Now reading

Started by mgriffin, December 07, 2007, 09:39:14 AM

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Quote from: Brian Bieniowski on December 30, 2008, 03:56:23 PM
Hey Mike, like many UK/Aussie SF authors, Egan doesn't get much publishing love here in the US.  Your best bet is Amazon UK where a ton of his books have recently been reissued by Gollancz—and they aren't all that expensive, even with the exchange rate.

Thanks, Brian.  I found a copy of Teranesia at a reasonable price on but I'll try too, for the other ones I'm interested in.  Do you know if those Gollzncz UK reissues are mass-market paperbacks or trade paperbacks?  Not that it matters too much...
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |

einstein36 that is you wouldn't mind if me and your wife had a 'girls' nite out  ;D   

Quote from: mgriffin on December 31, 2008, 11:11:31 AM
I don't think you'll be laughed out of here, einstein36... in fact I'd guess that most of us will wish you well following your recent male-to-female gender reassignment.

Twitter: ImagineerR

Ein Sophistry

Paul Churchland - Matter and Consciousness


Stephen Kings "Duma Key". I love my monthly Dosis of King.

Dave Michuda

I just started "Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow.  So far so good.  It's an actual book, not a Kindle book!  I'm so retro.


I got a copy of 'The Bourne Identity' in a charity shop, thought I'd read it on holiday to see how it compares to the film.

Going to Egypt in 3 weeks for a fortnight


Quote from: SiF on January 11, 2009, 04:02:39 AM
Stephen Kings "Duma Key". I love my monthly Dosis of King.

Lena is currently listening to the Duma Key audiobook and has encouraged me to listen to this one next. What do you think of it, SiF?
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


I'm continuing with the audiobook of Glory Season by David Brin, though my opinion of it is fairly mixed.  Brin has gone to great lengths to describe a world that's alien and yet familiar in some ways (it's an off-earth colony planet, dominated by "families" of clones of women, each family cloned from a single woman) and the anthropology/sociology of it is well-done, I guess.  I just wish it were a bit shorter.  More than once I've considered stopping in the middle, as the story has moved pretty slowly, but I feel there might be a chance of a worthwhile resolution to the story.

And I've started reading Schild's Ladder by Greg Egan, as I was tired of reading short story collections and fiction magazines, and felt like getting back into a novel.  I'm just at the very beginning of this one but it seems like an intriguing concept at least.  I only know Greg Egan from the one book I've read but he seems to be right up my alley.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


Following up my own post from yesterday, I realized that I was so anxious to be done with Glory Season that I was actually disappointed to realize, this morning, that I was less than 2/3 finished with it. So I did something I rarely do with either a book or an audiobook, and just gave up before the end.

Now I'm listening to Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles which is better in every possible way... better reading (this is an audiobook) and the writing itself is better than what I've been listening to by such a wide margin.  There's already been more to enjoy and more to think about in the first ten pages or so (I'm guessing, since audiobooks don't tell you how many pages have gone by) than in the 400-500 or so pages of Glory Season I'd finished.  I'm happier now, and I'm glad I decided to stop wasting time with a book that wasn't very interesting to me.

[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


I think Jack McDevitt's The Devil's Eye, is really a great Scifi book. A novelist discovers a very dangerous secret and has the secret removed from her mind and disappears. Before that happens, she sends money and a cryptic message to Alex Benedict, a futuristic "antiques" dealer. He then plays detective and tries reconstruct what happened.

I must admit I hadn't enjoyed McDevitt's previous Alex Benedict books, but this one got my literary sweet spot.


I'm reading The Way of the Turtle by Curtis M. Faith and The Quickening by Art Bell. It makes you wonder.

Ambient isn't just for technicians!

The artist isn't a special kind of man, but every man is a special kind of artist.

Don't be afraid to grow, give yourself a chance.


Has anybody else here read The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury?  I'm curious what others think of it.  I know it's a classic of sorts, crossing the line somewhat from science fiction into the realm of "straight" literature. I think it's very well-written, at times a bit more folksy in style than I'd like.  Some of it is very dated, as is common with science fiction from a half century ago.

