What are you reading? (August 2017)

Kramodlog

Naked and living in a barrel
I'm waiting for Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older to arrive by mail. I do not like ereaders and I want a physical copy that I can keep and lend.

Anyway, I'm really curious to read about direct democracy.

"It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line.

With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?"
 

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I’ve heard good things about Infomocracy. Tor has generally been doing awesome stuff of late.

I’ve generally been opposed to e-readers, but am seriously considering picking one up. Mostly so that I don’t have to lug those 700+ page wrist-crackers around on my commute. You know, like the next Song of Ice and Fire book and the last Kingkiller Chronicles one…

I'm waiting for Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older to arrive by mail. I do not like ereaders and I want a physical copy that I can keep and lend.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Just finished the screenplay for "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child". Quick read. I liked it, but my 10y.o. who likes Harry Potter did not. I loved their portrayal of Draco Malfoy, but I thought they made Ron much more of a doofus then in the original books. I wonder if you needed to be more over-the-top to present in a theater medium instead of normal prose.

6/10 as part of the series - it builds off the existing books and doesn't hold it's own without them as background.
 


Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer was fine reading. Not great, but enjoyable. I’m finding that relentlessly snarky protagonists are growing old for me, though. Too much it seems like the character becomes just a conduit for the author’s jokes, at the expense of actual characterization.

Still, the idea of Thor being a huge Game of Thrones fan was pretty entertaining.

Now I'm reading Sir Pratchett's Eric. The Rincewind tales aren’t my favorite, but I never pass up a Discworld novel when I see one in a used book store.
 


carrot

Explorer
Currently working my way through The Magicians series by Lev Grossman. It's got its moments, but I'm finding it a bit too inconsistent in internal logic, plot direction and character motives. Its proving a little too easily putdownable.

Fortunately I have the next book in Michael J Sullivan's Legends of the first empire to move on to...
 

I enjoyed The Magicians series, moreso after the first book. But I think it gets into trouble when it tries to have its cake and eat it to. Trying to be a post-modern gritty fantasy while also tapping the sense of wonder that it is also trying to deconstruct doesn’t always work.

Currently working my way through The Magicians series by Lev Grossman. It's got its moments, but I'm finding it a bit too inconsistent in internal logic, plot direction and character motives. Its proving a little too easily putdownable.

Fortunately I have the next book in Michael J Sullivan's Legends of the first empire to move on to...
 

Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer was fine reading. Not great, but enjoyable. I’m finding that relentlessly snarky protagonists are growing old for me, though. .

Haven't been around a few teenagers recently, have you?

I'm just about to finish up RPO and based on twiter comments and a name check in the book,i've already figured out one one big change.
 

Elodan

Explorer
Updated with everything since my post in the July thread.

Finished reading Ready Player One by Ernest Kline. Decent read, a little too much tell not show. Sections read like a reference manual to the 80s.

The Key to the Coward's Spell by Alex Bledsoe (an Eddie LaCrosse short story). Really good, made me want the next book in the series (assuming he's writing one).

Catalyst by James Luceno. A Rogue One prequel that tells the story of how the Ersos get involved with Krennic in the first place. Decent read but nothing special.

Gears of Faith by Gabrielle Harbowy. A Pathfinder tales novel that was rather unfocused and didn't have much of a fantasy feel to it. Read more like a romance novel.

Moon Wreck: First Contact
by Raymond L Weil. Picked this up as a freebie on my Kindle a while back. Had to stop about halfway in. It read like a sixth grader's essay. Grammer was too distracting.

Read a bunch of sample chapters on the Kindle but didn't pick anything up.

Now reading Dark Intelligence by Neal Asher. I almost put the book down because the first few chapters had too much technobabble. It got more interesting but it's back to the point that I'm contemplating putting it back down.

I'm also reading the lore sections of the Sword Coast Adventure's Guide (read the cruch stuff a while back). They did a really nice job with it. I like the book a lot.


Feels like it's been a long time since I've read a really good science fiction or fantasy novel.
 

Richards

Legend
So I found myself yesterday at an airport at 0530 for a flight that was to leave at 0759, only to find out the plane hadn't come in the previous evening - and the earliest flight home for me started boarding in a scant 11 hours. I had already checked out of my hotel and turned in my rental car, so I had pretty much a full day to look forward to at the airport.

Fortunately, I had two novels with me, each about 550 pages long.

The first was Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear, of which I had already gotten through the first 200 pages earlier in the week. Despite it being a Nebula Award winner, it was an excruciatingly dull read. It had an interesting premise but boring, flat characters; a tedious pace; and an unfinished ending that left me not in the least bit interested in hunting up the sequel, Darwin's Children. I can't recommend it.

Fortunately, the next book was Desperation by Stephen King. I devoured 350 pages of it before I had to give up reading for the day, because I was yawning nonstop and my eyes kept watering. (Fortunately, I was in the last hour of my last flight for the day by then.) But it's a decidedly creepy book, with interesting characters and a plot that I can't wait to see resolved. I'd put it up there among King's creepiest novels, although it's rather like The Last Stand in that it's setting up a "good vs. evil" confrontation between the main characters. This one I would heartily recommend.

The fact that my 11-hour airport ordeal had me looking forward to finally reaching "desperation" is not lost on me.

Johnathan
 




Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I don't remember when or why I picked it up, but I had Rebel Fleet by B.V. Larson. I finished it up only because I'm a completionist and it was a quick read. The characters were one dimensional with the protagonist being a real Marty Stu. The late middle picked up to about 2.5 stars, but the first half of the book and the end didn't get that high. It had a some interesting setting-build ideas that I enjoyed, and the ever-present action and fast-talk sequences were done well enough, though lacked tension because you knew the protagonist would succeed without much cost.

It has made me want to read some decent military science fiction or military space opera with good space battle scenes. A guilty pleasure, like the Honor Harringon series. Yes, HH is even more of a Mary Sue but is much more entertainingly written and does fail and/or have to pay costs (at least until the later books in the series). Any suggestions out there?

Actually, I wouldn't mind expanding into wet-navy fiction with good ship battles as well if you have suggestions, either modern or historical.
 

Mallus

Legend
I just finished the latest Expanse novella "Strange Dogs". On its own it's a nifty little SF story told from the point of view of a child colonist on one of the colony worlds beyond the Ring gates.

As part of the large series, it offers the best evidence yet there might be a happy ending in store by the end of book 9, which I appreciate greatly after all the spectacular misery in the events of books 5 & 6.
 



Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
I feel the sudden need to revisit Asprin's Myth Adventures. I love old 1970s fantasy, too.

And older. I don't find too much modern fantasy that has the vibe I get from stories like this, Fafhrd & Gray Mouser, etc. Nothing epic about it, no worlds saved. Just some people trying for riches and/or glory in a crazy fantasy world.
 

My brother and I grew up reading Asprin’s Thieves World and Myth series. The collaborative aspects of Thieves World are all the more impressive for being done in an age before emailed attachments and online file shares.

Just finished First Watch. Really enjoyed the buddy-cop by way of fantasy story. Now I’m reading Infidel, the second book in Kameron Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha trilogy.

The 1st Thieves World collection, Sanctuary by Robert L Asprin. I love this old 70's fantasy.
 

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