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 What are you reading?
RaceBannon42
Posted: Dec 4 2006, 10:47 AM


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This is a thread that I discovered at EN world and introduced at ASOIAF and its very popular, so I thought I'd give it a shot here, and maybe get some more discussion in this board.

Tell us what you are currently reading and anything you've recently finished. Give us your thoughts on. Tell us if you enjoyed it.

Just finished, Altered Carbon by Richard K Morgan. A full review on on my blog.
I thought this was a great book. Its a sci- fi thriller and the first in a series following the protagonist, Takeshi Kovacs. I highly reccomend this book

Started on Tigana by GGK. About 1/5 of the way in and its all starting to come together for me.


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OsRavan
Posted: Dec 4 2006, 02:21 PM


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Mostly history books I doubt most would intresty you.

Finished Genovese's Roll Jordan Roll

reading "How the Jews BEcame White" now

I used a tiny bit of my free time to TRY to read Card's new book. Got a few chapters into it and felt like vomitting so i threw it away lol. He bassicaly twisted my profession into evil manipulative bastards who are accidently leading our country to civilwar.
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Roland of Gilead
Posted: Dec 4 2006, 03:53 PM


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I'm currently out of the genre, reading Bartle Bull's excellent historical adventure, Shanghai Station. It takes place shortly after the Russian Revolution, when displaced Russians were hounded out of the mother country by the Bolsheviks, and many of them ended up in China. The protagonist is the son of a Russian nobleman, excellent fencer and horseman, and bent on revenge. Very good historical detail, of a period and place I didn't know much about.

I totally agree with the comments re: Altered Carbon. In fact, Richard K. Morgan has yet to write anything but excellent novels - the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy is superb dark noir space opera, as is his caustic near futurist corporate satire, Market Forces. He also wrote a couple of excellent Black Widow mini-series for Marvel.

His next novel is Black Man (entitled Thirteen in the States), due out I believe this summer. Can't wait!!

And Tigana is Kay's second best novel, IMHO. And that's high praise indeed!!


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"I am, in short, a man on the edge of everything." - Roland Deschain, The Drawing of the Three
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williamjm
Posted: Dec 4 2006, 07:49 PM


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QUOTE (Roland of Gilead @ Dec 4 2006, 09:53 PM)
I totally agree with the comments re: Altered Carbon. In fact, Richard K. Morgan has yet to write anything but excellent novels - the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy is superb dark noir space opera, as is his caustic near futurist corporate satire, Market Forces.

I thought the third book, "Woken Furies" was starting to drop in quality a bit, it still had plenty of good point but some of the plot elements were starting to feel over-familiar and there were some times early in the novel in New Hok where his action scenes got a bit incoherent with a bit too much technobabble. Kovacs is always fun, though, and the first two books were great. Probably a good thing Morgan is taking a break from that series IMO. "Market Forces" was pretty good as well, although the central "I'll see you on the road" premise was a bit silly.

Currently about halfway through reading Tim Powers' "Three Days to Never". A literature professor and his precocious 10-year old daughter find themselves chased by an assortment of psychics and Mossad agents as they try to figure out their grandmother's connection to Albert Einstein in the aftermath of her sudden death. Weird, but entertaining, perhaps not Powers' best but still pretty good.
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Roland of Gilead
Posted: Dec 5 2006, 02:11 PM


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William, I agree re: the Kovacs novels - I think Morgan was wise to drop Kovacs at three books. My fave of the three was Broken Angels, probably because my personal tastes run to military space opera.

I also agree with your opinion of Three Days to Never - good, but not Powers' best, which for me, would be The Anubis Gates, followed by On Stranger Tides, Expiration Date and Drawing of the Dark.

I'm starting to reach the conclusion that Powers will never equal The Anubis Gates, the finest time travel novel I've ever read.


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"I am, in short, a man on the edge of everything." - Roland Deschain, The Drawing of the Three
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williamjm
Posted: Dec 5 2006, 05:20 PM


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QUOTE (Roland of Gilead @ Dec 5 2006, 08:11 PM)
I also agree with your opinion of Three Days to Never - good, but not Powers' best, which for me, would be The Anubis Gates, followed by On Stranger Tides, Expiration Date and Drawing of the Dark.

I'm starting to reach the conclusion that Powers will never equal The Anubis Gates, the finest time travel novel I've ever read.

