March 2017 - What SF books are you reading?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Silvion Night, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I'm reading Wool. It's amazingly even better than my previous sci-fi read Red Rising. Thoroughly hooked and if it keeps on like this I'll rate it with 9.5.
  2. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    I just started A Talent For War by Jack McDevitt. I hope I like it since there are so many books in that series. I have enjoyed a couple of his other books starring Priscilla Hutchinson.
  3. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    Still on the last man by Mary shelley. It's 700 pages and I only read it periodically at work, 5 pages at a time.

    Still reading adventures of sherlock Holmes but I've set it down for a bit to focus on books I want to trade in on the 10th.
  4. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    I think I gave book 1 - 4 stars, book 2 - 5 stars, and book 3 - 3 stars. A really good series which I'll hopefully get back to one day.

    I felt exactly the same, and bought pretty much the whole series before reading the first one, but unfortunately, whilst liking the first one well enough, it definitely didn't pique my interest enough to carry on. Maybe one day I will, especially if you tell me it gets better :)
  5. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Finished Old Man's War, I was going to jump directly to Shift, but as we have been discussing Greg Bear over at BSFBF, I have decided to read the sequel of The Forge of God, which I so much loved. So Anvil of Stars is next.:)
  6. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    You got me all excited about Red Rising and now this:
  7. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Just finished Wool. I liked this one a lot, although the ending felt slightly rushed. Because of this I rate it not with the promised 9.5, but instead with a 8.5.

    Now on to the second book in the trilogy: Shift!
  8. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    Out if curiosity, how many posts have you mentioned reading wool...
    Lol. By shear repetition of reference I will be adding it to my queue.

    What went wrong with the ending to drop a point in grade?
  9. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I loved it despite the few flaws in the last 10%. A 9 for me. Look forward, without spoilers, to reading your comments about Shift.

    Bernard’s exit and the redemption of the new sheriff was both surprising and a bit dissapointing.
  10. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    The part in the spoiler tag was exactly why I felt it was a bit rushed.
    the overheard short radio call between Jules and Bernard is enough to convince Peter immediately that Bernard was in the wrong all along? Seemed a bit too easy for me. Also the silo inhabitants in Mechanical (especially Shirly) figuring out so quickly there are other silo's was a bit unbelievable. I tried to place myself in their shoes and I think I'd be totally flabbergasted and confused by the voices coming from the radio, not immediately leaping to the conclusion that there must be other silo's out there.

    And then there is Bernard. I don't really think he was evil at all. A very interesting antagonist, as I felt he was in the right just as much as Jules. You even see Lukas slowly getting convinced by Bernard that the approach of the silo leaders is actually the right one. The only thing that in the end throws off Lukas is his dumb insistence on knowing what happened to Jules's adolescent crush.

    The right and wrong in this book is what makes it so interesting. Is there a right or wrong? I'm not sure. One could argue that the people that dreamed up the world-wide Apocalypse and the silo system were evil -although I'm 10% into Shift and I'm already starting to doubt that-, but people like Bernard are only trying to preserve what was handed over to them. You see what happens when the secret about the silos leaks out: mayhem, revolution. Death.
  11. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Then my plan worked!

    If you want to know the details you can check the reply I gave to Elvira (spoiler tagged). I wouldn't though, as that would ruin the story for you. In summary it is this: I felt the ending was a bit rushed. The things that gave me this feeling were: (i) the events in the last 30 pages or so of the book felt cramped together in the sense that on page 1 a certain event is described, on page 2 we are suddenly hours ahead and all these other things have transpired and then on page 3 a new crisis develops etc. I hope you get what I mean. And the other reason (ii) is that I felt the characters near the end made some weird choices. Not just irrational (which is fine) but a bit unbelievable (example: a staunch supporter of a certain faction inexplicably gets converted to the other faction after having overheard a short cryptic conversation between two people). It just felt too convenient.

    Still an amazing book though, and the ending was quite satisfactory despite the points mentioned.
  12. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    @Silvion Night,


    I didn’t find that concept so unbelievable. There were continuous whispers regarding previous revolts, unfairness with IT and other type of abuses. The secrecy and punishment are part of their daily lives: It is a state of terror and, consequently, I believe there was some type of dormant knowledge, a general state of suspicion and distrust in people’s mind.
    The citizens are forced to comply with the general will, burying their personal one under the oppressive fear of being sent to cleaning. Gosh! this sounds an extremely succinct summary of Rosseau’s Social Contract…!
    The trigger for the revolt was that this time "one of us" has been sent out.
    In my view, when Shirly gets a few pieces of the puzzle, once the fear of the consequences has been removed, (pretty much because they are already at war and all is lost) she is able along with the others to start putting together part of the truth.

