- josh: iain m banks. consider phlebas.
- verdict: -
not really a book club pick, but we recommended banks, so he wanted to
try it. this was probably his least favorite of the books he's read so
far. too bad. might read another one of his books someday, but it'll
- brandon: geoffrey a landis. mars crossing.
- verdict: (+)
sort of hard sci-fi by a nasa scientist. about a trip to mars that
sort of goes badly. it's realistic and believable, which is relatively
good. the downside is that the main plot only has 90 or 100 pages of
content, and it's padded with lots of flashbacks and back-story, which
isn't much good. brandon didn't care at all about any of the
characters, literally can't even remember which few survived.
- brandon: donald kingsbury. psychohistorical crisis.
- verdict: +
set in the foundation universe, but doesn't refer to any foundation
characters by name. set far in the future, so much has happened that
basically people don't really know what has happened. psychohistory
helps them understand and guide the future, but effectively both past
and future have become equally statistical. in fact, this is one of
his main points. the writer is a mathematician, so he has some
mathematical as well as some historiographical points to make. the
problem is a lot of things happen, its loose and the plot isn't very
sharp, meandering around a lot. all in all, though, it's pretty
- jen and adam: joe abercrombie. last argument of kings.
- verdict: +++
what can they say that hasn't been said? "if you are in any doubt
about whether to read these, if you are still on the fence at all, get
off the fence. read these books." they love everything about this
entire series, completely concurring with chris and chad. SO VERY
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO RECOMMEND THESE ANY MORE
- chris: stephenie meyer. twilight / new moon.
- verdict: (-)
very popular with teenage girls, all over every airport and
everywhere, soon to be a major motion picture, yadda yadda. there's
this girl, parents are divorced, blah blah, turns out there are some
very beautiful students in her school, they turn out to be
vampires. they're moral vampires (the writer is mormon as it turns
out, and which explains a great many things about the books), so they
don't feed on humans and so on. (brandon wonders whether this is
related to the lds church's doctrine on homosexuality. good question.)
anyway, lots of things happen. the writing isn't particularly good,
very flat. "maybe i'm not that in touch with what middle school girls
like, but this seems like when adults make kids movies: they think the
kids aren't that sophisticated. i like to have more faith in middle
school girls than to think that this is the ideal book for them."
there are four books altogether, chris may or may not read the rest
(he's currently just about a quarter of the way through the second
book). counterpoint: brandon knows several grown women with
post-graduate degrees who think these are just amazing. they agree
that the writing and characterization are very flat, but they think it
bottles something essential and exciting.
- jen: portia da costa. the stranger.
- verdict: -
technically read this for "romantica," but it's a cross-over. read
this because it was recommended on "one of my dr who blogs." the male
lead is based on the 8th doctor, but actually in no way is the book
really connected with doctor who. the plot was as preposterous as any
other porno, you can imagine where it goes. lots of sex, best friends
turned lesbian lovers, blah blah blah. "i thought it sucked, and i've
read better erotic fan fiction."
- wisest wizard
adam has submitted that the lords of lore may wish to try playing the
game "wisest wizard." the proposition is noted and tabled for further
- that's all, folks.