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StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


occamsnailfile posted:

From the previous thread:


This sounded quite interesting and so I looked into it and it's maybe not published in the US yet? Which is super weird and she should maybe kick her publisher pretty hard. It's just the first time in a long time I've looked at a new book and not seen a Kindle version available at all. They're willing to sell me the German version of her previous trilogy but not much else--somebody needs to get on those distribution rights discussions.

Decided to make an ILS request for it just to see what happens. Those people are like magic book elves who find that which is hidden.

Yeah, I had to buy international paperback versions of the trilogy. Also the US covers for her Copper Cat trilogy are goddamn garbage, so I paid out the nose for the UK paperbacks.

To this end I discovered that the UK has two forms of paperbacks: "small" which are actually trade-sized paperbacks, and "large" which are the size of small boats. They don't have mass market paperbacks? It's weird, but I'm not angry because getting Poison Song's beautiful cover is giant size was a treat.


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StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Mail's here!




Bone Ships was heavily recced to me by several friends, and Son of the Morning was just a chance find and again, migod the UK prints massive paperbacks.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


anilEhilated posted:

Son of the Morning is great, make sure to write a trip report.

Ooh, promising. Will do, but no guarantees on when I'll finish this massive beast.

Speaking of, has anyone in here read the author's other series, his werewolf viking historical saga? Wolfsangel, five books, ends with WWII. I'm intrigued but not yet enough to put in an order.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Mister Kingdom posted:

I just started the Culture series. I'm about a quarter of the way into Consider Phlebas and so far, so good.

How does the rest of the saga compare?

Less actiony, more thinky/talky, but very very very very good.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


You're all describing Garrett PI and making me hungry for Nero Wolfe so thanks!

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Orv posted:

I mean it's not to say that they're without their merits. Even his cliche takes on the character archetypes of fantasy and the typical fantasy races are a lot of fun.

Does sound like I should read Nero Wolfe though.

I'm of the opinion that formulaic does not mean bad. Same with cliches. The question is how well is it written, how are the details handled, etc etc.

Yes you should read Nero Wolfe, they're great. Instead of elves you get the scum of NYC.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


140 pages into Bone Ships: so far this is very good gritty sea drama. If the author hasn't read Aubrey-Maturin I'll call him a liar, but it's definitely its own beast. I'm digging how we have the protagonist bossing the viewpoint character around, and the bleak island politics.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


branedotorg posted:

his assassins books were pretty good but so bleak.

How bleak are we talking? Malazan-bleak? Worse? Because I don't know if I can handle books that punch me in the stomach right now.

I tried starting Medusa Uploaded the other day and had to put it down for this reason, it starts out dark and awful and then gets worse, because the future is hell. I'd like to return to it, but when I'm braced for such things.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Munin posted:

Any good non-bleak and/or uplifting scifi or fantasy? given my excessive news consumption I need a palate cleanser.

Murderbot, possibly the Dhulyn and Parno series (haven't read it yet, waiting on the mail), the Cast in Shadow series (really comforting urban fantasy imho), Species Imperative trilogy by Czerneda, Discworld, 1632 (kinda, but it's mostly about building a new society)...

I want to rec Foreigner by Cherryh, but it's super long and it does become cozy but it starts out real rough and anxious.

e: went looking through my goodreads to see if I'd missed anything and oof I've been reading a lot of sad stuff lately. but more importantly, why do I have this in my TBR list: Amish Vampires in Space

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Munin posted:

Nice, quite a few I hadn't read before. I'll have a look at the stuff you mentioned Strix.

Discworld is legend. I remember enjoying the Goblin Emperor but also thinking that it drifted a bit too much and how t was kinda unsatisfying how everything just kinda fell into place.

I read a lot of the Foreigner series but for some reason it was difficult to get hold of in the UK when I was reading it. I think I'm still missing the last few books. Some of the best scifi I've read. I really like how she strives to represent a different society and how someone adapts to it. As an aside, this manga made me think of it a bit as well: https://mangadex.org/title/26079/heterogeneous-linguistics

I remember reading the Misenchanted Sword. It was a nice read. Again how the initial problem was resolved felt a bit deus ex machina, Definitely a cozy read though.

