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What are you reading this year 2020?


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I finished the last book of The Expanse. Or rather, as I found out with an inarticulate shout that startled the family, the last book published so far.

I started Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer, an author I have not read before. Complete tonal shift from the Expanse books, which I am both enjoying but also adjusting to. I am just a few pages into it, and the writing style has caught me - it is as much a character as, well, the characters are. Perhaps more at this point, we're still getting introduced to them. But it really is a character, because what we are reading it "written" by another character in the time the book takes place - and you get the feeling they may not be the most reliable of narrators.

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Agreed. It's bitter sweet, because you can almost feel Robert Jordan racing against the illness that would claim his life, after so many books of spinning his wheels.

I can tell you that Book 11 - the last Robert Jordan book - does get better. Things happen. And then you are onto the Brandon Sanderson books, and he's aiming to get to the end.

I finished reading Philip Jose Farmer's The Maker of Universes. Not a bad read at all. While it's not as weird and beautiful as Vance, nor as action-packed as Leiber or Howard, it's clearly the kind of tale Gygax enjoyed. It's got genre mash-ups, technology and magic mixing, and is a definite influence on the planes of D&D.

Now I'm to Lord Dunsany's The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories.


Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archives). 10/10. It's the best series I've read in a while, and maybe of all time. The fantasy world-building is amazing and there's so many cool, small details in the scenery and culture that are delightful. The characters are so believable and distinctive, and the magic system is uniquely creative.

I'm on my second read of Oathbringer, doing a reread of Stormlight Archives, and I agree. Sanderson is amazing! Did you see the new Bridge Four movie poster out for the Kickstarter?


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Finished The Sword of Welleran. Gorgeous stuff. I then did a quick read of P. Djeli Clark's "A Dead Djinn in Cairo." This short story has a great cinematic feel, and moves at a quick pace (at 40 pages, it has to).

I'm currently reading Doc Smith's Triplanetary, the first Lensman book. And honestly, it's a bit of a slog. I'm quickly realizing why the Lensman fandom faded away, despite it being so influential.

I finished “Heroes” by Joe Abercrombie a couple weeks ago. It was great and I’ll be moving on to the next one, “Red Country” in the near future.

In between, I’m well into “NOS4A2” by Joe Hill, which is a lot of fun. I always like his work. It moves at a good pace and the characters are well depicted.


Underwhelmed by «Blue Remembered Earth», Alastair Reynolds. I have no appetite for rich spoiled kids rumping around the Solar system on a wild goose chase instigated by their grand-mother before death. Very weak characterization, descriptions and plot. Definitely not at the same level as Revelation Space.

Doug McCrae

The Devil Rides Out (1934) Dennis Wheatley. The magic system was inspired by Wheatley's reading of Magick in Theory and Practice, written (and presented to Wheatley) by the notorious occultist, Aleister Crowley. Wheatley portrays the world as a battleground between the forces of light and darkness that transcends any one religion. Druids, frex, are considered to have been on the side of light, and so, by the logic of the novel, the heroes can use Stonehenge as a sanctuary. There's an element of magical relativism derived from Crowley - crucifixes work in England because of its history as a Christian nation.

The novel is both racist and ableist. Almost all the Satanists are either non-white, have a disability (such as a cleft lip, albinisim, or a missing arm), or both. Voodoo is held to be evil.


Got, and read, and finished, Network Effect, the most recent Murderbot book. Had a conversation with my gf about it, and the difference between a great book and a book that just...pushes all your buttons in the BEST way. Honestly, I can't tell how good these books are, except that a) many other people love them; b) I've loved other Martha Wells books (but not all of them); and c) OMG how can you not??

I really really want to go dig out the earlier books now. It's only been a year since I read them, but SO. MUCH. FUN.

Dennis Wheatley's novels are definitely rooted in British Orientalism, and all the negative things that came with it. It's this weird blend of mysticism and jingoism.

The Devil Rides Out (1934) Dennis Wheatley...The novel is both racist and ableist. Almost all the Satanists are either non-white, have a disability (such as a cleft lip, albinisim, or a missing arm), or both. Voodoo is held to be evil.

I ended up giving up on Triplanetary. When they cut to a pages-long description of a new alien planet and lifeform in the middle of raging space battle, that was the final straw for me.

Now I'm back to my Dying Earth re-read, with the Eyes of the Overworld. Oh, that reprobate Cugel the Clever!

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Just finished Have Spacesuit will Travel by Robert Heinlein. It's a fun YA novel of a youth who yearns to go to space, but when he finally does, it ain't what he expected - not by a long shot! I found the casual sexism off-putting to some degree; but otherwise it's a light, quick fun read.

Eyes of the Overworld is done. Such fun. Cugel is terrible, and yet I find myself wondering how he was going to get out of the scrapes he got himself into (but also hoping that he wouldn't).

Now I'm over to Nehwon with Swords and Ice Magic. As I recall, it's the last decent read before The Knight and Knave of Swords.

I just started Resistance by J. M. Dillard, a Star Trek: The Next Generation novel that picks up immediately after the events of the last ST:TNG movie, with Riker and Troi having been reassigned to the USS Titan and Picard feeling some weird twinges left over from his time as Locutus. (Apparently this is going to be a Borg-threat novel.) It's going along okay so far, with the right "feel" for the characters - a definite must for me when it comes to Star Trek books (or any book using established characters; I hate it when the author can't get the tone right).



Dying in Chargen
Finished Triton by Samuel R Delaney, and found a trade paperback of the sfwa "Science Fiction Hall of Fame" published in 1970, seems interesting enough.

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Finished Triton by Samuel R Delaney, and found a trade paperback of the sfwa "Science Fiction Hall of Fame" published in 1970, seems interesting enough.
I read Triton probably in early 80's as a teenager. Didn't really grok it. Maybe time for a re-read. Was it as disjointed as I remember?