I finished The Murdstone Trilogy
One of the web places I check every day is Little Red Reviewer, Andrea Johnson’s fine blog covering the science fiction and fantasy genres. Recently Andrea did two posts: Holding Nothing Back – A Guest Post by Julie Czerneda, and Cover Reveal: The Gate To Futures Past by Julie Czerneda. I greatly respect Andrea’s opinions about SF-F, and she gave much praise to Czerneda’s books, so who am I to ignore that?
Czerneda writes both science fiction and fantasy; of the former her series fall under the overall title of The Clan Chronicles. The first 3 books are the Stratification trilogy: Reap the Wild Wind, which I’m now reading, followed by Riders Of The Storm and Rift In The Sky. The next three more novels comprise The Trade Pact trilogy, currently in print, and another, Reunification due in November, which wraps it all up. Go to the author’s website for all the info you want.
What you need to know here is that I’m reading, and liking, Reap the Wild Wind, and looking forward to reading more Czerneda. I’ll have more on that next week.
Still “out there” is something by Rex Stout (for the July special FFB) and a hard-boiled anthology (for the September special FFB), plus as usual I’ll be reading more short stories.
Barbara finished John Sandford’s Heat Lightning the second in the Virgil Flowers series and has gone straight on to Extreme Prey, the latest – of 26 – in the Prey series. She says it’s quite timely with (as of page 75) a plot which revolves around a presidential race, including a woman candidate.
How about you?
What are you reading?
At the recent AAUW Book Sale, I picked up a handful of Julie Czerneda, paperbacks. Like you, I’m not familiar with Julie Czerneda’s work, but if The Little Red Reviewer says Julie Czerneda, is worth reading I’ll try some of her books.
George, you’re always ahead of the curve. The first third of this book isn’t that SF-y, but then things get more so. So far, character seems to be her strong suit.
George, which titles did you pick up? Maybe I can suggest where to start, since a lot of her books are in interconnected trilogies, a little like what Robin Hobb does.
Please stop giving me new books and authors to look for! Just kidding. Nice post.
Three books this week, all from the library, the first and third being downloads to the Kindle. First was the Martin Edwards anthology I mentioned last week, DEADLY PLEASURES: A CWA (Crime Writers Association) Anthology, with lots of well-known British writers and some good stories. After I read the new Pronzini anthology I will get to the Camilleri/Montalbano collection. Promise.
Next was Justin Cronin’s THE CITY OF MIRRORS, final book in the trilogy that started with THE PASSAGE and THE TWELVE. Even though it’s been three years since the last book, the prologue made it easy to remember the basics, and the 600 page book was a pretty fast read. I read the last 300 pages in a day.
Lastly was the third in the Ben Aaronovitch series about PC (and Apprentice Wizard) Peter Grant, WHISPERS UNDER GROUND. Perhaps there is less magic in this than the first two books (they do need to be read in order), with a man murdered on a London Underground platform. And while I’d say this was my least favorite of the three, I still did enjoy it and will go on to the next one shortly, especially since I can download them from the library.
One new arrival (PaperbackSwap): Simenon’s INSPECTOR CADAVER in the recent Penguin reprint. I had (and read) a hardback under the title MAIGRET’S RIVAL.
Not sure what I will read next (other than the Pronzini) as I have several library books, including the latest Adrian McKinty and Neil Gaiman’s non-fiction collection, and a couple more books waiting to be picked up.
Busy week here as we have three concerts (Monday, Thursday & Saturday).
I realized, when reading your comment, that I have Cronin’s THE TWELVE. I think maybe George sent it to me. I’d thought it was a stand alone. If I have to read another book first, I may never get to it. Three hundred pages in a day is way beyond my pace! I liked the first Aaronovitch book better than the second. If that trend continues, I may not keep reading. I liked the magic element. I have two more books waiting at the library, in addition to the one I’m reading now, and have a Stout to read soon. Busy!
