melita66: (japanese fruit)
 I've been continuing to read new issues of Strangers in Paradise XXV and Mage vol 3 plus I picked up some more of League of Extraordinary Gentleman, mainly to read the Nemo stories (about Janni, the original Nemo's daughter) and was drawn into the new miniseries. 

Triggered by the Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (CVA) reread on Tor.com, I read through it. It's fun; it's Bujold, but it's not one of my favorites even though I've liked Ivan through most of the series. I then reread Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen where we find out quite a bit more about Aral and Cordelia. CVA is a big caper novel, but strong in interpersonal relatipnships. One thing that caught my attention in CVA is the price given to build a new facility. Gregor put it at 500 million marks (I assume). A similar facility for NGA (a US military organization focusing on geographic data including imagery cost $1.7 billion recently. Anyway, GJ&RQ has almost no BIG! BOLD! ACTION! but instead focuses on people. I enjoyed it more than CVA.

Stephanie Burgis then released The Girl with the Dragon Heart, a sequel to The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart. These are middle grade/young adult. In the first book, a young dragon gets turned into a girl and ends up becoming a chocolatier's apprentice. Her first friend in the city is an orphan who's always on the make. The second book focuses on Silke who gets a change to spy for the crown on the royal faeries who have come visiting. However, the faeries stole Silke's mother and father away when they were on the way to the city. Can Silke find out what happened to them too?

I also read "The Wrong Foot" by Burgis, a twist on the Cinderella story. 

I felt me the need for some Moon and Stone so I read books 4 and 5, Edge of Worlds and Harbors of the Sun, by Martha Wells. 

The Brightness Long Ago doesn't come out for months but I managed to get an ARC. It takes place about a generation before his previous book, Children of Earth and Sky in that an older man in the latter book is a young man in this one. It's set in a quasi-Italy when every city-state was scheming and warring against the others.

Daniel Keys Moran released an ebook collection, about half Continuing Time-related. He's also releasing a hard-copy of The Long Run using the original artwork Yay!

Melissa Scott released a new sf book, Finders, about a team of scavengers. They particularly scavenge "toys" and elemental material from two earlier civilizations, both of which collapsed into the "Dark." They are a licensed team which has to include a scholar so it's somewhat like the early 20th century of archaeology. You get to clear the 'tomb' and sell whatever you can find. The elemental material is used to help power the existing third age. Meanwhile, one person is dying, the scholar who abandoned them years ago is back, complete with secrets that immediately complicate their lives. There was a typographic choice which struck me as odd in the book. The elemental material, somewhat like the fractins in Lee and Miller's Korval series, is comprised of RED, GREEN, and BLUE. The all caps just didn't work for me--maybe lower case italics would have worked as well? Minor nitpick.

I followed Finders with an early Scott book, Mighty Good Road, about another set of scavengers, troubleshooters who are hired to find a downed aircraft, determine how it happened, and find the cargo it was carrying. This one's complete with corporate skullduggery, classism, cultural clashes. It's good. 



melita66: (maiko)
Italic = read it. Underlined = not this, but something by the same author. Strikethrough = did not finish. asterix = on to-read list

The list is from a post that James did on Tor.com: https://www.tor.com/2018/12/27/100-sf-f-books-you-should-consider-reading-in-the-new-year/


48 read; 15 I've read something else by the author; only a few that I've bounced off of.






