April 25, 2019, 09:14:26 PM

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Messages - Elfy

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Those books sound a bit like Gail Carriger's books (Etiquette and Espionage, etc.) are they similarly funny? I think @Elfy read those too and Cupi maybe too?
I haven’t read the Mackenzi Lee’s, @Lejays17 has, from what she told me I don’t think they have a lot in common with Gail’s books apart from the alliterative titles.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: April 23, 2019, 07:23:44 AM »
Finally got to some of the recommendations from people here.

Firstly, read Swordspoint on the recommendation of @cupiscent and absolutely loved it. Only took me a few days (and a good chunk of a flight) to get through. Totally recommend it; it has a great mystery running through it, as well as fast paced action along with a sweet slice of romance.

Currently just over halfway through A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, suggested by @J.R. Darewood and it is incredible! This is a book I feel I've been looking for for a long time. It needs to be a TV series, or a movie at least. I think the world is ready for it  :)
There's a sequel to A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, it's called The Ladies Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. Tremontaine is a series of short works, a couple written by Ellen Kushner herself, in and around the world Swordspoint was set in.

Technically it ain't science fiction if there is no science in it. Reimagining a timeline is just fiction.

Yeah, but, from the quote ScarletBea pulled from the article, McEwan's book explores: "what if a robot could think like a human, or human intelligence could not tell the difference between itself and AI?" When Asimov wrote about that sort of thing it was certainly considered sci-fi.

The thing that really annoys me about McEwan's quote in that article is the idea that books with faster-than-light travel and anti-gravity boots don't have anything to say about human dilemmas. I love spec fic precisely because of what the speculative elements bring to the consideration of what it means to be human, and him looking down his nose at the entire genre makes me assume that his speculative robot/AI elements will be rather hackneyed, because he hasn't bothered to familiarise himself with what other people have already done in the field.
Wasn’t that similar to Attwood’s reasoning that The Handmaid’s Tale wasn’t SF because it didn’t have space monsters in it?

Have we all made peace now with just getting a filmed ending not a book ending to this series?

Yep the show will be my canon now.  I doubt that I ever read any of the future books unless I hear (from people whose taste opinions match mine) they are absolutely amazing. I did not like the last two at all and the long delay is not giving me any reason to think this one will be different.

Same. I decided this a couple of years ago. I lack the patience to wait for two (three?) more books, given they seem to come out once every 6 years or more. I'm looking forward to the last season (starts this Sunday, woo!!!) and then, 30 years from now when all the books are finally out, I'll browse the wikipedia to see what Mr. Martin did differently in his books that on the show. But I have no plans to read Winds of Winter or any other books at this point (assuming they even ever come out).

I get the feeling Martin has grown bored with the series, since he has managed to do so much OTHER stuff in the time Winds of Winter hasn't gotten done. And that's fine. I hope he gets to spend his remaining years enjoying his success and doing what inspires him. The show will give me closure on the books.
What’s he done? In terms of writing? I know he’s been linked to a few things and written some short work, but has he published anything resembling a novel? He loves talking about ASoIaF, but he seems to have written himself into a corner he just doesn’t know how to get out of, and it seems that the series will remain unfinished.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in March 2019
« on: April 03, 2019, 06:18:11 AM »
My month had 7 books.

My odyssey through The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher continued with Turn Coat, Changes and Ghost Story all being completed. Those three comprise a bit of a high point for the series. Changes is, in my opinion, one of the best of the whole 15 books in the series thus far, it's a book where urban becomes epic.

I read both of Kate Heartfield's time travel novellas, Alice Payne Arrives and Alice Payne Rides, these are fun, breezy well thought out time travel books that find some lesser known parts of history like disappearance of Arthur of Brittany and the suicide pact between Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and his mistress.

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire. I don't know how McGuire does it, but the Wayward Children books just keep on getting better and she raised the bar again with this one, it's probably the most standalone of the series so far.

Black Star Renegades by Michael Moreci. A bit of a disappointment, it promised to be a space opera about a Han Soloesque rogue, but Cade Sura came across as a very poor version of the Star Wars smuggler. Kind of confused all around, really.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 31, 2019, 09:36:39 PM »
I was like page 100 something through Last Argument of KIngs when my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to just flipped through to the end of the book. For a while now, I had the feeling that the ending wasn't going to be good, and boy how I was right. Thus end my journey through one of the most disappointing series I've ever read, which made me wonder why did I even bothered to slog through book 1 in the first place. With authors that are determined to shit at everyone of their character's life there are no happy ways out, I guess.
The ending was deliberately ambiguous. Personally, I loved it, but to each their own.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 30, 2019, 01:41:41 AM »
finished Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits was pretty meh.

