Emma on November 10, 2015 at 5:51 pm said:
My recent reads:
Planetfall by Emma Newman: Ooh, I loved this. Basically, it’s about a group (part scientific expedition, part . . . well, cult) who are guided by a woman (ex-roommate and BFF of the narrator) to a distant planet, with tragedy ensuing; the book starts 20-ish years after arrival, as the past comes back to haunt the narrator. (A very inadequate plot summary, but spoilers are hard to avoid here.) I read this book in a single sitting. I was kind of surprised at how . . . intimate? the story turned out to be. It takes place on an alien planet, in the shadow of a bizarre alien city, but it’s very much a story about the effects of trauma and grief on the individual and the community. Well-written, engaging, and highly recommended.
TheYoungPretender on November 16, 2015 at 10:03 am said:
If we’re talking about characterization in fiction, I think there’s a great deal to be said for Planetfall, by Emma Newman. The prose is excellent, the characterization will make you tear up at some points if you can sympathize, and building suspense and slow reveal of shape of the world is very well done. It’s definitely on my list for when I start to think of what I will or will not nominate this coming year.
If this opinion is shared, and the book is some definition of “hot” in terms of critical buzz and sales, I get the distinct feeling we’re looking at our dinosaur, our ancillary for the year. This is a good book. But there’s a distinct lack of male authority saving the day or violence being the answer, and a lot of it happens in the inner life of the narrator. If this makes people’s long and then short lists, I expect it to be contrasted negatively with whatever puppy-chow those who are good buddies with Hoyt or Paulk churn out this year.
If it does, f***’em. Planetfall is a solid book.
robinreid on November 16, 2015 at 11:09 am said:
@The Young Pretender: ooh, bought Planetfall on your rec! Sounds fascinating.
Steve Wright on November 16, 2015 at 11:33 am said:
Darn it, Young Pretender, I have been looking at Planetfall and thinking “no, spent too much on books lately as it stands, better hold off on this one”… and then you go and say good things about it. Bother.
lurkertype on November 16, 2015 at 4:21 pm said:
Intrigued by TYP’s Planetfall review.
Paul Weimer (@princejvstin) on November 17, 2015 at 2:59 am said:
What I am currently reading is Emma Newman’s Planetfall. I thought this was going to be a colonization story. I was not expecting this to be a first person intimate look at a colonist with mental illness. Given my emotional whiplash from vacation and returning to troubles at work, this is rather disconcerting. But very well written.
robinreid on November 17, 2015 at 7:03 am said:
The person whose name I no longer remember who recommended Planetfall: please reimburse me three hours of sleep I missed last night because I could….. not…… put……. the…… book…… (kindle)……… DOWN!
I had to keep reading.
Brilliant deconstruction of space colony tropes throughout.
snowcrash on November 17, 2015 at 7:53 am said:
::Heartily curses all of you::
::adds Planetfall to Mount F770::
Kendall on November 22, 2015 at 10:36 pm said:
I finished Planetfall and it was great! I should go out of town more often (more reading time). Although I hate present tense, it worked very well here (I didn’t even notice at first, blush), especially with the shifting back and forth into memory-in-past-tense, although I expected that to be set off (italics or whatever), but I got used to it and it was an effective technique in this case – wouldn’t work in other books.(show spoiler)
Still, really, really great book! Cool SF, engrossing character . . . tough to put down. I’m tempted by the audiobook already; she reads it, and IMHO does a good job. I first found Planetfall via a recording of her reading.
JJ on December 9, 2015 at 2:07 am said:
Okay, to those of you who raved about Planetfall, I am joining your ranks. This is a book I will be thinking about for days. Just wow.
Kendall on December 9, 2015 at 11:53 pm said:
@JJ: Welcome to Planetfall fandom. Here’s your complimentary 3D-printed badge; it’s a little broken, but I’m sure you can fix it.
JJ on December 10, 2015 at 12:22 am said:
Thanks! I put it on the pile with the other things I’m going fix when I have a spare moment.
Kendall on December 29, 2015 at 11:15 pm said:
JDC: Thanks for the link to Jemisin’s column! I was taken aback by her description of Renata in Planetfall as “completely unlikable”; maybe I was too wrapped up in her narrative, but I didn’t read her like that.
JJ on December 30, 2015 at 12:12 am said:
Neither did I. Planetfall is on my Hugo shortlist right now. I thought the description from the main character’s point-of-view did a fantastic job of showing how(show spoiler)
I know that one of the other commenters here thought she was awful because(show spoiler)
I found the main character very sympathetic, and thought that she deserved her resolution. I’m really surprised that Jemisin found her “completely unlikeable” — I mean, I would have expected(show spoiler)
rob_matic on December 30, 2015 at 1:13 am said:
I see where she’s coming from, and I’m inclined to agree. I don’t think it’s a negative comment in context. You can have sympathy for a character, and be an interested observer of their narrative, without necessarily liking them or being fond of them.
