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Our reads in May 2021
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dustydigger
Posted 2021-05-01 6:52 PM (#23067)
Subject: Our reads in May 2021



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Dusty's TBR for May
George R Stewart - Earth Abides
Andre Norton - Star Guard
Henry Kuttner - Fury
Edgar Rice Burroughs - Llana of Gathol
Harlan Ellison - Jeffty is Five
James S A Corey - Abaddon's Gate
A month for finishing off a few reads put aside for a while that i need to complete.
Wasnt around for weeks last month as I had a terrific arthritis flareup,multiple joints affected,couldnt type at all,but I am recovering.slowly. However I cant hold a physical book,so thanks be that I have some things on my kindle which I can finish off!
Everything except the Ellison short story is part read. I was delighted to find that story online since I have completed 9/10 of a best short story list and have been looking a while for this tale to complete the project. Quite expensive to buy,but thanks to the great way WWEnd is now listing which anthologies contain short stories I managed to locate it without having to pay. A hardback collection including the story cost over ?12 Ouch
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SSSimon
Posted 2021-05-02 5:53 AM (#23071 - in reply to #23067)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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I've only read Earth Abides from that list, but remember it's quite good, hope you enjoy it!

Here's my TBR for May:
Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
Grass by Sheri S. Tepper

I'm finishing up the Classics of SF v5. Eight more books to go. I'm halfway through my first Culture novel (Consider Phlebas). So far the worldbuilding is great though the action sequences seem to drag on.
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daxxh
Posted 2021-05-02 8:25 AM (#23072 - in reply to #23071)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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I am currently reading Daemon by Daniel Suarez. It is pretty good so far. Also on the list for this month are

Road Out of Winter - Alison Stine
The Children of the Company - Kage Baker
Triumphant -Jack Campbell
The Snow Queen - Joan D. Vinge

I might also read some Andre Norton that I just picked up - Secret of the Lost Race and Uncharted Stars.

Edited by daxxh 2021-05-02 8:35 AM
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spoltz
Posted 2021-05-05 11:43 AM (#23080 - in reply to #23072)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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Hey Dusty, I hope you get some relief soon!

I got my second Pfizer vaccine Monday. Hooray!

I finished Exit Strategy by Martha Wells, which is Murderbot Diaries #4, which I really liked, and read another novella, This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone which I really didn't like. It was all prose, almost no plot, no character development, and an unbelievable love story. However, it is really well liked by a lot of readers, so I think I'm in the minority.

On my list for this month are:

Black Sun - Rebecca Roanhorse
Network Effect (Murderbot Diaries #5) - Martha Wells
The Midnight Bargain - CL Polk
Piranesi - Susanna Clarke

I have most of the Nebula and Hugo nominees from Kindle deals of the day and other sales, so I'm working my way through those.
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Administrator
Posted 2021-05-05 7:49 PM (#23082 - in reply to #23080)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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Well, I finally figured out a way to get some reading in these days. I drive an 8 hour shift for the Red Cross delivering blood most Sundays and I get hours and hours of uninterrupted audio book reading done. Hardly any distractions and it helps pass the time on those long drives.

Right now I'm reading The Black Prism by Brent Weeks and really enjoying it. I've seen him doing a lot of interviews with other authors on Crowdcast and thought I'd give him a go. Glad I did. There was an unexpected twist in the book that actually made me gasp out loud! That's a pretty good trick for an author to pull off.

In the queue next are 2 just released books on audio: Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells (love me some Murderbot!) and Andy Weir's new book Project Hail Mary. These 3 books have me really excited about reading at the moment and I'm going to have to find more time somewhere cause I'm anxious to get to them all.

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RebS
Posted 2021-05-08 11:57 AM (#23089 - in reply to #23067)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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Currently reading William Gibson's Zero History, loving the Blue Ant trilogy. Not sure how I missed it.
Hummingbird Salamander - Jeff Vandermeer, just picked up from the library
Fugitive Telemetry - Martha Wells, also love me some Murderbot, planning to purchase
considering a reread of Neal Stephenson's Anathem
Jemison's Broken Earth trilogy also in my future

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illegible_scribble
Posted 2021-05-10 2:22 AM (#23093 - in reply to #23067)
Subject: RE: Our reads in May 2021



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dustydigger - 2021-05-01 4:52 PM
I was delighted to find that [Ellison] story online since I have completed 9/10 of a best short story list and have been looking a while for this tale to complete the project. Quite expensive to buy,but thanks to the great way WWEnd is now listing which anthologies contain short stories I managed to locate it without having to pay. A hardback collection including the story cost over ?12 Ouch

I have a hardcopy of The Essential Ellison for which I paid $75.00 sixteen years ago (!). If you ever need a story from it, drop me a line.

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?246509 

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illegible_scribble
Posted 2021-05-10 2:25 AM (#23094 - in reply to #23071)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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SSSimon - 2021-05-02 3:53 AM
I'm halfway through my first Culture novel (Consider Phlebas). So far the worldbuilding is great though the action sequences seem to drag on.

