Book Thread 2018^H9


The first part of the first book. For some reason they released the first novel as a singular book, as well as three composite books. I don’t believe they did for the subsequent books.


Yeah, they released Quicksilver in mass paperback in three parts. I guess so they didn’t have to try to make a 1,000 page mass paperback that could hold together.


Which is weird, since I have all three tomes in mass paperback, including Quicksilver.


Really? I didn’t think they released them that way. I’ve seen the hardcovers (I have those) and the oversized trade paperbacks, but never the mass paperbacks.


They released trade paperbacks (approx. same dimensions as hardcovers) of the 3 volumes, but in mass market paperback (the small ones), there are 8 volumes. (3 for book one, 2 for book two, and 3 for book three.) The first mass market paperback is called “Quicksilver”, but only contains 1/3 of what is in the trade paperback (and hardcover) volume “Quicksilver.”

It’s ironic that the second book is called “The Confusion”


There’s an author, Linda Nagata, who’s come up in a couple of book recommendation columns and/or best of lists for me for her Red trilogy in recent years. But it turns out she’s been writing since at least the mid-90s, so I started off with her Nanotech Succession trilogy instead. Well, sort of trilogy. So far there’s no direct, obvious connection between the first book and the middle one I’m working on now, but they have some shared technological concepts so it’s possible it’s the same setting at different times.

The first one is called The Bohr Maker, and it deals with a setting where a transnational government called the Commonwealth is enforcing strict rules about use of nanotech, AI and human modification. One of the main protagonists is a modified human who was designed under a limited grant from the Commonwealth (designed to be able to survive and work in vacuum) and who was deliberately designed to die from neurological degeneration at the expiration of the grant, which is coming soon. As he would like to survive, he’s been trying to either get the grant extended (which hasn’t been working) or get his hands on a special illegal nanotech Maker that was built with a helper AI, the Bohr Maker (after its creator) that would enable him to save himself and survive on the run indefinitely. The other main protagonist is a woman surviving on the streets of a backwards nation outside the Commonwealth with a small clan of children and an abusive protector figure, who discovers an out of place corpse in the river and contracts…something when looting it for resources. It’s a really interesting setting with compelling characters and ideas.

Then the second book is Deception Well. The main character is a young man named Lot, first encountered as a sort of child commando as his father, a cult leader named Jupiter, leads an assault on an orbital city called Silk, trying to reach the space elevator that will take them down to the deadly planet below, Deception Well, where he insists there is a sort of paradise called the Communion that will absorb them. The assault fails, and the surviving cult members are taken in as refugees of a sort by the inhabitants of Silk…but Lot saw someone take the elevator down to the surface, despite what the authorities claim. And the thing is, the inhabitants of Silk now are refugees themselves, stranded there in their flight from a devastated homeworld, the original occupants who built city and elevator mysteriously long dead. And their resources are limited. So there’s political tensions, the mysteries of planet, cult and dead populace, all sorts of good stuff.

Looking forward to seeing what comes next.


Dammit, I wish I had known about this series when I had the Kindle unlimited trial as all 5 are available on there for free.


The Innocent by David Balducci

This is the first book in what I think is a four part, to date, series using a character named Will Robie. Robie is a US government authorized assassin, and when things go wrong on a hit the shit hits the fan and Robie needs to get himself out of it.

This book is kind of a mix of James Bond and Travis Magee. Not a great book, the leaps in logic are kind of amazing, but great reading on a rainy day, which is when I read it.


I finished A Time to Scatter Stones by Lawrence Block. It was horrible. It was one of those books that made me not even want to reread the old ones. I was a big fan of the Matt Scudder novels, but this one felt like a clips book with a soft porn ending that was so out of character.

I am now reading Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. I have looked forward to this one for a while.


I enjoyed the Camel Club series he did.


Angie Thomas did an interview with Sam Sanders on NPR recently, well worth checking out if you liked the book. (Or even if you’ve never heard of them, great interview.) Books, actually, she’s got a new one out that’s going right on my to-read list.


Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi is very good.

HG Wells, Marconi, and Lodge discovered the technology to get into the afterlife at the turn of the 20th century and used their aetheric tech to crush the Germans so badly in World War I they never became a threat later in the century.

In the 1930s Britain under Queen Victoria and Wells as PM is contending in Spain with a USSR led by an undying collective cohered around the soul of Lenin through espionage conducted by both living and dead agents. Meanwhile Stalin, a renegade Soviet, is trying to establish his own revolution while the British-backed fascists and the Soviet-backed communists are fighting it out…

For some reason HG Wells is called HB West in the novel, perhaps because the man’s historic character and beliefs differ from the ones imagined for him in the book.


Curious if anyone has read this yet. It sounds fascinating.


I read Seven Killings a year ago and it was pretty fascinating, so am inclined to read this James fantasy. And it’s been getting rave reviews everywhere (though hard to sort if that’s because it’s good or because he’s a National Book Award winner.) But it’s the first in a trilogy, so breaks my rule against reading unfinished serieses.


I have been reading Leviathan Awakes and am really enjoying. It helps that I’ve seen Season 1 of The Expanse to help put faces to the names. To me, the show and the book are really very much alike.


There are differences from the book and show but nothing really major or earthshaking.


It makes me wonder if I want to read the books? I have the first one and I’ve started it and yes, it’s similar enough to the show. Do you get enough else out of the books to devote the time to them? These are not 200 page potboilers. These are doorstoppers.


Personally I think they’re significantly different and while I enjoy the show, I like the books even more. YMMV. (Though, also, I get through these books in under a week each, so adjust accordingly if you read more slowly.)


They are different enough to make reading them enjoyable. The show (as all shows do ) condenses some characters and elevates others.


There are some characters in the show that don’t make an appearance in the books (so far as I’ve read), such as the Indian UN head and Miller’s ex-wife (only mentioned a few times).