I haven’t read Julie Czerneda yet, Richard. She’s one of many of the current crop of SF writers I haven’t got around to — something I should change soon, I’m glad you are enjoying her work.
This week, I finished DOMAIN, the third in the Rats Trilogy by James Herbert. The rats have gotten bigger, smarter, nastier, and more mutanty after London has suffered a nuclear attack. Herbert was one of the more effective British horror writers in the recent past. Not your cup of tea, I know. My FFB this week was THE FRANKENSTEIN FACTORY by Edward D. Hoch, one of his occasional trips to science fiction — an interesting and somewhat flawed mash-up of Mary Shelley and Agatha Christie.
This has been a week of short stories for me: two collections and three anthologies. Ken Greenwald’s THE LOST ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES is a baker’s dozen of stories adapted from the radio plays written by Denis Green and Anthony Boucher in the mid-Forties. (Green would write the settings and most of the dialogue and boucher would contribute the plots and the twist endings.) Great fun. Judith Merril’s early collection OUT OF BOUNDS has seven stories including her first story, the justly-classic “That Only a Mother.” Merril may be better known as an anthologist and book reviewer but her fiction (over a career that lasted two decades) was powerful. The three anthologies I read were all space opera and edited by Brian Aldiss: PERILOUS PLANETS, EVIL EARTHS, and GALACTIC EMPIRES, VOLUME TWO.. (Aldiss edited three other similar anthologies which I have around here someplace; as soon as I find them, I’ll get to them also.) Old-fashioned gosh-wow adventure will never go out of style, IMHO.
I also read four graphic novels this week. BLACK WIDOW: THE ITSY-BITSY SPIDER, SECRET AVENGERS: FEAR ITSELF, CAPTAIN MARVEL: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, and MS. MARVEL: NO NORMAL. The first two were meh-ish, the Captain Marvel was unusual and poignant, and the Ms. Marvel (who is a practicing Muslim-American teenager) was very good.
I was able to read a lot this week while hunkering down to await two major storms. One went to the east of us and one to the west. We should be so lucky for the rest of the year.
Enjoy your week, Richard.
Jerry, it’s always a pleasure to read about what you read. I don’t think I read the Rats Trilogy, though it sounds familiar (I may have aid that last week too). I read your FFB; must admit it didn’t sound appealing. Once again I am backlogged on short stories. I have to get reading more of them. A new one just came in the mail yesterday. Sometimes, with books and reading, I feel a bit like Sisyphus, nearly getting caught up (at least a little), then…
Aldus edited quite a few anthologies, I believe. Jeff or Todd Mason would know. I have a couple including one of those you read, GALACTIC EMPIRES. I even think I read it, some time ago. Judith Merril is better known as an editor, no question. That Ms. Marvel set-up seems wrong, after years of reading the original, actual, real MM. I’m not in favor of updating / making everything current and PC for the current crop of readers, especially in such a blatant way. Humbug.
Glad those storms missed you, Jerry. Keep that thing you made from bubble wrap, wire and an old Oreo cookie sleeve up in the front yard and they will continue to do so, I’m sure.
Richard, the first book in the Rats series was filmed in 1982 as DEADLY EYES, a very poor film (James Herbert called it “rubbish) that has been shown on television a number of times. More people are familiar with that film than with the books. Because of the film, I hesitated for several years before reading the very good novel from which it was made.
THE RATS. I’ll see if the library has it. – – it does, so I put it on “the list”.
The movie was notorious for using “dachshunds in rat suits” to stand in for the rats. It was bad. The books are different, though definitely creepy (especially the last one).
Dachshunds in rat suits?!? Sounds almost worth watching for the humor. Well, maybe not.
According to IMDb, 35 dachshunds and five terriers were outfitted in individual rat costumes for the film. No actual rats were harmed in the film, but one dachshund died from suffication from being trapped in a rat suit — a piece of trivia that bothers me greatly.
Me too! Poor beasty.
Daredevils by by Shawn Vestal. Phil is reading LEAVING BERLIN by Joseph Canon.