Cherryh writes insanely good sci-fi and fantasy, but except for Foreigner none of them are comfy, and a lot of them are nerve-wracking to read. (Rimrunners for example just makes me feel awful, but in a good way?)

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Dhulyn and Parno omnibus 1 arrives in the mail, I pop it open, and the author's note starts by explaining that this series was directly inspired by Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories, but she wanted more women in it with the caveat that there would be no sexual tension. She then explains the other inspiration was the Three Musketeers and if I hadn't already bought this book I'd be sold already.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


wizzardstaff posted:

The Blending by Sharon Green.

A five-book series that features five protagonists each specializing in a different element of magic. They are brought together from the corners of The Empire to compete in a tournament to crown the next heads of state. The tournament is a Captain Planet cage match in which teams of five coordinate their powers to summon a combined entity. The main antagonists are a team of nobles hand-picked for succession, and you know they're evil because they do BDSM. Meanwhile, in between arena battles the protagonists are forced into a communal living situation which provides no end of soap opera drama and sexual tension. Eventually they sleep together in all possible heterosexual combinations because it strengthens their bonds as teammates; homosexual pairings aren't necessary because they "love each other like siblings".

Oh, and the first two books are actually 1/5 the printed length because they cover the characters individually going through solo trials which are beat-by-beat identical to each other, to the point where it feels like the chapters are copied and pasted with the names changed.


I hate these books and also can't put them down. I have read them three times. I have considered a chapter-by-chapter hate-read but that just seems spiteful.

You know there's a sequel series, right? Please hate-read these to us, I own all five and never finished them and I'd like to know what happens.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Absurd Alhazred posted:

I don't read as much SF/F in books as I do from Analog, is this the right thread for that or is there a separate SF/F magazine thread?

Tell me about these sci-fi/fantasy short stories please, maybe they'll get me to read short stories.

e: or magazine articles, tell me details. I like reading genre fiction, I could be down for magazines.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


big dyke energy posted:

So I read Priory of the Orange Tree recently and thought it was loving phenomenal. I also realized that I've barely read any fantasy novels, apart from Terry Prachett and the one time I read the Hobbit. I'm looking for more sweeping epic fantasy written by women/lgbt folk, especially ones featuring women/lgbt characters. i know it's sci-fi but I've also read all of Becky Chambers' stuff as well, which I also love, and I think Record of a Spaceborn Few is my favorite of her Wayfarer's triology. Haven't read her new one yet, but I have a hold on it at the library.

...tbh I'm probably just going to read Priory again, I really loved it.

I've only read the first book in the trilogy so far, but Ninth Rain by Jen Williams is also fantastic fantasy featuring a lesbian main character. Gonna pull my review of it from the last thread:

quote:

Ninth Rain by Jen Williams: first in a trilogy, finished this one a few minutes ago so I'm still reeling from that finale. And drat, what a finale. Ahem, no spoilers. This is a weird one where it feels like a fantasy, acts like a fantasy, but has sci-fi and steampunk elements in equal turn. It's a fantasy universe that faces an alien invasion every few centuries, and the aliens are fought off by magic tree elves and their warbeasts (dragons, gryphons, etc) - but the last invasion ended when the Tree God powering the elves died mysteriously, and now centuries later the elves are dying out / turning to vampirism, and our heroine is a rich biologist nerd in her forties who goes around studying the ruins of the alien ships and seeing how they twist the landscape. Our other heroine is an imprisoned fell-witch, a lady who can summon fire at will - she's imprisoned by an insane cult/mega-corporation that steals these fell-witches, tells them they're abominations in the eyes of god, and then uses them to make drugs to sell to people. Oh yes. It's full of weird stuff that somehow seamlessly works together, the characters are fun, etc. The prose isn't amazing, but it works and has a modern tone ala Gideon - oh yes, these elves say gently caress. I'm hyped for reading the second one - after I've slept off the high of that finale. drat, what an ending!

And I've got a handful of recs that don't overlap with tildes' list so

Fortress in the Eye of Time + its sequels by CJ Cherryh: 90s fantasy that's dense and delicious and about an old mage who tries to bring back an ancient magical hero but screws up and gets an amnesiac young man who loves birds instead. Said young man has to grow up in a hurry once his old mage gets attacked, and he winds up stumbling into the local province and meeting the Prince and for all that it's high fantasy it pays a ton of attention to details and the low-folk. You can treat the first book as standalone, and if you continue it turns into a kind of early version of Foreigner as Cherryh settles into exploring the implications of the first book, how the Prince secures his power and how the hero continues to grow up. It feels like a living universe.

