So What Are you Reading?: Generations

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

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Oxford, PA
    Tony and I are old friends. I edited his first two science fiction novels for Tor Books many years ago, and we collaborated on a "Tales From the Crypt" project a few years ago, too.

    Plus, we used to hang out in Seattle back in the day.
     
  2. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Commodore Commodore

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    Jan 31, 2015
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    Erlangen, Germany
    Thanks, good to know.

    Ordered this one because it offered the prospect of seeing a Horta again.

    Edit: I'm not surprised that the Eugenic Wars and Khan are mentioned..... :)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  3. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Location:
    South Pennsyltucky
    Yesterday I finished reading Diane Carey's Banners, a novel about the War of 1812, published last year by Koehlerbooks, presumably to commemorate the 200th-anniversary of the attack on Fort McHenry and the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

    I've said for a long time that I really wanted to read a Horatio Hornblower-esque novel from Diane Carey. She has a clear love for the sea and the men who challenge it, and I loved the holodeck recreation from her Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Ancient Blood. Banners wasn't quite that. Men at sea is certainly a large part of the book, but Banners is broader than that. I'd liken it, come to think of it, to one of Harry Turtledove's alternate histories, maybe a book in the Great War series, with a sprawling cast of characters, on both the American and British sides, dealing, in various capacities, with the war. It's micro-level historical fiction, dealing with the doers and the people on the front lines rather than the people back in Washington or London.

    Like a Turtledove book, there are several storylines in motion. There's Tom Boyle, the American smuggler/privateer, who feels feels most free when he's pushing his ship and his men to the absolute limit as he raids British shipping on the high seas. There's James Gordon, the privileged Royal Navy leftenant who wants to hunt down Boyle and bring him in. There's Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and pacifist opposed to the war, who feels it's still his patriotic duty to contribute something to the war effort. There's Mary Pickersgill, a flag maker who has been commissioned by the commander of the fort commanding the approach to Baltimore's harbor to make the largest flag anyone has ever seen. These storylines develop and intersect in various ways as the novel progresses toward its resolution.

    I'd rate Banners good, but not great. Carey's writing was fine, though I occasionally wanted to take a red pen to it. She evoked a nice sense of place; an especially nice touch was her use of smell. Scenes at sea, especially the ship-to-ship action, were well done. The characterizations were nicely drawn, and there were several scenes that were exactly what I expected from a Diane Carey novel, scenes with people discussing leadership, the nature of command, what good is government for, and ship porn as captains look lovingly and longingly at the ships under their command. The novel moved at a good pace.

    So why did I say "good, but not great"? The last eighty-ish pages needed... more. There are two major events that take place off-stage, and they're narrated by a character to another after the fact. Frankly, I would have liked to see Carey write a land battle (or two) with the Bladensburg Races or the Battle of North Point. There's a lot of Hornblower happening in the book; it needed a chapter or two of Sharpe. And the book's "antagonist," Gordon, disappears in the middle of the book; I'd have liked to see another chapter or two with him, especially one that shows his growth, where he figures out how to be a leader. The conversation Gordon had with Tarkio needed to come earlier, and under different circumstances.

    I liked it. It was, by and large, what I wanted from a Diane Carey novel about the War of 1812. I'll shelve it with my Hornblowers and my Sharpes and my Bolithos.

    Now, for a couple of other thoughts...

    The United States frigate Enterprise makes a cameo appearance, and some characters discuss the historical incident from Carey's Enterprise Logs story, "Veil at Valcour."

    Boyle is cut very much from the same cloth as Carey's interpretation of Kirk. He's the best, he knows it, he has the best crew, he knows every inch of his ship and what it's capable of. He has an easy rapport with his crew, especially his first officer, and he commands the loyalty of his crew because he's earned it. Boyle and Kirk, especially the Kirk from Wagon Train to the Stars, would be kindred spirits.

