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Garett Hornwood

Second Quarter 2019 Reading

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7 hours ago, williamjm said:

The amount of war in the books does go up and down over the series. I think Dragonfly Falling and the eighth book The Air War (unsurprisingly) are probably the most focused on battles, whereas there aren't many in others.

Good to know, thanks!

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On a big Banks kick, finishing up State of the Art right now, and just picked up Inversions.  After that I think I'll hit up the next Aubrey/Maturin one, I think I only have three left.  Then it's time for some Jemisin with The Fifth Season.  Also just found Wolfe's Latro in the Mist, which I started about a year ago but then misplaced during a move.  Score!  Have Morgan's Thin Air on ebook but haven't really felt like reading on a screen lately, so that one's on backburner for a bit.

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On 4/9/2019 at 3:57 PM, Nothing Has Changed said:

 

I am also reading (well, re-reading) Moby Dick. I read it a while ago and I think I skipped many of the chapters on whales and the history of whaling. I always thought the concept of the story was extremely powerful but I remember the execution did not live up to it when I read it, but I'm enjoying it a lot more this time so maybe I was just too young to appreciate before.  

Those chapters are great and you actually get a lot of Ishmael in there too.  He does talk about whales and the history of whaling but you really get inside his head here.  Enjoy!

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I finished Kings Of Paradise by Richard Nell, first in his Ash And Sand series.  Setting is unusual with early medieval versions of Indonesia/Polynesia, China and Scandinavia-ish (located in the Southern Hemisphere), all quite distant from each other but on a collision course.  It was a decent read.  Character arc is pretty conventional, tone is slightly grim-dark, magic is very light and largely based on meditation and mind palaces, world building is good and prose is pretty well written. 

Next finished #3 of the Stiger’s Tigers series, a fantasy series somewhat similar to the Red Knight series by Miles Cameron, but with a lot less magic and it substitutes Roman legions for late medieval knights.  And because that ended on a cliff-hanger, I’m currently in the middle of #4.

After this I’ll need a break from fantasy.

 

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Posted (edited)

Randolph Barnes Marcy's 1859 travel guide The Prairie Traveler, chock-full of useful info about the routes West, the ox vs. mule as beast of burden, snake bite remedies, various types of shelter and camp furniture, making fires, clothing for travel, hunting the various plains animals and Indian encounters. A fantastic insight into the logistics and hardships of the voyage west across the plains at that time.

I am also at the end of the audio-book version of Nathaniel Philbrick's Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold and the Fate of the American Revolution. Enjoying it. 

Edited by Astromech

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Astromech said:

Randolph Barnes Marcy's 1859 travel guide The Prairie Traveler, chock-full of useful info about the routes West, the ox vs. mule as beast of burden, snake bite remedies, various types of shelter and camp furniture, making fires, clothing for travel, hunting the various plains animals and Indian encounters. A fantastic insight into the logistics and hardships of the voyage west across the plains at that time.

I am also at the end of the audio-book version of Nathaniel Philbrick's Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold and the Fate of the American Revolution. Enjoying it. 

Whoa I am definitely going to check out The Prairie Traveller.  I read the Indifferent Stars Above this winter, about the infamous Donner Party and it's 'shortcut' off the Oregon Trail, and loved when it dealt with the logistics of travelling during that time period (it even mentioned several fraudulent guide books that were sold to westbound migrants) but it really only touched on that stuff.  Thanks!

Edited by larrytheimp

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4 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

Whoa I am definitely going to check out The Prairie Traveller.  I read the Indifferent Stars Above this winter, about the infamous Donner Party and it's 'shortcut' off the Oregon Trail, and loved when it dealt with the logistics of travelling during that time period (it even mentioned several fraudulent guide books that were sold to westbound migrants) but it really only touched on that stuff.  Thanks!

It's very interesting, but a bit short, only a bit over 200 pages. 

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I finished Ian McDonald's Luna : Moon Rising. I thought it was a good ending to the trilogy. There's still plenty of scheming between the five dynastic families who dominate Lunar society but it also became about something more than just that struggle for power, and I think the ending felt more meaningful because of that. It did take me a while to remember all the details of what happened in the previous book and how all the different factions felt about each other, I think was maybe a bit overcomplicated at times and some plotlines felt a bit redundant (such as Marina's plotline on Earth, although it was interesting to see a different perspective). The lunar society is fascinating, and although I think the plotlines here have been wrapped up well I wouldn't mind reading more stories set in the same world (it would be interesting to see how things would have changed a few decades later). I think McDonald is one of the best current writers of SF and while I don't think this is necessarily his best work (I'd probably say that was River of Gods) it's still well written throughout.

Now I'm about halfway through James S.A. Corey's Tiamat's Wrath. It's been very entertaining so far, even if I'm struggling to understand how a certain science experiment ever got approved.

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I'm currently struggling to find something to read. I've read Tiamat's Wrath, and loved it. I'm just going through Tolkien's Unfinished Tales, but I'm jumping through it, mainly just to fill my knowledge gaps.

Having read Spinning Silver, I started looking at the other Hugo nominees, but none of the premises seem that interesting, other than Trail of Lightning. I read a bit of that but the 1st person narrative isn't really working so well for me as it did in other books.

I might go back to reading some history books.

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Peadar is enjoying the start of Adrian Tchaikovsky's Cage of Souls. Be more like Peadar.

