What Are You Reading Right Now?

RobertLCollins

Rocket Ranger
Writer
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Location
Kansas
Earlier today I finished Dan Moren's The Caledonian Gambit. It was a good science fiction novel of espionage with two interesting POV characters. I've heard Dan on a number of podcasts, mainly "The Incomparable." I'm glad I enjoyed his first novel. Probably back to fantasy for my next read.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
Earlier today I finished Dan Moren's The Caledonian Gambit. It was a good science fiction novel of espionage with two interesting POV characters. I've heard Dan on a number of podcasts, mainly "The Incomparable." I'm glad I enjoyed his first novel. Probably back to fantasy for my next read.
From the Amazon description it sounds pretty interesting like something I'd read. (y) I also did not realize till now that Amazon has a "Shopping List" selection instead of just the "Wish List" features.

The galaxy is mired in a cold war between two superpowers, the Illyrican Empire and the Commonwealth. Thrust between this struggle are Simon Kovalic, the Commonwealth’s preeminent spy, and Kyle Rankin, a lowly janitor happily scrubbing toilets on Sabaea, a remote and isolated planet. However, nothing is as it seems.

Kyle Rankin is a lie. His real name is Eli Brody, and he fled his home world of Caledonia years ago. Simon Kovalic knows Caledonia is the site of a top-secret Illyrican superweapon project and that the past Brody so desperately tried to abandon can grant him access to people and places that are off limits even to a professional spy like Kovalic.

Kovalic needs Eli Brody to come home and face his past. With Brody suddenly cast in a play he never auditioned for, he and Kovalic will quickly realize it’s everything they don’t know that will tip the scales of galactic peace. Sounds like a desperate plan, sure, but what gambit isn’t?

The Caledonian Gambit is a throwback to the classic sci-fi adventures of spies and off-world politics, but filled to the brim with modern sensibilities.
 

The Black Knight

Supreme Star Marine Commander
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Location
Alternate Universe
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079K62S78/?tag=aliensoup-20

Anit'za again was amazed how a single glass of fine wine could make a man dream – freedom could be his, for the taking. The dreary and boring life of a nobleman, at least on his home planet, was predetermined from birth. You grow up sucking up to your relatives and parents; then you are chased, or chase after, some noblewoman – marry, and have children. Long gone were the days of high adventure, when his race were princes of the stars!
The sly noble suddenly realized that it need not be so, for him at least! His siblings could continue the deadly dance of House politics without him. Anit'za wanted to travel the Galaxy and live the life of a free man. His best choice was the Terran Empire – a newly-formed power, beset on all sides by any kind of sods imaginable. Humans had uplifted plenty of new and unique client races, and themselves were interesting, beyond anything that he could ever imagine. After the third glass, Anit'za began dreaming of captaining his own spaceship and bravely sailing among the stars...
 

RobertLCollins

Rocket Ranger
Writer
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Location
Kansas
Last night I finished Tigana. What a great read! There was an interesting world with intriguing characters. The plot kept me going in the first three-quarters of the novel, and had me guessing in the last quarter as to how it would end up. I also enjoyed that it was set in a land inspired by Italy of the Middle Ages. Don't always get that in fantasy. Now to figure out what to read next on the list of books I got over the holidays...
 
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RobertLCollins

Rocket Ranger
Writer
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Location
Kansas
I just finished the steampunk novel Unseemly Science by Rod Duncan, the second book in his "Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire" series. I quite enjoyed it. I discovered the series when I was looking through the book lists of people I follow on Goodreads, trying to find books I hadn't heard of. It was on Felicia Day's list and she liked the series quite a bit. I read the first book in the series last fall and enjoyed it. I'm hoping to read the third book down the road. In the meantime, though, I'll get back to the books I bought over the holidays.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2015
Location
Infinite Fun Space
Last night I finished Tigana. What a great read! There was an interesting world with intriguing characters. The plot kept me going in the first three-quarters of the novel, and had me guessing in the last quarter as to how it would end up. I also enjoyed that it was set in a land inspired by Italy of the Middle Ages. Don't always get that in fantasy. Now to figure out what to read next on the list of books I got over the holidays...
I love Guy Gavriel Kay. One of the best fantasy authors around, but aside from his Fionovar Tapestry trilogy, pretty much all of his books are set in alternate world historical analogues, with his books being ca. 3/4 based on historical elements and 1/4 comprising some magical or subtly supernatural elements. I would say one of my highlights from his novels is the Sarantine Mosaic duology comprising the novels Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors. The setting is an analogue of the Byzantium empire during Justinian I's reign.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2015
Location
Infinite Fun Space
I've been going through a reading funk for the last many months. Even when I pick up a book that I'm enjoying, I end up stalling with the read and putting it away. Or, I just can't make up my mind what to read.

