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remotevoices
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I've been reading the Bookburners serial. A new ebook thing, regular episodes (40-50 pages) of a series of stories, all set in the same world, same characters, I believe 4 authors. head writer is Max Gladstone, alternating between him and Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty and Brian Francis Slattery. first series is 16 episodes, i think 14 just came out yesterday. I have read and enjoyed the first 5. An American police woman is caught up in events as her brother summons a demon, becoming the newest member in a team that track down and remove artefacts to protect the public (think Warehouse 13/The Librarians), who are nicknamed the Bookburners.

 

Having finished episode 5, I've now started the third book in Michael R Underwood's Geekomancy trilogy - Hexomancy. Hoping it will be as good as Geekomancy and Celebromancy, the more recent novella and his Shield & Crocus novel were too action focussed, not enough character, so i was less impressed by those. Ree Reyes has stumbled upon the world of geekomancy, where geek objects are imbued with powers by the love of fandom, which can give a geekomancer temporary matrix wire-fu or spider-man abilities, or... lightsabers, laser pistols, and so on. Idea works reasonably well, like I say I enjoyed the 1st two.

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The Rhesus Chart, Stross. I would like to ask you residents of the British Isles whether you've heard/seen "coughed" where I would be used to seeing "copped" as in, admitted to doing something.

 

Stross told me it was a colloquialism on twitter when I asked him and his editor.

 

I have just never seen it in all my Brit reading, nor heard it. 

 

Aside from that, a fun read so far.

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Aravind Adiga's "Between the Assassinations". I really loved "The White Tiger", and this immerses you again into the life of a South Indian town, with the religious, caste and class conflicts, and how it ends up more or less working. It is a set of short stories or vignettes set between the two assassinations, Indira Gandhi and her son, a period of seven years, and though it lacks the manic energy and overwhelming main character of White Tiger, it leaves you the impression of feeling a bit how it is, rather than knowing how it is.

 

I also got a French Edition of Story of the Three Realms, in Chinese graphic novel form (Liu huan hua), 30 small books in a big box. Impressive and after having seen and read in pieces, now all together. Seriously tempted to get also The Water Margin and Voyage to the West.

 

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Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie — The third in the series. No idea if there will be more or not? Presumably so. It took about 30 or 40 pages to start to remember WTF was going and why everyone was so obsessed with tea and ceremony and such but once I got back into the swing of it, the rest of the book flew right by.

 

Ghost Fleet, P. W. Singer — I am not sure exactly what to make of this. Had some interesting ideas and about a 15 page reference section at the end backing up all of the assumptions these guys made, so I guess it's probably fairly "accurate"? At any rate, it's basically about World War III, as started by Chinese aggressors feeling their Wheaties after kicking out all the current corrupt bureaucracy. As such, there's a lot of face-palm-worthy heroics by heroic 'Mericans, some interesting tech and some interesting ideas about how hacking and drones will play a part.

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I have heard "coughed" used in the context Charlie uses it - primarily in 70s UK cop shows, viz. "We've been ratted to the Sweeney!  Who coughed?"  The etymology likely comes from breaking silence, at a concert for example, or perhaps from "coughed up," i.e. to reluctantly volunteer or pay something. 

 

I am currently working my way through Jeff Vandermeer's "Winter Mix Tape" collection from Storybundle.  It's worth it just for the Leena Krohn, which is glorious.  https://storybundle.com/archives/the-vandermeer-winter-mix-tape-bundle

 

I have also recently read Emma Newman's "Planetfall" (some really interesting musings on complicity and conspiracy mashed together with some very complex (and damaged) characters - recommended), Ann Leckie's "Ancillary Mercy" (a satisfying conclusion to the Imperial Radch trilogy), Alastair Reynolds's "Poseidon's Wake" (another trilogy brought to an interesting and not entirely expected conclusion), and the first volume in James Corey's "Expanse" series (at Remote's recommendation; I enjoyed it a lot and what I've seen of the TV series looks like it's going to be one heck of a ride). 

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Finished Zoo City and Jennifer Government while on transatlantic flights last week. JG kept me awake for the first leg, such a blast to read. Funk as puck, and made me want to re-read Market Forces.

Now hoping to put a few more dents in my never-ending Pocket queue. Oh yeah, and since Zoo City was great, Moxyland is soon to follow, I presume ;-)

 

(and since I gave the complete collection of Locke & Key to a friend as a suprise gift, I may be getting one for myself, too >_> yum!)

