What are you Reading? Mentatiferous May 2019 edition

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Finished up The Grey Bastards. I quite liked the brawling, bawdy tale.

Now I’m just about done with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Like the first book, there’s a depressive, cynical bent to it that I was too young to catch onto the first time I read the series.
 
Carrying on with my reading of H Rider Haggards works, I am currently reading Nada the Lily. This is an account of the tale of the character Umslopogaas, who was introduced in Alan Quatermain. It also features a good deal of fictional history surrounding the rise of Shaka, king of Zululand.

This is a very unique story of that time period, in that it features an entirely African cast of characters (with the exception of a single European character to whom the story is being told).
 

Kramodlog

Adventurer
I just finished At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft. It is a re-read. This time in English. I enjoyed the early ancient astronauts who created life on Earth trope. And they get to fight other aliens for control of Earth. I wonder how much influence he had on the trope after the short story was published. His prose was heavy and lifeless in this one.

Now I'm starting Glasshouse by Charles Stross. Supposed to be his hardest novel to read.
 

megamania

Community Supporter
On the last pages of Rise and Fall of a Dragon-King. Begin the Tribe of One series after that. Most likely this weekend.
 

Richards

Adventurer
I finished Stephen King's Insomnia. Boy, that was a bit of a slog! The story was okay once it got going...but it took close to 300 pages before the real meat of the story started to kick in. I can't really recommend it.

Now I'm starting up The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, the fifth in the Gideon Crew series. I've enjoyed the other four books in this series and so far this one has held up to the rest. This time it's Gideon and one of his former co-workers going it by themselves after the company they worked for closed, and if the back cover blurb is to believed this one may be a real game-changer for the main character, who at the beginning of the novel is expected to live no longer than two months before his non-operable tumor kills him.

Johnathan
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Finished reading Stephen Lawhead’s In the Hall of the Dragon King. It wasn’t very good, I’m afraid. It’s appears to be his first attempt at writing a fantasy novel, and it shows. Everything is just so ham-handed and blatantly telegraphed in advance.

Next up is Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, a collection of essays on the subject.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I picked up cheap a several inch thick softcover that's six or so novels that are the complete Jill Kismet series by Lilith Stormcrow. Not sure who has the more pretentious name.

I'm fairly early in the book. Somewhat standard urban fantasy - quite powerful but emotionally scarred protagonist facing off something that scares everyone else. The prose is a bit florid, perhaps even shading towards purple prose, but it grows on you. Haven't read far enough to get a good idea of plots, twists, and much about other characters yet.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Finishing up the 4th book in Philip Jose Farmer's World of Tiers series. I've got 5 of them in a 2-book SFBC edition; there's apparently a 6th but I'm probably not motivated enough to go acquire it. Not a bad series, though.

I've been tearing through books recently (not a lot else to do, and I finally have enough income to not stress about it). In this month I've also read Children of Time, by Adrian Tchaikovsky; The Wrong Stars and The Dreaming Stars by Tim Pratt; and Embers of War and Fleet of Knives by Gareth L. Powell. Children of Time is undoubtedly the best; the others are pretty bog-standard high SF, if that's a thing (think Alastair Reynolds, but not as good).

Also working on the Corum series by Michael Moorcock; waiting for Book 4 to show up on my doorstep. (bookstore had 1-3 & 5-6).
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Tchaikovsky's thing for spiders means I generally shy away from his books. Spiderlight was enough of that.

I've only read the first Corum book. Really need to dive deeper into that series. It's hard to go wrong with The Eternal Champion.

I've been tearing through books recently (not a lot else to do, and I finally have enough income to not stress about it). In this month I've also read Children of Time, by Adrian Tchaikovsky; The Wrong Stars...

Also working on the Corum series by Michael Moorcock; waiting for Book 4 to show up on my doorstep. (bookstore had 1-3 & 5-6).
 

Janx

Adventurer
Almost done with Dead Witch Walking, a Rachel Morgan UF book.

Did a beta-read on a cyberpunk novella for a local author.

