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  1. #661
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    By any definition, if it is a cautionary tale about a possible future, then it IS science fiction, whether it gets shelved in the SF ghetto, or with "real" literature. Sometimes it is interesting to see books jump from one section to the other. 1Q84 and Wool are recent examples.
    Atwood herself prefers the term "speculative fiction" -- just because the term "science fiction" connotes spaceships and robots (rightly or wrongly). She talks a lot about the various genres -- and how meaningful the distinctions may or may not be -- in her book In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination. (A very good read, btw.) I happen to agree, for her books it definitely fits better than the scifi label.

    On a less argumentative point- I turned around in my hotel restaurant last year and went totally fangirl inside at seeing Margaret Atwood at the next table. I didn't let my husband converse with me at all, as I eavesdropped on her conversation about autographing kindles. She seemed like a fascinating woman to spend time with.
    LOL, I did exactly the same thing when I ran into her in Scotland!

    I didn't much like Oryx and Crake, but from the sounds of it, Year of the Flood and MaddAddam improve on it.
    I found Oryx and Crake interesting, but I didn't connect with it. At all. Largely because of the male protagonists. I liked Year of the Flood a lot. MaddAddam was only okay -- too unfocussed, and some character points that bugged me, but not a bad end to the trilogy.

  2. #662

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    I'm reading dreck -, er, genre fiction, AKA the stuff they sell in grocery stores. I just finished Jayne Castle (Jane Anne Krentz) "Deception Cove" - another in her Rainshadow SF series about the psi-talents on a distant planet previously inhabited by a now-extinct Alien Race. The "mystery" was slight, the romance kind of sketchy and the characters pretty flimsy but I enjoyed it because that was about all my brain wanted to deal with over the weekend. I'm now starting Mary Balough's Regency "The Arrangement." I like Balough; she gets the history right and her characters are always very human and interesting. Here the hero is blind and beleaguered by over-protective female relations who are pressuring him to marry ASAPHe flees their well-meant schemes and meets the heroine, an impoverished poor relation of a social-climbing miss who sets her cap at the hero, determined to overlook his handicap in favor of money and title. The setting is a small rural town, rather than the ballrooms of London, so it's not the typical Regency. I'm looking forward to a nice, comfy read.
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  3. #663
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    I'm now starting Mary Balough's Regency "The Arrangement." I like Balough; she gets the history right and her characters are always very human and interesting. Here the hero is blind and beleaguered by over-protective female relations who are pressuring him to marry ASAPHe flees their well-meant schemes and meets the heroine, an impoverished poor relation of a social-climbing miss who sets her cap at the hero, determined to overlook his handicap in favor of money and title. The setting is a small rural town, rather than the ballrooms of London, so it's not the typical Regency. I'm looking forward to a nice, comfy read.
    There is a short story that pre-cedes this, The Suitor. It's not a necessary read, but you may want to catch it first.

    I read both The Arrangement and The Proposal (part of the Survivors’ Club series) and enjoyed both.
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  4. #664

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    I'm reading dreck -, er, genre fiction, AKA the stuff they sell in grocery stores. I just finished Jayne Castle (Jane Anne Krentz) "Deception Cove" - another in her Rainshadow SF series about the psi-talents on a distant planet previously inhabited by a now-extinct Alien Race. The "mystery" was slight, the romance kind of sketchy and the characters pretty flimsy but I enjoyed it because that was about all my brain wanted to deal with over the weekend. I'm now starting Mary Balough's Regency "The Arrangement." I like Balough; she gets the history right and her characters are always very human and interesting. Here the hero is blind and beleaguered by over-protective female relations who are pressuring him to marry ASAPHe flees their well-meant schemes and meets the heroine, an impoverished poor relation of a social-climbing miss who sets her cap at the hero, determined to overlook his handicap in favor of money and title. The setting is a small rural town, rather than the ballrooms of London, so it's not the typical Regency. I'm looking forward to a nice, comfy read.
    I love both of these authors. I have to suspend disbelief when I read Jayne Castle but those stories are fun. I haven't read The Suitor or The Arrangement yet but I've read everything else of Mary Baloug's so I know I'll love them.

    I finally gave in & decided to see what Harry Potter is all about. I've now read all 7 books & have seen 4 of the movies. Other than Jayne Castle I don't usually like books about fantasy or magic but I ended up loving these books. And the books are so much better than the movies, although they are at the least enjoyable. I'm not supposed to like Professor Snape at this point in the movies but Alan Rickman is such a fabulous actor that it's hard to hate him. The casting for the movies was brilliant.

