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General SF&F discussion > What else are you reading in October 2009?

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message 1: by Jon (last edited Oct 01, 2009 07:20AM) (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 623 comments I have lots of group reads this month including:

To Ride Hell's Chasm by Janny Wurts The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien Miles, Mystery & Mayhem (Omnibus  Cetaganda \ Ethan of Athos \ Labyrinth) by Lois McMaster Bujold Brokedown Palace by Steven Brust Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards, #1) by Scott Lynch Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

I'm currently reading and will soon finish:

Imager  The First Book of the Imager Portfolio by L.E. Modesitt Jr. The Winds of Marble Arch by Connie Willis

Non group reads I hope to squeeze in include:

City of Jade  A Novel of Mithgar by Dennis L. McKiernan [image error]

It will be a very busy October reading frenzy.

Welcome to Autumn!


Brad Clarkston | 13 comments I'm working on Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's 'Inferno' & 'Escape from Hell' then it's 'Children Of The Atom' by Wilmar Shiras.

I've also got Pournelle's 'Exile and Glory' somewhere to re-read.


Kerry (rocalisa) | 450 comments Just finishing up Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia McKillip. Then I'm going to try To Ride Hell's Chasm, although the size of it scares me a bit.


Kathi | 1126 comments Just finished Book 3 in Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy (I can finally read the Books 2 & 3 thread!!) but haven't had time to post my review/comments.

Next up are some periodicals from the past couple months that are collecting dust...


C12vt | 14 comments I just read Daryl Gregory's Pandemonium (which I highly recommend). Before that, I read Catherynne Valente's Palimpsest (very interesting; I read it while staying up all night delivering puppies. I kept drifting off and dreaming I was in the book's setting, which was way too apropos).

Next is either Karl Schroeder's The Queen of Candesce, or David Marusek's Counting Heads. And I'll probably drag Forever War off the shelves so I can participate in the discussion.


message 6: by Nick, Moderator (new)

Nick (doily) | 555 comments Mod
I'm starting a few gothics I've been meaning to get around to -- Dan Simmons's Summer of Night and A Winter Haunting. "Summer..." is not turning out to be as good as I wanted it to be, so I'm probably just gonna skim through the latter part. I hope the same is not true for "Winter...." If it is, I might just go back and reread Peter Straub's Ghost Story -- to which "Summer..." owes a great deal.

Also in my pile of unread Gothics is The Man on the Ceiling by Steve Resnick Tem and Melanie Tem, and The Tides by Melanie Tem. Years ago someone suggested the Tems to me as I was reading a lot of Poppy Z. Brite at the time. I still have her edited collection of vampire tales, Love in Vein to go through also, though I tire of vampires.

...and next month we have a sci-fi novel with, as I understand it, something like a vampire in it...so I'll be starting "Blindsight" this month also. Hope I'm not worn out with vampires by then.

For good counterpoint I have the recently collected early stories of Roger Zelany, Threshold 1 The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny as well as still working on Sarah Zettel's Fool's War and a James Tiptree, Jr. biography.


message 7: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1666 comments Mod
I've been working on The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology, a selection of the best short stories from F&SF magazine. It's excellent so far, one of those collections I'd recommend to people who aren't familiar with the genres.


message 8: by Nick, Moderator (new)

Nick (doily) | 555 comments Mod
Finished Dan Simmons's Summer of Night -- second half was better than the first, but it's still no Hyperion. Instead of going back to Peter Straub I turned to The Turn of the Screw. Henry James could write some chilling stuff (even amongst his great output of hohum parlor dramas) and "Turn..." is probably the prime example of the great Victorian ghost story. A good October chill.


Jim (JimMacLachlan) I'm reading A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, but only one chapter per day, since there is one for each day of the month.

I'm also going to start This Mortal Mountain - Volume 3 The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny tonight. Since it's a good book & I don't want to beat it up by taking it to work, I'll be reading The Last Colony by John Scalzi.


Random (rand0m1s) | 394 comments I'm currently finishing up Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, which, as usual, I am adoring. After that I'll hit Cetaganda. Its a reread and should go rather quickly.

I still haven't managed to get my hands on a copy of To Ride Hell's Chasm which I feel immense guilt about. I've been avoiding non electronic books for a while now (my house can only hold so much stuff) and I've been way too lazy to hit the library. Same goes for Brokedown Palace. I'll get to them eventually, just too late for the discussions I fear. :(

After that I have no idea, other than I'll toss in at least one book for the Halloween spirit. Not sure what that is going to be yet.


