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Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:51 pm
by liz
It being a bit of a stressful time chez Upton at the moment, I find I've been reading a lot more fluff than is usual over the last few months. I'm currently sucking down Robin Hobb trilogies on the Kindle, and I'm surprised to find how much I'm enjoying them; a bit of escapism without any angst just fits the bill at the moment. Bathtime reading at the moment is the finalist short stories from last year's O Henry/Pen award. What about you? And what reading do you recommend for the near-terminally stressed Eben? Emerging sci-fi author recommendations in particular would be gratefully received. (Generally, he will only read books with spaceships on the front…)

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:20 pm
by SN
If he hasn"t already read it, I strongly recommend 2001 A Space Odyssey. I"m reading it on the Kindle App - there is a much better back story to it than the film - and you"ll see where Apple got the iPad design from.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:26 pm
by liz
Oh, he's read it! (We bonded at university over my very large Heinlein collection and his Asimov before we started dating.) If it's classic sci-fi, he'll have read it; that's why I was asking for new author recommendations.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:27 pm
by abishur
Ender's Game has always been a favorite of mine.  The sequels he did in the Ender's saga weren't too great (IMHO) they got a little too philosophical but the side series he did (Ender's Shadow) were much better.  This holds true for the Hyperion saga by Dan Simmons, the first book (Hyperion) was great, but the sequels went waaaaay philosophical.  It shared the same concept as the Canterbury Tales (group of travelers telling their somewhat correlated stories)... except in space.

It's not sci-fi, but I am also looking forward to re-reading the Percy Jackson series.  I've always been a big Greek myth fan so even though there young adult books they were a fun and very light read.  And after that I plan to go towards the historical drama and read the Mutiny on the Bounty trilogy).  I use Project Gutenberg to get interesting books for free to read on my kindle

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:36 pm
by liz
Abishur said:


Ender's Game has always been a favorite of mine.  [snip]


I LOVE that book. A real shame about the sequels…(I feel like starting a whole new thread about bad sequels. Dune, anybody?)

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:40 pm
by jamesh
I've been reading all the free SciFI stuff on the Kindle, some good some bad - at least one I really enjoyed - need to buy the sequel.  I'l make a list and post later. I've also (shame) been reading my sons birthday books  - Skulduggery Pleasant series. A bit Harry Potter, but fun and written well.

Also reading a great biography of William Armstrong, a contemporary of Stevenson (of Rocket fame) and Brunell. Fascinating stuff.

Also reading Jem, by Pohl. Not far in yet.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:43 pm
by jamesh
liz said:


Abishur said:


Ender's Game has always been a favorite of mine.  [snip]


I LOVE that book. A real shame about the sequels…(I feel like starting a whole new thread about bad sequels. Dune, anybody?)


Bad sequels - David Brin excellent Brightness Reef - badly let down by the final one of the trilogy thought. (Heavens Reach/Infinities Shore - don't remember which)

Just seen Enders Shadow and Xenocide on the shelf. Must try and re-read those.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:07 pm
by spamel
I really enjoyed the Hyperion quantos, although the Endymion part of the story was just so obvious and that slightly dissapointed me but I still enjoyed it. I am still on The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, fantastic so far and I am halfway through book two. It is quite difficukt to get hold of for a reasonable price but you can get lucky: mine set me back twenty odd quid. The first book, Bridge of Birds, is as fantastic a tale as you will ever read!

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:50 pm
by naicheben
ATM I'm reading a german author. But I'm longing for august, then I'll be reading Simon Becket's new thriller The calling of the grave 

Even though his books are a bit disgusting .... but I love it ..... goosbumps ....

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:48 pm
by ukscone
Not Science Fiction as such and no spaceships on the front but for a nice relaxing read then the Thursday Next, Nursery Crimes series(es?) or Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde are a good read.

Don't laugh but i am reading some chick lit atm. the sequel to Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and just finished several mystery series within the last hour. had final chapters to read in 8 books so while things were compiling I spent the time eating Brie & crackers with a nice glass of red and finishing off all the books i had sitting around.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:15 pm
by Chris.Rowland
Terry Pratchett.  No rockets, but great fun and makes you think.  Currently reading "I will wear Midnight"

Carola Dunn.  Detective stories set in the 20s

Anne McCaffrey

Niven and Pournelle.  I can read and reread books multiple times.

Jill Paton-Walsh.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:23 pm
by Andre_P
Sorry Liz, not really up to date with contempory Science Fiction, other than the trilogy Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars and I think they may be 10 years old at least.

Here are some other ideas, presently reading "Empire of the Clouds", it tells the history of British Aviation innovation for the 10 years after the War. The copy I have has got painting of a Vulcan flight over an aerodrome.

I've just finished "Stormfront" which details our efforts in Oman in the early 70's by the same guy who did the Vulcan 607 book.

There is a wonderful book called "Rocket Boys", semi autobiographical story of a group of boys growing up in the early 60's learning how to put rockets together, the author went on to work at NASA.