Started Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero probably the best Grimdark Scoobie Doo parody I have ever read.
@ScarletBea add it to you light reading list I think you will enjoy.
Meddling Kids was great. Took a chance in that and was glad I did.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 22, 2019, 05:14:09 AM »
bound is great

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits is another book by David Wong and it's far too sensible compared to John Dies at the End.
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits was fun, but the John books are better.

Drew Williams The Stars Now Unclaimed has some of these elements as does Christopher Rucchio’s Emoire of Silence

I'm terrible at the whole genre thing -- mostly because I don't really care; a story is a story -- but I've heard Harry Potter and Neverwhere both described as Urban Fantasy, so my perception is that it's anything that's contemporary but with magicky stuff. I could be wrong because like I say, I'm no expert. :D
Neverwhere is, but Harry Potter probably crosses genres and stuff written for younger readers tends to not be placed into the same subgenres.

There’s a school of thought that says urban fantasy kind of stole the mantle of contemporary fantasy. Like most sub genres the title covers a fair bit of ground. Tad Williams refers to The War of the Flowers as urban fantasy. I’ve seen urban fantasies without the usual staples of vampires and weres. Seanan Maguire’s October Daye series springs to mind and Emma Newman’s Split Worlds does as well as do Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series and Paul Cornell’s Shadow Police books.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Retconning
« on: March 04, 2019, 04:28:08 AM »
Happens a lot in comics. The big publishers (Marvel and DC) tend to 'kill' off major characters to boost flagging sales and then miraculously bring them back to life.

Rewatching The Almighty Johnsons. Such a great show.

I am always so delighted when I see people enjoying Fonda Lee's Jade City, because I liked it, but it wasn't really My Thing, but I could see how it was such a good take on That Thing, so it just fills me with delight when people who like the thing get to enjoy the book. (So thank you, @Elfy :D)

I am really doing terrible at reading physical books the last few months, for various reasons, but I did read Melissa Caruso's The Defiant Heir in February. It's book two of her "Swords and Fire" series (a trilogy, I believe). I love this series (which began with The Tethered Mage) so much; it's heavy on the politics, but still has lots of adventures; our heroine has great and complex relationships with other women (avoiding Smurfette syndrome); there are genuine character dilemmas complementing the Big Damn Plot; and our heroine really struggles with difficult questions of doing the right thing when there are no clear answers. Highly recommend!
Yes @cupiscent, Jade City was most definitely My Thing. Along with all the other things I said about it, it also had the best written fictional city that I've seen since Camorr in The Lies of Locke Lamora. The only problem with a book you like that much is that for a while after other things tend to suffer by comparison.

Read 8 in February. Still dominated by The Dresden Files which made of 4 of the 8, those being: Dead Beat, Proven Guilty, White Knight and Small Favor. They're all fairly enjoyable to varying degrees, and it is nice to see him move away from the vampire and werewolf staples of urban fantasy and more into various aspects of faery. He also set up the arc, which I didn't realise really comes together in about book 7.

Away from Jim Butcher, I read Killer T by Robert Muchamore (best known as the author of the Cherub YA series. This was also a little YA, but very science fiction, dealing with gene editing and the opportunities for people to spread pandemic viruses using it. It was a compelling read and just kept pulling me along to see what happened next.

The Night Dahlia by R.S. Belcher. I struggled with this. I preferred Nightwise. Far too much of Ballard Laytham trying to prove what a cynical soulless badass he is. There was also a bit of an obsession with naming every song that was playing wherever he went as some sort of scene setting and proving that he may be a cynical old fart, but he's hip. I would have preferred more concentration of the main mystery of the book instead of all the pointless meandering.

Skyfarer by Joseph Brassey. I know a couple of people here have liked this. I didn't. Characters were flat and 2 dimensional, dialogue had no snap to it. Plot twists were telegraphed and I found it very derivative. At times I had to convince myself that I wasn't reading The Force Awakens fanfic.

Then came Jade City by Fonda Lee. Oh my God this was great! Maybe it was because I'd read 2 pretty ordinary books, or maybe it was because I'd just rewatched The Departed, or maybe it was because this is just a really damn good book. It's reminiscent of a Hong Kong gangster film that has been given a fantasy twist. I found it unputdownable. Easily the best thing I've read so far this year and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel; Jade War due out in July.

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