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What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Jingo by Terry Pratchett

A fun book in the usual style of the Diskworld novels. Alot of the usual absurdity of the Night Watch. It's nice to see the Night Watch continuing to grow. I expected a little more military satire, and was disappointed that while Carrot did the usual inspiring leadship things, it rarely seemed all that important. It's like Pratchett felt he had to put in places where Carrot was inspiring people but only because it wouldn't be a Night Watch book without it, so he was obligated. Since Carrot is usually my favorite character, this was a bit disappointing. The book was really all Vimes, with a hefty side helping of the Patrician. Which is fine. I usually like Vimes. The Patrician has really become one of my favorite characters. Not really a nice guy, but not half as bad as he could be. Just efficient, devious and organized. Not the best of the Night Watch novels, but a definite thumbs up.

 

Dissolution by Richard Lee Byers

First in the War of the Spider Queen series associated with R.A. Salvatore and WotC. Surprisingly good. I'm not much of a fan of Salvatore's work, but I have a soft spot for drow when well used and I'm enjoying Richard Lee Byers's writing. And I enjoyed this book. Very much an ensemble cast of drow. Captures the chaotic feel of the drow pretty well, including one backstab that surprised me. And I expect drow to be backstabbing. It suffers from being the first in a series, so at times it feels like the author had to work things in just to set up something in the next book (written by someone else). But I found several of the characters surprisingly likable, in a drowish way. But then as a GM I like interesting villains.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

City of Heroes: Web of Arachnos (I needed something for my commute)

 

Well, it's not bad. In fact, it might even be a little good. The story is engaging and interesting, the characters have developed personalities and backgrounds.

 

But...

 

Something in the book just doesn't ring true. It's nothing specific I can point to and say "That's what's wrong." but...lemme give you an example. Doc Sidhe by Aaron Allston. Fun read, immersive, sucks you into the world and nicely balances a pulp feel with a modern protagonist. This somehow seems to miss the mark, as if the writer were trying to hit the pulp feel, but just missing it by thismuch. Still, it is an interesting setting and the idea for where powers come from is nifty.

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Guest Schwarzwald

Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

I think there are two very old, golden age SF novels that people should read, both are by the late, great A.E. Van Voght.

 

The weapon shops of Isher and Voyage of the space beagel.

 

The second one has a silly sounding title, maybe, but it has some great ideas on society, education, evolution and some very powerful alien creatures that will keep even the most powerful PC parties busy for a while.

 

The first one deals with the fact that a free society needs guns to stay free.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Doesn't "Voyage" contain an alien concept that seems to have eventually found its way into Alien?

 

EDIT: Apparently so:

 

A lawsuit by A.E. van Vogt, claiming plagiarism of his 1939 story "Discord in Scarlet" (which he had also incorporated in the 1950 novel "Voyage of the Space Beagle"), was settled out of court.

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Guest Schwarzwald

Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Doesn't "Voyage" contain an alien concept that seems to have eventually found its way into Alien?

 

EDIT: Apparently so:

 

You're good at literature, have a rep point on me.

 

Thanks for finding the author of the diamond age. I was too fracking tired to get up and dig up the book or look it up.

 

As to voyage of the space beagel, there was a cheap movie called 'night of the blood beast' in which an alien implants embryos into a human astronaut, so alien could have claimed to have gotten it there, but then again the whole things started with a wasp that plants eggs into spiders after paralyzing them.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

You're good at literature, have a rep point on me.

 

Thanks for finding the author of the diamond age. I was too fracking tired to get up and dig up the book or look it up.

 

As to voyage of the space beagel, there was a cheap movie called 'night of the blood beast' in which an alien implants embryos into a human astronaut, so alien could have claimed to have gotten it there, but then again the whole things started with a wasp that plants eggs into spiders after paralyzing them.

 

Which apparently gave Dan O'Bannon nightmares and thus started the idea of Alien.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

I still prefer the two novels that make up Cordelia's Honor. As much as some may consider Cordelia a Mary Sue' date=' there is just something about her that appeals to me. Of course, I may just like Mary Sues.[/quote']

 

ooo. I like them a lot too(Cordelia reminds me of my mother, actually), and the quotable lines in there are great. I just think Chaldin is a better novel, though it's completely up to taste at this point. Heck, I'd make a vote for Memory or A Civil Campaign being almost as good.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Doesn't "Voyage" contain an alien concept that seems to have eventually found its way into Alien?

 

EDIT: Apparently so:

 

It was also one of the inspiration for Star Trek. (Heck, Spock is a pretty obvious swipe homage to the character Grosvenor, the ships Nexialist.)

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Only just got round to 'Excession' by Ian M Banks. Funny novel, much to enjoy.

 

Read 'Anansi Boys' a few months back. Entertaining. Good stuff to be mined there. Hope we get more.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Just finished "Dead Beat" by Jim Butcher, the latest of the "Dresden Files" to come out in paperback. In about 7 hours of straight reading.

 

Harry (Dresden) grows in this book and faces many challenges, both external and internal.

