It's January 2018 : What SF book are you reading

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#1
Recently finished Inish Carraig by forum's member Jo Zebedee. Liked it overall - it was short, fast paced and fun. It tells the story of what happens after the alien invasion was finished and new reality takes place. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the book - not because I expected it to be bad but because over the recent years I realized that I prefer adult characters, not teenagers or kids, and when I started reading the book I discovered that most ot it is told through a teenager POV. Still, it's no surprise that my favorite POV in the book was Carter (a police liason between local law-enforcement and the aliens).

Earlier this month I read Anvil of Stars by Greg Bear. This one I didn't like so much - book was too much drawn-out and too little happened. I think it would have been better as a novella (book is a sequel to Forge of God, one of Bear's most famous books).
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#4
@TomTB, I noticed on GR you started Terms of Enlistment. That will be a perfect 6 book series for the challenge. All the books are pretty shorts and quick, easy reads.

Well, if you like the first one.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#5
@TomTB, I noticed on GR you started Terms of Enlistment. That will be a perfect 6 book series for the challenge. All the books are pretty shorts and quick, easy reads.

Well, if you like the first one.
Yeah been waiting for this last one to come out for ages. Finally get to start the series!! And looking forward it!!
 

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
#6
Recently finished Inish Carraig by forum's member Jo Zebedee. Liked it overall - it was short, fast paced and fun. It tells the story of what happens after the alien invasion was finished and new reality takes place. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the book - not because I expected it to be bad but because over the recent years I realized that I prefer adult characters, not teenagers or kids, and when I started reading the book I discovered that most ot it is told through a teenager POV. Still, it's no surprise that my favorite POV in the book was Carter (a police liason between local law-enforcement and the aliens).
Just saw this - thank you :) Whisper it - Carter is my favourite too. When it was with an agent most of his parts were removed and the book was poorer without him - when I got the rights back I put him straight back in!

On the reading from I’m reading Pat Cadigan’s Mindplayers. My word, she is superb.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#7
Began The Anubis Gates today. Didn’t think On Stranger Tides was great. So far Powers has thrown a bazillion names, theories and tenses at me in 26 pages which is maddening but the subject matter is fascinating.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#8
Began The Anubis Gates today. Didn’t think On Stranger Tides was great. So far Powers has thrown a bazillion names, theories and tenses at me in 26 pages which is maddening but the subject matter is fascinating.
I finished that yesterday. I have been trying to clear out my Kindle backlog and I must've bought that when it was on special at some point in the past. I liked how everything came together in the end; must've taken a fair amount of planning to have things show up at the right moment.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#10
I DNF'd A Fire Upon the Deep at 35%. Just couldn't get into it at all.

I've started All Systems Red by Martha Wells.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#11
The Anubis Gates. I had trouble following Tim Powers writing. Long sentences. He would go on for pages and not tell you which characters were involved or context the conversations were in until the end of the passage (dun dun dun). Lots of serpentine twists and turns.I felt the characters were pretty shallow and didn’t care much for any. The characters are usually the dispositive factor for me.Good guys were always good and evil ones pure evil. Several characters had between 2-5 identities and mixed in with the time jumps it confused me. But it had some exciting moments and I guess mirrored some events in the real world. I don’t enjoy poetry and know little about it although I remember some things fromva couple of literature classes. The plot itself was very creative. At the end I rated it 3 of 5 stars on my Kindle. Well, I’d been itching to read it and now the deed is done. Not glad I read it but not sorry either.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#12
The Anubis Gates. I had trouble following Tim Powers writing. Long sentences. He would go on for pages and not tell you which characters were involved or context the conversations were in until the end of the passage (dun dun dun). Lots of serpentine twists and turns.I felt the characters were pretty shallow and didn’t care much for any. The characters are usually the dispositive factor for me.Good guys were always good and evil ones pure evil. Several characters had between 2-5 identities and mixed in with the time jumps it confused me. But it had some exciting moments and I guess mirrored some events in the real world. I don’t enjoy poetry and know little about it although I remember some things fromva couple of literature classes. The plot itself was very creative. At the end I rated it 3 of 5 stars on my Kindle. Well, I’d been itching to read it and now the deed is done. Not glad I read it but not sorry either.
I actually liked it and didn't have much trouble following it, but you are right that the characters are pretty black and white.

I don't think it is science fiction, though, and am not sure why it gets categorized there. There is a vaguely scientific explanation going on with respect to calculating the appearance of the gates, but the rest of it strikes me as pure fantasy (magic, creatures, gods, etc.).
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#13
I actually liked it and didn't have much trouble following it, but you are right that the characters are pretty black and white.

