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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:51 am 
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If you're only going to read one SF book in 2012 then can I suggest you grab the debute novel of Hannu Rajaniemi, 'The Quantum Thief' as it is one of those stories that when you finish reading leaves you thinking... WOW!
Hannu has studied Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge and has worked for thinktankmaths.com and his background shows in his writing, it is complex, multi-layered and deep. It's also something very different from the 'norm' of SF writing, (IMHO) and I didn't expect to be as surprised by his style as I was.
The Quantum Thief is a super-thief called Jean le Flambeur who is serving a sentence in The Dilemma Prison which is an endlessly looping reality where each day starts with him having to participate in a gunfight which he knows he will lose and will have to experience the pain of dying only to be revived and go through it all again. But as I've said, he is a super-thief and his skills are needed and so...
The majority of the story takes place on Mars but in the far, far future where some post-humans have achieved godlike status and if there's one thing that gods like doing then its tinkering with the lives of mere mortals.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:34 am 
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Finished reading "Pleasures of the Damned" a collection of poetry from Charles Bukowski which was excellent. Now half-way through "Indoctrinaire" by Christopher Priest which I'm also thoroughly enjoying.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:23 am 
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Just started "Dead Island", Mark Morris' novel adapted from a 'shoot up zombies' game.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Currently dipping into short stories mostly, Royle's Murmurations is proving very enjoyable, a quiet subtle offering of stories (at least so far). Also an older Best Horror, 15 or 16, I forget which. Also good stuff. There was a great paradoy in there by Gaiman with the best title I've seen in ages!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:55 am 
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Finished Chris Priest's "Indoctrinaire" which I greatly enjoyed. Didn't realise it was his first novel - it's a revised edition and there's an explanation that the first 20,000 words of the book were originally two separate 10,000 word short stories. That now makes sense :)

Picked up "The Stormwatcher" by Graham Joyce last night and already 60 pages in. Really enjoying it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Finished "Dead Island", and have now started "A Rope of Thorns" by Gemma Files.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:43 pm 
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Andrew Hook wrote:
Picked up "The Stormwatcher" by Graham Joyce last night and already 60 pages in. Really enjoying it.


The Stormwatcher is a cracker, as I told the man himself at F'con, but he wasn't having any of it... he said The Facts Of Life was his best.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:27 pm 
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After the brain crunching complication of The Quantum Thief I decided to pick up something easier and that something was John Connolly's The Burning Soul. It was everything I hoped for and I flew through the story. I'm only sad that I've read all of the Charlie Parker series and will now have to wait until he appears again.
Anyone who's read the Parker series will acknowledge that each story has progressively grown more and more supernatural and there are aspects of this in this one too but it's not as heavily emphasized as his previous ones, well IMHO :)
The story is about the abduction of a 14 year old girl and Charlie gets hired to investigate a blackmail case in the town where she's gone missing from. The man being blackmailed is a murderer who has served his time and has gone straight, but he was convicted of murdering, yes, you've guessed it, a fourteen year old girl.
Full of twists and turns and enough red herrings to keep a fishmonger happy, definitely a damn good read!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:47 pm 
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I am reading John Gribbin's The Universe: A Biography , a popular-scientific exposition of cosmology published in 2009 by Penguin in the UK. It's a good but difficult read. The first two chapters discuss the particle and cosmological physics needed to understand the best guesses in 2009 about the origin, growth, and structure of the universe or multiverse. In my opinion they would be hard to follow by a reader totally unacquainted with some basic notions of these fields. I'm struggling with them now. Still, it's worth the effort, since much of today's SF uses these ideas or speculative extensions of them.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:56 pm 
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Recently read Michel Faber's The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps but thought the novella accompanying it, The Courage Consort, was far superior. (You might like it, Des, considering the music based anthology you're putting together).

Occasionally I dip into Cronin's The Passage (it's good when you're in it, but not one I'm ever in a rush to pick up, so has taken me ages), but I'm also treating myself to the occasional story from Royle's anthology Murmurations and Unsworth's Quiet Houses, both of which I'm loving.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Just sprinted through Richard Morgan's The Cold Commands and was left panting with the excitement. Morgan is primarily known for his SF writing and when I bought his first book in this series, The Steel Remains in the hope that his transition to Fantasy would not disappoint me I was happy to discover that his foray into a new genre was well done.
Initially when I read The Steel Remains I was somewhat perplexed with how I felt about the main character, Ringil, as he is homosexual and not the usual type of hero you'd expect to find but Morgan's writing is such that his predilections tend to take second place to all else that is going on in the two novels. The sex scenes are pretty graphic however, both the men on men and the women on women and according to Morgan's blog he's been awarded Amazon's Best Gay and Lesbian Novel of the year 2011.
However, the bits I like the best are his fight scenes which are visceral and barbaric yet all too believable. I've written sword fighting scenes in my own work and know how difficult it is to achieve a sense of credibility in how these work. The Cold Commands demands that you know the background to Ringil's world and history so if you haven't read The Steel Remains or it's been some time since you have read it then I'd suggest you get upto speed by delving into it again first. Can't wait for Morgan's follow-up, The Dark Defiles!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:20 am 
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Read Gene O'Neill's novella "Rusting Chickens" last night, and also working my way through the anthology "Chilling Tales", edited by Michael Kelly.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Hope you like it, Pete. Would love to hear your overall impression.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:41 pm 
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You're a big fan of Gene O'Neil, then Mike? :wink:

And, as almost always, I'm reading for review, so there's a very good chance you'll get my opinion, whether you want it or not :lol:

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Last edited by Pete on Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Indeed, Pete, "Rusting Chickens" is one of his best. :-) Ah, for review. Gulp.


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