Discussion: What are you reading?

And so we come to the time of the week when we discuss things. And I’m a bit tapped out this week, so we’ll keep it to something simple: What are you reading?

What novel(s) did you just finish and are okay with admitting? What would you recommend? What authors are you mainlining right now? Hell, go ahead and ask for recommendations. As long as it has to do with science fiction and fantasy books, have at it. And by that I mean feel free to go above and beyond Star Wars.

I have some semi-embarrassing YA fantasy (not Twilight) that I’ll bring up in the comments later. Promise. If you’re good. There might even be a touch of rant.

25 Replies to “Discussion: What are you reading?”

  1. I reccomend Inside Out and Outside In by Maria V. Snyder. I can’t think of a way to describe them without giving away too much of the plot, but they’re really good YA science fiction with a strong female lead. Maria’s Poison Study series is really good too.

  2. I’m trying to slim down my physical library, so I’m plowing through my “Star Trek” collection. I just finished “Avatar” books one and two from the “Deep Space Nine” series, which were excellent.

    I’m currently halfway through “Exiles” from the “Next Generation” series, and I’m debating whether I should finish it. It’s awfully preachy about environment and conservation, and rumor has it that the whole thing wraps up with a giant deus ex machina. Ugh.

  3. Currently reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson…because I loved Mistborn books #1 and #2 and felt very let down by book #3. Barely two chapters in so no opinion as of yet.

    Next on the pile is book #5 in Tim Zahn’s six-book Dragonback series (YA science fiction). Not OMGexcited by it, but in typical Zahn fashion the plot threads are starting to tighten up. I’m excited to see what happens next.

  4. I have been rereading my Douglas Adams books. I remember liking And Another Thing… when it came out a couple years ago. However, after reading it directly after reading the rest of H2G2 I don’t know what I was thinking. Colfer is no Adams by a long shot. Not sure if I will finish it or move on to the Dirk books.

  5. I’ve been reading a lot of YA fantasy and sci-fi, lately. I’m getting more satisfaction from those authors than most of the “adult” ones, lately.

    With that, I’d recommend “Across the Universe” by Beth Revis. Very interesting world building in that one.

    I’m currently finishing up “Ship Breaker” by Paolo Bacigalupi and am thoroughly enjoying it.

  6. I am about a third of the way through Fate of the Jedi: Vortex.
    About a chapter into the first Harry Potter book. After seeing the latest film I made a goal to read through the entire series.
    I am also planning on starting Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter once I finish Vortex

  7. I highly recommend anything by Terry Pratchett, but especially “Small Gods”, which is the one I’m reading right now.

    I’m also reading Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, which…I love the universe, but am glad that Star Wars novels are, when considered as a whole, vastly more well-written than Halo novels.

  8. I’m still slogging through the Young Jedi Knights books. They aren’t bad… they’re just a little dopey. I’m reading “Darkest Knight” right now, with the hope that I can finish the Shadow Academy arc in time for a break with Deceived.

  9. I just mainlined all of the Vorkosigan Saga novels by Lois McMaster Bujold in the last two weeks. I’ve had a goal of reading all of the past Hugo and Nebula nominees for some time to fill in my “how we got here” gaps for modern SF. I read one of the ebook omnibus titles, Cordelia’s Honor, free from the Bean Free Library and got hooked. I’ve been really pleased with Bujold’s ability to write strong, intelligent women main characters who have agency (and, in fact, save the man half the time). I definately recommend them for fast paced action/adventure reads.

    I’ll be done with Cryoburn in a few days and then move on to a couple of hardback Pulitzers winners I’ve had on my nightstand forever, though I’d rather be plowing through old Silverberg. *g*

    I also recently finished both The Windup Girl by Palo Bacigalupi (tie winner of Hugo last year) and Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente (nominee). I really loved Windup Girl and highly recommend it. Palimpest is an interesting one but isn’t for everybody. It’s sexual themes and content (integral to the story) could turn off some readers. That said, it’s highly inventive and has a lot of word play that is a delight for English major head-cases like myself. And on the novella front I went through John Scalzi’s The God Engines in a day. Disturbing, dark, and very cool. Totally my pick for the Hugo in that category.

