Yearly Targets 2018

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MSJ

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« Reply #150 on: September 25, 2018, 12:29:04 pm »
Raining here like it has for the past half a year and I dug into The Bone Witch, by Rin Chupeco(19). Fucking brilliant, I must say. First in the installment of a trilogy.

It follows a young unsuspecting "Bone Witch" and her trials and tribulations to become a asha in the Dark arts, which is very rare and a necessity and curse all wrapped into one.

I can't recommend this enough. Like, stop what your reading and pick this up.

ETA: and if you can guess the protagonist of this book...you're fucking brilliant! :)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 12:33:18 pm by MSJ »
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #151 on: September 25, 2018, 02:03:12 pm »
@SmilerLoki,  I won't say you're wrong, but I think that's why I enjoyed it so much. See, every "new age" dark, gritty fantasy, all we see is grey characters. It was refreshing to read some bullshit I guess. I was quite fond of it.
Oh, with that mindset it totally works, I get it.

MSJ

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« Reply #152 on: September 30, 2018, 03:24:14 pm »
@Wilshire, I said in an earlier post that I couldn't wait for the sequel to The Unhewn Throne. Er, I've read the trilogy. Lmao, guess I was confusing it with another trilogy.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #153 on: September 30, 2018, 04:24:30 pm »
Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1) by Josiah Bancroft (35)
This was quite a fun book. Not the best I've read this year, but still a great story. Its also not so much Fantasy as it is scifi/steampunk, which is fine but a little bit not what I was expecting. Its very imaginitive with good characters and writing, so I'd recommend it to anyone looking for something a bit different - something to break up the monotony of high fantasy questing or space operas.

Well turns out Viriconium is a series of novels and stories written by M. John Harrison. The first is The Pastel City (1971), then A Storm of Wings (1980), and finished with In Viriconium (1982). Plus several short stories.
I didn't realize this before I started, but since I'm half way through I might as well read them all (though I won't count the collection of short stories as a book). Really interesting so far, quite superlative prose though the vocabulary is beyond me in many passages.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2018, 03:57:31 pm by Wilshire »
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MSJ

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« Reply #154 on: October 08, 2018, 12:43:44 pm »
Finished Caine Black Knife(20), by Matthew Stover. Really good book. I liked it alot more than the torture porn that is Blade of Tyshalle. Quick fun read for anyone out there. Though, I suspect you need to read the previous two first.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #155 on: October 10, 2018, 02:43:21 pm »
The Pastel City (Viriconium 1) by M. John Harrison (36)
This was a pretty interesting book and a good opening to Viriconium. It thrusts you into the middle of a deep world where much has been lost to the entropy of time. This type of setting for a scifi so not the usual, and I found it really interesting. The book, though short, was entertaining and a fun read. It provides a nice intro to Harrison's prose.

A Storm of Wings (Viriconium 2) by M. John Harrison (37)
Probably the best of the three, and the longest. The story is very complex, the prose is beautiful but so elevated that my vocabulary struggled to keep up which ultimately made it less enjoyable. If I took the time to read it slowly and look up all the words I needed to, this probably would have been incredible. But I didn't have the interest to do that, so my enjoyment suffered a bit. Still worth reading.

In Viriconium (Viriconium 3) and short stories  by M. John Harrison (38)
I didn't like this one. The story/plot was not terribly interesting, nor where the characters. I found the conclusion baffling, and at some point I think we crossed from Scifi to Fantasy, which was done so abruptly that it killed my suspension of disbelief. It was also rather short.
The short stories were OK, but not being terribly invested in the series or the world they fell a bit flat as well.

Overall, I'm glad I read them. Harrison keeps coming up as 'best prose in scifi' author, and I can see why. But as I've mentioned elsewhere this isn't my favorite thing - colorful language and landscapes - so I can't say I'll recommend it highly on the strength of its plot and characters.

Edit:
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (39)
Wow. This book was fantastic. Hobb did an incredible job. Her prose just the right mix of description and action. The characters were life-like, the pacing superb. Defiantly one of my favorites.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 11:32:28 am by Wilshire »
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MSJ

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« Reply #156 on: October 19, 2018, 03:13:02 pm »
Finished The Heart Forger (21), by Rin Chupeco. Great follow up to the first. This is a very unique story, told in multiple timelines. And, I can't put them down once starting.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

SilentRoamer

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« Reply #157 on: October 25, 2018, 07:05:58 pm »
Hey all

Seems like you are wracking up the totals. I have hardly read a thing recently so going to try and start recording what I have read, I'll do a count up and then give myself a reasonable total for the year.

Hope you are all ok?

MSJ

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« Reply #158 on: October 29, 2018, 11:02:14 pm »
Just got through with The Winter King, by Bernard Cornwell (22). Of course, everyone knows the story of Aurthur. But, as historical fiction, this story gets a different twist. I quite enjoyed it.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #159 on: October 30, 2018, 03:10:37 pm »
Hey all

Seems like you are wracking up the totals. I have hardly read a thing recently so going to try and start recording what I have read, I'll do a count up and then give myself a reasonable total for the year.

