Which Books Should I Keep?

19 views
Skip to first unread message

Mike Kozlowski

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 12:52:24 AM1/30/02
to
It must be the unseasonably mild weather, but I'm in a mood for spring
cleaning of late. I've been going through my things, throwing out all
the junk (I'm something of an anti-pack rat), and I finally decided
to face the reality that my biggest single possession is my whompin'
stacks of books.

I've always resisted getting rid of any of my books, for unexplained
reasons, but I think now it's time to clear out the shelves a bit.
Because the thing is, I've got a lot of books that I haven't read
(well over 600 right now), but many of them _I have no desire to
read_. Ever. If they were the only unread books I owned, I'd go out
and buy new books before reading them. So, there doesn't seem to be
much point keeping them around, does there? And then there are the
books that I've read and have no desire to read again. Not much point
keeping those around, either.

I did a quick run-through of my shelves a few minutes ago, and of my
nearly 1300 books, I found just over 200 of them that I really didn't
want any more. The catch, though, is that in most of these cases, I
haven't read the books that I'm now deciding I don't want, and I
don't want to make a mistake and get rid of a book that I'm going to
want to read later.

Here's where you come in. I want some advice on deciding whether or
not I should keep any of the books I'm about to list. My particular
criteria are:

1. I don't like mediocrity. I bought a lot of books over the years
that looked like they'd be "good", and I'm sure they are. And if
I had a small choice of books to read, I'd probably keep them, and
read them. But the thing is, I don't have a small choice. I have
an enormous whomping pile of unread books, many of them expectedly
excellent. I have very little time for mediocrity now. I'm going
to use the J.V. Jones benchmark here: If it's not significantly
better than J.V. Jones, I have no desire to read it.

2. I don't like generic fantasy. This is actually a lie -- I do like
generic fantasy, and quite a bit. But I've got plenty of
perfectly adequate generic fantasy already on my shelves, and if I
feel a jonesing for it, I'll go re-read Feist or Jordan or
something. I don't feel a need to get any more generic fantasy,
unless it's really really good. Like George R. R. Martin good.

3. I don't like long books, and I loath series. Series are, these
days, a detriment for me with very good books (I haven't started
Hobb's Liveship Trader books because I'm so reluctant to start
series, despite my deep admiration for her Assassin books), and
they're an absolute no-no with mediocre books. If I'm going to
keep a series, it has to rise to a higher standard than a
short-standalone.

4. I don't like tech-heavy SF. I like SF with characters, I like SF
with ideas, I don't so much like SF that's heavy on the science at
the expense of the characterization. Greg Egan's _Distress_:
good; Greg Egan's _Diaspora_: bad.

5. I do like literary merit. If a book is well-written and deep,
that overcomes a lot. I want to keep books with literary merit.

6. I do like light, humorous works. If there's something I'm getting
rid of that's in the same tone as Pratchett, Hughart, Adams, or
even Asprin or Holt, I want to keep that book. (But if it's more
in the Craig Shaw Gardner vein, well, that's another matter.)

7. I do like popularly acclaimed books. I don't want to be reading
rasw a year or two from now and see dozens of people
enthusiastically recommending a book that I just got rid of. If a
book has a significant popular following that I'm unaware of, make
me aware.

That said, let's go onto the list of books that I'm tentatively
planning on getting rid of. I'm going to annotate the list as I go to
explain anything that's unclear.

Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Virtual Destruction
Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Ill Wind

I'm pretty sure these are just generic techno-thrillers.

Anthony, Patricia Brother Termite

I have no idea what this is; I think I bought it on a remainder pile.

Anthony, Piers Firefly
Anthony, Piers Ghost
Anthony, Piers Killobyte
Anthony, Piers Split Infinity
Anthony, Piers Blue Adept
Anthony, Piers Juxtaposition
Anthony, Piers Out of Phaze
Anthony, Piers Robot Adept
Anthony, Piers Unicorn Point
Anthony, Piers Phaze Doubt
Anthony, Piers Refugee
Anthony, Piers Mercenary
Anthony, Piers Politician
Anthony, Piers Executive
Anthony, Piers Statesman
Anthony, Piers Bearing an Hourglass
Anthony, Piers With a Tangled Skein
Anthony, Piers Wielding a Red Sword
Anthony, Piers Being a Green Mother
Anthony, Piers For Love of Evil
Anthony, Piers And Eternity
Anthony, Piers Virtual Mode
Anthony, Piers Fractal Mode
Anthony, Piers Chaos Mode
Anthony, Piers The Source of Magic
Anthony, Piers Castle Roogna
Anthony, Piers Centaur Aisle
Anthony, Piers Ogre, Ogre
Anthony, Piers Night Mare
Anthony, Piers Dragon on a Pedestal
Anthony, Piers Crewel Lye: A Caustic Yarn
Anthony, Piers Golem in the Gears
Anthony, Piers Vale of the Vole
Anthony, Piers Heaven Cent
Anthony, Piers Man From Mundania
Anthony, Piers Isle of View
Anthony, Piers Question Quest
Anthony, Piers The Color of Her Panties
Anthony, Piers Demons Don't Dream
Anthony, Piers Harpy Thyme
Anthony, Piers & Margroff, Robert E. Serpent's Silver
Anthony, Piers & Margroff, Robert E. Chimera's Copper
Anthony, Piers & Margroff, Robert E. Orc's Opal

You'll need to give me a break on this lot: I've been buying books
since I was 13, and I have a strong completist impulse that makes it
hard to quit buying a series once I've started, even if I don't plan
on reading it any more. (I've actually decided to keep the first
Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality books, just in case I ever want
an Anthony fix).

Asaro, Catharine Primary Inversion
Asaro, Catharine Catch the Lightning

I'm actually leaning toward keeping these, because I do remember
having read good things on rasw about them. On the other hand, I know
they're part of a series, and the good things I remember reading
weren't _that_ good. Am I going to have to buy more books if I read
these, or are they self-contained?

Asimov, Isaac & Silverberg, Robert The Positronic Man
Asimov, Isaac & Silverberg, Robert Nightfall

Forgettable expansions of good shorts.

Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Thieves' World
Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn
Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Shadows of Sanctuary
Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Storm Season
Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. The Face of Chaos
Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Wings of Omen

The second one of these is one of the few books I've never finished.

Baker, Kage In the Garden of Iden

This is another "I've heard sorta-good things, but it's a series,"
thing. Is it self-contained? If not, is the series really, really
good?

Barnes, John Mother of Storms

I've read enough reviews of this one to be pretty sure I don't want it.

Barton, William The Transmigration of Souls

I have very little idea what this book is.

Baxter, Stephen Flux
Baxter, Stephen Ring

James Nicoll's reviews have made me realize that Baxter is not my cup
of tea at all.

Benford, Gregory & Rotsler, William Shiva Descending

I'm always suspicious of collaborations between a famous author and a
nobody. I'm not even sure why I own this book, as I don't recall
anyone ever praising it in my hearing.

Bertin, Joanne The Last Dragonlord

This looks like very generic, very mediocre fantasy.

Bonannon, Margaret Wander Preternatural

I have no idea what this is.

Bova, Ben Challenges

I don't think Bova's exactly my style, either.

Bradley, Marion Zimmer The Forest House
Bradley, Marion Zimmer The Firebrand

I've read, and was bored silly by, the second book; I think the first
one is a sequel to a book that I have no intention of reading, so I
can dump it safely.

Brooks, Terry Running With the Demon

Horror?

Brooks, Terry First King of Shannara

Despite myself, I'm actually keeping the first Shannara books, because
they do hold sentimental value to me -- they're the first books I ever
owned. I mean, literally the first. But, I've never read this one,
and I never plan to.

Brunner, John The Crucible of Time
Brunner, John The Tides of Time
Brunner, John Children of the Thunder

This is an omnibus. I know Brunner's written some good stuff, but I
know he's also written some bad stuff. Are any of these good? Better
than, say, his _Maze of Stars_?

Card, Orson Scott The Memory of Earth
Card, Orson Scott The Call of Earth
Card, Orson Scott The Ships of Earth
Card, Orson Scott Earthfall
Card, Orson Scott Earthborn

I bought these all in remaindered hardcover, but, well, they're a big
long series, and they don't look very good.

Card, Orson Scott Seventh Son
Card, Orson Scott Red Prophet
Card, Orson Scott Prentice Alvin
Card, Orson Scott Alvin Journeyman

I read the first two and was unimpressed.

Card, Orson Scott & Kidd, Kathryn H. Lovelock

Apparently the first of a series; doesn't look like it stands out,
particularly.

Carver, Jeffrey A. Neptune Crossing
Carver, Jeffrey A. Strange Attractors
Carver, Jeffrey A. The Infinite Sea

I'm not sure about these. Generic SF, or good SF?

Chalker, Jack Demons of the Dancing Gods
Chalker, Jack The River of the Dancing Gods
Chalker, Jack Songs of the Dancing Gods
Chalker, Jack Vengeance of the Dancing Gods

Read the first one, will never read the rest.

Chalker, Jack L.; Resnick, Mike; & Effinger, George Alec The Red-Tape War

Amusing to read once, but really.

Chester, Deborah Reign of Shadows
Chester, Deborah Shadow War
Chester, Deborah Realm of Light

Generic fantasy?

Clarke, Arthur C. The Ghost From the Grand Banks
Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars
Clarke, Arthur C. The Hammer of God

Minor Clarke, yes?

Cochran, Molly & Murphy, Warren World Without End

I think this has to do with Atlantis or something. It was a
remaindered hardcover.

Cole, Allan & Bunch, Chris The Far Kingdoms

Generic fantasy.

Connolly, Flynn The Rising of the Moon
Crean, Michelle Shirey Dancer of the Sixth
Davis, Margaret MindLight
Rosenblum, Mary Chimera
Wentworth, K.D. Moonspeaker

No idea. These were Del Rey Discovery books from authors who never
went on to do anything else interesting.

Cramer, John Einstein's Bridge

Physics-oriented SF, yes?

Dann, Joshua Timeshare

Huh? I've never even heard of this book, and I allegedly own it.

David, Peter Imzadi

One of the few Star Trek books I have left any more. Well, _had_
left, shortly. Even though it's a good Trek book, I just don't feel
like ever reading Trek again.

Deitz, Tom Above the Lower Sky
Deitz, Tom Dreamseeker's Road

I've never heard strong praise for these.

Drake, David Igniting the Reaches
Drake, David Lord of the Isles

Average military SF and terrible epic fantasy aren't my style. I
didn't read the first, but did read the second, and wish I hadn't.

Edghill, Rosemary The Sword of Maiden's Tears
Edghill, Rosemary The Cup of Morning Shadows
Edghill, Rosemary The Cloak of Night and Daggers

These seem like generic elfpunk. I'm barely impressed by really
good elfpunk like _Finder_ and _The Last Hot Time_, so doubt I'd find
the second-rate stuff readable.

Elliott, Kate King's Dragon

This is one of the worst epic fantasies I've ever read.

Ellison, Harlan Edgeworks 1
Ellison, Harlan Edgeworks 2

Enh. Yeah, okay, he's Harlan Ellison, but... I read through the first
one, and there wasn't much that I found interesting. I picked up the
second one remaindered (I used to buy any and all remaindered SF I
saw), but nothing in it looks interesting.

Farland, David The Runelords
Farland, David Brotherhood of the Wolf

These are actually new generic epic fantasy, and part of a big ol'
series. I doubt they're good enough to be worth keeping.

Feintuch, David Midshipman's Hope
Feintuch, David Challenger's Hope
Feintuch, David Prisoner's Hope
Feintuch, David Fisherman's Hope

As I recall, these are really grim and depressing, which is sort of a
minus for them... unless they're really good, rather than just
competent. Are they?

Flewelling, Lynn Luck in the Shadows
Flewelling, Lynn Stalking Darkness
Flewelling, Lynn Traitor's Moon

I'm thinking that these are supposed to be above-mediocre, but I don't
really know for sure.

Flynn, Michael Firestar

Generic SF?

Forward, Robert L. Camelot 30K

Heh. A remaindered hardcover, as I'd _never_ have bought this book else.

Friedman, Michael Jan Reunion

Ah, more Trek. I think I must have kept my hardcover Trek books back
when I got rid of the rest of them years ago, probably on the basis
that a hardcover was too much like a real book for me to just dump.

Furey, Maggie Aurian

Second-rate fantasy, I've gathered.

Gates, Bill The Road Ahead

Wow, I forgot I even owned this. Such are the perils of being a
computer person at Christmas.

Gemmell, David Legend
Gemmell, David The King Beyond the Gate
Gemmell, David Quest For Lost Heroes
Gemmell, David Waylander
Gemmell, David Ghost King
Gemmell, David Last Sword of Power
Gemmell, David Wolf in Shadow
Gemmell, David Bloodstone

I read _Legend_ and was unimpressed. Yeah, okay, it was gritty, it
was semi-dark... but it wasn't all that good. And, really, I'm not
all that big on grit and darkness anyway.

Geston, Mark S. Mirror to the Sky

Generic SF?

Gier, Scott G. Genellan: Planetfall

I'm pretty sure this is a series. I'm pretty sure I'll never read it.

Goodkind, Terry Wizard's First Rule
Goodkind, Terry Stone of Tears

Sub Jones-ian.

Green, Sharon Convergence

Generic fantasy.

Greenwood, Ed Elminster

Second-rate TSR extruded book product.

Harlan, Thomas The Shadow of Ararat
Harlan, Thomas The Gate of Fire

I'm torn on these. They do look interesting, and I've heard vaguely
good things, but a) they're long, b) they're a series, and c) they
appear to be alternate history, which I dislike.

Harrison, Harry Galactic Dreams

No idea.

Harrison, Harry The Hammer and the Cross
Harrison, Harry One King's Way
Harrison, Harry King and Emperor

Sub-par Norse fantasy, as I gather it.

Haydon, Elizabeth Rhapsody

Generic, huge series fantasy. Buh-bye.

Heinlein, Robert A. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love
Heinlein, Robert A. Farnham's Freehold

I read (and hated) the first; the others are ones that I've gathered
are bad Heinlein. (I have kept most of my Heinlein, really.)

Heinlein, Robert A.; Kondo, Yoji, ed. Requiem

Tribute stories. Enh.

Hinz, Christopher Liege-Killer
Hinz, Christopher Ash Ock

A trilogy to which I lack the third book, I think. I mainly bought
these because they were high on the Internet Top 100 list for a long
time, but I've never heard anyone else say anything about them. Do I
need the third book? Are they really that good?

Huff, Tanya Sing the Four Quarters
Huff, Tanya Fifth Quarter

Looks to be mediocre series fantasy.

James, Cary King & Raven

Looks to be mediocre Arthurian fantasy.

Jones, J.V. The Baker's Boy
Jones, J.V. A Man Betrayed
Jones, J.V. Master and Fool

The benchmark by which mediocrity is measured.

Kerner, Elizabeth Song in the Silence

What is this?

Kerr, Katharine Freeze Frames

I like Kerr's fantasy, but I think this is SF. Is it any good?

Kress, Nancy Beggars and Choosers

Supposedly a bad sequel to a good book.

