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RedEyedGhost

May - Reading 2018 - Have another?

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Finished Space Opera by Catherynne Valente, a new author to me.  Anyone watching Eurovision currently should be reading this book to see how Douglas Adams and Zaphod Beeblebrox would have approached it. 

It’s a humorous SF satire with colorful stream-of-conscious prose, peppered with pithy insights and humanism.  The first third flies along beautifully, then it sags badly in the middle third before regaining some flow to stick the landing.  The author is a little too enamoured at times with her alien creations, and forgets the rule for this kind of book that they should be a parody or reflection of us; but she gets the anthropo-relevance back on track in the semi-final.  Worth reading for the playful prose, but forgive in advance the muddled narrative and structure. 

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Absolutely loving "mythos" by Stephen Fry. A must for anyone who enjoyed Gaimans "Norse mythology" but with Greek myth.

I'm enjoying how it starts from the very beginning and isnt Pg rated (it's clear all ages Greek myth is censored/edited). Also very educational being chock full of details on titans and gods. Showing where their names turn up in English language is also fun

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Gave up in the second book of Three-Body Problem. It is absolutely awful, like those bad writings people do in high school.

To be fair, the first part was meh for half of the book, but had interesting parts. Here, I had to stop after 30% of it, totally unreadable. And the fucker who recommended me this said that it is similar and as good as Hyperion Cantos. Fuck off!

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8 hours ago, TheRevanchist said:

Gave up in the second book of Three-Body Problem. It is absolutely awful, like those bad writings people do in high school.

To be fair, the first part was meh for half of the book, but had interesting parts. Here, I had to stop after 30% of it, totally unreadable. And the fucker who recommended me this said that it is similar and as good as Hyperion Cantos. Fuck off!

I only made it half way through the first. It has very, um, enthusiastic fans here, so prepare to have veggies thrown at you. :P

 

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

I only made it half way through the first. It has very, um, enthusiastic fans here, so prepare to have veggies thrown at you. :P

 

I like you. You also hate Queen of Fire.

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2 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Hate is not strong enough a word. :tantrum:

Probably the worst book I managed to finish (3-body problem 2 was even worse, but I just stopped).

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Finished Ada Palmers third book in the Terra Ignota series, The Will to Battle, as intriguing as the first two books with all the Hives and characters preparing for an inevitable war brought about by the revelations in the earlier books.  

Started reading Abraham Merritt's Moon Pool, as I was reminded in the Bonfire thread that he used to a hugely popular writer, and is now all but forgotten.  I had heard him mentioned before, but this time I actually hit up Project Gutenberg to download some of his stuff.   So far enjoying it, the mix of adventure/horror 

 

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I can't muster the life force to review books in this thread any longer as I tend to discuss them on GR and Twitter instead but I feel compelled to say:

Wowsers! Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky is really good. Probably the best thing I've read this year (out of 30 books). Now I feel it's time to pick up Shadows of the Apt again. I think I got up to about book five there. And I have to say that I always really liked what he did with the spiders in that series. 

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7 hours ago, Isis said:

I can't muster the life force to review books in this thread any longer as I tend to discuss them on GR and Twitter instead but I feel compelled to say:

Wowsers! Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky is really good. Probably the best thing I've read this year (out of 30 books). Now I feel it's time to pick up Shadows of the Apt again. I think I got up to about book five there. And I have to say that I always really liked what he did with the spiders in that series. 

I take it you already read his Guns of the Dawn? Very different from Children of Time, but my favourite of his books.

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So, I finished The Poppy War by RF Kuang. I feel torn: I want to like it, the setting is clearly China, with some elements copy pasted from history almost as-is, it never bored me, the fantasy elements are intriguing, the pace is quick, yet, on the other end, it feels like this book is one giant flashback: what happens to the heroine before the important stuff begins. We go from training montage to meeting big players to trauma to choices to getting some power at high speed and it's... I don't know, maybe too cerebral, force fed, one note? It also feels like the scope shrinks in  the second half. It's like a book with only Arya Stark from ASOIAF, before she finished her assassin's course.

Good stuff still but I hope the sequel will have more voices or the promised epic scope in full.

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Finished The Thousand Names by Django Wexler.  I enjoyed it.  It feels like a Sharpe novel transported to a slightly alternate world with light magic (until the end).  The scenario proxies 18th century British troops in Persia, with a guttersnipe private getting promoted quickly due to tactical leadership in the field, an enigmatic intellectual leader of the regiment, a brutish bully of a sergeant and an honorable senior officer, plus a wide cast of reprobates and naifs in the ranks.  I always enjoy books with plenty of military tactics. 

It’s a pity that the second book will depart the battlefield, but I’ll try it anyway. 

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4 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Finished The Thousand Names by Django Wexler.  I enjoyed it.  It feels like a Sharpe novel transported to a slightly alternate world with light magic (until the end).  The scenario proxies 18th century British troops in Persia, with a guttersnipe private getting promoted quickly due to tactical leadership in the field, an enigmatic intellectual leader of the regiment, a brutish bully of a sergeant and an honorable senior officer, plus a wide cast of reprobates and naifs in the ranks.  I always enjoy books with plenty of military tactics. 

It’s a pity that the second book will depart the battlefield, but I’ll try it anyway. 

There is no lack of military action in the rest of the books even if it's not a full scale, running battle against superior foes.

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I'm about halfway through Zelazny's The Last Defender of Camelot. I was amused by the Loki 2781 story in which a secretly artificially intelligent computer manipulates the oblivious author who owns it and rewrites their purple prose and despairs of their obsession with immortal demigods with amnesia. It also makes a point of listing the other authors who had the same model of computer, including one George R.R. Martin, the joke probably works better now due to GRRM's famous insistence on doing all his writing on an 80s Word Processing program.

3 hours ago, Peadar said:

I take it you already read his Guns of the Dawn? Very different from Children of Time, but my favourite of his books.

I read them both about the same time and I think the only thing that disappointed me about Children of Time was that the human characters in it felt a bit bland (the spiders were great), I found the characters in Guns of the Dawn much more interesting. They're so different that it's difficult to compare them, but I think Guns of the Dawn might be my favourite of his work as well.

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1 hour ago, Mexal said:

There is no lack of military action in the rest of the books even if it's not a full scale, running battle against superior foes.

Thanks, that just bumped it higher up the list. 

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I finished Authority, the 2nd book in Vandermeer's Southern Reach trilogy, and it was quite a departure from the first book and not a welcome one.  I will probably read the final book since I already picked up it but could almost take it or leave it which surprises me after how much I liked the first book.  

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4 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Thanks, that just bumped it higher up the list. 

Book two does step back away from it a bit, but book three has plenty of what you're looking for.

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18 minutes ago, RedEyedGhost said:

Book two does step back away from it a bit, but book three has plenty of what you're looking for.

Yeah, I read book three this weekend in one sitting. Going to read few shorter sci-fi novels in between before I dive into book four.

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After mistakenly thinking I had only read three books in the series I realised i have read four (but only three this year which is why i confused it). So I downloaded The Spider’s War last night and will be finishing this series off soon. Have loved it so far

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17 hours ago, Peadar said:

I take it you already read his Guns of the Dawn? Very different from Children of Time, but my favourite of his books.

I have not. But I'll get hold of it. Thanks.

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