What Sci-Fi Book Are You Reading?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
Started Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany. It's a short book and so far from what I can tell it's about language and communication between people. Unfortunately 20% in, the book is very dry. We'll see how it goes.
It's the book that put me off Delany. I've always thought I'd pick him up for a another try (maybe "Dhalgren" or "Nova"), but B-17 was always taunting me at the back of my mind ... "do you feel lucky, punk?"
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
Half way through Ready Player One. I can see the appeal, hugely enjoyable but I do wonder if that's just because I grew up in that time and smile warmly at the references. So far though, with a long history in Gibson and Stephenson, I'm not finding anything particularly original.
It's not. Just as Boreas said, the appeal of the book is that it's fun. Everything within that book has already been done, but it didn't matter much to me when I've read it because it was fast and enjoyable. I got some of the references - not all (mostly those about books and movies, wasn't much into videogames until the 1990's) but you don't have to get them to enjoy the book.

There were some aspects in the book which reminded me a movie I saw. I'll put it in spoiler because it concerns a scene from the end of the book:
The movie is called Hackers and its somewhere from the mid-1990's, starring Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller. One of the scenes from the end of the book (the gathering of the virtual tribes) reminded me a similar scene from the movie. Also, the villain in the book resembles the villain in the movie - both some sort of cyber genius who defects and works for the big bad corporation
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
I think i'm in a reading lull. I'm still on the first book of the Eisenhorn omnibus. I would like to finish it, but I just can't get through it right now (it's not a bad book so far). I was thinking of picking up something else, but I'm wishy washy in my resolve to start any title that I think of. I'll just stick to watching Stargate SG-1 for the next few days.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
I think i'm in a reading lull
Getting ready for Christmas, are we?
Nothing productive getting done anymore, everybody already spending most of their time with Christmas dinners and guzzling Gluehwein at those nice little huts that pop up in the inner city and at the Christmas markets?

Best regards,
Andy

PS: Sitting in 30-degree-centigrade Kuala Lumpur, I am somehow envying you ... but only for a short time.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
Getting ready for Christmas, are we?
Nothing productive getting done anymore, everybody already spending most of their time with Christmas dinners and guzzling Gluehwein at those nice little huts that pop up in the inner city and at the Christmas markets?

Best regards,
Andy

PS: Sitting in 30-degree-centigrade Kuala Lumpur, I am somehow envying you ... but only for a short time.
I'm just a 10 minute walk from the Kristkindlmarkt at the Schoenbrunn, but my favourite has always been at Spittelberg. I love waking through the narrow streets of the 7. Bezirk during Christmas season. Actually, the best Kristkindlmarkt I've been to is in Budapest.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
Yes, I also like the Spittelberg. But I'm also somehow partial to the one "am Hof"

(Apologies to everybody else who is coming here for Science Fiction suggestions. So read some Iain M. Banks. Enjoy a good book by Neal Stephenson. There)
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
I'll just stick to watching Stargate SG-1 for the next few days.
Nowt wrong with that. I went through every episode when I discovered a little know relationship win/win: Sci-fi ironing. I do the ironing for the family (my good lady does all the laundry) and I get to watch back to back sci-fi (currently sci-fi ironing is screening Galactica and Revolution).

I finished Ready Player One last night. I can't remember the last time I read a book in two days, which is a testament to how fun it was. I too will be recommending it to people.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
I do the ironing for the family (my good lady does all the laundry) and I get to watch back to back sci-fi (currently sci-fi ironing is screening Galactica and Revolution).
I haven't ironed anything for 7 years. No one has even noticed. Maybe it's all the cat hair distracting people from the wrinkles in my clothing? Or maybe I was just so incompetent at ironing that no one can tell the difference.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
Sounds like an excellent channel, but I can't watch and iron at the same time. I usually listen to music or just concentrate on getting it done.
I haven't ironed anything for 7 years.
My friends used to make fun of me for ironing when I used to live in Canada. It sometimes seemed to me that ironing was a foreign concept in north America.
I'm also somehow partial to the one "am Hof"
Also a good spot.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
I'm as much a newb as you. I asked the same thing some time back, but no one responded. This thread was started by someone in 2012 and only had a few posts in it. It really only got some life into it after I resurrected it in January this year, but since no one was reading much SF regularly, it didn't seem like there was a need to start new threads every month. Now there are more people reading SF on a regular basis, so I think it would be a good idea. Why don't you do the honours and start one from January? Then, at the beginning of every month, whoever's first can start a new thread for that month.
OK, I'll give it some thought, as I have until January to come up with a great title like"It's January, what sci-fi book are you reading?

Actually I'm embarrassed since I suggested this while posting in exactly the type of thread I was proposing. Doing the forehead slap now.

