10 down, 42 to go

Although a bit late, last night, I finished the tenth book of this year of reading.

The second volume of the trilogy Legends of Dune, The Machine Crusade, focuses on the Infinite battlegrounds of the conflict between the League of Nobles and Omnius, the evermind, and his thinking machines

The Butlerian Jihad, as it has become known for , the now figurehead of the human side of the conflict, the uprising of Serena Butler against her Machine captors

The books depicts, intensively by the way , about 36 year of the conflict, stretching thru various parts of the now famous universe created by Mr. Herbert. I am particularly interested on the creation of the Navigators Guild, there are hint of the past history of this universe and what made this story so compelling, to see its genesis is simply amazing.

One of the great things, and without spoiling anything, although the books have been in print for almost 20 years, anyway, is that the authors do not shy away from high stakes, in which, this characters you become to love, have to face hard and possibly life threatening situations.

To continue with my journey the next tale is the short story The Faces of a Martyr, contained in the book The Road to Dune, and the final chapter of the Trilogy, The Battle of Corrin.

And to get back on track with my challenge of 52 books in 52 weeks, I only have 5 days to finish it.

Off to read.

azr.

Down to the wire

With less than two hours left on this Sunday, I am not even close to where my reading should be.

On Dune: The Machine Crusade my progress was somewhat satisfactory, currently on page 562, which leaves 139 pages to finish, the goal is to leave less than 100 pages for tomorrow, and hit the ground running with the final book of this trilogy, The Battle of Corrin.

On the goal of at least 800 total pages for the week, there’s still 209 pages in front of me, I’ll do my best by throwing some X-men action, right now I am reading the conclusion of the events that started on House of M, the aftermath of Messiah Complex and Messiah War, The Second Coming, let’s see what the futures have waiting for Hope.

Off to read.

azr.

Locked in

I have a gargantuan task ahead of me, yesterday’s reading was pretty decent, with a total of 234 pages for the day, and progress on Dune: The Machine Crusade to page 440, the day can be considered a win.

The task for today is to try and gets as close an humanly possible to finishing the book, there’s 244 pages left, which are doable but present quite the challenge.

What concerns this week’s total page count, 1,246 pages, I’m really behind, 815 pages to be precise, on this front passing the 800 total page mark will be more than enough.

My the end of next week hopefully all will be back in balance, specially my 52 books on 52 weeks challenge.

I’ll keep you post it on how the day develops.

Off to read.

azr

9 down, 43 to go

As part of getting this week’s reading back on track, I just finished the ninth book of the year, Dune: The Butlerian Jihad.

The events depicted in this book happened 10,000 years before the original series by Frank Herbert, there’s an conflict between the sentient machines and the league of human planets.

Some of the coolest things in the story is the introduction of the League of the Nobles, the first glimpse into the famous houses we see later in the story,not to spoil anything, but the shock of seeing the origin of House Atreides still is roaming in my mind.

Also, the first hints of the use of Spice, with just a bit of the nomadic people of Arrakis, riding sandworms and all.

And lastly, the thinking machines from the ubiquitous Omnius, to the brutal Erasmus, and the war hungry Titans, knowed as cymeks which are humans minds transplanted to robotic bodies, the panoply of characters are the perfect menacing force.

To continue with this amazing series, written by the son of the late Frank Herbert, Brian, and Kevin J. Anderson, the author of the Saga of the Seven Suns, I’ll read thr next short story in the timeline, The Whipping Mek, published in the companion book The Road to Dune.

And then the next of the trilogy, Dune: The Machine Crusade.

And to make this weekend more interesting, and get back on track with my reading schedule, my task is to read at least 354 pages each day, this morning started with a good pace, 44 pages, let’s keep it up.

Off to read.

azr.

6 hours

With little under 6 hours to close-out the eight week of reading in the fourteen year of this project, I don’t want to snap the momentum of the last three week of getting pass the weekly reading goal.

I wanted to also finish the first book of the Prequel trilogy of the massive science fiction classic Dune, The Butlerian Jihad, since today was the last to finish the previous book, Exhalación by Ted Chiang, and tomorrow the starting date of the Dune book, the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge is perfectly cover, basically I am one week ahead schedule in that regard.

With this in mind, I will focus on getting the 1,246 weekly pages, right now the total sits at 1,014, a very doable 232 pages.

To help me along this first leg, I’ll continue with issues three and four of the really trippy Dark Knights: Death Metal, let’s see what Mr. Snyder has in store for us.

To that, I’ll add as much as I can from The Butlerian Jihad, the dream would be to finish it today, but 204 pages in 5 hours is quite the challenge.

Off to read.

azr.

