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What Else Are You Reading? > What Else Are You Reading - June 2018

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message 1: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6928 comments Mod
June is here, what will you be reading this month?


message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2591 comments Rob wrote: "June is here, what will you be reading this month?"

books
comics
local newspaper (online)
S+L forums
email
moar books

at the moment I'm reading a comedic crime caper that's full of baloney, Cold Cuts by Steve Brewer


message 3: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1530 comments Loads of books (and even more exam papers bluurggh)

Just finished the Rain Wilds Chronicles and they were enormous fun. Taking a break from Robin Hobb before I launch into the final Assassin's trilogy.

Currently reading Changeless and have The Soldier which both arrived at my local library in the week (love being first in the queue).

I have to wait until June 20 to get the ebook edition of Circe (boo hiss).


message 4: by Jonathan (last edited Jun 01, 2018 09:19AM) (new)

Jonathan Rader | 83 comments Currently Reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo and Bluescreen by Dan Wells.


message 5: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4276 comments I read the first two books in the The World of Tiers, Volume 1 series. It's about custom-made universes where physical laws can be changed. Vague recollection is that I read them out of order as I found them as a teen, then read the then-five-book collection again in college. It's now seven books.

Most of the highlights I recall are in the first two books, which is puzzling because I remembered them as belonging to Kickaha as narrator, when he only takes over as POV in the third book.

There's lots more casual death and killing than I recall. It's a decent piece of portal fiction, with the narrator going into the first custom universe from our world. The overall series has less majesty than I remember. Probably just because I've read more widely since then, as I would not have known to call it portal fiction back then.

The first book has a twist that you'd see coming a mile off. Still an interesting read as the group goes from level to level, encountering "zoo" humans artificially kept at a certain level: One is American Indian, the next Teutonic knight, the lowest level Ancient Greek.

I'll get back to the rest soon. Now taking a break to read Wizard of Earthsea, which our local book club has as Book of the Month.


message 7: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2930 comments Finished Neal Asher's The Soldier on to The Making of the Atomic Bomb and other things to be determined by what I feel in the mood for.


message 8: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments Still reading Persepolis Rising. It's a verrrrrry slow start. I'm about halfway through and it's a lot of nothing.


message 9: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4276 comments Yeah, the plot of Persepolis Rising felt like a rehash, with new characters shoehorned in on the repeat to cover plotlines originally intended for others. I think of this as the danger of success. "You want more books? We'll GIVE you more books! ...but the total amount of plot remains the same."

It was pleasant enough reading and the James SA Corey duo sure know how to use language to effect. I just felt like there wasn't enough there there.


message 10: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6928 comments Mod
John (Taloni) wrote: "I think of this as the danger of success. "You want more books? We'll GIVE you more books! "

It's not a product of success. They've always planned 9 books from the start.

Personally, I thought despite a slow start it was a good book. Just not as good at the last two. You can't please everyone I suppose.


message 11: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments It’s definitely written well, perhaps their best yet. Just poorly paced.


message 12: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6928 comments Mod
Dara wrote: "It’s definitely written well, perhaps their best yet. Just poorly paced."

I'd agree about the pacing. Hopefully you enjoy the end of the book as much as I did. I'm not sure where the book picked up for me, but I did comment on the slow start.

It's all a little vague now..


message 13: by Whitney (new)

Whitney (whitneychakara) | 179 comments Finishing up The Just City


message 14: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1154 comments I'm also halfway through Persepolis Rising and I'm enjoying it much more than Babylon's Ashes, mostly because I like the POV characters much more (I really didn't like Pa or Filip).

It is moving slowly - I think because they're finally down to only one major plotline, and only two real sides (us and them). Even though we've got several POVs, they're all dealing with the same thing, and that can only move at a certain pace without seeming ridiculous. Not a lot of side plots to fill up the wait time as the ships move. There is plenty of internal/emotional character stuff going on, which I like.

Watching the show simultaneously doesn't help, since it's ramped up it's pacing to nearly light-speed.

My one major nitpick is every time (and they do it often in this book) someone pulls up a tactical map, the authors write how it's not to scale because if the map was accurate then we wouldn't be able to fit it in the room or spot all the tiny, tiny ships and stations - yes, we know by now that space is big!


message 15: by John (Taloni) (last edited Jun 02, 2018 07:56AM) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4276 comments ^ I'm kind of peeved that we are 7 books into a 9 book series and know very little about the ancient war. I don't want a short data dump to tie things up at the end of a Big Long Mystery. We need the ancients, or their legacy, involved in what's going on with the humans. So far the ancients are a big black box and we know very little.


message 16: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2591 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "^ I'm kind of peeved that we are 7 books into a 9 book series and know very little about the ancient war. I don't want a short data dump to tie things up at the end of a Big Long Mystery. We need t..."