Probably have to pick another book tonight. Probably a book from another local author I'd met recently. Gotta support the locals, and find out which ones are good.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Tchaikovsky's thing for spiders means I generally shy away from his books. Spiderlight was enough of that.
Is that a thing for him? It was an interesting twist and I liked it. The book just wasn't extraordinary. Solid B material.

I've only read the first Corum book. Really need to dive deeper into that series. It's hard to go wrong with The Eternal Champion.
Well, Book 4 just showed up, so I'll get to finish that run pretty soon. :)
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
So in addition to the wrist-breaking six-volumes-in-one, I also have a ebook I'm reading. The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky is a retelling, or rather a re-imagining, of Peter Pan. I'm not far into it, but so far I am very much enjoying the narration style, one that almost chats with the reader. I have never read the original Peter Pan, but I can easily believe it was (or should have been) written in a stye like this. It's 3rd person POV, but the narrator is like a storyteller - there's a bit where it says that by etiquette any conversation should start with introductions, so it introduces the characters in the scene. This is not a character in the story that is being told.

Not sure I'm doing a good job describing it at all, but it's working for this story.

Will let you know more on plot and characters when I get further into it.
 

Richards

Adventurer
I finished up The Pharaoh Key and it was by far the weakest entry in the Gideon Crew series. Next up is The Magnificent Nine, the latest "Firefly" novel by James Lovegrove. Based on the title alone I'm expecting a version of "The Magnificent Seven" (or, before that, "Seven Samurai") set in the "Firefly" universe. It should be interesting (and possibly even shiny!)

Johnathan
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Finished reading Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s. For the most part, it was quite good. Only two or three essays were too dry or too wackadoodle. It covered all the major bases – heavy metal, D&D, serial killers, Geraldo, satanic ritual abuse, and so on.

Heck, there was even an image of D&D-Wheaties cereal tie-in hologram. I didn’t know that was a thing!

Next up is a re-read of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s Dragon Wing, the first book in the Death Gate Cycle. I read that, oof, almost 20 years ago when I was first getting back into D&D and fantasy stuff.
 

Kramodlog

Adventurer
I just finished Glasshouse by Charles Stross. A very human story about memory, identity and post-human brain hacking in a post-singularity setting. Also post-scarcity. Those are a lot of posts. It is clear Stross wants to take readers elsewhere.

At the same time as Stross explores current gender identity and roles, he explores what war would be fought over in a universe where there are no material needs. Information. Information is the object of war. It is a tough equilibrium act, but it is one he pulls off.

Interestingly enough, this is Stross' most accessible novel I've read. Ever. It is also his most sensitive and sentimental story. Coincidence?

I recommend it to any sci-fi fan worth their salt, or anyone who wants to read about gender roles and identity. Or military PTSD.

I'm starting ​Iron Sunrise, also by Stross.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Finished up the World of Tiers 5th book (which has threads leading into the 6th book, so maybe I will hunt that down...) and the Corum books (enjoyed). I was "luckily" able to time my trip this weekend out to see my daughter to coincide with the 2nd weekend of the big book sale, so...hello another box of books. :) I didn't NEED them, but.....
 

Janx

Adventurer
Reading Tales from the Den by Jae Mazer and Jessica Raney. Two local authors who wrote a ton of short stories and made a collection. Horror.

Pretty good. Found a couple editing mistakes later on, but I've enjoyed what I read, despite Horror not being my bag.

One interesting thing, is they don't identify who wrote what until the back of the book. I correctly guessed on two stories when I saw them at Comicpalooza this last weekend.
 

acpitz 1

Villager
Next in unread pile seems to be "Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism" by Algis Uždavinys which I'm going to start right now.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Finished reading Weis and Hickman's Dragon Wing. Honestly, it held up a lot better than I had expected.

I can remember, almost 20 years ago, being displeased with the treatment of the Gegs. But today I can appreciate them going with a different take on dwarves.

I've been in the mood for some Appendix N reading, so next up is R.E. Howard's Conan the Adventurer.
 

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