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What We've Been Reading > What are you Reading this July?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 05, 2016 07:30PM) (new)

So, what interesting books are you reading this July while you bask on a northern hemisphere beach? It's 110°F here in the Arizona desert, so sitting inside reading looks awfully attractive right now.


(I'm filling in for Michele, because it's a holiday week in US and she's no doubt celebrating the Juno probe entering orbit around Jupiter :)

The Empress Game (The Empress Game Trilogy #1) by Rhonda Mason The Empress Game by Rhonda Mason
I did a quick read of The Empress Game, a 2015 space opera novel I picked up last year for some reason and sputtered out on the first time I started to read it. This is an Edgar Rice Burroughs-style space fantasy, gender reversed. Somewhere, there's a interstellar empire that chooses the Empress by personal combat. Kayla, who happens to be a Princess in hiding from the Empire since they conquered her home world and massacred her family, has been making a living fighting in the gladiator arenas. Entirely coincidently and totally without irony, she's tapped by one of that very Empire's nobility to impersonate their candidate for Empress in the Hungry for Power Games. So we got a little Prince and the Pauper going on, too.
I guess it's no worse than aquatic tarts passing out magic swords as a system of government. Honestly, cat fights in print are nowhere as near as interesting as they are down at the Gentlemen's Clubs, but if they make this into a movie, I'll watch!

War Stories from the Future by August Cole War Stories from the Future edited by August Cole
I already read War Stories from the Future, our upcoming short story anthology discussion topic for next week. (And it's available free.)

But mostly, right now I'm reading through this months supply of SF&F magazines.


message 2: by Brendan (last edited Jul 05, 2016 09:52PM) (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments June's Reading:

Seveneves: Disappointing one for me. Not up to the standard I expect from Stephenson, with somewhat dull characters and third-rate anthropology.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream: Enjoyed the title story, but for how much this guy is talked up, was somewhat of a let-down. 3 stars, which is the average of the title story getting 5 stars and Lonelyache getting 1 star.

Silently and Very Fast: Fairytales about emergent artificial intelligence!

The Time Traders: A group read. A very ho-hum adventure, but did love that it focused on an often ignored part of history.

The Gate to Women's Country: I really liked this one, an entertaining vision of a post-apocalyptic utopia organized around a combination 1960's feminist thought and Spartan Greece.

The State of the Art: Short stories were heavy on Banks's signature black humour, great stuff.

July's Reading: Ancillary Sword, Vermilion Sands

Can tick off Harlan Ellison and Andre Norton as members of the classic sci-fi firmament that I've now tried, but I doubt I'll be seeking out more material from them.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Brendan wrote: "Silently and Very Fast: Fairytales about emergent artificial intelligence!..."

BTW, that was one of our short story discussions once upon a time.


message 4: by Ian J (last edited Jul 06, 2016 10:55AM) (new)

Ian J (ianjsimpson) I'm reading The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief for review and Smile or Die for 'pleasure' (?!)
Next up will be both Dave Hutchinson's books:
Europe in Autumn and Europe at Midnight so that will be the full Clarke Award shortlist complete.
Also want to get in a couple of oldies too. Not sure which yet.


message 5: by Gary (last edited Jul 06, 2016 12:55PM) (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments Currently reading The Accidental Demon Slayer (Demon Slayer, #1) by Angie Fox The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox it fills a category in a reading challenge in another group.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) G33z3r wrote: "So, what interesting books are you reading this July while you bask on a northern hemisphere beach? It's 110°F here in the Arizona desert, so sitting inside reading looks awfully attractive right now."

I grew up in Mesa and Tempe, so I know what you're going through. I was there about 26 years ago when it hit 122F and they had to shut down Sky Harbor. My car vapor-locked and I couldn't get to work. It was a great day to sit in the air-conditioning and read. Either that or cook eggs on the sidewalk outside.

I'm going to NV for a few days for my daughter's basketball tournament. My folks live there now so she'll get to visit Grandma and Grandpa and I'll get to sit in the A/C and read. :)

Last month I did finish A Storm of Swords A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3) by George R.R. Martin by this guy George R.R. Martin . Earlier this month I quickly read War Stories from the Future by August Cole in preparation for this month's discussion.

Later this month, I should finish Jack of Shadows Jack of Shadows by Roger Zelazny by Roger Zelazny in preparation for our group discussion.

I'm still working on Shadow of the Giant Shadow of the Giant (Shadow, #4) by Orson Scott Card by Orson Scott Card but probably won't finish it until August.

