Books in the pile

Any old topic will do, I suppose.

Books in the pile

Postby Omphalos » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:06 pm

What is everyone planning on reading this January?

I am half way through an anthology of James Tiptree, Jr. called Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. I am also half way through Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Footfall. Sitting on deck I have John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos, the two Chad Oliver books I just got called Far From This Earth and A Star Above It. That should keep my busy until February, though I do have a few back-ups in case I finish early.
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Postby Phaedrus » Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:10 am

Fall of Hyperion and Ilium, both by Dan Simmons.

Of course, I was planning on reading those in December, too. And November. And part of October.

:(
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Postby SandChigger » Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:05 am

I'm over 200 pp into The Terror; also read about half of the "Melange" article in TSoD. :)
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Postby Mandy » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:55 am

I decided to reread The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, by Stephen Donaldson about a month ago. It is a good story, but for some reason I'm finding it a bit tedious.

I need to find something really gripping to read.
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Postby SandChigger » Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:36 pm

The Gripping Hand was fun...if you're into furry mutant aliens. :D

(And have read The Mote in God's Eye.)
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:04 pm

I actually have both of those in the lower pile. I think Im going to do some more reviews of action-oriented SF books this year, and stay away from the high-literary and social stuff. I think I may be boring some people, so it may be time to go back to the stuff I loved when I was a kid. These two books are definately in that category.

Next time Im in Seattle Im going to buy David Drake's Hammer's Slammers books. Three volumes of short stories and novels about tank warfare. I LOVED them when I was young, and Im betting that they hold up well.
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:05 pm

Mandy wrote:I decided to reread The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, by Stephen Donaldson about a month ago. It is a good story, but for some reason I'm finding it a bit tedious.

I need to find something really gripping to read.


Have you read Tim Powers? I could give you some excellent recommendations if you have not.
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Postby Mandy » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:51 pm

Nope, I've never read any Tim Powers. What does he write? I don't care much for hard SF.. I actually prefer the social stuff.



Furry mutant aliens? :)
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:33 pm

Mandy wrote:Nope, I've never read any Tim Powers. What does he write? I don't care much for hard SF.. I actually prefer the social stuff.



Furry mutant aliens? :)


Tim Powers is a about as close to the mid-way as you can get between SF and fantasy. He and a few others are also credited with creating a sub-genre called steampunk, which is SF in a setting with reduced level of tech, often Victorian. Sorry, but not much social stuff there. He is what I would call "gripping" though, as the plots in his books are extremely exciting.




If you want social stuff, go through my book reviews. You will find PLENTY. If you really want something social, try Carol Emshwiller. Here are two reviews I just did:

The Mount

The Secret City

They both have a relatively strong feminist streak through them both too, so if that turns you off, maybe not.




If you want to try Powers, I recommend the following, in this order:

The Anibus Gates: Pure steampunk adventure. NOT to be missed.

The Drawing of the Dark: Fantasy during the Crusades mixed with King Arthur. Amazing. This is as close to social commentary as Powers gets.

Last Call/Earthquake Weather, and...um...theres a third too. Fantasy in modern times. The three books are loosely related. The first one is about tangible luck that can be cultivated and spent.

Dinner at Deviant's Palace: Post apocalyptic. Fantastically good.

Declare: Psychological/fantasy thriller about real life British turncoat spy Kim Philby (who when in the MI-5 helped us close the OSI and open the CIA) after he defected the the Soviet Union.

Three Days to Never: New Weird tale about ghosts.
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Postby Mandy » Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:59 pm

Dinner at Deviant's Palace: Post apocalyptic. Fantastically good.


Ooo.. I like post apocalyptic. I'll look for it at Powells.



I don't mind feminism in my SF, two of my favorite authors are Ursula K. Le Guin and Sherri Tepper. I don't think feminism is a bad word, and I think the idea of feminism got a bad wrap.. although I do think it was stupid to burn bras, I'd rather burn high heels :) ( I know the bra burning thing was blown out of proportion) lol... all that to say that I'd check out some Carol Emshwiller as well.
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:19 pm

Mandy wrote:
Dinner at Deviant's Palace: Post apocalyptic. Fantastically good.


Ooo.. I like post apocalyptic. I'll look for it at Powells.



