What are you Reading? Agleam April 2019 edition

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
April Fools Day doesn't count as a proper day, so here is the new April reading thread, right on time ;).

As I said in the last one, I'm currently reading N.K. Jemisin's Fifth Season.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Reading Passage of Arms by Glen Cook and Medusa's Web by Tim Powers.

Medusa's Web is starting out pretty quickly into the fantastic-du-jure that Tim Powers is known for, with a fresh take on the supernatural-behind-the-real-world in every book. I've been a fan of his sicne I first read Anubis Gates, though the Fault Lines series and Declare are my favorites. I put this to the side because I just finished reading a very magic-behind-the-world SF book (Ninefox Gambit) and I wanted a bit of a "palette freshener" before jumping into it.

Which leads to Passage of Arms. I enjoy Glen Cook in his different incarnations, but he's not one of my top favorite authors. But I had just reread for the Nth time The Dragon Never Sleeps as a random pick-up. o far it's almost a travelogue of a particular type of SF military service. It's not quite action, definitely not drama. At this point it's more that we're along for the ride of a journalist who is along for the ride as well -- I can't point at anything in particular and call out "plot!". For all that the travelogue is good enough that I'm still reading.

After those two the top of my TBR pile is two of Charles Stross' Laundry files. May the the most recent two, or there may be one even more recent that that.
 

Kramodlog

Adventurer
Reading Makers by Cory Doctorow. It is my first novel by him. 60 pages in and I'm underwhelmed. I wanted to read his new novella collection Radicalized, and wonder if he was worth reading. Makers had been lying around on my shelfs for a while and started digging in. Now I wonder if Radicalized is worth it.

Anyone read Doctorow and survived mild boredom?
 

Jonathan Tweet

Explorer
I finished Origins of Political Order by Francis Fukuyama. It covers the history of political power from prehistoric times to the French Revolution, and it has changed the way I see society and politics in pre-modern societies. Really eye-opening.
 

trappedslider

Explorer
Reading Makers by Cory Doctorow. It is my first novel by him. 60 pages in and I'm underwhelmed. I wanted to read his new novella collection Radicalized, and wonder if he was worth reading. Makers had been lying around on my shelfs for a while and started digging in. Now I wonder if Radicalized is worth it.

Anyone read Doctorow and survived mild boredom?
Little Brother was good IMO
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Reading Makers by Cory Doctorow. It is my first novel by him. 60 pages in and I'm underwhelmed. I wanted to read his new novella collection Radicalized, and wonder if he was worth reading. Makers had been lying around on my shelfs for a while and started digging in. Now I wonder if Radicalized is worth it.

Anyone read Doctorow and survived mild boredom?
I've enjoyed a bunch of Doctorow in the past. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom might have been my favorite. But I haven't read any novels he's written in the past decade so I can't say where he is now.
 

carrot

Explorer
Just finished reading The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French. Its... a bit hit and miss. Some nice ideas and intriguing characters, but one or two plot holes meant that it didn't always hold my interest. Still will probably pick up the sequel when it's out.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
I've got that one in my to-read pile. The premise caught my attention - as far as I know, there's only a handful of books from the perspective of orcs.

Just finished reading The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French. Its... a bit hit and miss. Some nice ideas and intriguing characters, but one or two plot holes meant that it didn't always hold my interest. Still will probably pick up the sequel when it's out.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
The Fifth Season is done. Woof, that was a good one. The author wrote that it was a challenging book to write, and in the beginning, it was so to read. But the book rewards patience and paying attention, putting pieces of the puzzle together.

Now it’s onto something lighter, with a re-read of Myth Directions by Robert Asprin.
 

Kramodlog

Adventurer
Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer (Author), August Cole (Contributor)
I read it a few years ago. It is a pretty bad novel. It is an ad for rail guns and the zumwalt warship by defense consultants. The premice is interesting, China attacks the US and wins because X, Y and Z, but the execution, the characters, the plot are all pretty terrible.
 

trappedslider

Explorer
I read it a few years ago. It is a pretty bad novel. It is an ad for rail guns and the zumwalt warship by defense consultants. The premice is interesting, China attacks the US and wins because X, Y and Z, but the execution, the characters, the plot are all pretty terrible.
the writing is weak,i'd give it 3 out of 5.
 

Richards

Adventurer
I just finished book three in the Locke Lamora series and since there are no new Scott Lynch novels available for me to read, I decided to move on to something I'll likely at least enjoy: Insomnia by Stephen King. It's meaty, so it'll likely carry me through April and well into May.

Johnathan
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
The Fifth Season is done. Woof, that was a good one. The author wrote that it was a challenging book to write, and in the beginning, it was so to read. But the book rewards patience and paying attention, putting pieces of the puzzle together.