Kurtz, Katherine Two Crowns for America
Kurtz, Katherine Deryni Rising
Kurtz, Katherine Derynie Checkmate
Kurtz, Katherine High Deryni
Kurtz, Katherine Camber of Culdi
Kurtz, Katherine Saint Camber
Kurtz, Katherine Camber the Heretic

I read three of her books. I didn't like them. She goes.

Lackey, Mercedes Firebird
Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry The Black Gryphon
Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry The White Gryphon

I'm keeping most of the Valdemar books, because I'm being _very_
conservative in what I get rid of here; but those last two can go.
And I think the former is a non-series book that I have no desire to
read.


Lawhead, Stephen R. In the Hall of the Dragon King
Lawhead, Stephen R. The Warlords of Nin
Lawhead, Stephen R. The Sword and the Flame

Most Lawhead is at least pretty decent, but I remember these as being
pretty bad, even back when I read them.

Lee, Adam The Dark Shore

This looks goth-dark, long, and series-ish. Three strikes.

Lindskold, Jane When the Gods Are Silent

Any good?

Llywelyn, Morgan Finn Mac Cool
Llywelyn, Morgan & Scott, Michael Silverhand

Celtic stuff is a turnoff unless it's really, really good.

Marston, Ann Kingmaker's Sword
Marston, Ann The Western King
Marston, Ann Broken Blade

Generic series fantasy, yeah?

McCaffrey, Anne Freedom's Landing
McCaffrey, Anne To Ride Pegasus
McCaffrey, Anne Pegasus in Flight
McCaffrey, Anne The Rowan
McCaffrey, Anne Damia
McCaffrey, Anne Damia's Children
McCaffrey, Anne Lyon's Pride

Minor McCaffrey is very, very forgettable.

McDevitt, Jack Moonfall
McDevitt, Jack The Engines of God
McDevitt, Jack Ancient Shores

I'm leaning toward keeping these, actually.

Modesitt, L.E. Jr. Of Tangible Ghosts
Modesitt, L.E., Jr. The Magic of Recluce

I've read _Relcuce_, and don't want to read any more Modesitt.

Moorcock, Michael The Eternal Champion

This is pretty straight pulp, yeah?

Nagata, Linda Tech-Heaven

What's this? Generic SF?

Norton, Andre Brother To Shadows
Norton, Andre The Hands of Lyr

Neither looks memorable or particularly good.

Patton, Fiona The Stone Prince
Patton, Fiona The Painter Knight

Generic series fantasy?

Paxson, Diana L. The Wolf and the Raven
Paxson, Diana L. The Dragons of the Rhine

Germanic fantasy -- I liked Grundy; are these in that league?

Pellegrino, Charles & Zebrowski, George The Killing Star
Perry, Steve The Trinity Vector

Generic SF.

Pohl, Frederik The Other End of Time
Pohl, Frederik The Siege of Eternity
Pohl, Frederik The Voices of Heaven

Hmm, are these minor Pohl or good Pohl? If they're anything like
_Gateway_, I'm keeping 'em for sure. If they're more like, say,
_Narabedla, Ltd._, they're gone.

Radford, Irene The Glass Dragon
Radford, Irene The Perfect Princess

Generic fantasy.

Ransom, Bill Burn

Generic SF.

Reimann, Katya Wind From a Foreign Sky

Generic fantasy?

Roberson, Jennifer Lady of the Forest

Mediocre Robin Hood fantasy?

Robinson, Kim Stanley Red Mars
Robinson, Kim Stanley Green Mars

Okay, I know these ones have a following. I just don't care, because
I've read enough reviews over the years to think that I won't like them.

Routley, Jane Mage Heart

Generic Fantasy?

Salvatore, R.A. The Woods Out Back
Salvatore, R.A. The Dragon's Dagger
Salvatore, R.A. Dragonslayer's Return

I kinda liked his TSR stuff, but this was a really weak series.

Sawyer, Robert J. Starplex
Sawyer, Robert J. Illegal Alien

I just plain didn't like these books.

Silverberg, Robert Lord Valentine's Castle
Silverberg, Robert The Mountains of Majipoor

How series-y are these?

Springer, Nancy Fair Peril

No idea what it is.

Stackpole, Michael A. Once a Hero
Stackpole, Michael A. Talion: Revenant
Stackpole, Michael A. A Hero Born

These look like mediocre fatnasy.

Stasheff, Christopher The Shaman

Stasheff's okay, but not "start a new series" good.

Steele, Allen The Tranquility Alternative

Generic SF?

Thornley, Diann Ganwold's Child
Thornley, Diann Echoes of Issel

Generic SF?

Tolstoy, Nikolai The Coming of the King

The single worst book I own. Unless I already called some other book
that. But no, even then it's true, and I was lying before.

Turtledove, Harry Worldwar: In the Balance

Alternate history, start of a series, so long.

Tyson, Salinda Wheel of Dreams

Never heard of it.

Weis, Margaret & Hickman, Tracy Forging the Darksword
Weis, Margaret & Hickman, Tracy Doom of the Darksword
Weis, Margaret & Hickman, Tracy Triumph of the Darksword

I really hated this series.

Wells, Angus Wrath of Ashar
Wells, Angus The Usurper
Wells, Angus The Way Beneath

I read his Godwars books, and they were so tedious that I never want
to read anything of his again.

Whyte, Jack The Skystone
Whyte, Jack The Singing Sword

Generic Arthurian fantasy?

Wilder, Cherry Signs of Life

Generic SF?

Willey, Elizabeth The Price of Blood and Honor

Series fantasy, with OOP sequels. Can it stand alone? Is it good
enough for me to care?

Wurts, Janny This Way To Camelot

Generic fantasy.

Young, Jim Armed Memory

Mediocre SF?

And that's the list. Give me as many of your thoughts as you care to;
I'm interested to see if I've got books on here that don't belong.
--
Mike Kozlowski
http://www.klio.org/mlk/

Joe Slater

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 1:07:49 AM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:
> Heinlein, Robert A. Farnham's Freehold

This isn't bad Heinlein, although his message is so trite that it's
embarrassing. I'd keep this one.

> Pohl, Frederik The Other End of Time
> Pohl, Frederik The Siege of Eternity
> Pohl, Frederik The Voices of Heaven
>
>Hmm, are these minor Pohl or good Pohl?

Bad Pohl. Get rid of these, and all the other books you list. I quite
liked Card's _Alvin Maker_ series, but you didn't - so junk them.

jds


--
Joe Slater was but a low-grade paranoiac, whose fantastic notions must
have come from the crude hereditary folk-tales which circulated in even
the most decadent of communities.
_Beyond the Wall of Sleep_ by H P Lovecraft

Kate Nepveu

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 1:43:51 AM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

[...]


> Here's where you come in. I want some advice on deciding whether or
> not I should keep any of the books I'm about to list. My particular
> criteria are:

[...]


> Asaro, Catharine Primary Inversion
> Asaro, Catharine Catch the Lightning

> I'm actually leaning toward keeping these, because I do remember
> having read good things on rasw about them. On the other hand, I know
> they're part of a series, and the good things I remember reading
> weren't _that_ good. Am I going to have to buy more books if I read
> these, or are they self-contained?

I read one of these--maybe _Catch the Lightning_?--and thought it
was pretty dopey. The romance read to me like the kind of category
book I don't read any more.

> Baker, Kage In the Garden of Iden

> This is another "I've heard sorta-good things, but it's a series,"
> thing. Is it self-contained? If not, is the series really, really
> good?

I think you could read it fine on its own, and it's pretty good.
I'm waiting to find out if the series is going to *get* anywhere
before reading the ones after #2.

> Cochran, Molly & Murphy, Warren World Without End

> I think this has to do with Atlantis or something. It was a
> remaindered hardcover.

Dopey. Ditch it.

> Harlan, Thomas The Shadow of Ararat
> Harlan, Thomas The Gate of Fire

> I'm torn on these. They do look interesting, and I've heard vaguely
> good things, but a) they're long, b) they're a series, and c) they
> appear to be alternate history, which I dislike.

They are alternate history. I liked the first, but they are quite
long; haven't got around to reading 2 & 3 (4 is coming out soon).

> Kerner, Elizabeth Song in the Silence

> What is this?

Something I bought for a dollar and haven't read yet?

> Lackey, Mercedes Firebird
> Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry The Black Gryphon
> Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry The White Gryphon

> I'm keeping most of the Valdemar books, because I'm being _very_
> conservative in what I get rid of here; but those last two can go.
> And I think the former is a non-series book that I have no desire to
> read.

It is; can't remember anything about it.

> Willey, Elizabeth The Price of Blood and Honor

> Series fantasy, with OOP sequels. Can it stand alone? Is it good
> enough for me to care?

I've only read one, anyway; they're Amber lite, but I can't remember
how well it stood alone.

Kate
--
http://www.steelypips.org/elsewhere.html -- kate....@yale.edu
Paired Reading Page; Book Reviews; Outside of a Dog: A Book Log
"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Arthur Kimes

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 2:01:29 AM1/30/02
to
On 30 Jan 2002 05:52:24 GMT, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

] It must be the unseasonably mild weather, but I'm in a mood for spring


] cleaning of late. I've been going through my things, throwing out all
] the junk (I'm something of an anti-pack rat), and I finally decided
] to face the reality that my biggest single possession is my whompin'
] stacks of books.

] Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars
]
] Minor Clarke, yes?

Major Clarke. It might seem dated today but I recall liking it
enough that I read it 2 or 3 times in the 60s-70s.


] Hinz, Christopher Liege-Killer
] Hinz, Christopher Ash Ock
]

] A trilogy to which I lack the third book, I think. I mainly bought
] these because they were high on the Internet Top 100 list for a long
] time, but I've never heard anyone else say anything about them. Do I
] need the third book? Are they really that good?

I read the first and liked it enough that I'll read the other
two - eventually. Some gaping techno-plotholes but the action and story
were good enough to make up for it.


] Pellegrino, Charles & Zebrowski, George The Killing Star

] Generic SF.

High concept. The RKVs (Relativistic Kill Vehicles) are often
discussed in this or similar groups. Pessimistic answer to the Fermi
Paradox. Not a great novel but there's a lot to think about.

Where IS Everybody?
http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/

Sean O'Hara

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 2:41:01 AM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski wrote:
>
> Wells, Angus Wrath of Ashar
> Wells, Angus The Usurper
> Wells, Angus The Way Beneath
>
> I read his Godwars books, and they were so tedious that I never want
> to read anything of his again.
>
Might I suggest donating these to a fundamentalist church, and
telling them that the books are more satanic that Harry Potter.
Hopefully no one will make the mistake of reading them again.

I used to have a boss whose husband was a flight attendant. He'd
bring home all the books that people left on planes, but since
neither of them liked sci fi, they'd unload any SF novels on to me.
One of them was an Angus Wells book. I managed to read ten pages
before concluding that Wells is worse than Goodkind.

So I did the sensible thing and added it to my box of goods for the
used bookstore.

That was about four years ago. The book is still there. I go to the
bookstore fairly regularly, so I'm almost positive it's the same
copy.

--
Sean O’Hara
Now an unemployed college graduate!
“Bring back Janet Reno. Let’s return to killing people in
Texas, please!” -- Get Your Enr On (http://www.mnftiu.net)

Trent Goulding

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 4:41:39 AM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

[Mike wants advice on which books to jettison]

> Baker, Kage In the Garden of Iden
>
>This is another "I've heard sorta-good things, but it's a series,"
>thing. Is it self-contained? If not, is the series really, really
>good?

I'd keep this and give it a try. On the downside, it's first of a
series that's not even half-way finished yet (#4 just came out, and
I think I recall reading of a projected ten or so). Each book does
have a reasonably self-contained conclusion, though (the central
characters are immortal, so they can close a book-length chapter in
their lives and still be back for something new in the next book).

On the upside, it abundantly meets your 'light and humorous'
criteria. It's also nicely written and pretty intelligent. Back on
the downside, its central romantic relationship leaves me cold and
uninterested, *but*, the more-than-compensating upside is that the
setting, humor, and other characters are fun to read about. The
other three (so far) in the series also have their assorted charms,
and the overall narrative arc is picking up the pace, I think,
particularly in the most recent installment.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with what Baker's done so far, and
look forward to following this series.

> Barnes, John Mother of Storms
>
>I've read enough reviews of this one to be pretty sure I don't want it.

I read it about five years ago, and remember very little about it
except it was bad.

> Bertin, Joanne The Last Dragonlord
>
>This looks like very generic, very mediocre fantasy.

I'm curious if anyone will speak up for this one.

> Card, Orson Scott The Memory of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott The Call of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott The Ships of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott Earthfall
> Card, Orson Scott Earthborn
>
>I bought these all in remaindered hardcover, but, well, they're a big
>long series, and they don't look very good.

They're essentially a SFnal retelling of the opening narrative in
the Book of Mormon (at least the first one is, which is all I ever
read), if that helps you make up your mind...

> Feintuch, David Midshipman's Hope
> Feintuch, David Challenger's Hope
> Feintuch, David Prisoner's Hope
> Feintuch, David Fisherman's Hope
>
>As I recall, these are really grim and depressing, which is sort of a
>minus for them... unless they're really good, rather than just
>competent. Are they?

Not in my opinion. The protagonist is such a wet blanket that it's
a real chore just to follow along in his mopey, "I just saved the
world but boy do I suck" footsteps.

If you wanna do the whole men-on-ships thing, I'd say try tackling
O'Brian again. If it has to be ships-in-space, then try the first
few Honor Harringtons, before she turns into St. Honor, Our Lady of
Battles, She Who Cannot Fail (a caricature, perhaps, but that's the
impression I started to get. The first few are good fun, though).

> Harlan, Thomas The Shadow of Ararat
> Harlan, Thomas The Gate of Fire
>
>I'm torn on these. They do look interesting, and I've heard vaguely
>good things, but a) they're long, b) they're a series, and c) they
>appear to be alternate history, which I dislike.

I read the first one, and it had some good points, but on the whole
I didn't find it particularly noteworthy and haven't been motivated
to go on to the second one. It's alternate history: a Roman Empire
ca. 5-600 A.D., where sorcery is functional and Julius Caesar gets
magically resurrected fairly early in the tale.

> Haydon, Elizabeth Rhapsody
>
>Generic, huge series fantasy. Buh-bye.

Hated this; actually surprised I finished it, in fact. I'd say good
riddance.

> Heinlein, Robert A. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
> Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love
> Heinlein, Robert A. Farnham's Freehold
>
>I read (and hated) the first; the others are ones that I've gathered
>are bad Heinlein. (I have kept most of my Heinlein, really.)

The first sucks, and I can't recall reading FF, though I might have
way back when. I actually have a certain residual fondness for Time
Enough for Love, though. I haven't re-read a Heinlein in probably
well over 10 years, so that fondness might be illusory at best.
Still, there are a few nice short stories/novellas buried in there.
Whatever you do, just avoid the last segment of the book. That's
the first place I can recall Heinlein's mother/incest fixation
cropping up. I found it icky the first time I read it, and my
opinion hasn't much changed since.

