log in or register to remove this ad

 

What are you reading this year 2020?

Nellisir

Adventurer
Continuing on


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.

Just a quick note looking at that list: Nine Princes in Amber and The Guns of Avalon are only two books in a 5-book cycle, which is itself the first half of a 10-book series. There's almost no resolution in just reading the first two books; read the whole Corwin Cycle. Compared to modern books it's not a particularly long read - if published now all 5 would probably be a single book.

Also, as you may have guessed from previous comments, I agree with Moorcock. The Broken Sword is better.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Nellisir

Adventurer
Thank you for the recommendation. Helped me decide to just click the button to order it.
"I feel like Poul Anderson might not get enough credit for his influence on D&D. He's certainly cited, particularly for Three Hearts and Three Lions, but reading this book was about as close as reading a direct transcription of a D&D setting into a novel as I've ever seen."

Re Zelazny: For the record, I would happily read Zelazny's grocery list. His writing is amazing. I recommend anything by him.
 


Janx

Hero
Been awhile. Finished Peace Talks by Jim Butcher, Binti by Nnendi Okorafor. Next to Last Stand book by Craig Johnson and just started Dread Nation by Justina Ireland.
 

Finished re-reading Castle of Otranto. There's certainly a reason that I read it decades ago and it slipped out of mind. It's like someone took Shakespeare, stripped out the clever and gorgeous language, and amped up the melodrama. It may be considered the founder of the gothic lit genre, but it certainly is more notable for what it would inspire than its own merits. In essence, its short hundred page length dragged.

Next up I'm back to some Appendix N literature, with Manly Wade Wellman's Who Fears the Devil? I'm not particularly happy with the cover of this edition, but it was the most affordable in the best condition. Such a shame that these stories are so out of print.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
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:

.......................................................

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

I love that first book by Lynch, and really like the next two. But, man, whatever his issues are, he's really struggling getting this next book out. I still think these would be great HBO shows.....
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
"Calico Kids" by friend Todd Downing is next on my list. Was supposed to start on it over the weekend, but got all wrapped up in other stuff. It just dropped on Amazon, last Friday. It's a '80s retro SciFi/Horror, based on a short story that he wrote a fairly long while back. He also posted the '80s playlist that he used for inspiration, somewhere. I could likely dig it up if anyone is interested.
 
Last edited:


carrot

Explorer
Finished The Wounded Kingdom trilogy by RJ Barker. It was ok, but don't think I'll read any more if the author decides to continue the story.

I then read Ink and Sigil by Kevin Hearne. It's an Iron Druid series off-shoot. It's not as good or as interesting unfortunately, but I'll probably read more if and when it arrives.

Moved on to the latest entry of the Cycle of the Scour - The Black Book by Edward W Robinson. I'm not really a fan of this side-series, and I'm just waiting for him to get back to his main story The Cycle of Galand which I find much more interesting.

Ooo Battle Grounds has just arrived... It's tempting to go read that now :)
 

ModernApathy

Explorer
I posted this in a different thread a few weeks ago, but this is a better place for it.

I Just wanted to mention the new Susanna Clarke novel : Piranesi
Whilst it's very different to her first novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, it's a much easier read for one, it's no less interesting or enjoyable.

I've been pretty slack this year though, I found it hard to concentrate during the early stages of lock down and have read very little.
The only other things I've managed this year were a couple of Jeff Vandermeer books:
Dead Astronauts
The Strange Bird
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
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.

Read Brandon Sanderson's superhero series "The Reckoners," starting with Steelheart. Kind of some deconstruction in there. Also, his series of three "Legion" novellas are more sci-fi, but sort of super-heroish. Would make a good quirky detective series like Monk or Psych. Even Sanderson's fantasy tends toward superhero.
 

Janx

Hero
Battle Grounds just came out..i'm waiting for my copy to show up.
yeah, I realized that and put Dread Nation aside (only at chapter 2) and downloaded Battle Grounds last night before the internet spoils everything. I'll resume Dread Nation after. It looks like a good read.
 

trappedslider

Adventurer
yeah, I realized that and put Dread Nation aside (only at chapter 2) and downloaded Battle Grounds last night before the internet spoils everything. I'll resume Dread Nation after. It looks like a good read.
I read Dread Nation when it came out, but that's all I remember lol. I'll read Battle grounds while I wait for someone to return The living Dead started by George A. Romero before he passed away then finished by Daniel Kraus to the library. I've also got Dawn of The Dead on my wish list.

EDIT: However, I just now saw that The Tower of Nero (Trials of Apollo, The Book Five) (Trials of Apollo, 5) comes out next week,so that will jump to the head of the line after BG lol
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I have put aside everything else I was reading as Battle Ground arrived yesterday.

My spoiler-free review is - I have cheered out loud several times, and am about 20% through it. Also, Harry may have some snarky lines.

My very-slight-spoilers review is that like other Dresden books it has lots of callbacks. Having read the side stories as well as the main books will bring even more enjoyment.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
yeah, I realized that and put Dread Nation aside (only at chapter 2) and downloaded Battle Grounds last night before the internet spoils everything. I'll resume Dread Nation after. It looks like a good read.
If you happened to be peeved with Peace Talks "all setup and no payoff" (I wasn't, but I know people that were), I'll say only that Battle Grounds has significantly more payoff.
 

