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Author Topic: Whats everyone reading?  (Read 831324 times)

Tjm86

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6975 on: 27 August, 2021, 07:18:09 AM »
Just wrapped up Reynolds' House of Suns.  It is a peculiar beast and one that does highlight Reynolds' weaknesses sometimes as a writer.  The core idea is an interesting one, individuals clone themselves on a massive scale and then set off to explore the galaxy, coming back together every thousand or so years.  As with much of Reynolds' work, the challenges of the sheer scale of the universe are navigated rather than overcome with quick fixes.  So there is plenty of stasis technology to aid the quest.

There are echoes of the sort of Banksian vibe from the culture novels (I really do need to go back and give his work another reading).  At times I also found myself reminded of some of Charles Stross' work such as Saturn's Children.  That sort of high tech decadence ... I'm not sure how best to put it ...

It feels a little at times though as if Reynolds' is not entirely sure where he wants to take some of his ideas.  This is a book packed with fascinating concepts that are never really given their day in the sun properly.  The short vignette's at the start of each section that hark back to the pre-'shattering' days are not properly tied in to the main narrative.  The ending is quite abrupt.  There is much that could be explored as a stand-alone novel.

Then again the characterisation is an improvement on some of his other works.  It is fairly pacey in most places and there is only one segment of the narrative that lulls.  For all it's flaws it is a reasonable read albeit far from his best.  Potentially one for completionists.

wedgeski

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6976 on: 28 August, 2021, 01:02:18 PM »
I happened to have just finished House of Suns myself (just in time for his new book!). I think it's his best work since the Dreyfuss stuff.

> The short vignette's at the start of each section that hark back to the pre-'shattering' days are not properly tied in to the main narrative.

I think their relevance is pretty clear..? Do you mean you would have preferred the main characters to have made the connection?

Tjm86

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6977 on: 28 August, 2021, 03:44:44 PM »
I've not read the Dreyfuss stuff.  I'm side stepping into Baxter for a revisit of his Manifold series that I never quite finished, plus the last volume of William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy.  There are a number of Reynolds books that I do want to track down and read.

I think the vignette's are pretty clear too.  I wouldn't say that the main characters needed to have made some sort of connection to them.  I'm just not too sure what purpose they serve from the point of view of the overall narrative.  This to me was the main problem with the novel.  I'm not saying that it is a horrendous novel.  It compares far better to Pushing Ice for instance. 

Jade Falcon

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6978 on: 01 September, 2021, 05:47:26 PM »
I started rereading Feists Prince of the Blood, another Midkemia book. Was there a book or short story published between the Riftwar trilogy and this as there are events referenced. I know there were some later published books set earlier like the Krondor trilogy but apart from them?

broodblik

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6979 on: 01 September, 2021, 06:52:28 PM »
I am also reading it. Here is a reading order:

https://www.howtoread.me/the-riftwar-cycle-books-in-order/
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

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MumboJimbo

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6980 on: 02 September, 2021, 08:44:31 AM »
Just finished another Asimov, this time in the Robots series with The Caves of Steel. Very much of its time, but in a good way. A very 50s-based idea of the future that reminds me of the Fallout games (before the nuclear war).

Now rounding off the Expanded Dune trilogy, Legends of Dune with The Battle of Corrin. I know a lot of people hate the Expanded Dune books (books written by Frank Herbert’s son Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson), but for me they’re a guilty pleasure. They don’t really continue the more philosophical aspects of the original books - they’re pure space opera, but a fun read, IMO. After this trilogy I’ll take a little break from Dune, but when I return I want to read all the “Return from the Scattering”-era books: so a re-read of Frank’s novels Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune, and then the Brian/KJA continuations Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune.

But before that, I need to get back to Malazan Book of Fallen and tackle book 3: Memories of Ice.

Tjm86

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6981 on: 14 September, 2021, 09:12:19 PM »
Well, nipper's class are doing work on Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo.  Thought I'd give it a look so that I at least have some idea of what she is likely to be working with.

What to say.  For a children's book it is remarkably well written considering the subject matter.  There is a subtlety to it as it deals with themes around British pre-war society, class structure and family ties.  Then as it gets to the war itself there are shades of Charley's War or Pat Barker's Regeneration.  It tries to convey the rollercoaster of emotions that squaddies faced in the trenches while connecting it to the individuals themselves who fought.  More importantly it subtly tackles the thorny issue of the use of capital punishment by the British Army.

