void.
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Old February 1 2012, 03:49 AM   #214
WarsTrek1993
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

^ I just finished House of Cards too!

Now I'm reading Christopher's Ex Machina! I like it a lot so far, the characters are nailed perfectly (especially Spock!)
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Old February 1 2012, 05:58 AM   #215
Joel_Kirk
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Currently reading (sporadically):

*SW: Choices of One
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Old February 1 2012, 08:14 AM   #216
Kertrats47
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Finished up Diane Carey's Star Trek: Challenger: Chainmail, book two of the Gateways series. Here's my review. Surprisingly enjoyable! It's kind of too bad there wasn't really the audience for another original Trek lit series, I kind of enjoy the dynamic of the Challenger crew.

Now I'm reading The Rings of Time by Greg Cox.
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Old February 1 2012, 02:56 PM   #217
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Kertrats47 wrote: View Post
Finished up Diane Carey's Star Trek: Challenger: Chainmail, book two of the Gateways series. Here's my review. Surprisingly enjoyable! It's kind of too bad there wasn't really the audience for another original Trek lit series, I kind of enjoy the dynamic of the Challenger crew.

Now I'm reading The Rings of Time by Greg Cox.
Correct me if Im wrong but I believe the Star Trek New Earth series was all about introducing and setting up the crew of the Challenger.
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Old February 1 2012, 04:03 PM   #218
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

PKS8304 wrote: View Post
Correct me if Im wrong but I believe the Star Trek New Earth series was all about introducing and setting up the crew of the Challenger.
Well, not exactly, since the Challenger and its crew were only introduced in the final book. You could say that it was about telling a 6-part TOS story that also served to lay the foundations for the potential Challenger series. But of course they had no way of knowing in advance whether there would be reader interest in such a series, so New Earth still had to work as a self-contained story of its own, with the final book serving as a "backdoor pilot" for a Challenger series.
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Old February 1 2012, 06:54 PM   #219
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I only read Book 6 of New Earth for that reason, and it worked just fine for me on its own.

And regarding the other SF references popping up (such as the sonic screwdriver), they always make me smile. But I'm the kind of fan who loves fanwank.

Finished Shatterpoint. It was okay. Not great but not terrible, and for a while I was wondering if it was ever going to connect to the Clone Wars at all.

I also read the New Teen Titans: Games graphic novel. Nice to see a new tale with the Titans I grew up with, with good ol' Marv Wolfman and George Pérez at the helm.

Currently reading Deepsix by Jack McDevitt. Up next is Rings of Time.
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Old February 2 2012, 12:11 AM   #220
Kertrats47
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Christopher wrote: View Post
PKS8304 wrote: View Post
Correct me if Im wrong but I believe the Star Trek New Earth series was all about introducing and setting up the crew of the Challenger.
Well, not exactly, since the Challenger and its crew were only introduced in the final book. You could say that it was about telling a 6-part TOS story that also served to lay the foundations for the potential Challenger series. But of course they had no way of knowing in advance whether there would be reader interest in such a series, so New Earth still had to work as a self-contained story of its own, with the final book serving as a "backdoor pilot" for a Challenger series.
^^ What Christopher said.
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Old February 2 2012, 04:44 AM   #221
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

DrCorby wrote: View Post
Just finished Tim Powers' Declare. Basically a Cold War spy tale with a supernatural foundation. I picked it up solely based on some positive mentions, and I really enjoyed it. I'm planning to eventually try The Anubis Gates by him, as well.
I just finished listening to an audio of The Anubis Gates 2 days ago, and immediately launched into the audio of The Stress of Her Regard. Tim's new novel Hide Me Among the Graves, due out in a month or so, is a quasi-sequel to Stress, so I'm getting ready.

I love Declare. I kept having weird flashes of Declare when I saw Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy a couple weeks back Tim admits that Declare is his attempt to "do" a John LeCarre-style spy thriller. Except when Powers writes it, it turns out to be about the black, mystical force propping up the Soviet Union.