That series is definitely on my "must get to" list. Thus far I've only read The Algebraist, but it definitely lived up to the hype I've seen for Banks. 

And I really loved Vinge's Zones of Thought series, I found parts of it quite mindblowing when I read it a decade ago. 



Edited by illegible_scribble 2021-05-10 2:34 AM
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illegible_scribble
Posted 2021-05-10 2:49 AM (#23095 - in reply to #23080)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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spoltz - 2021-05-05 9:43 AM
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone which I really didn't like. It was all prose, almost no plot, no character development, and an unbelievable love story. However, it is really well liked by a lot of readers, so I think I'm in the minority.

On my list for this month are:
Black Sun - Rebecca Roanhorse
Network Effect (Murderbot Diaries #5) - Martha Wells
The Midnight Bargain - CL Polk
Piranesi - Susanna Clarke

I share your assessment of Time War: very flowery prose for those who enjoy that, but no worldbuilding, plot, or character development, and no reason for the main characters to fall in love. I No-Awarded it on my Hugo ballot. 

The Murderbot is awesome, of course. I enjoyed The Midnight Bargain but did not think it was nearly as excellent as that author's Kingston Cycle series (which I will probably nominate for next year's Best Series Hugo). Piranesi is a fast, short, bizarre read, and I thought it was okay (but it was a vast improvement over Jonathan Strange, which I DNF'ed - twice). I haven't tackled Black Sun yet; the synopsis screams "not my thing", but since it's on the Hugo ballot, I'm going to at least try it. I've only seen a few people say they've read it, and the reviews were decidedly mixed (good worldbuilding, but the characters are acting out a predestined plot, and it ends on a cliffhanger). I'll be interested to hear your reaction.

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illegible_scribble
Posted 2021-05-10 2:54 AM (#23096 - in reply to #23072)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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daxxh - 2021-05-02 6:25 AM
I am currently reading Daemon by Daniel Suarez. It is pretty good so far.

I haven't read that one yet, but I'll be interested in your opinion on it. I did read Delta-V, which I found very good apart from the ending being a bit abrupt.

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illegible_scribble
Posted 2021-05-10 3:12 AM (#23097 - in reply to #23067)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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I've just got done reading Juliette Wade's Broken Trust (The Persistence of Blood, Mazes of Power, and Transgressions of Power). It's science fiction set in the underground of what appears to be a post-apocalyptic planet (possibly Earth?); people live mostly underground, and there's a caste system which consigns people to living narrowly-defined lives based on their assigned social roles.

The plot features lots of political intrigue, with some progressive characters who are working for reform of their badly-broken social system. It took me a while to really get absorbed in the first book, but once I did, then I really flew through it and the sequel.

I read Stephen Leigh's Amid the Crowd of Stars, which has a similar premise to his Mictlan series (Dark Water's Embrace and Speaking Stones) - an interstellar human colony ship was stranded on a planet, with the humans being forced to adapt to an incompatible biological environment. I thought it was not quite as good as the Mictlan stories, but it's still good.

And on the same theme, Adrian Tchaikovsky's The Expert System's Champion is a good sequel to the first novella, which goes to some new places. 

I've just had Andy Weir's Project Hail Mary drop into my box, and am really looking forward to it. 

And I've read a few of the K.J. Parker novellas, but I'm doing a roundup read of all of the rest of the short fiction. These stories are all faux history of a world which resembles Earth in the Age of Antiquity, and the main characters are always sly, witty, unreliable narrators who have to use their brilliant intellect to save the city/empire in unexpected ways.

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thejessleigh
Posted 2021-05-13 2:38 PM (#23108 - in reply to #23067)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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I've been working through backlist books on my shelves as I prepare to move later this month. Some highlights from the last couple of months:

- The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson - definitely a precursor to modern Urban Fantasy. Fun read, quick, but I don't know how well it holds up. You can definitely see its influence in later genre works, but it maybe suffers a bit from the comparison to more contemporary works.
- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James - always a delight to revisit. Some friends keep telling me I should check out the recent Netflix adaptation, I think it's called The Haunting of Bly Mannor, but I've been reluctant. The Turn of the Screw is such a deeply internal book, reliant on the unreliability of the narrator. I don't know how well it would fare in adaptation.
- The Sundial by Shirley Jackson - This is a fascinating book to read during the pandemic. The lockdown, paranoia, hoarding of resources. Even though this book was written in the 50s it hits harder now than it maybe ever has before.
- The Auctioneer by Joan Samson - Like if Shirley Jackson wrote a Stephen King story. It's got New England, mob mentality, a battle between haves and have-nots, and a steady ratcheting up of sinister dread. Great afternoon read.
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daxxh
Posted 2021-05-15 8:56 AM (#23113 - in reply to #23108)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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@illegible scribble - Daemon was good. I found it interesting how a "good guy" gets pulled into the "bad guy's" camp. My biggest problem with it is that it ends in a cliffhanger. I have the sequel on hold and will read it soon.

