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Our reads in August 2023
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dustydigger
Posted 2023-07-31 11:15 AM (#27091)
Subject: Our reads in August 2023



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Location: UK
Charles de Lint - Someplace to be Flying
Algis Budrys- Who?
Isaac Asimov - David Starr,Space Ranger
P Djeli Clarke - A Master of Djinn
Jack McDevitt - Engines of God
Charles Sheffield - Summertide
Christopher G Nuttall - Ark Royal
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daxxh
Posted 2023-07-31 2:12 PM (#27093 - in reply to #27091)
Subject: Re: Our reads in August 2023



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Location: Great Lakes, USA
August Reads

The Mountain in the Sea - Ray Nayler
Lords of Uncreation - Adrian Tchaikovsky
Mercury Rising - RWW Greene
A Time of Changes - Robert Silverberg
The Iron Rain - Donald Malcolm
Bringing Columbia Home - Michael Leinbach, Jonathan Ward
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dustydigger
Posted 2023-08-31 4:06 PM (#27135 - in reply to #27091)
Subject: Re: Our reads in August 2023



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Location: UK
Mixed bag this August.Some OK,one or two disappointments.
Charles De Lint - Someplace to be flying. I took forever to read this,at least 6 weeks,and since there was a huge cast of characters I had real difficulties sorting out who was who,who they were partnered with,and there were at least 3 different factions whose motivations were very complicated,as were the ancient native american myths. I still enjoyed it but it was hard work.

Algis Budrys - Who? I was a bit underwhelmed by this work. I thoroughly enjoyed Budrys' Rogue Moon,but unfortunately didnt click with the main character in this one.And the ending was a bit aannoying as it was a bit ambiguous as to whom the mystery man was. I wasnt fascinated enough to concentrate on the text,so it was all a bit ho-hum.Plenty of cold war paranoia,but it didnt grip me.

I was a little underwhelmed by P Djeli Clark's Master of Djinn I thought a good editor could have cut up to a hundred pages and it would have sharpened up the tale. A massive amount of world setting tended to hinder the tale a bit. I felt overwhelmed with all the egyptian clothing,food,and history detail. And it took till near the end to realize I felt as if this was a video game with bosses at various levels ,lots of flash and bang but not a lot of real emotion. I definitely preferred Clark's short fiction much more.
Oh well,that makes all Nebula winners completed up to 2021.

I enjoyed the gloriously pulpy Isaac Asimov David Starr,Space Ranger.Probably wpuld be classed as YA today. I am always surprised at how violent,in a very casual way,the old pulp stories were! lol.. Mars and the moon are often just the old Wild West transferred to space,with moon buggies instead of horses. They all seem to use old fashioned six shooters,slightly updated to ray guns somehow.

Seabury Quinn's The Chosen of Vishnu was a gloriously pulpy over the top outing for Jules de Grandin. According to the blurb for this story from Weird Tales,1935,its ''A blood-freezing story of venomous cobras, Hindoo vengeance, and a beautiful dancing-girl-a brilliant exploit of Jules de Grandin''.Just a great garish pulp adventure with every possible cliche of the exotic east piled on top of each other,but such fun to read. De Grandin talks in that ridiculous way that Hercule Poirot did contemporaneously,so naturally I see De Grandin very very similar to David Suchet's wonderful characterization of Poirot,especially the voice! lol.

Completed a rattling good yarn from Murray Leinster.In Proxima Centauri first contact with a race descended from predatory flesh eating plants doesnt go well,lots of human deaths, the crew cannabalised,but,as ever,we come through in the end,destroying them all,including the home planet. Typical 1930s brutal pulp,but fun.I have a soft spot for Murray Leinster! :0)

And thats about it really.


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lisagarrity
Posted 2023-08-31 6:23 PM (#27136 - in reply to #27091)
Subject: Re: Our reads in August 2023



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Location: California
August Science Fiction and Fantasy
Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia I think this one will show up on the horror award short lists next year.
Autonomous by Annalee Newitz A very interesting look at AI and human slavery, AI gender and consent issues in the sort of near future. This was her debut novel and even then her world building was amazing.
Winter's Gift by Ben Aaronovitch A novella set in the US but in the River's of London universe. I spent half of the story wanting to whack the protagonist with a shovel to get them to pay attention.
Compulsory by Martha Wells (Murderbot short story) I love Murderbot.
A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction by Terry Pratchett Lots of fun stories but I think they would have been better off without the ones from his school days.
Sherlock Holmes in Orbit edited by Mike Resnik and Martin H Greenberg Has a couple of good stories, otherwise meh.
Passage by Lois McMaster Bujold Book 3 of the Sharing Knife series. This is a series that should definitely be read in order.
Spring's Arcana by Lilith Saint Crow-This one infuriated me. This is part one of two but she managed to not-end her book even more abruptly than Connie Willis did with Blackout/All Clear.
Razzmatazz by Christopher Moore Book 2 of the Noir series but I didn't need to have read the first to enjoy the second.
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