I don't mind feminism in my SF, two of my favorite authors are Ursula K. Le Guin and Sherri Tepper. I don't think feminism is a bad word, and I think the idea of feminism got a bad wrap.. although I do think it was stupid to burn bras, I'd rather burn high heels :) ( I know the bra burning thing was blown out of proportion) lol... all that to say that I'd check out some Carol Emshwiller as well.


I like feminist stories too. They tend to be much bloodier and wreck civilization more than non-feminist stories. Johanna Russ is good too.

And Dinner at Deviant's Palace is soooooo out of print. But not too hard to find. I see it on Amazon quite a bit in the used sellers book listings. Any hardback you find will be SFBC, unless its the Subterranean copy which costs a good bit more. SFBC these days can be got for $2.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:14 am

Mandy wrote:Furry mutant aliens? :)

Yeah. Head to toe. (I think they had toes.) With three arms. And they routinely "make the trip to Stockholm" and back again. Without the knives. Although some of them carry knives. Built-in.

But it's hard(er) scifi, so....

;)
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:18 am

I'm just hoping to finish the chapter reviews of the six Dune books. After that I don't know. I want to go back and post a few good questions about each, which would mean reading them again, scanning them at least. I think something else would be a nice change of pace.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:35 am

Freakzilla wrote:I'm just hoping to finish the chapter reviews of the six Dune books. After that I don't know. I want to go back and post a few good questions about each, which would mean reading them again, scanning them at least. I think something else would be a nice change of pace.


I was hoping you were going to get a Q&A type thing going later on.
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:42 am

Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I'm just hoping to finish the chapter reviews of the six Dune books. After that I don't know. I want to go back and post a few good questions about each, which would mean reading them again, scanning them at least. I think something else would be a nice change of pace.


I was hoping you were going to get a Q&A type thing going later on.


I've been planning on doing study questions all along. Just doing the summaries was a daunting task in itself so I wanted to get that out of the way first. That way it will all be fairly fresh in my mind to think up good questions.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:09 pm

Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I'm just hoping to finish the chapter reviews of the six Dune books. After that I don't know. I want to go back and post a few good questions about each, which would mean reading them again, scanning them at least. I think something else would be a nice change of pace.


I was hoping you were going to get a Q&A type thing going later on.


I've been planning on doing study questions all along. Just doing the summaries was a daunting task in itself so I wanted to get that out of the way first. That way it will all be fairly fresh in my mind to think up good questions.


Sounds great! You will do this at Arrakeen, where more people can participate? You should add the questions at least here too. Ill bet you could publish something like that. SF literature classes would use it.
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:49 pm

Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I'm just hoping to finish the chapter reviews of the six Dune books. After that I don't know. I want to go back and post a few good questions about each, which would mean reading them again, scanning them at least. I think something else would be a nice change of pace.


I was hoping you were going to get a Q&A type thing going later on.


I've been planning on doing study questions all along. Just doing the summaries was a daunting task in itself so I wanted to get that out of the way first. That way it will all be fairly fresh in my mind to think up good questions.


Sounds great! You will do this at Arrakeen, where more people can participate? You should add the questions at least here too.


Will do.

Ill bet you could publish something like that. SF literature classes would use it.


Wow, I haven't even thought about anything like that. It'll need some tweeking. Some of the first few summaries were done by others before I took it over and I need to go back and redo them before I can say it's all mine. You think there would be that much interest in something like that?
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:07 pm

Its hard to say. For collegate level classes they switch the books pretty frequently, so even if you ever did bring it to market (which is a steep uphill battle, Im told) you would not be guaranteed consistent sales. But Dune (the novel, not necessarially the series) has already produced three study guides written at the HS level (maybe Starmont is at college, I dont know), and two of them are still in print. Starmont is out of print not because of poor sales, but because the publisher failed. Even if you never published it yourself, it may be worth shopping around to those companies to see if they want to buy it. It would go into the SF reference category, so it would never make you a rich man, but you would join a short list of published Dune scholars.

My advice, though, is to think about what to do. If you decide you ever do want to try to market a Q&A Dune study guide is to refrain from putting it up either here or at Arrakeen. As hard a sell as its going to be anyway, you would probably never, ever sell it if you had already put it up for free on the web. Then again, there is always web-based pamphlet sales, which keep some people fed and housed. There are lots of options. None are real wealth makers, but you would make a mark, thats for sure.
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:36 pm

I wouldn't care about making money from it, though I wouldn't turn it down.