 

(...also, waiting for my copy of this beauty to reach me)

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Finished "Hexomancy". It was decent. Enjoyable conclusion to the 1st story arc of Ree Reyes Geekomancer. After the events of the novella where the geek pub Ree works is attacked by a Hexomancer, the heroes find themselves at the centre of a hexomantic curse, hexomantic attacks escalating with each season. So lots of drama, personal and action, advancing and complicating relationships, while running around with lightsabers, bursts of green lantern powers, and a whole chunk of cyberpunk referential material. Good fun read.

 

Started "The Seed Collectors" by Scarlett Thomas. Hadn't gotten round to buying this, missed her personal appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival, but she came up for Scottish Book Week. Where she did a reading and Q&A in Glasgow's Botanic Gardens, so I bought the book then:

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Not got far with reading, but curious enough so far. A botanist and guru has died, with events rippling out to the various branches of the Gardener family - who still retain the unresolved issues from the disappearance of 3 women from the three branches of the story. Lots of sex and plant references so far.

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while looking for sellotape for the wrapping of presents i came across my copy of iZombie volume 1

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i picked this up in gosh in london, with the signed tip in card. i'd read bits of iZombie before, but man re-reading now i'm very much struck by just how different from the tv show it is. like she is a grave digger rather than working in a mortuary, her name is gwen rather than olivia, her friends are a were-terrier and a ghost...

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The Country of Ice Cream Star, Sandra Newman — This was pretty good, but I found the use of a future slang-language by the narrator to be pretty irritating and able to throw me completely out of the book and into "WTF could she possibly mean there?" mode every 15 or 20 pages, even after I had the general gist of the "slanguage" down. Which is unfortunate. I quite like the use of misspellings in Iain Banks' Feersum Endjinn too, so it's not like I usually have trouble puzzling this stuff out.

 

The story itself is quite epic and depressing and cool though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Girl in the Spider's Web, 1st post-Larsson story of the Millenium series.  Carried the characters forward a bit, recycled some tropes, but noticeably lacked the substance of the originals.  One new character showed promise, with the clear intention of continuing the series, but I'm not gonna run out and buy the next one.

 

Seveneves and The Magicians series on audiobook were both/all excellent; I've started seeing trailers for the Syfy series and I'm already disappointed .. with the the lead character.  "No, no, he doesn't look like that!"  (Will still watch, most likely.)

 

No books for Xmas - I have a ton lying around in physical & digital form, but audio is my usual intake.  I do feel like I've missed out as I realize how many series/movies are (still) based on books/comics, but commuting has been where I get my stories 'read' for quite a while.  (Too many audio distractions in this small house.) And I got out of the habit.  But I'll try out some of these suggestions, they sound great!

Edited by Duncan S.
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i just downloaded ebook of the third book in the magicians trilogy, it went cheap for the 1st time over the holidays. so looking forward to reading that, seeing how quentin's story resolves. and yeah, saw the trailer for the tv show and was somewhat huh.

 

in reference to "feersum endjinn", i've not read, but my understanding would be that the writing is emulating dialect/accent, a particularly scottish one, which i know banks did in a number of his books. so there should be a real voice to how that feels, rather than just being a gimmick, which would be different from a fabricated slang.

 

i'm still reading "seed collectors" by scarlett thomas. reading a story and ther from nalo hopkinson's "falling in love with hominids". and inspired by powell's macaque trilogy being 99p each in ebook, i am re-reading the first in the trilogy (fighter pilot monkey, ninja nazis, cyborg journalists, upload personalities, mission to mars, zeppelins, conspiracy, murder...)

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18 hours ago, remotevoices said:

in reference to "feersum endjinn", i've not read, but my understanding would be that the writing is emulating dialect/accent, a particularly scottish one, which i know banks did in a number of his books. so there should be a real voice to how that feels, rather than just being a gimmick, which would be different from a fabricated slang.

 

Nope, it's a mental tic of one of the main characters. He's doing a some sort of accent, yes, but it's more that every single word is misspelled by that character. So imagine picking up a lot of slang that's intentionally misspelled basically. "Ayve cakked mi pantz gud." kind of thing. I still recommend the book—I really do like it—but I understand this is going to be off-putting to a lot of people.

 

I'm working my way through Charles Stross' Wireless short story collection right now. Pretty great stuff (as usual). He's apparently done some stuff in short story form that he thought was too crazy to wrap a whole commercial book around.

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