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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 11:03 pm:   

Right now I'm reading the new Steve Erickson book, OUR ECSTATIC DAYS. It was reviewed in LOCUS a few issues ago. Erickson has long been one of my favorite writers. TOURS OF THE BLACK CLOCK remains one of my favorites of his.

I also have been reading through the trade paper edition of THE THACKERY T LAMBSHEAD POCKET GUIDE TO ECCENTRIC AND DISCREDITED DISEASES! Whew. Great stuff.

ALso check out the new Ray Bradbury biography by Peter Weller.

Before all this, I read book two of the Noble Dead series, THIEF OF LIVES. Light reading to be sure. Barb & JC Hendee are longtime friends, almost like family. We're so glad for their writing success.

Next on the list: SPIN by Robert Charles Wilson.

I'm sure Honna will chime in too about her reading exploits of late...
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 11:04 pm:   

What We're Reading....

....Besides Slush, of course! :-)
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 09:24 am:   

I'm rereading Bill Bryson's A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING and slowly working my way through Susanna Clarke's JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL.

Oh, I recently read Jay Lake's upcoming book, ROCKET SCIENCE.
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Amy Sisson
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 12:19 pm:   

I liked SPIN, although not as much as his THE CHRONOLITHS. I like the fact that his books are standalone, and that they encompass Big Ideas.
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Amy Sisson
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 01:12 pm:   

I spoke too soon; apparently he's writing a sequel to SPIN right now! (But I bet it'll be good. And for the record, I'm not opposed to sequels, per se... but I get mentally tired when I see that a new book is already the "1st of 7" -- Borg books, I guess.)
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 09:26 pm:   

LOL, Amy. I agree about the big book series. And I agree about Wilson--I love his big ideas, and his writing is superb. Character building is amazing. I liked THE CHRONOLITHS a lot too. I have a soft spot for A HIDDEN PLACE, but probably because it was his first book, because that's when I discovered him, starting out, and I hadn't read much like it before. Also on my tops list for him: THE HARVEST & MYSTERIUM.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 09:27 pm:   

Yeah, Jim, I guess ROCKET SCIENCE would also be on my list of books read...about 4 times through by now! <g>

So, to add to that, I've also read THE LAST OF THE O-FORMS and OTHER STORIES by James Van Pelt, forthcoming!
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 12:23 am:   

And I think A HIDDEN PLACE was a finalist for an early Philip K. Dick Award. And MYSTERIUM won the PKD...
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Honna
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 08:50 am:   

Hey all!
To chime in on the Robert Charles Wilson thing--I just read DARWINIA in between reading some Leisure horror books for review. I do appreciate the tenderness RCW brings into his stories coupled with his big ideas. Out of the Leisure Horror titles, I liked DESOLATION by Tim Lebbon. Am currently reading CITY OF THE DEAD by Brian Keene which is a sequel to his Stoker-winning THE RISING.(zombies, baby!) Weird thing: nowhere on the book does it say anything about it being a sequel, even though the first few pages are duplicated from the last few pages of THE RISING. Since he'd ended the first one with such a cliff-hanger, you'd think they'd want to mention that it continued on with this one. Only inside, within the author's dedication, was there slight mention of the first book.
Speaking of big ideas: has anyone read Koontz's THE TAKING?
Honna
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 07:15 pm:   

I should add that, although I know other threads on other people's forums do similar postings, we'd be glad to hear what YOU're reading as well... We're always up for recommendations. Seems that more than half the time we end up reading something from the review books that publishers are sending us, but every once in a while we like to break out of that. (Like I am now with the Erickson book, to be followed by the Wilson...)
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Amy Sisson
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2005 - 01:11 pm:   

I heartily recommend "The Carpet Makers" by Andreas Eschbach, first published in German in 1995, now (very well) translated into English and published by Tor.

It is the best book I've read in a long, long, long time.

If you want to read this book, do NOT read John Clute's piece on this book on Sci Fi Weely. I agree with much of what he says, but it's way too much info before reading the book for yourself.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 01:40 am:   

Thanks for the suggestion, Amy! The descriptions I've just read of it are fascinating.
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Honna
Posted on Saturday, July 09, 2005 - 12:27 pm:   

I just finished Graham Joyce's: THE TOOTH FAIRY which was a superb coming-of-age story. It took me a few pages to accept the very adult omniscient VP for these young boys, but the writing was so gorgeous, I just fell in and enjoyed it the rest of the way through.
Currently reading another Robert Charles Wilson: THE CHRONOLITHS.

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Steve Parker
Posted on Saturday, July 09, 2005 - 06:34 pm:   

I've been gorging myself on John Wyndham novels lately. I thoroughly recommend CHOCKY, THE CHRYSALIDS, THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS and, of course, DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS to anyone unlucky enough to have missed them so far. They really are masterpieces.

I also recently finished the TRIPODS trilogy (and prequel) by John Christopher. It's labelled at YA fiction, but it's another classic that SF fans absolutely shouldn't miss.

Now, I'm going back to mags and anthologies.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, July 11, 2005 - 04:08 pm:   

I read TRIFFIDS years ago! I need to revisit it one of these days. I think they're doing a movie remake of it. And I have MIDWHICH on my shelf somewhere, but have never read it.

A chunk of the way through SPIN now. Not a lot of reading time, even though it's summer vacation for me; we spent the last week driving to and from (and participating in the convention at) Calgary.
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Steve Parker
Posted on Monday, July 11, 2005 - 09:27 pm:   

Hi all,

I just came home from the cinema, having sat through Spielberg's new War of the Worlds.

Patrick, I hope you are wrong about the Triffids movie. "Movie remake" is now my least favorite two-word concatenation after "missed opportunity".

