Garett Hornwood

March Reading 2017

100 posts in this topic

I'm around 150 pages left in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II by Edward Gibbon.  I've been enjoying it, however I can't believe I'm still reading it since it didn't take me this long to reading Volume I.

So what are you continuing or starting this month?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. A slightly piss-takey love-letter to swords-and-sorcery quest fantasy in the form of a cross between Blues Brothers and Unforgiven in said fantasy world. It won't win any awards for originality, but it's great fun and surprisingly affecting with its extremely likeable cast of characters. Very solid debut.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else read Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft? I got the rec here, and I loved it. Getting ready to start Arm of the Sphinx. Anyone looking for something a little different, this is your ticket. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't had much time so still working through The Circle.  Should finish it soon though and then move on to the second Rain Wilds book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The King's Buccaneer by Raymond Feist stood up to the time test way better than I thought given it has been about 20 years ago since I read it last.  It was superior to the Prince of the Blood.  

Now reading the latest Penric & Des novella by Lois McMaster Bujold, Mira's Last Dance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Finished the excellent Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I found the prose to be a bit of a struggle early on (mainly because of Mantel's slightly irritating decision to constantly use pronouns instead of proper nouns), but this ended up being a brilliant read. I strongly recommend this for fans of political intrigue, great dialogue and Reformation-era history. And I'll definitely be picking up the sequel!

Now starting Isherwood's A Single Man, which should be a quick read.

Edited by Paxter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, polishgenius said:

I read Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. A slightly piss-takey love-letter to swords-and-sorcery quest fantasy in the form of a cross between Blues Brothers and Unforgiven in said fantasy world. It won't win any awards for originality, but it's great fun and surprisingly affecting with its extremely likeable cast of characters. Very solid debut.

All these things.:) I'm halfway through and enjoying the ride so far.More people should read it,especially if you're bored with grimdark that takes itself too seriously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished up The Bear and the Serpent which was really good. I've really enjoyed all of Adrian Tchaikovsky's recent books, I think I'll have to give his Shadows of the Apt series a look. It just seems a bit of an effort to start a 10 novel series.

Next up I'm reading Lois McMaster Bujold's latest Penric Novella  Mira's Last Dance which so far appears to be a direct continuation of the last one.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Paxter said:

Finished the excellent Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I found the prose to be a bit of a struggle early on (mainly because of Mantel's slightly irritating decision to constantly use pronouns instead of proper nouns), but this ended up being a brilliant read. I strongly recommend this for fans of political intrigue, great dialogue and Reformation-era history. And I'll definitely be picking up the sequel!

I did think the BBC adaptation of this was excellent, so I should probably read the books at some point.

I just finished up

The Bear and the Serpent which was really good. I've really enjoyed all of Adrian Tchaikovsky's recent books, I think I'll have to give his Shadows of the Apt series a look. It just seems a bit of an effort to start a 10 novel series.

I'm coming towards the end of The Bear and the Serpent, I think it's been a good book so far and did a good job of broadening out the story from the first one, and I like the cast of characters. There's one aspect of the world-building I'm very curious about, although I suppose it's possible the end of the book might answer some questions I have.

The Apt series isn't a single continuous plotline in the same way that something like The Wheel of Time is, so it probably lends itself well to leaving gaps between the books rather then reading it all in one go. I read them as they came out when there was about 6-9 months between the books getting released which I think was a good way to read it and made the length less intimidating. I would say that the first book is perhaps not as well written as later books in the series or his more recent books, it felt very obviously a debut novel at times although it does still have an interesting story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time was riveting from start to finish. Tchaikovsky didn't take a chapter off. The first work of his I've read, but surely not the last.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I finished Tchaikovsky's The Bear and the Serpent. The ending seemed to pretty much confirm the theory I had that...

 

... it's set in the Shadows of the Apt world. I was already pretty confident of that by halfway in the book because the grey skinned blank eyed humans who don't shapeshift but can conjure wings to fly on immediately made me think of the moth-kinden, then there was the pale skinned manipulators who have a glamour that can entrance others who felt much like the spider-kinden. In case there were any doubts the ending with the giant spiders accompanying the spider kinden and the black-and-gold armoured fireball throwing airship flying Wasp kinden made it pretty clear.

It's difficult to tell how this might link up with the timeline of the Apt books. Their weapons seem likely to be Totho's snapbows and if they're crossing the deep ocean that much be after the events of The Sea Watch, so I'm guessing maybe a few years after the end of the Apt books.

I think there might have been some line in the mythology of the Apt books about the insects killing off most of the world's mammals, I think this might put a new interpretation on that.

I'm definitely interested in seeing where the story goes next, I seem to remember Tchaikovsky mentioning in a blog post that he was finishing off the third book, so I'm guessing it might be out sometime last this year. Two books a year is his usual pace.

Edited by williamjm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, williamjm said:

I finished Tchaikovsky's The Bear and the Serpent. The ending seemed to pretty much confirm the theory I had that...

  Reveal hidden contents

... it's set in the Shadows of the Apt world. I was already pretty confident of that by halfway in the book because the grey skinned blank eyed humans who don't shapeshift but can conjure wings to fly on immediately made me think of the moth-kinden, then there was the pale skinned manipulators who have a glamour that can entrance others who felt much like the spider-kinden. In case there were any doubts the ending with the giant spiders accompanying the spider kinden and the black-and-gold armoured fireball throwing airship flying Wasp kinden made it pretty clear.

