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remotevoices

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I do sometimes think we should more often share good deals. But then I get frustrated by bargains posted on twitter that only apply to the US.

on that note, a friend has an odd novella going free for ebook readers for next month: https://archive.org/details/cafenonstop

it was originally daily updates as a blog post, which I read and enjoyed.

 

my reading:

Day Shift/Night Shift - Charlaine Harris - I picked up the first volume in the trilogy after watching the TV series of Midnight Texas. Picked these two up just before series 2 started. I had read one True Blood novel years ago, before the TV series, and it hadn't clicked with me. These do. Easy reading, urban fantasy, in small town Texas - populated by vampires, shape changers, psychics and witches. But for all that they are just people, dealing with the day to day business of the world not ending.

 

Supercute Futures - Martin Millar - I read Millar's 1st half dozen novels a long time ago, skinny little odd books set in Brixton with weird characters and encounters and just lots of fun. One of those "The Good Fairies of New York" caught Neil Gaiman's attention and can probably be counted as a break through. He did some more, disappeared, to write more obviously fantasy novels under a different name (Martin Scott), before returning with his Lonely Werewolf Girl series. I've been meaning to catch up on those werewolf books, but not quite got to it, despite having 2 of them in my To Be Read Mountain Ranges. Anyway, stumbled on this recently, as a new release. Mox and Mitsu met at the age of three, advanced geniuses building their own laptops in nursery. At 17, in love with Japanese culture, they started Supercute, a webshow, shot on their iphones. Years later, Supercute is one of the 19 biggest companies in a ravaged world, where while they continue their daily Supercute shows, they are also now heavily invested in water and security firms. Competing "supercute" competitors join with other security companies and stage a financial coup, forcing the two girls to go underground - post human, forever beautiful, immaculately supercute and determined to take back what they built. Mad fun.

 

Lies Sleeping - Ben Aaronovitch - The 7th of his Rivers of London/Peter Grant novels. While each has, to some extent had it's own story, there has been a through story, building from the catastrophic encounter with the spirit of Mr. Punch in book 1. Magic, that looked to have been fading, has been increasingly visible - the Folly which had only one Police Wizard has been home to apprentice and police academy graduate Peter Grant. Here they are finally making progress in the case of The Faceless Man. In many ways a culmination of much that has gone before, with all the important characters making an appearance, and advance, and all coming together in what I found a solid and satisfactory manner. Enough left hanging to allow for future books, for new characters and stories, but essentially this is what we have been waiting for.

 

The Ninth Rain - Jen Williams - Another of a new generation of British authors who I am aware of particularly from social media. She is very much a fantasy writer, and that doesn't tend to be my thing. So so far I've not read. Though aware enough of her reputation, I have managed to pick up a couple of her novels with the intention of at least being able to say I read something. The Ninth Rain is the 1st in her current trilogy, book 3 coming out next year, so I decided to start with this. I admit the giant griffon on the cover is off putting and sets a certain expectation, which is a shame, because the book is much more surprising than that would suggest. The Eighth Rain left the continent ravaged by the aftermath of war - the Eboran tree god Ygresil is dead, the god that fed and sustained the Eboran is dead. The elf like tree people, with their intense red eyes, decide that drinking human blood is the solution, until it turns out to be toxic given sustained abuse. Tor, one of the few healthy surviving Eborans, decides to go out into the world, to travel, to drink, to fuck, to drink blood. Which is how he meets Vintage, an adventurer, exploring and investigating the haunted artifacts left by the weird nightmare insect aliens who last came down in huge vessels to devour everything at the time of the Eighth Rain. On one of their adventures they meet an escaped Fell-Witch, Noon - escaped from The Winnowry, which notionally imprisons dangerous witches, but is actually a drug-factory, using the witch-fire to produce the most popular drug on the market. So, yeah, I found myself enjoying this much more than I expected: vampire tree people, haunted aliens and hostage drug witches are more my cup of tea than griffons and dragons. Those do crop up eventually, and there is more of an epic fantasy arc to the whole, but by then I was sold.

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Sunshine - Robin McKinley 

Alternate future with supernatural beings (vampires, demons, weres (including but not limited to wolves), sorcerors) and magic. Reminds me of some of Charles de Lint's short stories, more modern. Recommended by Neil Gaiman! 
As a long-time Robin McKinley fan I really appreciated the little nod to her Beauty & The Beast retellings :) 

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On 12/1/2018 at 10:03 AM, remotevoices said:

my reading:

 

You get that I just take what you read and search my local library for these titles and download whatever they have right?