Published Dune Scholar sure does have a nice ring to it. :D
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:37 pm

"Perfesser 'Zilla" has a nice ring to it, doesnt it?

And just think! Maybe KJA one day will start to claim that you are part of the crack "PhD Proofreaders" team! Wouldnt that be fun?
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Postby Robspierre » Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:57 pm

Right now I am reading BOY TOY by Barry Lygra (YA) and THE DRUIDS by Paul R. Lonigan from the contributions to the study of religion series.

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Postby Robspierre » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:41 pm

Now reading GENTLEMAN'S GAME by Greg Rucka, a prose novel using his Queen & Country comic series characters.

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Postby Omphalos » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:42 pm

Just started reading Watchmen again last night. Ive read this thing so many times I practically have a review written in my head after issue #1.
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Postby Robspierre » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:46 pm

I seem to recall that a lot of the LOST writers were influenced by WATCHMAN as far as story structure goes. I prefer V FOR VENDETTA and PROMETHIA over WATCHMAN personally but its such a great romp to read. I'm hoping to get to Moore's pornography epic LOST GIRLS in the next month or so.

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Postby Nekhrun » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:50 pm

Omphalos wrote:Just started reading Watchmen again last night. Ive read this thing so many times I practically have a review written in my head after issue #1.

I've been pretty heavily influenced by The Watchmen as well, I'd be curious to see an Omphalos amateur review of it.
Robspierre wrote:Now reading GENTLEMAN'S GAME by Greg Rucka

Did you read his novelization of Batman's No Man's Land? I thought it really added a lot to that storyline a few years back. He was a great Batman writer.
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:00 pm

I love Watchmen. One of Moore's best.

Reading the manga Five Star Stories right now and eagerly anticipating Iain M. Banks newest Culture novel.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:02 pm

Robspierre wrote:I seem to recall that a lot of the LOST writers were influenced by WATCHMAN as far as story structure goes. I


I never thought about that, Rob, but that kind of makes sense. A bunch of emotionally wounded heroes, caught in a dystopic society with monsters and doomsday weapons at their fingertips, but just beyond their control. And Locke definately does have some Rorsarch qualities about him. He's most wounded by abandonment, and is pushed to do what feels morally right to him, no matter what the objective reality of that is, even though he is only slightly as sociopathic.
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Postby Robspierre » Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:16 am

Sorry Nekhrun, I've only read Rucka's Kodiac and Queen and Country prose works but you are right, he was a damn good Batman writer and I must say, I enjoyed his Wonder Woman work as well.

I saw him and several other DC writers on a panel at San Diego in 2003, good stuff.

Omph, i know of one current comic writer who has written for LOST, Brian K. Vaughn, writer of Y THE LAST MAN.

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Postby Ragabash » Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:47 am

GamePlayer wrote:I love Watchmen. One of Moore's best.

Reading the manga Five Star Stories right now and eagerly anticipating Iain M. Banks newest Culture novel.


I'm a huge fan of The Watchmen. Up until recently, I would have agreed that it was his finest work. However, after reading the unabriged version of From Hell, I have to change that opinion. Man, that book is TASTY. Talk about turning Victoriana on its ear with a minimum of effort, and making it explosive and satisfying.
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:02 pm

Ragabash wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:I love Watchmen. One of Moore's best.

Reading the manga Five Star Stories right now and eagerly anticipating Iain M. Banks newest Culture novel.


I'm a huge fan of The Watchmen. Up until recently, I would have agreed that it was his finest work. However, after reading the unabriged version of From Hell, I have to change that opinion. Man, that book is TASTY. Talk about turning Victoriana on its ear with a minimum of effort, and making it explosive and satisfying.


Ive never heard of "From Hell" at all. I really dont collect or read graphic novels though.

Has anyone seen that comic adaptation of I Am Legend from the original Matheson text? I just saw it in the airport the other day, and have not read it yet. Was thinking of getting it.
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Postby Robspierre » Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:48 pm

From Hell is amazing, the appendices are just as worthwhile as the regular tale. I own a page of original art from FROM HELL signed by Eddie Campbell.

I've flipped through the I AM LEGEND adaption but really can't say how good it is, its black and white and it looked good at a glance.

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Postby SandChigger » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:12 pm

From Hell?

Was that the basis of the movie with Johnny Depp by the same (I think) name?
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:39 pm

SandChigger wrote:From Hell?

