So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by captcalhoun, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Captain Premium Member

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    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.
     
  2. Trimm

    Trimm Captain Captain

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    I finally read MJF's Reunion, and I honestly came away a little disappointed.
     
  3. OverlordSpock

    OverlordSpock Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The Depths of the Murky Platte River...
    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.

    One thing that kept turning over in the back of my mind: are the lindy-hopping kids and the story of the child-murders in Derry a reference to It?

    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.
     
  4. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Alberta, Canada
    Finished The Rings of Time, here's my review. Not bad, pretty enjoyable! Now I'm reading Gateways #3: Doors Into Chaos.
     
  5. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Captain Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    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!
     
  6. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the Joel Zone, identifying as Sexually Fluid.
    :lol:
     
  7. Cap'n Crunch

    Cap'n Crunch Captain Captain

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    Just finished New Frontier: Into the Void, about to start New Frontier: The Two-Front War and Alien Spotlight, Volume 2.
     
  8. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    About MZB: Did she not write "The House Between the Worlds" or some such book where parapsychological research was taken seriously? I noticed that "A Choice of Catastrophes" by Michael Schuster & Steve Mollman also takes paranormal research (or theory) seriously too. The scenes of approximations for insanity were interesting too. I am now reading ancient ST-TOS (#10) with "Web of the Romulans" by M.S. Murdock (1983). The primitive conditions described in the first scene of the book contrasted with a decadent Star Empire. Nice hook. Perhaps I shall get the Romulan war books sometime to read more up-to-date descriptions.
     
  9. Killie

    Killie Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Just finished reading Enterprise: Daedalus, anyone interested can read my review Here
     
  10. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Hope my last reading description did not have unsettling spoilers. Perhaps I could edit it somewhat. As for CLB and Robert Louis Stevenson & "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" -- I became interested in reading 3 stories after seeing the movie "Van Helsing": Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr Jekyll and have finally completed them.

    Other stories by Stevenson are "Treasure Island" and "Kidnapped" the first of which is a book that was being read by a security / reception person at Star Fleet Headquarters - was it in "The Pandora Principle" (as well as elsewhere in the mythos).

    The four stories of Stevenson that I recently read were "The Body Snatchers" (1881); "Markheim" (1884); "Olalla" (1885); and, "The Suicide Club" (which is three connected short stories). These are nice studies in good intentions gone wrong, conversing with the devil, romantic obsession and degenerative nobility, and incipient ideas about euthanasia.
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    FYI, the 1940s movie version of "The Body Snatchers" starring Boris Karloff is really good. Possibly Karloff's best performance, next to "Frankenstein" of course.
     
  12. Fer

    Fer Commander Red Shirt

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    Pittsburgh PA area
    Wow. I realize there are some audio books, shorter books, and short stories, but I'm still impressed by being able to read that much in that short a time.

    I finished Jack McDevitt's Deepsix last night; another great McDevitt book. A great blend of the excitement of discovery and action/adventure. I love how his Academy series seems to take the approach that there's been plenty of life in the universe, but the universe is so big and has been around for so long that each species tends to die out before the other rises, and we all just keep missing each other.

    I finally reached the top of the waiting list at my library for Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, so I'll be starting that today and Rings of Time will have to stay on deck for one more book. Which messes with my reading pattern of Star Trek / Star Wars / something else, but hey, life is messy. :)
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Bumped by the Dark Side! The Sith are truly insidious . . . .
     
  14. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    I recently read the Hunger Games trilogy, March Upcountry, and March to the Sea. I'm currently reading March to the Stars.
     
  15. Cap'n Crunch

    Cap'n Crunch Captain Captain

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    Finished New Frontier: The Two-Front War earlier today, now reading New Frontier: End Game.
     
  16. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Captain Premium Member

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    Yes, The House Between the Worlds was one of Marion's. I liked that one quite a bit.

    Several more of her books -- The Touch of the Master, the Colin & Claire trilogy (Dark Satanic, The Inheritor & Witch Hill) and the closely-related Shadow's Gate tetralogy (Ghostlight, Witchlight, Gravelight & Heartlight) take place in universe(s) where parapsychology is an accepted academic discipline. They may very well all take place in the same universe.
     
  17. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Captain Premium Member

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    Oct 13, 2004
    Well, I did spend much of the three-day weekend in January lying by the pool in Tucson reading my Nook (until it started raining on Sunday and I had to take it inside :scream:)

    And audiobooks are the only way to make 3-4 gym workouts a week tolerable... My doctor better be satisfied with my weight next time I see him, the slave driver!

    Also, the fact that I don't watch TV really opens up a LOT of time for reading.
     
  18. Cap'n Crunch

    Cap'n Crunch Captain Captain

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    Just finished New Frontier: End Game, about to start Stargate SG-1: Sunrise.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Jul 22, 2004
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    Arizona, USA
    Last night I finished reading "Embrace of Cold Architects" DRGIII's story in the third Myriad Universes collection Shattered Light. I remember that when this first came out it didn't get the best reaction by some of the people here, but I really liked the story. It focuses on Riker, and Data, two of my favorite TNG characters, and I thought it did some really interesting stuff. The basis of the story also comes mainly from The Offspring, with a some bits of Best of Both Worlds, Brothers, and a tiny bit of The Wounded. I really enjoyed what was done with a Lal, and how it's version of Brothers effected her. I know alot of people complained about the stories version of Riker, but I think given what he did in the beginning of the story it really wasn't that hard to buy. My Rating: 9/10 (I looked, but there is no poll in the review thread for the book, so I figured it wasn't worth reviving the thread for this post)
     
  20. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Berlin, Germany
    Ooh, that sounds pretty interesting - I too have penchants for Data and Riker, and following up on Lal is intriguing. Might fast-track that one :).