Lily Valley

November 2017: What was good this year?

65 posts in this topic

Just got Victor Lavalle's new novel The Changeling. This should keep me busy for about a week. 

The end of the year is coming quick and I'm putting together a list of what I missed this year for our Fall Break.  I'll have 4 weeks to read, read, read.  :)

 

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A pal just got me a copy of Autonomous by Annalee Newitz.  He loved it.  The Murderbot Diaries was such a letdown I'm hoping Autonomous fills my AI void.

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Nick Harkaway's new one came out today. Some way into it and it's great so far. I wonder if it'll be a little less accessible to Americans than his other work because it's more overtly political than his previous work and those politics are very much British/European issues, but it's such a crazy adventure (plus, it does such a good job explaining things) that I shouldn't think it'd be an issue.




 

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I'm still reading Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650 by Carlos M.N. Eire, I'm a tad more than quarter of the way through the book so I expect to take at least half the month on it.

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Naomi Alderman's The Power was excellent. Typical old-school SF, where you just take a crazy idea and run with it as far as you can. 

 

Up next, Andy Weir's Artemis.

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David Hackett Fischer's Paul Revere's Ride. Another great book by Fischer. The real story of Paul Revere's midnight ride is fascinating. Fischer looks at the events surrounding the midnight ride and the battles of Lexington and Concord by focusing on Paul Revere on one side and General Gage on the other. I love Fischer's inclusion of various appendices in his works. They offer so much more information on events: weather, tidal information, moonlight, chains of command, colonial organizations, etc.

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10 hours ago, Peadar said:

Naomi Alderman's The Power was excellent. Typical old-school SF, where you just take a crazy idea and run with it as far as you can. 

 

Up next, Andy Weir's Artemis.

Those both look great.  Tell us about the Weir when you're done.  I'm trying to stick to stuff from this year.

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Finished Gailey's new novella Fisher of Bones.  Have mixed feelings about it.  I think I need to read the last three chapters again.  @beniowa, let me know if you read it.

Reading The new Penric before I move on to Autonomous.  

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Finishing up 'The Broken Earth' trilogy by N.K. Jemisen being halfway through 'The Stone Sky'.  Really like the series.  Good story telling lore and interesting premise.  

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There's the obvious answers of KINGS OF THE WYLD and RED SISTER.

Great fantasy.

However, I would also recommend WHERE LOYALTIES LIE and its sequel THE FIFTH EMPIRE OF MAN by Rob Hayes.  They're like Joe Abercombie's work but with PIRATES.

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On 03/11/2017 at 8:09 PM, Lily Valley said:

Those both look great.  Tell us about the Weir when you're done.  I'm trying to stick to stuff from this year.

I stopped reading Artemis, mainly because of character annoyance. Moving on to Gnomon by Nick Harkaway. Looking forward to it!

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Just finished Joe Hill's collection Strange Weather, first book I read by him that I dislike. Only the second story was somewhat interesting, the others are silly and not worth wasting time on them. His other books are excellent in my opinion, NOS4R2, Heart-Shaped Box, and Horns. I'll still be reading The Fireman despite the disappointment.

Edited by Hello World

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On 05/11/2017 at 10:26 AM, Peadar said:

I stopped reading Artemis, mainly because of character annoyance.

I've seen a couple of other similar comments about it. While I did like The Martian, the characterisation did seem to be a bit flat other than for Mark Watney himself, so I was a bit worried about what it would be a like if Weird wrote a book where characters had to interact all the time rather than one which was mostly journal entries.

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29 minutes ago, williamjm said:

I've seen a couple of other similar comments about it. While I did like The Martian, the characterisation did seem to be a bit flat other than for Mark Watney himself, so I was a bit worried about what it would be a like if Weird wrote a book where characters had to interact all the time rather than one which was mostly journal entries.

The voice is very similar here to the voice in The Martian. But without such a compelling dilemma to work against, the jokes are just annoying. YMMV, of course.

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46 minutes ago, Peadar said:

The voice is very similar here to the voice in The Martian. But without such a compelling dilemma to work against, the jokes are just annoying. YMMV, of course.

I suspect it's probably not a book I'll rush out to read, but maybe I'll give a try at some point.

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Earlier today, I bought YES: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of Wrestlemania by Daniel Bryan.  I'm 24 pages in, and I'm liking it so far. Turns out that me and Bryan have similar personalities. 

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5 hours ago, Peadar said:

The voice is very similar here to the voice in The Martian. But without such a compelling dilemma to work against, the jokes are just annoying. YMMV, of course.

I loved the voice, let's see how I put up with the jokes. Disappointed to hear there isn't a compelling dilemma.

And when do we get more murderous fairies? Been waiting...

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14 hours ago, brunhilda said:

I loved the voice, let's see how I put up with the jokes. Disappointed to hear there isn't a compelling dilemma.

And when do we get more murderous fairies? Been waiting...

Murderous fairies are making their return in March. Thanks for asking :)

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Finished The Red Knight by Miles Cameron, a very fun read.  I had taken a long break from Medieval sword & sorcery fantasy because they were feeling repetitive but this flew by -- good pace, exciting siege/war scenario, decent tactics/strategy, some insights on leadership and more detail on armor than anyone wanted but written well.  The POV changes feel frenetic at the start and we never receive GRRM-esque depth on characters or their background, plus the Captain's emo angst is too melodramatic.

The story of wild magical creatures fighting back against incursions by ordered agrarians is such a staple of folk tales that it makes me think it has real historical roots everywhere in the era of agriculture supplanting hunter-gatherers.  

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I finished Ghost Brigades. I go through a Scalzi book faster than a bag of chips. Think I finished it in 3 days. I enjoyed it well enough. Simple prose, good pacing, quick wit, and same type of structure as the first novel. In fact, it might of been too much like the first novel. The story starts with soldier training and immersing the audience in the technology of the universe (most of which was a retread from the first book), then initial mission work, and then culminating in the final act. All along the way we witness and question the soul (or lack thereof) of military soldiers and their actions during war. I think the Forever War pulled it off better (at least from what I remember) but this book was more entertaining with the plot twists, pace and the ending overall.

Last Colony up next.

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