Was that the basis of the movie with Johnny Depp by the same (I think) name?


God, I hope not. If it is, no fucking way I'm gonna bother with it.
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:42 pm

Robspierre wrote:From Hell is amazing, the appendices are just as worthwhile as the regular tale. I own a page of original art from FROM HELL signed by Eddie Campbell.

I've flipped through the I AM LEGEND adaption but really can't say how good it is, its black and white and it looked good at a glance.

Rob


I saw a prison cell at the end of the adaptation of I am Legend, so it looks at first glance true to the novel. I think I'm going to get it.
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Postby Robspierre » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:45 pm

Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:From Hell?

Was that the basis of the movie with Johnny Depp by the same (I think) name?


God, I hope not. If it is, no fucking way I'm gonna bother with it.



It is but there were there were numerous changes made to the source material, its very different from the movie.

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Postby Omphalos » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:29 pm

Robspierre wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:From Hell?

Was that the basis of the movie with Johnny Depp by the same (I think) name?


God, I hope not. If it is, no fucking way I'm gonna bother with it.



It is but there were there were numerous changes made to the source material, its very different from the movie.

Rob


Oh. Seriously? That movie was the worst piece of crud. It was like that other one Freak and I were talking about; Event Horizon. People keep telling me how good it is, but I just don't know why they say that, because it really, really sucked.
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Postby SandChigger » Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:31 am

Ugh. "Event Horizon" was one of the biggest wastes of time ever.

I kept expecting Pinhead to pop out from between the rolly-polly engine bits and ask:

DO I LOOK LIKE SOMEONE WHO CARES ABOUT SAM NEAL'S REPUTATION?!

:D
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Postby Nekhrun » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:59 am

Robspierre wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:From Hell?

Was that the basis of the movie with Johnny Depp by the same (I think) name?


God, I hope not. If it is, no fucking way I'm gonna bother with it.



It is but there were there were numerous changes made to the source material, its very different from the movie.

Rob

I think that's just one of the reasons why Grant no longer wants anything to do with adaptations. He even requested that his name be taken off the credits in V for Vendetta. I'm pretty sure The Watchman was at one time optioned for a movie, but it's too bad he'd never have anything to do with it.
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Postby GamePlayer » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:15 am

I have to agree that "From Hell" the film was bloody awful. I haven't read the graphic novel, but I surely wouldn't sully Moore's book by ever associating it with the film adaptation. I've read enough of Moore's work to know he does quality writing more often than not. I'd give the book a chance if I were you.

Personally, I can't really blame Moore all that much for deriding the film adaptations of his books. From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were absolute crap and even though I initially liked V For Vendetta, the more I watch that film, the more I'm put off by the modern politicizing the filmmakers added unnecessarily to the plot. Moore's graphic novel was far superior and had none of that polarizing, neo-Hollywood bullshit. The original was an indictment of government period.

Oh yeah, and Event Horizon was shite :)
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Postby Omphalos » Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:09 am

Nekhrun wrote:
Robspierre wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:From Hell?

Was that the basis of the movie with Johnny Depp by the same (I think) name?


God, I hope not. If it is, no fucking way I'm gonna bother with it.



It is but there were there were numerous changes made to the source material, its very different from the movie.

Rob

I think that's just one of the reasons why Grant no longer wants anything to do with adaptations. He even requested that his name be taken off the credits in V for Vendetta. I'm pretty sure The Watchman was at one time optioned for a movie, but it's too bad he'd never have anything to do with it.


V for Vendetta was truly awful too. Ragabash and I actually got into a heated argument about it.

I put League on twice, and fell asleep both times. That thing was a piece of shit.
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Postby Robspierre » Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:15 pm

Watchmen is being made by the bloke who directed 300 so it should be a close adaption.

I love the LoEG books and just finished THE BLACK DOSSIER which was a fun little romp. Trying to get through a bit more of my reading pile before I tackle LOST GIRLS.

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Postby GamePlayer » Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:23 pm

I like Zack Snyder, but I have to say I honestly don't expect much from this next Moore adaptation. Perhaps I'm just being negative, but I don't think Snyder is the right man for the job. Then again, this could be a chance for Snyder to display some chops and create a film with a lot more substance than the norm. If not, he'll always be welcome to direct more horror films and action epics. They were great :)
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Postby Robspierre » Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:32 pm

I didn't say it would be good :wink: but yeah it will be interesting to say the least.