Ron (ronbacardi) | 302 comments Still in the middle of "Hell's Chasm", almost literally, and also working on Stephenson's 'Anathem'. I really like Stephenson's writing and hope there will soon be some sort of incident in the 'plot'. (This is not a problem with 'Hell's Chasm'.)


Kaia (slightlyquirked) Currently reading The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold.

I also have A Thousand Words for Strange by Julie E. Czerneda lined up, a copy of Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev on the way, and a few other things lying around that I really ought to get to before I go off to the bookstore again and buy more new books.

But that probably won't happen.


Kathi | 1126 comments I really liked the Czerneda book you have lined up, and am avidly looking for more by her.


Kaia (slightlyquirked) Kathi wrote: "I really liked the Czerneda book you have lined up, and am avidly looking for more by her."

That's good to know. I'm looking forward to it--sci fi is pretty new to me still.



Jade & Rubies (jaderubies) I just read Air by Geoff Ryman. I'm not sure what to think about it yet... It was a long slow read for me, but not bad. It just is a slowly unwinding story in an unusual setting (a small village somewhere in Asia/Russia) and has very little sci-fi in it. Just one major sci-fi element, actually and then the story unfolds from there. It was... different.
I'm on to read Charline Harris (Stackhouse) for a while I think for some quick light reading (and to get them out of my TBR pile!!)


Jon (jonmoss) | 623 comments I finished Imager yesterday and Those Who Hunt the Night today.

I'm still plodding through Willis' The Winds of Marble Arch and picking up the pace with To Ride Hell's Chasm by Janny Wurts.

Still quite a few October group reads ahead, but I'll focus on finishing those two before starting another one.


Ken (ogi8745) | 901 comments Reading some history, Caesar Life of a Colossus. I watched Rome, the HBO series a couple of years ago and have been itching to learn more behind the story


Sandi (Sandikal) | 334 comments I've got a trifecta going. I'm reading The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie, The Children of the Company by Kage Baker, and The Hero of Ages.


message 19: by Nick, Moderator (new)

Nick (doily) | 555 comments Mod
Finally finished James Tiptree, Jr. The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips -- it's so dense with information about this fascinating sci-fi author that you have to read it slowly. A childhood going on safari with game-hunting parents, an early marriage to an F. Scott Fitzgerald wannabe, a career of sorts with the CIA, and finally in her forties she begins writing science fiction stories. A major part of Julie Phillips's take on Tiptree is that he/she could not decide on a definition for him/herself -- Alli always had trouble with identity. Phillips investigates the major stories, at the time labelled "feminist," with this in mind, as well as showing how the stories relate to the major thems of her earlier life. This is a great biography of a wonderful and important sci-fi writer.


Kelly (sisimka) | 331 comments I've been taking a break from Sci-fi/Fantasy this month (except for the one or two things I needed to read for review). I was having trouble throwing myself into the epic proportions of To Ride Hell's Chasm. I'm going to be late for this month's book discussions!


Laurel I had to give up a lot of reading time in September to go back to University part time, alas, I had to drop the course. The professor was so completely inept, one of our major "drawing" assignments was to cut basic shapes out of construction paper and glue it into a book. For the money I was spending, I'll take classes at the local art gallery for 1/10th the price! There, rant is done! Having said that, my boyfriend says I seem much happier, like a weight has been lifted. So, off to seek a new dream...

I will happily attempt to read all of the following, but most likely only get through a few - wish me luck!

Brokedown Palace by Steven Brust Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer Nyphron Rising (The Riyria Revelations, Book #3) by Michael J.  Sullivan The Hobbit  Or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger Winter's Heart (Wheel of Time, #9) by Robert Jordan Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time, #10) by Robert Jordan Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5) by Steven Erikson The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay

I've missed books...


Kathi | 1126 comments Laurel wrote: "I will happily attempt to read all of the following, but most likely only get through a few - wish me luck!"

You have some great choices there. I also hope to read Brokedown Palace and the next book in the MIles series (Cetaganda?). Have not heard anything about the Neffenegger book, but I liked The Time Traveler's Wife, so I'll be interested in what you think of this one.



Kelly (sisimka) | 331 comments The new Niffenegger book sounds interesting, but I've read some very lackluster reviews. It's disappointing when an author publishes a book you love, then fails to keep your interest with subsequent novels.


message 24: by Brenda (last edited Oct 14, 2009 09:17PM) (new)

Brenda (readingfairytales) I just finished Oracle's Legacy Children Of Sun today, and was blown away. I received it for review, and it had a pretty plain cover, and after the first chapter I was ready to give up, except that I had agreed to review it.

