Author Topic: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding  (Read 13885 times)

Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #90 on: July 12, 2021, 10:10:09 PM »
I'll add a few I have enjoyed in the last few years:

Ed McDonald's Raven's Mark trilogy (starts with Blackwing) - Imagine the Black Company novels set in the world of Tarkovsky's Stalker. Essentially, a load of monsters come bubbling up out of the dark places of the Earth and in order to defeat them, a group of weird post-human wizards build an engine that destroys the world and twists the laws of physics. Books revolve around one of the wizards' servants, trying to keep people alive in a world that is already beyond saving.

Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood and Co series - - Young adult novels set in a version of Britain haunted by ghosts. The only people who can see (and fight) ghosts are kids.  In order to keep itself together, Britain has adapted to the ghosts including allowing these big companies to work sensitive kids to death. The novels revolve around a group of independent contractors who fight ghosts and expose the rot in British institutions.


Famous Mortimer

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #91 on: July 12, 2021, 10:20:12 PM »
That "Raven's Mark" trilogy sounds interesting, I shall add it to the list.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #92 on: July 15, 2021, 10:38:35 PM »
The Honours by Tim Clare - Fantasy horror set in 1935 where a young teenage girl comes up against supernatural creatures after her father is committed to a sanitorium. Clare's prose is superb, and though it perhaps takes a little too long to finally reveal the answer to the mystery it sets up in its first few pages these are characters and a setting that I found gripping, and the ending was very satisfying too. 4.75/5

Famous Mortimer

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #93 on: July 19, 2021, 02:23:25 PM »
I just started "The Inheritance Trilogy" by NK Jemisin, somewhere in the region of 1500 pages. I immediately warmed to it because the stuff that would normally take up a big chunk of the first volume of these things - hero learns of their birthright, goes off to seize their rightful throne or whatever - is dealt with in the first 20 pages here. I like her style, so I think this is going to be a fun read.


When I properly got stuck in, I finished "The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms" by NK Jemisin very quickly. It has an odd thematic link to the Sarah J Maas YA novel we were discussing on the previous page - female protagonist has sex with a god - but it's much much better. On to the next volume of the Inheritance Trilogy now.

I found a box of those D&D novels for virtually no money the other week, so I'll probably have a bash at a few of them. I assume they'll be extremely light reads - like watching an episode of a Chuck Lorre sitcom - and there won't be any complex relationship stuff, as I imagine the intended audience is somewhat younger than me. But, they might be fun, and I'm rather enjoying getting back into RPGs.

Alberon

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #94 on: July 21, 2021, 07:40:28 PM »
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I came to this one by a rather odd route, later novels in a spin-off series is set in my home town and features a book named after the suburb where my Mum lives.

It is very light and whimsical. Set in an alternate 1985 (though it feels more like the 1950s) Thursday Next is a member of Special Operations 27 which specialises in literary crime (this world is literature mad). Her dad, a former member of another SpecOps division dedicated to temporal anomalies is on the run, but drops in occasionally and there’s another division devoted to fighting supernatural agencies. In to this already quite overloaded world comes the central conceit of it being possible for people to enter the world of a book or have a character from a book come out into the real world.

Many of the characters have puns for names, some obvious others less so. Paige Turner, Landen Parke-Laine,  and the like. The ease with which the characters accept new outlandish concepts seems a bit unconvincing, but the book doesn’t hang around too long and it’s not too bad. I didn’t find it that funny, though a Richard III show treated to Rocky Horror style audience participation wasn’t bad. I guess I’d get more out of it if I knew more about British literary classics.

Not sure if I’ll give the next in the series ago, but it was worth trying something a little different.

That "Raven's Mark" trilogy sounds interesting, I shall add it to the list.

Me too.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #95 on: July 22, 2021, 07:05:29 PM »
I tried "The Eyre Affair" and didn't make it all the way through. Something about it irritated me.

I'm a good chunk of the way through "The Broken Kingdoms", the second part of the Inheritance Trilogy. Still very good.

Alberon

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #96 on: July 22, 2021, 07:38:52 PM »
I tried "The Eyre Affair" and didn't make it all the way through. Something about it irritated me.

Yeah, I'm still not entirely sure what to make of it. I might try another one in a few books time, but all the time I was reading it I had the feeling it related to a real book like a pile of frothy bubbles relates to food. You can technically eat it, but there's nothing to it.

I'm a good chunk of the way through "The Broken Kingdoms", the second part of the Inheritance Trilogy. Still very good.

I enjoyed the whole thing. Working from The Broken Earth and through this I tried her Dreamblood Duology next and hit a brick wall, I just couldn't get into it. I think it was despite the fantasy setting the characters felt and talked like they were from the 21st Century. Completely stopped me from getting into it.

mothman

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #97 on: July 22, 2021, 09:35:31 PM »
I’ve read “Early Riser” by Fforde, set in an alternate Britain in an ice age and in which people hibernate for the coldest parts of the year. I guess I enjoyed it, but I didn’t really know what to make of it.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #98 on: July 25, 2021, 11:00:27 PM »
I enjoyed the whole thing. Working from The Broken Earth and through this I tried her Dreamblood Duology next and hit a brick wall, I just couldn't get into it. I think it was despite the fantasy setting the characters felt and talked like they were from the 21st Century. Completely stopped me from getting into it.
I raced through the second one, and am now a good chunk of the way through the third. I sometimes get the feeling that her dropping in of weird modern day vernacular once in a while is meant to remind us that there are real life parallels to her settings - I'm guessing the word-similarity of the "Amareri" empire and our American empire is not entirely accidental. Might be an answer to why her characters in the book you read act like modern people. Or maybe not. I'll give her others a go when I've worked down my to-read pile a bit.

Alberon

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #99 on: July 26, 2021, 02:26:47 PM »
Recursion by Blake Crouch. I tried this on the basis it was a Time Travel novel, but there isn’t much to it. It’s not so much the travelling in time business I like more the metaphysical ramifications.

Here, a scientist invents a device that can return people back to any strong memory they have in their own lifetime. The wrinkle being that whenever the person who travelled back reaches the time they left then all those affected by the change in history remember both timelines

Crouch has had a couple of television series made out of his books and apparently signed a deal over a million dollars for the novel before this one to be made into another one. This one feels more like a film novelisation which perhaps it is. He writes in a simple thriller style and it’s easy to skip through the whole thing in a day at the beach. There’s only two main characters really in it and even the main antagonist is only in it for a section of the book. The finale is mostly just pulled out of his arse when he’s written the two characters into an unending series of apocalypses, but the rest of it is competent if very shallow.

mothman

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #100 on: July 26, 2021, 06:22:28 PM »
I think I read that. Massively tuned out in the middle section. Also possibly too long.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: SF and Fantasy wot I ave been reeding
« Reply #101 on: July 31, 2021, 07:05:36 PM »
I polished off the Inheritance Trilogy, which was excellent (including the bonus novella on the end). Now I'm trying to build up complete collections of The Expanse and Malazan series by just going to second-hand places, and whichever one I complete first, I'll start reading. It will be a while, probably.

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