So What Are you Reading?: Generations

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

  1. TJ Sinclair

    TJ Sinclair Captain Captain

    Mar 26, 2000
    There and back again...
    I've yet to read something authorized by the estate that was anything more than "another Sherlock Holmes pastiche."

    Except perhaps a few of the short stories in The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collection.
  2. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    The last 5-6 weeks have been pretty chaotic for me. But, I have found solace - and even pleasure - in reading. So, without further ado:

    01/05/2013 Michaelmas by Algis Budrys
    01/09/2013 Green Mars (audiobook) by Kim Stanley Robinson
    01/12/2013 Empress of Outer Space by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/17/2013 Space Mercenaries by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/20/2013 Nebula Alert by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/22/2013 Glory Planet by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/22/2013 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics, Vol. 2 by Mark Martin
    01/22/2013 Strange Highways: Reading Science Fantasy 1950-1967, by John Boston and Damien Broderick
    01/26/2013 Into the Alternate Universe by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/26/2013 The Left-Hand Way (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/27/2013 UFO (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/27/2013 Two Can Play (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/27/2013 Reaping Time (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/27/2013 Obituary (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/27/2013 Last Day (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/27/2013 No Room in the Stable (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/27/2013 The Principle (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/27/2013 The Principle -- Revisited (ss) by A. Bertram Chandler
    01/28/2013 Blue Mars (audiobook) by Kim Stanley Robinson
    01/29/2013 From Headrack to Claude (gn) by Howard Cruse
    01/31/2013 Salvage and Demolition (na) by Tim Powers

    Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy is simply amazing. One of the great literary achievements of the '90's. If you haven't read it, you should.

    I found Michaelmas hard going. It has a heavy dose of tough-guy cold war vibe, which makes it feel like a '50's anachronism, even though it comes from a couple decades later. I'm a huge fan of Budrys's Who?, which is even more a product of the '50's. But, in the case of Who?, it's actually a book from the '50's.

    So, after the Budrys, I continued reading some of the A. Bertram Chandler titles I never got around to a decade ago when I was intensively reading his stuff (and re-reading some that I did read back then.) First up was the "Ex-Empress Irene" trilogy (Empress of Outer Space/Space Mercenaries/Nebula Alert) which tell the story of Irene Smith, empress of the Terran Empire in a universe slightly askew from the universe of the Terran Federation inhabited by John Grimes. Irene abdicates her throne (which was mostly ceremonial anyhow) marries a ship's captain, Trafford, and takes off in her former Imperial Yacht on a series of adventures. In the third and final volume, Nebula Alert, she and her crew briefly wind up in Grimes's universe, meeting John and Sonya shortly after the time of Contraband From Otherspace. The middle book seemed pretty muddled, but all three could've used some polishing. Chandler was testing out various series characters (Irene, Derek Calver, Grimes himself) in the early-to-mid '60's, butonly Grimes stuck around for the long haul.

    The Grimes cameo in Nebula Alert pretty clearly demonstrates why. Irene and Trafford just seem pallid and lifeless compared to Grimes and Sonya. So, immediately upon completion of Nebula Alert, I picked up a copy of the first published Grimes novel, Into the Alternate Universe. That was more like it! I'm going to continue re-reading the "late Grimes" sequence; that should take me the rest of February.

    The Chandler short stories are all posted on David Kelleher's Chandler website. They're all short pieces published in (mostly) Australian fanzines during Chandler's lifetime, often just a single joke inflated into a tale, and definitely minor stuff. But Chandler was never less than fun to read, and they are that.

    The Tim Powers piece is a 21,000-word novella published as a limited edition by Subterranean. It arrived in my mail box on the 31st, and I read it before I fell asleep that night. Wonderful, as always for Powers. It's a quasi-ghost story, which gets into issues of existence-negation (again, as in Three Days to Never.) Powers's writing seems to get more guilt-drenched as time goes on, and many of his recent tales revolve around people trying to evade Final Judgment, through supernatural means. I'm not saying it's getting tedious, but it is getting ever-so-slightly predictable.

    Strange Highways was my semi-obligatory SF history/criticism for the month. Seems like I've been reading one every month recently. I have lots of issues of Science Fantasy, collected for the Chandler and Thomas Burnett Swann stories they contain. It always seemed like a great magazine, and in Strange Highways, primary author John Boston has re-read and critiqued every issue of the magazine, which ran from 1950-1967. He points out some forgotten gems in its contents, as well as identifying a lot of very, very forgettable filler junk. I had fun reading this, and look forward to Boston's forthcoming 2-volume read through New Worlds from roughly the same period.

    Read a couple of GNs in January. The TMNT collection (which collects - and colors - three issues of the B&W title from the '90's) started out very strongly; the first issue made me sit up and take notice of the Turtles for the first time. Alas, the sequel duology that completes the collection was an incoherent mess. For a few minutes there, I thought I was going to turn into a TMNT fan. But I dodged that bullet.

