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What'cha Reading?

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I'm currently reading Algorithms of Oppression, a book that explores how technology, specifically Google's search algorithm, is not neutral. It is created by people who are biased, or sometimes even racist, and its results reflect that.

I'm also reading Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies: Teaching and Learning for Justice in a Changing World - This is a collection of academic papers that explore and expound on how culturally sustaining pedagogies (CSP) can better educate and engage students today. It also explores how teaching from just the dominant culture does a disservice not only to minority students but those in the majority as well. Reading this book I find my assumptions constantly being challenged. It's very good. Though it does suffer from the stilted writing that most academic writing seems to.
 

Basil

A roller coaster of shame and respect.
(he/him)
The Prince of Tennis! I actually hit the 100 chapters a day limit on the Shonen Jump app. Man is it a shonen sports manga.
 
Moving on to Ghost Story by Jim Butcher. Would've totally skipped the short story collection. The stories were alright, but I would've rather had an extra day to read this
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
I’m reading Romeo and/or Juliet, Ryan North’s adaptation of the play into a Choose Your Own Adventure book. His Hamlet one was delightful, and this one has already made me laugh out loud several times (and has made fun of me once). Good stuff.
 

TomcaT

Writer of Things
Nothing really at the moment, but if anyone's got some good sci-fi suggestions, I'd be all over it.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Everyone’s talking about Harrow the Ninth
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Science fantasy. Don't be a slave to genre FL.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
Science fantasy. Don't be a slave to genre FL.
It is also completely ununderstandable if you haven't read Gideon The Ninth, fair warning. Also some meme tolerance might be required (I loved it).

Empress of Forever is the book I'm reading on evenings. I'm liking it, but I'm having a bit of trouble empathizing with its Shelon Musk protagonist. The support cast is aces, though.

How You Lose The Time War is short, breezy and the best published enemies-to-lover fanfic ever professionally published. I say that as a sincere compliment.
 
This is How You Lose the Time War and Empress of Forever are both good.
It is also completely ununderstandable if you haven't read Gideon The Ninth, fair warning. Also some meme tolerance might be required (I loved it).

Empress of Forever is the book I'm reading on evenings. I'm liking it, but I'm having a bit of trouble empathizing with its Shelon Musk protagonist. The support cast is aces, though.

How You Lose The Time War is short, breezy and the best published enemies-to-lover fanfic ever professionally published. I say that as a sincere compliment.
Another vote for This is How You Lose the Time War. If you haven't read it The Martian is great, but Three Body Problem is my top science fiction book and has been for years.
 

upupdowndown

REVOLUTION GRRR STYLE NOW
(he / him / his)
Goodness gracious I've been reading a lot this summer; being able to check out e-books from my library and read them on the phone has been the Best Thing. A few highlights:

Arkady Martine's A Memory Called Empire is the finest debut SFF novel I've read in years and a well-deserved Hugo winner. Courtly intrigue, empire, resistance, and poetry all combine to make an unforgettable read.

I also quite liked A.K. Larkwood's The Unspoken Name, which at the beginning reminds me strongly of the opening of The Tombs of Atuan. It definitely becomes its own thing though, and I completely bought into its central "orc sword girl meets sorceress" romance.

Rebecca Roanhorse's The Sixth World books Trail of Lightning and Storm of Locusts have been fascinating reads, set in a postapocalyptic setting that draws heavily on Navajo myth.

Also tore through all of Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse novels, which have been fine. Crooked Kingdom in particular has a fiendishly complicated plot and I really admire how she keeps you guessing with misdirection. She always plays fair, though.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I'm finishing The Hyperion Cantos by reading The Rise Of Endymion. I loved Hyperion, it was an insane mix of high concept stories (and fundamentally The Canterbury Tales but with a time-travelling murder god, actual John Keats and resurrection parasites), and The Fall Of Hyperion did the impossible task of tying all of that insanity together, getting a good ending, and making a satisfying story out of it. The third book - Endymion - is the weakest of the bunch, as it's much more straightforward, but it was enjoyable enough and has set the pieces in an interesting place for the big finish.
 
Just finished up Dictee by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. One of the more complicated reads I've done in a while, but stunning. Also not cheerful and the author's death is hard to read about as well. But highly recommended and important. It somehow reads like a combination of poetry, a language lesson and a history textbook.
 

