larrytheimp

April Reads: What, fool, are you reading?!?

182 posts in this topic

Started Iron Council last night, loving it so far.  I won't finish it today so i had to create a new thread.  Also picked up Mieville's short story collection Three Moments in an Explosion, which I plan on using as my lunchtime reading for April.   After Iron Council I've got Wolfe's Latro in the Mist, and then Dick's Ubik.  

 

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4 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Ooooo Latro in the Mist is probably my favorite of Wolfe's.

Speaking of Wolfe, I just saw today that science finally caught up to him and invented fuligin. But misnamed it Vantablack.

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*puts on off topic tangent hat*

B&N got rid of their new books section for SFF so now all the new stuff is shelved among the older stuff and it is THROWING OFF MY BOOK BROWSING GROOVE

 

*takes off hat*

 

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Last night I finished Scenlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft and really liked it. I enjoyed the details and the worldbuilding and I'm really looking forward to reading the next one.

I'm gonna start The Last Girl by Joe Hart next.

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Thanks for reminding me about Senlin Ascends.

Just picked it up on Amazon for 99p :D

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Posted (edited)

Fifty Shades of Grey, a very well written romance novel so far.

Edited by redeagl

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3 hours ago, redeagl said:

Fifty Shades of Grey, a very well written romance novel so far.

I've been using it as an instruction manual.

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I am loving Mother Tongue: How English Got That Way by Bill Bryson.  I love Bryson and the topic of linguistics.

Next will be a behemoth of a book, Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon.  The last few Outlander books have disappointed me. 

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Posted (edited)

Loved Paolo Bacigalupi's, The Windup Girl. Fascinating, if a bit terrifying, worldbuilding; complex, morally gray characters; well-paced plot and stuck the landing. Much needed after giving up on Naomi Novik's, Uprooted, which just bored me.

Edited by Astromech

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Finished Arm Of The Sphinx, Josiah Bancroft's sequel to Senlin Ascends.  It maintains the clever, contemplative prose and the steampunk world building, while expanding the POVs and broadening the perspective from Senlin's personal mission to the Tower itself.  I enjoyed it, despite the YA tone, the pollyannish portrayal and lack of judgment of the characters, and the lack of any significant plot tension or climax -- it felt like the classic middle installment of a trilogy.  If this is a trilogy, I look forward to completing it.  But if it swells into a larger series then I won't read any further.  There's nothing all that compelling or insightful to merit a sprawling series.  

To offset the YA pollyannish tone, I've started a grimdark rec from these threads: Kings Of The Wyld by Nicholas Eames.  So far the characters feel a bit like the aged Northern warriors of Abercrombie (a good thing), the dialogue includes a lot of modern patterns and idioms (acceptable when done humorously, because most faux medieval dialogue in fantasy feels stiff and stilted) and the world building feels like cliche D&D.  The dark humor will have to be great to overcome the weak setting. 

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7 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

To offset the YA pollyannish tone, I've started a grimdark rec from these threads: Kings Of The Wyld by Nicholas Eames.  So far the characters feel a bit like the aged Northern warriors of Abercrombie (a good thing), the dialogue includes a lot of modern patterns and idioms (acceptable when done humorously, because most faux medieval dialogue in fantasy feels stiff and stilted) and the world building feels like cliche D&D.  The dark humor will have to be great to overcome the weak setting. 


I hate to be the bearer of potentially bad news, but this book isn't grimdark and I have no idea why people keep saying it is (although, to be fair, I don't recall seeing anyone from these boards saying so). I mean, (1) it isn't fluffy fantasy and some of the humour is dark and (2) it's a good, fun read regardless, but it ain't grimdark and it makes no attempt to be.

On the other hand, the world building is cliche kind of on purpose. It's taking the piss out of the old tropes, albeit taking the piss in an affectionate way.

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On 3/31/2017 at 9:39 PM, Darth Richard II said:

*puts on off topic tangent hat*

B&N got rid of their new books section for SFF so now all the new stuff is shelved among the older stuff and it is THROWING OFF MY BOOK BROWSING GROOVE

 

*takes off hat*

 

I saw that the other day.  This is vein but I used to browse looking for titles I may have been blurbed in and that section helped me immensely.  Now I just hope someone tags me on twitter when they see a pull.  

I recently finished a book called The Baking Powder War and I was fascinated.  This was robber baron type of business maneuvering I would have never guessed, including a wholesale bribing of the Missouri State legislature to pass a law basically outlawing a competitors product.  Plus it was one of the earliest products added to food not for nutrition or necessity; the start of chemically engineering our food.  The author also nominally touches on the advertising aspects (often racist) and how it affected other industries (Tin getting a boom because of the sudden need for baking pans).  The layout wasn't often the best but the information provided was awesome. 

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3 hours ago, polishgenius said:


I hate to be the bearer of potentially bad news, but this book isn't grimdark and I have no idea why people keep saying it is (although, to be fair, I don't recall seeing anyone from these boards saying so). I mean, (1) it isn't fluffy fantasy and some of the humour is dark and (2) it's a good, fun read regardless, but it ain't grimdark and it makes no attempt to be.

On the other hand, the world building is cliche kind of on purpose. It's taking the piss out of the old tropes, albeit taking the piss in an affectionate way.

 

2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Well, no one can agree and what grimdark is still.

Thanks for the warning.  I was expecting from prior descriptions that this would be somewhat similar to Abercrombie's The Heroes.  

Parody world building is fine so long as the parody actually achieves something.  A knowing, winking repeat of a cliche isn't enough by itself. 

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3 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Finished Arm Of The Sphinx, Josiah Bancroft's sequel to Senlin Ascends.  It maintains the clever, contemplative prose and the steampunk world building, while expanding the POVs and broadening the perspective from Senlin's personal mission to the Tower itself.  I enjoyed it, despite the YA tone, the pollyannish portrayal and lack of judgment of the characters, and the lack of any significant plot tension or climax -- it felt like the classic middle installment of a trilogy.  If this is a trilogy, I look forward to completing it.  But if it swells into a larger series then I won't read any further.  There's nothing all that compelling or insightful to merit a sprawling series. 

Apparently Bancroft is planning the series to be four books long. I think there's enough material for another couple of books, although I agree it perhaps shouldn't be any longer than that.

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21 minutes ago, williamjm said:

Apparently Bancroft is planning the series to be four books long. I think there's enough material for another couple of books, although I agree it perhaps shouldn't be any longer than that.

Thanks.  In that case I think I'll hold off on number three. 

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I read Robert Charles Wilson's Last Year.  It was extremely readable, all of Wilson's books that I have read have been, but overall I found it lacking.  It's the story of a city full of time/dimension travelers that have gone back to 1876 to share secrets from near our present time, and to bring gold back.  As a big fan of these types of stories, I really wanted to see more depth than what it had.  I did really like what we learned about the way they gained the technology

and the parallels to the story we did see.

Now I'm about a fifth of the way through Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig.  After this I'll either read The End of the Day by Claire North (surprising 3/5 stars from 6 reviews so far on Amazon...) or Fool's Quest by Robin Hobb, and then I'll read the other. 

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