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What are you reading this year 2020?

Finished The House on the Borderland. That was an excellent piece of cosmic horror - in the literal sense, even. I don't recall seeing the dying of the sun and earth used so chillingly before. That the reader has every reason to question the sanity of the narrator, makes it all the more eerie.

Now I'm reading Vivian Shaw's Strange Practice. Something still spooky, but a little lighter on the palate than these last two reads.
 

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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Finally read Abercrombie's First Law trilogy in August. I've been using the r/Fantasy subreddit's Top Fantasy Novel guide as kind of a roadmap of what to read, and that was the last series in the top 10 I hadn't finished, so I was glad to get that crossed off. It was also a great (if dark) series, so that was a bonus. :)

Wanted a palate cleanser after First Law, so I read Will Wight's two biggest series (Cradle and Of Kings and Killers) the past few weeks, squeezing Battle Grounds in between. They aren't top-tier prose, but a light, refreshing take on modern fantasy tropes (especially the "progression fantasy" of Cradle).

Trying to decide if I'm brave enough to start Malazan or finish up Riyria Revelations before Rhythm of War comes out.
 

I finished Carte Blanche and while I'm generally a fan of Jeffery Deaver's novels, this was the blandest James Bond I've ever read. He mentions in the back that he's a friend of the Fleming family and was hand-picked to write this novel, which leads me to believe he was specifically asked to "tone down" Bond from the normal womanizer he was originally depicted as. And there were too many times when, during the course of reading the novel, the reader was faced with "this definitely happened" at the end of a chapter only to have the next chapter start off with "no it didn't - were you fooled?" It got to be tiresome. I can't really recommend it to Bond aficionados nor to Deaver fans - it definitely wasn't one of his better works.

So now I'm moving on to book three in the "Jane Hawk" series, The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz.

Johnathan
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I've managed to finish all of Terry Mancour's Spellmonger series of books to date; a dozen in the main series, plus two anthologies, and three books in the "Hawkmaiden" spin-off series.

Ironically, what got me into it was the Kickstarter for the Pathfinder (First Edition) conversion of the series. It popped up on my radar and intrigued me enough that I started looking into the actual books.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Been reading Arthur Mayor's Superhero Chronicles series. (Yeah, kinda generic name for a series.) It's all on Kindle Unlimited. I'm on book 5, there are 6 books out - not sure if that's the end of the story or just the most recent.

Sidekicks, Heroes, Vigilantes, Villains, Assassins, and Obelisk are the names of the individual books. If the name of the first doesn't give it away, our protagonist starts as a sidekick.

Been enjoying it. It's full of well done action, investigation, and drama. Real roller coaster that doesn't let up. It's very first person, and the protagonist is quite snarky. Though in the most recent book I'm reading (#5) he's broken the fourth wall some in his interior monologue which I found a bit jarring.

I've been sucking these down, ignoring a physical book by one of my favorite authors. Something about them is working well for me. Entertaining and worth a read, especially if you're already paying for Kindle Unlimited.
 

Well, despite the book being 579 pages long, I blew through The Crooked Staircase in a day and a half and am now about to start book 4 in the "Jane Hawk" series, The Forbidden Door by Dean Koontz. It helps that I just got a new computer on Friday and have been loading my music collection onto it all weekend - plenty of time to read while the computer's doing its thing, one CD at a time.

Johnathan
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Book sale haul. Better selection this time than last time. Might go again next weekend; still lots of interesting stuff in Mystery and other section.

Not shown is the AMAZING haul of games I scored at a going-out-of-business sale 😔 at a game store I pass by periodically. I stopped on a whim, and they were selling nearly pristine demo games for 90% off or more. Mansions of Madness for $10; Dungeonquest for $5; and those were the most expensive. Jaipur was $2, I think.

I need more shelves so bad.
PXL_20201026_212903002.jpg
 

What a grand haul! Eyes of the Overworld, numerous Barbara Hambly, Roger Zelazny, and Leigh Brackett volumes, and Nightwatch and Daywatch.

Book sale haul. Better selection this time than last time. Might go again next weekend; still lots of interesting stuff in Mystery and other section.

Not shown is the AMAZING haul of games I scored at a going-out-of-business sale 😔 at a game store I pass by periodically. I stopped on a whim, and they were selling nearly pristine demo games for 90% off or more. Mansions of Madness for $10; Dungeonquest for $5; and those were the most expensive. Jaipur was $2, I think.

I need more shelves so bad.
<photo of awesomeness>

I finished reading Shaw's Strange Practice. A charming book, though I wonder how it feels for someone that hasn't read The Vampyre and Varney the Vampire.

Now I'm reading Bruce Coville's The Monster's Ring. I last read this YA volume back in the 80s, so I'm excited to revisit it. Shouldn't take long to get through.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Read Year Zero, by Rob Reid. I'm not sure if I've read it before, so I decided to grab it yesterday. (At a $1.50 for trades, why the heck not?)

I also skimmed the Skaith books. Turns out I read those - I thought I had book 1, but I actually had an omnibus. It's cool to have the MMPBs though. And I bought A Song for Arbonne to have another copy I can give away.

Having finished Year Zero...I still don't know if I've read it before. I liked it though. Solid 4/5.
 