> Lackey, Mercedes Firebird
> Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry The Black Gryphon
> Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry The White Gryphon
>
>I'm keeping most of the Valdemar books, because I'm being _very_
>conservative in what I get rid of here; but those last two can go.
>And I think the former is a non-series book that I have no desire to
>read.

I've now read one Lackey. I trust Kate's judgment enough to believe
her when she claims that _By the Sword_ is the Lackey I'm likely to
find most accessible. If that's the case, I can say with some
assurance that Lacky ain't for me, and that further excursions into
the Valdemar milieu would be a waste of time and energy.


>Minor McCaffrey is very, very forgettable.

Even Major McCaffrey looks very, very different than it did almost
twenty years ago....

> Robinson, Kim Stanley Red Mars
> Robinson, Kim Stanley Green Mars
>
>Okay, I know these ones have a following. I just don't care, because
>I've read enough reviews over the years to think that I won't like them.

Hated _Red Mars_, never had any desire to go on with the rest of the
series.

> Whyte, Jack The Skystone
> Whyte, Jack The Singing Sword
>
>Generic Arthurian fantasy?

I'd be curious about any opinions on this series. I generally avoid
Arthurian stuff, but I've flirted with the idea of trying these.

--
Trent Goulding trent.g...@mho.com

Samuel Kleiner

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 5:55:07 AM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski wrote:

> 1. I don't like mediocrity. I bought a lot of books over the years
>

> 2. I don't like generic fantasy. This is actually a lie -- I do like

> 3. I don't like long books, and I loath series. Series are, these

> 4. I don't like tech-heavy SF. I like SF with characters, I like SF
>

> 5. I do like literary merit. If a book is well-written and deep,
>

> 6. I do like light, humorous works. If there's something I'm getting
>

> 7. I do like popularly acclaimed books. I don't want to be reading

> Card, Orson Scott & Kidd, Kathryn H. Lovelock
>
Keep this. It's his one great book. TO take your objections in order:
It's not mediocre by a long shot,
It's not generic fantasy,
It's not that long,
Card can't write tech-heavy sf to save his live and this isn't.
Literary merit- It's from the POV of a capuchin monkey; what do you
want?
It is pretty funny, but not popularly acclaimed. I think.

>

> Feintuch, David Fisherman's *


>
> As I recall, these are really grim and depressing,

Yes.


> which is sort of a
> minus for them... unless they're really good, rather than just
> competent. Are they?

No.


>
> I've read _Relcuce_, and don't want to read any more Modesitt.

Good move.

>
> And that's the list. Give me as many of your thoughts as you care to;
> I'm interested to see if I've got books on here that don't belong.


--
Sam

Mike Christie

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 6:43:59 AM1/30/02
to
> ] Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars
> ]
> ] Minor Clarke, yes?
>
> Major Clarke. It might seem dated today but I recall liking it
> enough that I read it 2 or 3 times in the 60s-70s.

I agree; keep this one. It'll come up in discussions of classic/early
sf and you may want to have it on your shelves then.

Mike

Eric Walker

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 6:59:19 AM1/30/02
to
On 30 Jan 2002 05:52:24 GMT, Mike Kozlowski wrote:

[...]

> Wilder, Cherry Signs of Life
>
>Generic SF?

The one Wilder book I read, long ago, I have still to make up my
mind about (it's about due for a re-read), but it seemed
interesting enough that, were I you, I'd at least taste this
one.


> Willey, Elizabeth The Price of Blood and Honor
>
>Series fantasy, with OOP sequels. Can it stand alone? Is it
>good enough for me to care?

I would say Yes and Yes. YMMV.


--
Cordially,
Eric Walker, webmaster
Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works
http://owlcroft.com/sfandf


Jaquandor

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 7:31:46 AM1/30/02
to
>> Whyte, Jack The Skystone
>> Whyte, Jack The Singing Sword
>>
>>Generic Arthurian fantasy?
>
>I'd be curious about any opinions on this series. I generally avoid
>Arthurian stuff, but I've flirted with the idea of trying these.

These two books are decent, forming a backstory for the Arthurian stuff to come
much later on that is quite interesting on its own merits. There are some
ham-handed infodumps, though, where Whyte basically rattles on for pages with
the general effect of "Hey! Look how much I know about the procedures the Roman
Legions used for making camp!" and the like.

The series completely derailed, though, in the third book (at least to me it
did), when the focus shifts to a different viewpoint character who is
uninteresting and more than a little stupid. I've left the series behind now,
not bothering to finish it; but the first two really are OK.


--
-Jaquandor

"Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music."
--George Carlin

Niall McAuley

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 7:39:34 AM1/30/02
to

"Mike Kozlowski" <m...@klio.org> wrote in message news:a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com...

Hi Mike, I've only read a few of these:


> Clarke, Arthur C. The Ghost From the Grand Banks
> Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars
> Clarke, Arthur C. The Hammer of God
>
> Minor Clarke, yes?

Yes, no, yes. I would keep _The Sands of Mars_, even
if only to lend to fans of Robinson's _Hue Mars_ books.

> Feintuch, David Midshipman's Hope

> As I recall, these are really grim and depressing, which is sort of a


> minus for them... unless they're really good, rather than just
> competent. Are they?

No.

> Pohl, Frederik The Other End of Time
> Pohl, Frederik The Siege of Eternity
> Pohl, Frederik The Voices of Heaven
>
> Hmm, are these minor Pohl or good Pohl?

The first one is complete crap. Truly dire.

> Silverberg, Robert Lord Valentine's Castle
> Silverberg, Robert The Mountains of Majipoor
>
> How series-y are these?

Who cares? Unremittingly boring.
--
Niall [real address ends in se, not es.invalid]

Chuck Bridgeland

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 8:48:21 AM1/30/02
to
On 30 Jan 2002 05:52:24 GMT, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

> Baxter, Stephen Ring

You might give Ring a try anyway.

> Forward, Robert L. Camelot 30K
>
>Heh. A remaindered hardcover, as I'd _never_ have bought this book else.

Toss, for sure. Interesting environment, but reads like 1930s (pre JWC)
pulp SF.

> Gates, Bill The Road Ahead

The Dark Side. Don't just toss. Burn.

> Heinlein, Robert A. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
> Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love
> Heinlein, Robert A. Farnham's Freehold
>
>I read (and hated) the first; the others are ones that I've gathered
>are bad Heinlein. (I have kept most of my Heinlein, really.)

Your mileage may vary. I like _Time Enough For Love_ (think of it as a
collection of original RAH storys, with connecting material.)

_Cat_ was a great comedy, until the ponit the magic door in the wall opened.

> McDevitt, Jack Moonfall
> McDevitt, Jack The Engines of God
> McDevitt, Jack Ancient Shores
>
>I'm leaning toward keeping these, actually.

Have only read _Engines_, and am sorry I gave it away.


--
"Congress shall make no law" and "shall not be infringed."
It's not just a good idea, it's the Law.
Chuck Bridgeland, chuckbri at computerdyn dot com
http://www.essex1.com/people/chuckbri

Chad R. Orzel

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 8:51:04 AM1/30/02
to
On 30 Jan 2002 05:52:24 GMT, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

> Barnes, John Mother of Storms
>
>I've read enough reviews of this one to be pretty sure I don't want it.

You don't.
A thoroughly unpleasant book.

I can't figure Barnes out. How did the same guy write this and _One
For the Morning Glory_?

> Bonannon, Margaret Wander Preternatural
>
>I have no idea what this is.

A book about telepathic jellyfish.
HTH. HAND.

> Deitz, Tom Above the Lower Sky
> Deitz, Tom Dreamseeker's Road
>
>I've never heard strong praise for these.

Those particular ones, I don't know about. The first few "<Title>'s
<Noun>" aren't bad, IIRC, but they're fairly generic, and later books
in the series got sort of stale.

> Edghill, Rosemary The Sword of Maiden's Tears
> Edghill, Rosemary The Cup of Morning Shadows
> Edghill, Rosemary The Cloak of Night and Daggers
>
>These seem like generic elfpunk. I'm barely impressed by really
>good elfpunk like _Finder_ and _The Last Hot Time_, so doubt I'd find
>the second-rate stuff readable.

Actually, I'd like to hear opinions of these in general.
I'm more impressed with Elfpunk than Kozlowski is, and for some reason
the title of the first of these sticks in my head. Enough so that when
I see it in the local used book store, I spend a minute or two turning
it over saying "why do I know this title?" If it's good, I'll buy it,
but not if it's part of a really tight series.

> Harlan, Thomas The Shadow of Ararat
> Harlan, Thomas The Gate of Fire
>
>I'm torn on these. They do look interesting, and I've heard vaguely
>good things, but a) they're long, b) they're a series, and c) they
>appear to be alternate history, which I dislike.

They're very alternate, as such things go.
Big, powerful magic, with a couple of dead emperors resurrected in the
first volume. History is much different than in the real world (though
annoyingly similar in some other respects).

The first one is good, because it's heavy on the military stuff, and
Harlan writes that well. The second spends more time on plots and
schemes, and isn't as good. I'll buy the third when I see it in
paperback.

> Hinz, Christopher Liege-Killer
> Hinz, Christopher Ash Ock
>
>A trilogy to which I lack the third book, I think. I mainly bought
>these because they were high on the Internet Top 100 list for a long
>time, but I've never heard anyone else say anything about them. Do I
>need the third book? Are they really that good?

The first one is really good, the second and third not nearly as good.
They take the concept of the first, and sort of run it into the
ground.

I think you could read and enjoy the first and skip the others. The
first is a good SF thriller, with blood and gore and unstoppable
bioengineered killers on the loose. A fun read if you like that sort
of thing, but not what I'd call generic.

> Lindskold, Jane When the Gods Are Silent
>
>Any good?

Wasn't she married to Zelazny? I seem to remember that, which led to a
double-take when I saw one of her books blurbed by him with "The most
brilliant young writer to come along since forever!" or some such.



> Modesitt, L.E. Jr. Of Tangible Ghosts
> Modesitt, L.E., Jr. The Magic of Recluce
>
>I've read _Relcuce_, and don't want to read any more Modesitt.

_Of Tangible Ghosts_ is supposed to be nothing like Recluce.
I'm not sure if it has the same flaws, though-- I actually enjoy the
Neverending Recluce Series a fair bit, but I haven't read is other
stuff.

> Sawyer, Robert J. Starplex
> Sawyer, Robert J. Illegal Alien
>
>I just plain didn't like these books.

He's another one I keep thinking I ought to read, given that he's
always up for some award or another, but none of his books look like
anything I'd be interested in.

> Silverberg, Robert Lord Valentine's Castle
> Silverberg, Robert The Mountains of Majipoor
>
>How series-y are these?

Not bad.
_Lord Valentine's Castle_ is the one to read, if you're only going to
read one. And you only should read one, because they go downhill
quickly.

Or ditch 'em.

> Willey, Elizabeth The Price of Blood and Honor
>
>Series fantasy, with OOP sequels. Can it stand alone? Is it good
>enough for me to care?

As Kate noted, this is Amber Lite.
The books stand alone with no trouble, and, indeed, are written out of
chronological order. It's good, but not outstanding.


--
Chad Orzel
Book Log: http://home.earthlink.net/~orzelc/booklog.html
Reviews: http://home.earthlink.net/~orzelc/Reviews.html

Peter Meilinger

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 8:53:42 AM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

: Asaro, Catharine Primary Inversion


: Asaro, Catharine Catch the Lightning

The only thing I can tell you about these is that Catharine
Asaro did a signing a few years ago at the bookstore I used
to work at, and she was very nice.

: Card, Orson Scott Seventh Son


: Card, Orson Scott Red Prophet
: Card, Orson Scott Prentice Alvin
: Card, Orson Scott Alvin Journeyman

: I read the first two and was unimpressed.

Then get rid of the rest, because I liked the first two (or three?)
and thought it went downhill from there.

: Cole, Allan & Bunch, Chris The Far Kingdoms

: Generic fantasy.

Yep. Relatively good generic fantasy, though. But it's the first
of a series and not excellent, just a good read. Mostly self-
contained, though, as far as I remember.

: Harrison, Harry Galactic Dreams

: No idea.

It's one of his short story collections, isn't it? If it's one
of the two I'm remembering, it should have either a Bill The Galactic
Hero short (which I've never read) or a Stainless Steel Rat short
(which I liked). Me, I'd keep it, since short stories are easier
to read and decide on than novels are.

Pete

Genevieve

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 9:09:10 AM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote in message news:<a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>...
>
> Baker, Kage In the Garden of Iden
>
> This is another "I've heard sorta-good things, but it's a series,"
> thing. Is it self-contained? If not, is the series really, really
> good?

Kage Baker is one of my newest favorite authors. In the Garden of
Iden is one of my favorites of her books. Drawbacks - it is part of a
series, but each book is fairly self-contained (no cliffhangers) and
they are really well-written. I'd venture to say they have literary
merit, although my standards for that may be different that others.
What I mean by it is that the language itself is evocative, not just
the plot.

> Edghill, Rosemary The Sword of Maiden's Tears
> Edghill, Rosemary The Cup of Morning Shadows
> Edghill, Rosemary The Cloak of Night and Daggers
>
> These seem like generic elfpunk. I'm barely impressed by really
> good elfpunk like _Finder_ and _The Last Hot Time_, so doubt I'd find
> the second-rate stuff readable.

I don't know about generic, but the first book was interesting.
However, it was so bleak in tone that I decided not to bother reading
the other ones. And then when I went back and reread Sword, I decided
to chuck the book in the used-bookstore bin. On the other hand, I
have an omnibus of Edgehill's Bast books (more mystery than anything
else) and enjoy them quite a lot.


>
> Huff, Tanya Sing the Four Quarters
> Huff, Tanya Fifth Quarter
>
> Looks to be mediocre series fantasy.

I like them better than lots of other mediocre series fantasy :-)
They're ok. Good for a quick read. Maybe not worth keeping to you,
but they're not horrid. And Huff's "Keeper" books are lots of fun,
very light-hearted.


> Roberson, Jennifer Lady of the Forest
>
> Mediocre Robin Hood fantasy?

I wouldn't say *mediocre* but it's not mind-altering.



> Routley, Jane Mage Heart
>
> Generic Fantasy?

Not generic. I like Mage Heart a lot, but won't touch the follow-up
(not really a sequel) _Fire Angels_


>
> Silverberg, Robert Lord Valentine's Castle
> Silverberg, Robert The Mountains of Majipoor
>
> How series-y are these?

Lord Valentine's Castle is self-contained, and it's the only
Silverberg I've read besides an attempt at the short story collection
set in Majipoor. I really like Lord Valentine's Castle, though, and I
think it's worth a read, although the plot is very straightforward
(probably enough to be predictable). But it's interesting in how it
progresses.

> Willey, Elizabeth The Price of Blood and Honor
>
> Series fantasy, with OOP sequels. Can it stand alone? Is it good
> enough for me to care?

I like the books. I can't always figure out what's happening, but the
dialogue is nice. These are the ones described as "Nice Princes in
Amber" but I don't know how true that is, not having read the Amber
books.

Genevieve

Mike Kozlowski

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 9:24:01 AM1/30/02
to
In article <a384n7$ll9$1...@news.ycc.yale.edu>,
Kate Nepveu <kate....@yale.edu> wrote:
>Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

>> Baker, Kage In the Garden of Iden
>

>I think you could read it fine on its own, and it's pretty good.

