Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

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message 1: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
What other books are you guys reading? I'm finishing up Rendezvous with Rama (I know, its a Hugo and Nebula book) and I'm trying to figure out what I want to read next.

I get the mood for a good horror book, but I have a difficult time finding a scary horror book.

The Divine Dungeon Series' 3rd book was released not long ago. It's not a life changing book series, but it is fun if you like RPGs.

I'm really looking forward to Super Powereds: Year 4 by Drew Hayes! Drew Hayes has been writing for a while now and if you go to his website you can read all of his books for free. He only recently started selling his books and it makes him feel like a "sale out". The Super Powered books are simply amazing.


message 2: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Mar 16, 2018 11:17AM) (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Ever thought of checking any of Stephen King novels out? Still, for someone who is called the king of horror, I would struggle naming at least one scary horror book written by him. With a gun to my head I would say Shining is scary, which it was when I read it at 11! Still if you will decide to try anything written by him, I can throw a few suggestions at you from my read list.


message 3: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
Man, I've tried several Stephen King books and his son, Joe Hill. Both leave me disappointed. They have really good ideas for stories, but they don't know how to end them. They just end. I'll have to look at the horror books I've read to tell you which ones I thought were scary.


message 4: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3782 comments Mod
I read the Shining when I was pretty young and refused to read anything else by him for years, it scared me so much. I have read some lately, and I have liked a lot of them. But I think I see what you mean about they aren't that scary (because if they were, I probably wouldn't like them).

I also thought there was one with the sheriff getting killed that was pretty scary to me. Can't remember why.

The thing is, I think that who is scared in the his books, for the most part, are the characters. Dean Koontz is considered horror, too, I think, and I read most of his before I returned to King. I liked them enough that I returned to the genre to retry King. His books are scary in the same way King's are scary.

Art, who do you think IS a truly scary horror writer?

Perhaps they are not scary because we cannot see these things as actually happening?


message 5: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Hard to say Kate, I have really limited experience in that area since, besides Stephen King's extensive bibliography and a few of bestseller novels, I seldom read any horror.

The scariest book I've recently read was Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House but I doubt that quaifies.

King's books are rarely scary, though there are some situations where he manages to freak the reader out. Mostly his books are built on characters and their experiences, how ordinary (up to a certain point) people would react to extraordinary situations. Also the absolute "best" of his novels cannot compare to some of the mediocre work he published throughout his career.


message 6: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
Art wrote: "The scariest book I've recently read was Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House but I doubt that quaifies."

Braver than I am!

a good horror book for me has to have a few things going for it:

1) It shouldn't be a journal, because you know they survive, unless it is made clear that the journal was found and is being read by someone else.

2) It can not rely on a gross factor to scare me. Reading about the gory details doesn't always mean fear.

3) Bring me something to cause me legitimate fear. Death is not always scary.


message 7: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited May 20, 2018 07:45PM) (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Just finished listemimg to a book called David Attenborough's Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster an extraordinarily fascinating autobiography, narrated by the great Sir Attenborough himself, with his impeccable voice and raconteur skill which was tested against decades.

One of the most amazing personalities, a fabulous human being and a testament to human decency.


message 8: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3730 comments Mod
You may try Mira Grant books. They are not really horrors (ones I've read) and several were nominated for Hugo. They are post-apocalyptic zombie thrillers from a woman's perspective (I hope it doesn't sound sexist, I just mean that there is more feelings and less brave escapades). While I rarely read such books, I enjoyed those: Newsflesh Trilogy Boxed Set and Parasite


message 9: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3782 comments Mod
I have recently read "Twisted Prey" by John Sandford. It's number 28, I think, in the "Prey" series about a cop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Twisted Prey wasn't as excellent as most of series, but was still good. It started off slower than usual, and I just didn't feel the depth of characterization that I usually see from Sandford. I just didn't get sucked in the way that I usually do, trying to stay awake at 3:00 in the morning to finish.

I wonder if he has someone writing these with him now, or if he is just getting old. He is, like, 74 or something. He is actually Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist John Camp. The first "Prey" novel came out in 1989.

