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What are we reading in November 2023?
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dustydigger
Posted 2023-10-31 6:29 PM (#27610)
Subject: What are we reading in November 2023?



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Dusty's TBR for November
SF/Fantasy reads
J G Ballard - The Wind From Nowhere
C J Cherryh - Brothers of Earth
Andre Norton - Redline the Stars
Liz Williams - Snake Agent
K M Shea - Crown of Midnight
Stephen Leather - Midnight

from other genres
James Riordan - Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor
Patricia Wentworth - The Clock Strikes Twelve
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daxxh
Posted 2023-11-02 7:43 PM (#27617 - in reply to #27610)
Subject: Re: What are we reading in November 2023?



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November Books

The Defector - Chris Hadfield. Not sure if this will end up being SFF, but it is a thriller written by an astronaut. It is good so far.

Dying Inside - Robert Silverberg. Started this, and am not really that impressed. I will finish it eventually.

Titanium Noir - Nick Harkaway. I have heard good things about this one.

Hammered - Elizabeth Bear

More Pulp.

Eater - Gregory Benford

Quantico - Greg Bear

Hopefully, the holiday will allow me to read more this month!
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dustydigger
Posted 2023-11-03 4:47 AM (#27618 - in reply to #27617)
Subject: Re: What are we reading in November 2023?



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Hi daxxh! Thought I was going to be the sole member here this month! lol/
I am with you on the Silverberg Dying Inside book. It was so much praised I was expecting something special. Apart from his psychic ability,this was a standard middle aged crisis book. I had to keep checking the go make sure it wasnt a Saul Bellow angsty tale! At least I found Herzog's wry humour a little interesting,but this character was rather unpleasant and unlikable,so I couldnt drum up any sort of sympathy for the supposedly tragic ending. So sue me!.
I have spent much time just binge reading some urban fantasy tosh from Kindle Unlimited,K M Shea's fun Magiford series,.,interspersing with horror short stories for Spooktober. but now I am ready for J G Ballard's The Wind From Nowhere,to complete his early ''disaster'' series,which I enjoyed despite some ''angsty'' vibes. They were mitigated by having a plot. lol.
I also intend to read an Andre Norton book I somehow missed,Redline the Stars. Nice and easy read I expect,a nostalgic revisit to the Solar Queem
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lisagarrity
Posted 2023-11-03 9:30 AM (#27619 - in reply to #27610)
Subject: Re: What are we reading in November 2023?



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Hi Dusty and Daxxh,

Thanks for posting your lists, you usually have authors I haven't encountered yet along with reminders of old favorites. I enjoyed Benford's Eater but Bear's Quantico? Not sure it rises to the category of pulp.
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dustydigger
Posted 2023-11-09 3:25 AM (#28563 - in reply to #27619)
Subject: Re: What are we reading in November 2023?



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J G Ballard's first novel,The Wind from Nowhere, was a pretty bog standard disaster novel. A wind rises across the world,steadily increasing till its over 500 miles an hour,stripping most topsoil and vegetation away,destroying all in its path. A megalomaniac builds a massive concrete pyramid which he believes will withstand any storm.
A pretty mundane story with none of the philosophical subtexts and undertones to be found in his otherworks,but a reasonable straightforward adventure read.Bit hard to sustain belief in the over the top premise though,and the tale ends very annoyingly. It just says ''The Wind was dropping''
The End!!!!!
No wonder Ballard sort of repudiated the book,claiming it as a kind of joke or wager,and that The Drowned World should be classed as his first real book :0)
Also read some kindle unlimited light fluff,and now I'm whizzing through Andre Norton's Redline the Stars,and am unearthing my copy of Cherryh's Brothers of Earth. I really enjoy Cherryh's work,but it is always very dense and complicated,not a fast run through like Norton,it will take more time. But I love her immersive style which makes for such gripping reading.
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ScoLgo
Posted 2023-11-10 2:33 PM (#28564 - in reply to #27610)
Subject: Re: What are we reading in November 2023?



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So far in November, I have finished Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys, the sequel to the excellent Winter Tide, which I read in October. The Innsmouth Legacy series was begun with a very good short story/novella titles The Litany of Earth. All three are highly recommended for anyone interested in the weird world of Lovecraftian mythos - but read them in publication order if you can as Deep Roots is a direct continuation of Winter Tide.

Now reading Ian McDonald's Hopeland. Enjoying it greatly.

Next up will be Arkady Martine's A Desolation Called Peace.