That seems to be something of a consensus -- I've gotten more people
saying I should keep this than any other book. So, I will.

Irina Rempt

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 9:27:00 AM1/30/02
to
Chad R. Orzel wrote:

Send them to me :-)

Lord Valentine's Castle, at least. I don't like it enough to buy new,
but I've been looking forever for a second-hand copy. It's what made
me learn to juggle.

Irina

--
ir...@valdyas.org
http://www.valdyas.org/irina/index.html (English)
http://www.valdyas.org/irina/backpage.html (Nederlands)

Simon

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 9:44:54 AM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote in news:a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com:

> Brunner, John The Crucible of Time
> Brunner, John The Tides of Time
> Brunner, John Children of the Thunder
>

I'm probably the biggest Brunner booster you'll ever meet, but I thought
"Children of the Thunder" was a horrible book, quite unpleasant to read
(mainly for a particular scene near the end, where, IIRC, the protagonist
is trying to force himself not to get sexually aroused by a group of
children).
I've not yet read the other two, although I have them both in my TBR
stash.


> Clarke, Arthur C. The Ghost From the Grand Banks
> Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars
> Clarke, Arthur C. The Hammer of God
>

Sands Of Mars is good, I'd keep that. The other two? hmmm... Not my cup of
tea, for sure.

Simon

--

Mike Kozlowski

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 9:48:19 AM1/30/02
to
In article <B7VXPP7RQhBeVx...@4ax.com>,

Trent Goulding <trent.g...@mho.com> wrote:
>Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

>> Card, Orson Scott The Memory of Earth [et seq]


>
>They're essentially a SFnal retelling of the opening narrative in
>the Book of Mormon (at least the first one is, which is all I ever
>read), if that helps you make up your mind...

I knew that, but wasn't sure if it would count as a plus or minus.
Frankly, though, the fact that you only read the first one confirms that I
should dump them -- series that people don't rush to conclude fall way
below my threshhold.

>> Feintuch, David Midshipman's Hope
>

>If you wanna do the whole men-on-ships thing, I'd say try tackling
>O'Brian again. If it has to be ships-in-space, then try the first
>few Honor Harringtons,

I have, actually, both the fullset of Honor Harrington books (which I
haven't read at all, but am keeping above my "pitch it" threshhold), and
the full set of O'Brian books (the first two of which I've read, and
liked).

>> Harlan, Thomas The Shadow of Ararat
>> Harlan, Thomas The Gate of Fire
>>

>I read the first one, and it had some good points, but on the whole
>I didn't find it particularly noteworthy and haven't been motivated
>to go on to the second one. It's alternate history: a Roman Empire
>ca. 5-600 A.D., where sorcery is functional and Julius Caesar gets
>magically resurrected fairly early in the tale.

Now, see, that does sound like an interesting concept, but the fact that
you haven't bothered reading the second, and that Chad demoted the most
recent one to "buy in paperback" pushes me toward the "pitch 'em" camp.
(My basic goal these days is never to buy any books in paperback, on the
theory that if it's not worth reading in hardcover, it's just plain ol'
not worth reading for me at this point. Obviously, exceptions are made
for paperback originals and reprints.)

>> Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love
>

>way back when. I actually have a certain residual fondness for Time
>Enough for Love, though. I haven't re-read a Heinlein in probably
>well over 10 years, so that fondness might be illusory at best.
>Still, there are a few nice short stories/novellas buried in there.

Ah, well, if it's _short stories_, that's different. I was thinking this
was one of Heinlein's later, bloated novels. I did like _The Past Through
Tomorrow_ well enough, so if this is another collection, I'll keep it.

>I've now read one Lackey. I trust Kate's judgment enough to believe
>her when she claims that _By the Sword_ is the Lackey I'm likely to
>find most accessible. If that's the case, I can say with some
>assurance that Lacky ain't for me, and that further excursions into
>the Valdemar milieu would be a waste of time and energy.

This is probably true, yeah. Being as how you're not a teenage girl with
a horse fixation, and all. If I hadn't already read them, I'd probably
not bother keeping them.

>>Minor McCaffrey is very, very forgettable.
>
>Even Major McCaffrey looks very, very different than it did almost
>twenty years ago....

Probably. But something like the Dragonrider series is still easily good
enough to stay on my shelf, especially considering that I've read them
already.

>> Whyte, Jack The Skystone
>> Whyte, Jack The Singing Sword
>>
>>Generic Arthurian fantasy?
>
>I'd be curious about any opinions on this series. I generally avoid
>Arthurian stuff, but I've flirted with the idea of trying these.

Well, my girlfriend has good things to say about those (which are
apparently of the "gritty and realistic" Arthurian school, rather than the
"wifty and magickal" one), it turns out, so it looks like I'll be keeping
them.

Andrew Ducker

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 9:54:54 AM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote in news:a3913j$lvf$1...@news.panix.com:

> In article <B7VXPP7RQhBeVx...@4ax.com>,
> Trent Goulding <trent.g...@mho.com> wrote:
>>Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

>>> Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love
>>
>>way back when. I actually have a certain residual fondness for Time
>>Enough for Love, though. I haven't re-read a Heinlein in probably
>>well over 10 years, so that fondness might be illusory at best.
>>Still, there are a few nice short stories/novellas buried in there.
>
> Ah, well, if it's _short stories_, that's different. I was thinking
> this was one of Heinlein's later, bloated novels. I did like _The Past
> Through Tomorrow_ well enough, so if this is another collection, I'll
> keep it.


It's not a collection. It's the story of Lazarus Long. However, much of
the book is flashbacks to various episodes in his life. So you could think
of it as a collection of linked short stories, with linking text as well.

Andy D

Mike Kozlowski

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 10:01:31 AM1/30/02
to
In article <u7tf5usl7urc53nv2...@4ax.com>,

Chad R. Orzel <orz...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>On 30 Jan 2002 05:52:24 GMT, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:
>
>> Bonannon, Margaret Wander Preternatural
>>
>>I have no idea what this is.
>
>A book about telepathic jellyfish.
>HTH. HAND.

Well, that certainly moves it out of the "generic" category. Is it a
_good_ book about telepathic jellyfish?

>> Harlan, Thomas The Shadow of Ararat
>> Harlan, Thomas The Gate of Fire
>

>The first one is good, because it's heavy on the military stuff, and
>Harlan writes that well. The second spends more time on plots and
>schemes, and isn't as good. I'll buy the third when I see it in
>paperback.

Hmm. Does the first stand alone, or would I be forced to read the sequels
for plot completion?

>> Hinz, Christopher Liege-Killer
>> Hinz, Christopher Ash Ock
>

>The first one is really good, the second and third not nearly as good.
>They take the concept of the first, and sort of run it into the
>ground.
>
>I think you could read and enjoy the first and skip the others.

That sounds like a plan.

>> Lindskold, Jane When the Gods Are Silent
>>
>>Any good?
>
>Wasn't she married to Zelazny?

Yep.

>> Modesitt, L.E. Jr. Of Tangible Ghosts
>> Modesitt, L.E., Jr. The Magic of Recluce
>>

>>I've read _Recluce_, and don't want to read any more Modesitt.


>
>_Of Tangible Ghosts_ is supposed to be nothing like Recluce.

I gathered that (or I'd never have bought it, even as a remaindered
hardcover), but... well, it didn't look like anything special.

>> Sawyer, Robert J. Starplex
>> Sawyer, Robert J. Illegal Alien
>>
>>I just plain didn't like these books.
>
>He's another one I keep thinking I ought to read, given that he's
>always up for some award or another, but none of his books look like
>anything I'd be interested in.

I did like _The Terminal Experiment_ quite a bit. You might not, but if
you're going to try one of his books, that's the one I'd recommend.

>> Willey, Elizabeth The Price of Blood and Honor
>>
>>Series fantasy, with OOP sequels. Can it stand alone? Is it good
>>enough for me to care?
>
>As Kate noted, this is Amber Lite.
>The books stand alone with no trouble, and, indeed, are written out of
>chronological order. It's good, but not outstanding.

Hmm. Well, I think I'll keep it for a while.

James Nicoll

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 10:37:12 AM1/30/02
to
In article <a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:
>It must be the unseasonably mild weather, but I'm in a mood for spring
>cleaning of late. I've been going through my things, throwing out all
>the junk (I'm something of an anti-pack rat), and I finally decided
>to face the reality that my biggest single possession is my whompin'
>stacks of books.
>
>I've always resisted getting rid of any of my books, for unexplained
>reasons, but I think now it's time to clear out the shelves a bit.
>Because the thing is, I've got a lot of books that I haven't read
>(well over 600 right now), but many of them _I have no desire to
>read_. Ever. If they were the only unread books I owned, I'd go out
>and buy new books before reading them. So, there doesn't seem to be
>much point keeping them around, does there? And then there are the
>books that I've read and have no desire to read again. Not much point
>keeping those around, either.

I did a big sell off a few years ago and keep regretting it.
I'll admit in the case of some of the books you list (And I am not
sniping at you here: I used to own a bunch of mid range Perry Rhodans,
plus most of the reprint Doc Savages and all the real Avenger books
[Not the Ron Goulart ones, which I thought started with a sucky, stupid
change to the main character]. I'll give the Avenger series this: it
must have been one of the few pulp series to have a black couple as major
characters who are shown to be smart and educated people].

Actually, I miss my Avenger books. They all disappeared over the
years, except the first one.

(Sad thoughts about the lost books of my library)

>I did a quick run-through of my shelves a few minutes ago, and of my
>nearly 1300 books, I found just over 200 of them that I really didn't
>want any more. The catch, though, is that in most of these cases, I
>haven't read the books that I'm now deciding I don't want, and I
>don't want to make a mistake and get rid of a book that I'm going to
>want to read later.
>

snip criteria and all the book I don't want to comment on.


>
>That said, let's go onto the list of books that I'm tentatively
>planning on getting rid of. I'm going to annotate the list as I go to
>explain anything that's unclear.
>
> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Virtual Destruction
> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Ill Wind

There's a Jane Austin snipe which should go here.

>I'm pretty sure these are just generic techno-thrillers.
>
> Anthony, Patricia Brother Termite
>
>I have no idea what this is; I think I bought it on a remainder pile.

Odd, cold book about UFOs in America. Well enough written but
I find her stuff very hard to get into.

snip Piers Anthony

>You'll need to give me a break on this lot: I've been buying books
>since I was 13, and I have a strong completist impulse that makes it
>hard to quit buying a series once I've started, even if I don't plan
>on reading it any more. (I've actually decided to keep the first
>Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality books, just in case I ever want
>an Anthony fix).

Look for _Macroscope_, which is half-good and one of the few
books to use Olaf Stapledon's ideas as a springboard for adventure.

> Asaro, Catharine Primary Inversion
> Asaro, Catharine Catch the Lightning
>
>I'm actually leaning toward keeping these, because I do remember
>having read good things on rasw about them. On the other hand, I know
>they're part of a series, and the good things I remember reading
>weren't _that_ good. Am I going to have to buy more books if I read
>these, or are they self-contained?

Don't know. Apparently she's a hard SF writer but the one book
of her which I read was too focused on romance for my tastes. She owns
some great boots, if I am remembering my hard SF authors correctly.

> Barnes, John Mother of Storms
>
>I've read enough reviews of this one to be pretty sure I don't want it.

John Barnes is incredibly variable. Pete's Rule (Never buy a
Barnes with sodomy in it) is a good one but unfortunately the publisher
does not put that kind of stuff on the cover.

I'd recommend _Orbital Resonance_, _Sin of Origin_, _The Man Who
Pulled Down the Sky_ (Although I have some specific problems with that
one. Hrm, maybe I'll rattle off a set of reviews for him), _A Million
Open Doors_ and _Candle_, and I've probably forgotten one or two that I
liked.

> Barton, William The Transmigration of Souls
>
>I have very little idea what this book is.

The USA went to the Moon, found something, fled home and became
a sealed nation with unusually high tech. Decades later the rest of the
world is ready to go see what they found. Some nice bits, some Bartony
silly bits.

> Benford, Gregory & Rotsler, William Shiva Descending
>
>I'm always suspicious of collaborations between a famous author and a
>nobody. I'm not even sure why I own this book, as I don't recall
>anyone ever praising it in my hearing.

Hey! I thought Rotsler was very nice giving Benford a leg up
like that. Minor book, though.

> Carver, Jeffrey A. Neptune Crossing
> Carver, Jeffrey A. Strange Attractors
> Carver, Jeffrey A. The Infinite Sea
>
>I'm not sure about these. Generic SF, or good SF?

James Bounced Off Every Book By This Author SF. Not a criticism,
because I don't know why I bounce off his stuff.

>
> Clarke, Arthur C. The Ghost From the Grand Banks
> Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars
> Clarke, Arthur C. The Hammer of God
>
>Minor Clarke, yes?

Sands is early Clarke, and I'd keep it.


>
> Connolly, Flynn The Rising of the Moon

If this is the one I think it is (Evil Patriarchal Catholics
oppress the women of Ireland, forcing them to flee to the stars (As
opposed to, oh, Marin COunty)) Bad Bad Bad dump at once.

>No idea. These were Del Rey Discovery books from authors who never
>went on to do anything else interesting.

The thing about the DRD series is that if the author really showed
serious promise, they didn't go in the (lower priced, I think) DRD series.
Bit self defeating but then Del Rey has been drifting for years.

> Cramer, John Einstein's Bridge
>
>Physics-oriented SF, yes?

Yup and I couldn't finish it.

> Edghill, Rosemary The Sword of Maiden's Tears
> Edghill, Rosemary The Cup of Morning Shadows
> Edghill, Rosemary The Cloak of Night and Daggers
>
>These seem like generic elfpunk. I'm barely impressed by really
>good elfpunk like _Finder_ and _The Last Hot Time_, so doubt I'd find
>the second-rate stuff readable.

I am convinced Edghill has a great novel in her. None of the ones
I have read were it and I can't say what's missing but I will keep buying
her books just in case (This is the logic which led me to see many Lou
Diamond Phillips movies, so be warned). Well, not the ones with Lackey.
I do have limits.
>
>
> Gemmell, David Legend


>
>I read _Legend_ and was unimpressed. Yeah, okay, it was gritty, it
>was semi-dark... but it wasn't all that good. And, really, I'm not
>all that big on grit and darkness anyway.

Hrm. That's the one Gemmel I really like.

> Geston, Mark S. Mirror to the Sky
>
>Generic SF?

No, Geston writes Depressing SF, although I thought this one
was minor.

> Gier, Scott G. Genellan: Planetfall
>
>I'm pretty sure this is a series. I'm pretty sure I'll never read it.

Aha! The Alien Planet Canada series, where the planet the
characters are marooned on seems to be Manitoba. Bad bad world
building.

> Heinlein, Robert A.; Kondo, Yoji, ed. Requiem
>
>Tribute stories. Enh.

If you get a chance to see him speak Kondo is an interesting guy,
if I am recalling him correctly.

