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> What are you reading?
SubRosa
post Aug 27 2019, 09:47 PM
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I finished Margaret Killjoy's - The Barrow Will Send What It May. It was good, as was the first. More anarchist demon hunters. This time they got tangled up with an Endless Spirit called Barrow. Well really with one of its minions, a self-made necromancer. His wife died of cancer, and so he brought her back from the dead with a spell that uses the power of Barrow.

I really liked how she did Barrow. It is the guardian of the doors between life and death. Through Barrow, you can bring someone back. But it demands its books be in the black. So for every resurrection, someone else has to die. Furthermore, they come back, but not quite the same, something is lost, and something added. A little bit of Barrow comes with them. Once enough of Barrow comes through, it can fully form itself in the mortal world. Cue the Apocalypse. So every time a necromancer brings someone back, they are literally rolling the dice with the fate of the world.


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Kane
post Aug 28 2019, 01:42 PM
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Foundation by Isaac Asimov.
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SubRosa
post Aug 28 2019, 05:01 PM
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Love the new avatar!

I never did read Foundation, or any of Asimov's really famous stuff.


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ghastley
post Aug 28 2019, 05:51 PM
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I think I've read all twelve books of the Foundation trilogy. blink.gif

I haven't read all 273 of his non-fiction books, either.


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Kane
post Aug 29 2019, 02:35 PM
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QUOTE(ghastley @ Aug 28 2019, 12:51 PM) *
I think I've read all twelve books of the Foundation trilogy. blink.gif

Heh, I know what you mean. I looked into the series before reading and wasn't really sure where to start. Decided to just read the original three.


QUOTE(SubRosa @ Aug 28 2019, 12:01 PM) *
Love the new avatar!

I never did read Foundation, or any of Asimov's really famous stuff.

Thanks! biggrin.gif
This is my first foray into Asimov. Heard good things about his stuff.
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SubRosa
post Aug 31 2019, 08:16 PM
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I finished the novelette The Black God's Drums, by P. Djeli Clark. It was a really cool alternative history story set in late 19th Century New Orleans. It has some steampunk, but only a little bit. Not enough to become ridiculous. There is also a little magic, which was really well done.

The two protagonists are both black women. Well one is still a child. That was really nice to see. The grown up was the captain of an airship. That being the steam punk part. And she had a mechanical prosthetic leg. The bad guys are renegade Confederates who are trying to get their hands on a magical weapon that the Haitians once used to gain their independence from France - The Black God's Drums, named after Shango. It is so terrible that they never used it again.

It was a fun adventure through an alternate world of New Orleans. I really hope to see more like it from the author.


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Decrepit
post Sep 3 2019, 03:55 PM
Post #1027


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Almost forgot to mention that at 1032, 1 Sep this year, I finished my second read of Katharine Kerr's A Time of Exile, fifth entry in her Deverry series, and am now some pages into the next book, A Time of Omens. I feel the series is improving as it progresses, but for me remains standard fare.


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Decrepit
post Sep 8 2019, 02:01 AM
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At 1035 this morning I finished my second read of Katharine Kerr's A Time of Omens. She has yet again improved as a writer, but I still don't consider these books 'must reads.' I'm now a few pages into the next volume, Days of Blood and Fire.


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Decrepit
post Sep 13 2019, 02:31 PM
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At 1628 yesterday, during supper, I finished my second read of Kartharine Kerr's Days of Blood and Fire. I again found this an overall improvement over its predecessors, though the 'quest' she chose to end with was relatively lackluster. I'm now some pages into the next volume, Days of Air and Darkness.


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Decrepit
post Sep 21 2019, 03:05 AM
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At 2049 this evening I completed my second read of Katharine Kerr's Days of Air and Darkness. Like other recent series' entries it was a pleasant read. Beyond that I struggle to come up with anything worth saying. I'll begin the next volume, The Red Wyvern, upon retiring for the day, likely within an hour.


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SubRosa
post Sep 23 2019, 10:31 PM
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I just finished Ruthanna Emrys' Winter Tide. I enjoyed it immensely. It is Lovecraft without the racism, xenophobia, and sexism. The protagonist is a Deep One, who is still in the human half of her existence. She and her brother are the only two surviving members of Innsmouth, having finally been release from captivity after WWII, along with the Japanese-Americans they had been interred with. She is not the hottest chick to ever live, which is really nice to see in a story with a female lead. In fact, most humans consider her ugly (she is a Deep One before their change after all). I guess I point that out because she - Aphra - is a person, and stands and falls on her smarts and her will, not on her looks. It is sad to say that even in the 21st century, this is still a rare thing to see in print, and never in film or television.

