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Lily Valley

Hugo time! Your packet is available! 2018

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16 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Really? I haven't seen that said anywhere, most people on here who liked the first liked the second. (In fact I don;t think anyone who enjoyed the first did not enjoy the second, although there are certainly some people here who hated the first).

Is Palmer's series meant to be a trilogy? Before reading it I somehow had the impression it was a duology, but I see there's a third book listed on Goodreads.

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Finished all the Best Novel nominees now.  Thought it was a pretty strong selection this year, though at the same time I found it pretty easy to work out how I'd rank them...

 

06) All The Birds In The Sky

I think this is the only short-listed book I actively don't want to win.

 

At a couple of points while I was reading the first half of the book I was strongly tempted to put it down and give up on the whole thing.  The narrative seemed to jump back and forth between being a light-hearted comic fantasy on the one hand and a fairly bleak story about children being made miserable by their parents and their educational system on the other.  And while I rather liked quite a bit of the former, and have read more depressing examples of the latter, the combination of the two just felt jarring and unpleasant.

The second half of the book I liked a lot less.

05) Death's End

I was quite impressed with The Dark Forest, the previous instalment in this trilogy, but this was a disappointment -- somewhat confused that the former is the only part of the trilogy not to be Hugo nominated.  This one had a very ambitious scope, but I just struggled to work out what the point of it all was.

 

I seemed to spend an awful lot of the book thinking "but people wouldn't behave that way!", and the constant skipping forward into the future didn't help with that.  I also really didn't like the central character much at all, and a lot of time was spent building up other characters only for them to turn out not to matter to the plot.  I just didn't get it, basically.

 

04) A Closed And Common Orbit

I actually liked this quite a lot.  I thought it was a clear improvement on The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet -- much less episodic and the two central characters were more interesting than the crew of the Wayfarer from the first book.  

 

As with the first book, though, it never real felt like there was anything at stake -- we know from the very start of the book how the flashback will end, and the actual plot of the present-day storyline was very slight

 

03) Ninefox Gambit

I probably don't like this as much as I should -- it's the sort of thing I'd expect to like a lot, but for some reason it didn't quite click for me.

 

The two central characters were well-done, the world-building was suitably alien in a way that didn't stop the plot making some sense, and I even managed not to be annoyed by the small bits of mathematics: they actually felt like they were written by somebody who knew something about the subject, which all too often these things tend not to do.

 

02) The Obelisk Gate

This didn't have quite the impact of The Fifth Season, but it's a very solid follow up.  I guess I have a slight irrational bias against middle books of series winning awards like this though...

 

01) Too Like The Lightning

Yeah, I still like this a lot.  It's the only book I've read twice this year.  It clearly divides opinion a bit, and I'd be slightly surprised if it won, but ... well,  it worked for me?

 

Part of the reason I reread it was that I was worried it wouldn't work as well having read Seven Surrenders and having a sense of where the plot is going..  But it still did work, at least for me.

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4 minutes ago, williamjm said:

Is Palmer's series meant to be a trilogy? Before reading it I somehow had the impression it was a duology, but I see there's a third book listed on Goodreads.

There are going to be four books, I thought...

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I just watched the "San Junipero" episode of Black Mirror.

 

I'm torn. On the one hand I think it was very well done -- it handled multiple issues in a sensitive way, the plot was twisty enough to keep you guessing about what was going on, and it was interesting. OTOH, it ends up relying on one of my real pet peeves in sf literature, which I just despise (sorry, I don't know how to spoiler tag in this forum, so I won't explain further!). Sigh.

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27 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Uh, i selected the text and hit the weird eye like button next to the smiley button.

Well damn.

 

Spoiler

:P:D

 

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 The book splitting could have been avoided by cutting out 90% of the snide "Dearest Reader" asides.  My $0.02.   Let me quit sniping and finish that book so I can give it a proper review.

I can't tag on Chrome right now, but I also thought Death's End the weakest of the trilogy.  Dark Forest was definitely the strongest.  IIRC, the author asked his Chinese fans NOT to nominate the second book because of all the shenanigans going on last year.  He didn't want Chinese fans to be accused of ballot stuffing.  I nominated it anyway as parts of it brought me to tears and it was just AWESOME.   It is a beautiful book.  I was disappointed it didn't make the series shortlist as well.   Oh well, nothing wrong with having different good stuff to read.

Reading Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe back to back with Black Tom was REALLY FUN.   Jemisin had a Cthulhu reference in the City Born great as well.  Must have been a thing this year.

On the whole, I'm really glad I finished the shorter fiction with enough time to let it sit.  It's shifted some of my rankings a little bit.  Some of the stories stuck more than others.  SQUEEE!

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1 hour ago, Lily Valley said:

 Dark Forest was definitely the strongest.  ...  It is a beautiful book.  I was disappointed it didn't make the series shortlist as well.   Oh well, nothing wrong with having different good stuff to read.

Definitely different strokes. I gave up on Dark Forest after only a couple of hours of listening to the audio -- soooooooooo tedious, despite having a good narrator. I just couldn't take it any more!

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I'm about a third of the way through Mieville's 'This Census Taker' and I'm honestly considering giving up. Strong opening, but everything since then has been boring. I do not care about the narrator's oddball parents or the tedious details of his early life. It's all biographical detail and no plot. Even the setting is sketched out in the most minimal terms. I just feel like I have nothing to engage with. Normally I like Mieville well enough but this is a chore. Does this get better?

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Oh Richard, it "clicked" something.  NOT FINISHED, NO-RANK.  I plan to serve you when I'm done with that.

Mormont, MIevielle always feels like work to me.  This story grabbed my guts and gave me nightmares.  The opening was the best part.  Give it up.

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I just reread this entire thread.  Y'all are seriously the best book club in the whole world, even if some of you are wrong.

I'm clueless on how to review the short nominees for film / Clipping.  I haven't gotten to either The Expanse or Dr. Who.  I think I'll just rank what I can.  

Oh LOVING the Craft Sequence.  After Richard's words of wisdom about book 2, I'll gut wrenchingly put it aside and get through as much of the rest of it as I can.

Lastly, I read an interview with Yoon Ha Lee and he was originally going to create a math system for Ninefox.  :swoons:  PLEASE NERDS!  HELP ME MAKE THIS HAPPEN!  WOWOWOWOWOWOW!

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