Dracula

Posts: 52,928
(He/His)
Arkady Martine's A Memory Called Empire is the finest debut SFF novel I've read in years and a well-deserved Hugo winner. Courtly intrigue, empire, resistance, and poetry all combine to make an unforgettable read.
I gave this one a brief go when I was doing a bit of a book-tasting last year. I read the first several chapters. Found it to be a bit too dense with the worldbuilding material -- and I think that's a feature for some readers, but for me it makes my mind wander while I'm reading. Curious how you thought about it in that regard.
 

upupdowndown

REVOLUTION GRRR STYLE NOW
(he / him / his)
I gave this one a brief go when I was doing a bit of a book-tasting last year. I read the first several chapters. Found it to be a bit too dense with the worldbuilding material -- and I think that's a feature for some readers, but for me it makes my mind wander while I'm reading. Curious how you thought about it in that regard.
I adored it. the way that she uses opposing quotes from Empire and non-Empire sources at the beginning of each chapter to introduce the chapter's themes/conflicts is extraordinarily smart and a good way to give us a more textured look at the cultures in play.

It's a novel, in part, about how an outsider relates to a dominant culture. To pull that off, you have to do really substantial worldbuilding - 'thick description' in the sociological sense.

I understand how it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's pretty vital to the thematic work she's doing in the novel.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
(he/him/his)
Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981–1991 by Michael Azerrad. As the subtitle suggests it's an overview of the most influential underground rock bands from the 80s: what made the band special, their individual drives and internal dynamics, and how each of them paved the way for later developments in rock music— from the "college rock" scene of the mid-to-late 80s to the whole "alternative rock" revolution in the 90s. I was on a post-hardcore kick recently, so learning the history and impact of the genre felt like the natural capstone to that. I'm five chapters in so far, and while it hasn't been revelatory, it has been an interesting and engaging read. The highlight so far has been the chapter on Black Flag, because they were even messier than I imagined.
 

Droewyn

Smol Monster
(She/her, they/them)
The new October Daye book comes out next week! :froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth:
 

upupdowndown

REVOLUTION GRRR STYLE NOW
(he / him / his)
The new October Daye book comes out next week! :froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth::froth:
you better believe that this is already on pre-order from the local bookstore (which is HAND-DELIVERING in the neighborhood during the pandemic <3 ) and I'll be dropping e v e r y t h i n g when it arrives
 

TomcaT

Writer of Things
Well, I've got Empress of Forever ordered, so looking forward to some reading. Kinda using this thread as "What I'll be Reading" :)
 

Matchstick

(He/Him)
Nothing really at the moment, but if anyone's got some good sci-fi suggestions, I'd be all over it.
I concur on the Time War and Empress recommendations.

I'd also strongly recommend The Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Kowal. It starts with a meteor slamming into the Earth in the early 50s jump starting the space race as a way to try to get humanity out of the extinction event that is started by it. The series starts with the Hugo winning The Calculating Stars, although The Lady Astronaut of Mars is the novella that kicked it all off (and is excellent as well).

You could also check out The Machineries of Empire series by Yoon Ha Lee. The first one is Ninefox Gambit, which is also Hugo nominated. A military space saga in which faith, ritual, and math alter the fabric of the universe. The main character is an unconventional solider in a society that doesn't abide that kind of thing. Her penance is to have the consciousness of an undead heretic (who has never lost a battle including the one in which he massacred his own army and went mad) in her mind and be sent on a suicide mission to try to redeem her honor (and save the empire).
 

clarice

bebadosamba
Started Ring Of Swords by Eleanor Arnason. So far my only opinion is "oh, this is definitely from the same author as A Woman Of The Iron People" (which was an interesting read).
 

Seven

Enters, pursued by a bear
(he/him)
My aunt got me a two volume edition of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun last Christmas which I just picked up to read so I'm currently going through The Shadow of the Torturer.
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
My aunt got me a two volume edition of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun last Christmas which I just picked up to read so I'm currently going through The Shadow of the Torturer.
Good luck! Shameless self-promotion moment: Loki and I have a podcast where we do a detailed, chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the entire series in a read-along, minimal-spoiler manner. If you get confused while reading, it might be worth checking us out! If you don't need us, that's fine too.
 
Jade War was a bust unfortunately. Couldn't get into it. Going to switch to biography, and read Bruce Lee: A Life by Matthew Polly
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
A few chapters into Tor's free preview of Gideon and I'm pretty disappointed by how loose and sloppy the prose is. I know this is the style of genre fiction in our modern age but I find it hard to get invested in character or plot when I keep having to navigate these jagged sentences. I'm going to keep going but honestly I don't see myself paying to continue past the free chapters.
 
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