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

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Old April 30 2012, 02:41 AM   #616
Lonemagpie
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Daddy Todd wrote: View Post
Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Over the last week or two read A Clash of Kings (GRRM), Carte Blanche (Deaver) and a Dr Who NSA - not sure what to read next... Possibly some nonfiction...
Was that your first time through Carte Blanche? What did you think?
Hm, not bad, with Deaver giving us plenty of twists and reversals, but the characterisation wasn't up to his usual standard (presumably because it's not his character) and the action scenes were very flat. Didn't really feel either like Bond or like a Deaver thriller (and he's one of my favourite thriller writers). And yet it was reasonably decent in its own right.
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Old April 30 2012, 03:02 AM   #617
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I just finished The Coffee Trader by David Liss. Another fun business/historical thriller, though not quite as complex as A Conspiracy of Paper. Next I'll be finishing The Early Asimov or starting Casualties: A Novel of the Civil War by David Rothstein. It's about a Union soldier who becomes a leader while imprisoned, and his wife Laura who makes her way cross-country in the midst of the war in hopes of freeing him.
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Old April 30 2012, 08:04 PM   #618
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Just finished reading Peter David's The Rift, a novel I'd been intrigued in reading for some years and I was glad to finally get my hands on. Unfortunately, the novel didn't live up to its hype and definitely wasn't one of David's best works. A good solid read, but nothing that reached out and grabbed me.

I've also had to abandon my read of Sword of Damocles. While I enjoyed it slightly more than last time, I just can't summon up the energy to finish it. Anyway, on to Christopher Bennett's Greater than the Sum.
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Old May 1 2012, 06:07 AM   #619
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Dammit, it was a busy month! I had stuff that pretty much took up most of EVERY SATURDAY this month. And supporting/associated activities took up another half-dozen evenings. That, plus work and workouts really cut into the book-reading time. I only finished 2 (yes, TWO) books this month. Gym listening was confined to 7 more James Bond novels.

At least I leave Friday for my annual two weeks in Sint Maarten; two weeks of glorious beach reading. The iPad and Nook are primed and ready.

What I did finish this month:
04/05/2012 Diamonds Are Forever (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/07/2012 Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album by Ken Caillat with Steven Stiefel
04/11/2012 From Russia, With Love (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/15/2012 Doctor No (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/21/2012 Goldfinger (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/25/2012 Thunderball (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/28/2012 The Spy Who Loved Me (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/29/2012 Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers
04/30/2012 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (audiobook) by Ian Fleming

That's 7 Ian Fleming James Bond audiobooks, a memoir on the making of Fleetwood Mac's classic album Rumours by its co-producer, and Tim Powers's long-awaited new novel.

First, the Bonds. Well, they're nice and short. And deeply sexist, racist, and just about every other -ist you can think of. Fleming states at least twice in 3 books that women long to be raped. I'm not entirely sure that's true. No, wait, I'm sure that's complete and utter bullshit. Unless "rape" meant something entirely different a half-century or so ago. Nope, it was the same thing. Nobody would unironically write those words today, except to paint a character as a complete piece of shit. Progress!

Ken Caillat's Fleetwood Mac memoir was an interesting read. I might have included more about how particular sounds were achieved, and less about Lindsey Buckingham choking his girlfriends, but that's just me. It did send me back to the FM catalog. For an album I pretty much despised when it was new (mostly because you couldn't turn on KFXD back in those days without hearing a Fleetwood Mac song) I've discovered that Rumours, it's predecessor (Fleetwood Mac) and, especially, it's successor (Tusk) are truly amazing records. Hopefully Caillat will write a sequel about recording Tusk. There must be some great stories there -- certainly Lindsey must've had new girlfriends to abuse.

What to say about Hide Me Among the Graves..? It's beautifully written, with Victorian atmosphere dripping from every pore, but it never really engaged me. Tim has now covered the bulk of the 19th century in London, between The Anubis Gates, The Stress of Her Regard, A Time to Cast Away Stones, and Hide Me Among the Graves. Maybe there's just not that much left to surprise me with. Maybe it's because the Pre-Raphaelites mean absolutely NOTHING to me. Maybe it's because I read the first three of those four books over the last couple months, and the new one doesn't come close to matching the gonzo-manic intensity of The Anubis Gates. Which, lest we forget, is one of the books that defined "Steampunk" as a genre. (Of course, NOTHING matches Anubis Gates except possibly Declare. Or Last Call.)

Or maybe it was just because I was hoping Tim would take the opportunity to weave William Ashbless into the narrative, thus turning it into another accidental series, like Last Call/Expiration Date/Earthquake Weather.

It seems strange saying that a book that includes
well, to call all that "not weird enough" seems churlish. Nevertheless, that was my reaction upon finishing the book last night. Compared to Powers earlier output, this was practically mainstream. **SIGH!** Maybe that will be good for sales.

