What I've recently finished reading:Assassin's Fate
by Robin Hobb - I liked the story, appreciated the way the ending called back to other elements of the series (and felt it a solid, satisfying ending), but I am not sure why this book didn't resonate emotionally with me. Perhaps it's because having read the series over such a long span of time, the characters' lives are less fresh and compelling to me. Perhaps it's because this book's ambitious scope in tying together not just the final trilogy but all the Realms of the Elderlings sub-series required so many sub-plots that it seemed an overwhelming brick with too many diversions. I enjoyed reading it, as I enjoyed most of the series (Rain Wilds, ugh) but toward the end I was feeling as though it was more a chore than a delight, and I'm glad I'm finished.The Magpie Lord
by K. J. Charles - Better than the average m/m novel, but that's a low bar. The magic is interesting (and the best part of the book); the plotting is pretty good, though the ending is a bit abrupt, with a sudden influx of new characters whose villainy could have been set up better through the narrative; the romance is all right, though a bit too heavy on the size-difference kink for my taste. I'm not particularly inclined to seek out the rest of the series, though I have to say I'm intrigued by Stephen's partner Esther, who was mentioned but didn't actually appear in the story.Dungeons & Dreamers: A Story of how Computer Games Created a Global Community
by Brad King and John Borland - This readable, engaging book traces the development of multi-user computer games and non-game shared social spaces (such as Second Life) from their roots in tabletop gaming and D&D, through text adventure and then graphic action/adventure games, to current (as of writing, which is not current at all) massively networked games. I found the early chapters particularly interesting because I, too, was a D&D geek and gamer in the late 70s/early 80s (though I drifted away after early graphical games such as Spacewar, and text games Zork and Advent and their progeny); it was like reading the book equivalent of the TV series Halt and Catch Fire
, the underlying stories of things which I experienced as a casual user at the time.
There is certainly more focus on certain people and game companies than others, but this doesn't purport to be a complete history of games and gaming. Instead this focus (which wavers at times, admittedly) serves to build the thesis that (most) people like narrative and social interactions, even while killing monsters. I think it's a reasonable view, though perhaps it leaves out the meta aspect of people who like to play single-player games (which I imagine are the majority of games available) but who then congregate on Reddit and other forums to share their experiences and screenshots. Anyway, recommended if you have an interest in this sort of thing.What I'm reading now:
Right now I'm down to my audiobook, Plus One
by Elizabeth Fama, which I am a little more than halfway through. I'm finding it surprisingly interesting and enjoyable for YA dystopian SF. I mentioned last week that I thought I'd read a short story with a similar premise, of people split into night people and day people, and while browsing the Goodreads reviews I saw one person mention that it was sort of based on a book called The Day Boy and the Night Girl
, which is an 1882 fairy tale novel by George MacDonald. I checked it out on Wikipedia
and while it sounds interesting, it's not the story I was thinking of.What I'm reading next:
I might have to read the fourth Expanse book, because B keeps blathering about the books while we watch the show. He also has been reading the Wayward Pines books and thinks I should read them. (The author is a friend of a friend.) I have some various random stuff in ebook I ought to read sometime, things I've downloaded through Instafreebie (though so far I have not been impressed), through the Tor free ebook series, and through other promotions. What I'm watching now:
We are 6/10 through S2 of The Expanse
! It is weird to me how the TV seasons don't match up with the books very well. The things I think of as being the important stuff that happened in the second book have not even occurred yet (well, one of them finally did in E6). What a pretty show, though. What I'm watching next:
I heard a rumor that Winter is Coming. Huh, looks like summer to me.