What SF are you reading in May?

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#21
Still on "Consider Phlebas". Finished Polansky's "The Straight Razor Cure" which was thoroughly enjoyable.
 

Nuomer1

Journeyed there and back again
#22
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
Never heard of Canticle? It is widely regarded as classic, a MUST-READ for anyone who moves in SF circles. However, two words of warning.
First, I don't know your age - and if under 55, then spend a bit of time thinking about the Cold War era - this was written when a large part of the western world lived under the threat (sadly credible at certain times!) of thermonuclear annihilation on four minutes warning. Read up the politics of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD - and it was!). Read the book in that context.
And a second word. Canticle was brilliant - but 30 years later someone persuaded Walter Miller to attempt a sequel, title something like 'Leibowitz and the Mad Horsewoman' which had to be finished by someone else. Biggest mistake in literary history. Read Canticle, forget the sequel!
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#23
Finished "Consider Phlebas". Excellent, as always. Cinematic is the most apt description. Thinking of starting another SF to read in tandem with the fantasy I'm on. Not sure which one, yet.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#24
I started Lagoon on audiobooks. It's a book by a Nigerian author Nnedi Okorafor. I made a conscious decision to read more sf/f female authors this year, and she's one of them.

Lagoon happens in Lagos, Nigeria. It's a first contact story (it looks like that so far). But people on GR say it kinda blends fantasy and sci/fi genre (probably later in the book). The audiobook is excellent. There are two narrators, male and female and they have these great Nigerian accents, I love it.
I'll post the synopsis here and the badass cover which I adore.

When a massive object crashes into the ocean off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous and legendary city, three people wandering along Bar Beach (Adaora, the marine biologist- Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa- Agu, the troubled soldier) find themselves running a race against time to save the country they love and the world itself… from itself. Lagoon expertly juggles multiple points of view and crisscrossing narratives with prose that is at once propulsive and poetic, combining everything from superhero comics to Nigerian mythology to tie together a story about a city consuming itself.



 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#25
It's a first contact story (it looks like that so far). But people on GR say it kinda blends fantasy and sci/fi genre (probably later in the book). The audiobook is excellent. There are two narrators, male and female and they have these great Nigerian accents, I love it.
I'm very much awaiting your conclusion when read for I might add it to my TBR pile.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#26
Coincidence. I'm considering her "Who Fears Death" which came highly recommended to me some months ago. But I'm in a bit of a bind. I just learned that Stephenson's "Seveneves" has been released at the bookstores but there's no ebook available. So, should I rush out and buy the paperback (which, if I started it, would probably consume me to the exclusion of anything else I'm reading or doing) or pick up a novel from those 20-30 that I've already got?

If I don't rush out to buy Stephenson by tomorrow, I'll probably either start "Old Man's War" or "Who Fears Death", still undecided at the moment.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#28
USD 17 is steep for an ebook. It might even be cheaper as a paperback at my local store. Funny that the ebook is not available on Amazon DE - it's actually listed as free, but that's for a sample. Haven't downloaded it yet - what are the chances that I'll mistakenly/luckily get the entire ebook if I click on it?
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#29
Duh, I just realised that the paperback wouldn't be out yet. Just the hardcover. Crap. Maybe I'll have to get the ebook after all.
 

atheling

A Poet of the Khaiem
#30
I'm considering her "Who Fears Death" which came highly recommended to me some months ago.
I read that. I thought it was decent. Interesting world and protagonist, the story was basically farmgirl-with-a-sword (more or less).
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#31
I'm reading Raymond Weil's first book in his Galactic Empire Wars series.
 
#32
I finished Vermilion by Molly Tanzer a week back. It was really good for a new author. The world she created set in early american west. Like during the gold rush, but this world had anthropomorphic bears and walruses and feisty souls. The main character was well developed and interesting. I think it just needed a bit better pacing. It got kind of slow in parts.

I'm reading Rogues the anthology edited by GRRM and Gardner Dozois. I loved the first story by Abercrombie (Tough Times All Over). I love his imperfect characters and this little story was packed full of them. The other stories have been a mixed bag, but all have been decent so far.

On my phone I'm reading Auraria by Tim Westover. I'm not very far yet, but so far so good.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#33
I finished Vermilion by Molly Tanzer a week back. It was really good for a new author. The world she created set in early american west. Like during the gold rush, but this world had anthropomorphic bears and walruses and feisty souls. The main character was well developed and interesting. I think it just needed a bit better pacing. It got kind of slow in parts.

I'm reading Rogues the anthology edited by GRRM and Gardner Dozois. I loved the first story by Abercrombie (Tough Times All Over). I love his imperfect characters and this little story was packed full of them. The other stories have been a mixed bag, but all have been decent so far.

On my phone I'm reading Auraria by Tim Westover. I'm not very far yet, but so far so good.
Welcome to the forum @Linnymay .. glad to have you on board :)

I really need to get round to reading more short stories. Quite enjoyed the Iron Druid short stories I read recently. I've got all the Expanse short stories lined up though, which I plan on reading right before the next book is out.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#34
On my phone I'm reading Auraria by Tim Westover. I'm not very far yet, but so far so good.
I feel so bad, he sent me that to review a long time ago and I haven't gotten to it yet because I've been busy at work.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#35
I finished Vermilion by Molly Tanzer a week back. It was really good for a new author. The world she created set in early american west. Like during the gold rush, but this world had anthropomorphic bears and walruses and feisty souls. The main character was well developed and interesting. I think it just needed a bit better pacing. It got kind of slow in parts.
I had my eyes on this ever since it came out this year. I saw it on SF Signal and the cover just got me.

cover:


But I haven't had time to squeeze it in. As far as I understood it's a weird western, and I have R. S. Belcher's Golgotha series (another weird western) to get to before I add this one to my pile of weird fantasy.
Thank you for posting, it's nice to hear it's a solid work.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#36
I'll post my review of Lagoon here, because not all of forum members have GR. The one thing I didn't mention is that because I listened to an audiobook, while the narrators were really cool, there were moments when the text switched to pidgin English and those parts were really difficult to understand at first. Later I understood some things, but some I didn't.