The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (2014)
The Stolen Lake by Joan Aiken (1981)
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa (2001-2010)
Yokohama Kaidashi KikĊ by Hitoshi Ashinano (1994-2006) [partial] The translation I looked at was...not good.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)
Stinz: Charger: The War Stories by Donna Barr (1987)
The Sword and the Satchel by Elizabeth Boyer (1980)
Galactic Sibyl Sue Blue by Rosel George Brown (1968)
The Mountains of Mourning by Lois McMaster Bujold (1989)
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull (1987)
Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler (1980)
Naamah’s Curse by Jacqueline Carey (2010)
The Fortunate Fall by Raphael Carter (1996)
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (2015)
Red Moon and Black Mountain by Joy Chant (1970)
The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas (1980)
Gate of Ivrel by C.J. Cherryh (1976)
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (2015)
Diadem from the Stars by Jo Clayton (1977)
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (1973)
*Genpei by Kara Dalkey (2000)
Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard (2010)
The Secret Country by Pamela Dean (1985)
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (1975)
The Door into Fire by Diane Duane (1979)
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis (2016)
Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott (2006)
Enchantress From the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl (1970)
Golden Witchbreed by Mary Gentle (1983)
The Dazzle of Day by Molly Gloss (1997)
A Mask for the General by Lisa Goldstein (1987)
Slow River by Nicola Griffith (1995)
Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly (1988)
Winterlong by Elizabeth Hand (1990)
Ingathering by Zenna Henderson (1995)
The Interior Life by Dorothy Heydt (writing as Katherine Blake, 1990)
God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell (1982)
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson (1998)
*Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang (2014)
Blood Price by Tanya Huff (1991)
The Keeper of the Isis Light by Monica Hughes (1980)
God’s War by Kameron Hurley (2011)
Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta (2014)
The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (2015)
Cart and Cwidder by Diane Wynne Jones (1975)
Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones (2014)
Hellspark by Janet Kagan (1988)
A Voice Out of Ramah by Lee Killough (1979)
St Ailbe’s Hall by Naomi Kritzer (2004)
Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz (1970)
Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (1987)
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1962)
Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier (2005)
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (1974)
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (2013)
Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee (Also titled Drinking Sapphire Wine, 1979)
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (2016)
Wizard of the Pigeons by Megan Lindholm (1986)
Adaptation by Malinda Lo (2012)
Watchtower by Elizabeth A. Lynn (1979)
Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy (1983)
The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald (2007)
China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh (1992)
Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre (1978)
The Riddle-Master of Hed by Patricia A. McKillip (1976)
Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees (1926)
Pennterra by Judith Moffett (1987)
The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monáe (2010)
Jirel of Joiry by C. L. Moore (1969)
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (2016)
The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy (1989)
Vast by Linda Nagata (1998)
Galactic Derelict by Andre Norton (1959)
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik (2006)
Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara (1993)
Outlaw School by Rebecca Ore (2000)
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (2014)
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (1983)
Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy (1976)
Godmother Night by Rachel Pollack (1996)
Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti (1859)
My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland (2011)
The Female Man by Joanna Russ (1975)
Stay Crazy by Erika L. Satifka (2016)
The Healer’s War by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (1988)
Five-Twelfths of Heaven by Melissa Scott (1985)
Everfair by Nisi Shawl (2016)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)
A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski (1986)
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (1970)
Up the Walls of the World by James Tiptree, Jr. (1978)
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (1996)
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge (1980)
All Systems Red by Martha Wells (2017)
The Well-Favored Man by Elizabeth Willey (1993)
Banner of Souls by Liz Williams (2004)
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (2012)
Ariosto by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (1980)
Ooku by Fumi Yoshinaga (2005-present) (vol. 1 only)

melita66: (ghibli house)
 It feel like I didn't read that much...I had two bouts of not-feeling-like-reading-any-book-and-particularly-nothing-new so I ended up rereading mostly. 

First off was one of two new books, Melissa McShane's Voyager of the Crown. This follows Zara North, former Queen of Tremontane. She can self-heal and will be very long-lived, if not quite immortal. As it is, she's been too long in a mountain village and decided to travel to a far-off kingdom. Part of the trip is by sea, but then they' run in to pirates and much plot ensues. I've enjoyed this series and it's my favorite of McShane's. I don't know if she plans any more Tremontane stories, but I hope so. 

For a heartwarming change-of-pace, reread Patricia Wrede's A Matter of Magic which is an omnibus of Mairelon the Magician and Magician's Ward. It's the story of Kim, who grew up on the streets of London in the Regency era. She's hired to check out the wagon of a magician named Mairelon but is caught and take on by Mairelon as an apprentice. Much discussion of how to fit in and what she really wants in life.

I needed more positive (at least mostly) books so I tore through Starfarers, Transition, Metaphase, and Nautilus by Vonda McIntyre. The earth is launching a sailship to follow a cosmic string. On earth, there have been called to stop the expedition and militarize the ship so many of the staff have been recalled. A member of the alien contact department decides they should steal the starship...well just continue the existing mission. Holds an extra place in my heart for having a geographer and an SF writer/researcher on the alien contact team.

Then, in honor of Murderbot: Exit Strategy being released, I read books 2-4 again. I'd already read Exit Strategy via an ARC (advanced review copy). Murderbot is full of snark and can't understand why it ends up helping those pesky humans all the time. So, so pleased that the first book, All Systems Read won a best novella Hugo this year! And there's a novel due in 2020!!

I finally managed to read a new book, Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone. I'd been hearing a lot of about the series and those covers...! Yes, I admit it, a great cover can influence me to look twice and three times at a book. Intriguing world. It caught my attention early on and I just kept reading. I'm now debating between reading the next published or the direct sequel. Hmmm.






melita66: (maiko)
 I'd read several mysteries in Sujata Massey's Rei Shimura series and liked them. I picked up her historical novel, The Sleeping Dictionary. It's set in the British Raj up to Partition, so approximately 1920s to 1947. The main character loses her family in her early teens and bounces between various settings, changing her name each time as she remakes herself to fit her surroundings. She ends up as the private secretary of a government employee (British, or maybe Scottish) and also involved with those who are agitating for India's freedom. She's always afraid that someone will find out about her past. It kept me up late a few nights and I learned a lot about the time period. I did feel that it wrapped up a bit too nicely, but...let's call it a historical romance. The title refers to what the British men called their Indian lovers. 

