What are you Reading? Mentatiferous May 2019 edition

Richards

Adventurer
I finished up The Magnificent Nine - now that was more like it! The author's previous Firefly novel (Big Damn Hero) wasn't as well done as this one; it seemed clunky in places and the characters were doing some stuff that didn't seem like what they would do. (Plus, he had this irritating habit of trying to reference just about every episode of the series in the first novel, as if trying to prove his credentials.) But he hits his full stride with this one, which seemed like it could have been a "lost" episode of the series. While it was similar in plot to "Heart of Gold" - the crew of the Serenity is fighting off bandits trying to take over a town on a desert planet instead of a whorehouse this time - it played to the characters' strengths and Jayne got some time in the spotlight. While the ending came as no surprise (I saw it coming halfway through the novel), it was altogether an enjoyable read.

Now I'm reading Genghis: Lords of the Bow, a fictionalized biography by Conn Iggulden. It turns out this is the second of a three-part series on Genghis Khan's life, but that's okay - I'm sure it's pretty standalone if you view it as just documenting one part of his life. The same author wrote a similar three- or four-part series on Julius Caesar, of which I only ever read the first one, but it was similarly well done. I'm only a few chapters in but the characters are engaging, even of I have no idea which are historical figures (besides the main ones, of course) and which were made up for the story.

Johnathan
 

Janx

Adventurer
I've finished Tales from the Den.

Started on another local author's book Progenie by Mack Little.

Interesting. Vampires, Djinn. Diverse cast.
 

acpitz 1

Villager
Thought it might be time for some gay literature for a change.

Revisiting ON COMPUTABLE NUMBERS, WITH AN APPLICATION TO THE ENTSCHEIDUNGSPROBLEM

By A. M. TURING.

Excellent paper, but definitely not easy-reading.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Finished reading Howard and DeCamp’s Conan the Adventurer. I’ve mixed feelings on it. But I find myself still being drawn back to REH’s writing.

I also finished reading Time Life Books Enchanted World’s Dragons volume. A great collection of folklore and legend, gorgeously illustrated.

Now I’m onto Radiant, by Karina Sumner-Smith, and Moorcock’s The Dragon in the Sword, with it’s unfortunate swastika on the cover.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Been away on a business, so it was one physical books and some ebooks.

Physical book was "The Rule of Luck" of Cathryn Cerveny. I was hording it in case my kindle died mid flight so I'm not finished. Everything is turned up a little too high - it took "go big or go home" very literally - but other than that is enjoyable.

First eBook was The Wendy, a reimagining of Peter Pan. I enjoyed it quite a bit, especially the narrative style. For all that it felt too short, adn the endign what what I would have expected for a "part 1" of a multi-part book, not the end of the first book in a series. But I'll definitely pick up the next part.

Second was "The Sons Of Mil: The Innisfail Cycle". Not too far into it but grabbed a different book part way through - just wasn't in the mood. Not a problem with the book. There's a bit too much coincidence, and when in one scene a character has multiple bones broken in her hand and then it doesn't seem to come up again I notice these things. But will pick it back up.

I have a weakness for well-plotted space navel battles. Though the Kindle Lending Library you can borrow one book a month. Well, they put in a trilogy of the Legacy Fleet series (currently 5 of so books) as one book, so I borrowed it. It was ... well, I'm glad I like space navel battles. The characters were of some interest, the plot didn't suck, the navel battles weren't insipid - if these all seem like damning faint praise you could be right. Call it a 5-6 out of 10. A bit too formulaic, not enough interesting tactics, more then a few continuity blips between books, far too "the heroes are heroes so they'll win" (including the "hero ship", which seems though 125 year old tech can't be replicated by all of human civilization which is pumping out literally hundreds of warships a month.

*shrug* I'm on the third (they were short, my flights were long). It's worth finishing, but I doubt I'll buy the 4th+ of the series.
 

Kramodlog

Adventurer
I just finished Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross. It is a space Opera in a post-singularity universe.
Space nazis are the baddies and the plot is interesting, as the space nazis are trying to prevent the birth of a god-like AI distributed accross time, and see to the birth of their god-like AI. Not Stross' best work, which is excusable as it's his early work, but the beginning and end are fun.