I don't agree. The arc is about how us flawed humans deal with the things that have been left behind which we can't understand. I don't want the finish cluttered with ancient mumbo jumbo.


message 17: by Rik (last edited Jun 02, 2018 12:48PM) (new)

Rik | 777 comments About to start Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer on audio. Its only six hours long and I listen at 1.5 speed so its only going to last me a day or two tops. If I like it I'll move on to the sequels assuming my library has them. Otherwise I'll probably move on to Sea of Silver Light by Tad Williams to finish off the Otherland series.


message 18: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4276 comments ^ ^ Really? That would be a disappointment to me.

Book 1: Well, there's an ancient mystery we don't know much about.
Book 9: It's now eight books later and we STILL don't know much about it!

Niven introduced the Tnuctip war in World of Ptavvs and had it explained by the end of the book. He still had Slaver technology showing up and people's reaction to it throughout his work.


message 19: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 588 comments Working on Children of Blood and Bone... but really considering an Iron Druid reread before getting into Shattered


message 20: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2591 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "^ ^ Really? That would be a disappointment to me.

Book 1: Well, there's an ancient mystery we don't know much about.
Book 9: It's now eight books later and we STILL don't know much about it!

Nive..."


For me it's a bit like the monolith in 2001. It had great impact on life here on Earth but it's origin wasn't explained. The lack of an explanation didn't detract from the story.


message 21: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8959 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "^ ^ Really? That would be a disappointment to me.

Book 1: Well, there's an ancient mystery we don't know much about.
Book 9: It's now eight books later and we STILL don't know much about it!

Niven introduced the Tnuctip war in World of Ptavvs and had it explained by the end of the book. He still had Slaver technology showing up and people's reaction to it throughout his work. ..."


And The World Of Ptavvs is about as long as a prologue in modern novels, too.

Kind of sounds like the Corey boys are milking it, Lost-style. Or GRRM-style.


message 22: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4276 comments ^ ^ Good point about 2001. I saw the movie multiple times, loved the movie, for some reason never read Clarkes' book. When I finally read the book it seemed like some flat overeplained analysis of the movie's plot. Kubrick definitely did better by not overexplaining.

^ Roberator said above that the series was originally planned for 9 books. I recall reading somewhere that it was planned for fewer but have not been able to dig it up. It's possible I am remembering incorrectly, but I think it was going to be one book and then they would decide how many more they could do, with a trilogy being a distinct possibility. 9 seems to me to be the absolute outside they can string this along.

Of course, one way to extend a series is to do side books. The novellas have been great. Gail Carriger is currently mining her Parasol Protectorate work to tell the stories of minor characters at novella length. In a similar vein, I'd rather the Corey duo tell a strong main story, then go back and revisit if they feel like it. I really could have done with the last book being a side book done later. It didn't advance the overall plot at all.

...I mean, who WOULDN'T want a deep dive on Avasarala? Or a prequel Alex, or maybe post-Expanse as, just throwing it out there, he struggles with a command of his own, back in the Martian navy and promoted beyond his skill set? There is so, so much that could be done. But tell the main story well, first.


message 23: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6928 comments Mod
I listened to Ascend Online, which I enjoyed but not without its flaws - ★★★☆☆ - (My Review)

I also read The Flame Bearer which I liked better than Warriors of the Storm, but I'm really hoping he wraps the series up soon - ★★★★☆ - (My Review)


message 24: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofskytrain) | 1391 comments Almost finished with Feed, a zombie tale of two bloggers, a generation after the event, following a Presidential campaign. Finished Circe, it is one of those book I know I will re-read whenever I am in a reading slump. So that means I can finally tackle The Way of Kings.


message 25: by Iain (last edited Jun 03, 2018 01:59PM) (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1530 comments Flew through Blameless which was a very enjoyable romp (with approbate misunderstandings for what is at heart a romance novel with Werewolves) ★★★☆☆.

Also finished Resistance: BBC Radio 4 full-cast drama in audio. Thought I was getting a crime story, instead end of the world SF from one of the UKs best crime writers, a good reasonable length listen.