Now it’s onto something lighter, with a re-read of Myth Directions by Robert Asprin.
Just so you are aware (I wasn't when I picked up Fifth Season) - it's the first book in a trilogy and the other books are available.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
(I wrote a whole different post, realized I posted it as a reply instead of to the main thread, copied it over, and am now editing this to reply to Richards so it's not a "Duplicate, please delete" comment.)

So, I find that I have a growing impatience with authors who intentionally do series who are also slow writers. I'm sure some will jump on Game of Thrones, but Scott Lynch is on that list. Patrick Rothfuss lives there as well. Jim Butcher is getting on that list.

I don't mind a slow publishing schedule. Tim Powers is on my list of favorites and he's got it. But he doesn't do series where you are waiting. breathlessly. for. years.

Okay, that is all.
 
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Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Finished Passage to Arms. It was serviceable. End had good setup that could make a lot of what went before have additional meaning, but then threw in a twist that took that away and also lacked oomph.

Reading The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross. I do enjoy a Laundry book. This is the second not from Bob's PoV, and I'm not as fond of Alex. Don't have the emotional investment and it doesn't seem to be building. Plus there's a lot of "wow, small world" people showing up from other books - but I think that might be an actual plot point. Don't take my criticisms badly, I'm quite enjoying it - just being nitpicky I guess.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
In this day and age of hyper-serialized entertainment, I’m sure there’s lots of pressure to make everything a series. But indeed, there’s nothing wrong with writing a one-off novel. Imagine The Name of the Wind, but instead of the final section with that dragon (which I have mixed feelings on), we see the tale resolved? Or if A Song of Ice and Fire concluded on Book 3? Though this, I think, would require some serious rejiggering of the story. But heck, what if the Red Wedding had been the end of the series? That would be about as bleak as you could get.

A big part of Lord of the Rings’ influence is the prevalence of The Trilogy in fantasy literature. But not every writer is up to the task of a sprawling epic tale. I kinda think GRRM is an okay writer with an amazing idea, and that’s why he’s struggling with it.

So, I find that I have a growing impatience with authors who intentionally do series who are also slow writers. I'm sure some will jump on Game of Thrones, but Scott Lynch is on that list. Patrick Rothfuss lives there as well. Jim Butcher is getting on that list.
 

Kramodlog

Adventurer
In this day and age of hyper-serialized entertainment, I’m sure there’s lots of pressure to make everything a series. But indeed, there’s nothing wrong with writing a one-off novel. Imagine The Name of the Wind, but instead of the final section with that dragon (which I have mixed feelings on), we see the tale resolved? Or if A Song of Ice and Fire concluded on Book 3? Though this, I think, would require some serious rejiggering of the story. But heck, what if the Red Wedding had been the end of the series? That would be about as bleak as you could get.

A big part of Lord of the Rings’ influence is the prevalence of The Trilogy in fantasy literature. But not every writer is up to the task of a sprawling epic tale. I kinda think GRRM is an okay writer with an amazing idea, and that’s why he’s struggling with it.
Charles Stross has an explaination for series on his blog. Money. If the two first novels of a series reach a certain amount of sale, the series can go on indefinately as there will be people who buy any book that comes out in the series. Stand alone novels are thus less profitable. Stross basically says he canned three series (Eschaton, Freyaverse, halthing state) after the first two novels of the series didn't reach critical sales.
 

Janx

Adventurer
I finished reading The Steampunk User Manual. Interesting. More of a retrospective at this point.

Started Dead Witch Walking, The Hollows book1, a series about Rachel Morgan and Jenks the pixie.

Not sure what I think of it yet. The dialogue gets a bit confusing between characters in the scene. It's like the author tried to cram in exposition with a sub-conversation in the middle of a scene.

I'm not far in. She just succeeded at her opening mission. I'm not sure what the Story Question is, other than can Rachel Morgan improve her standing at work or strike out on her own.

I need to expand my intake of Urban Fantasy, since I'm writing a sci-fi take on the genre. The wife owned it on the kindle so here we are.

Hopefully the writing will smooth out so I can get into reading mode instead of editor mode. (as a note, the issue I'm seeing is a developmental problem, not copyediting aka typos). I wanted to get a feel for how other writers in this genre inject description, because that's something I'm a bit light on.

Anyway, this is a case of reading for "work" rather than relaxation.
 

carrot

Explorer
Just picked up The Ember Blade by Chris Wooding. Its off to quite a slow start, but its quite engaging so far. It feels like a fantasy version of the aftermath of the Roman invasion of Britain, so I'll be interested to see where this goes.
 

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