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Author Topic: Return of the Book Thread  (Read 492072 times)
Khaldun
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Reply #6230 on: November 26, 2016, 07:38:15 AM

I liked Brian Staveley's Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne, if anyone's had a chance to read those. Some good characters and interesting riffs off the usual tropes.
shiznitz
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the plural of mangina


Reply #6231 on: December 15, 2016, 03:57:52 PM

Just finished Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia of Monster Hunters fame and enjoyed it. It is not complex in any way but not plain vanilla fantasy either. It has none of the hallmarks of his writing style from Monster Hunter, but it is not Sanderson either.

I also have almost finished all of the Lost Sword books by Saberhagen. I thought the series peaked with #3(?) about Dragonslicer but it was good enough to keep me entertained and interested on my morning 66 minute train commute.

I have never played WoW.
Khaldun
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Reply #6232 on: December 16, 2016, 09:41:11 AM

Wow, Saberhagen, haven't thought of his stuff for a long time. Kind of found it mediocre to be honest.
lamaros
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Reply #6233 on: March 21, 2017, 12:15:55 AM

It's annual 'recommend me the best SF (series allowed) you've read in the past year' day. (It's come early this yeah).

Promoted by my re-reading Ancillary Justice, then hitting upon how godawful Ancillary Sword was as being really really sad. I want something stimulating.

Have at it!

Edit: I've gone through the last few pages and got copies of the following already - The Dog Stars, Warship (Black Fleet), The Emperor's Blades, Station Eleven, Lord of Light, The Three-Body Problem, Hard Magic, The Goblin Emperor, Uprooted, The Fifth Season. I got carried away...
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 02:31:46 AM by lamaros »

Expect poison from the standing water.
Reg
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Reply #6234 on: March 21, 2017, 04:54:32 AM

Have you read the Black Company by Glen Cook?
lamaros
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Reply #6235 on: March 21, 2017, 05:59:40 AM

Have you read the Black Company by Glen Cook?

Yessum.

Expect poison from the standing water.
Khaldun
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Reply #6236 on: March 21, 2017, 07:31:10 AM

The Witcher books that inspired the video games have gotten a good paperback reprint--they're good reads.

Just re-read Garth Nix's Abhorsen series, which has a new book and I think there's another to come. Very nicely done.

I sort of liked V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic. Has sequels I haven't read yet.

The Lie Tree was only slightly fantasy; sort of a Victorian Gothic story, but I was really impressed with it.
NowhereMan
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Reply #6237 on: March 21, 2017, 08:02:19 AM

Don't know if it would be up your alley but there are some actually good WH40K series around as well. Typically anything by Aaron Dembski-Bowden is good but his Night Lords trilogy is well written. I think that gets my vote for best written item in the last year. If you want to read about a bunch of maladjusted psychopaths fighting against the Imperium of Man and dealing with the effects of consorting with inhuman daemons, etc. it is very competently written (like, you don't need to like or even know about Warhammer to enjoy them). Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts series is pulpy but fun military sci-fi in the same universe.

Charles Stross is a fun read and his Laundry Files are good, though I guess they'd be more urban fantasy than sci-fi. Like lots of longish series they have a bit of an issue with tone change as they go on. Stakes have to get higher and the hero has to become more capable, in this case he's set it up fairly well but like the Dresden Files the original conceit (low level civil servant working in 'The Ministry of Magic' equivalent gets to see some crazy shit and deal with government bureaucracy) has to go away a lot.

Finally since I've given an Urban fantasy recommentdation, Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series is getting better. It was meant to be a trilogy of trilogies following the same world in three settings (so a high fantasy>Urban Fantasy>Sci-Fi idea) but he wrote an interim novella between trilogy 1 and 2 that he and his fans enjoyed so much he's now doing an interim trilogy set in a Wild West/steampunk era. Worth a look, the first trilogy especially suffers from some uneven writing and flat characters but the plotting is very good. Mentioning it because it's not the best series I've read but his writing is seriously improving. If you find the first novel worth reading it's definitely a series to stick with and he's currently working on a few others. Some of them (non-plot spoiler)

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Chimpy
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Reply #6238 on: March 21, 2017, 08:47:25 AM

Best Sci-Fi I've read in the last year?

Probably still Anathem by Stephenson (I re-read it on vacation since I had it on my kindle and didn't have internet access to grab another book).

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
HaemishM
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #6239 on: March 21, 2017, 09:31:05 AM

You should try Neal Stephenson's latest Seveneves. It's actually pretty hard sci-fi, and you won't even be bothered to discover that 600 pages in, the story you thought the novel was about was actually just univere-building for the last 250 pages.  why so serious?

Seriously, though, it's actually a lot better than Reamde was and it really is hard sci-fi.

rattran
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Unreasonable


Reply #6240 on: March 21, 2017, 09:44:30 AM

I know I'm late to the party, but in the last year I've been reading all the Iain Banks books I can find. I'm sure you've read them, but if not you should.
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #6241 on: March 21, 2017, 10:03:02 AM

I know I'm late to the party, but in the last year I've been reading all the Iain Banks books I can find. I'm sure you've read them, but if not you should.
You don't say?  Ohhhhh, I see.

