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[identity profile] coffeeandink.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:07 (UTC)(link)
Books I have read and liked: Asleep, Kindred, Younguncle Comes to Town, Ceremony, Love Medicine

Books I have read and disliked: When Fox Is A Thousand

[identity profile] vom-marlowe.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:10 (UTC)(link)
I found Kindred good but deeply distressing.

[identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:13 (UTC)(link)
I've read some Steven Barnes, but many years ago and don't remember anything but that I liked it, and that there were martial arts in it.

I stalled on When Fox Was A Thousand; you should read it and tell me if I should finish it.

[identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:17 (UTC)(link)
I've read some Barnes too. My recollections are that the martial arts are cool, but the ends tend toward vague, surrealist apocalypses on a psychic plane.

He's a hell of a nice guy, by the way.

[identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:14 (UTC)(link)
Again, I liked Kindred, but it is not one of my favorites by Butler, so I didn't vote for it. In fact, I'm not familiar with any on that list so I didn't vote for any.

I forget, have you read any Samuel R Delany?

[identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:17 (UTC)(link)
Delany! Great suggestion! He is one of the classic sf writers whom I've never actually read, except for some short stories. Have you? Where should I start?

[identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:22 (UTC)(link)
Sliding in on Delany--BABEL-17 is a classic, and one of my faves. I also love NOVA and EMPIRE STAR. EMPIRE STAR is really short, if that makes a difference!
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[personal profile] rydra_wong 2009-02-04 21:02 (UTC)(link)
Delany eeeeeeeee!

*points at username*

Babel-17 is a fairly good one to start with (polyamorous crypographic Sapir/Whorf-abusing space opera!) -- it's a bit less linguistically dense and idea-crammed than some of the others, which makes it a good way to get a taster without shorting your brain out.

If you like it, then hit the hard stuff like Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand or Triton.

[identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:24 (UTC)(link)
I've read SimPLGoS and liked it a lot. I was scared of Delany's books when I tried it, and bounced right off the first page. I tried it again later and quite liked it; I am very sad that the sequel will probably never see the light of day.

I then tried Dhalgren and bounced right off, too, possibly even the second time. Then I tried again and really got into it...then I got into the last section. I think it is perfectly fine to just stop when you get there, because it is just excerpts from a journal, and it is hard to get anything much coherent there. But make sure you do read the end of the book and then refresh your memory of how the book started. That is pretty neat.

On RASFW, there was a post or a quote from a fanzine about Dhalgren that I never remember who made it but I remember the quote: "Answer: absolute zero, the center of the sun, and the end of Dhalgren. The question? Name three points mankind will never reach.". Hee!

I have not read any of his other books yet. I think the suggestions given by others to try Babel-17 are probably spot on.

[identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:26 (UTC)(link)
P.S. I did read all of Dhalgren because I am stubborn that way, despite skipping the poetry in Possession. But I can't say that I enjoyed the last section.

[identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:38 (UTC)(link)
I confess, I have read DHALGREN more than once. But the rereads were a long time ago.

[identity profile] weatherglass.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:18 (UTC)(link)
I've read the Fuyumi Ono book; I adored the anime, but thought the novels were flat and charmless.

[identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:22 (UTC)(link)
CEREMONY is an excellent book. Also has some interesting PTSD stuff in it.

[identity profile] marzipan-pig.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:38 (UTC)(link)
I liked the FOX WAS A THOUSAND one but can't remember why I liked it now - also there were likely elements of the mythos that I wouldn't have been familiar enough with to know how they were being manipulated.

[identity profile] klwilliams.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:46 (UTC)(link)
I haven't read any of these, but I voted for the ones I want you to do a review of, since I often read the books you write good reviews for.

[identity profile] spectralbovine.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 20:49 (UTC)(link)
The Vandana Singh book sounds fun. Blood Brothers sounds totally cool. And I haven't read any Sherman Alexie (except one short story, I think), but he seems like a pretty cool guy.

Thank you for doing this, by the way. I have so many books in my "to-be-read" pile already, but I wouldn't even know a lot of these books existed otherwise. I've never felt the urge to deliberately seek out books by People of Color, I think because throughout my education, the only books I ever heard about by People of Color were about People of Color. Like, here is a book and you can learn about the culture, the end. I wasn't really aware that there were many cool books that I would read regardless of the author's race. I'm sure I will be coming back to your "book recs" tag one day.

[identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:04 (UTC)(link)
I just realized that I'd been missing out on tons of really cool books because (due to white society, etc) they tend to be marginalized, and what I got exposed to, other than manga, was much like what you describe: "read this, it's good for you." Which is not half so appealing as "read this, it has a Green Beret and a former hacker named Captain Africa, and they fight crime supernatural predation."

But due to white society, etc, all those cool books aren't automatically presented to you. But there's lots of them and they aren't actually hard to find, once it occurs to you to look.

PS. I cannot wait for your report on the Mahabharata.

[identity profile] spectralbovine.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:25 (UTC)(link)
I'm reading Never Let Me Go right now, after which I will hit Scott Pilgrim. I did go back and buy Born Confused, and I think I want to read that while it's fresh in my mind or else I'll never get to it. I don't know when I'll tackle the Mahabharata. It's daunting!

And I totally agree with you on the marginalization. They're out there; we just don't know about them.
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[identity profile] coffeeandink.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:51 (UTC)(link)
I got Scott Pilgrim #5 today! I am so excited!

