ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
If anyone is interested, today's Kindle Big Deal on Amazon UK is a bunch of second-tier Georgette Heyer novels for 99p each. (Well, maybe A Civil Campaign is a cut above second-tier. And I have a soft spot for Sylvester, because writer-heroine.)
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
Just read:

Protector, by C.J. Cherryh, the second volume of the fifth Foreigner trilogy. Which I devoured in two days when I really should have been doing other things, but was left oddly unsatisfied by. We do get a bit of offstage station politics retconned in along with the Atevi politics (and spoiler ) and Cajeiri continues to be engaging.

Arms-Commander, by L. J. Modessit, which is the latest so far (2010) in the Recluce series, going back to the Angels of Westwind and their attempts to deal with the local politics after being stranded in Candor by a wrecked spaceship. Less onomatopoeia than in earlier volumes, and a female protagonist for a change, but way too many ellipses. According to the author's website there will be at least one more Recluce novel at some stage. It must be getting hard to fit them into the existing history, by now.

Reading now: Spellwright, by Blake Charlton. Unusual magic system, enjoyable so far. I might have guessed that the author wrote it as a medical student from the anatomical references.
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
I just finished a reread of The Eye of the World, the first volume in the epic Wheel of Time series. It strikes me that, in pacing at least, it's a miniature version of the whole series: a promising beginning, a saggy, baggy, tangled middle that goes on far too long, and an epic and rather awesome confrontation at the end.

I think I'll wait a little while before I plunge into the next volume.
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
What I just finished: Cold Days by Jim Butcher (wow, is Harry Dresden getting over-powered or what?), and a few days earlier A Memory of Light, which I mentioned in an earlier post.

What I'm reading now: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (reread) and Powers by James Burton. (I probably won't do a straight back-to-back reread of the whole WOT series, but it was interesting to go straight from the end of A Memory of Light back to the beginning and see how many of the things and people that were important in the end are there right at the beginning. TEOTW does sag in the middle, though -- I remember bailing on at least one reread halfway through, and I haven't even got to the ill-conceived flashback section with Mat and Rand yet.

What I might read next: time for something that isn't fantasy, I think. Maybe Leviathan Wakes, by James S Corey. Or one of the Sister Frevisse mysteries.

An ending

Feb. 9th, 2013 07:08 pm
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
I just finished reading A Memory of Light. At first I was reading a chapter or two at bedtime, but the last couple of days the story gripped me and wouldn't let go; I've been reading most of the day. And now, after twenty-three years and fourteen fat books, the story is done.

I'm exhausted. And sad, and satisfied. It brought me to the edge of tears more than once, in the last few chapters. For all the flaws of the series, I don't think I'll ever read another story quite like it. Thank you, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Thank you.
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
What I'm currently reading:

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss -- started yesterday. The first page is dire (as I commented on G+, I suppose a book as long and eagerly awaited as this can get away with starting with the badly-written boredom of a secondary character), but it gets better quickly. That's my big fat bedside book; for portable reading I just started Danse de la Folie by Sherwood Smith, which is a fun Heyer-esque Regency and was on e-book special today. I'm already nearly a third of the way through, and vastly diverted.

Just finished: In the Lion's Mouth by Michael Flynn, sequel to Up Jim River, which itself was a sequel to The January Dancer, but I hesitate to call them a series, somehow -- the tone doesn't quite match from one to the next, and while the first was very much in usual Flynn mode of dysfunctional people being Doomed, the sequel was less so. This one was back to the doom, though, and ended in a severely cliffhung fashion.

What I'll read next: considering the size of the Rothfuss, maybe A Memory of Light will be here before I finish it?
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
I started out meaning to do a monthly book post, but that fell by the wayside after March. Here's the list for the year, anyway.

(r)=reread, (e)=e-book, (l)=library book; otherwise it's a hardcopy that I own, or owned at the time of reading it.

Read more... )
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
Jasper Fforde, Shades of Grey. Surreal future dystopia run along the lines of a 1950s English boarding school, where social status is determined by colour vision. I kept muttering to myself about colour theory not working that way. Also, limescale in the Welsh reservoirs that serve Birmingham? The whole point about the Welsh water in Brum is that it's dead soft.

Gene Wolfe, The Sorcerer's House. A man released from prison squats in a mysterious house outside a small American town, which turns out to have been left to him, and also not to be entirely in this world. I kept hoping it was just the unreliable and not very admirable narrator, but there seemed to be some rather nasty attitudes in this; also there seem to be some major dropped threads, but that might just be me missing things.

Seanan McGuire, An Local Habitation (e) More shenanigans among the faerie and part-faerie denizens of San Francisco; mostly inoffensive and engaging, and the protagonist does experience some personal growth.

