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Old 10-03-2021, 05:30 PM   #30286
kyrilson
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The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein.

Since the novel starts in 1970 and then goes into the future, it's easy to forget that this was written in the 50s. Being written much before the computer era, and being set in the near future, which is actually our past now, it suffers from retrofuturism, like a lot of old science fiction. So of course expect no internet, no modern computers, no modern social values... So a modern reader has to be able to see beyond those obstacles in order to enjoy this fine story about time travel and the development of limited types of AI. In fairness to Heinlein, although he did not get the technological details right, the general idea about what kind of tasks AI can do is accurate.

Anyway, other than that, the story is interesting, very readable and fast-paced. It's told in first person by a very creative engineer, and it features industrial theft, various types of time travel, cats and a love story that is kind of creepy. There's a kind of optimism and charm in the way the main character is always inventing something, and cares much more about the creation process itself than about the business element. Being written during the early stage of Heinlein's career, the narration is tight and focused, and I enjoyed it, much more than his later work although it's not my favorite Heinlein novel.
I love this book. This was my first Heinlein book, so perhaps that's why.
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Old 10-03-2021, 06:10 PM   #30287
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Ditto!

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I love this book. This was my first Heinlein book, so perhaps that's why.
Same here!
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Old 10-06-2021, 04:42 PM   #30288
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Next, a recent purchase (on sale, of course), Star Wars: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray.
This one was only OK. The main characters introspection was very interesting and rather complex for a MG book. However, the plot details were not intelligently done. Inconsistencies, alternating dumb and smart (in)actions and poor battle scenes. My favorite character was the one who didn't speak. Rated D+ [2 stars]

Next tbd
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Old 10-07-2021, 06:33 AM   #30289
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And now another recent purchase, Redcoat by Bernard Cornwell. A stand-alone set in 1777 Philadelphia.
It was OK. A bit disappointing to read in the afterword how many timings of events had been slightly tweaked (often by just a few days, or by relative order), for no particularly good reason.

Spoiler:
Shades of RLS's Kidnapped towards the end!


Next up: A random pick from my TBR pile. Hot Stuff by Janet Evanovich and Leanne Banks. A freebie from Fictionwise way back in February 2010.

Last edited by pdurrant; 10-07-2021 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:05 AM   #30290
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Finally getting around to reading The Butcher Bird by S.D. Sykes, second in a Historical Mystery series around the time of the plague. Excellent writing in this. I'll probably go straight onto the third book after.

The first book of the series was Plague Land and was very good too.
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Old 10-09-2021, 10:15 AM   #30291
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Next up: A random pick from my TBR pile. Hot Stuff by Janet Evanovich and Leanne Banks. A freebie from Fictionwise way back in February 2010.
Which was a fun, quick read. An enjoyable mystery/romance.

Next up: Swords Against Darkness edited by Robert E. Howard. Epic fantasy short stories from some very well-known authors. A freebie I picked up earlier this year.
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Old 10-12-2021, 11:43 AM   #30292
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Next up: Swords Against Darkness edited by Robert E. Howard. Epic fantasy short stories from some very well-known authors. A freebie I picked up earlier this year.
It was good. 4/5. I do prefer novels to short stories, but there are some excellent sword & sorcery stories in here, and the comments by Robert Howard are interesting too.

Next up: Angels and Visitations by Neil Gaiman. A collection of shorter works from a humble bundle back in 2015.
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Old 10-12-2021, 08:05 PM   #30293
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The Collected Stories of Louis Auchincloss - that were selected by the author himself for this compilation. Often compared with Henry James and Edith Wharton, his short fiction is spare, precise, cutting, and often unexpectedly funny with a dry wit. This collection includes his first published short story 'Maud' as well as a ghost story, a Civil War story, and many of his characteristic legal tales.

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Old Yesterday, 04:18 PM   #30294
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Just started Endurance: My Year In Space by Scott Kelly
A year on the International Space Station interspersed with reflections on his life.
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