Book Thread 2018


#605

I read this and also greatly enjoyed it. Thanks for the recommendation.

It’s kind of a shame, I was thinking of a project that plows a very similar field to this.


#606

Two parts of the trilogy down as I just finished The Fractal Prince. This was quite a bit less confusing than The Quantum Thief, at least to me, which I attribute to the first book having put me in the mindset to go with the flow until Rajaniemi gets around to explaining things. Though it’s also possible that he got better at reducing confusion the second time around. Anyhow, it’s a fun read, though I didn’t like the teller-of-tales theme as much as the detective-chasing-thief theme from the first book. Just my personal preference there, and it’s still a very entertaining story. Got the third book coming to the local library so I can finish out the trilogy.


#607

Speaking of whom.


#608

Ha. Much as I like Murakami, I have to admit the nomination is deserved in this case. Not only is the narrator single-handed making up for the famous Japanese sex deficit, but he seems to be pumping out pints of semen per go.


#609

Yeah, @John_Many_Jars level. :)


#610

I haven’t checked this thread for a while but I just finished Gene Krantz’s “Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond” and can highly recommend it if you haven’t already read it.


#611

Great, thanks! I’ll check it out.


#612

The quotes are strange, not insofar as they are bad sex but the first is so clearly and obviously a parody.

If anything, “enamelled pepper mill” is inventive writing.

The stated criteria for the prize is even more confusing:

Each year since 1993, the Bad Sex in Fiction Award has honoured an author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel. The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction.

…pretty sure that “…otherwise good novel” would be the highest praise given to James Frey. It would make the book jacket.


#613

They used to call me the Pie-Faced Peter North of Pretzelburg, but when the Clinton administration ended I had to go underground. You know what I’m sayin’


#614

Salvation, by Peter F. Hamilton.

I tend to like Peter Hamilton’s books better in retrospect than I do when I’m reading them. He always seems to have far more ideas that he wants to explore than he does space in his books to describe them. Thus many of his books or series tend to wander with a staggering number of characters and multiple settings each with their own rules. I personally find this annoying and disjointed while actually reading the books. When he knuckles down and focuses on one particular setting and sci-fi idea rather than trying to throw the kitchen sink of sci-fi tropes into the mix he can be very entertaining.

Salvation’s structure lends itself to Hamilton’s tendency to wander: It’s effectively a group of short stories with a common thread, told by characters in the main story. So it’s a Hyperion-like device, or if you wanna go really old-skool: The Canterbury Tales. As a disjointed framing device there is a secondary story breaking up the chapters that you gradually come to realize sits outside the main structure in a weird way. The final couple chapters brings everything together with a couple really interesting twists that presumably sets up the later books.

I enjoyed it.


#615

In The Frame by Dick Francis

This is a typical Dick Francis murder mystery. All his stories have different characters, no one detective. They are all English and involve horse racing and wine in some important way. This story revolves around a painter who travels to visit a friend and his wife and upon arriving finds the wife murdered during a robbery and the distraught husband the prime suspect. A little light on logic, aren’t all these type detective novels, but Francis is a good story teller.

Nemesis Games by James S. A. Corey

The fifth book in the Expanse series. It took a good 100-150 pages before I could get into this book. It starts almost like a refresher in the characters, a little too much so in my opinion. But given time the plot comes around and the story picks up steam. Not the best book in the series, but probably necessary if the story is going to evolve into something different. And I am not sure what that is at this point, but the story left a lot out there.


#616

I read Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix. I didn’t realize this was a YA book before I started reading it. Still, it’s pretty entertaining.


#617

A lot of YA books are doing that these days, I’ve found. I think it’s a good thing.


#618

Not actually sure if Garth Nix has ever done a non YA or juvenile book. But he’s worth reading regardless.


#619

I finished Foreigner by CJ Cherryh. I was not familiar with this series, and saw that Ann Leckie named it as a big inspiration for her. I quite liked it, and I see how it inspired Imperial Radch even though they are very different beasts. For the most part I enjoyed it quite much, especially the world-building. The initial setup, showing the first two-hundred years in small glimpses, worked very well. I think the main character worked well as a lens to show the world: A lone translator, functioning as the interface between the small human enclave and the world they are stranded on. I think I agree that this is a good example of soft sciences sci-fi. I’m curious as to where the story goes; I felt that the second half was a bit slow. I will definitively read the rest of the first trilogy, but I am not sure I will read all 19 books anytime soon.


#620

Foreigner was the one series by CJ Cherryh that I just never got into. Just the first chapter is always a big barrier for me in many books, but CJ Cherryh is always tough to read. Her books are always slow, but they’re rewarding and they stick with you years afterward more than most other books. I think it has a lot to do with her slow pace. It’s better suited to settle into your long term memory and make an impression.

I read a lot of her Alliance/Union universe books. If I am able to get into the Foreigner series, there’s a lot of freaking books in that series now. I think there’s already 6 trilogies in that universe, and she’s in the middle of the 7th trilogy right now.


#621

Not 100% accurate. His character Sid Halley is the protagonist in several of his novels.

Always loved his books, unfortunately he is from that generation of authors many of whom are no longer with us.


#622

I liked this one, it took the story to some unexpected places and filled in a lot of backstory for some of the main characters in pretty cool ways.

Of course, they throw all that away in the seventh book, but hey. They can’t all be winners, I guess.


#623

I think I had read (probably in Wikipedia) that he never had the same protagonist. So much for wiki. In the books I have read none of them ad recurring characters, but then I haven’t read that many and he wrote a lot of them.


#624

no spoilers please…….