What Are You Reading Right Now?

RobertLCollins

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Is the series oriented more towards the sci-fi side or 'romance novel' side?
It’s a little of both. There’s a romance aspect to the first series, “The Parasol Protectorate,” mainly in the first book, but the series is more adventure than romance. There’s a little romance in the second series, “The Finishing School,” but as it’s more YA than the other two series, the romance doesn’t really come up until the last book. The third series, ”The Custard Protocol,” has much more romance than the other two, but there’s still plenty of action.

Gail is a romance fan, but much more of a SF/F fan. She builds out the world of the Parasol-verse in a strong way. She also has a good sense of humor, which is one of the delights of reading her books.

If you want to try, start with Soulless, the first PP book. If you like it carry on. If not, that’s fine as well.

By the way, though chronologically it’s Finishing-Parasol-Custard, you can read them in publishing order too. You won’t be lost.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Considering China's current coronavirus scare, Cold Storage by David Koepp might be of interest. It follows the development of an aggressive fungus that can kills its host within mere minutes. I reviewed the book here.
 

tizl

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Joined
Jun 6, 2018
It's been a while since I've posted here!

I just finished Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series, and loved it. I consider it a masterpiece, one of the best series in fantasy or sci-fi I've ever read.

I hadn't known much about it prior to reading it. I'd seen it on a few list of great fantasy/scifi, but not many. Though the ones that listed it all said it was one of the greatest ever.

I had read that is was very difficult to get into or understand, and maybe that explains why it's not more universally read or known. It definitely is somewhat difficult, it does NOT hold your hand, doesn't always explain or describe in great detail what is happening, what certain places/creatures/weapons etc are, just how they are seen and/or used by the protagonist (usually these things are fleshed out in later references to them). In fact, there are lexicons and chapter guides written specifically for this series, and particularly for new readers.

Personally, I've gained a taste for writing that like over the years. Jack Vance is one of my fav authors, and he is like that to a degree. Steven Erickson (specifically his Malazan series) and Glen Cook are like that as well, I'd say Iain Banks also. I actually really enjoy not knowing or understanding completely what is going on in a particular scene, and then being enlightened about it later in, whether in the same or subsequent books in the series. I enjoy the discovery and "light bulb" moments that gives me.

Prose-wise he is actually very similar to Vance. He has a command of the language that I find very beautiful to read. It may be an acquired taste but I enjoy it. For comparison, two other authors that I really enjoy, Brandon Sanderson and James SA Corey, write in a more conventional and polished prose. They are very clear about what is going on, they tell you the story and don't hide it from you.

I'm not saying that in a negative way at all, it's just a different style, and frankly it's just more digestible. Their greatness comes in the creativity, characters, action, humor. Wolfe's greatness, I would say, is in his prose, concepts, and mysteries. The action is more sudden and less detailed, but not necessarily less impactful.

So if that style of novel appeals to you, do NOT miss this series. I consider it a work of art.

Anyones else here read it? I'd be curious to hear more thoughts about it.
 

tizl

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Jun 6, 2018
I am reading Snow Crash nowadays. It's an absolutely amazing book to read if someone is interested in science fictions. you too can read this book, and you can get it here.
I love Snow Crash, and I LOVE Stephenson. Anathem is my favorite novel of all time. I've read it four times over the years and it continually amazes me.

Cryptonomicon was my first Stephenson I read, it's fantastic. The Baroque Cycle is great and lot of fun, and I love how it connects to Cryptonomicon.

I enjoy most everything he does, but those are the highlights for me.
 

tizl

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Joined
Jun 6, 2018
I'm trying to decide between three books right now. 1) "Leviathan Wakes" James S. A. Corey 2) "Heavy Weather" Bruce Sterling 3) "Islands in the Net" Bruce Sterling
If you haven't yet, I would definitely recommend Leviathan Wakes, and the rest of that series. It's fantastic. It was serialized by the Syfy channel and now Amazon Prime, and they've done a great job with it.
 

RobertLCollins

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Sep 29, 2011
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Kansas
Over the weekend I read Meat Cute, Gail Carriger’s short-story prequel to Soulless. I thought it was a fun little romp. Definitely for fans of the Parasol-verse.
 

RobertLCollins

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Sep 29, 2011
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Kansas
Yesterday morning I read “The Lady Astronaut of Mars.” Time-wise it comes late in the Lady Astronaut series, but I think it was published first. It’s a very short work. It’s quite good, but also a bit sad. Hoping to move back to longer books next.
 

RobertLCollins

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Sep 29, 2011
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Over the weekend I read ”Romancing the Inventor,“ another book in Gail Carriger’s Parasol-verse. I quite liked it. A good little story about finding yourself and trying to find love.
 

RobertLCollins

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Sep 29, 2011
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Kansas
This week I read two short stories by Dan Moren, “Showdown” and “Pilot Error.” They’re free ebooks, released to promote the third novel in his Galactic Cold War series which is due soon. I enjoyed both stories. I do like the series, so I was happy to revisit the universe and the characters.
 

RobertLCollins

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Sep 29, 2011
Location
Kansas
Last night I finished I finished Defy or Defend, another of the side books in Gail Carriger’s Parasol-verse. Dimity, from the Finishing School series, has to save a vampire hive though art & redecoration. It’s so much fun. Silly, romantic, and sweet.
 

RobertLCollins

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Sep 29, 2011
Location
Kansas
I finished The Aleph Extraction yesterday. I found it fast-paced and entertaining. The characters are great, too. I hope Dan Moren is able to write & get out the rest of the books in this series. I’m curious as to where his “Galactic Cold War” idea goes.
 
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