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  2. "The Employees" has now been short-listed for The Booker Prize https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/apr/22/international-booker-prize-shortlist-led-by-books-pushing-the-boundaries-of-fiction
  3. Last week
  4. Reading a lot of novels in April, so far, less shorts than in some months. Bitterhall - Helen McClory - Contemporary novel by Edinburgh novelist, I don't think it expressly says that it is set in Edinburgh, but I assume it is and recognise some of the locations. Daniel is attracted to his new flatmate Tom, but quickly forms an intense friendship with Tom's girlfriend Orla. Daniel is obsessed with a historic diary, that he has stolen from a friend, but when Tom reads the diary something in it changes him, haunts him. The bulk of the novel is told by Daniel and Orla, their side of ev
  5. Gamechanger by L X Beckett — Excellent example of solarpunk / cli-fi sort of in the same category as Karl Schroeder's Stealing Worlds. The premise is we have a society where we've managed to tame the threats of kleptocracy and toxic social media with app assistants running our lives, monitoring our health and encouraging everyone to be positive and pitch into the still monumental task of saving the world from death by global warming and a crashed biosphere. You can stroke or strike anyone and the higher your social "karma" the less ads and interference you get from the digital sphere. Be too
  6. Earlier
  7. The Art Deco Mad Scientists. [Noir's been posting about `Metropolis', btw.] Cheers, Patrick.
  8. I seem to have locked into rereading a lot of paranormal/fringe science books from my bookshelves for the last few months. Some, I hadn't read since childhood or early teens. It's my reading equivalent of comfort eating. Or at least it used to be. I found myself getting annoyed by how badly written some books were; the rest were just bad. As a world-wise, cynical sixty-year-old I found myself wondering how anyone could take some of them seriously but clearly when I was younger I took them seriously enough to spend money on. Brad Steiger's Flying Saucers Are Hostile is probably the worst of the
  9. I have "The Ten Loves of Mr. Nishino" part read after you had mentioned it previously, but it doesn't work got me as well as Strange Weather/Thrift Store, it feels too much like shorts. I will go back and read. Though, "People From My Neighbourhood" worked better than Nishino, and it is also more fragmented. Spent Friday reading the latest Becky Chambers, "The Galaxy, and the Ground Within". The suggestion is that this is the fourth and final volume of The Wayfarer series - which always struck me as unfortunate pitch, given the Wayfarer and her crew are only present in book 1 - tho
  10. Work and life got complicated in February, and work at least even more complicated in March. I hope I can find some stability now. I started the reread of Stephenson's Reamde, but I could not finish it. Then I went for Fall, as that was the reason for the reread, and I have abandoned it around page 350. He tries too hard, and the only one character I care, a little, is Dodge himself, and I think that is spillover from Reamde. The first 300 pages are an introduction, and possibly another attempt by Stephenson to be considered a serious futurist, which is where he is always behind, d
  11. March reading - Acadie - David Hutchinson - a SF tor novella, mad scientists and rogues have pushed the limits of earth laws and fled into space, but the earth still searches for them. When an odd search vessel arrives the decision to flee and set up somewhere else is made, with a small team left behind to hide evidence and make sure they are not found. The initial set up is good, and I enjoyed. The twist and pay off frustrated some. I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett - book 4 in the Tiffany Aching series. Tiffany's past actions have triggered interest from uncanny things
  12. Very sad news. She was always amazing good fun on Top Gear. https://news.sky.com/story/sabine-schmitz-dead-top-gear-star-and-queen-of-the-nurburgring-racing-driver-dies-aged-51-12248488
  13. At this point in pandemic I feel like I've got my routine down pat. Here is Monday. Get up around 6-6:30 Coffee, the Times, the Post, the Journal. YouTube videos of rainy streets or beaches. 7:30 go to the gym. Home by 9. Shower. Breakfast is usually some variation of potato, onion, sausage, veggies (whatever is lying around) and 3 eggs with a lot of hot sauce. 9:30-10:00 work starts. I normally have my schedule full days in advance so I don't waste time or miss things. Lots of water with lemon. More coffee. 5~ish I f
  14. Remote Control by Nnedi Okorofor. More short novela stuff! A lot of her usual themes, but this one was a little more enjoyable than most of her stuff recently has been for me. Small girl inherits terrible powers and roams the countryside as something of a living legend while trying to figure out what her origin story actually is. I think she managed to connect this one back to some actual sci-fi elements more strongly than usual, which did help.
