xparrot: Chopper reading (books)
[livejournal.com profile] sholio recently talked about Dresden Files: War Cry, an original comic story (by Jim Butcher, so part of canon), and as she mentioned it features Harry & Thomas snarking at one another (it's set a bit after Dead Beat), I had to get it.

I've been reading the Dresden Files since about book 7 or 8, and while there's a lot of the series I enjoy, Harry & Thomas is - not necessary my favorite thing about it, but it's the part that gets my fangirl heart pumping. The only parts of the series I've reread more than once are with them. Some general spoilers for the series; spoilers for the comic specifically will be spoiler-tagged as well )
xparrot: Chopper reading (books)
I was going to read The Hunger Games (it's been on my list - by which I mean my bedroom floor) for months now - but then I remembered my uncle had lent me the Percy Jackson books so I figured I should read those first (they're reasonably fun and do some cute things with Greek myth, but halfway through the 3rd book I can't say I'd recommend them, the stories are on the repetitive side and the characters haven't grabbed me) and then I remembered that the last Artemis Fowl book was supposed to be in the works.

I looked it up and lo! It came out last year! So, since I couldn't wait for shipping, that became my first actual purchase for my Kindle (my collection is pretty much entirely fanfic and public domain books) and gave me a delightful afternoon's reading. Overall, loved it as much as I've loved the rest of the series, even if the ending got me a bit. Erm. Tense. (...meaning I probably will have to reread it, as I started speed-reading to find out how it worked out and I tend to miss details when I put the pedal to the floor) The Artemis Fowl series has to be one of the most consistent series I've ever read - while the story and characters change and evolve enough to keep it interesting, it keeps to its core elements from first book to last (and my impression is that the author's voice remains constant, too, though I'd have to go back and reread to be sure. Which I might well do.) Meaning if you don't care for the first book, I wouldn't bother reading the rest. On the other hand if you enjoyed it, yes, buy all the books and buckle up because it's a romping ride all the way through!

Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian continues and concludes the tradition of the series in grand style. And by tradition I mean Eoin Colfer's uncanny ability to write to my personal fiction kinks like he's got a direct line to my id. These books maybe more than any others I regret not existing when I was a kid, because as much as I enjoy them now, they would've been closing on a religious experience to my young un-kink-jaded self. I mean, The Last Guardian has mutual attempted self-sacrifice in a fantastic take on the old sucker-punch scenario, Holly attempting to knock Artemis out to make the world-saving sacrifice herself, only to have Artemis pull a fast one on her anyway and knock her out (you can't blame Holly, it's Artemis!) Do you know how many times I'd have reread that as a small thing? (at least three or four times more than I'm going to reread it now... :D)

Also Artemis and Holly's best-friendery is oh so delicious, and stays firmly as friendship (while not ruling out the possibility for more developing). Plus Artemis's baby brothers are begging for their own sequel series. Which I don't think there are any plans for, though...

Colfer has said he intended for the series to be a trilogy that then he had more ideas for, but he's decided it's time to move on, and I entirely respect his choice to end on a high note. At the same time, if he does happen to get a new idea to pick up on any of the loose threads dangling about that world, I will be be there with bells on!
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
The bro (who just finished "Labyrinth" and came up giggling, "Miles is a furry!") describes the entire series thusly: "Unstoppable force meets immovable object - and then they have a kid."

(I've finished Memory and started on Komarr - if Memory isn't my very favorite then it's definitely in the top 3 or so...I have such a hard time picking favorites, would need to reread the series to decide, but yeah, I totally get why everyone loves Memory - so much <3!)
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
So I am 100 pages into Memory!

Recent thoughts, in no particular order and with no regard for coherency:

spoilers for this and the books before )

Okay now must go read more!
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
So when that list of SF books went around, I mentioned I'd never read Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan books, upon which someone kindly (evilly) linked me to the free e-book versions. So I popped them on my Kindle and started reading. Really enjoyed Cordelia's stories (insanely awesome (awesomely insane) female character FTW!), and Cordelia & Aral's mature, incredibly supportive romance and relationship (het OTP FTW!) Then I started reading Warrior's Apprentice.

Then I told my brother to read them. And my roommate. And [livejournal.com profile] gnine (that was a week and a half ago. She's finishing Cryoburn as I write this. Have I ever mentioned my sister's marathoning abilities are unbelievable?)

I knew the series was award-winning scifi, and I knew it had to have good characters from the number of fangirls who liked it. I'd also heard tell of h/c (Bujold is totally an h/c fangirl, whether or not she would use the term herself. She's also a whumper - there's quite a bit of 'hmm, the plot seems to be slowing down - time to beat on the hero!' but there's some sweet moments as well.) What no one ever mentioned was how funny the books can be. Some of them moreso than others; the whole series is incredibly manic depressive (just like its hero) - bouncing between hilarious and tragic within a few pages. ...Which, I've come to realize, is pretty much my favorite kind of fiction (see Gintama!) (Not that the Vorkosigan books are parody; they're pretty straight action/hard scifi/mystery. But they keep making me unexpectedly laugh out loud. And that's definitely a good part of how hard I've fallen for them...)