Emry's completely reimagines the Deep Ones. They are not hybrids, they don't impregnate human women to breed. They are a branch of humanity that have always existed. Emrys has a neat prehistory that is alluded to in which humans divided into three distinct groups in the distant past to survive a catastrophe (Mythos originated of course). They became the People of the Air ('normal' humans living on the surface), the People of the Water, and the People of Earth.

I really enjoyed the inclusion of the latter, whom I correctly guessed were the people from K'n-yan. They are also referred to as "The Mad Ones". If you have read The Mound, you know why. One of the characters in the novel turns out to be descended from the Mad Ones, which I found really interesting.

The Deep Ones are really fun too. Without all the fears of miscegenation, they become an intriguing near-human race. While their goals and interests are not the same as the People of the Air, they are not cardboard cutout evil either. They are just people. Different, but people. In fact, they are no less monstrous than the 'normal' humans. That was something Emry's really hammers home. The real villains of the tale are all human, driven by nationalism, paranoia, bigotry, lust for power, and just plain foolishness.

I really enjoy her depiction of magic, which is as much mathematics as it is incantation. Rituals and spellcraft take up a large part of the book. They are the largest source of danger in the novel in fact. While Emry's puts a friendlier face on the People of Water, she does not shy away from the cold, empty indifference of the Cosmos. Nor of its cold cruelty. There are still things just beyond our perception, waiting for their chance to get in, that are utterly inimical to life. One plays a key role in the latter half of the novel. In true Weird fiction style, we never learn its name, or what it exactly is, or if it even has any real set goals. It is simply there, and killing the characters by existing.

It is the first novel of her Innsmouth Legacy series. I will be starting on the second book - Deep Roots - next, and sort of the 0 book, a short story called The Litany of Earth that seems to have kicked the whole series off.


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Decrepit
post Sep 28 2019, 05:03 PM
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At 2237 last night I completed my second read of Katharine Kerr's The Red Wyvern, book one of The Dragon Mage, a series within her many Deverry novels. As with previous entries, there's not much to say about 'em. Decent reads, nothing overly special. Finishing Wyvern when I did, I read only a few pages of its followup, The Black Raven, before falling asleep.


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Dark Reaper
post Sep 28 2019, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Aug 27 2019, 03:47 PM) *

I finished Margaret Killjoy's...


Isn't that Buzz Killington's wife?


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Decrepit
post Oct 9 2019, 12:19 PM
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At 0056, 7 Oct 2019, I finished a second read of Katharine Kerr's The Black Raven, a novel in her Dragon Mage series, which itself is a component of her extensive Deverry writings. More so than its predecessor I find much of interest within its pages, especially near the end. What's more, either Ms Kerr (or her editors) has at last rid herself of far too frequent unnecessary usage of the word 'that,' or narrative was so engrossing I subconsciously overlooked it. An irony. Its followup appears to be my last owned series entry. Had you asked prior to Dragon Mage if I planned to purchase lacking books, I'd have responded with a resounding no. That is now modified to a hesitant no. Speaking of which, I m now some pages into that followup, The Fire Dragon.


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SubRosa
post Oct 9 2019, 01:50 PM
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In finished Ruthanna Emrys' Deep Roots and Litany of Earth. I really should have started with Litany, as it chronologically comes first, and really does a lot to create the setting. It is not a novel, just a short story. But like Emry's other work, well done.

Deep Roots continues on from Winter Tide, taking place six months later. In it the protagonists are trying to find 'Mist Born' - Deep Ones from families who had left Innsmouth before the raid, and probably do not even know their true heritage. Their goal is to try to bring them back to restart Innsmouth.

In the process they go to New York, and stumble upon an enclave of Mi-Go. I enjoyed how she portrays the Fungi from Yuggoth. They match up with Lovecraft's writings. From a certain point of view. One lacking xenophobia. Emrys' Mi-Go are more like Vulcans or the Federation than monsters. They travel the stars, and bring people with them from a dizzying number of races. They recognize that the Earth has entered a precarious time where humans might annihilate themselves in nuclear war (It is set in 1949, just before the Russians detonated their first fission bomb). They want to save humanity, but are divided over how.

The Scooby Gang is caught up in the internal conflict between the Mi-Go. Some Ghouls get drawn in. The shining trapezohedron even makes an appearance. While the story is filled win conflict, it is not the punching and shooting kind, which was nice to see. Like the Deep Ones, her portrayal of the Mi-Go is interesting and multi-layered, emphasizing the Otherness of their nature (they are not from this dimension), but also showing them as being people, rather than simply monsters.

All in all another good story. I really like how the author took HPL's monsters and told stories from their point of view. In fact, she really turns HPL's writing on its head, all without really contradicting any of it at the same time. I look forward to more.


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