So What Are you Reading?: Generations

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

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Having read Narnia in both orders more than once in the distant past, my latter-day feeling is that publication order works better. The chronologically earlier books published later, particularly The Magician's Nephew, presume the reader's familiarity with the earlier books, and I think they carry more weight if you're familiar with "later" events. Of course, that matters less on a re-read, but I still think the narrative flow is probably better in publication order.

    Or maybe that's just my natural contrariness, since the publishers have favored chronological order for so long.
     
    Allyn Gibson likes this.
  2. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    You? Natural contrariness? Who would believe that?!? :nyah:

    Taking Tolkien's Middle Earth canon as an example,

    Nobody in his or her right mind, having read the entire canon (with or without the History of Middle Earth books, which really form a separate canon), would advise a first-time Tolkien reader to start with The Silmarillion (much less Unfinished Tales!), unless the individual giving the advice is either as sadistic as Major Helek in James Swallow's The Dark Veil, or is actively seeking to turn the new reader off of Tolkien. The sensible first-time approach is of course to start with The Hobbit, then LotR, then The Silmarillion, then Unfinished Tales.

    And you hopefully get a copy of Robert Foster's Complete Guide to Middle Earth as a handy reference to avoid getting lost in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. (It can also be helpful with LotR.)

    But once you've gotten through the entire canon in publication order, then (to me at least) it makes much more sense, and gives a much richer experience, if you read The Silmarillion first, then The Hobbit, and finally LotR, inserting the various stories and fragments in Unfinished Tales where they fall in the chronology.

    Or with ADF's HC canon as an example, you could start almost anywhere, as a first time reader, since everything ADF writes is reader-friendly. But to me, it makes the most sense for a first-time reader to start with The Tar-Aiym Krang, then either the rest of the first four Flinx books, or the Icerigger trilogy, and then the rest in more-or-less in publication order. But once you've gotten through everything once, then (again, to me; YMMV) it makes more sense to start with Nor Crystal Tears, and then proceed in order of internal chronology.

    Of course, there are a lot of literary canons in which publication order is internal chronological order. Baum's Oz, for example. And Madeleine L'Engle's "Murry/O'Keefe" canon. And Doyle's Holmes (even in the cases where a piece is said to have occurred some time ago, but "could not be released at the time," for some in-universe reason, the publication order matches an in-universe chronology, if not the chronology of the in-universe events)
     
  3. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    FAIR WARNING by Michael Connelly

    Connelly is a favourite of mine, mainly for the Harry Bosch series, and this non-Bosch one brings back the reporter and (ex) FBI agent from earlier books The Poet and The Scarecrow. In it, reporter Jack McEvoy stumbles across a new serial killer with access to DNA samples when he’s accused of one of the murders. Overall, McEvoy is a less interesting character here than either Bosch or Mickey Haller (Connelly’s most famous creations), but the story flows along nicely for most of its length.

    It’s interesting to note that the Fair Warning news site that McEvoy works for here is actually real, as is the publisher who’s a character in the book, and it’s a consumer protection kind of thing. Unfortunately it’s clear this is a pet project of the author’s (he admits in the afterword to being on its board). Not that it’s bad that he has it, it just seems a little like a plug rather than a classic Connelly novel.

    The other problem with this one is that rather than building to a tense conclusion and then having an aftermath, it builds to a sudden twist, then stops for some wrapping-up info-dumping of a large skip’s proportions. Then has another twist, then stops. Then has a handwaved conclusion that is both not physically convincing (more likely the killer’s work would have been done for him) and an appallingly cliched trope in thriller and horror movies.

    So, mostly a readable page-turner based on a disturbing modern truth, but with a surprisingly disappointing conclusion from such a usually reliable provider of thrills and tension. I guess everybody has an off-day.
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Lancaster, PA
    Rereading "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (and rewatched the Peter Cushing movie last night).
     
    Lonemagpie and Allyn Gibson like this.
  5. John Clark

    John Clark Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    There
    Made a start on the Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda anthology.
     
  6. wahwahkits

    wahwahkits Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    England, somewhere between Liverpool and Chester
    Reading ST:TNG: The Last Stand by Brad Ferguson
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Lancaster, PA
    The Moor by Laurie King. A sequel, of sorts, to "The Hound of the Baskervilles."
     
  8. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Now nearly 100 pages into Prince Caspian.

    If C.S. Lewis had been writing Narnia today, for an adult audience, there would be critics coming out of the woodwork, screaming "Author intrusion."
     
  9. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    I'm currently on TOS: The Higher Frontier by christopher L Bennett. So fun being in the time between TMP and TWOK.
     
  10. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    A great novel. I rated it an excellent read. Hopefully you read Ex Machina (THF follows that directly) which was another good read.

    Christopher has another coming out that follows that continuity so I'm looking forward to that one as well. I hope he gets to continue it on.
     
  11. John Clark

    John Clark Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    There
    Giving Delta Green: Through a glass, darkly by Dennis Detwiller a go.
     
  12. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Now almost precisely halfway through Prince Caspian.

    I think after I finish it, I'll take a moment and actually read that "Mirror Khan" comic book.
     