Some of this seems to me very adult and mature in its focus, and at other times it seems like "young adult" fiction.  I'm not sure if that's maybe just the fact that these stories are not really all written from the same place, and were sort of glued together into a pseudo-novel after the fact.

This is a book I hear mentioned so frequently as a favorite, I guessed others might have something to say about it.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |

Brian Bieniowski

I read that Bradbury book as a boy, of course, and quite a few others of his.  I think my favorite was The Illustrated Man.  Anyway, you are right about it being cobbled together from a lot of different stories and they were published over a period of a few years.  I reread it recently and enjoyed it a whole lot; that story "There Will Come Soft Rains" is still amazing.  I guess there are a few clunky ones in there, but I still loved it.

I think the major difference is that those old stories were written for a variety of adult publications, like Maclean's, and more traditional sci-fi pulp magazines.  They were not written for children per se, though obviously children and young adults find a lot to like in them.  I suppose for many years science fiction was regarded as a genre for children, so that's partly the reason some of Bradbury's books are thought of as young adult.  It certainly wasn't a choice on his part to write purely for a younger audience. 

Certainly there is more cerebral sci-fi out there, and stuff that's better written, less nostalgic (though I personally love that about his books), but I doubt you'll find a better book to introduce the genre to somebody with.

Here's a Soviet cartoon for "There Will Come Soft Rains":


Thanks for the feedback, Brian.  I'm reading the book for the first time, so I don't want to watch that Youtube yet because I haven't finished yet... I'm still 2-3 stories short of "There Will Come Soft Rains."  I just finished "The Off Season" which is about the guy excited to have built a hot dog stand in advance of the large number of people coming to Mars. 

I've wondered whether there was any resentment in the sci-fi community about Bradbury's repeated insistence that he is not, not, NOT a science fiction writer.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


Like Brian, I read the Martian Chronicles when I was much younger. Probably 35 years ago, so my recollections of it aren't real sharp. I do remember that I really enjoyed it and talked a couple of my friends into reading it, as well. I think I will head over to the used book store near here and see if I can find a copy. It's time for a reread.      Harry
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.

Brian Bieniowski

Quote from: mgriffin on January 21, 2009, 12:28:08 PMI've wondered whether there was any resentment in the sci-fi community about Bradbury's repeated insistence that he is not, not, NOT a science fiction writer.

I dunno.  Science fiction writers swearing they were not science fiction writers was de rigueur in the genre for a while (and, to some extent, it still is).  For a while, all they seemed to do was invent new names for the science fiction they were clearly writing.  I can't be arsed to worry about those kinds of semantics.  I think it's all just science fiction and fantasy.

When you're done with "There Will Come Soft Rains," def. watch the video (there is a lot of cool Russian animation floating around on YouTube).  My paperback copy has the last line of this story mysteriously omitted!  It was not the first copy I read, though—but you'll see how important it is to the whole.  I can't imagine how many people must have been baffled by that edition due to a dumb printer error!   ???


Any fans of China Mieville out there? Perdido Street Station and The Scar are for me probably the best modern fantasy out there.


Quote from: 9dragons on January 21, 2009, 07:44:54 PM
Any fans of China Mieville out there? Perdido Street Station and The Scar are for me probably the best modern fantasy out there.

I love China Mieville. Although I'm usually more into science fiction his Bas-Lag universe is really interesting. In fact I came to China Mieville through his - let's say - "marxist critique" of "classical" fantasy in a few articles and interviews. I like Iron Curtain most.
China's style is wonderful, though I have to say that for a person like me, for whom English is only the 4th language, it's a really complicated style with very elaborated and developed vocabulary which makes it a heavy reading ;)

Concerning "now reading", I'm reading Spin by Robert Charles Wilson, a book I would recommend to any science fiction loving reader.


Perdido Street Station is near the top of my "read soon" list.

I read Spin last year and thought it was fantastic, one of my favorite science fiction novels ever.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


I have his "Iron Council" ready to read. It will be my first of his.
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans