My logic might be broken

I’ve recently decided to pop into the local second-hand bookshop every couple of weeks to see if I can fill in the gaps of the series I am collecting. I popped in yesterday and struck gold. Almost immediately, I saw they had a copy of book three of The View from the Mirror by Ian Irvine. I first started collecting this series 15-20 years ago and for most of that time, I’ve been keeping an eye out for book three. Book two has been readily available, and every now and then book one or four, but three? Nope, that’s been hiding. Finally, success, and I can plan to start the series.

Dark is the Moon, by Ian Irvine

Cycle of Fire by Janny Wurts is another series that has been hard to complete. In this case, it is book one that I have been chasing. Success, now I can finally start this series too.

Stormwarden by Janny Wurts

And another book one find allowed me to complete another series. Looks like I’m going to be busy reading all these series I can now start šŸ˜†.

Battleaxe by Sara Douglass

So this visit started off strong. I was filling gaps, which was the whole point of this visit. I picked up book four of Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster, meaning now I just have books one and six to find. Yes, there is also a copy of book five in the pic below. No, this wasn’t a mistake. I knew I had it already, but the volume I had didn’t match the rest and this one did. Yes, I know šŸ˜†. And right near these books was a standalone by the same author, Cachalot, that sounded interesting.

Cachalot, landless ocean planet, long ago reserved by guilt-ridden Man as a refuge for the great sea-creatures they had hunted to near extinction. Safe, undisturbed, they went their wise ways. Above, the scattered humans lived in floating townships and traded in the exotic underwater riches of their still-mysterious, adopted home.

But, suddenly, the balance was upset. Suddenly the towns were being destroyed, shattered into wave-tossed debris that left no clues and no survivors.

Something was moving in the depths and rising murderously to the surface.

Ok, so still mostly filling gaps. Then adding in a standalone. Not bad.

Then I saw the Gene Wolfe Book of the New Sun books. I have had the two SF Masterworks volumes, that each have two of the books in them, on my wishlist for a while. When I saw these I thought it would be great to get them instead, especially as they were so cheap. Of course, this means I have now started a new hunt to complete a series: must find book four.

Books 1-3 of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe, books 4 and 5 of Spellsinger and Cachalot by Alan Dean Foster

At this point I should have left the bookshop. But I’m weak. It helps that this is the cheapest secondhand bookshop I have found, with no books costing more than $5 and many of these being less.

I’m in a few FaceBook Sci-Fi and/or Fantasy groups and some of them have monthly book clubs. Mostly, I haven’t been interested in reading the books that get selected, or they aren’t ones I can easily find a copy of at a library or secondhand. It’s looking like Old Man’s War by John Scalzi is going to be the March book in one of them, so when I found this copy I had to pick it up.

Old Man's War by John Scalzi

And, of course, it’s hard to not checked what is stocked by the greats, and I hadn’t heard of these ones. Yes, it was the covers of the McCaffrey and Norton books that had me picking them up to investigate further.

Dinosaur Planet did sound pretty cool though, and I thought it would be a fun read.

On Earth they had died out 70 million years ago. But on Ireta they ruled in all their bizarre splendour. The Dinosaurs. Relics from a forgotten age, they roamed a planet as mystifying as any in the galaxy, despite its bland appearance. And the expedition sent to explore it was trapped within its toils as quickly and mysteriously their relief ship disappeared.

And worse. For the Heavyworlders, half the expedition’s personnel, reverted to type, and as predatory carnivores systematically hunted down their colleagues. Only the frozen sleep of cryogenics offered an escape. But for how long?

BUT, on the back of the book it also says “Don’t miss the rivetting sequel The Survivors” šŸ¤¦ā€ā™€ļø. Another one to add to the hunt list.

Moon of Three Rings also sounded different and worth a try.

At the time of the Moon of Three Rings, the galactic trade ship Lydis lands on the planet Yiktor. On Yiktor, Krip Vorlund, a junior crew member, seeks amusement at a beast show. He is strangely attracted to the owner of the show animals, a delicate and mysterious woman, Maelen. When Vorlund is kidnapped by a Combine seeking to control the planet, he learns too well the nature of Maelen’s sorcery; she transforms him into a wolfish creature, in which form he retains his own soul.

