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About Plessiez

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  • Birthday 10/26/1984

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  1. (Belated) congratulations to those who met their targets this year, and commiserations to those that didn't. I think that the OP should be up to date now. If anybody wanted to start a new thread for 2018 but was worried about stepping on my toes, please go ahead. I'm going to have limited time over the next few months for either reading fiction or checking this board, so I'm afraid I'm probably not the best person to do this.
  2. My top ten is largely a mixture of recent releases and things I'd been meaning to read for a while. The only exception to that is, I think, the Mitchell book; I have a feeling that I picked that up after reading a few people here talking about it at the start of the year. The list below is not really in order except that Too Like The Lightning is comfortably the best thing I read this year. (I just got my copy of The Will To Battle today and I'm wondering whether or not to reread this again first.) Too Like The Lightning by Ada Palmer (2016) The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (2010) Possession by A. S. Byatt (1990) The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin (2017) The Secret History by Donna Tartt (1992) The Power by Naomi Alderman (2016) Golden Hill by Francis Spufford (2016) Always Coming Home by Ursula le Guin (1985) Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson (2015) Autonomous by Annalee Newitz (2017) Honourable mentions: I read a good chunk of Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series over the first half of the year (of which Salute The Dark was probably the best) and I also read the first five books of Max Gladstone's Craft sequence (of which I most enjoyed Four Roads Cross and Full Fathom Five).
  3. Earlier today I finished my seventy-second book of the year, so I've now reached my target for 2017.. Since my last update: 62) Cold Magic (Kate Elliott) 63) Trent's Last Case (E. C. Bentley) 64) White Teeth (Zadie Smith) 65) Autonomous (Annalee Newitz) 66) Six Wakes (Mur Lafferty) 67) Dichronauts (Greg Egan) 68) The Power (Naomi Alderman) 69) The Secret History (Donna Tart) 70) The Fall of the Stone City (Ismail Kadare | translated by John Hodgson) 71) Europe In Winter (Dave Hutchinson) 72) Cold Fire (Kate Elliott) Despite worrying at the start of the year that I was reading too much by the same group of authors I'd already read, I think I'm fairly satisfied by both the number of different authors I ended up reading and the number of authors I tried for the first time this year (55 and 33 respectively). I read five books by Max Gladstone and four by Adrian Tchaikovsky but no more than three by anybody else. Things I liked most of what I read this year, in the order I read them: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (by David Mitchell), Too Like The Lightning (by Ada Palmer), Possession (by A. S. Byatt), The Stone Sky (by N. K. Jemisin), The Secret History (by Donna Tart) and The Power (by Naomi Alderman). One thing I wanted to do this year that I didn't really manage was to read more short story collections. In the end I only finished four and didn't really hugely care for any of them.
  4. This week I've read Naomi Alderman's The Power, which I thought was really good, and Greg Egan's Dichronauts, which I also enjoyed but not as much as I'd hoped. (I spent the first few chapters trying to actually work out what was going on in terms of the 2+2 dimensional physics, but it was a bit too much for me.)
  5. So, final candidates confirmed now. Aronian (#2 on the live rating list at the moment) Mamedyarov (#3) Caruana (#4) So (#6) Kramnik (#7) Ding (#10) Grischuk (#11) Karjakin (#13) A pretty strong line up, I guess: MVL the only person in the top ten who stands out to me as missing. Thinking about the wildcard announcement a bit more, I'm slightly annoyed on MVL's behalf. Think he'd have been a much fairer wildcard pick (if 'fair' and 'wildcard' make sense together) and pre-announcing Kramnik just makes it explicit that MVL never had even a chance of getting this despite outperforming Kramnik in pretty much every measure this year.