The impossible feat

This has been a very hectic day, and although I had a good reading session over my morning coffee, the numbers are not quite there.

With a few hours left on this Saturday this is how things are, on Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, I’m near at the halfway point , on page 280 of 619, and with the intention of finishing tomorrow, there’s a lot of ground to cover.

On the total of the week, there’s still 472 pages ahead of me, with a pretty decent pile of graphic novels to read this number can go down pretty fast.

It’s time to chip away on the book to try and be close to 200 pages left for tomorrow.

Off to read.

azr.

52.16%

As I enter the weekend, my reading can be only describe as underwhelming.

I just read 650 of the 1,246 goal for the week, hence the 52.16%, and on this week’s book, Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, currently on page 177 of 614, the progress is not quite what it should be, close to 450 pages.

Considering that thanks to the other weeks amazing reading there’s almost a week of cushion to keep the 52 books in 52 weeks project in time, there’s still not a red flag, but for my vision and comfort, this book should be done my Sunday night.

Today I’ll close out as strong as I can, probably leave around 200 pages for each of the weekend days, and in between squeeze some of the new graphic novels from this week’s loot.

Let’s see how this day closes out.

Off to read.

azr.

Fear is the mind killer

“I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Lithany against fear, Dune by Frank Herbert

I read the original novel around 2006, and although I loved it, as well all of its incarnations in the silver screen, the time was not right for me to jump into what us considered the Science Fiction counterpart of Lord of the Rings.

Well that time has arrived, and I have the full intention of going thru every single piece of story I can get my hands on .

For this particular endeavor my decision was to go chronologically, and with the help of a very handy list provided by the official website of the series, dune novels.

Image taken from https://dunenovels.com/chronological-order-of-dune-books/

As you can see in the picture above, my journey starts some 10,000 years before the original novel with the short story Hunting Harkonnens, in my case is contained in The Road to Dune, and the novel Butlerian Jihad, both written by the dynamic duo of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

Off to read.

azr.

8 down, 44 to go

I was supposed to start reading the latest collection of stories by the brilliant Ted Chiang today, but as my reading has caught quite the rythm, I jumped right into the next task.

Needless to say this amazing collection just flow through my hands like water, and all the hype around it is, in my humble opinion, not even close what these beautiful stories are.

My first contact with a story by the highly awarded writer was thru the movie The Arrival, which consequently thus not appear in this particular collection, I was so intrigued by the use of time as one of the characters in the story that I had to read more.

I was not disappointed, and in a way the fact that Mr. Chiang has written so few stories is even more endearing, it makes them precious little rare jewels that shine brightly.

My personal favorite story was the Exhalación, which also give its name to the collection, the self awareness of fragility and hopefulness is not only for human beings, and that tough fills me with hope for the future.

To finish this book is even sweeter because thanks to it I just crossed the 10,000-page mark, and with a whole week of extra time for the next book, this year is only just started.

So what’s next for my reading?

I’ll literally, keep you post it.

Off to read.

azr.

7 down, 45 to go

I have just finish what was the perfect finale of such an amazing series.

With The Ashes of Worlds, all the tension and conflicts building thru-out six books come crashing down, being honest, and not quite sure in how being one of the shortest books in the series, 512 pages, Mr. Anderson handles all the lose ends beautifully, without feeling the conclusion is rush or for sake of closing out the story.

My favorite parts of the series are the ones involving the idea of the keepers of the memory or history of the various civilizations, the name of the series comes from the grand epic of the Ildiran Empire named Saga of the Seven Suns, were the Rememberers, the equivalent of the human historian, pour all the great deeds of their vast history for all the population to learn, this is kind very similar to the Poetic Edda of the Norse Mythology, full of figures that time have transform into long lost memories.

It’s only fitting that the series finish with the creation of a new record of an ancient civilization’s story, I will not spoil anything further that that, you should really give read this amazing story.

The thing that I think reverberates the most is that inside the keeping and telling of this stories there’s the ever present phantom of the “fabricated reality”, all thru-out the books, and from all the civilizations involved, there’s some time of manipulation of information to create animosity against what is perceive as foreign or different, something that affects our world so deeply, and even in the face of imminent destruction, they can’t put their differences behind and fight the common threat.

That is what makes this type of stories feel so real and hopefully more of us can learn that there are more things that binds us as sentient creatures, and that being a green priest from Theroc, or a Roamer from Kanaka is merely circumstantial.

I highly recommend any work from Kevin J. Anderson, but this saga in particular will hold a special place in my heart, those types of books that eventually you come back to them or share with your grandchildren.

Now I am off to read my next book, Exhalación by the master of Science Fiction Ted Chiang.

azr.

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