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Old July 3 2012, 02:55 AM   #196
Klaus
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Finished my little excursion into The Old Days with Robots of Dawn... I remain impressed with the relatively-smooth way Asimov picked up the threads of the first two novels [and the earlier stories] to tie up Elijah's story and set the stage for the joining of Robots and Foundation to come. It seems to me he must have sketched out the general plan pretty early on when he began writing novels again. Other than the shock of having him write about sex lol, it's a pretty seamless transition...

Amusingly after the above comments, I'm on to Brin's new novel Existence.
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Old July 4 2012, 11:39 PM   #197
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

As of yesterday...EXISTENCE!
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Old July 6 2012, 02:11 AM   #198
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

I went on an urban fantasy binge. I started with Ghost Story by Jim Butcher,
the last Harry Dresden novel. I followed that up with Midnight Riot, Rivers of London and Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. This series follows the arcane and mundane detective work of a London constable and magician apprentice, Peter Grant. I am now reading The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko. I remember seeing the beginning of the movie and thought I give the series a try.

The Aaronovitch novels read like early Dresden (or Harry Potter) in the sense that we are introduced to the magic world around us and its rules and players. They are an easy read. The Watch series is spending a lot o(f my) time debating the moral implications of the Night Watch / Day Watch world.
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Old July 6 2012, 04:00 AM   #199
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

I recently finished Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. I read the book once about twelve years ago and thought the time was right to give it another try and I wasn't dissapointed. Clarke's writing really sucks you into the book's theme of exploration and discovery. No interpersonal struggles, no death and destruction. Only a little bit of political upheaval that's taken care of quite easily. That's something that I enjoyed about the book the first time I read it and something I still enjoy now. The astronaughts explore the ship and then it leaves never to be seen again. The idea that the only thing our solar system is good for is a pit stop is amusing.

I've heard that the sequels, written by Gentry Lee and overseen by Clarke, jetison this philosophy and that's one of the primary reasons that I've never read them. The other is that I never thought Rendezvous with Rama needed a sequel.

I just started A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. I picked up the first two books in this series years ago but have only recently started reading them. The first book was excellent but out of all the stories I found that of Jon Snow on the Wall the most interesting. The story behind Jon and his birth is something that I hope Martin will be able to wrap up by series end despite the fact that I've been spoiled about what happens to him in A Dance With Dragons.
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Old July 6 2012, 06:24 PM   #200
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Klaus wrote: View Post
Finished my little excursion into The Old Days with Robots of Dawn... I remain impressed with the relatively-smooth way Asimov picked up the threads of the first two novels [and the earlier stories] to tie up Elijah's story and set the stage for the joining of Robots and Foundation to come. It seems to me he must have sketched out the general plan pretty early on when he began writing novels again. Other than the shock of having him write about sex lol, it's a pretty seamless transition...
A lot of his generation of SF writers constantly insist on interjecting sex. I call it "dirty old man syndrome".
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Old July 6 2012, 08:59 PM   #201
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Since I last checked in I've read or listened to:

- The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

- Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum (audiobook read by Margaret Wooster)

- The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

- The Skylark of Space by E.E. Smith (audiobook read by Reed McColm)

- The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs (audiobook read by Brian Holsopple)

- The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon
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Old July 6 2012, 09:27 PM   #202
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

I'm just starting Earth Abides.
I'm in for a depressing ride here, folks...
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Old October 12 2012, 04:31 PM   #203
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Been meaning to post here for a while… since last report I’ve read Existence by David Brin, which I really enjoyed. It’s an interesting homage to Stand on Zanzibar in some ways, some overt and some not, which I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t just read the other… I’ve not seen the connection made elsewhere but it’s pretty obvious. I know there’s some unhappiness here w/Brin’s style but I liked it in this case. A very thought-provoking book on many levels, from its take on autism to the Fermi Paradox.

I also undertook a delightful excursion to the past [and the future] and re-read Julian May’s Saga of Pliocene Exile for the first time in over 15 years. It’s still one of the most stunning sf epics ever written IMHO, setting the standard for how to do a big work like that. I’m going to re-read Intervention and the Galactic Milieu trilogy also soon. It’s too bad we probably won’t see any more from May [she’s 81 and hasn’t published anything in a long time ] because she never disappoints as far as I’m concerned.

And I just finished Fate of Worlds by Niven and Lerner, which is the wrapup to both the Fleet of Worlds and the Ringworld sagas… I thought it was excellent too, and it was cool to see both Ausfaller and Louis Wu in the same book again. It leaves both series in an interesting place.

