1. chris ege: the forever war. joe haldeman.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      this was written in 1974, he's dipping our stick into the golden age
      here. kinda weak, but whatever, he's a real lord so we'll let him
      go. it on the hugo "when it meant something." it's about a soldier who
      grew up during the vietnam era, they develop interstellar travel in
      the '90s, which evidently even the author knew was ridiculous. anyway
      the book opens around now, 2010 or whatever, they go into a wormhole
      and get into a fight with some aliens for an unclear reason, and
      humanity is thrown into an enormous war. it's really brutal, everyone
      dies, and nothing gets accomplished. also, due to time dilation, an
      enormous amount of earth time transpires during each of his tours of
      duties. needless to say, the allegory is clear. his vision of the
      future was, shall we say, somewhat askew, but hey, that's not really
      the point. editor here now, my friends. chris says despite it's
      failings, it actually comes off really well, but he's really just not
      that enthusiastic about it.

  2. chad: the hunger games &c. suzanne collins.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      and chad penetrates deeply the young adult! he read the whole trilogy,
      which was obviously no problem. this is a bestseller for teenagers
      about teenagers killing each other. much like the other very famous
      trilogy-turned-four-books-and-turned-major-motion-picture(s) inasmuch
      as it's written first-person from the view of a teenage girl. in
      answer to a question, it's post-apocalyptic near future and is very
      cognizant of every current pop culture trend. "this is maybe my only
      real criticism of it, but it goes pretty deep." plot synopsis
      elided. it's fine, but it's just SO conscious of how to be a
      bestseller. the one thing really going for it is that it's INCREDIBLY
      brutal and filled with violence.

  3. adam: wastelands: stories of the apocalypse. john joseph adams (ed).

    1. verdict: mixed. it's short stories, so...
    2. review:

      well, obviously this is a book of apocapalyptic short stories. so, you
      know, the stephen king was ok, the bacigalupi was "a plus and a half",
      the jonathan lethem was meh, the george r r martin was AWESOME, "the
      best short story i've read in a long time." sounds like someone's
      gonna sign up for the old game of thrones pretty soon. (any minute
      we're gonna start slandering cory doctorow, i can feel it. i'm getting
      a rush here, the anticipation is building.) oh, a detour into jack
      mcdevitt, which is a double-minus shitshow for sure. this winston
      churchill story really sounds like such a drag, it's unbearable. ok
      here we go with the doctorow! he reads us a bit, which of course i
      shall in my great mercy spare you. "i hated everything about this
      short story. they named their son 2.0, ok?" if this were written for
      linux journal, that would be one thing, but this won the 2007 locus
      award for best novelette. this is just terrible. this is as dumb as
      the mcdevitt and offensive.

  4. josh (with chris): the knife of... and the ask and the answer. patrick ness.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      chris read the first of these last time and had started the
      second. this is the one where everybody can hear everybody ele's
      thoughts. there are no women. consider your memory refreshed (you're
      welcome). the rest of the book is a chase. it's really good. at the
      end of the first book, he gets to the place he's trying to go, and
      it's not exactly what he was looking for. the second book takes place
      "in that place," and it's "sort of political." there "end up being
      women in the story," so i guess that's nice. this is, incidentally,
      more young adult ya-ya stuff. there's no sex in these books, vat-grown
      gay- or otherwise. the first one is a frantic chase, and is better
      than the second. still, they'll both read the third one for sure.

  5. interlude

    in which we discuss the huge volume of post-apocalyptic ya-ya books,
    and whether or not the same trend is at play in adult stuff.

  6. jason: the portable door. tom holt.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      recommended. it's a short and well-put-together comedic fantasy. guy
      applies for a job, he doesn't even really know what it is, doesn't
      think he'll get it and so on. the interview is bizarre and he bluffs
      through it, yadda yadda he gets the job. the job is quite odd and it
      turns out that the firm is a bunch of magicians for hire, more or
      less. political intrigue develops ("slowly") and it's quite
      entertaining and good. jason starts getting extraordinarily vague, but
      anyway it's clear enough he liked it.

  7. jason again: ysabelle. guy gavriel kay.

    1. verdict: -
    2. review:

      a plot synopsis. i'm fatigued, i hope you'll pardon my laziness. he
      didn't like this book very much. the character development wasn't so
      good, and nothing else really made up for it. it was ok, but
      whatever. so much for that.

  8. jason again again: makers. cory doctorow.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      cory doctorow makes his second (and if there is a god final)
      appearance. jason liked this book fine, it's about a girl who writes a
      tech blog, she goes down to florida because she's "covering" this guy
      (oh, as if tech bloggers are journalists, i see why it's sci fi for
      sure). i dunno, i'm being a dick but i can't help it. this just turns
      my stomach. jason likes it, and that's cool, but i really don't think
      this is my thing.

  9. chris keating: abraham lincoln: vampire hunter. seth grahame-smith.

    1. verdict: +
    2. review:

      this review is pretty solid ("did you wear this shirt specifically for
      this?" "dude, i *bought* this shirt specifically for this.") he
      wholeheartedly endorses reading this. i'm not sold, this is another
      literery trend that i don't particularly approve of. but to each, as
      they say, his own.

  10. sophie: the merry gentry novels. laurell k hamilton.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      oh yeah, more laurell hamilton! this is a new series, there are eight
      books so far. this is the merry gentry series, although her REAL name
      is some long faerie business with lots of titles. i can't even begin
      to transcribe the story that is unfolding here, but there's lots of
      sex and lots of intrigue, but definitely a fair amount of sex. sounds
      pretty good, all in all. sophie, needless to say, is into it.

  11. chris: memories of ice. steven erikson.

    1. verdict: ++
    2. review:

      our faithful reporter brings us another installment! still really
      good, although the second one was better. the train keeps on
      rolling. this one contains an army which became an army because their
      religious leader starved them until they turned to cannibalism, and
      then unleashed them on other cities. anyway he's definitely on to book

  12. that's all, folks.