> Hinz, Christopher Liege-Killer
> Hinz, Christopher Ash Ock
>
>A trilogy to which I lack the third book, I think. I mainly bought
>these because they were high on the Internet Top 100 list for a long
>time, but I've never heard anyone else say anything about them. Do I
>need the third book? Are they really that good?

I know people who love them but I thought they were silly.

> Nagata, Linda Tech-Heaven
>
>What's this? Generic SF?

No, hard SF but not the dull kind. I'd keep this. I think
Nagata is a very promising author (Although I did think _Deception
Well_ was a bit dull).

> Pellegrino, Charles & Zebrowski, George The Killing Star
>

>Generic SF.

? No, bad hard SF, notable for one author, Pelligrini, spending
a lot of time talking about how smart he is. Zebrowski once wrote a readable
book, although not recently.

> Pohl, Frederik The Other End of Time
> Pohl, Frederik The Siege of Eternity
> Pohl, Frederik The Voices of Heaven
>
>Hmm, are these minor Pohl or good Pohl? If they're anything like
>_Gateway_, I'm keeping 'em for sure. If they're more like, say,
>_Narabedla, Ltd._, they're gone.

Minor. Misleadingly labeled by Tor as well.

> Willey, Elizabeth The Price of Blood and Honor
>
>Series fantasy, with OOP sequels. Can it stand alone? Is it good
>enough for me to care?

No idea. I liked the one book by her I read but never finished
it, if that makes sense.

--
"Don't worry. It's just a bunch of crazies who believe in only one
god. They're just this far away from atheism."
Wayne & Schuster

Christopher K Davis

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 10:49:16 AM1/30/02
to
Mike L Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> writes:
> Flynn, Michael Firestar

> Generic SF?

First in a (complete and not open-ended) 4-book near-future (well,
near-past alternate-history by now :-) SF series. All four books are
pretty big, so between the size of each and the fact that it's a series
you will probably have made your decision before you finish reading
this sentence.

That said, I think the series is pretty good, character driven SF (no
Weberian multipage infodumps on the background of the propulsion systems,
etc). Not super dark but not comedy. Perhaps driven a little too much
by coincidence at times (gee, isn't it amazing that ALL YOUR HIGH SCHOOL
CLASSMATES are prominent in various space efforts?) but this is at least
explained somewhat by various maneuvers.

I'd say give it a try and if you aren't really interested a few chapters
in, dump it. If you're hooked, look for the other three books.

--
Christopher Davis * <ckd...@ckdhr.com> * <URL:http://www.ckdhr.com/ckd/>
Put location information in your DNS! <URL:http://www.ckdhr.com/dns-loc/>
Bill, n. 2. A writing binding the signer [...] to pay [...]
Gates, n. 4. The places which command the entrances or access [...]

Mike Kozlowski

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 11:29:43 AM1/30/02
to
In article <a393v8$pen$1...@panix1.panix.com>,

James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:
>In article <a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

> I did a big sell off a few years ago and keep regretting it.

See, and that's what worries me. I don't want to get rid of anything that
I'm going to regret later. I mean, if I keep them, yeah I've got a few
hundred books that I don't plan on ever reading, and which I'm in some
cases kind of embarrassed by owning... but other than filling up an extra
bookshelf or so, that doesn't really hurt anything.

Still, the anti-packrat impulse is strong, and there's a feeling of lifted
burdens at the thought of losing my unwanted books, so I'll probably go
through with it.

>I'll admit in the case of some of the books you list (And I am not
>sniping at you here: I used to own a bunch of mid range Perry Rhodans,
>plus most of the reprint Doc Savages and all the real Avenger books
>[Not the Ron Goulart ones, which I thought started with a sucky, stupid
>change to the main character]. I'll give the Avenger series this: it
>must have been one of the few pulp series to have a black couple as major
>characters who are shown to be smart and educated people].
>
> Actually, I miss my Avenger books. They all disappeared over the
>years, except the first one.
>
> (Sad thoughts about the lost books of my library)

One of us just got lost in parentheses there. Did that first sentence end
anywhere?

>> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Virtual Destruction
>> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Ill Wind
>
> There's a Jane Austin snipe which should go here.

Hmm? Those names are right, I'm pretty sure.

> Look for _Macroscope_, which is half-good and one of the few
>books to use Olaf Stapledon's ideas as a springboard for adventure.

Hey now! I'm trying to get rid of books, and you give me recommendations
for books to buy? What kind of twisted sadist are you?

>>No idea. These were Del Rey Discovery books from authors who never
>>went on to do anything else interesting.
>
> The thing about the DRD series is that if the author really showed
>serious promise, they didn't go in the (lower priced, I think) DRD series.
>Bit self defeating but then Del Rey has been drifting for years.

Yeah. Then again, one of the DRD books I have is a Rosemary
Kirstein book, and I've heard good enough things about her over the years
that I'll keep it. Also, I read a DRD book by L. Warren Douglas, which I
enjoyed. Though that was a long time ago, and I have no idea how it'd
really stand up to my tastes today.

>> Nagata, Linda Tech-Heaven
>>
>>What's this? Generic SF?
>
> No, hard SF but not the dull kind. I'd keep this.

Okay, consider it kept.

[snip lots of other very helpful comments]

Thanks; nice to get confirmation on a lot of the books that it doesn't
seem like much anyone's ever read.

Ron Henry

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 11:40:44 AM1/30/02
to
"Mike Kozlowski" <m...@klio.org> wrote in message
news:a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com...

> Baker, Kage In the Garden of Iden
>
>This is another "I've heard sorta-good things, but it's a series,"
>thing. Is it self-contained? If not, is the series really, really
>good?

Well, you said you don't like series, but the Company books are pretty
good and this is the first one, and can probably be not-to-annoyingly
read stand-alone. But there are some overall frustrations in that the
series looks like it will not finish for a long time to come.

> Barton, William The Transmigration of Souls
>
> I have very little idea what this book is.

It's a weird book, not that that's unexpected with Barton, even while
depending on some classic/standard sfnal ideas (stargates, government
conspiracies, mysterious looming alien threat), and the characters have
a parodic/satirical (rather than "realistic", if you know what I mean)
feel. But I remember liking it enough to keep it after finishing it. I
think if you like Barton in general you'll like it. (But the fact you're
questioning this, or haven't read it yet, suggests to me you haven't
read any other Barton: people often feel strongly pro or con about his
entire body of work, I've found.)

> Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars

I'd keep this one of the Clarke, personally. (And have kept it, myself,
while getting rid of other minor Clarke [read: Rama sequelae and glib
essay collections].)

> Cramer, John Einstein's Bridge
>
> Physics-oriented SF, yes?

I have it, tried to read it once and got bogged down. It's still
languishing in a maybe-sell box.

> Nagata, Linda Tech-Heaven
>
> What's this? Generic SF?

Not so much generic. Near-future issues. I liked it, though not so well
as her later far-future books Deception Well and Vast.

--
Ron Henry ronh...@clarityconnect.com
Ought Weblog
http://people2.clarityconnect.com/webpages6/ronhenry/ought.htm


Rich Clark

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 11:44:01 AM1/30/02
to

"Mike Kozlowski" <m...@klio.org> wrote in message
news:a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com...

Commenting only on books/authors I've read that I have anything to say
about, snipping most everything else...
>
> Anthony, Piers Firefly

...and all the other Anthony titles you list. Dreck. Pitch it all


>
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Thieves' World
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Shadows of Sanctuary
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Storm Season
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. The Face of Chaos
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Wings of Omen

I have all these sitting on a shelf. I read them. I don't remember them,
except as time-killers.


>
> Barnes, John Mother of Storms
>
> I've read enough reviews of this one to be pretty sure I don't want it.

I think it's excellent, compelling, disturbing, hard to take, and extremely
effective.

>
> Baxter, Stephen Flux
> Baxter, Stephen Ring
>
> James Nicoll's reviews have made me realize that Baxter is not my cup
> of tea at all.

I agree with Nicoll.


>
> Benford, Gregory & Rotsler, William Shiva Descending

It's not a bad hard sf adventure novel. Give it a


>
> Brunner, John The Crucible of Time
> Brunner, John The Tides of Time
> Brunner, John Children of the Thunder
>
> This is an omnibus. I know Brunner's written some good stuff, but I
> know he's also written some bad stuff. Are any of these good? Better
> than, say, his _Maze of Stars_?

They're not _Stand on Zanzibar_, but what is? Actually, these are lesser
Brunner.


>
> Card, Orson Scott The Memory of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott The Call of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott The Ships of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott Earthfall
> Card, Orson Scott Earthborn

> I bought these all in remaindered hardcover, but, well, they're a big
> long series, and they don't look very good.

Don't start. It's a series that begins well and goes so far into the pit as
to make the reader feel betrayed and sold to the low bidder. This series
made me want to retroactively un-read all the author's work I'd previously
read (but see below).


>
> Card, Orson Scott Seventh Son
> Card, Orson Scott Red Prophet
> Card, Orson Scott Prentice Alvin
> Card, Orson Scott Alvin Journeyman
>
> I read the first two and was unimpressed.

Well, they don't get better. I thought the first book was brilliant.


>
> Card, Orson Scott & Kidd, Kathryn H. Lovelock
>
> Apparently the first of a series; doesn't look like it stands out,
> particularly.

First and so far only. But the next one is purportedly imminent.

> Chalker, Jack Demons of the Dancing Gods
> Chalker, Jack The River of the Dancing Gods
> Chalker, Jack Songs of the Dancing Gods
> Chalker, Jack Vengeance of the Dancing Gods
>
> Read the first one, will never read the rest.

Ditto. I found that Chalker just wore off after a while


>
> These are actually new generic epic fantasy, and part of a big ol'
> series. I doubt they're good enough to be worth keeping.
>
> Feintuch, David Midshipman's Hope
> Feintuch, David Challenger's Hope
> Feintuch, David Prisoner's Hope
> Feintuch, David Fisherman's Hope
>
> As I recall, these are really grim and depressing, which is sort of a
> minus for them... unless they're really good, rather than just
> competent. Are they?

Good enough that I finished the series, but I wanted to kill the protagonist
myself much of the time. Decent writing, but yes, I think these books could
be a danger to people with mood disorders.


>
> Flynn, Michael Firestar
>
> Generic SF?

Yes, I suppose, but pretty good near-future narrative if you like that sort
of thing. There are two sequels

> Heinlein, Robert A. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
> Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love
> Heinlein, Robert A. Farnham's Freehold
>
> I read (and hated) the first; the others are ones that I've gathered
> are bad Heinlein. (I have kept most of my Heinlein, really.)

I admit to being a Heinlein fanboy of the first order. Yet IMO _Cat_ stinks
(although it rollicks along nicely in the first half if you don't pay close
attention), and FF is painful to read now, its original good intentions
notwithstanding. I really like TEfL a lot, and some parts of it I have found
impossible to forget. It bothers me that so many cynical critics have
managed to create such an aura of disdain around this book.

> Heinlein, Robert A.; Kondo, Yoji, ed. Requiem
>
> Tribute stories. Enh.

Or, "tribute stories, hurrah!"


>
> Hinz, Christopher Liege-Killer
> Hinz, Christopher Ash Ock
>
> A trilogy to which I lack the third book, I think. I mainly bought
> these because they were high on the Internet Top 100 list for a long
> time, but I've never heard anyone else say anything about them. Do I
> need the third book? Are they really that good?

I was unable to finish. Innovative concepts and interesting characters
ultimately dragged down by an unnecessarily overcomplicated plot and turgid
writing, and a lack of sympathetic characters.


> Kress, Nancy Beggars and Choosers
>
> Supposedly a bad sequel to a good book.

A decent sequel to an excellent book. If you read _Beggars in Spain_ (do!)
you may wish you'd kept this.

> I'm keeping most of the Valdemar books, because I'm being _very_
> conservative in what I get rid of here; but those last two can go.
> And I think the former is a non-series book that I have no desire to
> read.

> McDevitt, Jack Moonfall


> McDevitt, Jack The Engines of God
> McDevitt, Jack Ancient Shores

Not his best work, but all McDevitt is at least entertaining and
well-written.


>
> I'm leaning toward keeping these, actually.
>

> Moorcock, Michael The Eternal Champion
>
> This is pretty straight pulp, yeah?

Hmmm... it's sword-and-sorcery heroic fantasy with lots of angst and
symbolism and portents and things that are indicated to be just below the
surface that you may never get to see, or recognize if you do. I read all
this stuff decades ago and enjoyed it then. Now I'd rather re-read Howard.


> Pohl, Frederik The Other End of Time
> Pohl, Frederik The Siege of Eternity
> Pohl, Frederik The Voices of Heaven
>
> Hmm, are these minor Pohl or good Pohl? If they're anything like
> _Gateway_, I'm keeping 'em for sure. If they're more like, say,
> _Narabedla, Ltd._, they're gone.

Very minor Pohl, three books that should have been one, and that one would
still have been very minor Pohl. I borrowed the third one from the library
just to read the end, and then couldn't remember if I'd read it or not.

> Robinson, Kim Stanley Red Mars
> Robinson, Kim Stanley Green Mars
>
> Okay, I know these ones have a following. I just don't care, because
> I've read enough reviews over the years to think that I won't like them.

Too bad.


>
> Sawyer, Robert J. Starplex
> Sawyer, Robert J. Illegal Alien
>
> I just plain didn't like these books.

Me, either. Sawyer's writing seems to me to be naive in a crafty sort of way
that makes me not trust him.


>
> Silverberg, Robert Lord Valentine's Castle
> Silverberg, Robert The Mountains of Majipoor
>
> How series-y are these?

You can (and should) read _Castle_ as a standalone novel of very high
quality. I loved it.

> Steele, Allen The Tranquility Alternative
>
> Generic SF?

Allen Steele is the author of the worst-proofread novels in all of sf, in my
experience.

> Turtledove, Harry Worldwar: In the Balance
>
> Alternate history, start of a series, so long.

Alternate history combined with "alien invasion" sf. Way too long.

Better to read _How Few Remain_, then the "Great War" series, which segues
into the new "American Empire" series. All these series suffer from
Turtledove's grating style of changing POV's among an enormous cast of
characters every two pages (without providing a cast list), and omitting all
timing cues, but the latter series is nevertheless a really fascinating
attempt to extrapolate a quite elaborate alternate timeline from the Civil
War until... (he's up to the 1920's now).

James Nicoll

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 11:49:06 AM1/30/02
to

No. Sorry. add 'I wouldn't miss them at all' after ] and before
'.'.

>>> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Virtual Destruction
>>> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Ill Wind
>>
>> There's a Jane Austin snipe which should go here.
>
>Hmm? Those names are right, I'm pretty sure.

No, I probably misspelled Austen. Someone or other said that a
library without books was better than one with her novels in it.

>> Look for _Macroscope_, which is half-good and one of the few
>>books to use Olaf Stapledon's ideas as a springboard for adventure.
>
>Hey now! I'm trying to get rid of books, and you give me recommendations
>for books to buy? What kind of twisted sadist are you?

A bibliophilic one.