So I don't recommend starting the "Prey" series here. Just start at the beginning. My husband did not like the first one because he didn't like the main guy, Lucas Davenport. He likes the main guy in the Carl Hiassen books better. And I see that. In the first book, Davenport's not really a sympathetic character. But he grew on me, I guess. And the spin off series with the main character of Virgil is great, too.


message 10: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3730 comments Mod
Nebula Awards were announced and a novelette A Human Stain won. It is horror, according to GoodReads, so while it is formally against the topic (Non Hugo and Nebula books), Io hope it can interest you


message 11: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
I like to save horror books until October. So far I have 5 that I've been able to save since last Oct:

Ex-Patriots by Peter Clines
Lost Gods by Brom
Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
The Undead: Part 1 by R.R. Haywood


message 12: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited May 21, 2018 09:53AM) (new)

Kateblue | 3782 comments Mod
ooh, a good Halloween plan

good thinking, Bryan

And thanks for the info, Oleksandr


message 13: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2097 comments Mod
Horror has always been a favorite genre other than sci-fi. I read a lot of Poe when I was a kid and graduated to H.P. Lovecraft as a teenager. The scariest story I've ever read is Lovecraft's The Colour Out Of Space. A close rival was Arthur Machen's notorious The Great God Pan. Read a dozen or so of Stephen King's books; although The Shining was really scary, it was Pet Sematary that creeped me out the most!

Next is Clive Barker, who sits in horror but like Neil Gaiman, has a strong fantasy aspect. Imajica is one of the most amazing novels I've ever read but it's heavier on fantasy. You want creepy, read Coldheart Canyon, but warning! it has some crazy scenes that are pretty sexually explicit. The Damnation Game, The Books of Blood, The Great and Secret Show....all good.

Finally, Dan Simmons, of Hyperion fame. So incredibly versatile. Read Song of Kali a few weeks ago and it was really good. I'd rank it better than Children of the Night but not as good as Carrion Comfort, but all three are recommended.

I don't really branch into the authors that pump out bestseller after bestseller, like Dean Koontz, although I have read a couple of his. I like stuff that's edgier and more unique.


message 14: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3782 comments Mod
Allan, I get what you mean by saying that you want to read stuff that is edgy and unique, but I may not like the same things you do. I like books where the nice, normal people (or the well-meaning weirdos) overcome adversity in ways that I don't necessarily foresee and are triumphant.

Probably escapist, but hey, it's what I like!


message 15: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2097 comments Mod
Of course I'm not tying to impose my particular (almost wrote "peculiar" lol) tastes on anyone, I was just relating my own experiences to the question you posed to Art, "who do YOU think are scary writers?" In an attempt to give some options.

The norm for this genre seems to be normal people surviving whatever weirdness happens, emerging triumphant but changed by their experiences. Now that I read that, it feels like EVERY story is like that, and it's the details and larger implications of what they go through that make the story. It's unavoidable, but then it's refreshing to find something that isn't like that.


message 16: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Jul 14, 2018 04:22PM) (new)

Kateblue | 3782 comments Mod
Allen, your insight into endings of horror novels makes me think I should read more of them. Because it makes sense that, when the obstacles are tougher (which they might very well be in a horror novel), the ending triumph will likely be all the more satisfying.

(Though that is probably too broad a generalization, as was my description of what I like. Obviously, almost all books in any genre will conclude with some sort of a decent resolution for the protagonist. Otherwise, people wouldn't want to read books!)

As I respond to this, I am looking up some of the authors you mention to see if they might be good authors for me. I read a lot of Poe as a teenager and liked it. And I have read lots of King recently, though not Pet Sematary (which maybe I should still avoid). I don't think I have even heard of Clive Barker. And I have never read Simmons except for Hyperion, of which I can recall nothing. I read it when it was new.

As I say earlier in this thread, I was frightened at an early age by "The Shining" and did not return to books labelled as falling within the horror genre until very recently. One thing that got me there was my mom's love of Dean Koontz. Reading his stuff gave me the courage (??!!) to return to Stephen King.

I am going to go search for that Lovecraft Kindle book I got for 99 cents to see if I can even bear to read that story you mentioned. I have always avoided Lovecraft because I thought, if I couldn't handle Stephen King, then Lovecraft was definitely out.

