What have you read recently?

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Re: What have you read recently?

Postby Dom » 10:33am on 12 Feb 18

I’ve read all of Alastair Reynolds’ books (he’s one of my favourite SF authors) and can recommend them. The new one is a welcome return to his Revelation Space universe, albeit earlier in the timeline. However, that doesn’t matter as you really don’t need to have read the rest to go into the book they are showcasing.

Chris Beckett wrote Dark Eden, although I got into him through his short story collections, ‘The Turing Test’ and ‘The Peacock Cloak’, one of which had the seed story for his Eden books. I quite liked what he does but I haven’t rushed to buy the later Eden books. Not sure why.

I’ve not heard of the others, but I have added a couple on the wish list in case I get the urge to get some more books.


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Re: What have you read recently?

Postby maddz » 10:38am on 12 Feb 18

Ah yes, I think Dark Eden was in an Amazon monthly deal a while back (maybe a year ago?) which explains why the name was familiar. We've got various Alistair Reynolds both as ebook and print, but with so much to be read, they're fairly low on my list (I've got a Dave Duncan I must put on the Icarus and read as it's a review copy).
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Re: What have you read recently?

Postby LTD » 8:17pm on 17 Feb 18

Currently reading The Bodysnatchers by Jack Finney - source novel for the 1950s paranoid classic directed by Don Siegel, and the none-too-shabby 1970s remake by Phillip Kaufman. Ace pulp sci-fi that zips along without wasting a word. I'm only a quarter of a way through and the narrator's already encountered a couple of half-formed nascent pod people.
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Re: What have you read recently?

Postby maddz » 9:28pm on 17 Feb 18

The Best of Henry Kuttner, by Henry Kuttner

An anthology of Kuttner's short fiction, including 2 Hogben stories (Exit the Professor and Cold War), along with 15 other stories which include Mimsy Were the Borogroves, The Twonky, and Or Else.

The stories are quite dated - the 40s and 50s as can be deduced from the domestic settings of the stories, but this doesn't detract from the story concept. The other thing that dates the stories is that technology is analogue. About the main SF element in the various stories is time travel (and to a lesser extent what would now fall into urban fantasy - pixies and the like, and the Hogben family).

An interesting read; I enjoyed dipping into the stories, but they do rather jar on modern sensibilities. Quite apart from the female characters being largely wives and mothers, they all smoke like chimneys and drink like fish.
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Re: What have you read recently?

Postby ragr » 11:24am on 18 Feb 18

Mindhunter is the book that the excellent Netflix series was based on and was written by Mark Olshaker and John Douglas; the latter is the Special Agent that the character of Holden Ford was based on. There are many differences between this real life account and the series, as is to be expected, but it's a fascinating counterpoint read to the series. The book takes the reader through the development of the Behavioral Science Unit, their successes, failures and how both contributed to the development of the unit. It's gruesome at times but is written in a very accessible and, somewhat necessarily, humourous way, and the recollections of the interviews with the killers are, by turns, chilling and intriguing. If there is a downside, and more specifically to the British reader I suspect, is that Douglas is at times a little too self congratulatory about his successes which can grate a little; it would be churlish though to take him to task too much on this given the subject matter.
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Re: What have you read recently?

Postby Dom » 5:49pm on 18 Feb 18

I picked up Mindhunter when it was 99p on Kindle a few weeks ago. Think I need to up it in priority to read. Thanks for sharing.


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Re: What have you read recently?

Postby maddz » 7:41am on 19 Feb 18

I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

Oddly, this is the first time I’ve read any Matheson, probably because his books are usually badged as horror which I don’t much like.

This is an updated take on the vampire story: a plague has infected the human race turning them into vampires. Richard Neville is the last uninfected survivor having natural immunity; his wife and daughter succumbed to the plague, his daughter was cremated, but Neville buried his wife and had to stake her when she returned. He lives on his own, and is trying to rid his neighbourhood of vampires, especially a neighbour, as they surround his house at night calling him to come out.

Very much a psychological horror story, it focusses on Neville’s claustrophic life rather than the grand guignol bloodbath of his mission. However, the first thing that crossed my mind was: if all humanity are vampires, where are they getting blood? That question is never really explained, apart from mention of weaker vampires being preyed on by stronger vampires.

Well written, and fine if you like this sort of book, but as I don’t much, I won’t be recommending it.
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