General Fantasy & SF Thread [Amazin making a Culture series]

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Postby r m » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:07 pm

(Asked in the general reading thread, but probably more likely to get a response here...)

Has anyone picked up the new Ann Leckie yet?
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Postby Smiling Penner-Lite » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:25 pm

worrywort wrote:it's in my to read pile, just not at the top just yet. i think there's a novella or short story in the series too.

on another note, i just saw the Dramatis Personae to Esslemont's Deadhouse Landing and it's very intriguing. put my pre-order in today.


I just finished Dancer's Lament and was surprised that I had a blast! Maybe Esslemont's best. I'll always read anything that gives more Shadowthrone but it didn't jump up to the top of the list when it came out.


tony - thanks for the recommendation - I had that marked a while back and totally forgot about it, will check it out for sure.


Not sure if anyone like Brandon Sanderson here; not generally a fan, but I have enjoyed the Stormlight Archive and the new one is coming out pretty quick.

Also looking forward to the end of Miles Cameron's Red Knight series coming out, appropriately enough, on Halloween.

Finally, Nick Harkaway's Gnomon comes out January but I think it's already out in the UK.
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Postby uncledoj » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:55 pm

Smiling Penner-Lite wrote:
worrywort wrote:


Also looking forward to the end of Miles Cameron's Red Knight series coming out, appropriately enough, on Halloween.



Man he really cranked the books in this series out (and it often showed, with some sloppiness) but I've really enjoyed it so far. Such a weird mish mash. I also have to pick up the last In Bakker's series, after I'm done with re-reading the Black Company Books of the South.
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Postby Hambelt » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:35 pm

reversemigraine wrote:(Asked in the general reading thread, but probably more likely to get a response here...)

Has anyone picked up the new Ann Leckie yet?


Just finished this! It was good and enjoyable to read but I'll probably never think about it again.
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Postby i am rich » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:37 pm

thinking about doing a malazan reread but interspersing the esslemont books for the first time. so good/no good? the eriksons are my favorite epic fantasy ever after only one read through
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Postby baleen » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:44 pm

Hambelt wrote:
reversemigraine wrote:(Asked in the general reading thread, but probably more likely to get a response here...)

Has anyone picked up the new Ann Leckie yet?


Just finished this! It was good and enjoyable to read but I'll probably never think about it again.


yeah I read it a few weeks ago and basically agree. fun, even more scifi-as-tragicomedy-of-manners. re-read Left Hand Of Darkness just before so a tough comparison for the Leckie.
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Postby r m » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:49 pm

Hambelt wrote:
reversemigraine wrote:(Asked in the general reading thread, but probably more likely to get a response here...)

Has anyone picked up the new Ann Leckie yet?


Just finished this! It was good and enjoyable to read but I'll probably never think about it again.


Kinda how I felt about the Ancillary books, tbh.
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Postby Smiling Penner-Lite » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:53 pm

i am rich wrote:thinking about doing a malazan reread but interspersing the esslemont books for the first time. so good/no good? the eriksons are my favorite epic fantasy ever after only one read through


I enjoy most of the Esslemont stuff more than the average Malazan fan I think. He's simply not as great a writer as Erikson, but his strength is that he's more succinct and doesn't beat you over the head with stuff as much as Erikson. If you enjoyed MBOTF, I don't see why you shouldn't try Esslemont, and he comes at things from a different angle. The Crimson Guard I thought was fun, although I'm not sure I needed multiple books on their story.



uncledoj wrote:
Smiling Penner-Lite wrote:
worrywort wrote:


Also looking forward to the end of Miles Cameron's Red Knight series coming out, appropriately enough, on Halloween.



Man he really cranked the books in this series out (and it often showed, with some sloppiness) but I've really enjoyed it so far. Such a weird mish mash. I also have to pick up the last In Bakker's series, after I'm done with re-reading the Black Company Books of the South.


Felt like Cameron hit his stride in the last couple of books, tone was more even.

