Author Topic: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding  (Read 8830 times)

Zetetic

  • I wasn't supposed to be around this long, so…
Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2021, 09:19:17 AM »
I don't think it's a particular person that Muir is thanking, but the set of people that medicated her at times. I think yes, she is writing from experiences of psychosis.

Edit:
"Harrowhark Nonagesimus did not have anyone to put soluble banana-flavoured antipsychotics under her tongue for her condition. I do, and therefore I would like to thank every key worker in my past who had to administer me medication, because they were always nice about it and often I was not."

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #61 on: February 01, 2021, 06:27:25 PM »
The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

Cara is employed as a traveller between parallel universes. Her main qualification is that most of her alternate selves are dead in the 380 or so universes they can reach and you can’t travel somewhere your other self still lives.

She isn’t a citizen of the city she lives in, but comes from a shanty town outside the walls. Her existence is therefore precarious as if she loses her job she will lose her right to reside. She also has a deep secret - she’s not Cara, but an alternate who found her corpse in her world.

The main character finds herself alienated from both the comfortable, advanced Wiley City as well as the shanty town, Ashtown, where she came from in this world and in her own. As Cara tries to find her place in the world(s) the novel explores privilege. For all it being a novel about the multiverse it’s a very personal story and a good one too.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #62 on: February 02, 2021, 07:30:59 PM »
This sounds like my cup of tea, I'll give it a go. Cheers Alberon.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #63 on: March 14, 2021, 07:41:46 PM »
Been through some rather inconsequential books lately.

Tales From The Folly by Ben Aaronovitch is a collection of very short pieces (short stories would be mostly too grand a description) related to his very successful Rivers of London series. It’s a very short book in total so just one for fans and completists.

Network Effect by Martha Wells is the first novel in the Murderbot series following four novellas. Unfortunately, expanding the series to novel length doesn’t really work. It has good action scenes at the start and end of the novel but it sags badly in the middle.

As an aside, the novella seems to be making a big resurgence. There’s the Murderbot ones, both Charles Stross and Ben Aaronovitch are producing novellas set in their long running series. While they’re called novellas now they are close in length to the old novel lengths of the 70s and earlier. I’m generally for them as some stories work better at this length. One bugbear I have is they often are not cheaper than novels with a double or triple page count (not that you should judge a book by its length).

Finally is Lockdown Tales by Neal Asher. Not the best author by a long shot, but fine for an action potboiler most of the time. These stories are all set in his Polity universe, but one interesting wrinkle is that some are set much further in the future in a time after the Polity has gone.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #64 on: April 05, 2021, 06:18:38 PM »
Dinner at Deviant’s Palace by Tim Powers. I’ve never read anything by him before and this has been sat in my ‘to read’ pile for at least a decade and a half.

Set in the remains of Los Angeles a century after the apocalypse it follows Greg Rivas who is a retired ‘redeemer’. That involves snatching specific new recruits away from a religious cult. The difference being that this cult’s leader seems to have real powers.

Rivas was sucked into the cult himself for some years before breaking free. Reluctantly pressed back into service he heads out to find the girl he loved before he joined the cult.

It’s not a bad book, but it is very eighties and the world of fantasy has moved on. The post-apocalypse setting doesn’t convince and feels more like the world of the Fallout games rather than anything approaching realism. Using the everyday name for pre-apocalypse items rather than just describing seems the wrong approach, though a fortune teller using an old phone with a bee or wasp in it to simulate ringing while reciting scientific words with no understanding strikes the right note.

The ending seems abrupt and more than a little pat, but the book is okay. I am tempted to check out Powers’ better known novel The Anubis Gates.

Also tried House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas but didn’t get on with it. Too many infodumps setting up the modern tech planet stuffed with fantasy races and systems, but mainly just didn’t get into the style of the book. Just not for me.

Currently, reading an Alastair Reynolds novella, but still hunting around for a good new SF book to read.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #65 on: April 08, 2021, 02:51:54 PM »
Also tried House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas but didn’t get on with it. Too many infodumps setting up the modern tech planet stuffed with fantasy races and systems, but mainly just didn’t get into the style of the book. Just not for me.
Hope you got it from the library rather than spending cash on it (as the "recommendation" was from me). Sarah Maas has gone back to her other series, which seems more standard horny YA stuff, so I doubt we'll see a sequel to it for at least a year or two, if at all. It feels perhaps better suited to TV than to a gigantic book.

You make a good point about how some fantasy has aged. Perhaps it's just as the world gets shitter, even dystopias written in the 80s seem quite pleasant.

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