So I pressed on, and it was so good. Besides editing errors (spelling and such) that were a little distracting, the story was awesome. I loved it!


Laurel I've heard much the same, Sisimka, but am a bit stubborn, so will faithfully try the book. I'm going in hoping for the best, but aware that its extremely hard to find lightning in a bottle twice!


Kathi | 1126 comments I am hoping to start this month's Miles book soon--my pile of periodicals is down to less than 6 and they are all "fall" issues, so I'm pretty well caught up.


message 27: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1666 comments Mod
I finished reading Warhost of Vastmark by Janny Wurts last night. For anyone who is enjoying our current fantasy BotM, really, check out this series - the first book is The Curse of the Mistwraith. The writing style is similar to TRHC, but the scale is much, much bigger. Three books in, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite epic fantasies.

I started out on my re-read of Cetaganda for the series discussion, and am also about to start on Dawnthief by James Barclay, because I have a review of book 2 in that series due soon.


Jim (JimMacLachlan) I got Imager The First Book of the Imager Portfolio today! I'm a fan of L.E. Modesitt Jr. & have all his books, I think. I'd fallen behind this year.

Thanks, Jon!


Jon (jonmoss) | 623 comments Jim wrote: "Thanks, Jon!"

You're very welcome. :)


message 31: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1666 comments Mod
I finished my re-read of Cetaganda, which was just as much fun as the first time around. Now I'm about 100 pages into Dawnthief by James Barclay, which is so far decent but nothing special.


Sandi (Sandikal) | 334 comments I'm really struggling with The Children of the Company. It's nowhere near as entertaining as the other 5 novels I've read in the series.


message 33: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1666 comments Mod
I remember that one --- it's the one that gives the perspective of the "other side", right? Labienus etc? I remember not liking it as much either. Still a brilliant series, I think.


Anomander | 32 comments Just finished the Twilight War trilogy starting with Shadowbred by Paul S. Kemp, a decent light fantasy Forgotten realms series.

Also read Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb (start of a trilogy?). Not much happens considering the length of the book.


Sandi (Sandikal) | 334 comments Stefan wrote: "I remember that one --- it's the one that gives the perspective of the "other side", right? Labienus etc? I remember not liking it as much either. Still a brilliant series, I think."

That's the one. I realized when I looked at the copyright information that it's a bunch of short stories pieced together into a novel. It reminds me of one of those sitcom flash-back episodes. I'm at the San Francisco earthquake section that's narrated by Victor. That and the part with Lewis and the Irish monks are the best segments. I think I might have liked it better if it was just a short story collection.



Kerry (rocalisa) | 450 comments Sandi, I agree Children of the Company would have been better as short stories.


Lareads | 16 comments I'm reading Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. I just finished The Way of Shadows and Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks and I am ordering the third one. Loved them!


message 38: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1666 comments Mod
The Company series was, for a long time, lost between publishers. I have the original editions - first Avon, then one book with Harcour, then a short story collection with Golden Gryphon, and then finally Tor picked it up and reissued all the older, out of print books. While Kage was between publishers, most of the new material came out as short stories here and there, and some of those were later combined as the later volumes of the series. So that's why some of those books feel a bit disjointed (although I think she did a good job keeping the general narrative arc moving).


message 39: by Mawgojzeta (last edited Oct 20, 2009 07:03AM) (new)

Mawgojzeta | 178 comments I am on a Karl Edward Wagner kick right now. Read Bloodstone, Dark Crusade, and almost done with Darkness Weaves. Next up is Exorcisms and Ecstasies.


Jim (JimMacLachlan) "Exorcisms & Ecstasies" is great, but sad. Lots of wonderful peeks into Wagner's life, as well as some great stories. It's a shame the book is so hard to get & expensive. I got lucky & found my copy at a remainder store. I got it new for about $5. Now I see it for around $200.

Everyone should write to NESFA Press & ask them to do set of books on Wagner. The one's I'm reading for Zelazny are fantastic. I wrote to them about it & they said they'd think about it.
http://nesfa.org/press/

Check out some of the collections they've done. The books are well worth every penny. Very well done judging by the Zelazny Collection, so far.