Bakker I loved the first trilogy as much as it irritated me, but was left cold by the new books. Stuff just dragged out and became almost incomprehensible to me, and I found I couldn't really care about what happened way in the past with the evil aliens or whatever they were.
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Postby Smiling Penner-Lite » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:53 pm

Erikson just posted that he's delaying Walk in Shadow, the conclusion to the Kharkanas prequel trilogy because sales have been so shitty. Well, I'm not sure I even finished Forge of Darkness and didn't bother with Fall of Light so that makes sense.

He said that sales of Book of the Fallen continue to do well and Dancer's Lament did very well.

He is therefore going to jump right into the Karsa Orlong trilogy. Should be set about 4-5 years after MBOTF and will have some other favourite characters.
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Postby dvr » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:01 am

Just finished Alastair Reynolds' Chasm City. Such a good standalone sci-fi book. I really liked how the majority of the book just took place in the city, versus in Revelation Space it was jumping around quite a bit. Comparing the two though I thought Rev Space got better and better as it went on and you kept getting cool 'a-ha' moments. Where in Chasm City it kinda peaked about 3/4 of the way through.Toggle Spoiler I think page count wise, this was the longest book i've read. I downloaded Redemption Ark and am gonna start it tonight, I've got a paper copy on the way.

One thing I liked more about Rev Space vs Chasm City was the hard science. He went into more detail w/astronomy, space travel, and the paradox. I liked the whole jungle planet with giant snake setting thoughToggle Spoiler
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Postby joe » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:31 am

i liked how chasm city had that far future noir feeling that i'm a sucker for while living in the more space opera rev space universe
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Postby deadwolfbones » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:47 pm

Man, The Stone Sky was fucking great. Best complete series I've read in ages, too. Can't wait to see what else Jemisin does.
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Postby uncledoj » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:33 pm

Here it is, my rankings of all the Black Company books that no one asked for, apropos of me finishing my first re-read of the books of the south since they first came out. I was really disappointed when I first read the later books since they're definitely a step down in quality from the books of the north, but on re-reading I found a lot more to like. I think Cook is at his best when he's writing about hard pressed, ordinary people hanging on to the bottom rungs of society struggling to get ahead, which is why I think The Silver Spike and Shadows Linger are so great still so unique in fantasy. For the books of the south, Dreams of Steel is really solid, and Lady makes a great narrator. I'd be interested to know what Cook was going through when he was writing Bleak Seasons, that's a tough read.

The Black Company
The Silver Spike
Shadows Linger
The White Rose
Dreams of Steel
Shadow Games
Water Sleeps
Soldiers Live
She Is the Darkness
Bleak Seasons
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Postby Kenny » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:28 am

Would anybody be interested in a read through, book a month, of the Wheel of Time series? I know it's 14 books but it doesn't have to be a year thing
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Postby Conetoaster » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:18 am

deadwolfbones wrote:Man, The Stone Sky was fucking great. Best complete series I've read in ages, too. Can't wait to see what else Jemisin does.


you don't happen to have an ebook version of this do you? Every one I find has weirdly broken formatting.
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Postby deadwolfbones » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:30 am

Conetoaster wrote:
deadwolfbones wrote:Man, The Stone Sky was fucking great. Best complete series I've read in ages, too. Can't wait to see what else Jemisin does.


you don't happen to have an ebook version of this do you? Every one I find has weirdly broken formatting.


I do if you've got a Kindle.

Or you can just use a converter to convert it.
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Postby Smiling Penner-Lite » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:31 pm

Loved Deadhouse Landing and The Fall of Dragons. That Miles Cameron series got better as it went on.
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Postby joe » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:00 pm

Just finished rereading Dread Wyrm. Starting reread of Plague of Swords. Glad to hear the finale is good!
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Postby bigcat » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:01 pm

Just finished the penultimate temeraire book. Looks like I might really make it!
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Postby Kenny » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:46 pm

I read the first one (on a recommendation after I asked "Are there any other book series like Pern") and definitely liked it. I'm not sure why I never read any more!
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Postby worrywort » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:57 pm

finished the Southern Reach trilogy. i thought each book was better than the one before, and absolutely loved the finale.

"John Rodriguez elongated down the final stairs, jumped into the light." is a line that's gonna stick with me a long time. that verb choice is like beautiful and skin-crawling at the same time, which is a good summation of the whole series.Toggle Spoiler
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Postby uncledoj » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:11 am

Smiling Penner-Lite wrote:Loved Deadhouse Landing and The Fall of Dragons. That Miles Cameron series got better as it went on.