Cherryh in general is my favorite author, she wrote a billion books and almost all of them contain interesting aliens and/or worldbuilding. There is a general trend that her earlier stuff tends to be darker/bleaker and she lightens up over the years, with her best stuff arriving in the 90s. imho. She writes a ton of badass women, and has written at least one gay couple (they're in Cyteen) and is married to a lady herself.

Next up is To Ride Hell's Chasm by Janny Wurts, a nice fat standalone fantasy that's basically a thriller. The princess has gone missing the night of her betrothal banquet and the captain of the guard has been tapped to lead up the investigation. Cue a lot of interesting court politics, weird magic, and then in the back half of the book the author reveals that she's a horse girl and if you do not love horses you will not appreciate those chase sequences as much as I did. They're such great horses, haha. I really loved this book and blazed through it quickly, and it's the best of Wurts' works - it distills everything she's good at. If you like her, there's more - her earlier work is weak (sadly) but her Curse of the Mistwraith mega-series is 10+ books of truly epic fantasy. I've read four of the books and they're really good but also really tough to read because awful things keep happening. Not in a grimdark way, but in a way where the main character has the worst luck in the entire world, and his brother has been cursed to hate him so he's also doing everything in his power to screw him over. If you start this series you're in for a ride, but be warned that the final book in the series isn't out yet and won't be for at least a few years.

Black Sun Rising by CS Friedman is another 90s fantasy author, and this one is a trilogy that's all nice and gothic. The premise is, a colony ship crashed into a planet and got stranded because the natural forces on this planet are hyper-sensitive to psychic emanations and basically if you have a nightmare, this planet will make it real. Centuries later, this ain't a sci-fi novel anymore: it's a fantasy about these cultures that have adapted to this planet. People worship gods (that are now real), there are endless monsters and demons, and this trilogy centers around the conflict between a powerful religion that's trying to convert everyone so their faith tames the planet, and various mages and adventurers who get into other problems with this church. The main character is a mage-priest-swordsman who is new in town. He falls for a local mage lady, she gets kidnapped by demons, and he sets off to rescue her and winds up getting aid from a vampire lord. .... God I make it sound terrible and cliche, it's not, the writing is rich and it really makes these basic concepts sing.

If you like that trilogy, she's written other good stuff - Madness Season, This Alien Shore, etc - but those are sci-fi.

Hunter's Oath + Hunter's Death duology by Michelle West/Sagara, aka my new favorite fantasy author. I'm forty pages into Hunter's Death and recommending this duology as a starting point because she's written a billion books set in this one universe and these are the earliest two books in publication order - and they're a duology instead of being a seven+ book long epic fantasy series full of chonkers. These two books are about a country where they worship the Hunter God, and in exchange for fertile fields and good hunting, once a year he demand his chosen Hunterlords go on a sacred hunt where the god may hunt one of them. The book focuses on a young hunterlord and his brother as they grow up, but it also has main characters in their mother (she's a great pov) and a mysterious time-traveling seer-mage who is trying to prevent the demonlord from manifesting.

If you like Hunter's Oath, she's written the Sun Sword series (chonkers) in the same universe, and the House War series (also chonkers) as well as an earlier, unrelated four book fantasy series (haven't read it yet), and also if you dig urban fantasy, her Cast in Shadow series is excellent. I'll quote myself again.

quote:

Cast in Shadow by Michelle West/Sagara: yeah I'm a fangirl of hers now, I've bought almost everything she's written because I adore her writing style. Anyways, this one is her urban fantasy series, which feels like a weird way of describing it because while it has the lighter tone/writing style of UF, it has no romance, it has really rich and weird fantasy-focused worldbuilding, and instead of treating the fantasy races like Star Trek treats its aliens - elves are just tree people with ears, etc - it instead makes them deeply alien and I spent a good chunk of the second book struggling to understand some profoundly alien psychologies. In the third book you even get a hive mind species that meshes very poorly with the vanilla humans. ... But this is also urban fantasy in the sense that each book is a different case, and the first one is solving a string of child murders. I've read the first two and am nearly done with the third and it's delicious weird fantasy.