Mawgojzeta | 178 comments Jim wrote: ""Exorcisms & Ecstasies" is great, but sad. Lots of wonderful peeks into Wagner's life, as well as some great stories. It's a shame the book is so hard to get & expensive. I got lucky & found my ..."

I was going to read some more of his books, but cannot find any through my library's multi-state ordering system other than the ones I listed previously. I am bummed big-time.

So glad you put that link up. I just sent an email. Also going to bookmark for future possible purchases.




Ken (ogi8745) | 901 comments I dropped Caesar, not that it was bad, it was very dry. In the last week I made it through 100 pages and its been mostly politics of the day.
Started reading The Gypsy Morph
I have been reading the latest Shannara series. Its slowly getting better. Hopefully the last book will be better


Chris | 274 comments Sisimka wrote: "The new Niffenegger book sounds interesting, but I've read some very lackluster reviews. It's disappointing when an author publishes a book you love, then fails to keep your interest with subseque..."

The Guardian UK had a fairy tale series. They comissoned Niffenegger and two other writers to do modern fairy tales.

Here's the link http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/...


message 44: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (last edited Oct 22, 2009 04:36PM) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1666 comments Mod
I finished reading Dawnthief by James Barclay, which was an entertaining but pretty shallow fantasy. I still plan to read the sequel, at some point.

Then I tore through Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber, an excellent horror novel (and very different from his Lankhmar books!)

Next up is Sasha by Joel Shepherd, which has a review due at FanLit soon. Looks intriguing, although the cover art is a real turn-off.


message 45: by Nick, Moderator (last edited Oct 23, 2009 08:30AM) (new)

Nick (doily) | 555 comments Mod
Finsihed Fool's War by Sarah Zettel by Sarah Zettel. Great story. Not extremely hard-edged, though tragic. I kept thinking there were references between the three leading female characters and the Lear-Kent-Fool relationship of King Lear. It wasn't overt, but it was there. The intriguing thing about starting this book is the idea that on a futuristic shapeship there exists an official position called a "Fool." Everyone thinks the "Fool" is a psychological negotiator who keeps harmony on board ship -- but what the "Fool" actually is? -- Wow! Even without that element this would've been a fine sci-fi story about a lurking Artificial Intelligence that threatens to destroy not only this one spaceship, but a whole network of ships and stations, and about the nature of what this "sinister" AI desires. The "battles" between the AI and the 3 main female characters (including the Fool) are fascinating in unexpected ways.


Janny (JannyWurts) | 968 comments Nick wrote: "Finsihed Fool's War by Sarah Zettel by Sarah Zettel. Great story. Not extremely hard-edged, though tragic. I kept thinking there were references between the three leading female ..."

Zettel's work has long been a favorite of mine. Her characters are always well drawn, and the lovely astonishment of her plot twist is signature.


message 47: by Nick, Moderator (new)

Nick (doily) | 555 comments Mod
Janny wrote: "Zettel's work has long been a favorite of mine..."

Glad you pointed me in Zettel's direction. I shall definitely read more.



Ron (ronbacardi) | 302 comments I finally finished "Anathem" by Neal Stephenson. What a great book! A thousand dense pages taking on everything from Plato to interstellar travel, funny, moving, gripping, sly. Slow at first, accelerating logarithmically to a great ending (not always Stephenson's long suit). Highly worthwhile.


Janny (JannyWurts) | 968 comments Ron wrote: "I finally finished "Anathem" by Neal Stephenson. What a great book! A thousand dense pages taking on everything from Plato to interstellar travel, funny, moving, gripping, sly. Slow at first, acc..."

Ron, this is a book I want to read at some point - can you clue me ahead? Is it unremittingly dark or horrific?


message 50: by Ron (last edited Oct 26, 2009 09:21AM) (new)

Ron (ronbacardi) | 302 comments Janny wrote: Ron, this is a book I want to read at some point - can you clue me ahead? Is it unremittingly dark or horrific?

Janny, I don't think that "Anathem" is dark at all, but very funny: think "Snow Crash" meets Plato. It takes some time to get moving, but after the characters are introduced and the setting is laid, it becomes a Ripping Yarn and a solid demonstration of the real-world importance of philosophy, all at the same time. The word-play alone makes it worth the price. There is a moment of horrific violence, but it is along the lines of a natural disaster and an opportunity for heroism too. Completely engrossing, well-written, way original, it's got a beat, you can dance to it, I'd give it five stars.
Stefan, help me out here: you liked it too, if I recall correctly?




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