Why did she need to turn him into this creature? Can he be turned back? What is a Combine? It’s under 300 pages and I know I like Andre Norton, so I decided to get it so I could find out.

The Le Guin book I picked solely based on the quote on the back cover. But the rest sounded pretty interesting too.

‘Like Spartan Helen, I caused a war. She caused hers by letting men who wanted her take her. I caused mine because I wouldn’t be given, wouldn’t be taken.’

By the sacred springs in the forests near her home, Lavinia, young princess of Latium, encounters a poet – a soothsayer – who foretells her future: to marry a Trojan hero named Aeneas and found a great kingdom and a mighty dynasty.

Lavinia’s mother has other plans – to marry her daughter off to an ambitious neighbouring king – and her father is plagued with indecision. But when a fleet of foreign warships sails into the mouth of the river Tiber, Lavinia knows her destiny is calling.

Dinosaur Planet by Anne McCaffrey, Moon of Three Rings by Andre Norton, and Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin.

I’ve been wanting to collect more Barbara Hambly, so couldn’t pass up these two books in the Darwath trilogy. Though I’ll now be hunting for book three.

City, by Clifford Simak, has been recommended in one of my Facebook Sci-Fi groups. The blurb sounds like it could be fun and a little bizarre, so I decided it had to come home with me.

Jenkins was a robot. He was built to be the perfect worker, tireless and uncomplaining, but quite unexpectedly he also became a close companion to generation after generation of his owners as the human race matured, moved beyond the confines of its one tiny planet, and eventually changed beyond all recognition. And then, because he was a good and dutiful servant, Jenkins went on to serve Earth’s inheritors.

Here is a masterful tale of an Earth overrun by ants, a series of parallel worlds ruled by dogs, and a Jupiter where the human race finds its Golden Age – if human it could still be called.

AE Van Vogt and Patricia McKillip have also been recommended in my groups, so I picked these up to give them a chance. The McKillip book is the first of a trilogy, so starts yet another hunt to complete a series. Notice a trend? šŸ˜†

These last two were completely random picks, because at this point, why not? Thankfully, both of them are standalones. I think.

Shellbreak by JW Groves sounds like a quite different (for me anyway), and potentially quite good, Sci-Fi novel.

Lenoir awakes in the year 2505, and finds that his invention – an impenetrable shell of force – has been “protecting” the city for 400 years. During that time no one has seen the sun, felt rain, or been able to determine whether the bombs had fallen after all. Only the dictators of the decadent civilization know how to collapse the shell – and they want it to stand forever, protecting the status quo.

Lenoir, kidnapped from the past by a new time-travel technique, is black-mailed by a freedom party into breaking the shell. But first he must locate the controls. Pursued by police, gansters and dissident freedom factions, Lenoir has no allies. If he is ever to return to his own time, it must be entirely by his own efforts. For no one will help him out of the savage, ruined world he made.

Damiano by RA MacAvoy, in contrast, sounds like some good classic fantasy.

He was called Damiano Delstrego: wizard’s son, alchemist, heir to dark magics. Yet he was also an innocent, a young scholar and musician befriended by the Archangel Raphael, who instructed him in the lute.

To save his beloved city from war, Damiano left his cloistered life and set out on a pilgrimage, seeking the aid of the powerful sorceress Saara. But his road was filled with betrayal, disillusionment and death, and Damiano was forced to confront his dark heritage, unleashing the hellish force of his awesome powers to protect those he loved.

Shellbreak by JW Groves, and Damiano by RA MacAvoy

So, three series completed, one series advanced, and three series started. Plus a whole lot of standalones. Well, I guess it could be worse, and I did end up neutral territory if you are counting series I’m trying to complete. So maybe my logic of going to the bookshop every two weeks isn’t completely broken. I think I need a few more data points to test the theory šŸ˜†.


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