>>>No idea. These were Del Rey Discovery books from authors who never
>>>went on to do anything else interesting.
>>
>> The thing about the DRD series is that if the author really showed
>>serious promise, they didn't go in the (lower priced, I think) DRD series.
>>Bit self defeating but then Del Rey has been drifting for years.
>
>Yeah. Then again, one of the DRD books I have is a Rosemary
>Kirstein book, and I've heard good enough things about her over the years
>that I'll keep it. Also, I read a DRD book by L. Warren Douglas, which I
>enjoyed. Though that was a long time ago, and I have no idea how it'd
>really stand up to my tastes today.

The third one in the Kirsten series should be out soon, btw.

Mike Kozlowski

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 11:54:45 AM1/30/02
to
In article <a39862$f89$1...@panix1.panix.com>,

James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:
>In article <a3971n$q4n$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

>>>> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Virtual Destruction
>>>> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Ill Wind
>>>
>>> There's a Jane Austin snipe which should go here.
>>
>>Hmm? Those names are right, I'm pretty sure.
>
> No, I probably misspelled Austen. Someone or other said that a
>library without books was better than one with her novels in it.

Ah! I thought you were making a spelling joke, and that Anderson should
have an e instead of an o, or something.

>>Yeah. Then again, one of the DRD books I have is a Rosemary
>>Kirstein book, and I've heard good enough things about her over the years
>>that I'll keep it. Also, I read a DRD book by L. Warren Douglas, which I
>>enjoyed. Though that was a long time ago, and I have no idea how it'd
>>really stand up to my tastes today.
>
> The third one in the Kirsten series should be out soon, btw.

Of course, I don't have the _first_ one, as it turns out. I'm really
curious to know who thought it would be a good idea to put the second book
of a series in a line devoted to new authors.

Michael S. Schiffer

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 12:36:10 PM1/30/02
to
jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) wrote in
<a39862$f89$1...@panix1.panix.com>:
>In article <a3971n$q4n$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski
><m...@klio.org> wrote:
>>In article <a393v8$pen$1...@panix1.panix.com>,
>>James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:
>>>In article <a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski
>>><m...@klio.org> wrote:
>...

>>>> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Virtual Destruction
>>>> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Ill Wind

>>> There's a Jane Austin snipe which should go here.

>>Hmm? Those names are right, I'm pretty sure.

>No, I probably misspelled Austen. Someone or other said that a
>library without books was better than one with her novels in it.

Mark Twain. Of course, like Disraeli and Churchill (and, in at least
one case, Booker T. Washington) he gets tagged with a lot of good
quotes that may not be his. However, a Google search at least finds
the quote attributed to his _Following the Equator_: "Jane Austen's
books, too, are absent from this library. Just that one omission alone
would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book
in it."

Mike

--
Michael S. Schiffer, LHN, FCS
msch...@condor.depaul.edu

Scott Klobas

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 1:04:17 PM1/30/02
to
Trent Goulding <trent.g...@mho.com> wrote in message news:<B7VXPP7RQhBeVx...@4ax.com>...

> Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:
>
> [Mike wants advice on which books to jettison]
>
> > Baker, Kage In the Garden of Iden
> >
> >This is another "I've heard sorta-good things, but it's a series,"
> >thing. Is it self-contained? If not, is the series really, really
> >good?
>
> I'd keep this and give it a try. On the downside, it's first of a
> series that's not even half-way finished yet (#4 just came out, and
> I think I recall reading of a projected ten or so

According to Baker's web site there will be a total of 8 volumes.

S. Klobas

Guy Middleton

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 1:04:16 PM1/30/02
to
In article <a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:
> Asaro, Catharine Primary Inversion
> Asaro, Catharine Catch the Lightning
>
> I'm actually leaning toward keeping these, because I do remember
> having read good things on rasw about them. On the other hand, I know
> they're part of a series, and the good things I remember reading
> weren't _that_ good. Am I going to have to buy more books if I read
> these, or are they self-contained?

They are self-contained, although linked by being set in the same history,
and well-written. I would keep Primary Inversion, which is a nice hard-sf
space opera. Get rid of Catch the Lightning, it's a time-travel romance
story. Most of her other works are weird sf/romance hybrids, leaning too
heavily towards romance to be readable by most male sf fans.

> Brunner, John The Crucible of Time
> Brunner, John The Tides of Time
> Brunner, John Children of the Thunder
>
> This is an omnibus. I know Brunner's written some good stuff, but I
> know he's also written some bad stuff. Are any of these good? Better
> than, say, his _Maze of Stars_?

Children of the Thunder is actively annoying, I would get rid of this so you
don't accidentally read it. Haven't read the others.

> Carver, Jeffrey A. Neptune Crossing
> Carver, Jeffrey A. Strange Attractors
> Carver, Jeffrey A. The Infinite Sea
>
> I'm not sure about these. Generic SF, or good SF?

Neptune Crossing is readable but not especially memorable. Useful for reading
on a long airline flight.

> Cole, Allan & Bunch, Chris The Far Kingdoms
>
> Generic fantasy.

First of a series, but readable on its own. Not up to the level of Martin
or Kay.

> Cramer, John Einstein's Bridge
>
> Physics-oriented SF, yes?

Badly-written, implausible physics-oriented SF.

> Gemmell, David Legend
> Gemmell, David The King Beyond the Gate
> Gemmell, David Quest For Lost Heroes
> Gemmell, David Waylander
> Gemmell, David Ghost King
> Gemmell, David Last Sword of Power
> Gemmell, David Wolf in Shadow
> Gemmell, David Bloodstone


>
> I read _Legend_ and was unimpressed. Yeah, okay, it was gritty, it
> was semi-dark... but it wasn't all that good. And, really, I'm not
> all that big on grit and darkness anyway.

I would keep Legend, Waylander and The King Beyond the Gate, and get rid
of the rest.

> I'm pretty sure this is a series. I'm pretty sure I'll never read it.
>

> Goodkind, Terry Wizard's First Rule
> Goodkind, Terry Stone of Tears
>
> Sub Jones-ian.

The first one was amusing, but he very rapidly deteriorated after that.
It looks like he is now on a Jordanesque mission to see into how many
bloated volumes he can expand his modest plot lines.

> McDevitt, Jack Moonfall
> McDevitt, Jack The Engines of God
> McDevitt, Jack Ancient Shores
>

> I'm leaning toward keeping these, actually.

I liked Moonfall. It's an comet-hits-end-of-the-world novel, except that the
comet hits the Moon instead of the Earth.

>
> Willey, Elizabeth The Price of Blood and Honor
>
> Series fantasy, with OOP sequels. Can it stand alone? Is it good
> enough for me to care?

I really like Willey. People call this Amber-lite, but I think it is better
than Amber. Remember that Amber wasn't Zelazny's best work, and he strung it
out for a full 10 books. Willey's books are more self-contained than any of
the Amber novels.

William T. Hyde

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 1:29:12 PM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> writes:

>
> That said, let's go onto the list of books that I'm tentatively
> planning on getting rid of. I'm going to annotate the list as I go to
> explain anything that's unclear.

I've only ever sold books once, clearing out a
few hundred before a move. Piers Anthony
and Turtledove formed a big part of that sale.

I'll only comment on the ones I think you should
keep. many of those I don't comment on I haven't
read, so by not commenting I'm not implying you
should sell.

>(I've actually decided to keep the first
> Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality books, just in case I ever want
> an Anthony fix).

Reasonable choice. I liked the first Xanth,
the first Incarnations less so. Never tried
the second in either series.

> Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars

Keep this.

>
> Ellison, Harlan Edgeworks 1
> Ellison, Harlan Edgeworks 2
>
> Enh. Yeah, okay, he's Harlan Ellison, but... I read through the first
> one, and there wasn't much that I found interesting. I picked up the
> second one remaindered (I used to buy any and all remaindered SF I
> saw), but nothing in it looks interesting.

Keep these - or give them to me. You may not
appreciate them now, but throwing out these
along with the other books you mention is like
tossing out your GE stock certificates along
with your Enron.


>
> Geston, Mark S. Mirror to the Sky
>
> Generic SF?

No. While I have not read this one, Geston is
certainly a unique voice. Doesn't write much
as far as I can see.

> Heinlein, Robert A. Farnham's Freehold
>
> I read (and hated) the first; the others are ones that I've gathered
> are bad Heinlein. (I have kept most of my Heinlein, really.)

Definitely keep this one. It has some desperately
bad parts, but some very good ones as well. I'm
certainly not the biggest Heinlein fan around,
but I think tossing this one would be an error.


> Minor McCaffrey is very, very forgettable.
>

> McDevitt, Jack Moonfall
> McDevitt, Jack The Engines of God
> McDevitt, Jack Ancient Shores
>
> I'm leaning toward keeping these, actually.

Well, Ellison likes him. Haven't read these
three, myself.

> Moorcock, Michael The Eternal Champion
>
> This is pretty straight pulp, yeah?

There's about 95 of these, IIRC. Keep anything
with Elric in it, probably keep anything with
Corum, after that it depends on how much you like
this sort of thing. Oh, and the Von Bek novels
are also in this mega-series and rather different.


> Silverberg, Robert Lord Valentine's Castle

Very good of its kind, and it sounds from
your post as though you would like it.
You don't need to read the rest of the
series.

William Hyde
EOS Department
Duke University

Trent Goulding

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 1:34:48 PM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:
>Trent Goulding <trent.g...@mho.com> wrote:
>>Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

>>> Card, Orson Scott The Memory of Earth [et seq]
>>
>>They're essentially a SFnal retelling of the opening narrative in
>>the Book of Mormon (at least the first one is, which is all I ever
>>read), if that helps you make up your mind...
>
>I knew that, but wasn't sure if it would count as a plus or minus.
>Frankly, though, the fact that you only read the first one confirms that I
>should dump them -- series that people don't rush to conclude fall way
>below my threshhold.

Well, you certainly wouldn't hear a peep of protest from me if you
dumped them. I'm sort of idly curious--in the sort of way that will
never be answered, of course--about how the experience of reading
this would be different if one didn't have any familiarity with the
underlying source material.

As it is, I can still recall reading about three pages into the
first book before going "waaaiit a minute, is he doing what I think
he's doing...yup, he is".


>>> Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love
>>
>>way back when. I actually have a certain residual fondness for Time
>>Enough for Love, though. I haven't re-read a Heinlein in probably
>>well over 10 years, so that fondness might be illusory at best.
>>Still, there are a few nice short stories/novellas buried in there.
>
>Ah, well, if it's _short stories_, that's different. I was thinking this
>was one of Heinlein's later, bloated novels. I did like _The Past Through
>Tomorrow_ well enough, so if this is another collection, I'll keep it.

I may be guilty of leading you slightly astray, because _TEfL_ is at
least nominally a novel, and probably a bloated one, at that. It's
the story of Lazarus Long, well after his _Methuselah's Children_
days, and by himself, he's an annoying git. But it's mostly a
framing story--Lazarus is 3000~ years old and ready to die, but a
crew of his descendants sucker him into reminiscing on some of his
adventures before he shuffles of this mortal coil--that contains
what amount to fairly discrete episodes that resemble short stories
as much as anything. Some of them are pretty fun. Like I said,
just avoid the ending.

>>>Minor McCaffrey is very, very forgettable.
>>
>>Even Major McCaffrey looks very, very different than it did almost
>>twenty years ago....
>
>Probably. But something like the Dragonrider series is still easily good
>enough to stay on my shelf, especially considering that I've read them
>already.

Yeah, that's why I said twenty years really shifts one's
perspective. I really enjoyed the Dragonrider stuff a lot way back
in my early teens, but I was recently paging through some of it
(nothing as significant as an actual re-read, just portions here and
there), and came away thinking nothing so much as that the gentle
glow of nostalgic fondness can occasionally cover a multitude of
sins.

--
Trent Goulding trent.g...@mho.com

Kate Nepveu

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 1:46:34 PM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:
> In article <B7VXPP7RQhBeVx...@4ax.com>,
> Trent Goulding <trent.g...@mho.com> wrote:

[...]


>>I've now read one Lackey. I trust Kate's judgment enough to believe
>>her when she claims that _By the Sword_ is the Lackey I'm likely to
>>find most accessible. If that's the case, I can say with some
>>assurance that Lacky ain't for me, and that further excursions into
>>the Valdemar milieu would be a waste of time and energy.

> This is probably true, yeah. Being as how you're not a teenage girl with
> a horse fixation, and all. If I hadn't already read them, I'd probably
> not bother keeping them.

I can't say I'm surprised, Trent; I find _By the Sword_ pretty good
comfort reading, at least after the first 50 pages or so, but it's
also a time-in-life thing.

>>> Whyte, Jack The Skystone
>>> Whyte, Jack The Singing Sword

[...]


> Well, my girlfriend has good things to say about those (which are
> apparently of the "gritty and realistic" Arthurian school, rather than the
> "wifty and magickal" one), it turns out, so it looks like I'll be keeping
> them.

Have you read _The King's Peace_ and _The King's Name_ yet, Mike?

Kate
--
http://www.steelypips.org/elsewhere.html -- kate....@yale.edu
Paired Reading Page; Book Reviews; Outside of a Dog: A Book Log
"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

End User

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 1:54:46 PM1/30/02
to
In article <a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>, m...@klio.org says...

> It must be the unseasonably mild weather, but I'm in a mood for spring
> cleaning of late.

Wish I had your mild weather here . . .

<snip>



> That said, let's go onto the list of books that I'm tentatively
> planning on getting rid of. I'm going to annotate the list as I go to
> explain anything that's unclear.
>

> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Virtual Destruction
> Anderson, Kevin J. & Beason, Doug Ill Wind
>

> I'm pretty sure these are just generic techno-thrillers.
>
> Anthony, Patricia Brother Termite
>

> I have no idea what this is; I think I bought it on a remainder pile.
>
> Anthony, Piers Firefly

Nasty, nasty book. Did not like it at all.

> Anthony, Piers Split Infinity
> Anthony, Piers Blue Adept
> Anthony, Piers Juxtaposition
> Anthony, Piers Out of Phaze
> Anthony, Piers Robot Adept
> Anthony, Piers Phaze Doubt

I liked the Adept books, but I first read them when I was in high school
and haven't touched them since, so take it for what it's worth.

> Anthony, Piers Bearing an Hourglass
> Anthony, Piers With a Tangled Skein
> Anthony, Piers Wielding a Red Sword
> Anthony, Piers Being a Green Mother
> Anthony, Piers For Love of Evil
> Anthony, Piers And Eternity

I also liked the Incarnations series, but the quality deteriorated fast.
On A Pale Horse is definitely the best of the lot.

> You'll need to give me a break on this lot: I've been buying books
> since I was 13, and I have a strong completist impulse that makes it

> hard to quit buying a series once I've started, even if I don't plan
> on reading it any more. (I've actually decided to keep the first


> Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality books, just in case I ever want
> an Anthony fix).

>
> Forgettable expansions of good shorts.


>
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Thieves' World
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn

> The second one of these is one of the few books I've never finished.

I liked Thieves' World, but Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn was entirely
forgettable.



>
> Card, Orson Scott The Memory of Earth

> Card, Orson Scott The Call of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott The Ships of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott Earthfall
> Card, Orson Scott Earthborn

I think that this series is the worst of OSC.


> I bought these all in remaindered hardcover, but, well, they're a big
> long series, and they don't look very good.