Darn, you’re always reading things I don’t know. Gotta catch up.
I’m reading Ian Rankin’s STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN’S GRAVE, an Inspector Rebus mystery–although Rebus has now retired and working cold case files. In this book, a cold case appears connected to several more recent abductions. As usual, the book is tightly-plotted and beautifully-written, but one element is a bit jarring: although the book is only a few years old, a major plot point involving the attempt to discover where a cell phone photo was taken makes the book feel so dated. Today, a photo would be geo-tagged down to the street address and immediately uploaded to “the cloud”; Rankin spends a solid 75 pages on the ramifications of the cell phone photo. It’s not Rankin’s fault that technology has swiftly outstripped a key plot point, but it puts me in mind of Roger Ebert’s dictum that only when something stops being dated and starts being history can we truly see its value. It might also be a warning for writers not to lean overmuch on technology in their plots.
Boy, do I feel ignorant. Since I rarely use my cell phone, and not to take pictures (having a real camera, a Nikon, for photos), I had no idea every cell phone photo is…what?…geo-tagged. The cloud? I thought you had to tell it to put stuff in cloud storage, each and every time. If you buy cloud storage.
You’d never know I was once very up on the latest computer stuff. But the phone tech just got away from me, mostly because I tend to only care about the tools I use.
As for the book, I’ve read just one by Rankin, and liked it. Not sure why I didn’t keep reading that series.
Oh I’m no tech whiz…I get most of this from my kids (who can text with their eyes closed and spend all day on Instagram and Snapchat), but photos are definitely geo-tagged now, and I believe photos go automatically to the cloud if you have i-cloud turned on.
Well, I sure wouldn’t have been bothered by that part of the book, anyway!
Massive thanks for mentioning me! Not only do I try to read as much as I can, but I try to talk about the stuff in a way so people who read my blog can really get a feel if a book is something they might like too.
I was going to say that this week I’m reading Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear, but I finished it last night! two more days on this business trip, so I’ll have to resort to the novellas that are on my kindle to get me through. There is a M.H. Mead novella on there that’s part of the Detroit Next series, so that will probably be what I read tonight. And when I get home, Wesley Chu’s Time Salvager will be waiting for me. I about a third of the way through, and stalled out. But I came across some spoilers online that makes it sound the book is just about to get really interesting.
I don’t read a lot of sci-fi or fantasy, Richard so I am at a loss with some of the authors you and other readers talk about, still I somehow enjoy reading said comments anyway. People who are enthusiastic about their reading always seem to have something interesting to say.
Having said that, I looked on my shelves and found a few fantasy and/or science fiction reads that I enjoyed over the last few years. Have you read any books by Lyn Flewelling? Her Nightrunner series is excellent and very well conceived, with two startlingly good main characters. I’ve checked on line and there are seven books in the series. I’ve read four of them and I’ve just now realized that there are, indeed seven books and three I haven’t read, so I”m adding them to my list.
Also have you read the Temeraire books by Naomi Novik? This is one of my favorite series (of any genre) of all time and it’s coming to an end with the last book just published a few days ago. Needless to say, it’s on my Must Have Immediately list. I love this blend of actual world history and fantasy – a kind of alternate history if you will – in which dragons (ridden by human ‘captains’ )make up an air corps which will help defeat Napoleon after many battles and hairsbreadth adventures around the world.. Though in this instance, Napoleon actually lands on British soil. It is a truly amazing concept with fantastic battle sequences. Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) has bought the books for a possible television series or perhaps, a movie. I wish he’d get going on it.
I’m also lined up for Richard Russo’s EVERYBODY’S FOOL. Russo is probably the only current contemporary writer I read. When thinking strictly of literature.
But in the meantime, I’m fondly indulging my love of vintage books and of course, lining up my favorite Nero Wolfe for next month’s FFB.
P.S. I’m adding Julie Czerneda’s name to my TBR list. Just in case.