I could go on about how much I adore Miles and his amazing ability to take absolutely anything and run with it (to infinity and beyond, to legend! Also bankruptcy!) and all the snowballing escapades this gift gets him into, and how much I love how he's maybe the only genre hero I've ever read with a really solid, functional, caring relationship with both his parents (so much love for Cordelia & Aral, I don't even. And I love how Miles is so completely their son, Aral's mastery of strategy and Cordelia's unstoppable will in one package seemingly too small to contain it). Not to mention all the Dendarii, and Gregor, and Ivan (Ivan! <333) - but I'm about halfway through Brothers in Arms and it was a terrible place to stop, so I'm going back to reading now.

But thank you, everyone who recced them - and if you haven't read them yet, definitely give them a go!

(Ah, also, I'm reading in chronological order, so please please please no spoilers for Brothers in Arms or even vague references to any books after - I'm pretty much unspoiled and am enjoying not having any clue what's going to happen to Miles next!)

on sf/f

Aug. 12th, 2011 06:36 pm
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
Meme from [livejournal.com profile] snarkydame - NPR's list of the top 100 sci-fi/fantasy books, as voted on by 60,000 people. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you've partly read, italicize the ones you intend to read, and strike the ones you will never read.

the list )

It's a weird list, I must say. They didn't allow "YA fiction", which explains some of the most noticeable absences (Earthsea is YA? um, why? because it's short?), and I'm betting no manga either (even though there are 2 comic books), but even besides that, I don't get why there are individual books from series and then whole series. Not to mention Neal Stephenson's on there 4 times while neither Octavia Butler nor CJ Cherryh appears once. And Codex Alera instead of Dresden Files? The heck? I don't know anyone who's read the former who hasn't read the latter - and I've yet to meet a single person that has read CA that doesn't believe Dresden Files is far superior...

That being said...yeah, I read a lot of scifi back in my high school years; about half the books marked on here I read then. Quite a few of them I doubt I could read now without flipping out...I used to be much more capable of enduring/ignoring things like blatant sexism. Ah, the freedom of youth...
xparrot: (gintama cuteness)
Just read Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex - does anyone know this series? I got into them around the third book and rather inordinately love them. They're kids' lit - about the level of the middle Harry Potters - and are lightweight fluff, unabashed urban fantasy action-adventure romps ("Die Hard with fairies," according to the author); but had they existed when I was eleven they might've been my favorite books in the universe, and I can't help but enjoy the hell out of them now. Putting aside that I adore kids' books anyway, Artemis Fowl reads like Eoin Colfer's got a checklist of All of X-parrot's Buttons and is going down it one by one. We've got:

--A villain turned reluctant hero protagonist
--Who's also a twelfth-level-intellect-style ultra-supergenius (at 12 years old, no less)
--With a badass bodyguard/assistant/lackey who redefines loyalty (<333 Butler forever)

But wait, there's more! For no extra charge there's also:

--Male/female platonic friendship (okay, mostly platonic; and it's a credit to the relationships that I'm okay whichever way it turns out in the end)
--A bit of cute sibling dynamics
--A gang of misfits saving the world together on a regular basis

And that's just the set-up; once the plots get going there's plenty of h/c and presumed dead and friends saving one another. Plus there's nifty magic-science amalgamating and really stupid puns (Holly is an elven police officer, a member of the Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance - in other words, she's a LEPRecon.) As well as a few gags - see dwarven flatuence and pretty much anything else about dwarf physiology - that could only be appreciated by a ten-year-old boy (and/or a Gintama fan :P).

The Atlantis Complex was as much fun as the rest of the series, and continues the button-smash tradition by screwing with the hero's sanity, which plot I obviously hate so much that I can't stop writing it :P Supposedly the next book will be the last in the series (SIIIGH)...don't want it to end, but can't wait for it!
xparrot: Chopper reading (Default)
Okay, fine, enough meta already, okay, brain? Instead, talk about reading! One advantage to working a temp job far away (other than the money, which is a Good Thing, even if I wish it were a Better Thing, or at least a Better-Paying Thing) is that the lunch breaks and bus rides offered me opportunity to actually sit and read books, which I haven't done enough of lately. Finally finished Rob Thurman's Trick of the Light - which frustrated me in various ways for most of it, but the end redeemed at least half of the issues for me. Which was an interesting enough turn-around that I ended up liking the book, in the balance. Mild spoilers, but everything major is blacked out )

It's intended to be the first of a series, and I see how it's set up for more, though I kind of feel it works better as a one-shot - I feel the same way about Thurman's other series as well, that the characters' drama gets overplayed after more than a book or two (and Trick of the Light gets pretty repetitious even within just the one volume); but urban fantasy thrives on continuing series, so...

