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2019 50 Book Challenge

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Dec 4, 2010
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Sorry, I didn't see this post earlier.

No, I haven't read it, but it sounds interesting. I'll have to see if I can find a copy.
It’s easily available Mrs GF grabbed it before me and throughly enjoyed it. Appears to be the general consensus. There is a movie of it I believe.

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Dec 4, 2010
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31.Avengers;The Serpent Crown by Steve Englehart & George Perez

A sprawling 1970’s science fiction and superhero extravaganza. Of time travel, the wild west, Gods and men. The multiverse and nefarious dark powers. Marvel mayhem in all its pulp glory. Perfect for a miserable cold and wet winter day and interlude before Fully Automated Luxury Communism.


Distinguished Member
Nov 2, 2012
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1. The Broken Kingdoms
2. The Kingdom of Gods
3. Semiosis
4. Bridge of Clay
5. Blackwater City
6. Bullshit Jobs: a Theory
7. Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire
8. The People vs Tech

9. The Outrun
10 Ancillary Justice
11. Words without Music
12. Digital Minimalism
13. When Rivers Run Dry
14. The Uninhabitable Earth
15. Do we need inequality?
16. Carbon Ideologies: No Immediate Danger
17. The Secret Life of Trees
18. Educated
19. River of Doubt
20. Holy Sister
21. A War in Crimson Embers
22. Ancillary Sword
23. Ancillary Mercy
24. One Way
25. The Raven's Tower
26. Dark Emu
27. A Memory Called Empire
28. A Forest of Wood and Steel
29. Makers
30. Pink Mountain on Locust Island
31. The Summon Stone

31. The Summon Stone

Ian Irvine is an Australia writer who's been sporadically publishing fantasy books since the late 80s, all in the same Universe. He has 2 fairly significant arcs and he has started writing a series that will connect them, this is the first book.

A fairly rollicking tale, Irvine is not a gritty and dark fantasy writer, but clearly works on character's motivations. Early on he essentially created a trope that he recycles - the world that is at the center of the stories is constantly exposed to alien invaders - thems the breaks. So most of the stories involve some form of invasion and the power vacuum it creates.

His pacing is good, he returns to old characters enough to hit the mark, but doesn't rely on the same stuff - there's development aplenty and a new guard to take the story forward. He avoids sentimentality, many characters are awkward, stiff, distant or worn out, so the constant turmoil that generates the plots isn't something that rouses people as much as just wears a groove.

Most genre fiction is essentially playing the classics, in a way, so these small variations are usually where the quality, or lack thereof, can be found. Irvine doesn't talk down to his readers, doesn't re-hash previous writing to 'catch the reader up' - he assumes you know what you'll be getting and he just moves on with the writing.

Good read.


Stylish Dinosaur
Mar 8, 2012
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66. Dreams From My Father, by President Barack Obama

A fascinating collection of stories from President Obama’s childhood, and adult years prior to his run for Senate, sprinkled with stories of his mother, father, and other relatives in the US, Indonesia, and Kenya.

The stories are collected in a way that introduces one to the political philosophy of Mr. Obama and explains in a relatable way the interactions between cultural and economic classes that have shaped race relations in the modern world.

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