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Postby Omphalos » Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:53 pm

GamePlayer wrote:I like Zack Snyder, but I have to say I honestly don't expect much from this next Moore adaptation. Perhaps I'm just being negative, but I don't think Snyder is the right man for the job. Then again, this could be a chance for Snyder to display some chops and create a film with a lot more substance than the norm. If not, he'll always be welcome to direct more horror films and action epics. They were great :)


Watchmen needs a miniseries. It just too deep for anything else.
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Postby Robspierre » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:25 pm

Just finished PRIVATE WARS by Greg Rucka. Tara Chace rocks!

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Postby SandChigger » Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:07 pm

I've only seen "V..." once and liked it well enough for what it was. Maybe it wouldn't hold up after repeated viewings, though. (Note: it was on one of my satellite movie channels for a month, so I had the opportunity to watch it more than once. I didn't, so maybe that says something?)

But "League"...that was pure crap. (Isn't that one of the movies Kevin has done the novelization for? Talk about a waste of effort.)

Oh well, I haven't read any of the original "graphic novels" (sorry, but that term still makes me chuckle), so I'm just going from the movie versions.
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Postby Omphalos » Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:39 pm

SandChigger wrote:I've only seen "V..." once and liked it well enough for what it was. Maybe it wouldn't hold up after repeated viewings, though. (Note: it was on one of my satellite movie channels for a month, so I had the opportunity to watch it more than once. I didn't, so maybe that says something?)

But "League"...that was pure crap. (Isn't that one of the movies Kevin has done the novelization for? Talk about a waste of effort.)

Oh well, I haven't read any of the original "graphic novels" (sorry, but that term still makes me chuckle), so I'm just going from the movie versions.


I think Kevvie did the movie tie-in for League. Imagine how riveting that one must have been.
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Postby Ragabash » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:39 pm

Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:From Hell?

Was that the basis of the movie with Johnny Depp by the same (I think) name?


God, I hope not. If it is, no fucking way I'm gonna bother with it.


It is. Don't let the movie fool you. As with most of Moore's material, they slaughtered it to make a buck. The original is over the top good.
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Postby Ragabash » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:40 pm

Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:I've only seen "V..." once and liked it well enough for what it was. Maybe it wouldn't hold up after repeated viewings, though. (Note: it was on one of my satellite movie channels for a month, so I had the opportunity to watch it more than once. I didn't, so maybe that says something?)

But "League"...that was pure crap. (Isn't that one of the movies Kevin has done the novelization for? Talk about a waste of effort.)

Oh well, I haven't read any of the original "graphic novels" (sorry, but that term still makes me chuckle), so I'm just going from the movie versions.


I think Kevvie did the movie tie-in for League. Imagine how riveting that one must have been.


Again, the movie version of League didn't bother with much fidelity to Moore's original work. The comic League was pretty good, but not his best work.
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:42 pm

You gotta let me see the pile that you have, bro. I still want to get those zombie comics you loaned me a long time ago. I think I read the first one or two and loved it, then never got the rest. Do you know what Im talking about; what they are called? Because I dont remember.
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Postby Ragabash » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:46 pm

Omphalos wrote:You gotta let me see the pile that you have, bro. I still want to get those zombie comics you loaned me a long time ago. I think I read the first one or two and loved it, then never got the rest. Do you know what Im talking about; what they are called? Because I dont remember.


The Walking Dead, which is fantastic. :D

Sadly, I borrowed most of these comics we're discussing. I want to backfill my collection, however, so when I get them, you can borrow them.

Right now I'm in the middle of 100 Bullets (also borrowed, but excellent) and The Invisibles (strange, esoteric and very tasty).
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:47 pm

Ragabash wrote:
Omphalos wrote:You gotta let me see the pile that you have, bro. I still want to get those zombie comics you loaned me a long time ago. I think I read the first one or two and loved it, then never got the rest. Do you know what Im talking about; what they are called? Because I dont remember.


The Walking Dead, which is fantastic. :D

Sadly, I borrowed most of these comics we're discussing. I want to backfill my collection, however, so when I get them, you can borrow them.

Right now I'm in the middle of 100 Bullets (also borrowed, but excellent) and The Invisibles (strange, esoteric and very tasty).