 

Keep it up!

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Last week: 2001, Space Odyssey. I like both the movie and the book. Although they're the same story, they are just completely different works. Not only are some of the major plot points slightly different the book and movie also have a completely different tone. The book is much closer to a classic sci-fi story, with Clarke going into minute technical detail (as he does) and explaining much more than the movie does (and perhaps just a bit too much). I first read it when I was a teenager (before even seeing the movie), having recently seen the movie in a proper theater setting, I figured a re-read was in order.

 

This week: Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore, which is about a dude reincarnating over and over to try and achieve perfection, or else... I'm not far in yet but quite enjoying it. It's got hints of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, so probably a decent amount of people here would enjoy it as well...

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The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai — This has an interesting start and vaguely reminds me of the same struggle to make sense of what's going on that you get in Oryx and Crake, but alas, it kind of fell apart at the end IMHO. There comes a point where you're like, wait… they did what out of left field??? Might still be worth it if you want to embed in a really effed up post-apocalyptic future where screwing around with genetics has done us in and possibly also saved us to some extent.

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20 hours ago, editengine said:

 

You get that I just take what you read and search my local library for these titles and download whatever they have right?

 

Keep it up!

 

our reading...hope you're finding something worthwhile among the random!

 

The Twilight Pariah - Jeffrey Ford - a tor novella, so quick easy read. I kind of expected more from it to be honest, it was fine, but I'm not sure there was anything here that we haven't seen in a number of horror films/stories. Three friends come together during the holidays, likely one of the last times they will see each other as they go to different universities and drift apart. Our narrator is an aspiring writer and he tells the story, one of the friends has decided that she wants to be an archaeologist, so she drags him and scholarship football player they are friends with along to a remote country house. Here she plans to hold an illegal excavation for fun and practice, but, of course, they unearth something - a skeleton of something that is humanoid, but not human. And the haunting starts.

 

A Frozen Night - Laura Ambrose - a romance serial by Laura Lam writing under an alternative name - instead of her recent science fiction novels, she is trying her hand at something different. Two young women meet online, one writes fantasy the other literary fiction, but they become friends. This story tells their first meeting, where they wonder if the online flirting will become more. Short and explicit. An introduction at least initially available for free for signing up to her mailing list, and prologue to the novella which has come out recently.

 

A Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams - while I have seen at least one film, a TV series, listened to the radio play, I have never read the book. A friend bought me the omnibus edition and insisted I read. So i've read book 1 so far. It is super familiar with all that previous encounter. I was unsure it would work, given its reputation and coming to it at this point. But it did, the familiar was nice and enjoyable and the unfamiliar added to the whole.

 

Lonely Werewolf Girl - Martin Millar - after recent read of Supercute Futures, I felt I should really catch up with the Kalix the series. Kalix is 17, after a fight with her father that got out of control she has run away from their home in Scotland and is now living homeless in London, with a drug problem, an eating disorder and a certain level of anxiety/depression. The fact that she is a werewolf complicates matters, and the fact that her dying father is the head of the werewolf clan makes things worse. She is wanted by the clan and is being tracked by werewolf hunters. Probably Millar's most complex and dense work, though his stuff is always pretty easy reading, with a certain punk undertone. Kalix is given protection by her fashion designer sister, shacks up with two random students, bumps into her punk rock cousins, and gets into all kinds of fights as her death becomes the decider in a battle for succession. Mad cap page turner, I'm half way through, but loving it so far.

 

On A Sunbeam - Tillie Walden - this is the 2nd graphic novel by Tillie Walden I've read after her autobiographical Spinning (about her time as a competitive skater, moved from one city to another, and discovering her sexuality). Sunbeam was serialised online, and I read bits of it then, but this is a big thick collected hardback of the science fiction epic. Mia has taken up a job in reconstruction with the crew of a spaceship - humans scattered across the galaxy too fast, leaving abandoned properties behind, as they catch back up with themselves they need crews to refurbish the asteroid properties, from religious outposts to office blocks. Along the way Mia slowly bonds with the other women on the crew, but also remembers her years in a boarding school, where despite being smart she became board and restless and troubled. Until she meets Grace, a mysterious new girl to the school, whom she decides to befriend and then falls in love with. The story works between the two timelines, building a strong cast of mostly women characters, each with their own journey and emotional depth. The strength of the characters combined with the sweep of the worlds that are built around them makes this a real delight.

Still online http://www.onasunbeam.com/ as well as being available in complete book form.

 

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