> Card, Orson Scott Seventh Son


> Card, Orson Scott Red Prophet
> Card, Orson Scott Prentice Alvin
> Card, Orson Scott Alvin Journeyman

> I read the first two and was unimpressed.

I liked the first two but if you didn't, you wouldn't like the rest of them.


> Gates, Bill The Road Ahead
>

> Wow, I forgot I even owned this. Such are the perils of being a
> computer person at Christmas.

I read this and enjoyed it. It isn't great, but it isn't bad, and I
thought it provided some interesting insights into Bill Gates. Besides, I
just plain enjoy non-fiction like this.

>
> Heinlein, Robert A.; Kondo, Yoji, ed. Requiem
>
> Tribute stories. Enh.

I enjoyed this. IIRC correctly it wasn't just tribute stories, but also
included some short stories and some autobiographical material.


> McCaffrey, Anne The Rowan
> McCaffrey, Anne Damia
> McCaffrey, Anne Damia's Children
> McCaffrey, Anne Lyon's Pride


>
> Minor McCaffrey is very, very forgettable.

The Rowan is the only one I remember of these and I thought it was OK.
Not great by any means, but fun reading anyway.




> Moorcock, Michael The Eternal Champion
>
> This is pretty straight pulp, yeah?

Can't remember, but I do know that I don't like what I've read of
Moorcock



> Turtledove, Harry Worldwar: In the Balance
>
> Alternate history, start of a series, so long.

Entirely forgettable series. I started reading them and didn't finish.


> Weis, Margaret & Hickman, Tracy Forging the Darksword
> Weis, Margaret & Hickman, Tracy Doom of the Darksword
> Weis, Margaret & Hickman, Tracy Triumph of the Darksword
>
> I really hated this series.

Mileage, it varies. I enjoyed this series when I first read it. haven't
read it again though, so my tastes may have changed.

--
John Johnson

Rachel Brown

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 2:04:27 PM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote
>
> Baker, Kage In the Garden of Iden

This is by far the best of the list that I've read. It's pretty
self-contained, and the series keeps getting better and better. Plus,
though this one's dark, it has some funny moments, and some of the
later books are comedies with a dark edge.

> Flewelling, Lynn Luck in the Shadows
> Flewelling, Lynn Stalking Darkness
> Flewelling, Lynn Traitor's Moon
>
> I'm thinking that these are supposed to be above-mediocre, but I don't
> really know for sure.

I haven't read these, but I was favorably impressed by Flewelling's
_The Bone Doll's Twin_. I'd give them a chance.

> Springer, Nancy Fair Peril
>
> No idea what it is.

It's a light, funny urban fantasy, basically "the Frog Prince" meets
"Clueless." It's not up to Pratchett standards, but is far better than
Asprin or most of the other stuff that passes for light fantasy. I bet
you'd like it.

Rachel

Mike Kozlowski

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 2:36:23 PM1/30/02
to
In article <a39f2a$pet$1...@news.ycc.yale.edu>,
Kate Nepveu <kate....@yale.edu> wrote:

>Have you read _The King's Peace_ and _The King's Name_ yet, Mike?

The first, but not the second (which I do own) yet. I liked it, but more
in a respectful fashion than a visceral one. It's the sort of book where
I can say, "It's a good book," and know it's true, but not be particularly
eager to pick it up and read more of it.

Although then again, I remember liking it a lot more immediately after I
finished reading it, so I may be retconning my memories unfairly.

Andrea Leistra

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 2:25:26 PM1/30/02
to
In article <a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

[books he's thinking of getting rid of]

> Card, Orson Scott Seventh Son
> Card, Orson Scott Red Prophet
> Card, Orson Scott Prentice Alvin
> Card, Orson Scott Alvin Journeyman
>
>I read the first two and was unimpressed.

Then by all means ditch them; I thought the first two were excellent,
and it goes steeply downhill from there.

> Cramer, John Einstein's Bridge
>
>Physics-oriented SF, yes?

Yes. Extremely forgettable.

> Robinson, Kim Stanley Red Mars
> Robinson, Kim Stanley Green Mars
>
>Okay, I know these ones have a following. I just don't care, because
>I've read enough reviews over the years to think that I won't like them.

Your loss.

> Tolstoy, Nikolai The Coming of the King
>
>The single worst book I own. Unless I already called some other book
>that. But no, even then it's true, and I was lying before.

Having recently moved, I've been recently reminded of what books I have,
and I'd say the same thing. Bleah.

--
Andrea Leistra

Garrett Wollman

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 2:49:27 PM1/30/02
to
In article <a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

> Asimov, Isaac & Silverberg, Robert The Positronic Man
> Asimov, Isaac & Silverberg, Robert Nightfall


>
>Forgettable expansions of good shorts.

I own the latter and have never felt any inclination to read it.

> Gates, Bill The Road Ahead

>Wow, I forgot I even owned this. Such are the perils of being a
>computer person at Christmas.

Burn before reading.

> Heinlein, Robert A. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

> Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love
>

>I read (and hated) the first; the others are ones that I've gathered
>are bad Heinlein. (I have kept most of my Heinlein, really.)

I liked both of them back when I was in a mood to actually enjor
Heinlein. If I saw a good copy of TEfL cheap I might still buy it.
(See, I only have 400 books....) I haven't felt any inclination to
reread either one in the past decade.

> Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry The Black Gryphon
> Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry The White Gryphon


>
>I'm keeping most of the Valdemar books, because I'm being _very_
>conservative in what I get rid of here; but those last two can go.

I would keep /The Black Gryphon/ since Lackey used it as
newly-revealed backstory in some of the later books. I enjoyed the
other two books in that trilogy, but they're nothing particularly
special, although they do stand alone better than many Lackey books.
Low on the to-reread totem pole, though.

>And I think [/Firebird/] is a non-series book that I have no desire to
>read.

I have it (and the other standalone Lackey books of a similar nature)
and have never cared enough to read it.

> Willey, Elizabeth The Price of Blood and Honor
>
>Series fantasy, with OOP sequels. Can it stand alone? Is it good
>enough for me to care?

Count this as another vote in favor of Elizabeth Willey. Personally,
I preferred the urbanity of /The Well-Favored Man/ to either of the
other books in the series, but they are all reasonably well-written.
All three books have substantial untold backstory, and this sometimes
makes for a bit of a puzzle. Some of the archaic language gets to be
annoying at times. The other two books are still readily available in
the used market, and last time I looked at Willey's Web page, she had
gotten stuck with a basement full of remainders.

-GAWollman

--
Garrett A. Wollman | O Siem / We are all family / O Siem / We're all the same
wol...@lcs.mit.edu | O Siem / The fires of freedom
Opinions not those of| Dance in the burning flame
MIT, LCS, CRS, or NSA| - Susan Aglukark and Chad Irschick

Vlatko Juric-Kokic

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 3:12:23 PM1/30/02
to
On 30 Jan 2002 05:52:24 GMT, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:

> Card, Orson Scott Seventh Son
> Card, Orson Scott Red Prophet
> Card, Orson Scott Prentice Alvin
> Card, Orson Scott Alvin Journeyman
>
>I read the first two and was unimpressed.

Ditch them, as the series declines and falls like Roman empire.
_Heartfire_ is especially bad.

> Goodkind, Terry Wizard's First Rule
> Goodkind, Terry Stone of Tears
>
>Sub Jones-ian.

While there's *some* good stuff in the first book, it's not only
sub-Jonesian, but even below that.

> Harrison, Harry One King's Way

I've *heard* a good or thing or two about this one. But, IIRC, it's
kinda alternate-historey.

> McDevitt, Jack The Engines of God
> McDevitt, Jack Ancient Shores
>
>I'm leaning toward keeping these, actually.

The _Engines of God_ is pretty interesting. I have both of them,
actually, but I don't think that I'll be rereading _Ancient Shores_
soon.

> Robinson, Kim Stanley Red Mars
> Robinson, Kim Stanley Green Mars
>
>Okay, I know these ones have a following. I just don't care, because
>I've read enough reviews over the years to think that I won't like them.

_Red Mars_ has a few quite interesting moments, but the series gets
much worse. I never bothered even opening _Blue Mars_.

> Sawyer, Robert J. Illegal Alien
>
>I just plain didn't like these books.

Oh, well, then. I think that this one is okay as pop-corn. Not as good
as _Terminal Experiment_, but if you need something to read while
lunching ... :-)

> Silverberg, Robert Lord Valentine's Castle

> Silverberg, Robert The Mountains of Majipoor
>
>How series-y are these?

I found them awful. I hate books where the author just finda new and
new obstacles for his characters to overcome.

> Steele, Allen The Tranquility Alternative
>
>Generic SF?

Ummm, not exactly. But it's an alternate-history hard-SF. So ...

> Turtledove, Harry Worldwar: In the Balance
>
>Alternate history, start of a series, so long.

And too long. :-)

vlatko
--
_Neither Fish Nor Fowl_
http://www.webart.hr/nrnm/eng/
http://www.michaelswanwick.com/
vlatko.ju...@zg.hinet.hr

Sea Wasp

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 3:20:35 PM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski wrote:

>
> Anthony, Piers Split Infinity
> Anthony, Piers Blue Adept
> Anthony, Piers Juxtaposition

> You'll need to give me a break on this lot: I've been buying books


> since I was 13, and I have a strong completist impulse that makes it
> hard to quit buying a series once I've started, even if I don't plan
> on reading it any more. (I've actually decided to keep the first
> Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality books, just in case I ever want
> an Anthony fix).

Keep at least the first of the above three. The Phaze/Proton setup,
and the Game, are worthy ideas and fun to read. Like most Anthony, he
takes an idea and BLUDGEONS IT TO DEATH, but the first 1 - 3 of this
series are okay.


>
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Thieves' World
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn

> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Shadows of Sanctuary
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Storm Season
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. The Face of Chaos
> Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Wings of Omen


>
> The second one of these is one of the few books I've never finished.

Keep one or two, but the rest can go. I enjoyed the series, but then
I was given it for free. There are some characters well worth meeting,
but some are not worth the effort it takes to follow their careers.

>
> Bertin, Joanne The Last Dragonlord
>
> This looks like very generic, very mediocre fantasy.

I dunno if it's generic. It's got some quite interesting twists in
it, especially in the biology of dragon-kind, that I hadn't seen
before.


> Farland, David The Runelords
> Farland, David Brotherhood of the Wolf


>
> These are actually new generic epic fantasy, and part of a big ol'
> series. I doubt they're good enough to be worth keeping.

NOT Generic. The "runes" that drive the plot are innovative enough to
raise the books above that level, even with other standard elements.
The magical system and the social consequences Farland's incorporated
from it are pretty darn interesting, and not a little creepy.

>
> Silverberg, Robert Lord Valentine's Castle
> Silverberg, Robert The Mountains of Majipoor
>
> How series-y are these?

Lord Valentine's Castle stands alone quite well, and IMCGO is a
classic -- well-written, sweeping breadth, with an interesting cast of
characters, especially the eponymous protagonist. The immediately
following books are, again IMCGO, well worth reading -- perhaps not
quite up to LVC standards, but good enough. (those two are "Majipoor
Chronicles" and "Valentine Pontifex"). The others just don't work for
me.

--
Sea Wasp http://www.wizvax.net/seawasp/index.htm
/^\
;;; _Morgantown: The Jason Wood Chronicles_, at
http://www.hyperbooks.com/catalog/20040.html

David T. Bilek

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 3:40:28 PM1/30/02
to
On Wed, 30 Jan 2002 02:41:39 -0700, Trent Goulding
<trent.g...@mho.com> wrote:

>Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:
>
>[Mike wants advice on which books to jettison]
>

>> Baker, Kage In the Garden of Iden
>>

>>This is another "I've heard sorta-good things, but it's a series,"
>>thing. Is it self-contained? If not, is the series really, really
>>good?
>
>I'd keep this and give it a try. On the downside, it's first of a
>series that's not even half-way finished yet (#4 just came out, and

>I think I recall reading of a projected ten or so). Each book does
>have a reasonably self-contained conclusion, though (the central
>characters are immortal, so they can close a book-length chapter in
>their lives and still be back for something new in the next book).
>

I agree, this is the best of the list and should be kept. That
said...

>On the upside, it abundantly meets your 'light and humorous'
>criteria.

Mileage Sure Does Vary. I thought it was very dark, with a thin
veneer of humor. There is some nasty, nasty stuff going on in the
background.

-David

Todd Wojtalewski

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 3:49:21 PM1/30/02
to
> I actually enjoy the
> Neverending Recluce Series a fair bit, but I haven't read is other
> stuff.

Admittedly, the Recluce series is basically the same story told many
times, with different supporting characters and different "villains",
but something about them makes me anticipate each new installment.
For some reason, I seem to be able to immerse myself in that world
better than I can in a lot of other novels.

The first novel, Magic of Recluce, is probably the worst. It gets
better with The Fall of Angels and The Magic Engineer.

Leif Magnar Kj|nn|y

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 4:18:56 PM1/30/02
to
In article <cejg5uk8n0tbrcos0...@news.cis.dfn.de>,

Vlatko Juric-Kokic <vlatko.ju...@zg.hinet.hr> wrote:
>On 30 Jan 2002 05:52:24 GMT, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:
>
>> Harrison, Harry One King's Way
>
>I've *heard* a good or thing or two about this one. But, IIRC, it's
>kinda alternate-historey.

It's pretty stupid alternate-history/fantasy IMHO. Completely unreal
treatment of Norse paganism (he might as well have made up a religion
out of whole cloth instead). Impossibly modern thinking in the heads
of early-medieval characters, even allowing for the odd bit of divine
inspiration.

That said, I did think it made a pretty entertaining read. But isn't
that title actually the middle part of the trilogy?

--
Leif Kj{\o}nn{\o}y | "Its habit of getting up late you'll agree
www.pvv.org/~leifmk| That it carries too far, when I say
Math geek and gamer| That it frequently breakfasts at five-o'clock tea,
GURPS, Harn, CORPS | And dines on the following day." (Carroll)

skye

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 4:43:07 PM1/30/02
to
Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org> wrote:
: I've always resisted getting rid of any of my books, for unexplained

: reasons, but I think now it's time to clear out the shelves a bit.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes. I've been thinking of
doing the same thing for about a year, and I'm probably in the
same boat you are (~1300 books, could stand to lose half of them).
I've had decent luck letting go of one or two at a time, dunno how a
whole bunch would feel though.

: 6. I do like light, humorous works. If there's something I'm getting
: rid of that's in the same tone as Pratchett, Hughart, Adams, or
: even Asprin or Holt, I want to keep that book. (But if it's more
: in the Craig Shaw Gardner vein, well, that's another matter.)

That's very interesting, because I class Asprin in the Gardner vein.

: You'll need to give me a break on this lot: I've been buying books


: since I was 13, and I have a strong completist impulse that makes it
: hard to quit buying a series once I've started, even if I don't plan
: on reading it any more. (I've actually decided to keep the first
: Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality books, just in case I ever want
: an Anthony fix).

Good move.