I just finished a reread of Watchmen last night. Great book. I started Charles Harness' The Paradox Men.
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Postby Robspierre » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:18 pm

I'm four volumes into Transmetropolitan which fucking hilarious. Queen & Country is a great thriller, and I've enjoyed Hellblazer throughout the years, the movie version Constantine was ok, but Keanu Reeves os not John Constantine by any stretch of the imagination. Preacher still rocks my world every time I read it.

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Postby Omphalos » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:21 pm

GamePlayer wrote:I like Zack Snyder, but I have to say I honestly don't expect much from this next Moore adaptation. Perhaps I'm just being negative, but I don't think Snyder is the right man for the job. Then again, this could be a chance for Snyder to display some chops and create a film with a lot more substance than the norm. If not, he'll always be welcome to direct more horror films and action epics. They were great :)


What of Moore's has Snyder done in the past, GamePlayer?
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Postby GamePlayer » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:01 pm

He hasn't. I said "this" next Moore adaptation, not "his." Other than V For Vendetta, I don't really know who directed From Hell or League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and I really don't care to know, LOL. :)

Zack Snyder has done the Dawn of the Dead (2004) remake and the action epic 300. I've really enjoyed both, but like I said, as well made and enjoyable as they are, there isn't much substance to either. Granted, Snyder is the shit right now, so I can see why the studio's gave him Watchmen after Aronofsky balked. But to say I'm concerned is an understatement. Snyder is gonna have to dig his heels in deep to pull this one off to my satisfaction.
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Postby Robspierre » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:24 am

The Hughes Brothers directed FROM HELL and while it wasn't the greatest i respect them, the decisions they made in adaption and the reasoning for doing so makes for a fascinating look into the screenwriting and film making.

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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:00 am

I've not seen any of their other films. Production wise, From Hell was good even if the script was awful.
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Postby Robspierre » Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:36 am

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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:14 pm

Yeah, I already check out their filmography, but on the IMDB. Thanks anyway.
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Postby Phaedrus » Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:51 pm

Back on topic, I never really got into Ilium, but I'm over 100 pages into Fall of Hyperion.

And I picked up 7 Steps to Midnight by Richard Matheson, which should be a quick read.

Also planning a reread of the Dune books and LotR sometime.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:40 pm

Just started The Healer's War last night, by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.
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Postby Omphalos » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:21 pm

Got bored with The Healer's War, and picked up Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick.
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Postby tanzeelat » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:45 am

Stations of the Tide is very good, although I didn't like quite as much as I did the first time I read it many years ago.

My to read pile is embarrassingly large. I just finished Charles Stross' Glasshouse - well, I've been acquainted with the bloke for years, so I thought I should read something of his. And Glasshouse looked like it appealed to me the most. Basing a civilisation on network architecture was interesting, although he had to stretch the metaphor a bit in places. Unfortunately, the book's ending was weak - the answer to the plot wasn't as inventive as had been promised, and it all finished with a big shoot 'em up.

After I've finished the book I'm currently reading - an anthology of WWII poetry and prose - I'll probably make a start on Richard Morgan's Black Man.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:58 pm

I'm making my way through Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar.

After that I'm thinking of reading some more of Le Guin's Hainish novels.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:05 pm

tanzeelat wrote:Stations of the Tide is very good, although I didn't like quite as much as I did the first time I read it many years ago.


The only Swanwick that I like more as I re-read it is Griffin's Egg. Most of the rest doesn't stand up very well. Hes like Ben Bova like that, and John Varley.
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Postby Mandy » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:38 pm

Liege-Killer wrote:I'm making my way through Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar.

After that I'm thinking of reading some more of Le Guin's Hainish novels.


I just recently.. well in the last year anyway, got hooked on Le Guin. I love The Dispossessed, can't remember if you said you read that one or not.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:01 pm

I actually like the political aspects of The Dispossessed more than the gender stuff in Left Hand. Ive got five Hanish books sitting in the pile for review too.
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Postby Robspierre » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:15 pm

LeGuin is just good stuff all around.

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Postby Liege-Killer » Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:47 pm

Mandy wrote:I love The Dispossessed, can't remember if you said you read that one or not.


Yeah, I read it not too long ago.

Omphalos wrote:I actually like the political aspects of The Dispossessed more than the gender stuff in Left Hand.