I could probably dig out more recs - I've been on an epic quest to find lady-written fantasy and sci-fi for years now and there's a LOT of good stuff out there - but that should be enough to get you started!

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


ToxicFrog posted:

For shame, leaving out Magister? That's another fantasy trilogy (full on fantasy this time, not fantasy with an SF backstory like Black Sun Rising) that thematically is almost a reprise of Sun and its sequels. That said, I think I enjoyed it more for having read BSR first, since it kind of takes one of the questions raised at the very end of the third book and just runs with it until it unrolls into an entire setting.

I haven't read Magister! I read everything she wrote in the mid 2000s and Magister hadn't released then and I haven't been back yet.... partly because the sequel to In Conquest Born was a dud. I adored that book and then the Wilding happened and I was so excited for it and oh. Nope. So I was wary of trying her other new stuff.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Stupid problem: I'm enjoying the Bone Ships by RJ Barker, yeah?

Well I can't bring up the book in my bookchat without everyone whipping out the eggplant emoji

It's not a sex book guys it just has the word bone in the title!

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


graventy posted:

I mean I get that the details there are weird, but man or woman if you wake up in a strange body aren't you going to check yourself out?

Not like that, dude. Not with those words.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


My review of Steel Frame by Andrew Skinner:

Rook is the protagonist, a women who flies giant mechas, who spent her career rescuing downed jockeys from battlefields and getting them to medics. PTSD caught up with her, and a traumatic incident put her in jail, into a chain-gang on a giant starship stationed in the broken part of outer space.

The Eye. The ocean, a region of space that has so much debris and strange physics going on that it's an ocean instead of void. Time works differently here. The various megacorps who constantly fight each other for the rest of space have a tense truce in the Eye, because it's all unexplored and there are treasures inside. Maybe.

So Rook has been taken from prison and put into this region of space and because her megacorp isn't sure this place is profitable, its ships are crewed by an increasing ratio of convicts.

This is where she meets the Juno. Her new giant mech, her shell. It's an antique, a prototype that's violent when she first meets it: it's rebelling, breaking from its restraints and trying to eke out a bit of space in its hangar. The only reason they can talk it down from more violence is because Rook is given its old jockey's helmet, which she uses to talk to it - but it forgives the deception and takes her as its pilot.

Juno's old and traumatized from losing its old pilots. Rook's traumatized from losing jockeys she couldn't rescue in time. They're both traumatized but they fly well together, and if you as a reader cannot approach these two characters ready to try to understand them, this book won't work. It's entirely from Rook's POV.

The plot? The plot is: Rook's part of a four-man unit of jockeys sent to explore some of the ruins in the ocean. They don't so much find horror as it finds them, and the plot escalates in action and horror: there's a devastating virus, there's an imprisoned thing, there are the other megacorps, and there's Rook's unit: Hail, another convict who leads them all. Salt, a giant of a man who carries his own trauma. Locust. Andrade.

This book goes surprisingly wide, filling in details about the wars outside the ocean, where these broken convicts came from. It fills in the story of the megacorp they work for, the ones they're aiming against, everything.

The book stays narrow, staying in Rook's head and following only what she's involved in.

It's so deep, though. Rook is so, so compelling and understandable, and the Juno alien in the right ways, understandable in the right ways.

I didn't know I could find a sci-fi book that hits everything I want: military sci-fi action, deep introspective psychological drama, horror, alien things, etc. Everything in this book sings just right and I didn't know it could exist without me having to write it.

Author? You did good.

Reader of this review? You gotta read this book. You gotta. The prose is hypnotic and you could drown in it. You deserve to enjoy this book.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Larry Parrish posted:

Holy poo poo lmfao. I have a lot of sisters so I've always known how bullshit the... I guess you'd say, cultural conception of what men think women think like? is. It's so completely wrong its funny; it's like what a Tarantino villain would think. And this guy apparently wrote it straight out like it was clever

Anyway yall mentioned the Goblin Emperor a while back and I gotta say I loved it. I really didn't think I'd ever get a fantasy book to make me feel sorry for a noble. They're always either just despite their unjust place in the world, or cartoon evil. But this guy is very relatable.