I'm also working on The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015 Edition by Rich Horton but I just learned that the 2016 edition has been released! It seems I will never be caught up. Anyway, the 2015 edition will occupy my time for a few months.


message 7: by John (last edited Jul 08, 2016 07:19AM) (new)

John (jkbrown2) | 19 comments I'm on volume 3 of The Hunger series by Jason Brant. The whole series has been excellent. The books are Devoured (The Hunger #1) by Jason Brant , Consumed (The Hunger #2) by Jason Brant , and the book I am currently reading, Ravaged (The Hunger #3) by Jason Brant


message 8: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) I'll be reading On Basilisk Station (my first military SF with a female lead) and Kameron Hurley's essay collection Geek Feminist Revolution. I also plan to read a classic, Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

The rest is according to my mood and some group vote results :)


message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 08, 2016 07:10PM) (new)

Silvana wrote: "I'll be reading On Basilisk Station (my first military SF with a female lead) ...."

David Weber's Honor Harrington is probably the best-known of the starship captains, quite intentionally a space-based takeoff on Horatio Hornblower stories. Weber's done a nice job designing his physics to let him play with detailed tactics of inter-starship battle.

If you're interested in another starship combat series with a female lead, I'll recommend Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War; it's a 5-book long story (unlike Weber's, each novel builds single story, though it takes a little patience; I don't think it gets very military until book two.)

If you want to ditch the starships and get into the space Marines category, I'll recommend Tanya Huff's Torin Kerr novels (at least the first four or five; I was disappointed in the most recent release. But then Huff as mostly switched to writing urban fantasy these days.)

There's an old Military SF recommendation topic, if you're interested in more ideas, though it doesn't break down male versus female protagonists.


message 10: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) thanks, Geez. Vatta is already in my wishlist and glad to have another supporting vote for that series. I'll be checking that thread too. Military SF is one of the very few SF subgenres that I could actually enjoy.


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Brookes (technohippy) The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven

I've just finished The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven Niven and Jerry Pournelle, and it's a brilliant take on the first contact theme:

http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/201...


message 12: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2752 comments Well, I had other plans at the start of the month, but then decided to join this group which means I'll be re-reading the Belgariad (I don't intend to stop after the first book, in fact plan to go right through to the Mallorean and continue with the standalones). Of course it will take significantly longer than this month to do so but its a start. Been wanting to do that for a while since I got my hands on the Mallorean a while back.

I'll also re-read the Magicians trilogy since that is also assigned for this month. Been wanting to read them a second time ever since the TV series came out. Before I watch it I want the books fresh in my mind, something I did for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. After all I'm ok with a TV/movie not holding true to the books (well...there are some spectacular cases where they really messed it up), but if the books aren't fresh I keep wondering, "Was that in the book??" which irks me.

But before I get to those I need to finish The Dinosaur Knights by Victor Milan since I won an ARC copy here through Goodreads and those always get priority since I need to provide a review. It's ok so far, however I usually try to avoid reading books in a series out of order, and in this case I'm starting with the second one, which means I'm spending a fair amount of time trying to catch up on the world, the politics, the characters and all that. So it can be read without the first, but sometimes I wonder what I should or should not know at this point in time. But I couldn't resist what was described as a "Game of Thrones with dinosaurs".

If I can squeeze it in, the other book I've been wanting to get around to for a while is Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. Since I discovered I love lighthearted Greek mythology brought into the modern world after reading Riordan's Percy Jackson series, but want to try out other authors (and age groups).

Guess I can include what's on my e-Reader, it's Redliners by David Drake (oddly this puts me on topic with the military SF discussion above). Basically I'm going through the entire Baen free library I was lucky enough to download before most of the books were taken down.


message 13: by Emmanuelle (new)

Emmanuelle | 44 comments I just bought three books. I still have time to read them before the end of July : the last from Guy Gavriel Kay Children of Earth and Sky, the last in the Kharkanas trilogy Fall of Light and finally from Esselmont Dancer's Lament.
I have also by Freitas The Quantum Brain and some other books in geology and environmental chemistry (not just because it's my job but also because I love it!)


message 14: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments I have Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1) by Robin Hobb Assassin's Apprentice next up on my TBR list, as soon as I finish Map of Bones by James Rollins and Path of the Crooked by Ellery Adams.


message 15: by Shaitarn (last edited Jul 14, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Shaitarn | 123 comments Just started Rhapsody: Child of Blood. Read it a long time ago and can't remember a thing about it.


message 16: by Budd (new)

Budd Turner | 5 comments I just finished The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge.
The Blabber is a post script to his Children of the Sky and possible lead into a 4th book in the Zones of Thought series, (i hope).
Fast Times at Fairmont High is essentially the first three chapters of his epic Rainbows End.
The Barbarian Princess appears to be introduction to Tatja Grimm's World, which will be next on my list.


