"What are you reading?" thread.

Geez, just reading your summary is painful. I shudder to think what reading the actual "book" is like.

I'm also wondering if it's pronounced "pirate-ab-ba", "pirate-ay-ba" or "pi-ra-TEA-ba", which is probably more thought than was put into the entire serial.


Staff member
This thing gets huge glowing reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and I just don't understand why. Are our bars so low?
This thing gets huge glowing reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and I just don't understand why. Are our bars so low?
I think it gets good reviews because it hits that weird spot where it's available for free online, so you can't really complain because hey, free! At the same time though, you can pay for it through Patreon - twice weekly, every week, for quite a while now - so the people doing that have maybe payed out more than they would have for an actual professionally published book so if it's not actually that good then they're idiots - kind of a sunk costs fallacy element?
Our bars may not be, but I could point you to several other threads where we discuss exactly how low many bars are these days.

James Cameron needs to hurry up and release Avatar 2 already...
Thin Air by Richard K Morgan

It's by the author of the Takeshi Kovacs series (Altered Carbon) and it very much follows the same vein. Hard-boiled noir in a believable Cyberpunk future. It's 100% my jam and pretty much something I want to hook directly into my veins. Hakon Veil might as well be Takeshi Kovacs the way Morgan's authorial voice comes across and I'm perfectly ok with it.

Takes place on Mars in a future full of corporate rule, half-assed terraforming that leaves only the lowest altitudes on Mars habitable by folks who aren't teched up for highland life. Main character is a hib (someone who's genetic tampering causes them to be awake for 8 months and take a 4 month hibernation nap) former corporate assassin down on his luck, burned from his former life, living as a hired tough on Mars trying to make ends meet, things happen, hard-boiled detective story style, etc. etc.

One thing I like about Richard Morgan's writing is he doesn't spare you the jargon and lets you catch on as you read and put the pieces of the world together as the story unfolds. It requires a bit of effort remembering stuff that's basically teflon slippery early on, but I find it rewarding. I'd rather read books like this than ones that are overly explainy.
The Sandman, by Neil Gaiman.

I've long been a Gaiman fan, but have never had the possibility to read the whole Sandman run properly as local libraries here only have a translated version, which destroys half of the quality of the work.
That said, it was, of course, excellent, and any critic who thinks/claims this isn't Literature is an idiot.
The amount of pieces of fiction that have made me cry can now officially no longer be counted on one hand.

Peace Talks in July like we knew already. BUT BOOK 17 IS COMING OUT IN SEPTEMBER TOO!