Not sure what I'll be reading in May, apart from several books partially finished. Likely to be first up are:
Star Trek: That Which Divides by Dayton Ward
Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders by Samuel R. Delany
The Alton Gift by Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah J. Ross
Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock by Christopher Bennett
Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Forgotten History by Christopher Bennett

Delany's new one is quite good, once you get past the coprophagy. I downloaded the ebook from B&N, then learned that the publisher had inadvertently left out an entire chapter. D'OH! With the help of an errata page and a .pdf of the missing chapter from Delany's agent (and an etext unencumbered by DRM) I was able to "correct" my copy in Sigil. Someone wagged that my ebook wasn't "Mint" any more. BFD. I'd rather have it correct.
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Old May 1 2012, 02:21 PM   #620
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Just posted my review of Christopher L. Bennett's Department of Temporal Investigations: Forgotten History. Excellent story, and hopefully there will be more DTI sometime in the future, when the time is right. Right now, I'm reading Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin and Star Trek #22: Shadow Lord by Laurence Yep.
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Old May 1 2012, 08:15 PM   #621
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Daddy Todd wrote: View Post

First, the Bonds. Well, they're nice and short. And deeply sexist, racist, and just about every other -ist you can think of. Fleming states at least twice in 3 books that women long to be raped. I'm not entirely sure that's true. No, wait, I'm sure that's complete and utter bullshit. Unless "rape" meant something entirely different a half-century or so ago. Nope, it was the same thing. Nobody would unironically write those words today, except to paint a character as a complete piece of shit. Progress!
Wow, that just killed any interest I have in reading Fleming's Bond books. I'll probably read Casino Royale since I already own it, but I definitely won't be reading any more.
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Old May 1 2012, 08:19 PM   #622
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

“All women love semi-rape. They love to be taken. It was his sweet brutality against my bruised body that made his act of love so piercingly wonderful.”
Boggle.

(From The Spy Who Loved Me.)

That said, I haven't read the book, and since it's the voice of a character it may not reflect on the author's views in context. Certainly characters in books often have views the authors don't share.
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Old May 1 2012, 11:31 PM   #623
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Decided to see what this Stieg Larsson stuff is like - so started on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I may even see the movies someday...
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Old May 1 2012, 11:37 PM   #624
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

^ Looking forward to your opinion, because I've been sort of wondering about an author's take on them. I read them and enjoyed them, mystery not being a genre I peruse with any frequence, but even though I did, it wasn't hard to tell they were written by an amateur author - what with the male protagonist being a very obvious author insert, the plot relying on some extreme coincidences, and so on. I have a suspicion that an author might have a harder time forgiving those flaws because they're such no-no-don't-do-that things to the profession.
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Old May 1 2012, 11:42 PM   #625
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Well, only a chapter in, but I wouldn't say it reads as "amateur" the way, say Christopher Pasolini's trilogy does - He was a journalist just like his character, but so were a lot of writers, and at least his actual career means he should have an idea of how to write - but I'm very conscious that it's been translated so that may have an effect as I get into it...

Liking it so far, though.
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Old May 1 2012, 11:51 PM   #626
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

FWIW, I read them in the German translation since I can't read Swedish either, and was told by those who can all three languages and compared the translations that it's better and closer to the original than the English translation. So I can't comment on the latter, but the German translation at least didn't have any obvious uh-this-doesn't-feel-right moments on the lingual level.

BTW, another thing: I discovered a while after reading the book that Stockholm (Edit: WTF, I wrote Helsinki here originally for whatever reason) actually has fantastic Google Street View coverage (which came as a bit of a surprise, because at the time - two years back, I think - Street View was still just starting out in continental Europe), and it was fun to look up the places used in the text there. This is more true of the latter two books which are increasingly set there, though. In particular there's a chase sequence where characters cross from "lower <streetname>" to "upper <streetname>" that's a bit hard to understand the geography of until you look at the street and discover that its two lanes are in fact separated by an acclivity with stairs set into it at intervals.

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Old May 2 2012, 03:46 AM   #627
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I recently found Watching the Clock, so I'm re-reading it in anticipation of ordering Forgotten History.
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Old May 2 2012, 06:03 AM   #628
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I'm currently reading a buch of books - Martin's A Clash of Kings, and on the TrekLit side Starfleet Year One, Children of Kings and Intellivore
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Old May 2 2012, 12:32 PM   #629
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Finished up Vanguard: Storming Heaven. Currently reading Mockingjay. Next up is Ex Machina.
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Old May 2 2012, 05:45 PM   #630
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Finished A Time to Die today. Spreading this story over two books did it no favors. Stretched out, padded with unneeded sequences. But all around, better than other Vornholt novels I read. The denouement was rushed, seemingly to keep it under 300 pages. As we get an offhand comment from Dr. Crusher that all is returned to normal. I'm interested to continue on with the A Time to... books, but right now I'm jumping back into DS9 Relaunch Territory with Worlds of DS9 Book 1. Just started Cardassia: The Lotus Flower and it's quite good 3 or so chapters in.
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