Not surprisingly, I finished book 4 of the "Jane Hawk" series and have moved on to book 5, The Night Window by Dean Koontz. It's kept up the pace of the rest of the series and remained an interesting and enjoyable read, but one thing has become quite apparent to me in reading these last three books: Koontz had apparently, while writing this series, stumbled across the word "darkle" and immediately fell in love with it. It's not a very common word, infrequently used by novelists in my experience thus far, but Koontz has latched onto it and it pops up quite often throughout these last three books, at least. So much so, in fact, that it tends to stand out, dropping me immediately out of the scene at hand to mentally acknowledge his use of his new word-toy once again.

But it's still a good series and I recommend it to anyone looking for a lengthy (around 2,600 pages or so, when you add up all five books), modern-day thriller series dealing with technological conspiracies.

Johnathan
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Read To Die in Italbar, by River Zelazny. I didn't realize it's set in the same universe as Isle of the Dead, which I happened to read a few weeks ago. Apparently Zelazny didn't think much of it, but I thought it was decent enough. 4/5

Also read The Eyes of the Overworld, by Jack Vance. I've had difficulty getting into Vance before, but this was much better/easier/more enjoyable. 5/5
 

Finished The Monster's Ring, Bunnicula, and The History of the Caliph Vathek to round out the Halloween season. The first two were still charming, the last one was an easier read than The Castle of Otranto as far as early Gothic lit goes, but still dated with a lot of Orientalism.

Now I'm onto Emma Bull's War for the Oaks.
 



I started a two-volume hardback series, A Treasury of Great Science Fiction, edited by Anthony Boucher. It was published in 1959 and the introduction states that these stories were collected not because they were the absolute best around, but because they were the best around that hadn't already been collected in other anthologies - in other words, Boucher was trying to gather together stuff he thought the reader might not have seen before. It's a collection of 8 short stories, 12 novelets (I think the term "novella" is more commonly used today), and 4 full-length novels, and the introduction uses the now-rather-humorous phrase "modern (1938-1958) s.f. which had been overlooked by earlier anthologists." I'm still on the first story, a 125-page novella (or novelet, if you prefer) called "Re-Birth" by John Wyndham (author of "The Day of the Triffids" and "The Midwich Cuckoos," if those ring any bells), which is an engaging story of a post-nuclear apocalypse world filled with religious "pure strain humans" (to borrow a Gamma World term) who feel they must slay all mutants and their recent discovery of a band of mutants who outwardly look human but have - gasp! - telepathic powers! Fortunately, the mutants are in telepathic communication with a band of mutants from the two-island paradise of "Zealand" who are coming to their rescue before the religious hordes get to the renegade telepaths.

I'll probably be skipping two of the novels - The Weapon Shops of Isher by A. E. van Vogt and The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester - because I've already read them, but I don't recognize any of the other works in the set so I'll press on with them.

Johnathan
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
I'll probably be skipping two of the novels - The Weapon Shops of Isher by A. E. van Vogt and The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester - because I've already read them, but I don't recognize any of the other works in the set so I'll press on with them.

Johnathan
The Stars My Destination is SO GOOD.

I read Soon I Will Be Invincible, by Austin Grossman. It's a "superhero" novel, in that the world depicted has superheros, with superpowers, and magic, and alien races. It's got all the cliches: capes, fancy helmets, accidental origins, the works - but with a great big dose of humanity filtered in. I thought it was excellen, 5/5. Reviews were decent, but the reviewers seemed really hung up reassuring readers that this is a PROSE novel about COMIC-BOOK SUPERHEROES. BUT IN PROSE. WITH NO PICTURES. IN PROSE. COMIC BOOKS.

I hit the booksale again, and grabbed a bunch more books. I'll post another pic later.
 

carrot

Explorer
I'm still on the first story, a 125-page novella (or novelet, if you prefer) called "Re-Birth" by John Wyndham (author of "The Day of the Triffids" and "The Midwich Cuckoos," if those ring any bells), which is an engaging story of a post-nuclear apocalypse world filled with religious "pure strain humans" (to borrow a Gamma World term) who feel they must slay all mutants and their recent discovery of a band of mutants who outwardly look human but have - gasp! - telepathic powers! Fortunately, the mutants are in telepathic communication with a band of mutants from the two-island paradise of "Zealand" who are coming to their rescue before the religious hordes get to the renegade telepaths.
I read that story in school (many many moons ago) and really enjoyed it - I’d been trying to remember the title/author for ages, so thank you 😊
 

Erekose

Eternal Champion
Recently read Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword - easy to see where Moorcock drew his inspiration from! Currently two books into Glen Cook’s Dread Empire series. I’ve read all of his Black Company books and didn’t realise at first these were written first. Not sure what to make of them yet but I can see the threads of later stories. I think I slightly misled myself by reading the Dread Empire short story, Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted with Defeat, in his ”Best of ...” book first! Good but very different!
 

One of the things I've grown to really appreciate about Poul Anderson is how his entire tone and writing style can shift, depending on the needs of the story he's writing. I haven't read the Broken Sword in ages, and should probably do so again soon.

Recently read Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword - easy to see where Moorcock drew his inspiration from!
 

GreyLord

Hero
Got really bogged down in the Wheel of Time books 9-11 for a while. Have finally forged through and got into the Gathering Storm and have gotten almost done with it very quickly.
 

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