    There's a Deep Space Nine quality to Carey's Baltimore, specifically Fells Point. It's a crossroads and a dockyard, this is where the future begins, there are all sorts of people there with their stories and agendas. It was rather easy to see the French Jew (yes, that's the character's name) as Quark. And the final chapter really does feel like a Deep Space Nine scene.
     
  4. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    I'm about halfway through Plagues of Night, and damn this book has gotten so much better. It had a slow start, but now i've really gotten into the plots. DRG III does such a great job balancing out the 4 or 5 different stories going at once, that i don't feel lost on any of it.
     
  5. 20fridge

    20fridge Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Jan 12, 2015
    Just starting A Singular Destiny. I love how similar the tone is to Losing the Peace.
     
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    "The Borden Tragedy" by Rick Geary. A cool graphic novel about Lizzie Borden.
     
  7. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

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    Dec 26, 2002
    I finished reading The Martian by Andrew Weir. I liked the book I thought it was well written and fast paced storytelling. The dangers of space travel and rescue of the astronaut stranded on Mars was realistic.:techman:
     
  8. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    May 3, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Just posted my review of the fifth book in the Slings and Arrows series, A Weary Life by Robert Greenberger.

    Finishing up The Elfstones of Shannara for my book club, and getting into Return to Tomorrow, about the making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
     
  9. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Battle Creek
    Geary always does a nice job on his historical comics.

    I can still remember the one he did on the Murder House in Chicago. It had a cut-away illustration of all of the traps and devices that H. H. Holmes had built/installed into the rooms. Chilling stuff.
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    There are some good cut-away floor plans for the Borden house in this book. The house with no hallways!
     
  11. voyager1

    voyager1 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    May 20, 2014
    I read it last year. It is a great book!
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I started reading the first collection of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comic book series. I've read the firs issue so far, and I really enjoyed it. I've been hearing about how great the series is since I first started following comics, and I finally decided to check it out.
     
  13. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Berlin, Germany
    I'm reading Murakami's 1Q84. It's my first book by the author. So far I'm rather enjoying the very deliberate pacing and descriptions, it's good for unwinding/relaxing these days.
     
  14. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    I just wrapped up Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night. Wow after i got past the halfway point in the book, i couldn't put it down. I started Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn last night, i'm already 80 or so pages in. I can't believe i kept putting the post-Nemesis stuff off for so long. These last few books have been amazing. Once i get caught up on the main TNG/DS9 books up to TNG: Armaggedon's Arrow, i'm going to swing back and get caught up on VOY. I've read Full Circle and Unworthy out of that series, both of which i greatly enjoyed.
     
  15. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Commodore Commodore

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    Jan 31, 2015
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    Erlangen, Germany
    Still busy with Devil's Bargain.

    Also started with Vanguard - What Judgments come.
     
  16. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Location:
    England
    I've recently finished "The Light Fantastic", "Disavowed" and almost finished "Protectors".

    That leaves seven books to catch up with:

    "Acts of Contrition"
    "Choice of Futures"
    "Tower of Babel"
    "Uncertain Logic"
    "Takedown"
    "Brinkmanship"
    "Plagues of Night"

    (I've read "Raise The Dawn", but couldn't find "Plagues of Night" at the time, when I purchased it )
     
  17. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Washington, DC
    Plagues / Dawn is my favorite thing since Destiny that isn't by Kirsten Beyer. GREAT pair of novels. You just wait until the ending of Dawn.
     
  18. C. Cole-Chakotay

    C. Cole-Chakotay Commodore Commodore

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    With Cmdr. D. Chakotay
    I've been reading Stephen King short stories. I watched the movie, The Night Flier, earlier this week and dug the book out and read that plus a few other stories.
     
  19. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    In the future's past
    Just started Dayton Ward's TNG: Armageddon's Arrow. Pretty decent so far :techman:
     
  20. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    May 3, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Just posted my review of the last book in the Slings and Arrows series, Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment by Keith R.A. DeCandido.

    Going to pop into town later today to pick up Armageddon's Arrow by Dayton Ward so I have something to read on the plane to Iceland!