    Mnnn, not sure about that. In my opinion, Bernard had all the knowledge. His disregard towards the corrupted individuals who wouldn’t follow the general will was astonishing: they are worthless, a virus which needs eliminating. Individuality doesn't exist for him, except his and his personal career ambition.
    He rejoices in his acts and that means to me, he is not simply another cog in the machinery. He thinks he is above the machinery itself.
    The proof for me was when he chose to be burnt alive rather than complying with the parody of the cleaning ritual.

    This is why I loved the book. It presents premises which are worth pondering about.
  13. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member


    Hmm, you could be right about that one. I was trying to find historical parallels where similar things happened. Could go either way though. What did the native inhabitants of Pacific Islands think of Captain Cook when he first mad landfall? Their whole world was turned topsy-turvey and they thought Cook was some sort of god.

    I don't think there was some wide-spread dormant knowledge of the truth in the Silo. I didn't find any indications for this in the story. A select few individuals get doubts, but only after extensive digging in the records. And lets not forget it drove Holsten's wife bonkers, raving mad. The truth was too much to handle.

    And then at the end of the story people just immediately accept the truth when they are faced with it. I don't think humanity works that way. If I'd start to hear beings from another dimension start talking to me from my television or phone, I would first question my own sanity, or think it was some sort of prank, rather than just believe it outright. Now I know 'outright' is too strong a word, as there were indeed some indications for the people from Mechanical near the stories' ending, but I still think it went a bit too fast and easy.

    I really don't agree on that one. He indeed harbored a disregard towards the corrupted individuals, but I never saw his personal ambition as motivation for this. If anything, I found Bernard to be without too much ambition. In the first 'books' of wool he came of as more of an evil person who was out to become mayor, but in the later books I found him to be driven and ruthless, but with the goal of preserving the Legacy. At times he felt weary and he seemed genuinely pleased to find Lukas, a person to succeed him and to put trust in. His disappointment with Lukas when he confronted him with the murder file was genuine and I really felt sorry for the guy.

    What I'm trying to say here is that to me Bernard wasn't all bad. He certainly wasn't all good either though.
  14. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Well, we obviously interpret some aspects of Wool differently. I do enjoy reading your argumentations. And despite both having enjoyed this book, we have arrived at different conclusions regarding some points.
    I guess for an author, it must be really fascinating to see how his/her work triggers different interpretations amongst readers.
  15. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Yeah definitely! In the back of the book there were some reading group questions that explored some of the themes we discussed. There were some questions in there that made me argue for and against them, both with valid points. Thats the hallmark of a good book if you ask me.

    It's also very much contrary to some of the criticism I've read about this author and the Silo trilogy. Admittedly, sometimes the descriptions of inter-human relationships (friendships, love interests) are if a 'tell-don't-show' kind and the descriptions of personality traits and characteristics a bit sparse, but I found the fact that not everything about these characters is cut and clear to be very interesting. It leaves some aspects of the characters open to interpretation.
  16. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    I finished Dark Eden this morning. An absolutely brilliant book, 5*, review over on the BSFB forum.
  17. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Journeyed there and back again

    So glad you enjoyed it! Of the trilogy it is, I think, by far the best.
  18. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    Cheers Jo .. I'll let you if I agree with you over the coming weeks ;)
  19. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    Finished The Silence by Tim Lebbon. Good post-apoc novel, but nothing ground breaking. Recommended for fans of this sub-genre.

    I've started re-reading Leviathan Wakes, because it's awesome, so why not!?
  20. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Just wrapped up Shift, the second book in the Silo trilogy by Hugh Howey.

    This was another great book. Some of the mysteries of book 1 are solved, and it is done methodically as the main characters figure things out, which makes for a satisfying yet suspenseful read.

    There are a couple of gripes I have with this book, the first of which is that it is almost all flashback. This works well for some storylines, but not so much for others (especially the Solo storyline which I found to be rather boring, because I pretty much knew everything that was going to happen).

    Then there is the fact that Donald is a rather boring main character. Rather bland.

    The final thing is that
    I found the identity swap of Thurman and Donald totally unbelievable. You mean to tell me no one in that freaking silo had seen Thurman or Donny before? Thurman has been thawed quite a lot of times. So not one silo 1 member shared one of his shifts? Really weird.

    Despite these gripes this was an immensely enjoyable read. I rate it with 8/10.

    Now on to the final book: Dust.

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