The vignette's at the start of each chapter lead the reader inexorably to the conclusion.  There is quite a contrast to those in Reynolds' House of Suns that did not really seem to connect with the rest of the story.  Instead Morpurgo uses them to lead the reader down the path he sets out before using them to stunning effect at the end.

It is easy to see why it would be chosen for students to work with.  It provides a powerful but highly accessible narrative with which to explore the experiences of those who fought in the early stages of the war.  There is no jingoism but nor is there the castigation that sometimes surrounds debates about military leadership.  Perhaps it is more because it focuses on the familial relationships to try to convey some sense of the impact, echoing the words of the old song:
Quote
and did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
in some loyal heart is your memory enshrined
and though you died back in 1916
to that loyal heart you're forever nineteen
or are you a stranger without even a name
forever enshrined behind some old glass pane
in an old photograph torn, tattered, and stained
and faded to yellow in a brown leather frame

This is one novel that is highly recommended.

Jade Falcon

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6982 on: 14 September, 2021, 10:20:20 PM »
Well I finally finished rereading Prince of the Blood.  This was the revised edition but it's been so long since I originally read it that I can't remember the differences.  The pacing in this book seemed a bit off, especially as when you were just getting invested in one of the main characters the POV would shift to the either then vice versa.

The whole story about trying to topple the Empress of Kesh seemed a bit flimsy in my opinion and the final scenes seemed a bit rushed, but overall I still enjoyed it.

Jade Falcon

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6983 on: 21 September, 2021, 10:09:18 PM »
Started reading Feists The Kings Buccaneer and if I remember right this is far better than Prince of the Blood and leads onto the events of the Serpentwar series which has a lot of long term implications in the Kingdom.

Can someone answer a question for me?

I've mentioned before that I would like to see a Star Wars Graphic novel partwork and some time ago I was informed that there was one in France.  Looking again, it seems that in 2019 DeAgostini announced a graphic novel partwork, on the relevant section of their site there were four titles mentioned, but nothing else, unlike the 2000ad one which has all parts mentioned.

Did this partwork ever emerge or did Covid scupper it, was it cancelled or did I miss it?  I do keep an eye out in my newsagents and never saw any evidence back then of a graphic novel partwork.

I also did a brief ebay search to see if any books sprung up and that would let me know, but no joy.

Tjm86

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6984 on: 22 September, 2021, 08:39:34 AM »
I've mentioned before that I would like to see a Star Wars Graphic novel partwork and some time ago I was informed that there was one in France. 

Interesting question to be sure.  TBH it feels a little at the moment like Marvel is going all out doing it themselves now that Disney owns the IP.  They seem to be working their way through a lot of the old Dark Horse stuff in addition to their own old material.

Jade Falcon

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6985 on: 22 September, 2021, 03:05:16 PM »
Well this is the page I saw but no further details, which makes me wonder if it was postponed or cancelled.

https://www.deagostini.com/uk/collections/starwars-graphic-novels/

Colin YNWA

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6986 on: 24 September, 2021, 08:59:02 PM »
Just finished a re-read of Bulletproof Coffin and it remains a glorious wonder. Meta, yet never off-blown... though utterly full of fancy and wonder. A tribute to everything that's cool and fun. A kick at all the big boys and what they do. Though never forgetting to be wonderful fun, tightly ploted and inspiringly original even on re-read.

A work of genius.

Jade Falcon

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6987 on: 09 October, 2021, 07:01:12 PM »
I bought the reprint of the Stainless Steel Rat, and it seems decent enough, but one complaint is that the tight binding makes reading some of the text on the colour spreads a bit awkward unless you're willing to strain the spine.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6988 on: 13 October, 2021, 09:10:11 PM »
Just finshed Last Driver by Shaky Kane and Chris Baker. Its just crazy high octane fun. Throwing things we like at us, what if dinosaurs and giant monster and mad max cars and uberhard OTT action heroes and porn mags and gladiators and slave leia and ... on and on. Its like it taken all the toys out the toy box and thrown them in the air and seen how the landed, playing Story Dice with the outcomes... and yet it pulls it off and works.

So how it works.

it really shouldn't be it such gosh damn fun. I mean Shaky Kane's wonderful art holds it all together, it a Big Mac of a comic book, but you know sometimes to fancy chomping down a Big Mac.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6989 on: 14 October, 2021, 10:58:04 AM »
Just finshed Last Driver by Shaky Kane and Chris Baker...

Picked this up on the basis of this post Colin!

I'm still reading the Horus Heresy. I am on book 52 out of 54. So close! This has been less fun that I thought it would be.
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