  5. #665
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    She talks a lot about the various genres -- and how meaningful the distinctions may or may not be -- in her book In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination. (A very good read, btw.) I happen to agree, for her books it definitely fits better than the scifi label.
    I have that book, and I agree, it is a good read. I try never to use the sci-fi, sci fi, syfy, labels, because I know of so many SF authors who rather loathe that term. Speculative fiction is what I call it in my own head, because so much of SF is not hard science based; but most people who don't read the genre don't know what I mean when I use it.

    Here's another argument- Margaret Atwood DOES write SF novels, but Douglas Adams didn't. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a comedy spoof, but not SF. (Also, I did not like it at all!)

    I'm trying to work my way through this list- NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy books. Right now I've read, or attempted to read, exactly 50 on the list. A few of them I've read multiple times and recommended to friends. A few of the books on the list are not my favourites by that author. I enjoyed Doomsday book by Connie Willis, but I'd like it if everyone read and loved To Say Nothing of the Dog.

    eta- I envy anyone who gets to read Harry Potter for the first time.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    Here's another argument- Margaret Atwood DOES write SF novels, but Douglas Adams didn't. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a comedy spoof, but not SF. (Also, I did not like it at all!)
    Comic sci-fi is still sci-fi. Here's something John Scalzi wrote about Adams; I think he makes good points about humor in sci-fi and the impact Adams has had in this regard (Redshirts, BTW, is a lot of fun). I agree that a lot of science fiction is light on the science, but to me it seems like part of the evolution of the genre and what people working in it and reading it want to explore. I don't read a lot of sci-fi/speculative fiction, but I come across a lot of discussions about what the genre is and what it should and shouldn't include, and I'm not sure it's possible to come up with a definitive answer.

    Not surprisingly, Lois McMaster Bujold writes much more eloquently on this subject that I could

    I'm trying to work my way through this list- NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy books. Right now I've read, or attempted to read, exactly 50 on the list. A few of them I've read multiple times and recommended to friends. A few of the books on the list are not my favourites by that author. I enjoyed Doomsday book by Connie Willis, but I'd like it if everyone read and loved To Say Nothing of the Dog.
    I've read To Say Nothing of the Dog. To say that I did not love it would be an understatement; actually, a more accurate description would be that I attempted to read it and eventually gave up because it didn't work for me at all.

    A friend and I talked our book club into reading a romance novel (well, novella) and yesterday we got together to discuss it. As someone who's been reading romance for years, it was really interesting to see how people who are less familiar with the genre react to it and what did and didn't work for them.

    Other than that, my TBR list is once again down to zero
    Last edited by Zemgirl; 10-04-2013 at 08:31 AM.

  7. #667
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    FTW !!! Library just happened to have one copy of "doctor sleep" on the new bks shelf and I got. Bwahaha its mine its mine all mine whee!!!!
    PLUSHENKO YOU ARE ALWAYS THE BEST

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    I found both of the aforementioned Connie Willis books boring in the extreme and I'm not a Margaret Atwood fan either. I'm really enjoying the Balough romance - the hero is a hoot! - and I now have an old, very dated political thriller by Richard North Patterson, "No Safe Place" going on audio in the car. I don't know that I'd have the patience to read this in print but for traffic-driving entertainment, it's okay and I'm actually enjoying the behind-the-scenes look into a presidential campaign. I keep thinking that it's the kind of story my mother, political-scandal-junkie that she was, would have loved.
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  9. #669
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    I read literally hundreds of regency romances in the '80's and '90's and the quality ranged from recycled Harlequin plots with plagiarized lines from Georgette Heyer to charming romps that nearly approached Heyer's best. Mary Balogh's were the first I would choose, because hers were always good ones. I'm happy that she has escaped being a stable author to one who sells by her name.
    Last edited by rjblue; 10-04-2013 at 11:51 PM.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

  10. #670
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    If yr reading "dr sleep" and you get to pg 37 and start laughing hysterically over the vintage s king line "what have we got for our next contestant, johnny? Well, bob, it's a great giant platter of GREASY SARDINES!" yr going to enjoy the rest of this bk. :-)
    PLUSHENKO YOU ARE ALWAYS THE BEST

  11. #671

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    One of the English teachers at my school has her book coming out Oct 15th! I am so excited for her. It is called Reclaimed, her name is Sarah Guillory. I will review it as soon as my copy comes in.
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    I've got three paperbacks by Dodie Smith, free to good home (if you'll pay postage). I thought they'd be like her I Capture the Castle, but they weren't, exactly -- the characters in these were a little, shall we say, uninhibited for my taste! More accurately, they're an odd combination of uninhibited and old-fashioned, which just didn't appeal to me much. Still, the writing style is good.