I don't think it is science fiction, though, and am not sure why it gets categorized there. There is a vaguely scientific explanation going on with respect to calculating the appearance of the gates, but the rest of it strikes me as pure fantasy (magic, creatures, gods, etc.).

Yeah, it was probably just me getting confused. Nothing new here. I know 75% on Amazon rated it 4 or higher plus it was on one of Ben’s lists.

It felt more like a fantasy to me too (urban?) and I considered posting it in the fantasy section initially. Perhaps it gets classified as science fiction because of all the time travel?
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#14
Yeah, it was probably just me getting confused. Nothing new here. I know 75% on Amazon rated it 4 or higher plus it was on one of Ben’s lists.

It felt more like a fantasy to me too (urban?) and I considered posting it in the fantasy section initially. Perhaps it gets classified as science fiction because of all the time travel?
It is classified by the publisher as SF so you were justified in posting in this thread, I just feel that it was miscategorized by the publisher. Sometimes there is a fine line between fantasy and SF and I have definitely read books where it was harder to tell. I suppose "time travel" as a general concept is SF, but if time travel is accomplished by mostly magical means, and other magic exists, and there's not advanced technology or aliens or something, I just don't feel it fits in the SF bin.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#15
I've always thought of time travel as fantasy, or at least science fantasy (like where Star Wars sits on the genre ladder)
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#16
I've always thought of time travel as fantasy, or at least science fantasy (like where Star Wars sits on the genre ladder)
Is there an appreciable difference in the popularity between the two. If a book was on the fence (or near it) would it appeal to a larger audience marketed as science fiction?
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#17
Is there an appreciable difference in the popularity between the two. If a book was on the fence (or near it) would it appeal to a larger audience marketed as science fiction?
I honestly don't know. I guess a book would be marketed in the genre where it would generate most sales. It's all about the money money money.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#18
I finished Terms of Enlistment this morning. This was a strange one for me. For the first half of the book I really struggled with it. I didn't like the writing style and the story didn't do too much for me. There were some parts where I laughed out loud (not in a good way), and it very nearly got added to my list of books that I quit partway through.

But I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. The second half improved in terms of plot and I think I just became accustomed to the writing style and it didn't bother me so much. I'm kinda glad because I own the rest of the series (although I only paid 6 quid for all 6 books). I'll stick with it I think.

@Khartun @ofer i know you've both read some/all of this series. Did you agree with my synopsis of book 1 and in your opinions does the series improve (without spoilers ;))
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#19
just finished Dragonquest ~ Anne Mcaffery
taken the discussion on SF or Fant for the last book, plus how much MORE SF this book is , I'm putting it here.

again this book shows clear inspiration from Asimov's Foundation series. its really good, not nearly as good as Dragonflight. also a couple of resolutions that were... anticlimactic. Most of them were great though.

one awesome thing, she took a specific contininuity error and corrected it perfectly
they kept talking about crafters holders and oldtimer riders all unable to stretch or see things in new lights. unwilling to innovate. but the crafters were all willing to innovate and although there might be one eyeing the situation oddly they eventually capitulate without fuss. this is until we meet the blockheaded Masterherder. who couldn't see a single change from his old scripts as truth.

7/10
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#20
I finished Terms of Enlistment this morning. This was a strange one for me. For the first half of the book I really struggled with it. I didn't like the writing style and the story didn't do too much for me. There were some parts where I laughed out loud (not in a good way), and it very nearly got added to my list of books that I quit partway through.

But I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. The second half improved in terms of plot and I think I just became accustomed to the writing style and it didn't bother me so much. I'm kinda glad because I own the rest of the series (although I only paid 6 quid for all 6 books). I'll stick with it I think.

@Khartun @ofer i know you've both read some/all of this series. Did you agree with my synopsis of book 1 and in your opinions does the series improve (without spoilers ;))
Can't say that I liked that series like Khartun or Ben. I read...think it was the first 4 books? like you, bought them all together when they were in some sort of sale.

First 2 books were mainly mindless fun - plot and characters were a bit generic, but the books had excellent pace and very good action scenes, so while they weren't mind-boggling or anything, they were perfectly adequate. Don't remember being bothered by the writing style, as it seemed pretty straightforward.

But from book 3 on I felt that the pace was going slower and slower. Maybe Kloos was going for more character development, but for me it was reducing the aspect I was enjoying the most (or only) in the books. Also, the main story of the series wasn't advancing much.

So I quit after book 4. Don't know if I'll ever get to the rest of the series. Maybe.