On to a little mental floss, the latest 2 books in Turtkledove’s The War that Came Early series about WWII starting in 1938 instead of 1939.
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Old October 12 2012, 05:38 PM   #204
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

So having dutifully gone through Uplift I'm now on the fourth novel of Iain M. Banks' Culture books (a read I hope to top off with the recently released Hydrogen Sonata). They're... not bad, and an non-hierarchic post-scarcity super-freedom oriented interstellar culture is one with an obvious appeal for fans of, let's say, an unnamed but prolific utopian-leaning franchise.

But they're seldom as fun as they promise to be. Again not bad, solid stuff, wouldn't have read three already if I disliked it, etc.

Also somewhere in the middle of Osama by Lavie Tidhar. A private detective is hired by a woman to go hunt down an author of lurid paperbacks, works of fanciful fiction about an imaginary terrorist organization called al-Qaeda and their series of unlikely attacks.

It's not bad, though I am a sucker for this sort of thing (shades of The Man in High Castle frankly).

Klaus wrote: View Post
Been meaning to post here for a while… since last report I’ve read Existence by David Brin, which I really enjoyed. It’s an interesting homage to Stand on Zanzibar in some ways,
I wasn't going to read this anytime soon (six Brin novels this year was quite enough thank you) but goddamn it Klaus don't tempt me with Zanzibar comparisons.

On to a little mental floss, the latest 2 books in Turtkledove’s The War that Came Early series about WWII starting in 1938 instead of 1939.
By most accounts I'm familiar with (thinking William L. Schirer here) that would have been a shorter war.
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Old October 14 2012, 09:06 PM   #205
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Set Harth wrote: View Post
Klaus wrote: View Post
Finished my little excursion into The Old Days with Robots of Dawn... I remain impressed with the relatively-smooth way Asimov picked up the threads of the first two novels [and the earlier stories] to tie up Elijah's story and set the stage for the joining of Robots and Foundation to come. It seems to me he must have sketched out the general plan pretty early on when he began writing novels again. Other than the shock of having him write about sex lol, it's a pretty seamless transition...
A lot of his generation of SF writers constantly insist on interjecting sex. I call it "dirty old man syndrome".
But Asimov himself beat you to it
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Old October 14 2012, 10:31 PM   #206
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Kegg wrote: View Post
Klaus wrote: View Post
Been meaning to post here for a while… since last report I’ve read Existence by David Brin, which I really enjoyed. It’s an interesting homage to Stand on Zanzibar in some ways,
I wasn't going to read this anytime soon (six Brin novels this year was quite enough thank you) but goddamn it Klaus don't tempt me with Zanzibar comparisons.
It's definitely intentional on his part, in as much as he's trying to give a wide picture of what this future would look like whilst advancing the plot as well. It doesn't have some of the "data dumps" that Zanzibar does, but it does use the term "Scanalyzer", for example... and the waning of nation-state power in favor of corporate entities. The AI question is much more in the forefront, as one would expect given where we are today. The second most important issue in the book after trying to answer the Fermi Paradox is what it means to be human in the context of emerging AI, increasingly merging our brains with technology, and genetic advances that allow the rebirth of Neanderthals, among other things.

One of the truly fascinating ideas is that what we call "autism" may in fact be a subcategory of humanity whose advanced information processing abilities have been misunderstood because it comes with problems in normal communication skills... and that the merging of human and computer mind might not only set them free from that limitation but also provide them with an information-rich paradise in cyberspace which they are uniquely qualified to utilize.
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Old October 15 2012, 02:51 AM   #207
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
Set Harth wrote: View Post
Klaus wrote: View Post
Finished my little excursion into The Old Days with Robots of Dawn... I remain impressed with the relatively-smooth way Asimov picked up the threads of the first two novels [and the earlier stories] to tie up Elijah's story and set the stage for the joining of Robots and Foundation to come. It seems to me he must have sketched out the general plan pretty early on when he began writing novels again. Other than the shock of having him write about sex lol, it's a pretty seamless transition...
A lot of his generation of SF writers constantly insist on interjecting sex. I call it "dirty old man syndrome".
But Asimov himself beat you to it
Damn.
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Old October 15 2012, 06:21 PM   #208
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

So, read Carnifex by Kratmann and ordered Kremlin Games, Ring of Fire III and something else I can't recall right now. Actually put it in my cart like 2 weeks ago and just got around to ordering it-I'll update after it arrives.
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Old October 15 2012, 06:28 PM   #209
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux



Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten.

A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols's homecoming...
I was in the mood for some high-end horror, and I'm really enjoying the book so far.
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Old October 15 2012, 08:05 PM   #210
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

"On Basilisk Station" and "American Gods" -- about halfway through both.
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