Book Thread 2018^H9




Shit, the Oathbringer audiobook has 52 parts!

Book 2 was okay I guess, but Book 1 was a horrible slog.



I cranked through The Labyrinth Index, the newest Laundry Files book by Charlie Stross.

It’s yet another non-Bob installment, this time featuring Mhari Murphy, the HR manager turned vampire super-spy. I generally enjoyed it. It was a good “Mission Impossible” story full of supernatural spy shenanigans, nifty technical solutions, and double-crosses. It also advances the “Lovecraftian Sigularity” arc a little bit.

As always, I got the audiobook. It was a bit of a surprise to find that Gideon Emery was not doing the narration as normal. But they seem to switch out for a female narrator when the main character is female – they did the same thing for the Annihilation Score. The reader for this one is Bianca Amato, who is quite good.


Looking for a recommendation for my girlfriend. She’s on my Audible account and, though not typically a sci-fi or fantasy reader, she’s been enjoying a few of my books: specifically, she has really liked Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor and Becky Chambers’s books. Both of these feature a tight conflict-resolution pace–where a conflict is introduced and then resolved within the space of a chapter or two, rather than drawn out to create tension. And they both have very sympathetic characters trying to do the right thing. And not a lot of tragedy. Does anyone have recommendations for something similar? It need not be fantasy/sci-fi. We also recently really liked Laurie Frankl’s This is How It Always Is, which has the same pace and is also both sweetly hilarious and very touching.


I finished Liveships! Which character did you mean?

Malta I think my hatred was defused when she runs into the Satrap, someone even more useless and annoying. Did you mean Kennit? Kennit weirded me out because he got to die and mom loved him and Paragon loved him and… urgh.


Not 100% sure this is a match but I think the works of Lois McMaster Bujold, particularly the Vorkosigan series, would be worth checking out. Well meaning people trying and mostly succeeding at doing the right thing definitely a big part of her stuff.


Regarding characters changing in the Liveships trilogy:

I was talking about Malta


Finished All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. At first it felt to me like a combination of a Tim Shafer adventure game and Good Omens, and then it goes in different directions. I enjoyed it, and it definitely has a special feel, even if the resolution is not as satisfying as the first half.


She might like “Dragonriders of Pern”. Most of it is pretty interesting world-building, and conflicts are usually resolved pretty quickly.

I like the Vorkosigan series too. Some of the stuff the protagonists go through have permanent consequences, but it’s mostly a pretty upbeat series. (Note, that in the latest books the protagonists are starting to age, so you can’t be 100% sure what will happen to them in the future…)

Lois McMaster Bujold also has a new “Penric and Desdemona” series, which is a lot of fun, and doesn’t put its characters into super stressful predicaments. Currently, there are several novellas, but no novel-length works.


Malta is a pretty interesting case considering the kind of hell the author routinely puts FitzChivalry (a character from a connected series) through. And he’s a good guy, not a villain!


Thanks folks. She’s gonna try Ann Leckie for now, but Bujold is on the list.


I approve her selection. Hope the first isn’t too hard to follow in audio.


Liveships (books 4-6 of Royal Assassin Series)

I was wondering if Malta didn’t basically turn into Althea. They are both willful, and they later temper their own desires with the good of their family/others. Anyway, it was nice to find out about liveships and dragonwood. When we finally find out, all the mechanics keep pouring in page after page. That was worth all the Malta-ing. The Satrap ended up more annoying anyway, and even he grew up a tiny bit. The only surprise I figured out myself was Kennit/Paragon connection, everything else got me.


So I’ve been getting a headstart on my books for the 2019 reading challenge because I’ve got the time now, and I’m not entirely sure that will remain true through January. I’ll be posting stuff over there eventually when I finish, of course, but I didn’t want to wait on this one.

The Hate U Give is contemporary fiction and has won all kinds of awards. Which is why I was pretty shocked to find that a QT3 search turned up practically nothing. Amazingly well written novel and seriously appropriate to current events. Took me, a white suburban dude, and put me right in the shoes of a black teenager from the hood caught up in the middle of a white police officer shooting an unarmed black teen. Longer form thoughts:

Usually when I recommend books, I put some kind of caveat on it: “if you like this genre, check it out” or “it’s good as long as you enjoy X type of story.” No such caveat on this one. Everyone ought to read this book, ASAP.

Cop Shooting Thread

Glad that you guys (@ArmandoPenblade in particular) convinced me to give the Malazan series another chance, because Deadhouse Gates was a big step up from Gardens of the Moon. Both the grand-scale worldbuilding and the individual character stories worked much better for me this time around, with a number of moments that will definitely stick with me. 4.5/5


Yeeees. One of us, one of us!

I think the quality level is much more consistent from there on.


Reading Three Body problem. I like it. fast read , like a parable really, and weird enough. Everyone tells me books 2 & 3 get weirder and better, so I am looking forward to that :)


I finished Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. A book about superhumans called EOs. There is a person that is hunting EOs and a group (EON) trying to stop/contain them. Its similar to Magneto’s Brotherhood vs X-Men on a smaller scale.


Just a shout out that the most excellent Cradle series is on sale on Amazon for the next 30 or so hours.

I picked it up based on a recommendation from our own @tbaldree who did the voicework on the audio books and blew through the first 3 books . I was happy to see the sale going on & picked up the last two books on a steep discount.


Weirdly the first book isn’t discounted.