Yes, Iain Banks is excellent. Hydrogen Sonata was a bit of a letdown, but since he was dying at the time, I'll give that a pass.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
rattran
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Unreasonable


Reply #6242 on: March 21, 2017, 10:13:21 AM

I just finished Hydrogen Sonata a few weeks ago, I thought it was about midpack of the ones I've read. Superior to The Algebraist, inferior to Matter.
Viin
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Reply #6243 on: March 21, 2017, 10:35:15 AM

I just read Expeditionary Force: Columbus Day. Not great writing, but entertaining (popcorn sci-fi). Similar style to the Omega Force series (same author as the Black Fleet series, but more popcorny).

The Expanse series is good too, even if you are watching the TV show already.

- Viin
Shannow
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Reply #6244 on: March 21, 2017, 10:38:41 AM

Note that Expeditionary Force is free for Prime users on Kindle. woot, free book!

Someone liked something? Who the fuzzy fuck was this heretic? You don't come to this website and enjoy something. Fuck that. ~ The Walrus
Chimpy
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Reply #6245 on: March 21, 2017, 06:12:03 PM

You should try Neal Stephenson's latest Seveneves. It's actually pretty hard sci-fi, and you won't even be bothered to discover that 600 pages in, the story you thought the novel was about was actually just univere-building for the last 250 pages.  why so serious?

Seriously, though, it's actually a lot better than Reamde was and it really is hard sci-fi.

I have read it twice (I also had that on my kindle and read it after Anathem.) I wasn't sure about recommending it because it truncated the ending more than most of his more recent books. Still considerably less of a "oh shit how do I end this, I guess just with THE END" like Snow Crash or The Diamond Age.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
MahrinSkel
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Posts: 9294

When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #6246 on: March 21, 2017, 06:27:25 PM

I think because it was a novella that he then wrote a 600 page prequel for.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Ironwood
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Reply #6247 on: March 21, 2017, 06:51:13 PM

I think because it was utter shite.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
HaemishM
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Reply #6248 on: March 21, 2017, 09:25:57 PM

Nah, I actually liked it, though the character of the US President irritated me to no end. I kept thinking he was making a very badly veiled caricature of Hillary Clinton that might as well have been moustache twirling. The 2nd part of the book would have been a great start to a longer novel, and the first 600 pages would have been a good stand alone novel as well, like the first in a series.

Chimpy
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Reply #6249 on: March 21, 2017, 10:15:54 PM

I think because it was utter shite.


You're Scottish, that is your option of everything though!

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
lamaros
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Reply #6250 on: March 21, 2017, 10:25:55 PM

I know I'm late to the party, but in the last year I've been reading all the Iain Banks books I can find. I'm sure you've read them, but if not you should.
You don't say?  Ohhhhh, I see.

Yes, Iain Banks is excellent. Hydrogen Sonata was a bit of a letdown, but since he was dying at the time, I'll give that a pass.

--Dave

I've read Excession, The Player of Games, and Use of Weapons. Maybe another one or two. Use of Weapons is the only one I thought was really good. The Player of Games annoyed me a lot. I'm not sure what else to give a shot from the list.

Finished The Emperor's Blades today. Diverting, but more of a page turner than a thinker.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 10:27:51 PM by lamaros »

Expect poison from the standing water.
Ironwood
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Reply #6251 on: March 22, 2017, 04:54:19 AM

Nah, I actually liked it, though the character of the US President irritated me to no end. I kept thinking he was making a very badly veiled caricature of Hillary Clinton that might as well have been moustache twirling. The 2nd part of the book would have been a great start to a longer novel, and the first 600 pages would have been a good stand alone novel as well, like the first in a series.

It was very badly veiled caricatures of everyone.  Musk, Clinton, Tyson.  It was just fucking dire.  His characters were awful and unconvincing, his pacing was dire, the book in two sections was woeful and pathetic, the exposition science, usually muted to a degree in other books, was over the top and annoying.  His descriptive, usually good in other works, was almost entirely absent here.  His science, while who knows maybe real, SEEMED fuck stupid at all points.

This was an awful book, badly created.  I could literally write another dissertation on why, but it's not worth the fucking effort.  Some of you might like this utter fucking tripe, so I won't offend anyone who does, but fuck me, it's the biggest fucking disappointment I've read in the last five years and I wish I could take it back.

I was not a fan.  0/10.  Please try harder.  Or just admit you don't want to write anymore, you just want to teach.  You fucking asshole.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Ironwood
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Reply #6252 on: March 22, 2017, 04:56:23 AM

Have you read the Black Company by Glen Cook?

lol.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
HaemishM
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #6253 on: March 22, 2017, 09:42:33 AM

This was an awful book, badly created.  I could literally write another dissertation on why, but it's not worth the fucking effort.  Some of you might like this utter fucking tripe, so I won't offend anyone who does, but fuck me, it's the biggest fucking disappointment I've read in the last five years and I wish I could take it back.

