What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Out of all his Uplift novels, Sundiver is the one I didn't read..I listened to it on audio...found it quite interesting in the medium.

    RAMA
     
  2. Ubik

    Ubik Commodore Commodore

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds David Brin's style too meh.

    And now, I'm reading a very interesting publication called The Complete Adventures of Adam Link, by Eando Binder (a fake name for two brothers.) They were published in the late 30's and early 40's, and they're robot stories that are important precursors to the Asimov robot stories. At least, that's what my SF Encyclopedia told me. So, I looked it up, and I'm reading it, and they're actually a lot of fun.

    They're narrated by a robot very reminiscent of Data (or should I say that Data is very reminiscent of him?) There's even a trial in which Adam Link needs to defend himself and his humanity. Asimov himself claims to have been very influenced by these stories, and I can see that. If anyone is interested in pulpy comic-bookish early robot stories that are crude, sure, but strangely earnest and touching, then you should certainly look them up. The most surprising thing for me is how character-oriented the tales are. In various stories, Adam Link opens up a business, falls in love, becomes a detective, even tries his hand at sports. They're endearing in an early Golden Age kind of way, and they're not focused on action, but on everyday emotion. I quite like them, and I recommend them.
     
  3. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just started "Swords Against Wizardry", the fourth book in the Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser series. It's been a blast to finally read this series AS a series. I've had these books for about twenty years, but never really sat down and read them through. I'd read a story here and there, without any real direction.

    Truly some of fantasy's greatest creations.
     
  4. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, the Link stories are also most famous for being the origin of the title 'I, Robot', as far as Asimov goes.
     
  5. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Started Queen City Jazz. Its a Post-Singularity story about the dangers and wonders of nanotech. Absolutely fascinating read as the author does some amazing word building.
     
  6. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski.

    Threw down Goonan in a snit when she dissed Irish music.:scream:
     
  7. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I went back and read Edgar Pangborn's first [and most-liked] sf story called "Angel's Egg" about the relationship between an alien and an old man... Again he treads that fine line between beauty and sentimentality, but it was an interesting story.

    Sidenote: Among the 1500ish sf books I have are about four dozen random sf anthologies, and when I wanted to find this story I managed to get a list of the [many] times it had been anthologized and find that I had one on the shelf. A book that I've moved probably four or five times over a twenty-year period, and it was right there when I needed it lol. :D

    About to go on vacation, so I'll probably get to pick up the pace.

    On to Peace.
     
  8. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I found an Adam Link collection in 1980 when I was in the 6th grade and just adored it. These days I find all the old tech references (and inconsistencies) a little silly and quaint. But I know what you mean about the emotions.

    And I still snicker at what "Eando" really means.

    I keep starting Sundiver and putting it down. But I had the same problem with Dune and The Mote in God's Eye --and ultimately I found both of them immensely rewarding. So I'm not prepared to give up on Brin yet.
     
  9. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Funny. Dune was one of those books I couldn't put down. Been years and years since I've read it (actually I think it's a full decade at this point) but it was pretty addictive. I blew through it and its first three sequels fairly quidkly, the only lulls being between 'I do not posess the next book... now I do.' I think I kept the pace up for Chapterhouse and Heretics, but don't really remember.

    Sundiver not so much, though it was as indicated a fun read.
     
  10. scnj

    scnj Captain Captain

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    I'm a chapter into The City & The City by China Mieville.
     
  11. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What's the availability like? Have these been rereleased anytime recently?
     
  12. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ looks like they were last released 5 years ago, and are in paperback:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=Lankhmar

    Just got back from a vacation in Chicago, and decided Gene Wolfe was too much work [however delightful] to read under the circumstances.

    So I decided to be nostalgic and visit the 50s - I re-read Asimov's The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun, and Clarke's Earthlight. I'd read the Asimov ones more than once and was very pleased to be back with Lije and Daneel again. I'd not remembered that the idea of Earth inevitably having to colonize its own worlds was a fairly important element of them -- it's obvious that when Asimov went back to start writing sf novels again in the 80s, he picked that out of the earlier ones to develop in the books which followed... and even the Zeroth Law! I'm going to read The Robots of Dawn before returning to Wolfe since I've gotten this far.

    I'm fairly certain that I'd only read Earthlight once almost four decades ago [eek] and really only remembered one thing from it. It's two hundred years in the future, in a period of growing political tension between Earth and its several offworld colonies elsewhere in the Solar System. Earth has been reducing the amount of heavy metals it supplies to the colonies, and a recent discovery that such metals exist in large quantities deep beneath the lunar surface, and has also figured out how to mine them is on the verge of starting a war. The book centers around a man sent undercover to find a purported spy in the staff of the Lunar Observatory before the war starts. Clarke does his usual solid job of building a story with lots of real science built in, though some of it is a bit dated owing to it being state-of-the-art for 1955... it's a nicely detailed vision of life on the Moon for a short book[155p].

    So on to Aurora with Plainclothesman Baley and R. Daneel!
     
  13. Sysyphyx

    Sysyphyx Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Been reading The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke. For the most part its been great, the exceptions being anything from his Tales of the White Hart series, which for me is just a little too mundane. But, when it comes to Clarke, l think l prefer his longer works.

    Also making my way through The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith Vol.1. Loving this one, as it contains a smattering of Hyporborean tales, legends of Averoigne, and allusions to Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos throughout.
     
  14. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Aw. I love the Harry Purvis stuff. It's a great volume, also, pretty sure I have it around here somewhere.

    While on the other hand I find Clark Ashton Smith a dreadful bore. I read his Commoriom cycle and... that was enough for me.
     
  15. Sysyphyx

    Sysyphyx Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    l agree that Klarkash-Ton can be a little heavy on the eyes, but l find myself inexorably drawn to that good old 1920s-30s pulp madness. l haven't come across any of the Commoriom stories yet, though.
     
  16. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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. :D
     
  17. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    As of yesterday...EXISTENCE!
     
  18. DrMaturin

    DrMaturin Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  19. Lowdarzz

    Lowdarzz Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  20. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A lot of his generation of SF writers constantly insist on interjecting sex. I call it "dirty old man syndrome".