Also the first half of Surface Detail by Iain M Banks, but I'll deal with that when I finish it.
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
Tad Williams, Shadowrise

Kage Baker, Mendoza in Hollywood (e)
Kage Baker, The Graveyard Game (e)
Kage Baker, The Life of the World to Come
Kage Baker, The Children of the Company
Kage Baker, The Machine's Child
Kage Baker, The Sons of Heaven

Barbara Hambly, Homeland

I now feel the need of something very light and fluffy to read next. The Williams was incredibly tedious for about the first third, as the characters kept stopping dead in their meanderings about the landscape to tell each other myth-stories, which seems an odd choice for the third volume of a quadrology. After that it picked up a bit. The Company novels, on the other hand, were compulsively readable but extremely grim in parts. Then I read the Hambly for a bit of something-completely-different; it's an extremely well done epistolary novel about two young women corresponding across the lines of the American Civil War, weaving together the harsh realities of their lives with the comforts of reading Dickens and Austen, but not exactly cheerful.
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
36 new books, 11 rereads. Apparently not having a job (and hence not having a commute or a lunch break away from the computer) means that I read less rather than more. I'm mostly only reading at night, and if the book isn't very compelling, or I'm tired, that might only be a few pages. Kraken took me a whole month to get through, and I'm currently slogging through the third instalment of Tad Williams' latest series; on the other hand I got through All Clear in not much more than a (travel) day. This tends to mean that I reach for smaller books; the last two volumes of the Malazan series, and a few other large tomes on the to-read pile, just look too intimidating. I need to figure out a way to fit more reading into my day next year, and more non-fiction, too.

Another observation is that once I got my physical books back, the e-reader didn't get much use. Again, I might have used it more if I'd been travelling/commuting more.

Read more... )


Aug. 3rd, 2011 03:29 pm
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
My copy of Lee and Miller's Ghost Ship has just arrived! Finally, the Liaden story moves on.

I was quite frustrated a few months ago when I finished Saltation and realized that it finished on exactly the same cliffhanger as Plan B, and that Mouse and Dragon was set further back in time, so I've been waiting quite impatiently for this one -- though not impatiently enough to go for the e-arc.

In the meantime, I've been re-reading a lot of Cherryh over the last month or so -- Heavy Time,Hellburner, Cyteen and Regenesis, the Faded Sun trilogy, and currently the second trilogy of the Foreigner series (the one where Bren spends most of his time in space.)
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Via [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll/[livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll

Italicize the authors you've heard of before reading this list of authors, bold the ones you've read at least one work by, underline the ones of whose work you own at least one example of.

Read more... )
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
Via [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll/[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll and [livejournal.com profile] kgbooklog

Gollancz has put out a list of what they consider the 50 best SF/Fantasy books they've published -- heavily dominated by white Anglo-Saxon males, as others have pointed out. Bold means I've read it, italic means I own it. For the purposes of this meme I've arbitrarily decided that having a Gutenberg e-copy of something doesn't count as "owning" it.

SF )
Fantasy )
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
I completely failed at book blogging this year, and even the list may not be complete, but here it is. If you should happen to be curious about my impressions of any of them, please feel free to ask in comments.

January )

February )

March )

April )

May )
June )
July )

August )
September )
October )

November )

December )
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
The Sony Reader store claims to have available something called "Cormac" by Georgette Heyer, which as far as Google can tell doesn't otherwise exist.

However, the cover image on the site claims the author is "Sonny Brewer," even though the author info is a standard potted Heyer biography. So it looks like a database glitch rather than a trove of hitherto-unknown Heyer works.

Anyway, the time I did track down a very obscure early Heyer, The Great Roxhythe, in a small-press, limited-edition reprint, it turned out that the obscurity was pretty well deserved. (It's Restoration melodrama, and not the fun kind.)
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
If I get the Company books up through The Graveyard Game for my eReader, how annoyed am I likely to be that the next two aren't available when I've finished those? (In other words, are there cliffhangers involved? Is The Life of the World to Come good enough to be worth tracking down as a used hardcopy?) For calibration, I read In the Garden of Iden a while back, when it was in the Tor.com giveaway, and enjoyed it but didn't feel compelled to rush out and collect the set in hardcopy.

I'm not sure which is worse; an ongoing series with no ending in sight, or a loosely-articulated series where the middle books (but not the early and recent ones) are unobtainable. (See also Margaret Frazer's Frevisse series.)
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
For some reason, John Buchan's The Courts of the Morning still seems to be in copyright here, when most of the rest of his oeuvre isn't.

Places that have free public domain ebooks: manybooks.org, feedbooks.com. (A lot of them are just recycled Gutenberg editions, mind.) Also en.wikisource.org, though those are some-assembly-required for offline reading. And the thing I found there that I couldn't find anywhere else ... let's just say there are probably reasons why it's obscure these days, even if it is the source of a classic and amusing piece of verse.
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
Is there a term of art for the maneuver where an author takes a notorious real-life event more or less verbatim, changes the names and calls it fiction, and then casually mentions the real names involved as another example of the same sort of thing? My first thought was "hanging a lampshade on it," but I don't think that's quite right. And I don't think one can technically plagiarize real life ...
ellarien: bookshelves (books)
Well, that was fun. I ended up not getting there until noonish, because I decided I wasn't enthused enough about Terry Brooks, whom I haven't read in years, to get up early enough for a 10am panel, and I hadn't noted down anything interesting for the 11.30 slot and the festival server was down this morning. So noon it was.

Lunch and tie-in panel )
Shadow Unit )

Science Writing )

Coda )

Mission Statement

Reading, writing, plant photography, and the small details of my life, with digressions into science and computing.



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