Hope you are all ok?
Can't speak for other's but I've had a pretty great read, reading and otherwise. Hope all's well with you SR, long time no see.
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MSJ

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« Reply #160 on: November 02, 2018, 08:35:12 pm »
Finished The Enemy of God, by Cornwell. (23)  2nd book in the Warlord Trilogy. Great books.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

SilentRoamer

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« Reply #161 on: November 06, 2018, 11:59:42 am »
I am currently readoing Children of Time by Tchaikovsky. It feels very Hamilton at the moment but a lot more tight knit and woven.

Recently read Nivens Ringworld and Aldiss Non-Stop and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them.

Trying to get more time to get online and to read a bit more as work has been insane over the last year or so.

Hope the TSA crowd are all doing well and avoiding the blood greased eternal damnation that awaits us all.

Looks like I have some TSTSNBN catching up to do!

MSJ

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« Reply #162 on: November 08, 2018, 06:33:48 am »
Finished Excalibur, Cornwell. (24) That finishes up the Warlord trilogy. By far the best Arthur story I've ever read or watched. Would love to see it as a film. Highly recommend this to everyone.

ETA: Derfel of Cadarn is the man!
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #163 on: November 12, 2018, 12:57:06 pm »
The Hidden Empire (Saga of Seven Suns 1) by Kevin J Anderson (40)
Anderson made his name by writing books in other people's universes, like Dune and starwars. This was his debut novel in his own universe, and it was really good. The setting was very generic, but the story ends up making up for it.  Definitely a fun read

Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera 1) by Jim Buther(41)
This was an enjoyable read, much better opening to a series than Stormfront for Dresden Files. Its possible that this is because i like the more traditional fantasy setting more than urban fantasy. At any rate, it wasn't the best book ever, but there was something to it that makes me want to read more. I'll have to pick of the sequels some day. The world if full of mysteries and intrigue that would be fun to read about.

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway (42)
Wow. This was a great book, and mostly deserving to be  a Hugo/Nebula winner. I'm probably biased as it has a bunch of random things that touch my life within the pages. It starts as a book about a book, has bees in a position of importance, clockwork mechanisms and a watchmaker, and other things. Seems like a sporadic jumble, but they fall together nicely and Harkaway spun a great tale. Highly recommended for someone looking for a scifi set in present day.

Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre (43)
An above average book, but not by much. It had a unique story, post apocalypse earth scifi with some alien stuff thrown in, but it was such a short novel. Not a ton of time to flesh out characters, but it was still something of a heartwarming read. Not highly recommended, but it was still OK.

Darkmage by M. l. Spencer (44)
Eh, not good. Really generic fantasy story, little bit of dark thrown in for flavor but it was ultimately just too generic for me to recommend.

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke(45)
Quality scifi. Not much thought was put into the characters or their development, this is a scifi all about the setting and the reaction of humanity to an alien event. The writing was serious good, though it is a bit disappointing that the characters where flat. Definitely recommended if anyone is looking for some classic scifi.

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski (46)
This was an interesting book. From all the bad that I've heard about translations in general, I think this book did a fine job. Kinda of a twisted take on Brother's Grimm fairy tales, with a unique story thrown in to the mix. I don't know if I'd recommend it highly, but if you play the Witcher video games, you might enjoy reading this. It was a decent, quick read.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 04:34:16 pm by Wilshire »
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Wilshire

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« Reply #164 on: December 12, 2018, 06:31:26 pm »
Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold (47)
Wanted to make a new post rather than incrementing my last one because this book was beautiful. This is the first thing I've read by Bujold, and I'll agree with the accolades it has received over the years. Not really sure how it ended up on the hugo/nebula awardee list, as its really not scifi at all but oh well - she deserved it. Its really a great fantasy tale of a woman past her prime (which, in the world of medieval setting is apparently 40), trying to go on what amounts to "one last adventure". Dark-ish without being grim, its a pretty touching story, though I've found I do have quite a soft spot for stories that deal with death in a realistic yet positive way. It reminds me a bit of Gemmel, if Druss the Legend was an old lady rather than a man.

I struggled, literally for years, whether or not to read Curse of Challion first, as it was published before and the events take place before. While I have now spoiled that book, Paladin of Souls did not suffer for it. What tipped me over the edge finally was when someone mentioned how Bujold writes very self-contained stories, so while this book is a direct sequel the events and most of the characters are new - if in function if not in fact.

All together a great story with many touching moments.

Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (48)
I really enjoyed this book, and in particular I think the audiobook production did a great job. Bit of a mystery type vibe, though much more interesting in concept. Some great ideas discussed, and definitely and interesting universe created. Its pretty freaking dark, especially at the start, and a lot of violence is against kids which is disturbing. Sometimes by kids, sometimes not. Still though, I had a lot of fun with this one and would recommend it. Well written, interesting world and ideas, and an audiobook that just worked. I don't know if the production smoothed over some of the rough edges or what, but somehow it seemed to add a lot.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 04:03:33 pm by Wilshire »
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