Powers is simply the best.
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Old February 2 2012, 05:05 AM   #222
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I finally read MJF's Reunion, and I honestly came away a little disappointed.
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Old February 3 2012, 04:52 AM   #223
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I just finished Stephen King's 11/22/63.

I am not a Stephen King fan by any stretch of the imagination. I really don't enjoy horror overall and The Dark Tower series has never really done anything for me. But, I had read a glowing recommendation in one of the "So What Are You Reading" threads here and one of my buddies recommended it to me as well, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Am I ever glad I did.

This is one of the all-time best books I have ever read. It has easily rocketed up the scale to be one of my all-time favorite books. This thing is a massive book and it really did take me some time to read (I'm traveling for work and don't have a lot of free time at the moment), but I didn't want this book to end. I actually felt myself coming down off a high when I finished the book.

The whole story of Jake Epping and George Amberson was absolutely riveting to me. I felt what he felt—both the euphoric highs and the terrible, terrible lows he experienced. I was positively heartbroken for him with the eventual resolution of a key relationship in the book. It has been a long time since I have connected with a character in a book like that.

The book handles time-travel in an interesting way (and actually, the eventual "explanation" of the time-travel made me think a lot of how Christopher presented the nature of time travel in Watching the Clock—they aren't the same, but there are some interesting parallels). The concept of using the past itself as a character (it makes more sense when you actually read the book) was brilliant as well.

The book really shines with its view of the late 50s and early 60s. This is not Leave it to Beaver or I Love Lucy. It is not a romanticized view of that time period and is probably actually a much truer depiction of life back then. However, when the main character gets to Jodie, Texas and decides he wants to spend the rest of his life there, I could definitely see why. Despite some other things he has to do that are not good, fun or even particularly noble, I actually felt his happiness and contentment with the life he forged for himself there.

Despite my effusive praise for 11/22/63, I will admit that when the book sorta, kinda explained (but really didn't) the nature of the rabbit-hole (the time-travel device) and when Jake visits the alternate 2011, things somewhat fell apart and got a bit too science-fictiony (since, despite the science fiction conceit of time travel used in the book, it isn't a science fiction book). It did take me out of the world the book had created for a moment. But, that actually might have been the point, but I can't say more about that without giving anything away.

But ultimately, the book is not about time travel. It's about one man's crusade to try to put right a terrible wrong and the obstacles that he has to overcome and the sacrifices he has to make to do so. There are some (extremely minor) horror elements in the book, but nothing that is overt or that takes away from the core story of the book.



Despite being 800+ pages, the ending did feel a bit rushed. But, even though you hope it goes a different direction, you realize that you knew all along that it was going to end the way it did and there really wasn't any other way for it to end. The ending is very bittersweet and I did find tears welling in my eyes as I read it. Again, it's been a long time since a book has done that.

I read somewhere that this book was something that Stephen King had always wanted to write and was very passionate about but he had to wait until he felt he could actually do it justice. It's a good thing he did because this book is a masterpiece.
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Old February 3 2012, 12:59 PM   #224
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Finished The Rings of Time, here's my review. Not bad, pretty enjoyable! Now I'm reading Gateways #3: Doors Into Chaos.
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Old February 3 2012, 04:07 PM   #225
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Reading themes for January: Space:1999, James Bond in 2 flavors, a couple MZB's, and a group of Luff Imbry short stories by the brilliant Matthew Hughes.