This is my last month of reading a lot so I am trying to make the best of it. In addition to Daemon by Daniel Suarez I have also read

Road Out of Winter - Alison Stein - meh. This one just kind of ends with a whimper.

The Children of the Company - Kage Baker - very good. I have enjoyed this series so far.

Triumphant - Jack Campbell - very good. I really enjoyed this trilogy.

Later - Stephen King - ok. I like his writing. This one is short and it is OK.

Perigee - Patrick Chiles - very good. Not sure where I heard about this one, but I really enjoyed it. It is a near future thriller type book.

A Martian Odyessey - Stanley Weinbaum - meh. i couldn't get into this one. Glad it was short.

The Snow Queen - Joan D. Vinge - ok. I really hate when the female character centers her existence around a man and still would do anything for him even when he knowingly commits heinous acts. I liked the world building and the writing though.

I am currently reading Seeds of Change by Thomas Monteleone.
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dustydigger
Posted 2021-05-18 8:08 AM (#23120 - in reply to #23113)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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My left hand is slowly coming back into us eafter a nasty arthritic flare up that has lasted almost a month,so I hope to be more active on the site.
Got my second jab last Friday,after a mere 14 week wait.The reaction was much less than the first jab,only 2 sets of chills/fever,bones didnt ache so much,and I got off to sleep for 4 hours,compared with a sleepless night in agony the first time,so its all good
George R Stewart's Earth Abides was quite impressive,though it progressively became sadder and darker as it went on. Definitely deserves its place o the Masterworks list.
Christopher Priest - Inverted World. Didnt like it at all. slow paced,no characterisation,and premises based on mathematics - hyperbolas,optimums etcwhich just went over my head! Not for me at all.
I have been working my way through the Locus Best SF list,and finishing this one leaves only one more read to finish the list. - Dhalgren. I am putting aside quite a chunk of time,Chip Delany isnt the easiest of reads.Probably in July.
Delighted to get hold of Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Lives collection for a mere ?0.99 . Am thoroughly enjoying his debut The Tower Of Babylon novelette.I am reminded of another bright young star three decades earlier than Chiang,Roger Zelazny,who could also use mythology to brilliant effect. Both Chiang and Zelazny won Nebulas or Hugos for their debut works,nothing better than starting at the top!
Books in progress:
Henry Kuttner - Fury
C M Kornbluth - Not this August
Ted Chiang - Tower of Babylon
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spoltz
Posted 2021-05-21 4:20 AM (#23130 - in reply to #23120)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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I've read:

Black Sun - Rebecca Roanhorse - Loved it, 5 stars.
Network Effect - Martha Wells - Really liked it, but it just felt like an expanded novella. No new territory here. 4 stars
Piranesi - Susanna Clarke - Loved it, 5 stars
The City We Became - N. K. Jemisin - Really liked it. 4 stars. Incredibly inventive Lovecraftian weirdness.

Three books to go and I will have read all the Hugo and Nebula nominees.
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daxxh
Posted 2021-05-31 12:20 AM (#23144 - in reply to #23067)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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What I have read since I last posted:

Seeds of Change by Thomas Monteleone - good.
Slow Tuesday Night by RA Lafferty (short story) - didn't like this one.
The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers - ok.
West of the Sun by Edgar Pangborn - good. Need to read more by him.
Exile From Space by Judith Merril (short story) - meh.
A Call to Arms by David Weber, Timothy Zahn, Thomas Pope - excellent.
Captives of the Flame by Samuel Delany - good. Need to read the whole trilogy.
The Machine's Child by Kage Baker - good. Cliffhanger!
The Sons of Heaven by Kage Baker - excellent. Liked this series.
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo - meh. Glad it was free.
Where the World is Quiet by Henry Kuttner - ok.
The Deadly Percheron by John Franklin Bardin - ok (not sure why this is considered speculative fiction)

I am currently reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and a Miss Fisher murder mystery. Not sure that I will finish them tomorrow as I have to prepare to be a real person again and will go back to reading 5 or 6 books per month.

@spoltz - I also loved Black Sun. I can't wait for the sequel.


Edited by daxxh 2021-05-31 12:24 AM
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spoltz
Posted 2021-05-31 7:59 PM (#23145 - in reply to #23144)
Subject: Re: Our reads in May 2021



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I finished off the month with two more books.

The first was The Midnight Bargain by CL Polk. I didn't like it as much as the Kingston Cycle (Witchmark, etc). It was okay, 3 stars, but felt kind of derivative.
The second was A Heritage of Stars by Clifford D Simak. A good novel, 3 stars. Even though it was written in the late 70's, it felt more golden age, with lots of exposition and philosophizing. Still, I love Simak's prose and sylvan settings.
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