Please don't read Reamde then, because you'll have to give it negative numbers if those are the things that bothered you about Seveneves.  why so serious?

Sky
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Reply #6254 on: March 22, 2017, 10:28:26 AM

Have you read the Black Company by Glen Cook?

lol.

I feel the same way about Stephenson, just blah. And I haven't really enjoyed much fiction in years now. There's so much badly written crap that I'm tired of seeing which matches up to my proclivities.

So I'm tempted to read the Black Company again.

Viin
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Reply #6255 on: March 22, 2017, 10:49:00 AM

I've read Excession, The Player of Games, and Use of Weapons. Maybe another one or two. Use of Weapons is the only one I thought was really good. The Player of Games annoyed me a lot. I'm not sure what else to give a shot from the list.

My favorites are Matter and Consider Phlebas. Though I have a hard time remembering which book is about which thingy, so maybe not.. who knows. I think Look to Windward was good too. Never even heard of Excession, its not available for Kindle!

- Viin
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #6256 on: March 22, 2017, 12:51:44 PM


I've read Excession, The Player of Games, and Use of Weapons. Maybe another one or two. Use of Weapons is the only one I thought was really good. The Player of Games annoyed me a lot. I'm not sure what else to give a shot from the list.

Finished The Emperor's Blades today. Diverting, but more of a page turner than a thinker.
Obviously Player of Games made something of an impression on me. Consider Phlebas and Matter are both pretty good. The Bridge (as Iain M. Banks) is not Culture, but is quite good.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Samwise
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Reply #6257 on: March 22, 2017, 04:03:33 PM

Have you read the Black Company by Glen Cook?

lol.

And the "N pages without a Black Company reference" counter resets... we were on a pretty good streak there.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Reg
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Reply #6258 on: March 22, 2017, 04:54:18 PM

Sorry. I just couldn't help myself.
lamaros
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Reply #6259 on: March 22, 2017, 05:16:17 PM

I've read Excession, The Player of Games, and Use of Weapons. Maybe another one or two. Use of Weapons is the only one I thought was really good. The Player of Games annoyed me a lot. I'm not sure what else to give a shot from the list.

My favorites are Matter and Consider Phlebas. Though I have a hard time remembering which book is about which thingy, so maybe not.. who knows. I think Look to Windward was good too. Never even heard of Excession, its not available for Kindle!

I have it on Kindle. I'm in Australia, tho.

Expect poison from the standing water.
Gimfain
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Reply #6260 on: April 08, 2017, 04:12:52 AM

I read the third book of the three-body problem by cixin liu and it was the strongest book in the trilogy. Also read lady of the lake, final book in the witcher saga, an improvement compared to the fourth book that felt like a bit of a mess.

When you ask for a miracle, you have to be prepared to believe in it or you'll miss it when it comes
lamaros
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Reply #6261 on: April 11, 2017, 11:47:17 PM

Well, read some of the books I go.

Warship (Black Fleet) - Ok, not great. Fell apart at the end and I had little confidence with continuing. Reviews for the second have convinced me to stop.

The Emperor's Blades (Unhewn Throne) - Good enough, went through the whole series quite quickly. Disappointed with the last one which dragged, but overall enjoyable.

Uprooted - Went full on mary sue ex machina in no time. Very frustrating.

I think that makes you 1 from 2 Khaldun, which way will Station Eleven go.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 08:08:20 PM by lamaros »

Expect poison from the standing water.
Polysorbate80
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Reply #6262 on: April 14, 2017, 06:34:54 PM


Warship (Black Fleet) - Ok, not great. Fell apart at the end and I had little confidence with continuing. Reviews for the second have convinced me to stop.


It gets even worse with the end of the third, with an extreme case of deus ex machina.

That aside, I just discovered that one of my favorite teenage popcorn scifi books, Starrigger (John de Chancie) is not only available on Kindle, but there were two sequels I never knew existed   DRILLING AND MANLINESS  I recall it as an action/humor novel, pretty light on character development, but tons of fun.  Time to see if it holds up 30+ years later.
Viin
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Reply #6263 on: April 16, 2017, 04:10:59 PM

Warship (Black Fleet) - Ok, not great. Fell apart at the end and I had little confidence with continuing. Reviews for the second have convinced me to stop.
Agree with you there, there are some interesting bits in the next books but if it hurts to read book 1 you won't like them.

Quote
I think that makes you 1 from 2 Khaldun, which way will Station Eleven go.

Station Eleven is quite good! Of course, you have to be in the mood for doomsday/post-apoc stories for it to work.

- Viin
Khaldun
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Reply #6264 on: April 16, 2017, 09:43:30 PM

Black Fleet wasn't mine.

I'll stick by Uprooted, but I see why someone might find it Mary Sue-ish.
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