01/01/2012 Space: 1999: Rogue Planet by E. C. Tubb
01/03/2012 The Survivors by Marion Zimmer Bradley & Paul Edwin Zimmer
01/04/2011 The Eyes of the Overworld (audiobook) by Jack Vance
01/08/2012 Space: 1999: Alien Seed by E.C. Tubb
01/11/2012 Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
01/12/2012 The Winds of Gath by E.C. Tubb
01/15/2012 The Heirs of Hammerfell by Marion Zimmer Bradley
01/18/2012 Derai by E.C. Tubb
01/24/2012 Carte Blanche (audiobook) by Jeffrey Deaver
01/26/2012 Space: 1999: Shepherd Moon edited by Mateo Latosa
01/28/2012 Passion Ploy (ss) By Matthew Hughes
01/28/2012 Nature Tale (ss) By Matthew Hughes
01/28/2012 Enemy of the Good (ss) By Matthew Hughes
01/28/2012 Another Day in Fibberty (ss) By Matthew Hughes
01/28/2012 The Meaning of Luff (ss) By Matthew Hughes
01/28/2012 The Farouche Assemblage (ss) By Matthew Hughes
01/28/2012 The Eye of Vann (ss) By Matthew Hughes
01/30/2012 The Anubis Gates (audiobook) by Tim Powers

Tubb's Space: 1999 novels are better than expected -- quick, breezy reads. Remember when they used to be able to tell a complete story in 160 pages? Those were the days! Today, SF & Fantasy writers can barely clear their throats in under 500 pages. The Space: 1999 story collection from a couple years ago was wildly uneven -- from good (Tubb and Brian Ball, genuine SF writers who contributed to the Space: 1999 novelizations back in the day) to bottom-drawer fan fiction. Definitely missible.

After enjoying Tubb's Space: 1999 books, I decided to try reading some of his long-running Dumarest of Terra series. I started collecting this series in junior high school, and continued collecting them right up until the mid-80's, when the publisher gave up after #31, but as best I can recall have never actually read one. The first two were better than I expected, and am currently reading the third one. As these are blissfully concise, I can easily read one in a single lazy afternoon, so I'll keep some on the Nook and iPad for "snacking."

Deaver's James Bond "reboot," Carte Blanche, is really, really good. It made me want to run out and read more Deaver, which is a good sign. I hope he writes more Bond books. I could do with one of these a year no problem.

Matthew Hughes is one of my very favorite writers. His most recent novel, The Other, features his rascally forger-thief character, Luff Imbry. It also features some of the sharpest satire I've read in a long time. You should read it. Yes, right now.

Anyway, Hughes's publisher, Angry Robot, has obtained rights to 7 Luff Imbry shorts (published between 2005 & 2008 in F&SF, PostScripts and the odd anthology) and made them available as reasonably-priced e-texts (I got all 7 from the Angry Robot website for $3.99, after all kinds of discounts and price conversion from pounds to dollars) and read them one Saturday. Delightful.

Two MZB pieces down this month: The Survivors, her second collaboration with her brother, Paul Edwin Zimmer. I strongly suspect that PEZ did the actual writing -- the book is stuffed with a kind of gently explicit sexuality that Marion would never write. I'm actually surprised that she let it go out under her name. I then tackled the last Darkover book Marion wrote on her own, The Heirs of Hammerfell. This book is not well regarded among Darkover cognoscenti. For about 2/3 of the book, I was puzzled by the reaction, because it seemed a perfectly acceptable entry into the series, illuminating the period after the Ages of Chaos, as the Comyn were just starting to consolidate the Hundred Kingdoms into the familiar Seven Domains. Then it turned into a sappy romance novel, with a cliched ending that was painfully forced, and suddenly I understood the hate. Damn.

Consulting my MZB database (yes, I know having a MZB database makes me an ubergeek. So?) I see that I don't have a whole lot left to read. There are a couple pieces I don't have (anyone out there have a copy of the Mattachine Review Vol. 7 Number 4? Apparently Marion has a story in it) but of what I have in my collection, I either have to read some of the late-period collaborative/ghostwritten stuff or the early "lesbian" potboilers. I tried both Black Trillium and Tiger Burning Bright and was horrified by the generic "fantasy princess" plots and the fairly dreadful writing. I Don't know if I'm going to be able to force these down. Maybe Glenraven will be better. If not, lesbian potboilers, here I come!
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