What do you think? Should I maybe avoid Lovecraft until I read some not-so-scary horror stuff?


message 17: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Jul 15, 2018 05:31AM) (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
I am not as well versed in the genre of horror as others here, my career kept me away from enjoying the leasure of reading for way too long, so I just stuck to reading the best (arguably). King's satisfied my need for a thrill by providing a range of exciting stories featuring more or less believable characters (I have a fetish for character development) and entertaining situations they were put in.

I get the idea of having difficulty of sharing your favorite reads with the loved ones all too well, my favourite author Zelazny (I am going to write a complaint to android because his name did not come up as a spelling suggestion) did not really conquer hearts of any of my ex-s. Still I am trying to keep an open mind and keep tabs of books I might've misunderstood, as it might have happened in case of Difference Engine. Oleksander has persuaded me enough to tag that novel as a reread.

In any case, I believe this group is more about discovering new authors rather than the tedious grind through the list of award winning books. Whether you discover a talent by reading a book off the shelf or by reading a recommendation of a member it matters very little to me. The important thing is to keep your eyes open for a new thrill, I have spent my life reading and I have still managed to miss 99% of brilliant authors outhere.


message 18: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3782 comments Mod
Art, you will always miss the majority of the brilliant authors out there. I call it "Too Many Books, So Little Time," shortened to TMBSLT. Sometimes I put that in the notes section of books I abandon, and that is the only reason I abandon many of them. I just don't have the time to read them all.


message 19: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Jul 14, 2018 02:25PM) (new)

Kateblue | 3782 comments Mod
Hey, Oleksandr, something you said back in May--to try Mira Grant . . . I just found out that Mira Grant is the same person as Seanan McGuire, who has won some awards for novellas. Not sure why she is using two names.

Every Heart a Doorway won both the N and H for best novella. I think it is the best of the series (I have read three). Definitely worth it.


message 20: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2097 comments Mod
Those Mira Grant books have caught my eye, and one of these days soon, I'll probably give one a shot, maybe audio.


message 21: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2097 comments Mod
Kate, here's my take on Lovecraft: he's the bridge between Poe and King, writing in the 30's pulps. So there's some archaic language like Poe, but much easier to read. He was not always the best at crafting prose and tended to repeat use of certain descriptors, but his ideas are VERY unique and he draws you into an eerie atmosphere, scaring you by hinting around at the edges, making you feel anticipatory fear. You might read a story and think "this is kind of cheesy", but then you'll have a dream about it. His best stories stay with you.

He was a huge influence on King, and you can really tell. King, however, can lay out explicit gore, and you don't get that at all with Lovecraft. I'd say that a somewhat lighter sample to start with would be the short story "Pickman's Model." You might even recognize it. If you like it, try a few others like "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." I hope that when you do read "The Colour Out Of Space" that I haven't overblown it. He wrote one unusual but excellent story called "In The Walls of Eryx" that could be considered science fiction.


message 22: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3782 comments Mod
I will follow your suggestions. However, right now, I am in the middle of three other books, so I am going to wrap them up first.

Thanks!


message 23: by LuthienDillon (new)

LuthienDillon | 24 comments Finished listening to Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman last night.

Halfway through Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov which was sent to me by a fellow bookcrossing member and already know I'll want to read the whole series. (Though I think at least parts of the series also won the Hugo? )

Also reading a German book entitled "Reports of German 19th - century- travellers from Mexico and Guatemala ".

Horror book recommendation : Kraken by China Mieville. It's mixed with fantasy elements and should be classified as "New Weird, strictly speaking, but I think that's the closest I came to the genre in the last two years or so.
Other than that, Lovecraft and Clive Barker.


message 24: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Welcome back, Luthien. Hope you enjoyed your vacation.