The Anubis Gates is definitely his best work IMO.
On Stranger Tides is great fun, there aren't enough books with zombie pirates.
Declare is almost up to the standards of The Anubis Gates, I thought (although I know a lot of Powers fans disagree), although it may be partially because I liked the espionage story aspect of it that I like it so much.
Last Call was also a pretty strong novel.
The Drawing of the Dark is fun, but felt a bit unambitious compared to his later novels.
The Stress of Her Regard is a book I thought I would like more than I did. I liked some aspects of it, but the plot is frustrating in places and the main character irritated me.
Expiration Date and Earthquake Weather are probably his weakest books that I've read, they were still good with some interesting ideas but I just didn't find them as compelling.

So far Three Days To Never might be hovering somewhere around The Drawing of the Dark in the ranking.
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OsRavan
Posted: Dec 6 2006, 09:17 AM


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I read anubis gates which i liekd a great deal. So I picked up Last Call... and wasn't wild about it. A good idea that could have been executed better imo. A couple of fun moments but to be hoenst most of that book was eh to me. So i'm debating if i want to try the third one now
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Roland of Gilead
Posted: Dec 6 2006, 10:38 AM


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I think my view of Last Call mirrors OsRavan's - I expected it to be better than it was, a great idea that wasn't handled as well as I had hoped it would be.

As for Declare, I'm not a big fan of espionage fiction myself - the double, triple and even quadruple crosses get too confusing to me.

Have you fellow Powers fans noticed how much his characters drink? It's sort of a signature move now - it's a rare scene in which somebody isn't either scarfing down a beer or frantically searching for a brew in the fridge. biggrin.gif rolleyes.gif

This is apparently a lifelong trademark of his books, too, as I recently tracked down a copy of his second novel, Epitaph in Rust. Damned if one of the big scenes isn't a game of "wine-chess." That's correct - all the pieces are various sizes of booze glasses, snifters for rooks, shot glasses for pawns, etc. When you remove a piece from the board, you have to drink its contents. So you can either win by checkmate, or you can win by being the last person conscious and able to continue. I kid you not. blink.gif


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"I am, in short, a man on the edge of everything." - Roland Deschain, The Drawing of the Three
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OsRavan
Posted: Dec 6 2006, 02:18 PM


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ol! that is actualyl a cool drinking game idea.

all authors have their little thing.

Powers with drinking

Martin with describing hsi feasts

Jordan with braid pulling

now the million dolalr question is....

what is lynch's?
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RaceBannon42
Posted: Dec 6 2006, 02:40 PM


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playing final fantasy?


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williamjm
Posted: Dec 6 2006, 05:22 PM


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QUOTE (Roland of Gilead @ Dec 6 2006, 04:38 PM)
Have you fellow Powers fans noticed how much his characters drink? It's sort of a signature move now - it's a rare scene in which somebody isn't either scarfing down a beer or frantically searching for a brew in the fridge. biggrin.gif rolleyes.gif

This is apparently a lifelong trademark of his books, too, as I recently tracked down a copy of his second novel, Epitaph in Rust.

There is quite a lot of drinking going on, particularly in the Last Call trilogy from what I remember. And of course he wrote an entire Epic Fantasy in which the world-saving plot device was Beer.

Is "Epitaph In Rust" any good? I have a copy of it with "The Skies Discrowned" in the same book, but haven't read either of them yet.
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Roland of Gilead
Posted: Dec 6 2006, 05:50 PM


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William, both of these early works are pretty good. They feature some of Powers' trademarks, like the underground society, the quirky characters, etc. Of course, the prose isn't up to his later stuff, nor are the plot twists, but still, it's obvious that a competent and even brilliant author was in the making.

Let's put it this way . . . Epitaph in Rust is better than ninety-nine percent of the other stuff that the Laser outfit published. cool.gif


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Scott_Lynch
Posted: Dec 18 2006, 12:52 AM


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I'm currently reading Greg Benford's *Timescape,* and enjoying it a hell of a lot more than I thought I would.

Cheers,

S
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RaceBannon42
Posted: Dec 18 2006, 12:23 PM


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Tigana was darn good
After that I read Starship Troopers
Excellent book. I'm embarressed it took me this long to get to.

Currently working on Blindsight by Peter Watts


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Mr. X
Posted: Dec 20 2006, 11:18 AM


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QUOTE (RaceBannon42 @ Dec 18 2006, 12:23 PM)
After that I read Starship Troopers
Excellent book. I'm embarressed it took me this long to get to.

Yes, but how does it compare to the film? tongue.gif

I would like to second (or third, or sixth, or whatever is the right word) all the previous Altered Carbon comments. I finished it a week or two ago and absolutely loved it. I'm looking forward to reading more of Morgan when I have time.

Currently reading Kay's The Lions of Al-Rassan.


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