: Asaro, Catharine Primary Inversion


: Asaro, Catharine Catch the Lightning

: I'm actually leaning toward keeping these, because I do remember
: having read good things on rasw about them. On the other hand, I know
: they're part of a series, and the good things I remember reading
: weren't _that_ good. Am I going to have to buy more books if I read
: these, or are they self-contained?

I read Quantum Rose, and I think that's part of this series.
It reads like Anne McCaffrey, only someone gave it a shot of
romance and physics. Quantum Rose was self-contained (and a
retelling of Beauty and the Beast). I enjoyed readin it
but it wasn't a keeper.

: Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Thieves' World


: Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn
: Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Shadows of Sanctuary
: Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Storm Season
: Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. The Face of Chaos
: Asprin, Robert & Abbey, Lynn, eds. Wings of Omen

: The second one of these is one of the few books I've never finished.

I have these and they are on my "I think I can dump these" list.

: Brooks, Terry First King of Shannara

: Despite myself, I'm actually keeping the first Shannara books, because
: they do hold sentimental value to me -- they're the first books I ever
: owned. I mean, literally the first. But, I've never read this one,
: and I never plan to.

As an aside, spring-cleaning and sentiment don't go together
very well. I would fight the sentiment, and dump the book.

: Card, Orson Scott The Memory of Earth


: Card, Orson Scott The Call of Earth
: Card, Orson Scott The Ships of Earth
: Card, Orson Scott Earthfall
: Card, Orson Scott Earthborn

: I bought these all in remaindered hardcover, but, well, they're a big


: long series, and they don't look very good.

Dump them.


: Card, Orson Scott Seventh Son


: Card, Orson Scott Red Prophet
: Card, Orson Scott Prentice Alvin
: Card, Orson Scott Alvin Journeyman

: I read the first two and was unimpressed.

Dump these too. As others have mentioned, they go downhill from
the first book, so if you didn't like one, you won't like them
any better as you go along.


: Deitz, Tom Above the Lower Sky
: Deitz, Tom Dreamseeker's Road

: I've never heard strong praise for these.

That second one is part of a series. Actually, from the looks
of google, they are both part of two different series. I can't
comment on the first book, but the second book belongs to the
series that broke me of any desire to read more deitz after
the 4th book.

: Flynn, Michael Firestar

: Generic SF?

Too long. If they had cut out the whining, the book would be about
120 pages. Also, part of a series. Also, this book was nominated
for the Prometheus award, but didn't win.

: Heinlein, Robert A. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls


: Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love

: Heinlein, Robert A. Farnham's Freehold

: I read (and hated) the first; the others are ones that I've gathered


: are bad Heinlein. (I have kept most of my Heinlein, really.)

I really only keep these to have a complete heinlein collection,
which comes in handy when I'm trying to remember which book was
about what... but nothing else.

: James, Cary King & Raven

: Looks to be mediocre Arthurian fantasy.

You're right.

: Jones, J.V. The Baker's Boy
: Jones, J.V. A Man Betrayed
: Jones, J.V. Master and Fool

: The benchmark by which mediocrity is measured.

I read one, and for some reason felt forced to read the other two,
but I really resented them all the way through.

: Kress, Nancy Beggars and Choosers

: Supposedly a bad sequel to a good book.

Yes, dump it.

: Lackey, Mercedes Firebird
: Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry The Black Gryphon


: Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry The White Gryphon

: I'm keeping most of the Valdemar books, because I'm being _very_
: conservative in what I get rid of here; but those last two can go.

: And I think the former is a non-series book that I have no desire to
: read.

Former is also a retelling of a russian fairytale (one of those
male Cinderella tales where the first two sons come to a bad end
and the youngest unappreciated son Makes Good). I liked it,
but I'm me, and you are not.

: Lindskold, Jane When the Gods Are Silent

: Any good?

I have read three of her books, and they are all the same.
Eye candy. Read them and dump them.

: McCaffrey, Anne Freedom's Landing
: McCaffrey, Anne To Ride Pegasus
: McCaffrey, Anne Pegasus in Flight
: McCaffrey, Anne The Rowan


: McCaffrey, Anne Damia
: McCaffrey, Anne Damia's Children
: McCaffrey, Anne Lyon's Pride

: Minor McCaffrey is very, very forgettable.

I can't see a single book on that list that wasn't
expanded from a short story in Get off the unicorn.
That said, I've read most, if not all of these, and
didn't get any more satisfaction than I would have if
I had just stayed with the short story. In the
case of the Freedom trilogy I actually got more grief.

: Silverberg, Robert Lord Valentine's Castle


: Silverberg, Robert The Mountains of Majipoor

: How series-y are these?

I liked this when I was about 14. I don't like them now.


: Springer, Nancy Fair Peril

: No idea what it is.

Retelling of Frog Prince.

: And that's the list. Give me as many of your thoughts as you care to;
: I'm interested to see if I've got books on here that don't belong.

No, I really think you can dump most of it. There are some of these
that I like, but hey, I'm a girl, and prone to liking fluffy things.

-- skye

Kate Nepveu

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 4:41:10 PM1/30/02
to

I think you may find that the narrative runs more smoothly in the
second; certainly it's one sequence of time, not years and years.

Thomas Yan

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 4:52:05 PM1/30/02
to
In article <a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org>
wrote:
-snip-
> Here's where you come in. I want some advice on deciding whether or
> not I should keep any of the books I'm about to list. My particular
> criteria are:
>
-snip-
> I have
> an enormous whomping pile of unread books, many of them expectedly
> excellent. I have very little time for mediocrity now. I'm going
-snip-

My physical to-read pile was oppressing me. It was at 90+ books, but
I've gotten it down to about 75 now. My goal this year is to shrink it
enough that I can once again laugh at (other) people who complain about
the size of their to-read piles.

-snip-
> 3. I don't like long books, and I loath series. Series are, these
> days, a detriment for me with very good books (I haven't started
-snip-

I'd be curious to know your opinion of: _The Lord of the Rings_,
_Riddle of Stars_ (Riddlemaster 'trilogy'), _Cyteen_, Vinge's
Deep/Deepness books, and _Cryptonomicon_.

Are you willing to read the first book or two of series if they
come to reasonable resting point?

[now I'm going to silently snip]

> Card, Orson Scott The Memory of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott The Call of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott The Ships of Earth
> Card, Orson Scott Earthfall
> Card, Orson Scott Earthborn
>
> I bought these all in remaindered hardcover, but, well, they're a big
> long series, and they don't look very good.

I thought it started well, and then succumbed to Card's propensity to
lose his way halfway into a series. You *might* want to read the
first book, but I can't recommend the entire series.

> Card, Orson Scott Seventh Son
> Card, Orson Scott Red Prophet
> Card, Orson Scott Prentice Alvin
> Card, Orson Scott Alvin Journeyman
>
> I read the first two and was unimpressed.

Then again maybe we have different opinions of Card. I really liked
the first two, but again, with _Journeyman_, it looks like Card is
screwing up again.

> Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars
>

> Minor Clarke, yes?

Agreed, although I suppose it is possible it had redeeming features I
didn't notice when I read it.

> Rosenblum, Mary Chimera


>
> No idea. These were Del Rey Discovery books from authors who never
> went on to do anything else interesting.

I haven't read that book, but I thought _Stone Garden_ was pretty good.

> Heinlein, Robert A. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
> Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love
> Heinlein, Robert A. Farnham's Freehold
>
> I read (and hated) the first; the others are ones that I've gathered
> are bad Heinlein. (I have kept most of my Heinlein, really.)

I got some enjoyment out of those, but yeah, go ahead and lose 'em.

> Kress, Nancy Beggars and Choosers
>
> Supposedly a bad sequel to a good book.

Do you agree that the good book is an expansion of a great novella /
short story? I've avoided the book so far.

> Lindskold, Jane When the Gods Are Silent
>
> Any good?

I'll be interested to see what people say about this one. I haven't
read any of her stand-alones yet, but my impression is that I'll find
all of them pretty solid.

--
Thomas Yan (ty...@twcny.rr.com) Note: I don't check e-mail often.
Be pro-active. Fight sucky software and learned helplessness.
Apologies for any lack of capitalization; typing hurts my hands.
Progress on next DbS installment: pp1-38 of pp1-181 of _Taltos_

End User

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 4:51:24 PM1/30/02
to
In article <slrna5fk8...@ulterior.org>, s...@ulterior.org says...
> Mike Kozlowski wrote:

<Mike's requirements



> > Card, Orson Scott & Kidd, Kathryn H. Lovelock
> >

> Keep this. It's his one great book. TO take your objections in order:
> It's not mediocre by a long shot,
> It's not generic fantasy,
> It's not that long,
> Card can't write tech-heavy sf to save his live and this isn't.
> Literary merit- It's from the POV of a capuchin monkey; what do you
> want?
> It is pretty funny, but not popularly acclaimed. I think.

I knew I'd read it somewhere, but I couldn't remember what it was about.
It's probably not a good recommendation that I couldn't remember what the
book was about . . .


--
John Johnson

Mike Kozlowski

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 4:56:38 PM1/30/02
to
In article <tyan-86EA9E.1...@newsstand.cit.cornell.edu>,

Thomas Yan <ty...@twcny.rr.com> wrote:
>In article <a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org>
>wrote:

>> I have


>> an enormous whomping pile of unread books, many of them expectedly
>> excellent. I have very little time for mediocrity now. I'm going
>

>My physical to-read pile was oppressing me. It was at 90+ books, but
>I've gotten it down to about 75 now.

I'd be fine with 90. I'd be fine with 200. I'd be okay with 300. But
600... well, that's too much, honestly.

>> 3. I don't like long books, and I loath series. Series are, these
>> days, a detriment for me with very good books (I haven't started
>

>I'd be curious to know your opinion of: _The Lord of the Rings_,
>_Riddle of Stars_ (Riddlemaster 'trilogy'), _Cyteen_, Vinge's
>Deep/Deepness books, and _Cryptonomicon_.

I love _The Lord of the Rings_, I don't like the Riddlemaster books (for
reasons which have nothing to do with them being a series), I haven't read
_Cyteen_ largely because big thick books are a serious time investment for
me (though I do, of course, own it), love Vinge, and love _Cryptonomicon_.

>Are you willing to read the first book or two of series if they
>come to reasonable resting point?

Ye-es, but they still need to be _good_.

>> Card, Orson Scott Seventh Son
>> Card, Orson Scott Red Prophet
>>

>> I read the first two and was unimpressed.
>
>Then again maybe we have different opinions of Card. I really liked
>the first two,

Most people seem to. I'm not really sure why I didn't, really. Something
about the tone of the things didn't work for me. And the whole alternate
history thing is a minus, of course.

>> Kress, Nancy Beggars and Choosers
>>
>> Supposedly a bad sequel to a good book.
>
>Do you agree that the good book is an expansion of a great novella /
>short story? I've avoided the book so far.

I haven't read the book, either, but I've heard enough good things that I
don't want to get rid of the first one.

aRJay

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 4:53:40 PM1/30/02
to
In article <a381mo$3u3$1...@news.panix.com>, Mike Kozlowski <m...@klio.org>
writes

> Anthony, Piers Split Infinity
> Anthony, Piers Blue Adept
> Anthony, Piers Juxtaposition
First three of a series not to bad.

> Anthony, Piers Out of Phaze
> Anthony, Piers Robot Adept
> Anthony, Piers Unicorn Point
> Anthony, Piers Phaze Doubt
Remainder of series not as good as earlier books.

> Anthony, Piers Virtual Mode
> Anthony, Piers Fractal Mode
> Anthony, Piers Chaos Mode
Very. Very nasty series that is unfinished. Possibly the worst books on
you list.


>
>You'll need to give me a break on this lot: I've been buying books
>since I was 13, and I have a strong completist impulse that makes it
>hard to quit buying a series once I've started, even if I don't plan
>on reading it any more. (I've actually decided to keep the first
>Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality books, just in case I ever want
>an Anthony fix).
>
>

> Asimov, Isaac & Silverberg, Robert The Positronic Man
> Asimov, Isaac & Silverberg, Robert Nightfall
>
>Forgettable expansions of good shorts.

Sounds a spot on description to me.
>
> Clarke, Arthur C. The Ghost From the Grand Banks
Minor late Clarke.


> Clarke, Arthur C. The Sands of Mars

Early Clarke definitely not minor, but somewhat dated. I'd say keep but
my tastes are not yours
> Clarke, Arthur C. The Hammer of God
Minor.
>
>Minor Clarke, yes?
Not all.


>
>
> Feintuch, David Midshipman's Hope
> Feintuch, David Challenger's Hope
> Feintuch, David Prisoner's Hope
> Feintuch, David Fisherman's Hope
>
>As I recall, these are really grim and depressing, which is sort of a
>minus for them... unless they're really good, rather than just
>competent. Are they?

Read the first one and had trouble putting it down despite the
protagonists character faults (think Hornblower with the self doubt
turned to 11). Ending seemed upbeat. Read the second wasn't as gripped
and the gloom and the disasters for the protagonist were being heaped on
by the container load.


>
> Heinlein, Robert A. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

Bad.


> Heinlein, Robert A. Time Enough For Love

Good in parts.


> Heinlein, Robert A. Farnham's Freehold

Badly dated now which makes misinterpreting what Heinlein was saying
easier. I'd say this one was middle or better at least.


>
>I read (and hated) the first; the others are ones that I've gathered
>are bad Heinlein. (I have kept most of my Heinlein, really.)

I'd keep TEfL and FF.
>
> Kurtz, Katherine Deryni Rising
> Kurtz, Katherine Derynie Checkmate
> Kurtz, Katherine High Deryni
> Kurtz, Katherine Camber of Culdi
> Kurtz, Katherine Saint Camber
> Kurtz, Katherine Camber the Heretic
These are parts of a series.
>
>I read three of her books. I didn't like them. She goes.


>
> McCaffrey, Anne Freedom's Landing
> McCaffrey, Anne To Ride Pegasus

This one isn't all that minor.


> McCaffrey, Anne Pegasus in Flight
> McCaffrey, Anne The Rowan
> McCaffrey, Anne Damia
> McCaffrey, Anne Damia's Children
> McCaffrey, Anne Lyon's Pride
>
>Minor McCaffrey is very, very forgettable.
>

> Robinson, Kim Stanley Red Mars

Boring.


> Robinson, Kim Stanley Green Mars
>
>Okay, I know these ones have a following. I just don't care, because
>I've read enough reviews over the years to think that I won't like them.
>

> Silverberg, Robert Lord Valentine's Castle

This is fine as a stand alone book.


> Silverberg, Robert The Mountains of Majipoor

Not read this one.
>
>How series-y are these?


>
> Steele, Allen The Tranquility Alternative
>
>Generic SF?

No.
Alternate history with the A-bomb being developed later and space travel
earlier. It follows on from a short called Goddards Children in one of
his collections. Not a series IIRC.


>
>
>And that's the list. Give me as many of your thoughts as you care to;
>I'm interested to see if I've got books on here that don't belong.

A couple I'd say but YMMV.
--
aRJay
"In this great and creatorless universe, where so much beautiful has
come to be out of the chance interactions of the basic properties of
matter, it seems so important that we love one another."
- Lucy Kemnitzer

Eric San Juan

unread,
Jan 30, 2002, 5:43:02 PM1/30/02