- josh: patrick rothfuss. the name of the wind.
- verdict: +
debut novel, lots of critical acclaim, good amazon reviews. the author
couldn't publish it, eventually picked up by daw. they'll publish it
in three parts. enjoyed it, but then was bummed that the second part
won't be out until next year. "he's a bartender, a man of many names,
he's famous it turns out," etc etc. most of the book is a flashback to
his youth and training, the next book will probably be a flashback to
his DAYS OF THUNDER. would definitely read the second book.
- chris: dan simmons. hyperion + the fall of hyperion.
- verdict: ++
admits he broke the rules. re-read hyperion and part of the the
fall. he read them years ago, and just felt like reading them
again. they're great, but he doesn't really know what to say. but
those of us who haven't read these demand to hear more. he says
pandora's star basically stole most of its ideas from hyperion, and he
gives some background for us non-dan-simmons-readers. we also digress
into ilium and olympos. anyway hyperion is highly recommended by all.
- chris again: ekaterina sedia. the secret history of moscow.
- verdict: +
about a third of the way in. highly recommended on amazon. got a neil
gaiman quote on the cover (which pleases some and displeases others.)
reminds chris of a murakami novel set in moscow (specifically
hard-boiled wonderland), and he likes it so far. will report further
- chad: china mieville. iron council.
- verdict: +
"after the last book which i didn't like at all, i wanted to read
something from someone i heard was good... but wait, i heard vernor
vinge was good..." (digressions.) anyway, chris likes china mieville,
and chad figures he can trust chris, and so... kind of like the old
west, but with magic and stuff. nobody can quite explain the setting,
but basically chad admits that it's steampunk and that he likes
it. (chris disagrees: it's not steampunk.) anyway there's trains,
machines and magic. multi-species world, lots of beings living
together in this big city-state, etc. anyway it seems like it ought
to be a cheesy setting, but somehow it's not. chad thinks it works
because he's generally insterested in political stuff in a fantasy
setting. recommended, and would also read perdido street station now,
although it wasn't necessary in order to enjoy this book.
discussion about spine labels. size: 1/2 to 1", subject matter: ??
basically, we love the dragon in josh's candidate logo, but we need a
better sci-fi component: either a better ufo, or possibly SATURN. so
maybe a dragon perched on saturn, or perched on the rings of saturn!
more progress soon...
- marko: richard k morgan. thirteen.
- verdict: ++
marko has read all his books. there's no singularity! in other books,
there's the transportation of consciousness from body to body, but
this book is a prequel, so there's no such stuff here! relatively near
future, marko guesses 21??. the usa has splintered (literally into
jesusland, etc.), other nations have risen, mars is being
colonized. lots of stuff about genetic engineering of humans, of which
there are now several types (hyper-sexualized, submissive females,
hibernators, blah blah blah). one variant is the THIRTEEN, some kind
of ultimate soldier, and now we get into the pop
anthropology... anyway, there's politics and religion and all kinds of
stuff, but basically it's a crime story. better than any of his other
books, and very highly recommended!
- adam: michael flynn. eifelheim.
- verdict: +(+)
wanted to find something less pulpy, from the cover this certainly
looks more serious. adam read reviews calling it hard scifi, and
indeed is concerns itself more with science. all in all, adam really
liked it. alien contact in 14th century germany. some guy discovers
anomalies in historical data around this german city... ("oo, data
mining!" "no, it's fucking jared diamond.") he investigates, and we go
back in time and the story is told... priests and aliens, etc., etc.,
deals somewhat with religion. generally speaking, the stuff in 14th
century germany is great, but all the stuff in the present-day just
sucks sucks sucks. on page 67 he almost threw the book across the room
(JUST FYI). chad has beef with scifi authors who want to be pop
science dilettantes (and for GOOD REASON, in the humble editor's
opinion), and adam agrees that this sums up the problem with this
book. generally he really liked it and would recommend it.
- matt: iain m banks. matter.
- verdict: +
my turn to talk, so i can't write it here. good book. longer than most
banks books, and with the three strands and so on, it was a fairly
slow ramp-up. but it was enjoyable all along, and the end was well
worth it. highly recommended if you like iain banks and the
culture novels. which i do.
we plan to try to meet once a month rather than once every two months,
and try to stagger the presentations. six per meeting seems like a
other suggestions include:
- a meeting where we all read the same book
- a meeting where we all read classics
- a meeting where we all ready pulpy 50s novels
no consensus seems imminent, so we'll take it to the list.
- that's all, folks.