I can't believe War of the Worlds WASN'T made as a period-SF piece based closely on the Wells classic. One can only imagine how incredible it could have been -- the sea battle with the Royal Navy's Thunderchild, the Martian machines converging on a steam-age London. At the very least, it could have been set in a late 19th century New York.

Contemporary retellings (in movies) are so disappointing. Why strip away all the magic of the period?

Currently reading: HG Wells' The War of the Worlds (for the 10th time).
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2005 - 01:31 pm:   

Steve, there sure has been a lot of negativity on the new War of the Worlds movie (just look at Lucius's threads!!). While I agree with you that I think it would've been very nifty to have it as a period piece, I still found myself enjoying the new version.

I've just started reading THE DAVINCI CODE. Yeah, way late in following the millions who've read it, but I figured I'd better read it before the movie comes out.
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Steve Parker
Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - 08:14 pm:   

I'm still on a bit of a classics trip at the moment. Just finished R.L.Stevenson's fantastic TREASURE ISLAND (ahrr!) and now about to finish Jules Verne's JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.

I must confess that my reading choices have been greatly influenced by recent trips to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: the Jules Verne area is very cool, and Pirates of the Caribbean always raises a smile and a 'yo-ho-ho'!
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, September 09, 2005 - 07:54 pm:   

drink up, me maties, yo-ho!
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Steve Parker
Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 01:57 am:   

I just finished reading Eragon by Chris Paolini.

Hmm... what can I say about it? Well, for a book written by a mid-to-late-teenager it's bloody impressive. I can't help admitting I'm more than a little jealous... I mean, it's a Sunday Times Bestseller!

However, it doesn't hold up well against my recent reads (Treasure Island and Journey to the Centre of the Earth, as mentioned above). It's no classic, I can tell you that.

I felt it started poorly and I was still considering giving up on it by about page 150. But perseverance paid off and I enjoyed the last half of the book, though I was never moved by it.

In fact, it's a very formulaic piece of fantasy and I'm not sure it actually deserved to be a bestseller. But it is. So I guess I can just go and 'bite one'.

Hmph!
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 11:42 pm:   

Just started Richard K Morgan's first book (PK Dick winner), ALTERED CARBON. Strong opening, hooked me right away. I hear this one's already on its way to movieland.
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steve r
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 05:12 am:   

I'm surprised you were able to stop long enough to write this message! Pulsating stuff.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 12:14 am:   

That's what I hear. Saw the 3rd Kovacs book in the bookstore today (WOKEN FURIES). I've got the 1st two in trade paper, so I'll wait for now...
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, November 19, 2005 - 10:16 pm:   

Okay, so I had started ALTERED CARBON, but life got in the way, and then I started again. Steve R, I know, it IS great stuff, but I stopped again to read through Carrie Vaughn's first novel KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. What fun! Okay, okay, back to Morgan...
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 11:06 pm:   

I DID, by the way, finish ALTERED CARBON a while back. Just never posted. Very good, I just wished I'd had more time to go through it faster, without so many breaks. I'm almost done with Elmore Leonard's new novel, THE HOT KID, a period gangster piece (think Pretty Boy Floyd, et al). I'm also about halfway through Louise Marley's newest, SINGER IN THE SNOW, her return to the world of Nevya she wrote about in her first novel (and two sequels).

With Christmas money I picked up Terry Bisson's collection GREETINGS, as well as the fourth novel from our good friends JC & Barb Hendee: TRAITOR TO THE BLOOD (their first hardcover).

Right now, with the end of the first semester approaching, most of what I'm reading (if it's not slush) consists of student papers. Next Friday I'll have about 20 short stories turned in from my Creative Writing class, and dang if they ain't all writing on the long side. Usually I have to prod and stretch high school kids, but I've got at least ten kids who've said their stories are coming in between 30 and 45 pages! Ooo boy, won't I have fun reading and critiquing all those!
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honna
Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 09:36 am:   

Gosh, it's been so long since I've posted anything anywhere! Have been reading but have no fracking recollection of everything I've read.
But, just finished Danita Maslan's ROGUE HARVEST--a Robert J. Sawyer book. It's far-future earth recovering from an ecological disaster--us humans wreaking havoc, you know--and those political machinations in trying keep people from re-entering a rebuilt rainforest, even if it means not letting scientist harvest for desperately needed meds for an incurable and cruel disease. A fun and very interesting read about the rebels who break the law to harvest anyway and the secrets they uncover.
Read Syne Mitchell's END IN FIRE. About a woman astronaut witnessing nuclear war from space and her against-all-odds struggle to make it home.
Both women writers are friends of mine; so proud to see what great works they've created!
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 02:01 pm:   

Hi, Honna. Glad to see you out and about. I've moved on to Bill Bryson's MADE IN AMERICA, which is about the roots of American English. He's funny and informative at the same time all the time.

Also, since my A.P. class is doing PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, I'm rereading it. Austin is laugh out loud funny an amazing number of times.
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honna
Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 05:02 pm:   

Hi Jim!
Good to hear from you. I've been having some email problems lately but have fixed some of those minor irritations. Been wanting to tell you I really appreciated what you shared re: your conversation with Connie. You always have such neat and insightful things to say; no wonder your stories hit the mark!
You know, both you and Patrick could probably kill the world's oxygen supply by your collective gasp if I were to admit what classics I haven't read. I did take AP english, I think, but it seems we were devoted to mythology and some poetry. High School is sort of a blur, if you follow.
Speaking of the roots of American English, seems I recall hearing rather recently of a dictionary for hip-hop slang. What are some gems from MADE IN AMERICA?

Gosh--how could I forget that I read Carrie Vaughn's KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. So much fun and good for her for hitting the mark on this one!
Well, goodnight and good luck!
Honna

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