Eric Flint's republishing David R. Palmer's books. So far Emergence and Threshold are out. I had fond memories of Emergence so I thought I would read it again. I can still see why I liked it then, but I'm a lot older, more experienced, and we've had #MeToo and various other scandals and enlightenment since then. Reminiscent of mid- to late Heinlein. Hyper-competent main character (and just about every other character too), a lot of male gaze by the pre- or just barely pubescent female main character, etc. I'm unlikely to read it again.

I also read Rebecca Roanhorse's "Welcome to your authentic Indian Experience™". People are employed in VR to give "authentic" spiritual (usually) experiences to tourists. The main character does very well until he meets an odd fellow...

After many years (I'm guessing at least 20), I reread Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. I found my reactions to it very interesting. The front half was slow-going and my major thought was that, even at the height of my academic abilities, I would never have been able to keep up at Oxford! Anyhow, I think I should have read the earlier Vane books which would have gotten me into her headspace more. I also remembered who the "villain" was quite early (and it seemed obvious) so that took a lot of the zing out of it. I'd like to rewatch the Petherbridge/Walters series again.
melita66: (raven)
 A very good few weeks with 3 new books plus a new novelette/novella (?), and two rereads. Later this week: Worldcon! So I'm likely to get nothing read for a week or so.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS






Becky Chambers, Record of a Spaceborn Few

A fleet of ships (Exodus Fleet) sets off from a destroyed earth. They set up a cooperative (dare I say socialist) society as they realize that anything else will lead to destruction probably. People do end up in professions, but also have to make time for sewer and gardening work--whatever needs done. They end up being given a planetary system where the fleet sets up on a perpetual orbit. At the beginning of the book, one ship is destroyed and that loss is still reverberating several years later. 

The book focuses on several people. Sawyer arrives as an immigrant from an alien-held world where he can't seem to get ahead. Tessa's happy in her work, but it's threatened by changes and her daughter who saw the ship destruction is very unhappy. Kip, who's been trying and failing several apprenticeships, can't figure out where he belongs in the Fleet. Eyas aids in burials while Isobel is an archivist. These characters' stories cross and intersect over the course of the book. It's another lovely small-scale novel focused on people's lives rather than collecting plot tokens. 

Elizabeth Peters, The Serpent on the Crown

Another Peabody / Emerson book, set late in the chronology. Nefret and Ramses have young twins who have come out to Egypt with the clan. David Todros joins them after a few weeks, as does Sethos. Meh. Not one of the better books of the series. I had to make self finish it...

partially because halfway through, I got a strong craving to read Justice Hall by Laurie R. King. It's my favorite of the Russell / Holmes series. Ali, a character from O Jerusalem, appears on their doorstep, asking for help. The help entails traveling to Justice Hall, the seat of the Duke of Beauville. The Duke is now Marsh (Mahmoud), Ali's cousin. The mystery involves where all the heirs have gone--including one killed during WWI--and an attack on Ali as he was headed to the house of Russell and Holmes.

Diane Duane is now releasing some novelettes/novella while writing Door into Starlight (YAY! YAY!! YAY!!!). The first, The Levin-Gad, focuses on Herewiss. 

Claire O'Dell, A Study in Honor

A Holes / Watson pastiche, but set in an alternative United States, approximately curernt day, or near future. Lincoln freed the slaves, and the army is integrated, but there's a new Civil War on in the midwest. Janet Watson had her arm amputated but has a defective cybernetic arm that won't allow her to continue as a surgeon. She ends up in Washington, D.C trying to get a new one, and somehow support herself. She ends up meeting and sharing lodging with Sara Holmes, a woman with a lot of secrets and high-tech devices. I can't wait for the next one!

Rebecca Roanhorse, Trail of Lightning

Like the O'Dell, another book getting a lot of buzz this year. Set in the Navajo Nation in the southwestern US after a cataclysm, The rez is now surrounded by a huge magically-constructed wall. Maggie Hoskie is a monsterslayer. Her clan powers were awakened when her grandmother was killed. The demi-god/god Neizghání finds and trains her. Maggie is still dealing with PTSD plus abandonment when a new set of monsters appears. She needs to find and slay the witch who's creating the monsters.

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