Right now, I'm tentatively juggling through two books: William Gibson's cyberpunk classic Neuromancer, which I'm reading for the first time; and Tad Williams' The Dragonbone Chair, which is the first instalment of Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn epic fantasy trilogy. Anybody read either of these?
 

RobertLCollins

Rocket Ranger
Writer
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Location
Kansas
Last night I finished The Summer Tree, the first book in the "Fionovar Tapestry" series. It was a quite interesting and surprising story. It looks like I have another series that I'm going to have to read at some point. For now, though, I'm going to pause for a few days, and then start on something lighter...
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
Currently reading Florida Station: Broken Cosmos Volume One from @ikennedy. It's a Kindle only offering so I'm trying to read it on my work tablet (a Samsung S2). I'm not a fan of digital only titles, as I much prefer physical books, but the story so far is interesting enough to keep my going on the tablet.

I'm using this a test to see whether I can read an whole book on a tablet or whether I'd be better off getting a dedicated Kindle reader. Knowing myself, I'm not sure if a single-use device like a Kindle would be something that I wouldn't get frustrated with but my wife has an older model and loves it for reading and the long battery life on it.
 

screenersam

This is news, Vincenzo, NEWS!
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Location
Maryland
I rarely read text on puter, though I have a couple items I couldn't get elsewhere. somewhere I downloaded some local e-book about saucer/monster sightings in Ohio. interesting stuff.
Night Siege The Ohio UFO Creature Invasion by Dennis Pilichis

I'm re-reading a bunch of Cussler books, which are kinda sorta sci-fi. two-dimensional characters and awful dialogue, especially the flirty stuff, but great rides.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
I'm re-reading a bunch of Cussler books, which are kinda sorta sci-fi. two-dimensional characters and awful dialogue, especially the flirty stuff, but great rides.
Cussler is a 'guilty pleasure' reading for me. :D Have you read his Isaac Bell books that take place in the early 20th century (and usually involve trains)? They're actually not bad and not as much 'popcorn' reading like his Dirk Pitt stuff.
 

RobertLCollins

Rocket Ranger
Writer
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Location
Kansas
Sort-of off-topic a bit, but I have a Clive Cussler story...

One of his novels, "Night Probe," got a little of its inspiration from a Kansas Pacific train wreck at Bennett, Colorado. After the novel came out there was an attempt to find the locomotive that was lost in the wreck. In the 1990s I wrote an illustrated history of the KP. By then it was known that the wrecked locomotive was probably secretly salvaged by the KP so they could claim the locomotive as a loss to get the insurance.

About 10-15 years ago I thought I'd write a more in-depth history of the KP. I began going through various old newspapers, on microfilm and online. One of the topics I homed in on was the Colorado wreck story. I found accounts of the wreck, the start of the salvage operation, and its abrupt termination (which was apparently when the KP decided to collect the insurance). I found some proof of when the salvage took place, and evidence that it was rebuilt after the UP bought up the KP and put back into service.

I turned my research into an article and sold it to a western Kansas magazine that bought quite a few of my railroad history pieces. I sent a copy of the article to Cussler, and got a letter back. Sadly, the KP book is on semi-permanent back-burner, as I don't have much interest in publishing nonfiction right now.

Reading one of Gail Carriger's books now; will post on that when I'm done...
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania

RobertLCollins

Rocket Ranger
Writer
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Location
Kansas
Found your article, it's a great write-up! http://www.territorialmagazine.com/27-33_sm_locomotive.pdf

Did it ever come up in the years after the article as to how KP got away with the insurance fraud? A locomotive, even under the darkness of night, seems like something that'd be hard to hide from an insurance company looking into the claim.
Nope. There isn't any way to know now which insurance company the payment came from. It's not likely the insurance company is still around, what with mergers & such. Even if the company, in some form, was still around, I'd guess that the records from that time have long since been lost. There's probably no way to know if the insurance company caught on, or if they did if they thought the case was worth pursuing.