On a more serious note, I heard him do a reading from a forthcoming novella called, Walking to Alderbaran. That was pretty fantastic, so I'm looking forward to it coming out at the end of May.

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Finished my LOTR reread.  Damn, I still love those books since I first read them in high school back in the mid '70s.  Next up in my reread project is Watership Down.  Didn't 'get' it the first time, so we'll see how it goes this time.

On 4/14/2019 at 8:09 AM, larrytheimp said:

 I read the Indifferent Stars Above this winter, about the infamous Donner Party and it's 'shortcut' off the Oregon Trail, and loved when it dealt with the logistics of travelling during that time period (it even mentioned several fraudulent guide books that were sold to westbound migrants) but it really only touched on that stuff.  Thanks!

I'm going to check this one out having read Ordeal by Hunger would love another perspective.  I think of the Donner Party sometimes as I'm blasting up I80 over Donner Pass so easily.  Having lived in the Sierra's, I know the amount of snow they can get, huge amounts (like this year)  I think this is a book I'll enjoy.

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2 hours ago, Peadar said:

Peadar is enjoying the start of Adrian Tchaikovsky's Cage of Souls. Be more like Peadar.

On a more serious note, I heard him do a reading from a forthcoming novella called, Walking to Alderbaran. That was pretty fantastic, so I'm looking forward to it coming out at the end of May.

If it wasn't for having met him i'd be convinced he was just a front for some corporate publishing agency where a dozen authors pose under his name. I know he's become a full time author but how does he churn out so many books while apparently sharpening his skills on the way.

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3 hours ago, red snow said:

If it wasn't for having met him i'd be convinced he was just a front for some corporate publishing agency where a dozen authors pose under his name. I know he's become a full time author but how does he churn out so many books while apparently sharpening his skills on the way.

I asked him this, because I'm jealous as hell. Planning is his answer. Mostly, his subconscious does all the work, so that by the time he sits down to write, he already knows everything he's about to put on the page.

I'm currently trying to fire my subconscious to get in a new one, but alas...*

 

*Only joking, Subconscious. Please don't leave me.

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I just finished Cage of Souls myself. It's really good.

And, yeah, I don't know how Tchaikovsky manages to churn out so many books. They all tend to be fairly original too, it's not like he's just writing one series or producing roughly similar stories.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/11/2019 at 11:50 AM, End of Disc One said:

wut

:rofl:

 

i can almost see your spit take.

 

ETA:  on topic, i am reading before they are hanged by abercrombie and the ember blade by wooding.  both very enjoyable, so far.  I recently finished penric and the fox by some lady named bujold that i may have mistakenly slept on for far too long.  excellent prose, excellent, well fleshed out cast.  this lady is aces...also recently finished arm of the sphinx by bancroft.  i was initially underwhelmed but i ended up finding it spectacular.  i plan to read the hod king soon, especially since there will be one more.  i have a difficult time reading the last book in a series, as evidenced by me reading the ember blade before the ace of skulls...a book i may never read because i just can't currently accept that it is over.

Edited by D_P
off topic

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16 minutes ago, D_P said:

:rofl:

 

i can almost see your spit take.

 

ETA:  on topic, i am reading before they are hanged by abercrombie and the ember blade by wooding.  both very enjoyable, so far.  I recently finished penric and the fox by some lady named bujold that i may have mistakenly slept on for far too long.  excellent prose, excellent, well fleshed out cast.  this lady is aces...also recently finished arm of the sphinx by bancroft.  i was initially underwhelmed but i ended up finding it spectacular.  i plan to read the hod king soon, especially since there will be one more.  i have a difficult time reading the last book in a series, as evidenced by me reading the ember blade before the ace of skulls...a book i may never read because i just can't currently accept that it is over.

The Hod King isn't the last book. One more to go after that.

Still burning through The Ember Blade myself. I'm enjoying the more traditional nature of this after Ruin of Kings. 

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On 4/16/2019 at 5:35 PM, Peadar said:

I asked him this, because I'm jealous as hell. Planning is his answer. Mostly, his subconscious does all the work, so that by the time he sits down to write, he already knows everything he's about to put on the page.

I'm currently trying to fire my subconscious to get in a new one, but alas...*

 

*Only joking, Subconscious. Please don't leave me.

Yeah I was really surprised when he mentioned a few years ago at Luxcon that he still has a day job...

I expect dozens of books per year now. ;)

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22 hours ago, ljkeane said:

I just finished Cage of Souls myself. It's really good.

And, yeah, I don't know how Tchaikovsky manages to churn out so many books. They all tend to be fairly original too, it's not like he's just writing one series or producing roughly similar stories.

This!

I'm still enjoying the book a lot. It's like reading a Jack Vance plot and I really miss that kind of fiction. I don't see a lot of it about these days.

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Finished World Mythology: An Anthology of Great Myths and Epics by Donna Rosenberg on Thursday.  Frankly it's a okay introduction to numerous cultural stories from around the world, but Rosenberg let's it be known that she's retelling them for the modern world which basically kills off the cultural elements of the originals.  So big fail from my perspective.

I'm on vacation this next week, I'll be focusing on The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides mainly because I'm a week behind my reading due to allergies making life miserable for a week earlier in the month.

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On 4/15/2019 at 12:59 PM, Corvinus said:

I might go back to reading some history books.

Recommendation: The Modern Cultural Myth of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Jonathan Theodore. 

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