I started The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl. It is Mad Men meets over population sci-fi. So far it seems eerily tropical with its consumption, propaganda/fake news and environnemental themes. Not bad for a novel written in 1952. It is my first Pohl novel.
 
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Mallus

Hero
Not reading anything at the moment, but in light of Gene Wolfe's recent passing, I believe it's high time to revisit "The Book of the New Sun".
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
Just started reading "Legend of the Savage Isle", the fourth novel in Todd Downing's "Airship Daedalus" 1930s pulp style series. As a kid I spent many summer nights listening to "Theatre of the Mind" on the radio; such things as "The Shadow", "The Falcon"....
 

carrot

Explorer
Just finished "One Word Kill" from Mark Lawrence.
I rather enjoyed it and was one of the more hard-to-put-down books I've read for a while. It was quite a neat story, although you can see some of the plot twists coming a mile off!
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Cool; I've got this sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be read. I loved Lawrence's Broken Empire trilogy.

Just finished "One Word Kill" from Mark Lawrence.
I rather enjoyed it and was one of the more hard-to-put-down books I've read for a while. It was quite a neat story, although you can see some of the plot twists coming a mile off!
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Finished Children of Ruin, by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Fewer spiders. Definite undertones of David Brin's Uplift Saga and CJ Cherryh's "aliens think different" mentality. Finished Provenance, by Ann Leckie. Still not sure if I've read the 3rd book in her trilogy, but this is same universe and it makes me think I haven't. Good culture building, as always. Finished Blood Rain, a mystery by Michael Dibdin. Good book, nothing exceptional. Partway through A Serpent in Venice, by Christopher Moore. I think it's a sequel of sorts to Fool, but it's been a while since I read Fool (which I really like), so I'm not 100% certain. 90% though. It's alright, but I took a break midway to read Provenance, so obviously not gripping.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
[MENTION=1370]carrot[/MENTION], [MENTION=30438]Ralif Redhammer[/MENTION] - what would you suggest as a first Mark Lawrence book to read?
 

carrot

Explorer
[MENTION=1370]carrot[/MENTION], [MENTION=30438]Ralif Redhammer[/MENTION] - what would you suggest as a first Mark Lawrence book to read?
I've only read The Broken Empire and The first two Impossible Times books. They are not related stories, but since the Broken Empire trilogy is all available, I'd go for that first!
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Finished the 3rd of the Legacy Fleet series on Kindle loan. End had a bit more interesting twists but I'm not going to bother to pick up more in the series. I would had been disappointed if I paid for those books, even witht he first at only $4 for the Kindle version.

Also finished The Rule of Luck, which I enjoyed quite a bit more. An earlier complaint was that the author seemed to "go big" on everything, but that actually works out to be a plot point. The ending was a bit rushed, and the resolution felt a little Deux ex Machina, but still was enjoyable. To steal from a webcomic that also reviews movies, it didn't clear my Threshold for Awesome. Still, I'll pick up the next book in the series.

Got a large TBR pile, will see what grabs me next.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Finished A Serpent In Venice. it was...alright. Fool was much better. Read The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, by Theodora Goss. It was fine but suffered from a serious case of Spunky Heroine (x5). I'm all for more female protagonists, but these were cliche and pretty one-dimensional. Also read Shadow Captain, the sequel to Revenger, by Alastair Reynolds. I'm a big fan of Mr. Reynolds, but this didn't thrill me - which was also true of Revenger. (Also, these characters all felt undeveloped too. Maybe it's me? Probably not...I just gotta find a better book. Time to get serious, I guess....) This feels like a stab at YA, to be honest. On the upper end of YA, but still.... On the other hand, the worldbuilding is A+ top notch. 5+ million years in the future; all the planets dismantled and made into millions of smaller habitats, most with miniature black holes inside to create gravity; a great cycle of civilizations rising and falling.....

Naturally I've been in NY for a week+ now, and have exhausted all the books I brought, and the books I bought to supplement them, and now I'm bookless. Argh. I've got Mists of Avalon looking at me, but wasn't it enough to hate it once? Do I have to do it again? Frack. Used bookstore tomorrow. I've got credit.
 
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