    On the rec me front, if you have specific women authors or non-American/Persons of Color authors in Speculative Fiction that are your cup of tea, rec me! I’m also trying to fill in my “not written by a dead white guy” bracket!

  10. I just started reading Frontier Earth by Bruce Boxleitner. He talked a bit about the book and its sequel at Emerald City Comicon a few weeks ago and the similarities between the story he wrote and the upcoming “Aliens & Cowboys” movie. Pretty good, so far!

  11. Amberlee, if you’re looking for female SF authors, I think Sheri S. Tepper is essential. Her novel “Grass” is one of my favourite books.

  12. I just finished Angie Sage’s Queste which is YA, I think. I’d also like to start Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero before the second one comes out this summer or fall. As for Star Wars, I am currently in possession of The Swarm War, having finished off The Joiner King and The Unseen Queen a couple of weeks ago.

  13. @cy, thanks! I actually haven’t read Tepper yet and she sounds right up my current reading list. Whee!

  14. Cy: YES! Terry Pratchett is the man! I love how huge and complex his world is, and how funny yet exciting it is.

    Lately I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction, but I just picked up Masterpieces of Terror and the Unknown, a collection of horror stories selected by Marvin Kaye. It’s pretty good, with a lot of obscure authors that I’d otherwise never read, and it’s nice to be able to sit down, read a whole story, then just move on with my busy life.

    What I recommend: If you haven’t yet read Ray Bradbury, READ HIM! He’s my favorite fantasy author, and pretty much my favorite author ever. His writing is very poetic and takes a little getting used to, but his stuff is just so memorable and magic the way it stays with you.

    Also, the classic sci-fi writers Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke are always worth reading.

  15. I am reading the third installment of the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks. I have to say, I wasn’t very impressed in the beginning, but now that I’m on the third book, I can’t believe it’s over. It’s to the point where I’ve started scouring the internet for fanfiction because I don’t want it to end…

    I also just finished up the second installment of the Gentleman Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch. The third book is due to hit shelves any day now, and I’m absolutely addicted to it. It’s like Robin Hood meets Oceans 11, and it’s the perfect mix of action, adventure, fantasy and conmen to keep me addicted.

    I keep eying up the new Stackpole novel, though. In the Queen’s Service? Or something like that? Has anyone read it? Would anyone recommend it?

  16. @Amberlee: I’d recommend Nalo Hopkinson’s works. I enjoyed “Brown Girl in the Ring” a few years back, and she’s got a few other novels and short stories out. Also, I liked Octavia Butler’s Parable books (Parable of the Talents / Parable of the Sower).

    As for what I’ve read recently… not a whole lot in the SF/Fantasy genre except Star Wars. I got hooked in the adventure/thriller genre with James Rollins (Sigma Force series), Graham Brown’s Black Sun / Black Rain duology, and in the history department, i just finished a book on the lost colony of Roanoke by James Horn, “A Kingdom Strange”.

  17. @ Amberlee: You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy them.

    @ Erika & Sean: I’m so with you on the love for both Pratchett and the Leviathan series (haven’t read Behemoth yet actually). Of course the two are very different, but both create very unique worlds.

    And, if this counts, I have been passively looking for good Clone Wars fan fiction.

  18. Finally tackling the last book in Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. I got stuck in the middle of Book 5 sometime last year, and this week I suddenly felt like finishing it, which I did, and then got the last one from the library.

    I think my brain knows a new Dresden Files should be out around now and is trying to fill the void. It’s not really working. (MOAR HARRY NOW PLS.)

  19. Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card and Incarceron and Saphique (spelling?) by Catherine Norris. Both YA novels. Both very sci-fi.

    Pathfinder was particularly strange and I still don’t get it. Will have to go back and read it again. The story is almost in the old, cold tradition of Arthur C. Clarke, with a little Trek thrown in.

    Now on to “A Discovery of Witches” which is reputed to be Twilight in other guise. . .

  20. I’m reading “The Complete Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, just finished “The Valley of Fear” and starting “His Last Bow” tonight.

  21. @JawaJames, I went through all of Butler years ago along with LeGuin and Russ. I’m a particular Russ fan and am kind of perplexed as to why so few people know her work compared to the other two in that list.

    Nalo Hopkinson, however, I have not touched. Whee! Another new one to throw on the pile! thanks!

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