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Old 05-06-2013, 04:54 AM   #16471
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Just finished "Voyage" by Stephen Baxter, one of the best SF novels I've read in a very long time.

Like many of Baxter's novels, this is an "alternate history" novel, the premise of which is that Kennedy was crippled, but not killed, in 1963, and that following the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 he became the leading advocate for a NASA mission to Mars. The book tells the story of the successes and failures of the subsequent development programme, the politics and infighting, the lives and careers of the astronauts between 1969 and the planned Mars landing in 1986. An absolutely riveting read for anyone at all interested in manned spaceflight. Highly recommended.

Baxter is, in my view, one of the best living "hard SF" authors around.

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Old 05-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #16472
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Just finished "Voyage" by Stephen Baxter, one of the best SF novels I've read in a very long time.

Like many of Baxter's novels, this is an "alternate history" novel, the premise of which is that Kennedy was crippled, but not killed, in 1963, and that following the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 he became the leading advocate for a NASA mission to Mars. The book tells the story of the successes and failures of the subsequent development programme, the politics and infighting, the lives and careers of the astronauts between 1969 and the planned Mars landing in 1986. An absolutely riveting read for anyone at all interested in manned spaceflight. Highly recommended.

Baxter is, in my view, one of the best living "hard SF" authors around.
The fellow sounds interesting. I just downloaded a sample of Time's Eye, which he co-authored with Arthur C. Clark.

He's also one of a growing number of authors who have collaborated with Terry Pratchett.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:40 PM   #16473
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Just finished City of Pearl, the first of the Wess'Har novels by Karen Traviss. It was recommended by someone here, and a very good recommendation it was. I devoured the book, and am trying to figure out how I can justify buying the rest of the series.

I admit, this started a bit slow, and was fairly confusing until I'd read enough for everything to sort out. The different alien races, the various characters, etc. But since that's what ultimately makes this book so compelling, I can live with that. And once you get into it, there's no putting it down. I think I dropped my Kindle at least 3 or 4 times last night as I tried to finish it in bed.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:50 PM   #16474
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I have just finished Robert Silverberg's "Lord of Darkness". In his afterword, he called it historical fantasy, which seems a fair description. It is based on the scant history of an Elizabethan privateer, Andrew Battell, who was held as a prisoner-of-war in Angola for twenty years. Silverberg says that his purpose was to show what it might have been like for an English seaman to have spent twenty years in the West African jungle in the late Elizabethan era. It seems credible from that perspective.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:03 PM   #16475
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<snip> Next up is Tom Kasey aka Peter Stuart Smith - The Dante Conspiracy [Historical Thriller] - free Apr 2013
Spoiler:
Florence, Italy.

The corpse of a professor of Italian Renaissance poetry is found in a deserted barn outside Florence, his body ravaged by prolonged torture.

But there seems no reason why anyone would want him dead.

Hours later, somebody breaks into Dante’s cenotaph in the Santa Croce Basilica. But that’s an empty stone box, so what were the thieves expecting to find there?

The case makes no sense, and the only link between the crimes seems to be a couple of mysterious new verses which possibly might be a part of the Divine Comedy.

Could the verses contain a code? And, if so, to what? And who wants to decode them so badly that they would kill to discover the secret?

As the body-count rises and gunshots echo around the ancient streets of Florence, the detectives investigating the murder realize they’re in a race to the death. They must crack the code and uncover the secret before the killers get there first.

The truth will be more shocking than they could ever have imagined. And more dangerous as well.

'The Dante Conspiracy' is a chilling conspiracy thriller perfect for fans of Dan Brown, Steve Berry and Clive Cussler.

"An edge-of-the-seat thriller, with fantastic historical detail." - Robert Foster, best-selling author of 'The Lunar Code'.

Tom Kasey is a pseudonym for a well-known thriller writer responsible for a series of best-sellers. His other books include the best-selling Trade-Off.

Endeavour Press is the UK's leading publisher of digital books.
I did like this one, although the ending was a little different from my cultural point of view, but may be completely realistic from that historical/cultural view. I wouldn't say it was a thriller, although the beginning is a bit of detailed torture. I think the rest of the novel was more of an Italian mystery/suspense of solving murders and a quest. The story kept me interested enough that I didn't always want to put it down, the characters became known and were fleshed out just enough that I believed their chosen actions, and I only noted a couple of wrong word errors.

Now, I have to figure out what to start next.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:49 AM   #16476
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:58 PM   #16477
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I just finished The Archive by Victoria Schwab and that is seriously the best book I've ever read. The characters, the world-building, the story and the writing-style ; it was all so beautiful. If you like mystery and/or dystopian: GO READ IT NOW!
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #16478
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Just finishing The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:30 PM   #16479
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Yesterday I finished reading One Deadly Sister and realized that I'd gotten so engrossed in it I'd forgotten to even start reading The Quest of the Missing Map. So I got started on it and during a reading break, which is when I usually switch to the 'other' book I'm reading, I realized I had yet to select an 'other' book. So since every time I turn on the TV I see an ad for HBO's Game of Thrones and I've had a copy of A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin for quite a while now, I figured I'd give it a whirl and try reading it. Well, after reading the first 50 pages I decided to abandon it to my 'to be read later maybe shelf'. There were just too many characters to keep straight and they all didn't seem to be doing anything very interesting. So I chose another 'other' book and began reading Die Trying (Jack Reacher #2) by Lee Child. Ahh...much better.
Die Trying was a very exciting read and The Quest of the Missing Map was a nostalgic one. Both were quite enjoyable.

Now on to The Clue in the Jewel Box (Nancy Drew #20) by Carolyn Keene (Mildred A Wirt) and another new author for me, Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1)!

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Old 05-08-2013, 02:18 AM   #16480
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Now on to The Clue in the Jewel Box (Nancy Drew #20) by Carolyn Keene (Mildred A Wirt) and another new author for me, Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1)!

The Name of the Wind was a good book, I really enjoyed it. But for some reason I got distracted and never read the rest of the series. I'll be interested to see what you think. Maybe it will encourage me to dig out the next one from the bottom of my TBR.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:45 AM   #16481
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The Name of the Wind was a good book, I really enjoyed it. But for some reason I got distracted and never read the rest of the series. I'll be interested to see what you think. Maybe it will encourage me to dig out the next one from the bottom of my TBR.
Well you won't have far to dig since at this point in time there are only two books in the series, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. The third book, The Doors of Stone has a 2014 expected release date.


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Old 05-08-2013, 03:13 AM   #16482
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Started Coraline by Neil Gaiman last night.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:33 AM   #16483
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Started Coraline by Neil Gaiman last night.
Did you finish Coraline by Neil Gaiman last night?
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:40 AM   #16484
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And now I'm starting the May/June issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
This issue wasn't quite to my taste, either in the style or the subject of most of the stories.

Next: Asimov's Science Fiction, July 2012
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:08 AM   #16485
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Did you finish Coraline by Neil Gaiman last night?
Haha. No I have not
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