I really liked it. Like all good science fiction, this book is more about ourselves than the aliens. It is technically a first contact story, but the main theme was about different people's reaction to the event of meeting aliens. Sadly most of the reactions felt true, as a lot of characters tried to think how they can take advantage of the situation and further their causes or wealth, all the while being in their own bubble and not realizing the importance of first contact. Like Lagos itself, the characters are very colorful, different and distinct.
The world of Lagos, Nigeria is not exactly our own. It's inhabitants are people of course, but besides them there are also beings from African mythology. So here, Okorafor mixes sci-fi and fantasy. However, I found this fantasy element to be more in the background of the story of people. Lagos itself is like a character, so I agree with people who say that the book reminds of urban fantasy that way.
The book itself certainly has a unique setting as far as sci-fi or fantasy goes, the characters are really great, but the plot isn't all that. But as I said, this book is about the characters more than the plot, so if the weaker plot doesn't bother you, I would recommend you read it.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#37
I'll post my review of Lagoon here, because not all of forum members have GR. The one thing I didn't mention is that because I listened to an audiobook, while the narrators were really cool, there were moments when the text switched to pidgin English and those parts were really difficult to understand at first. Later I understood some things, but some I didn't.

I really liked it. Like all good science fiction, this book is more about ourselves than the aliens. It is technically a first contact story, but the main theme was about different people's reaction to the event of meeting aliens. Sadly most of the reactions felt true, as a lot of characters tried to think how they can take advantage of the situation and further their causes or wealth, all the while being in their own bubble and not realizing the importance of first contact. Like Lagos itself, the characters are very colorful, different and distinct.
The world of Lagos, Nigeria is not exactly our own. It's inhabitants are people of course, but besides them there are also beings from African mythology. So here, Okorafor mixes sci-fi and fantasy. However, I found this fantasy element to be more in the background of the story of people. Lagos itself is like a character, so I agree with people who say that the book reminds of urban fantasy that way.
The book itself certainly has a unique setting as far as sci-fi or fantasy goes, the characters are really great, but the plot isn't all that. But as I said, this book is about the characters more than the plot, so if the weaker plot doesn't bother you, I would recommend you read it.
Some of the themes you describe in this book remind me a bit of Roadside Picnic.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#38
Some of the themes you describe in this book remind me a bit of Roadside Picnic.
Hmm, I like that one too. But there's not much similarities between these books in my opinion. Roadside Picnic is much gloomier, tragic and depressing read than Lagoon. Lagoon can be very colorful and optimistic. One more difference is that in RP, the aliens are gone, and humanity is left dealing with their "trash". In Lagoon on the other hand people, animals, and mythological creatures have to deal with aliens themselves and the change they bring.
 

Anti_Quated

Journeyed there and back again
#39
I'll post my review of Lagoon here, because not all of forum members have GR. The one thing I didn't mention is that because I listened to an audiobook, while the narrators were really cool, there were moments when the text switched to pidgin English and those parts were really difficult to understand at first. Later I understood some things, but some I didn't.

I really liked it. Like all good science fiction, this book is more about ourselves than the aliens. It is technically a first contact story, but the main theme was about different people's reaction to the event of meeting aliens. Sadly most of the reactions felt true, as a lot of characters tried to think how they can take advantage of the situation and further their causes or wealth, all the while being in their own bubble and not realizing the importance of first contact. Like Lagos itself, the characters are very colorful, different and distinct.
The world of Lagos, Nigeria is not exactly our own. It's inhabitants are people of course, but besides them there are also beings from African mythology. So here, Okorafor mixes sci-fi and fantasy. However, I found this fantasy element to be more in the background of the story of people. Lagos itself is like a character, so I agree with people who say that the book reminds of urban fantasy that way.
The book itself certainly has a unique setting as far as sci-fi or fantasy goes, the characters are really great, but the plot isn't all that. But as I said, this book is about the characters more than the plot, so if the weaker plot doesn't bother you, I would recommend you read it.
I've been looking for something a little different - this has me curious, and like the proverbial cat, commensurately motivated.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#40
I finished Vermilion by Molly Tanzer a week back. It was really good for a new author. The world she created set in early american west. Like during the gold rush, but this world had anthropomorphic bears and walruses and feisty souls. The main character was well developed and interesting. I think it just needed a bit better pacing. It got kind of slow in parts.

I'm reading Rogues the anthology edited by GRRM and Gardner Dozois. I loved the first story by Abercrombie (Tough Times All Over). I love his imperfect characters and this little story was packed full of them. The other stories have been a mixed bag, but all have been decent so far.

On my phone I'm reading Auraria by Tim Westover. I'm not very far yet, but so far so good.
Thanks for the rec of Vermilion, Linnymay. It looks very good. Any sci-fi or fantasy that has an old American West setting is a must read for me.