Then I started reading Mary Brown's The Unlikely Ones, which I'm only partway through but really enjoying so far - it's one of those books that I look at the page count and go yay! I've still got hundreds of pages to read! <3 I'd never heard of it before but it was recced to me by my roommate in response to me reccing her Howl's Moving Castle, fitting as it's in that tradition of Dianna Wynne Jones and Robin McKinley, fairytale/folktale-inspired fantasy, which is probably my favorite fantasy subgenre. Mary Brown has her own style that's quite different from either of those others, yet is reminiscent all the same. It's a dark fairytale, with witches and curses and terrible monstrous things, but also unicorns and talking animals and helpful(?) magicians. It's not a kid's book (the sexual imagery gets way too explicit for that) but it sort of has the feel of one anyway, the genuine wonder of magic - the book-flap likens it to Watership Down and yeah, I can see it.

(Though oh man, I was looking on Amazon and it's hard to explain how incredibly wrong this cover is for it...! I'm reading the hardcover, the one I linked, and its illustration is about the most fitting-to-a-book I've ever seen, not only in spirit but the details, down to the knight having a mustache and curly red hair...)

And now I am going to go read the latest Dresden Files!
xparrot: Chopper reading (muncle old skool)
I was fanning before I knew what fanning was, long before I ever got online. In early high school, thanks to my town library's "YA*" paperback collection, I got into Star Trek (TOS, mostly) novels; they were my first exposure to fanfic, in particular the really gooey/sappy/smarmy/pre-slashy stuff that I'd always thought of as the "good bits" - usually a few paragraphs, at best a page or two of most books (except Lord of the Rings, which is crammed full of it). I used to keep a notebook noting the page numbers of my favorite bits. But in some of the Star Trek novels the yumminess (usually h/c) just went on and on - at least in the earlier novels; the later ones, not so much. But some of the first were most definitely written by fangirls - at the time I didn't know it; I just knew that what I was reading, while noticeably inferior in elements like plot and prose, was catering to certain tastes of mine more precisely than any book I'd read before.

* "YA" at my library apparently meant either "teen characters" or "sci-fi paperback". I think they got a sci-fi section later, but through my early teen years finding SF was a matter of browsing the unorganized paperback racks. Then I discovered 2nd-hand bookstores...

So it cracked me up when I was on Fanlore today and found that Killing Time was penned by a K/S writer who slipped what was in effect a pre-slash story past the Paramount censors by mysterious means. What gets me is that I remember this novel well - it's one of the dozen or so I bought for myself rather than just rereading the library's copy. I remember at the time of first reading it that I both adored it and thought it over the top in that ridiculous way that made me all deliciously squirmy (It involves a Romulan-made alternate time-line, in which, iffen I recall, the "golden-haired, golden-eyed" Kirk was an oft-abused drug-addict. And Spock was dreaming about him. Yeah.) Now I'm wondering if I actually read the original. Just checked and the copy I have now is the edited version, but I'm curious about the library's copy...

ETA: For my own reference: all the censored bits! (and maybe I'm hallucinating, but I swear I remember some of them...)

ETA2: And here we have a conversation about Kirk/Spock-y Star Trek novels! Should I be embarrassed or proud that almost every novel that's mentioned here is in my "dozen or so" collection? And that I want to reread them? (Nice to see Diane Duane getting credit, her take on the ST 'verse was awesome, love her aliens. --Zomg other folks like Dwellers in the Crucible! Which is really about a pair of female OCs who parallel Kirk & Spock...that being said, it is hands-down the most extreme h/c I have ever read between female chars. Am wanting to reread it just for that...(need to see Xena...))
xparrot: Chopper reading (nasty sharp pointy teeth)
Argh, I need to be writing! The words, she are not coming... >_>

The Jeeves & Wooster TV series is much fun. Wodehouse's original stories are much fun +1000. Though they're dangerous to read on breaks at work because I start choking trying to keep from laughing out loud. I can see how Douglas Adams was inspired by him. (And yep, slashy as Fry & Laurie's J&W are, the books...heh. Bertie is "essentially one of nature's bachelors". Yes, Jeeves, you would know.)(Speaking of nature's bachelors, must remember to rec Biological Exuberance, for all your gay animal rights needs.)

Also am getting back into the manga, J-dramas, etc.! For the language practice, of course. And the cute boys playing football - Eyeshield 21 is still love. Even though this last chapter (245) was a terrible place to be stopped. Hiruma will always be my demonic darling and the Devil Bats are too cute for words. The Shinryuuji match is still my favorite (not just because of Vegeta-clone Ikkyu! They're one of the few teams one wants to see go down & go down hard, unlike the others where you sympathize enough to be a mite melancholy when they lose) but Deimon vs Oujou was plenty exciting once it got going. And that silent communication in the last second? Oh shounen, you bring on the squee like nothing else.

And in the category of: technically Shounen manga but which god did they sacrifice puppies to manage that? there's xxxHolic. more on that, with possible spoilers through the latest chapter (141) )

now with Holic d/ls! )

And now...I must catch up with OP!

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