message 17: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments Nearly finished with Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2) by James Rollins by James Rollins


message 18: by T. (new)

T. Dunsterville (goodreadscomtdunsterville) | 11 comments Gary wrote: "Nearly finished with Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2) by James Rollins by James Rollins"

Looking for his latest book. I have them up to date so far!


message 19: by T. (last edited Jul 15, 2016 10:39AM) (new)

T. Dunsterville (goodreadscomtdunsterville) | 11 comments Last week finished reading The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey . Now reading Polarity Children of the Orb by C.A. Jamison byC.A. Jamison. Good summer read! Rereading my own book, Warlocks of Evergreen The Evergreen Journals Book I by T.I. Dunsterville Warlocks of Evergreen , and after that will reread Virals (Virals, #1) by Kathy Reichs by Kathy Reichs.


message 20: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments T. wrote: "Gary wrote: "Nearly finished with Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2) by James Rollins by James Rollins"

Looking for his latest book. I have them up to date so far!"


I have most of the Sigma Force Books on my Nook, I still need to pick up a few more. I wait for sales to add them.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Silvana wrote: "I also plan to read a classic, Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress."

I've got that one coming up too. I should get to it mid-August.


message 22: by Budd (new)

Budd Turner | 5 comments Thunderstorm knocked out power yesterday, so I finished reading Nexus. Slow starter had kept me from reading for a while, but it picked up momentum mid-way and was very high tension toward the end.


message 23: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments Finished Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2) by James Rollins Map of Bones by James Rollins What a roller coaster ride.


message 24: by R.M. (new)

R.M. Gilmour (rmgilmour) | 7 comments Advancing (Advance Industries #2) by K A Duggsy


message 25: by Colby (new)

Colby Craft | 5 comments Finishing up Bands of Mourning and Mistborn: Secret History, then probably moving on to the Broken Empire Trilogy.


message 26: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Read: Vermilion Sands. Highly enjoyable, reminded me very strongly of Nova Swing by M. John Harrison, though I am certain that the inspiration went the other way and Saudade is Harrison's take on Vermilion Sands.

Currently reading China Mountain Zhang and finding it thoroughly absorbing.


Olivia "So many books--so little time."" | 26 comments I've just finished reading Nebula Award Stories Nine which is edited by Kate Wilhelm. I enjoyed most of the stories.


message 29: by Budd (new)

Budd Turner | 5 comments Finishing Robert A. Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".
An excellent training manual for anyone wanting to start/run a revolution.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Budd wrote: "Finishing Robert A. Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".
An excellent training manual for anyone wanting to start/run a revolution."


Excellent. I'll start that one probably next month, when I finish Shadow of the Giant.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I finished...

Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1) by Anthony Ryan Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

Start of the Raven's Shadow series, I thought it was was pretty entertaining military fantasy. It's not going to be our August contemporary fantasy novel discussion (but not to worry, Promise of Blood was a pretty good fantasy, too.)

and then read a sequel novella in that series. The Lord Collector. I'm going to have to schedule reading next two novels in the series pretty soon.


message 32: by Garyjn (new)

Garyjn | 88 comments Just finished Intensity by Dean Koontz, maybe the best non-supernatural thriller I've read. Just starting Stephen King's overall review of the horror genre Danse Macabre. I expect to enjoy this, being a King and a horror fan, and hopefully get some ideas for future books and movies.


message 33: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments Still working my way through Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb


message 34: by Eric (new)

Eric | 24 comments As always, a bigstack of comic books.

As to Fantasy/SF, I read The Magician King (The Magicians, #2) by Lev Grossman and The Twelve (The Passage, #2) by Justin Cronin .

Something fact-based, but fun: The Road to Little Dribbling Adventures of an American in Britain by Bill Bryson

A couple of crimey-wimey things: In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) by Tana French
The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock

Otherwise, it's been all more literary offerings.

Plugging away at The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne

Working my way through Knausgaard: My Struggle Book Three by Karl Ove Knausgård

Loving the Neapolitan novels: My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1) by Elena Ferrante The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels #2) by Elena Ferrante

Also blown away by: A Manual for Cleaning Women Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin


message 35: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Currently reading Cugel the Clever, part of Jack Vance's Dying Earth, and about 5% of the way throughThe Big Book of Science Fiction, a project which will probably take me a month. The Star by HG Wells kicked off the anthology, and it was a pretty grim end of the world scenario.


Olivia "So many books--so little time."" | 26 comments I've just started reading Prodigy by Dave Kalstein. So far it has been a page-turner--it's about specimens (students) of an elite private school who are being killed off.


message 37: by Jevon (new)

Jevon Knights (jevonknights) | 56 comments Eric wrote: "As always, a bigstack of comic books.

