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What are you reading this year 2020?

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
Still reading Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett.

Finished reading How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps by Ben Shapiro.

Finished reading the Star Wars Adventures core rule book.

Still reading Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang.

Started reading Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity -- And Why This Harms Everybody by Helen Pluckrose and James A. Lindsey.

Started reading the Pathfinder 2E Advanced Player's Guide.
 

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Finished Conan the Usurper. Good stuff. Even though it's tempting to just go with the R.E. Howard-only collections (which is what I did for years), for Appendix N explorers, the Ace/Lancer books are important reads.

Now I'm onto another Appendix N read, the sadly out-of-print and hard-to-find The Shadow People, by Margaret St. Clair.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
I Finished a couple series by Andre Norton:

Forerunner
Featuring the Forerunners, an incomprehensible yet powerful vanished alien race whose artefacts survive them. This series is also tied to the "Janus" and "Dipple" books.
and

Moon Magic, or Free Traders, or Moon Singer
  • Moon of Three Rings (1966)
  • Exiles of the Stars (1971)
  • Flight in Yiktor (1986)
  • Dare to Go A-Hunting (1989)
I liked the Forerunner series better, except the Moon Magic ended strange but good with Fae as "aliens". I have five books left (finish The Stars are Ours, with Star Born, Time Traders and Galactic Derelict, Night of Masks) and then I think I am done with her for a bit.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I've been reading a lot of the Walt Longmire murder mysteries. But right now, I'm working through Remain in Love by Chris Frantz, drummer for the Talking Heads. He has a lot of glowing things to say about a lot of people - and some very negative things about a few other, well-deserving targets.
 

I finished reading Margaret St. Clair's The Shadow People. Definitely enjoyed it more than her Sign of the Labrys. It's fairly influential on the underdark concept - there's even a gray dwarf. The book sort of sticks hippies, folklore, and a touch of dystopia into a stew.

Now I'm reading Brian Lumley's The Burrowers Beneath. Supposedly the cover of this book was the inspiration for mind flayers. I remember enjoying the Necroscope series, but have never read anything else by Lumley.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
In honor of Hobbit day, I'll note that I'm a chapter or two into reading book 4 of LotR (Hobbit road trip to Mordor) to my 11yo. I've got a Smeagol voice down ok, but keep losing Sam's. [11yo could of course read them himself, but I'm holding on to bed time stories as long as he'll let me].
 
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I was on a business trip this past week (since Monday), so I've had a lot of reading time on planes, in airports, and in hotel rooms. I've read the following since Monday:

Old Bones, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. This is likely the first in a new series, featuring as the two main characters Nora Kelly and Corrie Swanson, the latter a new FBI agent. Both were support characters in previous novels in the Agent Pendergast novels but now they're working together (quite by accident this time around, but likely on purpose in future novels). The main plot is an archaeological dig of the Lost Camp of the Donner Party (the Old West settlers who ended up resorting to cannibalism during a bad winter), which gets tied into a hunt for buried treasure and a series of assaults upon the buried corpses of a particular family line. It was a good read and I'll look forward to more in this particular series, should it expand in such a direction.

The Silent Corner, by Dean Koontz. This is the first book in a new series (and there are apparently at least five novels thus far) about an FBI agent, Jane Hawk, whose ex-Marine husband inexplicably kills himself for no apparent reason. Jane, on a leave of absence from the FBI, discovers there's been a rash of such inexplicable suicides and ends up against a powerful group of people responsible, ending up on the run from the law as she tries to bring the bad guys to justice (and, okay, a fair bit of revenge). It kind of works as a standalone book, but there's obviously more to the overall story; I equate it to his previous series starring Odd Thomas, which if memory serves went for eight novels before coming to a close. I'll be seeking out the rest of the series thus far and look forward to reading the whole story to its eventual conclusion.

Those were the only two I brought with me on my four-day trip, but yesterday I realized I would finish the second book by that evening and have nothing for the return trip today, so I picked up The Outsider by Stephen King, which has apparently already been made into an HBO Plus series. It's been really good - involving a case against a Little League coach and all-around great family man arrested for the horrific killing of an 11-year-old boy - and there's ample proof he did it (eyewitnesses, fingerprints, DNA), as well as an equal amount of proof he didn't do it (three people who were with him in a different town at the time of the killing, fingerprints placing him in that other town, video documentation corroborating his alibi). The problem is, King started out as a horror writer and then went for a while writing straight fiction, and I'm not sure where this one falls just yet. (I started it this morning and am about halfway through it.) There is the possibility of a supernatural creature involved, but so far the only times it's been spotted could easily be the nightmare of a young girl (the accused killer's young daughter) and the near-death hallucinations of a dying man. So we'll see. It's been a great read thus far and I'm eager to see which way it ends up going.

However...none of these books were my Plan A for this business trip. I had fully intended to be reading The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch, Book Four of the Gentlemen Bastards series, and spent last weekend trying in vain to find it. According to a site I found while doing frantic Google research, apparently the release date has now been bumped from "September 17th, 2020" to just "2021." What a bummer!

Johnathan
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
I equate it to his previous series starring Odd Thomas, which if memory serves went for eight novels before coming to a close.
OK, somehow I completely missed that the movie was based on a book by Koontz. I'm going to the book sale in a month; definitely something I'll look for.
 