  6. I read Autonomous recently and liked it quite a lot.
  7. I really liked Worm when I read it a few years ago, though I had a few issues with some of the plot developments towards the end. But I'm not sure how much of it I can actually remember now. I also think I started when the serial was either complete or very close to being complete, so I didn't have to wait much between chapters (I read it at a pretty rapid rate, which is probably part of why I don't recall much of it now). So I guess I might try rereading Worm first (or at least skimming it a bit) then move on to this when it's a bit further advanced. I didn't ever try Pact or Twig -- are they any good?
  8. Confirmed now, apparently. Good call.
  9. (The list in the opening post of this thread should be up to date now, I think. If you've set or reached a target and I haven't added your name, please let me know and I'll modify the list accordingly.)
  10. As of yesterday I've equalled the 61 books I read last year, which means that I'm more or less or track to reach this year's target. Since my last update: 49) Woman on the Edge of Time (Marge Piercy) 50) Annihilation (Jeff VanderMeer) 51) Jacques the Fatalist and His Master (Denis Diderot) 52) Last First Snow (Max Gladstone) 53) The Stone Sky (N. K. Jemisin) 54) Floating Worlds (Cecelia Howard) 55) Children of Earth and Sky (Guy Gavriel Kay) 56) Europe at Midnight (Dave Hutchinson) 57) Something Coming Through (Paul McAuley) 58) The Scarab Path (Adrian Tchaikovsky) 59) Our Lady of the Ice (Cassandra Rose Clarke) 60) Replay (Ken Grimwood) 61) Emergence (Ken MacLeod)
  11. I recently finished Our Lady Of The Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke, which combines three or four different genres to pretty good effect; not saying which as I think it works better not knowing what they are in advance. I thought the four central characters were fairly well developed and the plot mostly held together although I found the final third slightly disappointing. Got a few more things to try to to finish before the end of the month, but I'll probably be reading either Greg Egan's Dichronauts or Brian Catling's The Vorrh first.
  12. I didn't exactly love The Traitor (to use it's UK title), but I didn't ever really understand the degree of hatred for it on this board either. I don't regret reading it and I'd probably read the sequel. Yeah, this is basically my take. The 'twist' ending is foreshadowed pretty thoroughly, and I think it's also basically the only sort of ending that actually makes any narrative sense. No.
  13. I couldn't finish The Price Of Spring (the last of Daniel Abraham's Long Price quartet), but not because I didn't like the book or the series. I just found it too upsetting to finish. I also gave up on Cat Valente's Palimpset for some reason -- I've managed to lose the book since and I can't remember what bothered me about it. I like pretty much everything else Valente's written, so I'm not quite sure why this didn't work for me. And earlier this year I gave up on Stefan Zweig's Beware of Pity but I'm still half-hoping to go back to it.
  14. September was a slow month for me, but I'm hoping to get a few things read in October. So far I've managed to finish two books: Something Coming Through by Paul McAuley and Europe At Midnight by Dave Hutchinson. I thought Something Coming Through was okay, but I'd slightly spoiled myself by reading the sequel (Into Everything) earlier in the year; I was about a third of the way into that before I realised it actually was a sequel. The two stories aren't directly linked (though they both feature a few of the same characters), but I think Something Coming Through would have worked a lot better for me if it had been my first introduction to the universe. I think Into Everything probably is the stronger work anyway, but reading out of order definitely didn't help. Europe at Midnight, on the other hand, I liked a lot more than I was expecting to. It's the second book in a (planned) tetralogy and I'd had mixed feelings about the first book (Europe in Autumn). Most of the cast of this book are new, and the timeline actually overlaps with the prior book, but some of the plot points that were only revealed towards the end of Europe in Autumn are centre stage in this one and I think work a lot better as a result. I'm now reading Adam Robert's Twenty Trillion Leagues Under The Sea but it's all a bit bleak to be honest and I'm not sure whether I'll finish.
  15. I thought Europe in Autumn was fun (though not remarkable) before the late book plot reveal, but I'm not really sure how I feel about it after that reveal. To me, it took something away from the setting of the rest of the book. I'm not sure how much of a hurry I'm in to read the next two books in the sequence, though I've heard people say nice things about them both.