You might wanna look at the Seer by Sonia Orin Lyris, as it also features a dude who aspires to become a noble and succeeds and then spends a good chunk of the book drowning in way too much goddamned work. It's also a solid fantasy work about a girl who can see the future (sometimes, imperfectly) and the assassin/kidnapper sent to retrieve her. I enjoyed it a lot. Note that it's standalone but with room for a sequel, and the author wrote a sequel and then got into a thing with Baen so she's now publishing it via patreon.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Cythereal posted:

I'm starting on The Belgariad for the first time in several years, and it's a refreshing break from all the grim, serious sci-fi and fantasy and history I've been reading lately. They're not perfect books, and ideal for a YA audience, but I think there's something to be said as an adult for books that are just plain clean, wholesome fun.

Shame it was written by a child abuser.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Cythereal posted:

Wait, what? This is the first I've heard of that.

It's in their wikipedia page with links to newspaper articles. I'm on phone so I can't link but IIRC they adopted children and the kids were found with lots and lots of bruises.

e: oh and they went to jail for it

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Cythereal posted:

gently caress. I never thought to look into who Eddings is as a person.


Welp. That just ruined my current reading experience.

It sucks and I'm sorry.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


anilEhilated posted:

I want you to know I am holding you personally responsible for my fantasy backlog. First Gideon, then Sagara and now this.

e: At least it seems short. And hey, giant robots.

Robot Wendigo posted:

You're not alone. I picked up Gideon and Sagara as well, but am teetering on the fence about this one.

I hope y'all enjoy those books as much as I did!

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Here is my review of the Blind Worm by Brian Stableford:

How do you review something so foreign to your own experiences that you don't have anything to compare it to? The Blind Worm is a novella, 150 pages that present a story in three acts, centered around the character of the Blind Worm and the Black King. There are other characters - Sum, the hivemind, Concuma the man who hates, Shadow, Swallow, Zea, Ocean -

In a post-post-post-post- apocalyptic world, plants have gently taken over the world and become the Wildlands, a hive entity of semi-sentient plants with the name of Sum. In the Wildlands humans live, mutated over time to be different colors and wilder than they used to be. Outside the Wildland there are decaying cities, where city men live, but not in abundance.

Sum wants the Quadrilateral completed, and if it can be done it will do anything for those who help it. To this end the Black King has gathered an entourage and set out to complete it, and the Blind Worm, a machine-man joins this quest. The Blind Worm was created by an immortal man, Dragon, who hated humanity and wanted it gone so he helped the plants take over by making the Blind Worm: an immortal war-machine. Except that there was no war and in the end Dragon didn't need to help at all.

The strangest procession of events follows. Every character is examined, discarded, picked back up. There is a sequence where an army of shuffling zombies advances against an army of wild-men and unicorns, and bloody battle commences. There are other universes, and musings on the nature of identity, death, destruction, and what it means to be a hive mind.

This is the strangest book I have ever read, and the only things that have come close to its intensity are the other things Brian Stableford has written. There are, naturally, lots of descriptions of plant life and the organisms that live with them.

I have no idea if you should read this book.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


my bony fealty posted:

this sounds good and more creative than 99% of SFF. I think i will read it!

Brian Stableford is one of the most creative sci-fi authors I have ever read, but not necessarily always a good author. He can't really do character work (he can try!) but his visuals are always striking and he's clearly put a lot of thought into where humanity is and where it's going. He started writing in the 70s, and hasn't stopped, only moved to smaller and smaller indie presses while also translating works into and out of French.

My favorite work by him is his Genesys trilogy, which takes the standard "party of adventurers going on a quest" idea as a framework but makes it completely bonkers, by the end one of the characters has made peace with becoming a tree, for example.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Speaking of Simmons I had real trouble with the Terror because my god he had to repeatedly have pov characters obsess over how animalistic and slutty the natives were. Like in the first fifty pages I got to read two different descriptions of a young woman's public hair and how evil and alluring she was. Plus a comparison to how cold and distant this guy's wife was and how he only saw her pubic hair once.

I was so deep into studying this tragedy that I had multiple nonfiction books out about it and I thought the Terror would be a cool supernatural take on it but no! Racism and sexism and pubic hair.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


freebooter posted:

I knew Orson Scott Card was a raving right-wing weirdo, but didn't realise Dan Simmons was. I was pretty young when I read the Hyperion series, which I think is all of his that I've read, but he didn't strike me as the type.

