Jeffrey Jeffrey's Comments (member since Jan 28, 2008)

Jeffrey's comments from the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club group.

(showing 141-160 of 202)

1865 We should continue the master list as it seems to me that it contains many really excellent books. having an open nomination is again akin to merely having the same old authors who dominate the genre being nominated. at least with the master list we get people to list books from a large group of authors.

I will concede the cory doctorow is not well know but Tim Powers's books are reviewed consistently in major sf publications and Jim Butcher's last few books have been on the New York times bestseller list.

I still like the current system, and there is no reason we cannot have Nick put twenty books on a list and then discuss which 10 or so we should actually vote on.
1865 I am actually against the theme selection being the sole idea given that it so far has been most frequently won by the most famous author and that some of the connections to the thematic limitation are dubious at best. I would prefer that one group of novels be randomly generated so that we can at least get books by other authors who are not in the narrowly drawn up themes.
Nov 04, 2008 08:38AM

1865 I am currently reading Pirate King by RA Salvatore.

I have Anathem out of the library but not sure will read it -- its just so blasted long.

I have read the Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly this month, which was very good for a legal thriller.

I plan to read The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille and its new sequel, The Gatehouse next

I may read The Given Day by Dennis Lehane, but not sure. It was due at library on 11-1

I have 20 books out of the library, 25 on the floor in my computer room that I bought but have not read and I will probably pick some of them to read the rest of the month.
Anathem (29 new)
Oct 24, 2008 09:49AM

1865 The best book I think is Snow Crash even for someone with fantasy leanings. I think its really a very readable book and is by far the best cyberpunk book out there. Plus its ideas seem to me to be very accessible. You can also skip some of the inserts on the meta universe if you choose. Another Stephenson book, Zodiac, which is not pure sf but really a thriller about ecological terrorism is also a good place to start as its light reading.

I really didnt like Diamond Age. One of Stephenson's issues as an author is his endings, and the latter half of Diamond Age was not my cup of tea so I cannot comment on that, but I completely agree with Brooke about the Baroque Cycle in that its too huge as a first induction. Anathem, just got a mixed review from the New York Times Book Review, where the reviewed stated that the book was too much a thought experiment.
Oct 10, 2008 09:13PM

1865 I have read so far in October:

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
heat lightning by John Sandford
Fifth Floor by Michael Harvey

I also re-read Crossover by Joel Shepherd - an excellent sf import from australia

I am currently reading Foundation by Mercedes Lackey, a new novel in her Valdemar series

I am going clear out my second half of the month to read Anathem by Stephenson.

I also will try to read

Fade Away by Harold Cobin
Debateable Space by Phillip Palmer
Pirate Sun by Karl Schroeder

I usually read 10-12 so a couple of other books from the libary or the tbr pile will finish the month

Sep 25, 2008 10:49AM

1865 I have read all of the books and I think Small Favor was pretty good precisely b/c Butcher was getting away from the vampire white counsel mess.

Chris I am not sure about similar series as I think Dresden is fairly unique, but if you like the supernatural from a fantasy angle, I would say that Kat Richardson has a three book series out about a woman detective who can see into the Gray.

You might also want to check out Pamela Briggs.

Laurell Hamilton has written a fair number of books about Anita Blake the vampire hunter. While I stopped reading them a while ago, the first 5 or 6 are very good.
Sep 08, 2008 10:39PM

1865 The sheer scope of the worldbuilding and setting, I think are what most people state are the reasons for its placement in the pantheon
Sep 08, 2008 10:35PM

1865 Going from the list on Wikipedia, I would recommend Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder which is an excellent novel.

I really dont read too much "steampunk", but this was one of the best novels of last year.

Shannon, if we are picking books by labels then we should say within the labels or what is the purpose of limiting ourselves to the labels anyway.

Sep 07, 2008 11:58PM

1865 I pretty much read only new books (I reread older books that i have at home) so practically everything I get is due in 2 weeks from the library and I barely read on weekends b/c I have twin 5 year olds so its all kid time then, but i read about 3 books a week. I am going to try to read some of the following in the rest of this month

Silks by Dick Francis
Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva
Last Patriot by Brad Thor
Time Engine by Sean McMullen
Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
Free Fall by Laura Ann Gilman

Sep 07, 2008 11:41PM

1865 how did you like chabon's book. i thought it was very imaginative
Aug 27, 2008 10:51PM

1865 As a pretty big sf reader I dont think sf is in love with its past so much. I just think that many of the major ideas of sf grew out of ideas from early sf. I agree with those who point to classic English Literature. Dont we always look back at the great books and read them for the writing and the wit. In that way an English major is still going to read the Great Gatsby or Persuasion -- both of which books are about eras that have basically disappeared from the Earth because the writing is so good.

