So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I admired the book more than I liked it. It's well-written, it's certainly evocative and gripping, but I also didn't find it to be anything special -- or worthy of the critical notice it received for being authorized by the Doyle estate. It's nothing more than another Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

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.
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.
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I admired the book more than I liked it. It's well-written, it's certainly evocative and gripping, but I also didn't find it to be anything special -- or worthy of the critical notice it received for being authorized by the Doyle estate. It's nothing more than another Sherlock Holmes pastiche.
I've yet to read something authorized by the estate that was anything more than "another Sherlock Holmes pastiche."
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.
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 Verbündete (Dark Allies)
Upcoming: The Brave and the Bold, Allegiance in Exile

A full schedule. ;)
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.
I'm new on this message board so I thought it would be a good topic to start :)
A few weeks ago I rewatched the Enterprise TV series and after the last episode, I wanted to read more, so last week I finished Last full measure and now I'm reading The good that men do which I prefer. I liked Last Full Measure for the "surprise" that it contains, but the story didn't hooked me. I liked to see Mayweather more than usual and to learn more about the MACO, but the problem of relationship between the crew of the Enterprise and the MACO wasn't really interesting for me.
For the moment I really prefer The good that men do, even if for the moment I read something like one quarter of the book.

Welcome to the board! :)

Stick with The Good That Men Do, it's definitely better than Last Full Measure. :)

Oh, and I'm currently about halfway through Brinkmanship.

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.
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.
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.
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.
^ 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.
^ 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.

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.
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 :)
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
I'm very impressed with your ability to keep multiple books going at once. I just find that confusing!
I'm very impressed with your ability to keep multiple books going at once. I just find that confusing!

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:)
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.