Speaking of Simmons, I haven't read the book and have heard mixed things about it, but the TV adaptation of The Terror is absolutely amazing. Easily one of the best TV series of the decade, stellar performances, fantastic period set design, pitch perfect writing and dialogue, go and watch it if you haven't.

I might just, thank you. It's an incredible concept, a horrifying tragedy, and fascinating to learn about.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Someone tell me about E E Knight's Vampire Earth series before I make an ill-considered decision.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


bagrada posted:

I read four or five of them as they made my way around my family's "buy everything in the Waldenbooks sci fi/fantasy aisle" book club we had back in the day. I don't remember much about them but we kept buying them for a while. It was probably about on par with D&D novels, just featuring an animal themed military outfit going up against alien vampires occupying earth. Looks like its up to 11 books, so it must have some kind of following. Trying to think back on it (my memory is terrible), The Passage and Walking Dead come to mind, though I'm pretty sure these vampires were less feral.

We eventually dropped it to keep up with the Saga of the Noble Dead books by Barb & JC Hendee coming out around the same time, and then those got dropped for Dresden Files and the urban fantasy witch and werewolf stuff before we all got kindles and went our own way.

Heck with it, I'll give Vampire Earth a shot. Thanks.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Apparatchik Magnet posted:

It came across as a Luminous Dead-style recommendation, but it's actually quite good and not disappointing at all.

I don't see why that's a bad thing, as I loved Luminous Dead too.

e: More clearly, I adored Luminous Dead and I'm not bothered that you folks weren't into it. I write my reviews based on how I feel about a book, and hopefully if I love a book you'll love it too, and if not, welp, hope it wasn't too expensive.

StrixNebulosa fucked around with this message at 19:37 on Oct 29, 2019

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Apparatchik Magnet posted:

Luminous Dead is very much a chick book, for both good and ill. Not my kind of thing.

What does chick book mean? I'm confused here, like... it features women? It features emotions? What?

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Apparatchik Magnet posted:

Like a chick flick, it's of interest largely to women and assumes a certain psychological viewpoint. Yes, the emotional stuff was the biggest turn off. I was flabbergasted by the motivations of the mastermind and appalled by the reactions of the protagonist. I couldn't even imagine a "normal" person (which I belatedly realized meant male viewpoint) behaving in such a fashion, but could just about stretch my imagination to cover some of my more vapid girlfriends doing that.

Can you dial down the sexism here a bit? Please?

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Apparatchik Magnet posted:

Yeah, that's what made this very slightly interesting, branching out into a an overemotional individual sacrificing the lives of several people via lies and manipulation on a quixotic quest to erase her childhood mommy issues via a bizarre goal's whose symbolic value was questionable even as its practical value was nil. With a better awareness by the author of how batshit the premise is and a realistic reaction from the protagonist, rather than becoming an after the fact coconspirator due to her own codependence issues, it might have had some payoff. Instead it just becomes two emotionally crippled people with bizarre motivations chained to unlikely domain competence do a thing.

An "overemotional individual" .... That's one hell of a thing to say after your earlier comments. How is this descent into the cave any less logical than famed mountain climbers ascending "because it's there"? What's batshit about the premise in that context? Humans are emotion, and attach emotions to goals that don't make sense.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Apparatchik Magnet posted:

If your parents died a decade ago in a cave, you think it would be psychologically healthy to send seven or eight successive individuals, most of whom died, under false premises on a mission that is actually insanely more dangerous than they think and whose actual purpose is just to find some bodies to give a spoiled rich kid some closure? She should be in jail after her psychiatric treatment is done.

... It's clearly psychologically unhealthy. And she should be in jail. But it's very human, it makes sense as a motivation for someone.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Cythereal posted:

I've heard of Modesitt's Recluce novels, but never read one until now. I saw The Magic Engineer on the shelf at my local library and checked it out, and finished it tonight.

On the whole, I liked it. Most of the characters felt kind of flat, Modesitt's writing style felt very "this happened then that happened then this happened," and Dorrin could do no wrong, but all the same I found the story basically interesting and the characters likeable. What I found really interesting were the philosophical sections of the book as the protagonist approached magic as a science, with logic and reasoning as he tried to explain his world.