    The Howard Cruse collection was great stuff, mostly a collection of Cruse's strips from Gay Comix in the '80's, supplemented by other one-off pieces from the '70's through the '00's I really love Cruse'e drawing and lay-outs, and his stories always had something to say, and say it in a clever and literate way. A neglected genius, if you ask me.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  3. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 16, 2000
    South Pennsyltucky
    Fair point. :)

    I don't know if Michael Dibdin's The Last Sherlock Holmes Story involved the estate's approval, but I'm suspecting not. Michael Chabon's The Final Solution didn't. Those are the two I would point to as something more than a simple pastiche.
  4. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

    Jun 2, 2012
    Yorkshire, UK
    Just finished: The Left Hand of Destiny, Book 1
    Paused: Invasion! Book 4: The Final Fury

    Now reading: The Left Hand of Destiny, Book 2

    Next: Diplomatic Implausibility, New Frontier 6: Finstere Verb√ľndete (Dark Allies)
    Upcoming: The Brave and the Bold, Allegiance in Exile

    A full schedule. ;)
  5. ronny

    ronny Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Mar 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Even though I felt like I was getting screwed on the prices I bit the bullet and bought all the Slings and Arrows stories. Overall I would rate the 'book' as average. I like the first couple of stories the most which showed the Enterprise during the Dominion war in a much more interesting way than The Battle for Betazed and the Behind the Lines books. A couple of the stories really didn't do anything for me at all, Crusher not liking the hologram and Riker thinking about his transporter clone. The other two were ok but didn't stand out for me.

    One thing that really annoyed me was even though these were overpriced at around $6.50 each the formatting was crap. No covers on half of them, no table of contents on most of them. There was at least one that didn't have spaces between the paragraphs when the location changed. So you're reading a paragraph taking place on Betazed and the next paragraph jumps to the Enterprise which is someplace else. And the final book removed the spaces between words when you changed font type, like italics. So every time someone mentioned the Enterprise you saw something like "theEnterprise". And there were a lot of italics in that final story. Just annoying.

    I've already bought the final 8 SCE stories as well because I just don't see them coming out as books anytime soon and I felt like reading them. But man, this jacking up the price really isn't making me a fan of Simon & Schuster.
  6. C. Cole-Chakotay

    C. Cole-Chakotay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2004
    With Cmdr. D. Chakotay
    I started Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
  7. Spocky8492

    Spocky8492 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Jan 16, 2013
    Thank you for your welcome :)

    I finished The Good That Men Do and you're right, it's definitely better than Last Full Measure. I enjoyed it very much. The way it changed the events of the last episode of the TV series is really well thought.

    Now I'm starting The Sword of Damocles and for the moment I didn't understand very well the prologue. It doesn't make me want to read the rest, but I will try.
  8. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 8, 2006
    Currently about a quarter of the way through TOS: Allegience in Exile. I'm really enjoying it so far. It's nice to be able to just pick up a trek novel, and enjoy a standalone classic adventure. The beginning was a little slow at first; it took me a bit to warm up to the Trinh character.
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini by Christopher Sanford.

    I'm about two-thirds through and enjoying it so far.
  10. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Jul 25, 2012
    Va. Beach, VA
    I just sat down with Starfleet: Year One by Michael Jan Friedman. I've heard that this one doesn't jive with a lot of the continuity. I'm guessing Enterprise had something to do with that. Oh well.
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Yeah, what ENT established about the 22nd century pretty decisively contradicted what S:YO posited.
  12. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Jul 25, 2012
    Va. Beach, VA
    ^ Was this book supposed to be the kickoff to a series by Friedman? I'm sure he was probably frustrated if that was the case.
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I don't recall. Actually it didn't start as one book, but as a dozen chapters that were serialized in the backs of all the novels that came out over the course of a year's worth of releases -- essentially a marketing gimmick to get people to buy all the books (or at least 50% of them, since that was back when there were two novels per month, and the same chapter was in both of a given month's books).

    I think there was some hope that there would be a "Year Two" etc., but I'm not sure if there was a solid plan for that or if it was just something that was hoped for in principle.
  14. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 27, 2002
    Ended up borrowing "Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years" by David A. Goodman (I was originally going to get this myself, but I'm strapped for cash right now and am going to wait a couple more months). Flipping through this already...and spotted a very cool "Doctor Who" character reference :)
  15. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 8, 2006
    Just finished Mission to Horatius, really pretty good
  16. Garrovick

    Garrovick Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 10, 2012
    wallowing in a pool of emotion
    Currently Reading:
    Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by David R. George III
    Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
    Imzadi by Peter David
    The Pandora Principle (TOS #49) by Carolyn Clowes

    Over the last week, I finished:
    Indistinguishable From Magic by David McIntee
    Metamorphosis by Jean Lorrah
    Rogue Saucer (TNG #39) by John Vornholt
  17. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
    I'm very impressed with your ability to keep multiple books going at once. I just find that confusing!
  18. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    Kingston, ON Canada
    Star Trek: The Newspaper Strip, Vol 1. And loving it.
  19. Garrovick

    Garrovick Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 10, 2012
    wallowing in a pool of emotion
    Thanks :) - I keep different books at different places so I always have something handy to read without having to carry a book around with me all the time - for example, right now Plagues of Night and A Game of Thrones are on my bedroom nightstand, Imzadi is in an unobtrusive spot in my dining room for late-night snacking (hardcover books lend themselves well to this since they can lay flat on the table better), and The Pandora Principle is stashed in my desk drawer for reading during work when I need to take a break from typing on my computer (don't tell anyone :mallory:)
  20. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 26, 2002
    I've reading a mystery novel and the 2 trek novels Worls without end and Captain's glory.I rate the trek novels as average in storytelling when it comes to the tos and TNG starship crews exploring a myesterious alien threats and alien cultures.I'm now reading Startrek ds9 Trial&Error by Mark Garland.