  15. Not again. I can never figure reality out. I'm on some sort of 'freaking' car that's made up like a Key West beach bar, driving down stuck in traffic through Toronto mid day. George R. R. Martin is at the bar table, like a carnival float, playing poker also. I think it's the 'Aces and Eights' fucking children's cancer charity or something, and I hear on the radio that's playing that they've banned Gibson's Neuromancer for stereotypes or something. I'm just trying to get a third drink, and failing. I don't understand. I bet George R. R. Martin's final real 'Game of Thrones' b
  16. Yeah, I was underwhelmed by Fleet of Knives, it felt pretty light weight, and I was trying to decide if that was just that book or my feelings on Gareth in general. Glad to hear it wasn't just me, and that it was likely the middle book syndrome. I've kind of burnt out on Aliette. She was the It Girl of SFF for a while, and she was doing some interesting things. I think she has disappeared into her niche, which clearly is delighting her, but really isn't engaging me as much.
  17. I feel like Fleet of Knives was a bit of a poor effort on his part. I managed to read through it without too much trouble, but was much happier with the third book and the first. The Dispatcher by John Scalzi — A novela really, but still pretty enjoyable. This is one of those "If you change one rule about how the world works, what are the consequences" books. In this case, suddenly anyone who is murdered wakes up in their home rolled back whole and intact to a few hours or days before they were killed but with all the memories right up until their death. It was actually quite enter
  18. Ministry of the Future - Kim Stanley Robinson - this is a read in progress, pacing myself, one suspects only KSR could get away with bending expected writing rules, such that it feels like a collection of essays interspersed with periodic characters. I'll come back to it once I eventually finish. Witchmark - C.L. Polk - a much easier read, the first of a trilogy by Polk. It feels like post-WWI, the lead character a gentleman medic, disgraced by running away from his responsibilities to join the army, now returned and working with shell-shocked veterans. Except another world, country names
  19. I personally don't think there's a lot of need to reread REAMDE. It's almost standalone, IMHO. Like it doesn't hurt to remember some of the characters and their past connections but honestly, quite a bit of time passes quite rapidly and the circumstances all change pretty quickly as a result. I just finished The Trials of Koli by M R Carey. Really good but really a cliff-hanger! Lots of crazy stuff happening on a post-apocalyptic Earth where the remaining humans have been reduced to small, primitive tribes gradually succumbing to the much more aggressive plants and animals that we
  20. The new Street Fighter season, which ain't cheap. And it's Dan! (By far the worse character in SFIV, as agreed upon by everyone.) Also victim of translations from English to Japanese and back again for # of iterations. I remember the character watching over the girl martial artists on some kind of cruise ship, around Brazil was it? And... apparently the new Dan is actually awesome, at least for the next while. This is going to read really weird. Sure, I personally own Capcom OTC stock (here in the US), because I bought it back when you actually were allowed to.
  21. Michael Swanwick's "The Iron Dragon's Mother", despite the title, has more in common with the "Dragons of Babel" than "The Iron Dragon's Daughter", but does not really need reading those two books. The book is more polished than the other two, with Dark Faerie more consistent and developed, but that is not necessarily good, because the unexplained events and weird magic is one of the things that make Faerie so compelling. The characters are likable, though we do not see the same character development we got in TIDD. So despite similar ages it is more a suspense romp than a coming
  22. After reading loads in December/January, February has been much much slower. At least in terms of novels, loads of shorts, and graphic novels continue to be a reliable cushion. Tales From the Folley - Ben Aaronovitch - First collection of Rivers of London stories. There are special/exclusive edition in UK/Australia that include an extra of a short story. Most of these come from there, some I had read, some I skipped, some I didn't get those versions. If you like Rivers of London series, then you'll like this collection. Shadows of the Short Days - Alexander Dan Vilhjálm
  23. Dead Lies Dreaming by Charles Stross was decently good fun.. Laundry universe but not familiar Laundry characters. And some interesting tricks up his sleeve. London real estate, the Necronomicon, ambitious artists and thieves and personal assistants and a caper. What's not to like?
  24. Bright Lands - started great, small Texas county where everybody is obsessed with the high school football team. The first 80% is a really engaging story, part small town mystery, part supernatural horror. But the last 20% just fell apart. It eventually devolved into a violent orgy. Yes, literally.
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