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Old 7th February 2012, 12:31 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Just finished the very enjoyable Space Captain Smith: God Emporor of Didcott, now on to Space Captaim Smith: Wrath of the Lemming Men. Hup-Hup.
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Old 8th February 2012, 12:05 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Finished Rothfuss' Wise Man's Fear today. Excellent book. Some sections in the second half were maybe a bit over-long, but all in all, it was a proper sequel to TNotW. Very satisfying.

Started GRRM's Apocalypse Rag. I've been looking forward to this one for a while.
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Old 8th February 2012, 06:12 AM   #78 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

I'll add an endorsement to the re-readability of Conan Doyle. I re-read the lot of the Sherlock Holmes recently.

Oddly, it never occurred to me to seek out any other Conan Doyle.

Especially odd, indeed. Since I acquired the Kindle, something over a year ago, I've deeply absorbed in weird ventures into the archives of Project Gutenberg, and other online sources of arcane, cheap literature: A binge on lesser known Verne, followed by a binge on lesser known Melville, and all manner of public domain classics and oddities that I would never have read, chained to the computer desk. More Doyle, then, will be next on the list.

In more recent, February news, then:

Finished last night: "In the Heart of Darkness" Eric Flint and David Drake. Mostly amusing AH swashbuckler. Holy Roman General, out of Constantinople manipulating warring factions in India. ca 500 AD. Palace Intrique spy-stuff, insurrection coincides at home.

The SF hook is battlin' time-travelin' AI baubles, hell-bent to change the course of history to their own ends. The AI baubles play, disappointingly, mostly offstage.

Fun read, but the ending collapsed into aan abrupt all's-well-as-ends-well happy-fest. I'm not a big fan of bazzillogies; but this one ended unfinished. There should have been more, especially about the time travelin' amulets.

Lovin' the Kindle... fresh out of fresh reading... didn't even have to get out of bed to download something to new read:

Started last night: "Sunrise Alley" Catherine Asaro. Reading like an action packed Fleming thriller. 2032 AD and the evil kingpin is trying to pervert the hallowed sciences of biomechanics and bio-brain-implant-cyber-punk-genius mind fu...nipulation.

I was alternately delighted and disconcerted that this one opens in my own neighborhood, in the furthest, darkest, unknown regions of Xtreme Northern California. So far North that it's more "Pacific Northwest" than what most people consider to be CA. Delighted because it sounded right familiar... disconcerted because the geography was warped.

I'm giving dispensations for the needs to twist geography to benefit narrative imperative; but I'm still thinking that Catherine has never been farther up the North Coast of California than Stinson Beach. Maybe Ft Bragg... which is still a hundred miles short of where the heroine claimed to be, during her initial duress. Or Catherine is extrapolating from a few well-known publications of the Better Business Bureau.

I'm likin' it, though. Great, high energy, yarn, if it keeps up.
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Old 8th February 2012, 10:28 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

The Turtle Boy, by Kealan Patrick Burke

"I'm feeding the turtles."

A simple line of dialog, and yet one that will haunt me for ages to come. The meaning behind the line, the character uttering it, and the implications of what is in store for Timmy Quinn, the story's hero, are all wonderfully examined and illustrated in this short novella.

I've said it before, but it's worth saying again: Kealan Patrick Burke is (or should be) the next Stephen King. He's got that same simple, yet highly effective voice, and, like King, Burke knows how to turn a phrase for optimum horror effect. Burke doesn't write in the same niche voice as a Ligotti or a Cisco; he's not "underground" or "experimental," although he is still unfairly not a huge seller. I rarely hear people talking about him, and that has to change. Burke posses a unique trait - he's got a strong voice, a ton of talent, and he has his pulse on things I think the mass market would gravitate towards.

This is the second book I've read from Kealan Patrick Burke, and one thing is abundantly clear - I need to read more. And now, thanks to the Kindle and e-books, this simple task is doable. When I first discovered Burke, a few years ago, most of his fiction was completely OOP, and very expensive. "The Turtle Boy" was selling on the second-hand market for over $150, as were most of his other books. Now most of them are completely affordable and readily available.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the Timmy Quinn stories, including the full-length finally coming out some time this year.
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Old 9th February 2012, 02:16 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Read Egan's second (major) collection, Luminous. Highly recommended. (Short-story thread details.)
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Old 9th February 2012, 04:10 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Started John Christopher's THE RAGGED EDGE. I feel like a paperback vulture for starting a book because the author just passed away. But I did keep it on my bookcase in the living room within easy reach so it wouldn't get misplaced. Regardless, I'm glad I did. The guy could write. Wasn't sure a story about earthquakes would interest me but I was wrong. I'd post the cover to this 1967 Signet pb but it's a truly bad cover. Nothing going for it save the author's name.
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Old 9th February 2012, 11:39 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Just finished Winter Song by Colin Harvey. I was so impressed with this novel that I looked up the author to see what else he has produced. Unfortunately he died in August 2011 and I'm sure he will be sadly missed.