If the character was unlikable and uninteresting, that would be a problem.
Kendall on December 30, 2015 at 1:28 am said:
@JJ: Agreed 100%, and it’s on my short list, too. You know, if anything, Mac seems to fit “completely unlikeable” a lot better! I mean,(show spoiler)
And he comes off a bit smarmy, to boot.
I may be rereading Planetfall via audiobook sooner than expected. Usually I try to let time pass, but this book was SO GOOD (I’m yelling, for the record). I’m having similar trouble putting off rereading (listening) The Girl with All the Gifts.
Kendall on December 30, 2015 at 1:43 am said:
@rob_matic: Hmm, maybe for me sympathy does require liking a character at least a bit. I don’t know. Anyway, I don’t feel Jemisin’s comment is negative, exactly; I was just surprised because I didn’t see Renata that way.
Unlikable and uninteresting: traits leading to the eight deadly words. Uninteresting was definitely not (IMHO) one of Renata’s problems!
bookworm1398 on January 5, 2016 at 3:13 pm said:
Just finished Planetfall. I’m not quite sure how I would rate this book yet.
I found the first two-thirds quite fascinating. The premise, the mystery, the description of technologies used, and most especially the main character. The gradual unfolding of her character was great. But, after(show spoiler)
redheadedfemme on January 5, 2016 at 5:33 pm said:
Planetfall. Gah. The ending to that book drove me nuts.(show spoiler)
JJ on January 5, 2016 at 6:25 pm said:
I still say(show spoiler)
redheadedfemme on January 5, 2016 at 6:41 pm said:
I’m not sure I agree with that, but that’s certainly a legitimate interpretation.(show spoiler)
JJ on January 5, 2016 at 7:21 pm said:(show spoiler)
Kendall on January 5, 2016 at 11:19 pm said:
@bookworm1398, @redheadedfemme, & @JJ: I agree with JJ regarding Planetfall and Ren. Some more on how I took it below – obviously YMMV (and does).
The more I think about it, the more I love this book. I may have to listen to the audiobook sooner rather than later, as a re-read.
Review by redheadedfemme [December 12, 2015]
Kathodus on January 27, 2016 at 12:30 pm said:
Reading-wise – just finished Planetfall. Read it almost entirely in one sitting. It’s another one up there on the shortlist. Googling for filer discussion on it, my recollection that a lot of folk here agree with that is correct.
Kendall on January 28, 2016 at 12:26 am said:
@Kathodus: Count me as someone who loved Planetfall; let me say that it’ll take a lot to knock it off my short list.
Kyra on February 12, 2016 at 12:58 pm said:
Today’s read — Planetfall, by Emma Newman
As a note, I didn’t realize that Emma Newman of “Planetfall, by Emma Newman” was the same Emma Newman as “Tea and Jeopardy, hosted by Emma Newman”, until I read it. Neat.
I’m going to start with a compliment that may not be a common one — I was very impressed by the structure of this book. The pace at which information is revealed, the interplay between past and present, are beautifully handled. Also, the narrative voice was engrossing. That being said, I’m … not entirely satisfied by the ending. I thought what should have been key moments weren’t given enough preparation by the rest of the text to really have the impact they should have.
I still think it’s well worth reading, but the end left me feeling it was a good book rather than a great one.
lurkertype on February 12, 2016 at 1:54 pm said:
Enough people whose opinion I respect have said that Planetfall doesn’t stick the ending that I’ve not bothered to read it. I have more than enough stuff that’s good all the way through to read.
Dawn Incognito on February 12, 2016 at 6:51 pm said:
I am currently about 25% into Planetfall and really enjoying it. I’m a little saddened by the opinions that it doesn’t stick the landing. But I’m still curious about what the reveal will be. I may return and keyboard smash in a few days :-)
NickPheas on February 15, 2016 at 8:26 am said:
Dawn Incognito on February 20, 2016 at 2:36 pm said:
Not sure where to put this, but thought I’d give a follow-up on Planetfall by Emma Newman.
This book will probably live on in my mind as The One With(show spoiler)
JJ on February 20, 2016 at 5:38 pm said:
I thought the ending was rather rushed as well, and would have liked it to have been developed more.
Dawn Incognito on February 20, 2016 at 6:24 pm said:
JJ on February 20, 2016 at 6:57 pm said:(show spoiler)
Vasha’s thoughts on Planetfall [March 17, 2016]