Looking at some recent books read

Hello, hello! Blog's not dead, just haven't quite felt the motivation to write anything because I'm in a SFF funk since last year. With that in mind, I thought I'd write a bit about the two most recent sci-fi novels I've read.

 As you might remember (or if you just scroll down a couple of inches), I bought this book last year at a new bookstore I had discovered in town. Having re-read the first book in the series, Mutineer, I decided to dive straight into Deserter and finished in short order. It was enjoyable, but didn't knock my socks off. I would still recommend it.

A re-read that I literally just finished last week.Vatta's War is one of my favorite military SF series and Kylara Vatta one of my favorite protagonists. She's flawed, but quick thinking and daring. That's the only way that I can describe a character that is thrown out of a naval academy, given command of a merchant vessel on a milk run to the scrapyard, decides to go off book and try to strike out on her own, and finally gets trapped in a war zone and prevails despite all adversity including near-death. An easy recommendation.


Of course I bought more books

Because there's a new bookstore in town and they had some SF novels that I had to have.

I've been trying to find a copy of Kris Longknife: Deserter for years, so I'm more than pleased to finally have found one. Agent to the Stars is another I've been wanting, while Embers of War is a book that looked interesting enough to take a chance on.

I'm already deep into Deserter and it's living up to expectations.


Finished: Reach for Tomorrow by Arthur C. Clarke

I finished reading this collection of the SF great's short stories a while back and I thought I'd give a rundown of the stories within.

Rescue Party: A survey ship from a multi-species federation is dispatched to our solar system after it's discovered that the Sun is about to go nova. Their mission is to explore as much of the third planet as they can and if possible, rescue as many humans as they're able.

This is a neat story because it's told from the perspective of alien explorers. They've never encountered humans before, so they naturally don't understand most of what they find as they explore the Earth. This leads to a tense moment where a group of them find themselves trapped on a subway car. They're rescued, but the whole expedition is forced to leave before the Earth is destroyed, so they assume that their mission is a failure. It isn't. They discover humanity's fate and it leads to an upbeat ending.

This is one of my favorite stories of the collection because of the alien perspective and the ending.

A Walk in the Dark: The back cover of the book describes this as an "old-fashioned ghost story set on an alien world", but I would describe it as boring. I love Arthur C. Clarke's stories, but this one was just not good. The plot is a simple one where the narrator is walking to a spaceport on the aforementioned alien world at night when his flashlight fails, forcing him to make the journey in pitch blackness. He becomes unnerved along the way because the darkness forces him to dwell on a stories he has heard about near encounters with something that may or may not exist on what is believed to be an uninhabited (prior to humans showing up, that is) planet.

I didn't like this one because there was no tension or anything. Maybe this would have been a chilling story back in 1950 when this short was originally published, but not today. The ending felt tacked on too. A Walk in the Dark is probably my least favorite.


Still alive

Sorry for the lack of posting, folks. Real world health issues with my dad have sapped my urge to blog as of late. I do have two posts in my drafts that I'm going to try and finish sometime this week, so there will hopefully be some new content on here soon. It's unfortunate that I haven't been able to post because I've read quite a bit of SF this year. I'm currently at ten books, which is five less than last year, but I haven't been pushing myself to hit a total number like previous years. Still, I'm still chugging along and aim to add at least a couple of more books to that number before the year's out. Maybe even before the end of the month.


On a classic SF kick

I'm not sure why I'm so keen on reading some classics, but I am. I had a hankering for some Arthur C. Clarke yesterday and hit the local public library with the intention to check out several of his books, but instead ended up leaving with more. Here's what I'm reading:

It's a Clarke-heavy reading list, but like I said, I had planned on only grabbing his books. I'm reading Reach for Tomorrow right now and it's not bad. Like Expedition to Earth, it's a short story collection. I might read Expedition to Earth after finishing this book or I might jump to The Gods Themselves. I'm more of a Clarke fan than an Asimov fan, but that's only because I've never read any of the latter's work from start to finish.

Transcendental isn't a classic yet, but James Gunn is a SF legend, so it gets a pass. I'm still amazed that a 95 year old is still writing science fiction.

Anything look good to you guys?


Yet more books

Different books, same shitty picture quality. Where the books in the previous post were all military SF, these are just a mix of SF.

The "bookcase" in picture #1 is just a cheapo wheeled table I repurposed because it had shelves and I could get my hands on it, lol. The books in the second and third pictures are sitting on the headboard of my bed with the stereo and speakers doubling as bookends. The books themselves are just too tall to fit on that bookcase.

It's certainly an assorted collection, isn't it? I tend to favor SF that's more action and adventure oriented. I'm not into works that are deeply philosophical or requires a degree in physics to grok.


My military SF collection

I think the hip and happening kids call these pictures "shelfies". I just call them terrible quality. :P

Click to embiggen.

Like I said shitty quality. My hand isn't steady, nor is the camera on my phone the best, but we do what we can, lol. Some of the names are blurry, so if you're curious about any title, just let me know down in the comments and I'll tell you what it is.

But yeah, this is all of my military SF or at least what I don't have boxed up.
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