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mark211Reading round-up?2016-09-10 04:47:35
mark211Hello folks - this one does what is says on the tin: an opportunity to share your thoughts on what SFF stories or novels you have been reading recently and/or plan to read so ....2016-09-10 04:48:39
mark211What was the last SFF novel/story you read? How was it? What are reading now? How is it so far? Do you have one already lined up to read next? What made you want to read that one?2016-09-10 04:49:39
mark211I'll go first - the last SFF book I read was "City of Stairs" by Robert Jackson Bennett. I've got to be honest and say that while it was just about passable, I actually found it to be very mediocre indeed. I'd picked it up as it was a recommended book at my local Waterstone's book store, but it left me cold apart from one or two flashes of inspiration. As it's the first in a trilogy, I for one am not going to be looking to read the next instalment. The one I'm reading now is "Ringworld" by Larry Niven. I'm about 60% of the way through and while I am enjoying it, it does seem odd to read a novel in which the real protagonist is the world itself. And the one I've got lined up next is "The Boat of a Million Years" by Poul Anderson. Basically, I've read a few of Anderson's books lately and am very impressed (more generally, I am trying to fill the various gaps in my SFF fiction knowledge hence reading classics such as Niven and Anderson). So how about you?2016-09-10 04:55:09
GordonRowlinsonThe last novel I read Playing for Pizza by John Grisham. Alas it is not SciFi, but I give it a big thumbs up. The last SciFi novel I read was Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg. I give a thumbs up. It took me a while to read it as the tone of the book is downer at the start. But it is uplifting at the end2016-09-10 12:49:40
IronspiderJust started reading 'Inherit the Stars' by Tony Peak - who is a completely new author to me. Visited Forbidden Planet in London a few months back and picked this up then. My current non-fiction read is 'The Thirty Years War' by CV Wedewood, which I picked up in a charity shop quite recently. As to which I'll be tackling next - I've got about 400 books to choose from! It's a bad habit - I buy much faster than I can read... My previous book was 'Saraband of Lost Time' by Richard Grant, which I have read previously and had an itch to tackle once again. It is an engaging book, with some interesting characters and great descriptive world-building, but I just didn't enjoy it as much as I did before.2016-09-11 23:53:22
mark211@GordonRowlinson What did you like about the Grisham novel? I tend to find writers like that a little off-putting - and by the way, by 'writers like that' I'm thinking of not only Grisham, but also Clancy, Crichton, (Dan) Brown etc. etc. I'm not a literary snob or anything like that, but what I find off-putting about them in general is that the 'novel-as-Hollywood-movie-pitch' comes through far too obviously. They're novels that feel like they've been written for the express purpose of being translated into TV and film, and it puts me off.2016-09-12 09:15:07
mark211@Ironspider: I actually have a minor obsession with the early to mid-17th century and have read a couple of books on the 30 years war. The best one by far which I can highly recommend is a novel - "Simplicius Simplicissimus" by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen. The translation I read is by Mike Mitchell and the main reason for my mentioning that is that the same book is available for free on Project Guthenburg, but the translation there sucks - really turgid in almost equal measure to how lively Mitchell's is. It's a wonder of a novel - I really can't recommend it highly enough. Incidentally, I'm also reading "The English Civil War: A People's History" by Diane Purkiss - it's non-fiction and really well-written. 2016-09-12 09:20:21
Ironspider@Mark211: I've also read the Diane Purkiss book, but it was another of her works - 'Troublesome Things: A History of Fairies and Fairy Tales' and a similar tome by Katherine Briggs 'A Dictionary of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies and other Supernatural Creatures' that helped inspire my Misrule stories.2016-09-13 00:04:23
GordonRowlinsonMark: First the Grisham book Playing for Pizza was not about lawyers so it was a little different. Secondly it was about an underdog. Thirdly, it was about second chances. Basically a third string QB gets into an NFL playoff game in the closing minutes with the lead. He has the worst game of all time and throws 3 interceptions an loses. Since no one will hire him he tries to play in Italy in hope of redeeming himself. Everyone likes an underdog and everyone likes second chances. It made me think of how to create characters who are underdogs and characters searching for second chances.2016-09-13 12:50:35
r.tornelloI'd love to get into this but most of my reading is outside this arena. 2016-09-15 07:02:18
MagonianI'm aiming to reread Bob Shaw's Shadow Of Heaven; it's one of several sci-fi books my Dad kept in a box which he received from a friend years ago, and from which I took great pleasure raiding and reading as a curious child. There's a copy of Norman Spinrad's The Solarians hiding in in his shed somewhere which I have got to rescue before the entropy spewing bookworms make a meal and fading memory of it. 2016-09-16 09:20:23
MagonianRe Shaw I remember making a mental note of the fact they had "synthejuice" machines. Reading about the claustrophobia epidemic was my first experience of observing how sci-fi can take us to plausible hypothetical realities. 2016-09-16 11:02:34

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