The gender stuff didn't really strike me as all that important. I actually like the political aspects of Left Hand more than the political aspects of Dispossessed.
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Postby Mandy » Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:51 pm

Me too, Liege. I didn't pay much attention to the gender issues except in how it effected the politics and how Genly dealt with them.

Have you read The Telling? I loved that one too, I think I liked it better than The Dispossessed.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:57 pm

Mandy wrote:Have you read The Telling? I loved that one too, I think I liked it better than The Dispossessed.


I bought a 1st edition off ebay several weeks ago, and I'm wondering if it got lost in the mail. :cry:
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:00 pm

Liege-Killer wrote:
Mandy wrote:I love The Dispossessed, can't remember if you said you read that one or not.


Yeah, I read it not too long ago.

Omphalos wrote:I actually like the political aspects of The Dispossessed more than the gender stuff in Left Hand.


The gender stuff didn't really strike me as all that important. I actually like the political aspects of Left Hand more than the political aspects of Dispossessed.


Ill have to address that when I review it.
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:58 pm

Perhaps off topic, I read Ender's Game a month or two ago. I hadn't read it in years. For some reason, I just didn't like it as much as I did before. Maybe it was already knowing how it ended, but I had an incredibly difficult time suspending my disbelief. Although I realize its intended to some extent to be this way, the kids just don't seem to have any aspect of youth in the characters. Its like they are adults from day one. Granted, Ender and his siblings have the weight of the world on their shoulders to some extent or another, but when I first read it I could see the conflict between immaturity and enormous responsibility and oppression. I just couldn't relate to it this time. It was very dissapointing to me, as I always considered it one of the best Sci Fi books. I've been meaning to post a comment on your book review site Omph, but figured I just do it here.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:14 pm

Ill bump the review over here, if anyone else wants to comment.
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:46 pm

Omphalos wrote:Ill bump the review over here, if anyone else wants to comment.


Feel free to move my comments to that section.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:24 pm

Ah. Its too hard for me to think about how to do at work. Besides, there are a bunch of comments over there already. Oh well.
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Postby GamePlayer » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:51 pm

Big O's note to self: must learn all admin panel commands as part of fun of moderating :)
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:03 pm

Yes, yes. Im a dungeon master newbie. Ill get it down soon.

That reminds me, does anyone else love Patton Oswalt's AD&D character on Reno 911?
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Postby Liege-Killer » Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:49 pm

RE: Ender's Game

I, too, thought it was a fantastic book the first time I read it, but got less enjoyment out of it the second time through. I don't know why that is.

It could partly be that I'm just not big on re-reading books (or re-watching movies for that matter). There are so many books out there, I'd rather read something I haven't read before. It's rare that I read a book a second time unless it's one of a few cherished favorites, or unless it's part of some kind of reading group.
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Postby Star Dust » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:27 am

My Goodreads.com link. Includes "shelves" on what I'm reading, what I've read and what I want to read.

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/650582
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:29 pm

Just started "I Dream of a Drowned Star City," by S.P. Somtow last night. Should finish tonight, it reads so quickly.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:34 pm

I went to a book sale at the library in a nearby city today. There was a table of sci-fi with a few hundred books, but I kid you not, fully half of them were Star Trek and Star Wars novels. :(

And some of the other books I was interested in were too damaged to consider.

All in all, I came away with a lousy two paperbacks. Pathetic.
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:57 pm

Thought I answered this? Oh well. I guess I brain-farted and forgot to his Submit.

That totally sucks, L-K. What time did you arrive? I try to be in the first batch so I get my pick of the lot.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:50 pm

Going to start Dan Simmons' collection Prayers to Broken Stones this afton. :)
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Postby Liege-Killer » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:10 pm

Omphalos wrote:Thought I answered this? Oh well. I guess I brain-farted and forgot to his Submit.


:lol:

You hit "edit" instead of "quote" -- you added your reply to my post.
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:26 pm

Man, I am always fucking doing that. Ill go fix it. Sorry!
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Postby Phaedrus » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:58 pm

Recently finished the Fall of Hyperion. My thought was that, damn, I wish Dan Simmons had written the Butlerian Jihad prequels. There's a guy who can write a realistic AI vs. Mankind battle, without using bad cliches or unbelievable characters.