[identity profile] spectralbovine.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 22:03 (UTC)(link)
My pusher bought me the first two for my birthday, and I bought the second two yesterday since my comic book store was having a sale. I will wait to buy the fifth one since I've been spendy lately; I just hope they have it in stock when I need it! I'm looking forward to reading them, but I've been told I should draw it out and make it last because then I'll have to wait forever for the last book to come out. But I am impatient! And have other things to read! How much continuity is there between books? Is it the kind of series where I could read one book and then read something else and read the next book weeks later? Or is it like a normal comic series where it reads best continuously from trade to trade?
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[identity profile] coffeeandink.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 22:09 (UTC)(link)
There is a lot of continuity, but I've been reading them as they come out, so I don't think taking a break of a few weeks between will hurt.
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[personal profile] chomiji 2009-02-04 20:56 (UTC)(link)


I rather liked the first two Twelve Kingdoms novelizations, although the writing is indeed a bit flat (my writeups here - as you know, I tend to be wordy). I was pleased to hear that vol. 3 is actually going to come out soon - I was afraid that the series had been dropped.



The other two I checked in your poll were things I might like to read myself ... .


(Anonymous) 2009-02-04 21:20 (UTC)(link)
I was happy to see volume 3 coming out, too. I might not have enjoyed the first two as books, but the anime has made me really eager to find out what happens to the characters after it ended. (Or, for that matter, what actually happened to some of the characters in what they did produce...)

[identity profile] weatherglass.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:22 (UTC)(link)
Whoops. Didn't realize I had logged out.

[identity profile] weatherglass.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:32 (UTC)(link)
Out of curiosity, had you seen the anime when you read the books? Reading your reviews reminded me of just how strange and cool the world of the books is, and I wonder if I would have enjoyed them more if that had been my introduction to it. Having seen the anime already, I think they lost a lot of their impact.

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[personal profile] chomiji 2009-02-05 17:14 (UTC)(link)


I haven't seen the anime at all!



(A digression: I don't like to watch video stuff unless I have company. If I'm by myself, I prefer to read. So I've read a decent number of manga but have seen barely any anime, unless you want to count things that I watched as a small child many years ago, such as "Astro Boy.")



I had a long comment here about some aspects of the world in the story, but realized it was moderately spoiler-ish. I'm going to add it below the cut on my vol. 2 write-up, if you feel like talking about it.

(Anonymous) 2009-02-04 21:00 (UTC)(link)
I highly recommend Reservation Blues.

[identity profile] heyoka.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:05 (UTC)(link)
Voted for When Fox Was a Thousand because I just picked it up last night. Haven't read yet, but pretty soon.

[identity profile] rurounitriv.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:28 (UTC)(link)
Haven't read Reservation Blues - but if it's half as good as Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian then it's well worth getting. And from what people tell me, Reservation Blues is actually better.
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[identity profile] smillaraaq.livejournal.com 2009-02-04 21:44 (UTC)(link)
Eh, IMO Reservation Blues is the weakest of Alexie's prose novels -- which is not to say that it's BAD, not by a long shot; but it's his first novel, and at times it shows a little bit that he's adjusting to working in a new format. But even at his weakest Junior always delivers a damn good read. And if you like this one, it might be a good jumping point to work backwards to his earlier poetry, where you'll see some of the themes (and many of the characters) dealt with in this book making their first appearances.

I'd also WHOLE-HEARTEDLY recommend the "soundtrack album" of the same name done in collaboration with Colville singer/songwriter/guitarist Jim Boyd. (If you've seen "Smoke Signals", you've already heard a couple of these songs on the movie soundtrack.) If folks are interested, I can post a couple of sample tracks to tempt you into buying whet your interest...

[identity profile] cakmpls.livejournal.com 2009-02-05 00:50 (UTC)(link)
I've been meaning to comment about this: I wonder if it's fair for me to count books I edit or copyedit? I certainly read them. Because I spend my work time concentrating closely on (often) weighty topics, I tend to spend my leisure reading time on the escapism of mysteries, to kind of clear my brain, and there aren't a lot of authors of color writing those (some, but not a lot).

The problem is that since these books sometimes have not yet been announced, I can't really write about them. I suppose I could give a general description of the topic and the race/ethnicity of the writer...

[identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com 2009-02-05 01:27 (UTC)(link)
What is the lag time between when you edit/copyedit them and you can talk about them publicly?

[identity profile] cakmpls.livejournal.com 2009-02-05 04:15 (UTC)(link)
Well, I can mention the title and author when the book appears in the publisher's catalog and/or their web page, but that can be several months after I work on it.

[identity profile] lady-ganesh.livejournal.com 2009-02-05 02:18 (UTC)(link)
Ceremony is probably the best novel I've read in the past five years or so. Certainly the best 'grown-up' book.
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[personal profile] oyceter 2009-02-05 04:02 (UTC)(link)
I voted for the Singh, the Lai and the Alexie because they are all on my to-read list and I want to see if I should move them up or down it.

Sadly, I have not read any of these books.

OH! How did I miss Tiger Claw, about FEMALE SPY?! I vote for that too!

[identity profile] serenada.livejournal.com 2009-02-05 06:27 (UTC)(link)
Kindred is one of Butler's bleakest works, but she's never sunshine and unicorns. It's a standalone--most of the rest is series, except for a really weak vampire story just before she died.

Do you have any Nalo Hopkinson on your list? Midnight Robber was good, and she did at least one compilation.

[identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com 2009-02-05 19:45 (UTC)(link)
I liked The Fledgling quite a bit, but didn't vote for it in the previous poll. I would agree that it is one of Butler's weakest books, but that's a pretty high standard. If it was someone else's first novel, I might have been so impressed that I'd keep an eye out for their subsequent books.

[identity profile] hokelore.livejournal.com 2009-02-05 12:43 (UTC)(link)
I liked Reservation Blues. I like stories about bands starting up, and I liked the concept that Robert Johnson hadn't died in the 30's, he'd just been laying low all these years.