It's difficult to tell how this might link up with the timeline of the Apt books. Their weapons seem likely to be Totho's snapbows and if they're crossing the deep ocean that much be after the events of The Sea Watch, so I'm guessing maybe a few years after the end of the Apt books.

I think there might have been some line in the mythology of the Apt books about the insects killing off most of the world's mammals, I think this might put a new interpretation on that.

I'm definitely interested in seeing where the story goes next, I seem to remember Tchaikovsky mentioning in a blog post that he was finishing off the third book, so I'm guessing it might be out sometime last this year. Two books a year is his usual pace.

Only about 15% into this one, but enjoying it so far!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

7 minutes ago, End of Disc One said:

Pretty sure Tchaikovsky is faster than Sanderson.  I can't keep up.

Tchaikovsky has published 15 novels in the last decade. I don't think Sanderson has published that many full-length novels in that time, but he has published a lot more shorter fiction and while Tchaikovsky doesn't write short books they're not as long as some of Sanderson's. I think it's probably fairly even between the two of them in terms of how prolific they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/1/2017 at 5:18 PM, polishgenius said:

I read Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. A slightly piss-takey love-letter to swords-and-sorcery quest fantasy in the form of a cross between Blues Brothers and Unforgiven in said fantasy world. It won't win any awards for originality, but it's great fun and surprisingly affecting with its extremely likeable cast of characters. Very solid debut.

Good to hear. This is next on my list after I finish Hyperion.

On 3/1/2017 at 5:34 PM, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Anyone else read Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft? I got the rec here, and I loved it. Getting ready to start Arm of the Sphinx. Anyone looking for something a little different, this is your ticket. 

Lots of people here have read it. Think we all enjoyed both books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished off The Rabbit Back Literature Society. Started off as a pretty neat concept (I have a fondness for weird fiction), but I think it outstays its welcome, and becomes a somewhat confused meta-commentary on writing itself - with the confusion growing exponentially towards the end. It's one of those books where the author is being a bit too clever.

Next up is A Blink of the Screen, by Terry Pratchett (a collection of his short fiction).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now reading Claire North's The Sudden Appearance of Hope. In some ways it's quite reminiscent of North's two previous books with a protagonist who has a power that sets them apart from the rest of humanity, although Hope is different sort of character to Harry August or "Kepler".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/2/2017 at 8:39 PM, williamjm said:

The Apt series isn't a single continuous plotline in the same way that something like The Wheel of Time is, so it probably lends itself well to leaving gaps between the books rather then reading it all in one go. 

Yeah, this is definitely true.  Following the advice of people in last month's thread, I've now read as far as the fourth book (Salute The Dark) and if I didn't know there were more books to come I could easily believe that the series ended here.  Will probably wait a few months before going through the next few, though I liked this book a lot more than the third one. 

In the second half of last month I also finished Empire Games by Charlie Stross, Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha La and Ursula Le Guin's Always Coming Home.  

Empire Games is the first in a planned follow-up trilogy to Stross's earlier Merchant Princes series.  People who liked that series (as I did) will probably like this, though it's very clearly the opening book of a trilogy and doesn't really resolve much of the plot.  I think the next two books are mostly written though and should be coming out fairly soon.  

Ninefox Gambit wasn't bad, though I'm slightly surprised to see it's been shortlisted for the Nebula Awards as I didn't think it was especially great either.  In tone it somewhat reminded me of Leckie's Ancillary Justice (but that comparison might have just come to my mind because she's quoted on the front cover...)   I thought that the magic system, for want of a better term, was perhaps slightly too central to the plot for something that doesn't really get explained (and possibly can't be?).

Always Coming Home is a very strange book.  The central narrative is actually very short (around 150 pages, I think), and tells a similar story to Le Guin's earlier The Dispossessed (in that a character from future anarchist society travels to a militaristic centralised state).   But the bulk of the book isn't about this narrative at all: instead it's a collection of the imagined stories and poems of the central character's future society, as well as discussions of their language, number systems, cultural practices and religious beliefs.  All of these are presented in between and alongside the 'main' narrative. 

When I was in the right frame of mind for all this, I enjoyed it a lot, but it's definitely not something I could read quickly -- I actually started the book early in October (so I read and finished around two dozen other books while reading this one).   I don't think it's quite as good as The Dispossessed, but it was interesting and I'm definitely glad to have read it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Plessiez said:

Yeah, this is definitely true.  Following the advice of people in last month's thread, I've now read as far as the fourth book (Salute The Dark) and if I didn't know there were more books to come I could easily believe that the series ended here.  Will probably wait a few months before going through the next few, though I liked this book a lot more than the third one. 

I'm not sure, but I'd guess a debut author like Tchaikovsky maybe didn't get a 10 book contract to begin with, so I wonder if he originally planned a shorter series that he could wrap up in four books, with the hope of expanding it later.

In the second half of last month I also finished

Empire Games by Charlie Stross, Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha La and Ursula Le Guin's Always Coming Home.  

Empire Games is the first in a planned follow-up trilogy to Stross's earlier Merchant Princes series.  People who liked that series (as I did) will probably like this, though it's very clearly the opening book of a trilogy and doesn't really resolve much of the plot.  I think the next two books are mostly written though and should be coming out fairly soon.

I read the first Merchant Princes book a long time ago (probably about the time it first came out). I thought it was reasonably good but never got round to reading the second book, maybe I should pick it up again sometime (although I'd have to re-read the first book since it's been so long).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.