I remember trying to figure out how to deal with the question of going through all of the Foundation and what we came with was the following:

Foundation by Isaac Asimov Total pages: 2,662

Prelude to Foundation - 464pg
Forward the Foundation - 464pg
Foundation - 244pg
Foundation and Empire - 256pg
Second Foundation - 256pg
Foundation's Edge - 450pg HWBN NNBN
Foundation and Earth - 528pg

Since there's only one award-winning title, we thought of doing this as a challenge eventually. I'm glad that first novel in the series is interesting to read, was kinda worried about going through nearly 3k of pages, heh.


message 25: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3782 comments Mod
How about this? I know I am not going to read Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation with the group, having read them years ago. I still remember a little, enough to know that I have other things I would rather read, or read over.

So does anyone else feel this way? That they will omit some? If so, maybe we give people the option to read the precursors on their own, then assign Foundation's Edge a few months later.

Or not. Just giving you all your options.


message 26: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2097 comments Mod
I'm confused. What series read is Foundation, was this voted on somewhere, sometime? I need a summary of the latest assignments......

That said, I've read the original trilogy a few times, then Edge. At some point, I'll read the Prelude books, but I have a one-volume version of the three Empire novels, which I want to read first, having read all the Robot novels.


message 27: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Allan wrote: "I'm confused. What series read is Foundation, was this voted on somewhere, sometime? I need a summary of the latest assignments......

That said, I've read the original trilogy a few times, then Ed..."


Sorry for the confusion, there are no plans for reading the Foundation, I just copied the run down on the series that we compiled a few months back.

As Kate is saying, there's little point in reading it as a group, even if we do it as a challenge in far future we will have to think of something that could work for everyone.

Speaking of Challenges in general, most likely we are going to vote on those as well, come next year. Having all members deciding our upcoming reads is the fun part of having this group.


message 28: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
Art and I have been talking about October and we were thinking about doing the horror themed books from our list. I was thinking Mira Grants' Newsflesh Trilogy, but the 3 books may be to long.


message 29: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Jul 20, 2018 11:09AM) (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Bryan wrote: "Art and I have been talking about October and we were thinking about doing the horror themed books from our list. I was thinking Mira Grants' Newsflesh Trilogy, but the 3 books may be to long."

Well, here's what the miniseries looks like:

Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant Total pages: 1,892

Feed - 599pg HNBN
Deadline - 584pg HNBN
Blackout - 512pg HNBN

We could probably divide the read between October and November and have only one extra novel (from "very short reads" bookshelf) nominated for November. This will allow us to enjoy the series itself and leave us with the wiggle room for picking an alternative read.


message 30: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2097 comments Mod
Browsing my bookshelf, I was reminded of another sci-fi/horror writer: Richard Matheson, of "I Am Legend" fame. There are a number of potential reading candidates: two good collections centered around his two most famous stories, "Legend" and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"; "Hell House"; "What Dreams May Come" (made into a critically acclaimed film starring Robin Williams); several others. He's prominent in a collection of short stories that were made into Twilight Zone stories, along with Charles Beaumont and Damon Knight (the famed story "To Serve Man"). I've only read a few of his stories, but I have the two collections and have had "I Am Legend" on my list for awhile.


message 31: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2097 comments Mod
And I forgot the famous"Duel," "The Shrinking Man," and "Prey," which was that extremely scary story with the little Zulu warrior doll in the movie "Trilogy of Terror," if anyone remembers that. Scared the living crap out of me!


message 32: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
I read "I Am Legend" and I was very disappointed with it. That book/movie is one of the few I will tell people the movie was better.

But I now have a list of horror books I need to look into. I am a big Twilight Zone fan!


message 33: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3782 comments Mod
Re Feed, Deadline, and Parasite, I will second that! Let's do it.

And BTW, there's a bunch of short works to be read as well. And there is a 4th book, also, I just found out. I'm sure people can read them on their own. I'm just saying so people will know.

Also, Art, I think it is Newsflesh collection? Not Newsflash. (Spellchecker error?)


message 34: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "Re Feed, Deadline, and Blackout, I will second that! Let's do it.

And BTW, there's a bunch of short works to be read as well. And there is a 4th book, also, I just found out. I'm sure people can ..."


Fixed the name of the series, thanks Kate. I don't mind doing the series, let us sit on it and see what other suggestions people will have once we put up the October thread.

But all that aside, I have a collection of Lovecraft books I can't wait to get into.


message 35: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2097 comments Mod
Happy birthday to Aldous Huxley!


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