Now starting The Soldier and have started listening to The Name of the Wind which should take most of the month to get through.. Great start and the narration is top notch...


message 26: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4222 comments I'm almost done with The Song of Achilles and am really digging it. I'm sad it's almost over but am looking forward to Circe all the more.


message 27: by Sky (new)

Sky | 665 comments I read Wrath of Empire and The Poppy War which were both absolutely fantastic.

Next up I am reading/listening to The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, which takes place in the Bay Area which I definitely look forward to. Waiting for Revenant Gun to drop on June 12th. It's awesome to see so much great sff coming out by Asian authors these days.


message 28: by Julie (last edited Jun 03, 2018 09:19PM) (new)

Julie (3x5books) | 110 comments The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was one of my favourite YA books of last year.

I'm also going to read The Poppy War this month. (Holding off on Jade City because I’m holding out hope that S&L picks it—or maybe Books & Boba will.)


message 29: by Erik (new)

Erik Melin | 114 comments Still reading A Wizard of Earthsea and The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America. I enjoy both of these enough but just haven't gotten into any rhythm with either for whatever reason. Also moved onto my next audiobook with Gateway.

Recently started The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and that's been my primary focus. About 150 in and it's great so far.

Will probably also get through some of Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse now that I've finished with The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017


message 30: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments Michele wrote: "It is moving slowly - I think because they're finally down to only one major plotline, and only two real sides (us and them). Even though we've got several POVs, they're all dealing with the same thing, and that can only move at a certain pace without seeming ridiculous. Not a lot of side plots to fill up the wait time as the ships move. There is plenty of internal/emotional character stuff going on, which I like.

Watching the show simultaneously doesn't help, since it's ramped up it's pacing to nearly light-speed."


That's a good point. I am enjoying the internal character stuff and find Singh particularly interesting (I think it's because I've been picturing him as Jason Dohring so I find him interesting).

Reading book 7 while watching the show makes my brain loopy. It also doesn't help that I want to re-read Cibola Burn.


message 31: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4276 comments Finished Wizard of Earthsea. Worldbuilding was good, but I wanted something to happen. The whole thing is an allegory for growing up. LeGuin's afterword helped put it together, but I don't think this book works as a story. It's more like an extended prologue.


message 32: by Michael (last edited Jun 04, 2018 07:29AM) (new)

Michael Adams | 22 comments I just finished Persepolis Rising yesterday and while I enjoyed it it does seem to suffer from being the setup novel to the end of the series. Much of the plot didn't seem to progress organically to me; its only purpose was to prepare us for the rest of the story.


message 33: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 524 comments I'm about half-way through Claire North's 84K. Enjoying the story, but (although she's known as a genre author) I have had to admit that I really can't attach either a Sword or a Laser tag to the book. It's speculative fiction for sure, but I'm not going to allow myself to count it against either of the group reading challenges unless something comes out of the left field in the second half!


message 34: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2930 comments Colin wrote: "I'm about half-way through Claire North's 84K. Enjoying the story, but (although she's known as a genre author) I have had to admit that I really can't attach either a Sword or a La..."

Yeah, North's stuff takes one impossible thing, asks you to accept that and then the rest is our reality. It's cool but it does make it hard to classify. How are you liking 84K? Read the rest of her stuff?


message 35: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2554 comments Just finished the Milkweed Triptych by Ian Tregillis. Book 3 made the trilogy worthwhile after my 'throw it in the trash' reaction when I finished Book 2. If anyone remembers Dallas and the Booby Ewing shower scene - that's what it reminded me of:)

Almost finished The Great Hunt in my WoT read and have read a few misc crime novels in between.


message 36: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8959 comments Colin wrote: "I'm about half-way through Claire North's 84K. Enjoying the story, but (although she's known as a genre author) I have had to admit that I really can't attach either a Sword or a La..."

Since there’s been a long-standing tradition of including social speculation into the genre, that sounds pretty solidly Science Fiction to me. It’s exactly the sort of thing The Handmaid's Tale is.

Personally, this is how I’d use the tag “Speculative Fiction” rather than as a catch-all for everything SFF.


message 37: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2591 comments Started Trailer Park Fae yesterday and so far, it's not at all what I expected.


message 38: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 524 comments Rick wrote: "Yeah, North's stuff takes one impossible thing, asks you to accept that and then the rest is our reality. It's cool but it does make it hard to classify. How are you liking 84K? Read the rest of her stuff?"