  13. Smiley

    Smiley Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    I just finished Greg Cox's The Rings of Time for the first time. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes astronauts, space exploration, or Saturn. This is one of the rare times when the non-Enterprise or non-Trek-era story is the more interesting one.

    I'm going to be reading the spoiler review thread, but in case it's not answered there, which of the books in the bibliography would you recommend first to adult readers interested in Saturn, Greg?
     
  14. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Yep I read Ex Machina a while back.
     
    Damian likes this.
  15. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    Just finished up my last unread original series numbered novel. I have a few numbered Voyager novels left so while I'm waiting for the next novel to be released (I believe it's the Discovery novel) I figured I'd read #15, Echoes, by Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman.
     
  16. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I finished reading the novelization of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed last night. Really enjoyed, it really dove deep into the characters and had some good added scenes, which is exactly what I wanted out of a novelization.
    Once that was done I started The Amazing Spider-Man: The Gauntlet The Complete Collection Vol. 1. It contains content from 21 issues, so as you can imagine it features a shit ton of writers and artists who I really don't feel trying to list here.
     
    Smiley likes this.
  17. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Finished Prince Caspian this morning. Interesting that Narnian time passes hundreds of times faster than time in our universe -- centuries passed for Narnia, and the Cair Paravel fell into ruin, while the Pevensies were away for a year.

    . . . when Aslan literally shows the Pevensies the door, they see themselves sitting on the same railway platform they'd left at the beginning of the book.

    "You only left a moment ago" -- Scotty, at the end of "The City on the Edge of Forever"
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021 at 12:25 AM
  18. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Location:
    South Pennsyltucky
    I finished Una McCormack's Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious: All Flesh Is Grass a few nights ago. If C.S. Lewis wrote a Target novelization of a multi-Doctor space opera story, that's about what this is. It wasn't what I thought it was going to be, and after I thought about it I realized that it's actually something else entirely. I liked it.

    I remember liking this one a fair bit.

    Caspian is a really weird book, and that's saying a lot because Narnia is a really weird series. It has that odd structure -- the parallel narratives, the huge flashback -- and then everyone ends up in the same place, and POP! it's over. I slightly exaggerate, but that's how Caspian feels. Then, as a sequel to LWW, it's so strange; it's the second book in the series, and Lewis chucks virtually everything you knew from the first book out the window and reboots the Narnia concept completely. And while it's not something a kid would notice, rereading the book as an adult the psychological trauma the Pevensies must be going through hangs over the book and casts a shadow that Lewis never escapes. That trauma -- the children lived for years in Narnia, going through puberty, growing up, becoming adults, forming friendships, having relationships (A Horse and His Boy, set during the period, has a marriage match for Susan as a plot point), only to have all of that torn away from them as these adults are now forced back into childhood to live their lives all over again with people who are now virtually strangers, only to be sent back to Narnia where everyone and everything they knew is dust. I get Susan's point in Neil Gaiman's "The Problem of Susan"; why would she ever want to go back to Narnia, when after giving her joy all Narnia's done for her is bring her pain? (P. Craig Russell's adaptation of "The Problem of Susan" for Dark Horse Comics is every bit as gorgeous as you'd expect a P. Craig Russell graphic novel of Narnia would be. But it's not for children.) To be fair to Lewis, psychological realism isn't something that he does in his fiction. That's not his interest. His characters and his stories exist to make his point, nothing more.
     
  19. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    The girl who loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
     
  20. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    BIRDS OF PREY: PERFECT PITCH by Gail Simone et al
    There are about a dozen artists here, though it’s only Paulo Siquiera and Robin Riggs who get cover credits, as the main artists.

    This collection comprises two stories, which originally came out in issues either side of Infinite Crisis. In the first, Oracle has gathered her allies into a group when she moves to Metropolis, and they come under threat from Calculator, an ally of Lex Luthor. It’s a nice complex crime action thriller kind of storyline with a set of awesome heroines – Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress, and Lady Blackhawk – with guest shots from Green Arrow, Commissioner Gordon, Deathstroke, and even Batman. Simone does us proud in this one, with a twisty story, nice arcs for each main character, and snappy dialogue both between them and in the narration which comments on the gaze these characters get.
    This section is let down by only two things: Bruce Timm’s art in the section with The Prankster is just totally out of step with the tone and style of the rest of it, and there’s some kind of editorial glitch in the issue where Batman tries to warn Oracle off working in Gotham, where the conversation literally loops around the “Huntress is keeping secrets from you” about three times. It feels like that’s been patched in to pad out in place of something else that got pulled or fell through.
    Post-Crisis, Lady Shiva and Black Canary have swapped places, so while Canary undergoes Shiva’s old training in the jungle, the rest of the team try to protect the Crime Doctor and his daughter from the likes of Killer Croc and Scarface, and I’m always a sucker for a good Scarface cameo. Simone’s script here is still on form, the art is still on form, and there’s a good point to the experiences Canary has. In the Crime Doctor storyline, there’s plenty of fun, but it just doesn’t quite have the level of serious threat and tension that the first story had.
    Overall, good exciting fun with great characters, and some depth as a bonus.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021 at 9:26 PM