My biggest disappointment, I think, was the big cop-out regarding Dorrin's inventions: the back of the book blurb billed the book as "Leonardo da Vinci is born into a world of magic" but Dorrin is not an inventor or an engineer. He just knows how to make a steam engine and so builds one, and uses magic to cheat his way through the technological and scientific hurdles. I'm an absolute sucker for the idea of a scientist or inventor in a world of magic, but this is not that.

So, disappointing but still basically enjoyable. That fits the other Modesitt book I've read, a sci-fi book called The Eternity Artifact, and I'm not sure if I want to read more Recluce stuff after this. Anyone familiar with the series who can tell me whether this book was representative of the series?

I've only read the first one, "The Magic of Recluce" and I'll save you a lot of time: don't. The best chunk of the book is 200 pages into it when our stupid teenage protagonist settles down in a village to do carpentry for like a year, and it's sweet slice of life carpentry with little to no magic. The rest of the book is about this teenager being a stubborn idiot, being exiled from home, having the world's most boring adventures in this different continent, and when he left the carpentry slice of life I couldn't bring myself to care anymore.

So uh, it's good to hear he gets better, but please don't do anything but skim the first one. If you read the rest, let me know so I can skip ahead to the fun ones!

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Is it just me, or does it seem like all the really interesting new books are being written in SF, not fantasy?

The last new-release (non-urban) fantasy novel I can remember being genuinely excited by was either Lies of Locke Lamora or Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and both of those are like fifteen years old now. It feels like since Gaiman went commercial and Pratchett got formulaic there's just not much new happening in the genre.

In contrast with SF every few years something I hadn't expected seems to take me by surprise, like Murderbot.

Bone Ships, Bone Ships, Bone Ships

ahem

Bone Ships by RJ Barker dropped this month and is awesome naval fantasy

The Seer by Sonia Orin Lyris was recent and I thought it a novel take on high fantasy

And finally Michelle West/Sagara finished her House War saga this year, with plans for a finale to the entire universe in the works. Plus Wurts finishing her super-long saga in the next few years.

You should read more modern fantasy!

e: Son of the Morning, 2014
Jen Williams' Winnowing Flame trilogy finished this year.

I can probably find more if I go looking!

StrixNebulosa fucked around with this message at 23:42 on Oct 30, 2019

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Jo Walton's reading list for last month: https://www.tor.com/2019/11/04/jo-waltons-reading-list-october-2019/

quote:

Perhaps the Stars, Ada Palmer, 2021.
Finally! Itís done, people, and itís a masterpiece. Worth waiting for. I was fortunate enough to be the first person to read this all through, as opposed to reading chapters as they were written. This is because Ada is my friend. Which doesnít diminish in any way what I say about her work, because while being friends with people does prevent me from excoriating their work in public, it wouldnít make me say something good. So when I say that this volume makes this series one of the best things ever written in the history of ever, that it turns me into a pool of incoherent wow, that I cried more times than I can remember doing with any book, both in joy and in sadness, that everything pays off in the most satisfying imaginable way, you can trust me that Iím telling the truth.

Yes! I can't wait to read the whole quartet next year, or whenever Perhaps the Stars actually drops.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Larry Parrish posted:

does anyone have anything to say about it that's not a feature list because tbh I just skip books where that's all people have to say, cuz they almost always suck and read like someone going through a checklist of stuff nerds would like

Goon-written murder mystery in a city beset by the plague, where the protagonist is both the detective and murder victim.

I haven't read it yet but that's the distilled summary.

e: Just snapped it up, thanks for reccing it, thread!

StrixNebulosa fucked around with this message at 22:26 on Nov 8, 2019

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


I bought the book via amazon as a physical copy because I adore paperbacks, and I was wondering - while that's the cheapest and most effective way to get me a book as soon as it can get here, is it really the best way to support an author? Is there like, a direct itch.io storefront or something, or is amazon the best place?

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StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Ornamented Death posted:

Ignoring self-published authors for a moment, they get paid the same no matter where you buy a book as they've either received an advance or get a royalty that is detailed in their contract. That said, most authors will tell you to buy books from independent book stores as Amazon is forcing publishers to lower prices, which is often reflected in smaller advances and royalties.

Noted, thanks!

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