Current Reads

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Tabby on Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:46 am

Ah, I see. Still looks interesting. I'm a sucker for Holmes, too, so I'm glad to have another book on my radar.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:58 am

The first five books in The Expanse series: Leviathan Wakes, Caliban's War, Abaddon's Gate, Cibola Burn, and Nemesis Games, by James S.A. Corey, a two-person team. The first two books have been made into a TV series. I don't know what channel they air on in the US, but in Australia and the UK they're on Netflix, and the third season is being filmed now. These books are so. good., and the fifth book in particular is mind-blowing. I just couldn't believe the authors went to that place. IDK if anyone needs or wants a synopsis, but here goes: it's a sci-fi series set a couple of hundred years in the future when the moon and Mars have been colonised, and people also live and work on the Jovian moons and the asteroid belt. When the story opens there is political conflict between Mars, Earth, and the people who live on the asteroid belt, and then an alien life form is thrown into the mix. I highly recommend this series, even if you don't think sci-fi is your thing. One of the authors was George R.R. Martin's assistant, and I think it shows in the complexity of the plot and the strong characterisation.

I've also been reading Warm Worlds and Otherwise by James Tiptree Jr, a pseudonym for Alice Sheldon. It's a collection of sci-fi short stories that were initially published under a male name because she couldn't get published as herself (insert giant Liz Lemon eyeroll here). In the foreward it's noted that as suspicion grew that Tiptree Jr was actually a woman, a male reviewer said that couldn't be true because the writing was too masculine. A lot of the stories are grim, almost misanthropic. 'The Screwfly Solution' is a good scary Halloween read if you're still in that mindset. On Facebook Putli Bai pointed out that it's like the next step after The Handmaid's Tale. Really creepy stuff.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Red Wolf on Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:31 am

I really liked the first two Expanse books. But the third, I seriously
Spoiler:
hated the plan to frame Holden. It's a trope I hate to start with, but in this case he barely had anything to do with Julius Mao's downfall. That was all Avasarala's doing as a result of his crimes.
So I had to stop reading. Which is a pity, because I like the relatively low-tech approach to space opera.

However, I also found the attitude towards homosexuality to be a little old fashioned. In the first two books, there seemed to be exactly one gay character with their sexuality presented as somewhat odd and amusing. No minor characters, no nameless extras. It felt a bit odd, considering some other progressive views.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:22 pm

In subsequent books I found there were minor characters who were gay and it was presented as no big deal, so maybe an editor pointed out what you noticed in the first couple of books. Book three was also a bit frustrating for the reason you mentioned, and I felt like the authors were trying to up their word count by dragging the story out, it was pretty annoying. I recommend trying book 4 and 5, but I know it can be annoying when people try to push stuff they like on you. Book 4 really narrowed down the focus for a reason I can't get into without giving a spoiler, and then book 5 widened it out again. I haven't read book 6 yet, but obviously it's going to deal with the consequences of book 5's plot.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Red Wolf on Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:32 pm

Yeah, I might just. From the Wikipedia summary, some interesting things do happen further along. That said, I remember reading book one and the big big twist. I was actually a little let down. I enjoyed the mundanity of the first half, rather than the big cosmic weirdness. Still, that obviously wasn't a dealbreaker, so maybe I should just get book 3 from the library and skim through it.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:11 pm

Bad Username wrote:I've also been reading Warm Worlds and Otherwise by James Tiptree Jr, a pseudonym for Alice Sheldon.

The book title is actually Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, Warm Worlds and Otherwise is another short story collection of hers, I got the two mixed up.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Tabby on Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:05 am

I'm reading Water Isaacson's bio of Leonardo da Vinci, and it's fantastic. I like Isaacson's work in general, and, of course, Leonardo is fascinating. The only problem is that it's a doorstop of a book, and I'm afraid I'm going to throw out my back lugging it around to read on the bus. Highly recommended if you like biography.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  naughty zoot on Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:28 pm

Bad Username, due to your mention on FB, I dug up a collection with "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas". Wow. That was the most beautiful, horrifying, moving short story.
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