I think there is a body of very good sf books that any reader of sf should like to read. I dont particularly like the Foundation novels, so I cannot define what are classics, however, I think most sf readers would say that you cannot go wrong reading Heinlein's juveniles, and his other great works (Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, Farnham's Freehold), Gateway by Pohl, Dune by Herbert, Niven, Niven and Pournelle, Bujold, Cherryh, Andre Norton, Simak, Farmer, Vance, have all written sf that has as much relevance today as it did in the past. Are there misteps, clearly Heinlein's later fiction is not his best -- but that is one reason to look at Goodreads -- we can steer you to the better book. That is not to say that you need to go back to reading serials from the 30's and 40s or sf with flat one dimensional characters. Nor does anyone have to read War of the Worlds or the Time Machine when you can read Enders Game or Hyperion.

If I had a reader who wanted to read sf I might want to suggest that s/he skip cyberpunk with its dark side and go back and read a few of the genre's classics to see what the reader liked --- space travel, exploration, alien encounters before thrusting somebody to Richard Morgan with his body changing cyberpunk future or Kathleen Goonan with her nanotechnology or even Vinge with his modern take on classic Space Opera. Even if the ideas espoused in a book are somewhat dated -- like the surrogate mothers in Moon is a harsh mistress -- the rest of the book is not.
Aug 20, 2008 05:11PM

1865 The Yiddish Policeman's Union is great. I am all for that book.

Island in the Sea of Time by SM Stirling

in which the island of Nantucket is thrown back in time.

Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove (the king of alternative history)

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (a terrific first novel about an alternative history set during the naploenic wars where dragons are used as weapons by both the English and French)

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Aug 20, 2008 02:52PM

1865 I have heard World War Z is great and I am a big fan of Pamela Briggs.

My first choice, however, would be

Dark Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman.

This is a truly terrific book about the hunt for magic eating demons who have stolen a wizard's powers by a priest and monsterous hero (who is a type of psychic vampire who has survived for millenium by feeding on fear.

The very opening of the books is terrifying in its implications as it describes what the hero sacrifices for his immortality. The First book in the Coldfire Trilogy, This is, IMHO, the best dark fantasy novel out there.

My other choices would be

Wolf Moon by DeLint (about a werewolf)
Alien Taste by Wen Spencer
McClennons Syndrome by Holly Lisle (vampires in space)
Wicked Game by Jeri Smith Ready (vampire djs at a rock station -- cool book by new talent)
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (the first book in her Sookie Stakehouse series)
Guilty Pleasure by Laurell Hamilton (the first book in her Anita Blake vampire hunter series)

I think Dracula is a horror book so I would be against that.

1865 I give another vote for Flinx from Alan Dean Foster. He is my favorite character

In no particular order after that I go with:

Jaime from God Stalk
Honor Harrington from David Weber
Jewel Markess from Michelle West
Bink from Piers Anthony
Hosteen Storm from Andre Norton
Mat Cauthon and Rand from WOT
Anita Blake
Harry Dresden
Miles Vorkosigan
Pyanfur Chanur
Lessa and F'lar of Pern
Bazil Broketail
Aug 11, 2008 09:19AM

1865 I read both Halting State and The Yiddish Policeman's Union. I liked both novels a lot, but I thought that Halting State had a little fall off at the second half of the novel and was a little convoluted. I really thought Chabon's book was a work of great imagination. It was a vividly imagined world well written. I have read Sawyer before and I think that he is always nominated because his books are standalone sf but I do not think his work was either as impressive as Halting State or as imaginative as Chabon's book. I did not read Brasyl or the Scalzi book.

I find that the Campbell award winner kind of surprising as it went to a woman who has only published short stories, albeit exceedingly well received and did not go to Scott Lynch who has two well received novels. It again shows that sf places great emphasis on the short story format.
1865 Mark, Most of the time I too finish the book, but I do read a lot of new authors as I get tired of the same old stuff so it becomes a little more chancy and when I am between my favs I sometimes read books recommended by others b/c they may be "literary sf" or literary fantasy -- its those books that tend to be my worst decision -- when i take a chance on something that I didnt pick first.
1865 I do think that the younger you are the longer you should give a book -- if you are 55 or older I would not give a book more than 100 pages. If 45 to 54 I can see giving a book 150 pages to get going and if you are younger than that its your decision. I do agree with the life is too short crowd but still not ready to stop reading books in the middle b/c I have invested typically so much time picking the turgid book out, then reading it that I find it hard to give up on it
1865 Most of the time I still find myself reading books all the way to the end even if they turn me off in someway.

It has to be really not my cup of tea to stop me from finishing it. But when I do finish a book that just didnt work for me -- the tendency is to put that author in the do not read list more often. So its not that particular book that I dont finish -- its the next one that I dont start.
Aug 01, 2008 11:59AM

1865 My list for the next 2 weeks is pretty ambitious:

I am currently reading Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich

I have the following that I want to read as well

By Schism Rent Asunder by David Weber
Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner
The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross
Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik
The Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell
Illegal Action by Stella Rimington

Not sure what else I will read.

Aug 01, 2008 11:31AM

1865 i liked the wood wife. I keep meaning to read the first book by Bryan but cannot find the time. Let me know how you like Wood Wife.


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