What SF are you reading in May?

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#2

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#3
After a drunken discussion with an uncle at a family gathering I now have a copy of A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller in my possession. Never heard of it but its a well regarded 60s post apocalyptic effort, so that's on the menu for this month (will be returning fire to said uncle with a lend of The Martian)
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
After a drunken discussion with an uncle at a family gathering I now have a copy of A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller in my possession. Never heard of it but its a well regarded 60s post apocalyptic effort, so that's on the menu for this month (will be returning fire to said uncle with a lend of The Martian)
I really enjoyed Canticle. I'm a sucker for a well written post-apocalyptic novel though, and this one was a bit different from the others .. no spoilers though so I'll shut up!
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#6
@wakarimasen, your uncle has recommended a true gem of a novel. Really hope you enjoy it. Just keep in mind that it was a fix-up work out of three novellas.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#8
I read the prologue of "Consider Phlebas" today and I have a feeling I'm going to continue reading it together with the fantasy I've started.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#9
Because I'm not really liking The Vagrant I started Dark Intelligence by Neal Asher today. I haven't read the Polity books yet, but I'm figuring it won't spoil that much. I'll come around to those.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#10
I think "Dark Intelligence" is also a Polity book, but yeah, it should be a completely independent story (I'm not sure if it's a stand alone or whether it's supposed to be the first of a duology/trilogy). I've heard that it's a smokin' read, so I think you'll enjoy it.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#11
Glad to hear it is such a good read. The book itself is the first part of 'Transformation', a story sets a 100 years after the war.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#12
Hey Griffin and Boreas, I really liked Prador Moon and Shadow of the Scorpion ( based on recs here) but not Gridlinked. Can I pick up any book beyond Gridlinked without missing much, as The Line of Polity looks real good. I guess I'm asking if I can jump around in the Cormac/Polity worlds because yeah, I want to read Dark Intelligence too if the previous books aren't required.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#13
@kenubrion, Dark Intelligence is my first foray into the Polity Universe so I'm surely hoping I can. I'm not really experiencing any troubles, but I suppose I'm hitting some spoilers without knowing, not that it bothers me, I tend to forget some of that anyway.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#14
Hey Griffin and Boreas, I really liked Prador Moon and Shadow of the Scorpion ( based on recs here) but not Gridlinked. Can I pick up any book beyond Gridlinked without missing much, as The Line of Polity looks real good. I guess I'm asking if I can jump around in the Cormac/Polity worlds because yeah, I want to read Dark Intelligence too if the previous books aren't required.
"Gridlinked" is the weakest of his books that I've read (though I didn't think it was bad) and it was also his first published work. He keeps getting better from then on. The problem with reading in internal chronology (as you did, kenubrion) is that sometimes prequels are written keeping in mind what's already been explored (and so the prequels flesh out certain tantalising aspects to the story that are usually only hinted at in the main story arc), whereas going [more-or-less] in publication order lets you see what the author has in mind and how he develops his setting/characters as he writes each instalment in the shared universe.

As for the Ian Cormac series, I'm afraid it's one big story from books 1-5. The Ian Cormac books are also the core Polity books that really lay out the setting. I think "The Line of Polity" (bk.2) is better than "Gridlinked" (bk.1) and "Brass Man" (bk.3) is excellent with bks.4/5 continuing the high bar of bk.3. Bk.1 is just an introduction, bk.2 properly introduces the core antagonistic idea, bk.3 is the first stage of things coming to a head, and books 4/5 resolve the larger conflict. Lots of violence, some gruesome descriptions (Asher can be splatter-prone), mysteries/manipulations and lots of tech/concepts.

I think "Dark Intelligence" is a new Polity arc, so you wouldn't need to read the Ian Cormac books to follow it.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#15
Thanks Boreas for all that. Your point about publication order makes perfect sense and is how I will approach them.
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#16
Finished Old Man's War by John Scalzi which I thought was a damn good book. Scalzi combined some ideas from classical sci-fi authors (noticed Heinlein, Zelazny and Clarke) and put them all together into a very good-paced and well-written book. Took me less then 2 days to read it - and although the book is short it's still well above my usual reading average. The word that comes to mind when describing it is fluent - the story just rolls on so good that it keeps you reading.
 

Anti_Quated

Journeyed there and back again
#17
Pariah - Dan Abnett. I've yearned to revisit my dear old friend Gregor for a while, and though he has made but one brief appearance thus far, I'm quite hooked. In some parts it feels a little trashy/pulpy and doesn't quite have the same noir-esque allure as Eisenhorn, but I'm nonetheless enjoying it. Oddly, the setting feels somehow disjointed, and yet perversely familiar, when I think back to the other worlds Dan Abnett has delineated. Thus far it seems a prelude of better things to come, though I've encountered the first major twist, which was pretty much what I had anticipated being the basis for the novel (leading into a whole trilogy). My expectations were high, and I'd not say they've been disappointed necessarily; only that I'm waiting for things to really take off.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#18
So where is everybody? I asked if there's a new forum since I really didn't follow Ben's comments about registering and all.

Never mind, found you and registered.
 
Last edited:

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#19
Dark Intelligence - a.k.a. Scifi-techfest. A fun book but a bit heavy on the imaginated techside. Several secondary characters were a bit murky on the motivational side. I also had trouble connecting with the characters whom mostly were technologically advanced semi-deities. Also, someone doesn't reconnect so easily with society after being stored as data for a 100 years. The ending was a tad brusque and anticlimactic, but I imagine this will be the anchorpoint for the sequel. The story itself is quite fun, but I imagine I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the previous Polity books.
 

Anti_Quated

Journeyed there and back again
#20
Finished Pariah. A set-up book; some nice action scenes, but felt in parts as though something were missing. Enjoyable, though I think Abnett perhaps missed the mark a little in the first half; Pariah was not initially as engrossing as I wanted it to be, or assumed it would be on the quality and character of Abnett's other forays. I think the secondary and tertiary pieces of the trilogy will find me a more satisfied customer. It did draw me in as it progressed and a few familiar faces emerged, with a gorgeous little teaser that I suspected was coming, but really upped the ante at the end. Always lovely to visit old friends, so to speak, but a damn shame they take so long to arrive - very much the aphorism of 'hurry up and wait' on this one.