Moving onto lighter things, I am now reading an initial draft of Singing Other Worlds by Scott J Robinson. This is the second novel (which has yet to be published) in his Tribes of the Hakahei series. Having read the first novel in the series I made a small donation as I wanted to see how the story panned out. The author was kind enough to send this initial draft and it's looking good...

Andy
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Old 9th February 2012, 03:46 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by dask View Post
Started John Christopher's THE RAGGED EDGE. I feel like a paperback vulture for starting a book because the author just passed away. But I did keep it on my bookcase in the living room within easy reach so it wouldn't get misplaced. Regardless, I'm glad I did. The guy could write. Wasn't sure a story about earthquakes would interest me but I was wrong. I'd post the cover to this 1967 Signet pb but it's a truly bad cover. Nothing going for it save the author's name.
I need to read more of Christopher's stuff. The Tripod Trilogy is on my top 50 of all time, and it was one of the very first SF things I ever got into as a young boy.
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Old 9th February 2012, 03:51 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Started Wildest Dreams, by Norman Partridge (Dark Harvest, one of the best horror novellas I've ever read) last night, and it is awesome. It's a wickedly cool little hardboiled story about a hitman who can also see spirits, and yes he's often haunted by the people he's hired to kill. Really freaking good, and a lot of fun.
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Old 9th February 2012, 06:24 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Reading Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds - so far, about 200 pages in, its OK but not great
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Old 10th February 2012, 06:52 AM   #86 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

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I need to read more of Christopher's stuff. The Tripod Trilogy is on my top 50 of all time, and it was one of the very first SF things I ever got into as a young boy.
Not that it should matter but is The Tripod Trilogy a juvenile, or perhaps I should say, young adult series?
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Old 10th February 2012, 12:47 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Just finished Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. I love these books (first one was Rivers of London)... can't wait for the next instalment!

Not sure what to read next, my life has been so hectic of late (in a usual school/work/mum way not doomy and gloomy) that I'm on the look out for something easy, enjoyable and fun. Suggestions welcome!

xx
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Old 10th February 2012, 01:10 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

I did enjoy Graceling, looking forward to reading Fire when I get to it.

I am now starting Stealing Light by Gary Gibson. Think this might take a while, it has a somewhat of Peter F Hamilton feel to it.
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Old 10th February 2012, 04:44 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Finished Apocalypse Rag by GRRM last night. Very good book, it's a shame it's overlooked. I'd say it's not quite as good as Fevre Dream, but it's pretty close.

Today I'll be starting Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.
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Old 10th February 2012, 06:44 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Re: February's Fabulous Feast Of Fully Formidable Fiction

Finished Poul Anderson's The Corridors of Time yesterday. If I'm not mistaken, I bought this intending to read it as a memorial volume on Poul Anderson's death. So I was staggered to realize that he died, and I bought this book, almost 10 years ago. For once, my slack ways paid off as I didn't like this one and that would have been more awkward at the time.

Perhaps inspired by Leiber's "Changewar" stories (or any number of other things but the specific ambiguity of Warden and Ranger made me think a lot of Snake and Spider) and perhaps inspiring Cherryh's "Morgaine" saga (whose male sap and female superhero are much better done in the Cherryh) this was a tale with a very interesting spatio-temporal background of specific locations containing specific time corridors going to various times as our 20th Century American hero (somewhat inexplicably and poorly done as a Southerner - poorly done regardless, really) tries to juggle his relationship with a far future "goddess" and a paleolithic girl amidst a time war using primitives as proxies. We also spend a little time in 16th century Denmark, of course. Nominally, the Wardens are earth-goddess types and the Rangers are sky-father types. This book kept interesting and losing me in cycles and ultimately lost me (if that can be said when it never entirely had me). It's like an outline for what might have ended up being a good book but never quite coheres. For instance, the paleolithic girl starts out as a genuine character but then gets ignored for a time and is only ever really considered as a psychosexual pawn in sketchily drawn larger games after that - Anderson kind of loses track of his own characters in this one. And the "hero" is, as I said, a sap. And the "goddess" is someone Anderson keeps telling me is awesome and she sure... um... need a nice word here... influences the hero with her attributes... but shows nothing that influences me. Etc.

I dunno - it wasn't awful and if the topics appeal, it might interest but I'm not that big a fan of retro-settings (no word of our hero getting paleolithic worms or anything - though a 16th century character had lotsa fleas) or time travel (usually hurts my causal time-arrow head) so the thing itself had to be very good and wasn't to me.
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