For some reason, the individual changing month threads on this format in the fantasy forum seem to interest me more. If you all really think it would an decent idea, I'll do it or thank whoever else does.

And you're correct Boreas, it's your bringing this thread back to life that brought it out of the cellar. Like most of you, I go back and forth between genres and will read several in one of the genres before heading back and repeating.

But bottom line, Boreas' posting in the sci-fi forum has brought it back to life.
 
Last edited:

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
I think the real spike in participation started after @TomTheBeliever and some of the other regular fantasy readers started foraying into the SF genre. It's a good thing, too.

Yeah, you start the first new thread for January reading. "It's January, what sci-fi are you reading" or "SF reading in January, 2015" or anything like that. After that, whoever's the first to post in a new month can start the thread.
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
Finished Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks. Had a lot of fun reading it. The first half of the book was fast and furious, packed full of action. The action rate in the second half mellowed a little bit, but it was still a good read. Also liked the overall story and the MC.

I guess this is as good a chance as any to thank @Boreas for the Banks rec. Although I knew he was a sci-fi author, reading his books was never on my list until I saw your posts, and since I enjoyed that one quite a bit, I might just have to read more of his books next year.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
Finished Babel-17. These were my thoughts on Goodreads. Off to The Master and Margarita.

Babel-17 is a strange book.The main character is Rydra Wong, a poet with a captain's licence. She's galaxy famous as a poet and has a strange gift of cracking up any code. She's also a polyglot. One day she gets proposed by an army's general to crack a code named Babel-17, which is linked to sabotages on the Alliance territories. Alliance is at war with the Invaders who are sending this code. However, she understands early on that Babel-17 is not a code but a language in itself, and to crack a language she needs to find out more about it. So she gathers a colorful crew of characters and they are of on their journey.
Everything would be fine if this book kept on that track. However Delany starts to insert more and more language theory as the book goes on. I think the most important idea he wanted to relate is that language we speak defines who we are, how we perceive the world and ourselves and at the end of the book it postulates that it's even powerful enough to change/replace our own personality, our ego.
A quote that supports that:
"Mocky, when you learn another tongue, you learn the way another people see the world, the universe."
Now call me crazy, but that is not an earth shattering revelation right there. Maybe because I already speak and think in more then one language and while I certainly agree with that sentiment, it is something I noticed early on in my English or Japanese learning and I'm sure anybody who starts learning a new language notices in one way or the other.
What Delany is trying to do is write about language theory in a sci-fi setting. And it just doesn't work. The writing is choppy and it makes the plot flow badly. I would much rather he wrote a straight up paper on his language theory on one hand, and sci-fi novel on other. Because this hybrid doesn't work.
What I did like is a variety of interesting characters considering this is a 200 page book. I especially liked his ideas on body modifications in the future and discorporate humans existing after death.
Overall it was ok, but I sure hope some of his other books are better than this.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
Finished Babel-17. These were my thoughts on Goodreads
Am too lazy to read your detailed explanation right now (also, I was afraid of potential spoilers).
So having checked on Goodreads, you rated it "2 stars", enough information for me ;)
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
Am too lazy to read your detailed explanation right now (also, I was afraid of potential spoilers).
So having checked on Goodreads, you rated it "2 stars", enough information for me ;)
When you're not lazy you can read it, because there are no spoilers.
2 stars on Goodreads means exactly what Goodreads says: "It was OK". It doesn't mean the book was bad. 1 stars are reserved for that.
On BFB's rating, if that makes any sense to you I would give it a 4 or a 5.
My BFB's ratings explained.
 

atheling

A Poet of the Khaiem
Finished Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks. Had a lot of fun reading it. The first half of the book was fast and furious, packed full of action. The action rate in the second half mellowed a little bit, but it was still a good read. Also liked the overall story and the MC.
this is in my TBR pile, so this is helpful.
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
Currently reading Ubik by Philip K. Dick - or probably re-reading it, as I remember reading a few of his books over 20 years ago. Anyway, I came across this line from the book which I had to share:

"One of these days" Joe said wrathfully "People like me will rise up and overthrow you, and the end of tyranny by the homeostatic machine will have arrived"

Says it all, really.
 
Last edited:

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
He was mad as a fish old Phil. I think it's him and L. Ron Hubbard who vie for the title of most drug addled sci-fi author. Great stories though.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
Great stories though.
That only applies to Phillip K. Dick. NOT to L. Ron Hubbard.

Once made the mistake to buy one of his books (Battlefield Earth) as it was one of the 5 English books available at an airport bookshop. Definitely a contender for "Worst book I have read so far".

Best regards,
Andy
 
Status
Not open for further replies.