After that comes Robert Jackson Bennett's The Founders Trilogy, which will complete my 2023 Challenge Reads, (unless I finish early and add more titles in December).
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daxxh
Posted 2023-11-11 8:47 PM (#28565 - in reply to #28564)
Subject: Re: What are we reading in November 2023?



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I finished Eye of the Monster by Andre Norton. Glad it was short. Story was good, but this is an old copy and it smells awful. I am almost finished with The Sun Destroyers by Ross Rocklynne. I am having a really hard time with this one, not because it is a bad story, but because this one smells even worse than the Norton. These old Ace Doubles must have been stored for years in a musty old basement. I have more that I got at the local flea market bookstore that are so musty and dusty, I have been letting them air out before trying to read them. The bookstore has been there for years. Everything there is damp as the building has a roof, but no real walls. Book shelves and canvas keep most of the rain out. Lots of cool stuff. But some has been buried in the stacks for quite some time and it definitely gets wet in there. Not sure what they do when hurricanes come through.
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dustydigger
Posted 2023-11-12 12:50 PM (#28571 - in reply to #28565)
Subject: Re: What are we reading in November 2023?



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I know how you feel,daxxh,I have read a lot of books like that in the past.Now I do quite a lot of my reading online or on kindle,,so thats not an issue anymore.
But I do have an awful lot of old mass market paperbacks that have turned brown and fragile with age. Lots of my old Dick Francis novels,for instance,published mid sixties are really really fragile. Others in 80s editions are bearing up much better,though they are rather brown!

Edited by dustydigger 2023-11-12 12:53 PM
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dustydigger
Posted 2023-11-30 12:40 PM (#28599 - in reply to #27610)
Subject: Re: What are we reading in November 2023?



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Andre Norton's Redline the Stars,,a collaboration book set in the Solar Queen milieu 17 years after the original (much better) set of 4 books,was an OK read,but apart from a few advanced vehicles and minor tech,and visting planets with space ships for trading,it could have been a standard disaster story as there is a huge factory explosion,and the team spend the whole story helping after the explosion. OK,but not a patch off Norton's original series.
Liz Williams Snake Agent was a bit odd but interesting.
the blurb - Detective Inspector Chen is the Singapore Three police department's snake agent - the detective in charge of supernatural and mystical investigations. Chen has several problems: in addition to colleagues who don't trust him and his mystical ways, a patron goddess whom he has offended and a demonic wife who's tired of staying home alone, he's been paired with one of Hell's own vice officers, Seneschal Zhu Irzh, to investigate the illegal trade in souls. Political pressures both Earthly and otherworldly seek to block their investigations at every turn. As a plot involving both Singapore Three's industrial elite and Hell's own Ministry of Epidemics is revealed, it becomes apparent that the stakes are higher than anyone had previously suspected.
I enjoyed the trips to various chinese hell levelsI am assuming lots of things were part of chinese mythology,but I am totally ignorant on such things,so I just went with the flow. Quite lively,but the main character,Inspector Chen was rather flat and bland. I may continue with the series if I can find it .
Not able to read much. Sadly Mr Dusty has just survived a stroke,cant communicate,and seems to have forgotten his English,has regressed to his native language. Waiting for appointments for MRI
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dustydigger
Posted 2023-11-30 12:44 PM (#28600 - in reply to #27610)
Subject: Re: What are we reading in November 2023?



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Trying to progress my Pick N Mix challenge,still had half a dozen titles to complete. I decided to reread some fave Bob Heinlein short stories.
All You Zombies was as brilliant as ever. This time travel story was massively influential at the time,and is still a nice work out for the brain.:0)
Totally different,much gentler ,sentimental and very nostalgic for the American past,Travelling in Elephants was one of RAHs personal favourites. It was also a fave of Spider Robinson.
He Built a Crooked House is an amusing tale of an architect who builds a house as a ''shadow of a tesseract.'' Hilarious house viewing when the would be buyers find the experience mindblowingly terrifying,and they only escape because an earthquake destroys the original one story building!.All too complicated sf themes are just served up with humour in the usual RAH way.
One of my fave Heinlein novels is The Door into Summer. Apart from a wonderful tough but cute cat,the chapter near the end which revealed all the time travel back and forth shenanigans of the tale.
Only eyebrow raising aspect of the tale is the love interest ....a 12 year old girl the hero falls for,and he tells she should go into cold sleep till she is 21.
Yup,Heinlein is a bit of a weirdo!
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