 

I very much enjoyed it and am eagerly awaiting the next book.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Just a heads up. Tim Power's fantastic fantasy/pirate novel, On Stranger Tides has been reprinted.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1930235321/sr=1-1/qid=1147214229/ref=sr_1_1/103-5115170-9592648?%5Fencoding=UTF8

 

I highly recommend it.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Just finished "Dead Beat" by Jim Butcher, the latest of the "Dresden Files" to come out in paperback. In about 7 hours of straight reading.

 

Harry (Dresden) grows in this book and faces many challenges, both external and internal.

 

I very much enjoyed it and am eagerly awaiting the next book.

 

The Dresden Files: Proven Guilty is out in hardback.

CES

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz by Russell Hoban

 

I'd highly recomend this book, tis very literary it tis. However, it's also quite short. Has an interesting take on Orientalism but from the middle easterners side. Besides, Russell Hoban kicks ***.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold - It starts a little slowly, but once I got into the groove of it, I loved it. I think that this is going to end up being ranked up there with Shards of Honor and Barrayar. From me this is high praise, those are two of my all time favorite novels.

 

It is much different from Curse of Chalion, which is the first of the series. A little less court intrigue. A lot more religion. I've got to agree with Wikipedia, the religion and mythos for this world is very rich and vibrant. I'm tempted to build a fantasy campaign around this world.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

I just finished all 7 volumes of the Dresden Files that are out in paperback. A friend lent them to me. Much more interesting than the Anita Blake books.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

I just finished all 7 volumes of the Dresden Files that are out in paperback. A friend lent them to me. Much more interesting than the Anita Blake books.

 

Hmm, I read the first one and liked it... but I got badly burned on the Anita Blake stuff.(Seriously, her first few books were interesting and good, then...)

 

So, can I ask how badly they "level up" the main character? Or does he stay a real person throughout. I know it sounds silly, but... don't want to get burned again.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Hmm, I read the first one and liked it... but I got badly burned on the Anita Blake stuff.(Seriously, her first few books were interesting and good, then...)

 

So, can I ask how badly they "level up" the main character? Or does he stay a real person throughout. I know it sounds silly, but... don't want to get burned again.

 

Hmm... he doesn't "level up" much, to be honest. There's a period of several years between book 1 and 7 -- something like 4-5 I guess. Harry does fight (and defeat) some major league nasties, and this is mentioned in the books. He also states he's in the top 40 of wizards, power-wise, but has little fine control, which is why he uses foci. So he has lots of raw power when he needs it, and this is established early on. He is very film noir/pulp -- he never makes a big score, gets beat up a lot, is protective of women, runs into a lot of beautiful women, and so on. This carries over into the writing style -- chapters often end on micro cliff-hangers, with a lot of "saved at the last moment" action. And while Harry does have sex, it isn't central to the plot and isn't used as a form of character development (unlike Anita Blake). Also, I like the magical theory as well as the concept behind the farie worlds and how the vampires work.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

I've read all the Dresden novels through Dead Beat, and while Dresden hasn't had the kind of power upgrades that Anita has been getting. He has had some. Also there is deffinitely a problem with what I call "gotta top last time" with the threat level.

 

You can see this in a lot of serialized fiction. Buffy had this problem, each season had to have a "Big Bad," and the BB for that season had to be more powerful/dangerous/what have you than the one before. I'm seeing some of this with the Dresden novels.

 

On a much more positive note, Mr. Butcher is working hard to keep the mystery/investigation aspect a major part of the novels. Ms. Hamilton has gotten extremely lazy about this aspect.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

The Bonehunters by Stephen Erikson, the latest in the Malazan sequence. After the Tiste Edur excursion of the last book Midnight Tides, this reunites us with old favourites of the series to date including Apsalar, Crokus, Fiddler, Ganoes Paran, Icarium and Quick Ben.

As the gods begin to square off against each other the Fourteenth Malazan army chases the last of the forces of the Apocalypse to a city where they traditionally fare very badly indeed.

Very enjoyable but you need to be aware of the other books in the sequence to appreciate this one.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Paying the Piper, David Drake.

 

Set in the Hammer's Slammer's universe, but focusing on combat cars instead of tanks. Not bad. Easy reading with a tiny switch near the end.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Finished Fortress of Glass by David Drake. Prince Garric and his friends are caught up in a struggle between wizards. It is implied at the end of the book that the setting has been changed in some way.

 

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. Monsters of every type do battle in a fantastical city.

 

CES

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

I just read Minerva Wakes by Holly Lisle. It's about a woman whose kids are kidnapped during a winter storm. She goes after them, and discovers she (and her husband) have the power to preserve the Universe, and there's something trying to tear it apart. It pokes fun at a few fantasy tropes, and is mostly a pretty fun and entertaining read.

 

Didn't like the husband character, though.

 

I did like how the writer's voice changed depending on who the story was focusing on. It was a neat trick.

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Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

 

Oh, right.

 

I read Thief of Time a couple of weeks ago. Really enjoyed it, but was mystified about the characters I knew I was supposed to know already (i.e.: Death, his granddaughter, etc.).

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