Nor is there any way to search from the side of the Kansas Pacific. in 1880 it was merged into the Union Pacific. In the years since the KP's records were thrown out bit by bit. Much of what can be known about the KP's equipment comes from a few surviving UP documents, and from what might have popped up in newspapers of the period. After the merger the case might have become moot anyway, seeing as the railroad was under whole new management. In fact it appears that the KP didn't actually repair the locomotive, but the UP did after the merger.

It's a twisted little tale caught up in a much larger, and much more twisted, history of a railroad with a great deal of promise that never achieved its promise, it part due to circumstances out of its control, and in part due to its own mistakes.
 

ikennedy

Ensign
Writer
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Location
Australia
Currently reading Florida Station: Broken Cosmos Volume One from @ikennedy. It's a Kindle only offering so I'm trying to read it on my work tablet (a Samsung S2). I'm not a fan of digital only titles, as I much prefer physical books, but the story so far is interesting enough to keep my going on the tablet.

I'm using this a test to see whether I can read an whole book on a tablet or whether I'd be better off getting a dedicated Kindle reader. Knowing myself, I'm not sure if a single-use device like a Kindle would be something that I wouldn't get frustrated with but my wife has an older model and loves it for reading and the long battery life on it.
I'm glad to hear you're liking my book series, @Kevin . (Can I ask what chapter you are up to?) Yeah sorry it's not in print. I'm trying to work on that. It's the problem of living in Australia and most print on demand places not distributing to us here, but I might have found something...I hope. Don't count on it though.
I use a Kindle and it works very well! I do recommend one.
 
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Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
I'm glad to hear you're liking my book series, @Kevin . (Can I ask what chapter you are up to?)
I actually finished it last night. :)
Yeah sorry it's not in print. I'm trying to work on that. It's the problem of living in Australia and most print on demand places not distributing to us here, but I might have found something...I hope. Don't count on it though.
I use a Kindle and it works very well! I do recommend one.
When it comes to digital books I'm a contradiction; for everything else in my life I've embraced a digital lifestyle (going all the way back to the 80's when I ran a dial-up BBS) except for books. It's more of a mental thing for me as I grew up reading books and nearly always had a book close by that I was working on. Even to this day, for me there nothing quite like the smell of a new book being opened for the first time. I know that eventually people like me reading physical books will be looked upon the same as finding out that somebody, in 2018, doesn't have a "smart phone" or access to email, and I've accepted that. Unfortunately though a lot of titles that in days past would be a "small run" printing are now either digital only titles or are being self-published as Kindle only titles. Eventually I'll be picking up either a new tablet or a Kindle reader. I just haven't been pushed over the edge yet in deciding which one to go for.
 

RobertLCollins

Rocket Ranger
Writer
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Location
Kansas
Last night I finished Etiquette & Espionage, the first book in Gail Carriger's "Finishing School" series. Quite fun and breezy, much like her "Parasol Protectorate" series. I have the second one on my iPhone, so I think I'll read it next, and get to the other two in that series later.
 

ikennedy

Ensign
Writer
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Location
Australia
I actually finished it last night. :)

When it comes to digital books I'm a contradiction; for everything else in my life I've embraced a digital lifestyle (going all the way back to the 80's when I ran a dial-up BBS) except for books. It's more of a mental thing for me as I grew up reading books and nearly always had a book close by that I was working on. Even to this day, for me there nothing quite like the smell of a new book being opened for the first time. I know that eventually people like me reading physical books will be looked upon the same as finding out that somebody, in 2018, doesn't have a "smart phone" or access to email, and I've accepted that. Unfortunately though a lot of titles that in days past would be a "small run" printing are now either digital only titles or are being self-published as Kindle only titles. Eventually I'll be picking up either a new tablet or a Kindle reader. I just haven't been pushed over the edge yet in deciding which one to go for.
Yeah @Kevin I totally understand. I love a good physical book too. I wasn't saying that's wrong. In fact reading on a screen for me is hard too. I was just saying that I have been forced to go digital due to living in Australia.

I hope you liked Florida Station: Broken Cosmos Volume 1! If you did, please keep reading the series! (and maybe leave a review on Amazon if you're so inclined :) )
 
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