    Anyway, here are titles and descriptions:

    http://www.amazon.com/New-Moon-Old-D...1004271&sr=1-4

    http://www.amazon.com/Ends-Revelatio...1004617&sr=1-5

    http://www.amazon.com/Town-Bloom-Dod...1004271&sr=1-7

    PM me if interested.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  13. #673
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    I'm on pg 465. It's good real good. Good clear writing. Easy to read pacing that is neither too fast nor too slow. Scary in an "hm

    UH.....hmmmm....uh oh" way. We're heading for The Big Showdown now. Whee!:-)
    PLUSHENKO YOU ARE ALWAYS THE BEST

  14. #674

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    I finished Bolough over the weekend and really enjoyed it. I'll hunt out the others in the series. Now I'm into Kat Richardson's "Greywalker" paranormal mystery. So far it has everything paranormal but the kitchen sink: ghosts, visions, wierd dimensions, witches, vampires, missing persons, a spooky antique parlor organ. I haven't run into a zombie yet but I assume there will be one in there somewhere. I'm not particularly enamoured of the narrator P.I. who seems to have next to no investigative skills whatsoever, but there's enough action to keep me reading.
    "You just can't underestimate the power of positive underwear." 2013 Fruit of the Loom ad

  15. #675

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post

    I'm trying to work my way through this list- NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy books. Right now I've read, or attempted to read, exactly 50 on the list. A few of them I've read multiple times and recommended to friends. A few of the books on the list are not my favourites by that author. I enjoyed Doomsday book by Connie Willis, but I'd like it if everyone read and loved To Say Nothing of the Dog.
    I read and loved To Say Nothing of the Dog, but even more so, I adore the Blackout/All Clear, duet. In fact, I love those books so much that I have them on my "keeper" shelf, I re-read them every year or so, and I want to hold them and pet them and call them "George."

    All five entries in the Oxford Time Travel series are great, although The Doomsday Book is a bit of a downer.

  16. #676
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    We've been talking about this already in the Nobel Prize thread but I just wanted to cross-post and say how thrilled I am about Alice Munro's Nobel prize win. There have been past Nobel winners I've read and enjoyed, but she's the first one who's actually on my list of all-time favourite authors. She manages to write in a way that's exquisitely "literary" and still entirely accessible and relatable. Hugely deserving win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    !)

    I'm trying to work my way through this list- NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy books. Right now I've read, or attempted to read, exactly 50 on the list. A few of them I've read multiple times and recommended to friends. A few of the books on the list are not my favourites by that author. I enjoyed Doomsday book by Connie Willis, but I'd like it if everyone read and loved To Say Nothing of the Dog.

    eta- I envy anyone who gets to read Harry Potter for the first time.
    I've read 30 of those, and feel quite nerdy for it
    Thaks for the list, I'll be using it as a reference!

    I am reading James Clavell's Shogun, because currently I am in need of some fun reading about Japan. And fun it is, I have trouble putting it down ( I missed the book in my teenage years, but I've always loved historical adventure, especially if it has some info about seafaring)
    improving my ballad- like lines

  18. #678

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    I'm trying to work my way through this list- NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy books. Right now I've read, or attempted to read, exactly 50 on the list.
    Quote Originally Posted by dinakt View Post
    I've read 30 of those, and feel quite nerdy for it
    Thaks for the list, I'll be using it as a reference!
    I have read approximately 30 as well.

    I say approximately because

    1) most of my SF/fantasy reading was during the 1970s -- in a couple cases the titles are familiar but I can't remember the plot enough to be sure I actually read the book (or the whole book), and/or

    2) I read the first book in a series but not the rest of the series.

  19. #679
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I have read approximately 30 as well.
    I don't particularly care for SF or Fantasy, but I've read 20 of them.

    I just finished Diane Ravitch's The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education and will proceed to Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools as soon as I read something relaxing to de-stress. I work in a program funded by Bill Gates, but the things he says about education make me and these books sure aren't helping.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  20. #680
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    Alice Munro of Canada got the Nobel in literature. Anyone familiar with her work? Opinions?
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