I thought Dread Nation was quite good. I am curious about Romero's novel. The Empire of the Dead comics were pretty enjoyable.

I thought it a shame that he never did get to make his final zombie movie (which sounded like it was going to return to the main continuity, rather than the soft reboots of Diary and Survival). Zombies in a demolition derby sounds pretty wacky, but it's not like he hadn't slowly been hinting at increased intelligence.

I read Dread Nation when it came out, but that's all I remember lol. I'll read Battle grounds while I wait for someone to return The living Dead started by George A. Romero before he passed away then finished by Daniel Kraus to the library. I've also got Dawn of The Dead on my wish list.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Continuing my gradual reading of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books. If unfamiliar, picture something like a reclusive American Mycroft Holmes (Nero Wolfe) who is partnered with a classic American radio show type detective like Johnny Dollar or Richard Diamond (Archie Goodwin). There were 47 volumes published from 1934 to 1975, and a posthumous one in 1985. Several of those contain multiple shorter works, and some modern collected volumes contain a few of the 47.

I was inspired to try it based on reading that Glen Cook's Garrett P.I. books were partially inspired by them (they are not particularly similar beyond the surface) and by the spectacular voice of Sydney Greenstreet in the radio show. I have since since seen an episode or two of the A&E TV show from 2001-2002, and a bit of the old pilot with Shatner as Archie, and a bit of the William Conrad TV version... and should get to those at some point too. It's hard not to miss Greenstreet's voice if you heard the radio show first.

After exhausting the university and county library systems over the past few years, I had been slowly buying used copies when I ran across them or trying inter-library loan. Of course, now that ILL is only partly working and I don't have a ton of book space, but do have a kindle, it finally occurred for me to get one that way. And so, #21 "Prisoner's Base" - I thought it was a particularly strong volume, with several nods that those familiar with the characters would definitely appreciate (much of the fun in reading the series is the characters more than the mystery). There's one bit about the reveal that I wish had been resolved, but can't have everything.

For anyone wanting to try reading the series, It's not particularly important to read them in order, but I might suggest reading the first few to get a feel for the character before jumping around (and it looks, so far, like most of the recurring characters start somewhere in the first 11). I would be careful to read #13 "And Be a Villain", #15 "The Second Confession", and #17 "The Best Families" and not until having read several others.

And now I have to resist ordering the next one so that I can actually do some work!
 
Last edited:


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Continuing my gradual reading of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books. If unfamiliar, picture something like a reclusive American Mycroft Holmes (Nero Wolfe) who is partnered with a classic American radio show type detective like Johnny Dollar or Richard Diamond (Archie Goodwin). There were 47 volumes published from 1934 to 1975, and a posthumous one in 1985. Several of those contain multiple shorter works, and some modern collected volumes contain a few of the 47.

I was inspired to try it based on reading that Glen Cook's Garrett P.I. books were partially inspired by them (they are not particularly similar beyond the surface) and by the spectacular voice of Sydney Greenstreet in the radio show. I have since since seen an episode or two of the A&E TV show from 2001-2002, and a bit of the old pilot with Shatner as Archie, and a bit of the William Conrad TV version... and should get to those at some point too. It's hard not to miss Greenstreet's voice if you heard the radio show first.

After exhausting the university and county library systems over the past few years, I had been slowly buying used copies when I ran across them or trying inter-library loan. Of course, now that ILL is only partly working and I don't have a ton of book space, but do have a kindle, it finally occurred for me to get one that way. And so, #21 "Prisoner's Base" - I thought it was a particularly strong volume, with several nods that those familiar with the characters would definitely appreciate (much of the fun in reading the series is the characters more than the mystery). There's one bit about the reveal that I wish had been resolved, but can't have everything.

For anyone wanting to try reading the series, It's not particularly important to read them in order, but I might suggest reading the first few to get a feel for the character before jumping around (and it looks, so far, like most of the recurring characters start somewhere in the first 11). I would be careful to read #13 "And Be a Villain", #15 "The Second Confession", and #17 "The Best Families" and not until having read several others.

And now I have to resist ordering the next one so that I can actually do some work!
Love Archie and Nero. Also am a fan of Fritz and the tantalizing mentions of delicious foods (blackened eggs? What even are they?). At some point there was a Nero Wolf Cookbook, which I'd love to own. I'm sure it's got way more salt and butter than modern cooking recommends; but there's a reason Wolf was a 7th of a ton.

Similar to your project, I have been thinking of reading the following Golden Age of Mystery authors in publication order. All together, year by year.
Dorothy Sayers (Peter Wimsey)
Agatha Christie (Poirot, Marple)
Ngaio Marsh (Alleyn)
Rex Stout (Wolfe/Goodwin)
Josephine Tey (Alan Grant)
John Dickson Carr (Mostly Gideon Fell)
Georges Simenon (Maigret) (in the original French? Maybe...)
Margery Allingham (Albert Campion)

And then write a quick blog post about each one as I go... It would be interesting to see how a) technology progresses in the novels and b) how major geo-political events impact each novel. For example, my sense is post WWII, many of series got a bit darker in feel.
 

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top