Yeah I'm 3/4 through The Fall of Dragons and this fucking rips so far. Most fun I've had with a fantasy novel in awhile.
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Postby number none » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:47 pm

Kenny wrote:Would anybody be interested in a read through, book a month, of the Wheel of Time series? I know it's 14 books but it doesn't have to be a year thing


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Postby Rainbow Battle Kid » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:50 pm

if i'm not digging Shadow of the Torturer 21 chapters in, is it fair to assume I should just move on? or are there some major twists and turns?

I liked Elric and I thought I'd at least like this in a similar way but the protagonist is a lot less interesting to me, and the story just isn't grabbing me. The only thing I'm particularly liking is the hints of our current world being in their past, but it hasn't really been enough.

probably doesn't help that I started reading Man in the High Castle on the side and am way more into that at the moment. just not sure if i should bother occasionalyl seeing this book at my desk and going "hmmm"
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Postby worrywort » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:03 pm

i didn't love the first book either, would maybe even call it a drudge, and ymmv, but i thought the series got consecutively and cumulatively more interesting as you progress. Severian becomes more interesting and complicated a narrator, the actual events he goes through are more engrossing, the world more expansive, and there actually are some 'twists' i'd guess you'd say. it never stops being fairly episodic or steeped in Severian's limited/unreliable POV, but you do eventually start getting the point of what the story is going for and it's very rewarding imo.
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Postby joe » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:28 pm

Finished Traitor Son Cycle right after New Years. Great achievement in a mix or epic fantasy and like larp-esque precision about medieval knight culture and politics without being boring. Five books in six years with good closure and decent enough writing. Some good character development, sometimes not, but nothing distracting. Definitely cements itself, to me, as the best modern epic fantasy after Malazan. Good motivation to fully give up on GoT. I don't think I remotely care what happens in GRRM's world anymore.

For Christmas, I got NK Jemisin's Broken Earth Trilogy which I loved and promptly read in three straight days. Really liked the writing, structure, world-building, and character development (so, everything?). The underlying social themes throughout were very well-done and on-point too. Definitely contributed to the emotional power of the trilogy. One chunk of the 'novelty' of the world/magic wasn't as interesting to me because it is very similar to a different recent set of trilogies that preceded this one, but I'm not going to say which to avoid spoiling them both. Broken Earth is different from that one enough though that it is still cool in and of itself, imo. 1st and 3rd books were my favorites, 2nd felt like a weird choice for a Hugo because it felt like a clear middle novel.
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Postby uncledoj » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:40 pm

Yeah, I liked the contrast of the extremely detailed, historically based medieval military chivalry with the very fantastical magic and the wild setting in Traitor Son. Like, having realistically composed medieval armies dealing with actually grounded logistics and an economy going off to fight trolls, wyverns, and bears is just really fun. It also helps that Cameron might be the best fantasy author going right now at writing fights and battles.

Once Gabriel's army started going through the gates it was just nonstop fun until the end.
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Postby Guy Incognito » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:48 pm

Rainbow Battle Kid wrote:if i'm not digging Shadow of the Torturer 21 chapters in, is it fair to assume I should just move on? or are there some major twists and turns?

I liked Elric and I thought I'd at least like this in a similar way but the protagonist is a lot less interesting to me, and the story just isn't grabbing me. The only thing I'm particularly liking is the hints of our current world being in their past, but it hasn't really been enough.

probably doesn't help that I started reading Man in the High Castle on the side and am way more into that at the moment. just not sure if i should bother occasionalyl seeing this book at my desk and going "hmmm"


i felt the same way and bowed out around the same time. i'm glad you didn't love it either since i felt like a dummy for not quite getting this particular piece of hipinion canon. it's like, impressive and i appreciated the art of it but i just couldn't bring myself to care about the characters or story or the world much at all beyond the occasional window.
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Postby number none » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:49 am

I think I gave up 20 pages in
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Postby ouroboros » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:33 pm

I made it all the way through and have no desire to read the rest of the series.
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