Heavyish but worth the effort, Catch 22, The World According to Garp, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Any book by Bill Bryson, I almost caused an accident by suddenly bursting with laughter while on a coach to Amsterdam !

I'm assuming you and Eben have read all of the Foundation, Dune, Rama books.

How about the Tom Sharp books, "Blot on the Landscape", "Porterhouse Blues".

Sadly I'm away from my library so these are the ones that come off the top of my head.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:23 pm
by PiOfCube
I'm waiting for my next Audible credits so I'm reading (erm, listening to) some of the earlier books I grabbed.

That includes some Tom Clancy, Michael Connelly, Peter F Hamilton and Robert Jordan.

I'm not sure which I will choose for my next books as I have about 100 in my wish list

I was thinking about something that isn't fiction in the form of "The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security by Kevin Mitnick" also a good standby is the really old "The devouring fungus" by Karla Jennings. It has many of the old and very tall stories that geeks used to tell about amusing things that they had heard happen in the world of tech and tech support. I sometimes read bits of that when I want a laugh and a stroll down memory lane.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:29 pm
by ukscone
Andre_P said:



How about the Tom Sharp books, "Blot on the Landscape", "Porterhouse Blues".


i'll second the Tom Sharpe and add David Nobbs & David Lodge, Tom Holt to the non-scifi with rockets on the cover list

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:54 pm
by fastkat
Different genre but, the Necroscope series by Brian Lumley. Fantastic front covers, amazing writing inside. I found the first one hard going due to his very descriptive style, but found myself racing through the rest of the series.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:10 am
by SeanD
I'll third the Tom Sharpe

Just finished Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen.  Normally very much not my thing as most of it must be conjecture, but I leafed through it in an airport bookshop and the pages I landed on covered pacific nuclear tests which tied in with things that I already knew as public record.  there is some stuff in there that makes you go "oh yeah, nice theory, who are you kidding" but it is very few and far between.  The rest of it is a really interesting study in innovation and cold war politics threaded through a chronology of well known international events.

I would also recommend one of my favorite airport finds.  No picture of a spaceship on the cover but it does have a massive oil rig that looks like a space station.  That is Don't Tell Mom I Work on the Rigs: She Thinks I'm a Piano Player in a Whorehouseby Paul Carter.  A light easy read that will make you realize that no matter how bad it seams there is always someone in a worse spot and that they have learnt to laugh about it. If you know or ever meet anyone in the upstream oil industry this book will give you a great insight.

Anyone ever read any of the Phillip Dryden books by Jim Kelly?  Really not my thing normally, but I picked the first one Fire Baby up on holiday a few years back and got captivated by the description of the Fens which is actually much better in the later books.  The stories are OK but it is the descriptions of the landscape, especially in winter that can transport me from wherever I am in the globe to East Anglia.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:17 am
by Lob0426
Go to the Baen Free Library. Some good books there are:

On Basilisk Station,shadows of Saganami, Crown of slaves, The honor of the Queen and Changer of Worlds. (Honor Harrington Series by David Weber)

Redliners is pretty good

March Upcountry and March to the Sea are good

There are a number of good books there. There are about five different file formats for each one. I use RTF for the iPhone and iPad using the Documents App.

I have read most of the books in there already. Some of them I also have in paper back.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:41 am
by MadHorseman
Carlso Castaneda:-

The Teachings of Don Juan: Yaqui way of knowledge.

A Saperate Reality: Further conversations with Don Juan.

Very strange books regarding the use of hallucinogenic drugs - sometimes I wondered whether I had taken some, as a few paragraphs made no sense at all....

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:41 am
by MadHorseman
Separate!!!!

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:44 am
by MadHorseman
Carlos Castaneda ..... I think maybe the books are a bit catching!

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:44 am
by MadHorseman
Carlos Castaneda ..... I think maybe the books are a bit catching!

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:08 am
by E
The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake or The Handmaid's Tale?

I currently reading How To Weld.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:49 am
by Burngate
I'm not reading anything new at the moment, just going back over the 3k on the shelf.
However New Scientist have been plugging their new magazine "Arc" which is supposedly "Featuring new writing from: Margaret Atwood Stephen Baxter M. John Harrison China Mieville Hannu Rajaniemu Alistair Reynolds Adam Roberts Bruce Sterling and more"
I've no idea if it's any cop, but some of those names could be interesting.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:05 pm
by diatumstream
George RR Martin is quite famous for his Song of Fire and Ice series, but way back in the  80s he wrote heartbreaking, beautiful space opera.   There are a lot of short story collections that have been reprinted in various versions.

I can assume that Eben has read Stephen Baxter.  Baxter has a really unique take on things I find in other unique artists like Clive Barker or Hayo Miyazaki.   I mostly like his Xeelee sequence, but I liked the Evolution book and the Mammoth series.

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:51 pm
by scep
Currently reading: Gunter Grass' The Tin Drum. A work of crazed genius; the characters are just beautiful. And mental.

Recommeded book with spaceship on front (well, a sky-car ): Planet of Adventure by Jack Vance. One of the only novels that I've read more than twice. Epic.