Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Hayley

      Moving Day Coming Soon   01/11/2021

      As many of you know, we've been looking at changing hosts for a while now. This will allow us to access the tech support we need for the site and should speed up the forum as well as ironing out a few issues we've been having recently.    We are now signed up to the new hosting plan and can go ahead with the move as soon as the new hosts have everything they need (which is currently being sorted!). The forum should not be offline for more than a day during the switch and hopefully it won't even take that long. I don't have an exact time or day for the move yet but this is an early warning to expect some downtime soon.   When we are offline, no matter how briefly, you can follow the forum twitter page (@bookclubforum) for updates.  
Raven

Raven's Reads

Recommended Posts

24 minutes ago, Hayley said:

 

Oooooh I hadn’t seen this! Do we know what they’re going to look like yet? 

 

I love Great Expectations, Frankenstein and Dracula. If I was going to re-read one right now I think I’d pick Dracula. I hated Moby Dick though. Such a promising start and then you reach the chapters about whaling... 

 

 

They're not much different; they've just changed the fonts on the spines and front covers.

 

If you look at this page:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Times-Penguin-Classics-Charles-Dickens/dp/014143967X 

 

You can see the new style in the product picture and you can compare it to the old style by clicking on the Look Inside link.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah, I thought they might have gone for something a bit different! I guess the penguin classics do have a fairly distinct look though, maybe it would be wrong to change them too dramatically. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Hayley said:

 

Oh yeah, I thought they might have gone for something a bit different! I guess the penguin classics do have a fairly distinct look though, maybe it would be wrong to change them too dramatically. 

 

 

I've got two generations of their classic novels now, time for a third!

 

But which one...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read a book! Yes, one with words and only one picture!

 

tbtif.jpg.8e44d43a2208aa032129cb53eb06bbcd.jpg

 

To Be Taught, if Fortunate 

By Becky Chambers

 

The crew of the Merian are on a mission to explore a new solar system, part of a number of crowd-funded ships sent out from Earth, taking mankind's first steps to gather information on worlds only hither-too glimpsed from afar.  The four worlds they visit all present different challenges for the genetically altered humans, and then they lose contact with Earth...

 

I've been picking up Becky Chamber's book in Waterstone's for a while now, reading their back covers and then putting them down again.  They sound good, and they have certainly garnered enough plaudits - a Hugo award, and nominations for pretty much every other science fiction writing award going - but I've never been quite convinced enough to make a purchase, and then this novella popped up on my Kindle for 99p so I thought I would give it a go.  

 

The story is told in the form of a mission report from one of the crew members, related in such a way that the layman on Earth will be able to understand. It deals with the practicalities of an extended multi-year mission and the effect that has on the Merian's crew, especially when things don't go to plan.  

 

This is a science fiction story that is heavy on the science; Chambers comes from a family that her bio says were "heavily involved in space science" and the acknowledgments at the end of the book is largely a list of scientists who helped with the writing of the story.  The story explores some solid science fiction concepts, but it is heavily grounded in the characters as seen from the point of view of the narrator. 

 

I don't like comparing books directly, but there was a lot in this that reminded me of Velocity Weapon, by Megan E. O'Keefe which I abandoned last year (I think it is probably because there are a number of scenes in both with characters in space suits, passing through airlocks and cargo holds etc. and it all seemed very familiar).  I suspect that had I read this a year down the road, I wouldn't be drawing the same comparisons, but in this books favour I can say that it is definitely far better written! 

 

Whilst I enjoyed a lot of the story, I did find some parts of it were a little laboured, and I don't think some of the ideas were explored as fully as they could have been, but I did like the ending.

 

Will I read more of Chamber's novels?  I'm not sure... There was a lot to like, but at the same time nothing that really grabbed me.  A full novel could be a different kettle of fish, though, so if I see her first novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet on offer on my Kindle I may very well give it a go.

 

Not bad, but if you don't like science fiction or scientific concepts in general, this probably isn't the book for you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×