But this time there is no magical McGuffin or supernatural power. It's just taken some trends from modern society and extrapolated them in to a rather dystopian, scarily plausible, near future Britain.

Yes, I'm really enjoying the book. I've read all her novels under that particular pseudonym, but haven't tried the earlier Kate Griffin stuff. My favourite to date is probably Touch or the set of Gameshouse novellas.


message 39: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8959 comments Colin wrote: "I've read all her novels under that particular pseudonym, but haven't tried the earlier Kate Griffin stuff. My favourite to date is probably Touch or the set of Gameshouse novellas.

She also wrote under her real name Catherine Webb. The most recent episode of the podcast Imaginary Worlds has an interview with her where she explains (amusingly) why & how her publisher chose her various pen names.


message 40: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 524 comments Trike wrote: "She also wrote under her real name Catherine Webb. The most recent episode of the podcast Imaginary Worlds has an interview with her where she explains (amusingly) why & how her publisher chose her various pen names."

Thanks for that. I must take a listen.


message 41: by Rick (last edited Jun 05, 2018 01:11PM) (new)

Rick | 2930 comments Imaginary Worlds is a pretty good podcast and I like that the episodes are always edited to 30 mins.

Catherine Webb is her real name under which she published YA stuff. The Kate Griffin stuff is urban fantasy and I like the Mathew Swift books (A Madness of Angels is the first). The games house novellas are quite good and I like almost all of them with Hope as well as First Fifteen Lives being my faves there.

The Claire North stuff seems to be her more literary persona but if 84K doesn't have a twist then I wonder which direction she's headed there. Although the "person has THIS twist which isolates them" was getting to be formulaic.


message 42: by Rik (last edited Jun 05, 2018 02:02PM) (new)

Rik | 777 comments Decided I'm going to Lem Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. The audio book is only six hours long but its taken me two days at work to get through 1.5 hrs of it as I keep tuning out and shutting it off - I spend anywhere from 4 to 8 hrs a day in the car while working where I listen to audio books and at 1.5 speed usually churn out at least 5 hrs of audio book a day and on slow days can get 10. While the concept sounds interesting, I just can't get invested in the bland characters and the narration isn't very good.


message 43: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4276 comments ^Probably a good choice. Seems to be a hit or miss book and you will know early on which group you're in.

I read the first only because it was an S&L pick, then being a completist I decided to read the other two. I found them gratingly tedious, with modest payoffs that only occurred by paying close attention to a text otherwise not worth the effort.

I know some people love this book, but it seems I am not among its audience.


message 44: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2554 comments I started out with the audio and switched to the printed book when I found the narration pretty boring. Overall, if you have read Solaris and some Lovecraft, then there is nothing very original here.


message 45: by Ben George (new)

Ben  George | 66 comments I could not imagine doing Annihilation as audio. It seems like a must be read book to me.


message 46: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8959 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "^Probably a good choice. Seems to be a hit or miss book and you will know early on which group you're in.

I read the first only because it was an S&L pick, then being a completist I decided to rea..."


Same.

I did request the movie from the library, though.


message 47: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments AndrewP wrote: "I started out with the audio and switched to the printed book when I found the narration pretty boring. Overall, if you have read Solaris and some Lovecraft, then there is nothing very..."

I read Solaris recently due to it being an Annihilation influence. I definitely see it, but I did not *enjoy* Solaris. Disliked the pacing and the characters, and the descriptions of the planetary phenomena were sooo long that they flipped from interesting to tedious.


message 48: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4276 comments ^ The Russian movie is pretty good, you have to forgive the special effects considering the source, but it worked well as a movie. The lengthy parts from the book were left to the imagination in the movie, to better effect. Stay well clear of the Clooney version though.


message 49: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8959 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "^ The Russian movie is pretty good, you have to forgive the special effects considering the source, but it worked well as a movie. The lengthy parts from the book were left to the imagination in th..."

I really liked the remake. Steven Soderbergh generally makes interesting films, regardless of subject. (I think I caught the flu just by watching Contagion.) The music for Solaris was so amazing I immediately bought the soundtrack.


message 50: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments Finished Persepolis Rising. Definite pacing issues but I enjoyed it once things got going. My review.

Now reading Theft of Swords. I've been reading a lot of sci-fi this year so going back to a traditional swords and horses kind of story is nice.


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