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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:27 pm 
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Paul Raven wrote:
..Watts' earlier books ... available as free downloads from his website


Oh dear, sounds like he needs a new agent!
:wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:11 am 
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Paul - thanks very much. I've downloaded all of the PDFS. However, I'vet yet to read a PDF novel from virtual cover to virtual cover. But I will give it a go.


All Watts' earlier books are out of print, according to the man himself. But they're all available as free downloads from his website, and you might be able to nail them down second hand. Rumour has it that Blindsight will be going into a second printing, and the attention boost of the Hugo nomination should make that a certainty. And on a more personal note, I'd recommend Blindsight to anyone who loves the really really hard end of sf. It's nothing short of stunning.[/quote]


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:32 pm 
Just finished re-reading the three books of Brian Aldiss' Helliconia Trilogy. Exceptional stuff. Probably my second favourite book of all time.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:50 pm 
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StevePalmer wrote:
Just finished re-reading the three books of Brian Aldiss' Helliconia Trilogy. Exceptional stuff. Probably my second favourite book of all time.


A great, if difficult, set of books. I keep on recommending them to people, even though many of them say that they never got past the first quarter of the first book. To which the reply is always "ah, but that's just where it's about to start moving properly!" To be fair, it does take a while to get going properly.

I felt greatly vindicated when I read Adam Roberts' Palgrave History of SF, wherein he mentions the Helliconia series as being one of the forgotten classics of that era - along with another of my all-time favourites, Julian May's Saga of the Exiles.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:05 pm 
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Location: Paris, France
Re: the Arrival
Quote:
Quote:
The pictures just look gorgeous. I've ordered it.


You will not be disappointed. Otherwise a bottle of good French wine (assuming you like those) on my costs.

It's just shown up on my doorstep. Ok, I concur. Awesome. :shock:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:36 pm 
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Just finished reading "Living Next Door To The God Of Love" by Justina Robson. Thoroughly enjoyed it, although maybe because of the fractured ending or maybe because I read the ending over several interrupted nights, I was left wanting more after I'd finshed it. A great ride to get there though.

Now reading "The Little Sister" by Raymond Chandler. Some fantastic prose in there! Some of it is sheer poetry.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:38 pm 
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Finished 'The Terror' and can thoroughly recommend it. Very well written and nothing like I'd imagined it to be. I won't give too much away but it is very historically/fact-based story about a disasterous expedition in the 1800s to the Artic where not only the cold is killing the explorers but also something that is very very strange indeed...

Now reading Sladek's 'The Complete Roderick' which has really taxed my patience with its opening chapters. I found it quite boring, however, I've persevered and now that the little robot is beginning to show his POV the story has picked up and is both funny and sad in places.

Will tell you my final conclusion when I finish it.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:36 am 
Paul Raven wrote:
StevePalmer wrote:
Just finished re-reading the three books of Brian Aldiss' Helliconia Trilogy. Exceptional stuff. Probably my second favourite book of all time.


A great, if difficult, set of books. I keep on recommending them to people, even though many of them say that they never got past the first quarter of the first book. To which the reply is always "ah, but that's just where it's about to start moving properly!" To be fair, it does take a while to get going properly.


It does... but that first section is so atmospheric. I love it! Aldiss breaks a few rules - "Show not tell" mainly - but writes so engagingly it's impossible not to be swept along. There is something very special about these books, some combination of the epic scope of the milieu and the frail humanity of the characters, that makes this a sold gold classic. I can't believe it's currently out of print. A total insult to literature. Why can't Gollancz re-release it in their 'Classics' series?


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:04 pm 
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StevePalmer wrote:
..Aldiss breaks a few rules - "Show not tell" mainly - but writes so engagingly...


Aldiss gets away with breaking literary 'rules' like that in his other books, too.
The sheer brevity of his more recent fiction helps, of course, but I just like that sort of economical prose style.
http://www.zone-sf.com/brianaldiss.html

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 2:45 am 
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What I've read lately or am currently reading.

Thunder Run: The Armored Strike into Baghdad by David Zucchino. I agree with the blurbs. Best book on combat since Black Hawk Down.

Australia's Year's Best Science Fiction Second Edition.

Collapse by Jared Diamond (his books are seed material for thousands of good science fiction novels).

1634 The Baltic War by Eric Flint and David Weber.

I've been a bit slow of late due to school and work.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 6:59 am 
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The Book of Dave - a remarkable SF novel by Will Self.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 4:27 pm 
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Recently finished "When Gravity Fails" by George Alec Effinger. Thought it was fantastic, something different and something that predates cyberpunk but feels cyberpunk if you know what I mean. The Arabic setting is very absorbing. I'm looking forward to reading the two further novels in the series.

I'll be taking China Meiville's "Perdido Street Station" with me on holiday soon, I'm looking forward to that.


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 4:43 pm 
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Finished Sladek's 'The Complete Roderick' but it was a real struggle for me. The book seems very dated now and although when the story is shown through the robot's POV it has you laughing and crying, the rest of the book was a chore.
Also finished Joe Abercombie's 'The Blade Itself' what a refreshing difference after Roderick. Every page was a joy to read, every character was someone you could relate to, feel for, understand and recognise. An excellent book with the promise of a sequel which I'm waiting to read next, after I've done with Justina Robson's 'Keeping it real' which so far has also been an enjoyable read. Not in the same class as Abercrombie (IMHO) but there, just outside the classroom door and pushing it to get in.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 6:45 pm 
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Recently read Nick Marsh's Soul Purpose - yes, he is a friend, and yes, I've got it name dropped/plugged rather heavily in this week's web-site, so I won't bore you with saying it again. But I will say my dog went all passive aggressive/resistance over being ignored for 4 hours straight - good job I've had practice at cleaning up puppy pee... :roll:

And also reading William Horwood's Toad Triumphant, which is done excellently in Kenneth Grahame's style, and is enjoyable in it's own right.

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 12:16 pm 
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Journeymouse wrote:
Recently read Nick Marsh's Soul Purpose - yes, he is a friend, and yes, I've got it name dropped/plugged rather heavily in this week's web-site, so I won't bore you with saying it again. But I will say my dog went all passive aggressive/resistance over being ignored for 4 hours straight - good job I've had practice at cleaning up puppy pee... :roll:



I enjoyed Soul Purpose, too, but I did stop occasionally to let the dog out. :wink:


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