Finished The Burrowers Beneath. It was fine. No great read, but you can definitely see the signature elements of Lumley's Necroscope saga starting to emerge. It's got shadowy organizations that fight evil, eldritch and monstrous foes, the blurring of magic and science, psychic powers.

Now I am reading Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto. I haven't read that one since I was a teenager.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
OK, somehow I completely missed that the movie was based on a book by Koontz. I'm going to the book sale in a month; definitely something I'll look for.
I would definitely recommend Odd Thomas (first in the series). After 8 books though, it left me with a lot of unanswered questions...
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I Finished a couple series by Andre Norton:

Forerunner
Featuring the Forerunners, an incomprehensible yet powerful vanished alien race whose artefacts survive them. This series is also tied to the "Janus" and "Dipple" books.

I remember she also had forerunners in The Zero Stone / Uncharted Stars. Do you know if they were connected? I really liked Zero Stone when I was a kid. (And it's such an Ioun Stone IIRC.)
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
So, I keep saying that modern Superhero fiction isn't my bag, and then coming up with some exceptions I like. So I figured I'd give the genre a chance. Cheapest way was there was a 3-montsh for $5 total Kindle Unlimited offer.

I started reading the Arsenal series (okay, "Full Metal Superhero" is the name of the series) by Jeffery Haskell. Started with a "oh look, a Tony Stark expy who knows far too many types of sciences with a really powerful AI", but the main character (a paralyzed from-the-waste-down young woman) grew on me. It had none of the deconstruction I call out enjoying in the books I liked, but I found myself reading all of them. Light and enjoyable.

I had intended to skip between different authors and series, but I was still going at book 9, which ended up with a corssover to book 4 of another series in the same world with a dark vigilante. So I read that series. I didn't like it as much,but it wasn't bad and it was quick. And now I'm back on book 10 of the orignal series, which is also a crossover with those two, but back to the original POV.

After this, don't know. There's a LOT of modern superhero fiction on kindle unlimited. Feel free to make suggestions.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
So, I keep saying that modern Superhero fiction isn't my bag, and then coming up with some exceptions I like. So I figured I'd give the genre a chance. Cheapest way was there was a 3-montsh for $5 total Kindle Unlimited offer.

I started reading the Arsenal series (okay, "Full Metal Superhero" is the name of the series) by Jeffery Haskell. Started with a "oh look, a Tony Stark expy who knows far too many types of sciences with a really powerful AI", but the main character (a paralyzed from-the-waste-down young woman) grew on me. It had none of the deconstruction I call out enjoying in the books I liked, but I found myself reading all of them. Light and enjoyable.

I had intended to skip between different authors and series, but I was still going at book 9, which ended up with a corssover to book 4 of another series in the same world with a dark vigilante. So I read that series. I didn't like it as much,but it wasn't bad and it was quick. And now I'm back on book 10 of the orignal series, which is also a crossover with those two, but back to the original POV.

After this, don't know. There's a LOT of modern superhero fiction on kindle unlimited. Feel free to make suggestions.
I recommend this superhero story.

It's about 2 million words long, but it's a fast read. Only available afaik in the web browser interface.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I recommend this superhero story.

It's about 2 million words long, but it's a fast read. Only available afaik in the web browser interface.

I've started reading that as well. So far good, but I'm not too deep. But yeah, quality recommendation.

Talking about web series, in the past I also read Legion of Nothing. It was good until the seeming inevitable "Iron Man Gets Nanites/Reconfigurable Metal" that always seems to hit armored heroes. (Heck, it happened to me running an armored hero in Champions!)
 


dragoner

Dying in Chargen
I remember she also had forerunners in The Zero Stone / Uncharted Stars. Do you know if they were connected? I really liked Zero Stone when I was a kid. (And it's such an Ioun Stone IIRC.)

Probably not exactly the same, she uses the term "forerunners" for any earlier group of aliens fairly often. Her output of books was enormous, she touched upon a lot of tropes, either original work or expanding on other ideas, like the Ioun Stones.
 



Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Continuing on
A shorter Appendix N

I finally read the Stealer of Souls and Stormbringer (originally published 1961-1964) - using the 2008 Del Ray edition. It looks like it has the original magazine versions.

Moorcock mentions in a 1963 essay later that he cleaned some of it up for when it appeared in the early editions of the books. and says "I'm not heavy with any of the magazine stories as they stand and have made, in places, quite heavy revision." It makes me wish I had purchased a different edition with that editing in it. The writing itself in the early stories was not good. Not surprisingly though, for someone in there very early 20s, it got better quickly, although it still isn't always solid.

If Law and Chaos has one wondering if Anderson's "Three Hearts and Three Lions" was a big influence, Chapter 3 of Doom Lord's Passing seals it I think. He credits both 3H&3L and Zoroastrianism for the Elric cosmology. In regards to Anderson, as of 1963 he thought "The Broken Sword" was the high point and the later stuff wasn't as good. In regards to Moonglum, Moorcock mentions being a big fan of the Mouser.

Moorcock's introduction at the beginning and his acknowledgements at the end give me a different (more positive) impression of him than some of the earlier snippets I've read of his. Alan Moore's foreword was bizarre (but not unexpected).

I'm not sure, based on these two if I'd call it Sword and Sorcery. Maybe I'd have to read the other volumes to get that? And I'm not sure I'm interested enough based on what's here. Anyone have a recommendation for jumping in for more to get that flavor of it? I might follow Moorcock's suggestions and get The Broken Sword or check out Mervyn Peake's works for the time being.
 
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