As to Fantasy/SF, I read The Magician King (The Magicians, #2) by Lev Grossman and The Twelve (The Passage, #2) by Justin Cronin.

Something fact-based, but fun: [bookcover:The Road to Li..."


Eric, how did you like the Magician King? Never read it but the synopsis reminds of Harry Potter.


message 38: by Eric (new)

Eric | 24 comments There's a thread here on The Magicians (the first book). Check that out. I left my review there.


message 39: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments Now at 55% done with Assassin's Apprentice hoping the book picks up speed soon.


message 40: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 28, 2016 06:13AM) (new)

Four Roads Cross (Craft Sequence, #5) by Max Gladstone Four Roads Cross by Max Gladstone is out.

Dropping everything to read immediately.

Finally, back to Alt Coulumb & Tara, the woman literally thrown out of the Hidden Schools in Three Parts Dead (discussed last year.)


message 41: by John (new)

John Meszaros | 14 comments I'm working my way through The End of the Story, the first Clark Ashton Smith anthology. I've been on a big anthology kick lately, so I'm concurrently reading Fierce Family and Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology

Not sure how much I'll be able to read from any of them since I take care of my kids all day and am often pretty exhausted by the time they go to bed. But we'll see.


message 42: by Kivrin (new)

Kivrin | 480 comments Okay, I got bogged down this month reading Paper: Paging Through History (interesting subject but a LONG book).

Once I finished that one, I read Station Eleven for my book club. It didn't live up to my expectations. The post apocalyptic parts were good reading, but there were too many flashbacks to people I had no interest in.

Now I'm reading The Aeronaut's Windlass and REALLY enjoying it. I love Butcher's Codex Alera books, and it looks like he's creating another fascinating world full of great characters in this series.


message 43: by Hillary (new)

Hillary Major | 436 comments I've been mostly reading historical fiction by David Liss this month-- A Spectacle of Corruption and sequels featuring Benjamin Weaver, a Jewish ex-boxer-turned-thieftaker in 18th C London (modeled on an actual historical figure) and The Whiskey Rebels featuring, amongst others, a disgraced Revolutionary spy.

SFFwise, I read Nalo Hopkinson's short story collection Falling in Love with Hominids, which I enjoyed but not as much as I generally do her novels. Now I'm re-reading The Magicians with the rest of the trilogy on tap.


message 44: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Fugate | 10 comments Going old school, Robots of Dawn by Asimov


message 45: by Roman (new)

Roman Kurys | 1 comments Old school here too. Old Han Solo trilogy by Brian Daley :)


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

Kivrin wrote: "I read Station Eleven..."

Now, that is one of my Niagra Falls books. (discussion here. :)


message 47: by Gary (last edited Jul 28, 2016 01:59PM) (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments Now down to the last 2 chapters of Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1) by Robin Hobb Assassin's Apprentice


message 48: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments Just finished Assassin's Apprentice

I found this slow to start, but was glad I hung in there to finish this first book in the Farseer Trilogy.


message 49: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 29, 2016 06:58AM) (new)

Recently finished...

The Regional Office Is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales The Regional Office Is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales

Definitely unusual urban fantasy, and strangely fun. The story begins right at the title, with the beginning of the attack on the Regional Office. That "Regional Office" appears to be a collection of superpowered agents, mostly female, dedicated to "fighting evil", though we never do actually find out what it is they do. The attack comes from some equally superpowered dissident agents, and fully 3/4 of the novel is dedicated to a blow-by-blow description of that attack, spanning half a dozen hours, interleaved with frequent flashbacks explaining the history of the few major characters, flashbacks infuriatingly inserted at every convenient cliffhanger.


Lady of Devices (Magnificent Devices, #1) by Shelley Adina Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina

I don't know how this got on my to-read list. It's a rather generic steampunk-lite world featuring a young woman looking to shed her societal gender restrictions. It dips into Dickensian street urchin tropes to turn the heroine into a female Fagin. It seems to relish not just alternate but actually bad science. Not much plot, more a setup-novel, I assume, for the rest of the series.

If you're looking for a female steam punk heroine, you'd be better entertained byBoneshaker, Karen Memory, or The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter.


message 50: by Kivrin (new)

Kivrin | 480 comments G33z3r wrote: "Kivrin wrote: "I read Station Eleven..."

Now, that is one of my Niagra Falls books. (discussion here. :)"


I want to find a GOOD post apocalyptic book to suggest to my Book Club so that they can compare to Station Eleven. Which are your faves?


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