I don't really know what's "in the pile," so to speak. I've got some PKD to read, a lot of nonfiction, and some random stuff, but nothing really big on the list. I may visit a bookstore soon.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:35 am

3/4 of the way through The Black Cloud, by Fred Hoyle. After that, I'm thinking some Heinlein is in order.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:36 am

Phaedrus wrote:Recently finished the Fall of Hyperion. My thought was that, damn, I wish Dan Simmons had written the Butlerian Jihad prequels. There's a guy who can write a realistic AI vs. Mankind battle, without using bad cliches or unbelievable characters.

:D

Haven't I been telling you that for the last six months or so?! ;)
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Postby Phaedrus » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:16 am

SandChigger wrote:
Phaedrus wrote:Recently finished the Fall of Hyperion. My thought was that, damn, I wish Dan Simmons had written the Butlerian Jihad prequels. There's a guy who can write a realistic AI vs. Mankind battle, without using bad cliches or unbelievable characters.

:D

Haven't I been telling you that for the last six months or so?! ;)


Probably. I haven't been paying attention.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:01 pm

Nobody listens to me mumble mumble mumble...

:D
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Postby Star Dust » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:14 pm

eh? you say sumthin? :P
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Postby Mandy » Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:13 pm

I am right in the middle of Catch-22. I love it, it's so different. Can't believe I never read it before.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:27 pm

Mandy wrote:I am right in the middle of Catch-22. I love it, it's so different. Can't believe I never read it before.


That is a good one. I have not read it for many years. Did you ever see the movie?
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Postby Robspierre » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:09 pm

ALL THE PRETTY HORSES Cormac McCarthy

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Postby Mandy » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:49 am

Omphalos wrote:
Mandy wrote:I am right in the middle of Catch-22. I love it, it's so different. Can't believe I never read it before.


That is a good one. I have not read it for many years. Did you ever see the movie?


Nope, missed that one. Was it any good?
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:07 am

I'm about to read A Walk in the Woods by Bryson. My wife keeps insisting I read it....
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:12 am

Mandy wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Mandy wrote:I am right in the middle of Catch-22. I love it, it's so different. Can't believe I never read it before.


That is a good one. I have not read it for many years. Did you ever see the movie?


Nope, missed that one. Was it any good?


Very good. Get it after you read the book, though.
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Postby Star Dust » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:28 am

I just picked the audio book for Bryson's History of Everything. Work is somewhat bearable now.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:31 am

Tleilax Master B wrote:I'm about to read A Walk in the Woods by Bryson. My wife keeps insisting I read it....


A good book. I hiked the App. Trail when I was younger. It was every bit as rough as he notes it is.
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Postby Ragabash » Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:18 pm

Robspierre wrote:ALL THE PRETTY HORSES Cormac McCarthy

Rob


That's a burly goddamn book. I love it.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:26 pm

He reminds me a lot of JG Ballard. If you like McCarthy you probably will like Ballard too (his dystopian stuff that is, like The Crystal World, The Drowned World, High Rise, Crash, etc, etc).
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:54 am

Omphalos wrote:
Tleilax Master B wrote:I'm about to read A Walk in the Woods by Bryson. My wife keeps insisting I read it....


A good book. I hiked the App. Trail when I was younger. It was every bit as rough as he notes it is.


I'm jealous, that's something I have always wanted to do. At the risk of sounding like KJA ( :evil: don't even imply it chumps), I'm actually a big outdoorsman. Backpacking is one of my big hobbies. I would love to do the App Trail.
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Postby Freakzilla » Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:24 am

I went for a week one October in PA , it was beautifull.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:25 am

Tleilax Master B wrote:Backpacking is one of my big hobbies.

Yes, we've seen the pix with Master C in one. :D
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Postby Liege-Killer » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:51 pm

Finally, at long last, I finished off Stand on Zanzibar (actually it didn't take me quite as long as I thought it would). Now, I really really want a copy of Chad Mulligan's The Hipcrime Vocab! :lol:

I started in on Le Guin's Rocannon's World this morning (I have the Three Hainish Novels volume). I also finally got my copy of The Telling in the mail, after coming to believe the USPS had lost it.
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:32 pm

Ive got that omnibus edition too, and it and two other Ekumen novels are sitting in the pile. I just haven't had the heart to start them all.

I did start Chad Oliver's A Star Above It last night. Some of the best SF ever written, as far as I am concerned. Though Ive only read a bit of his stuff in the past, I'm really looking forward to his two volume series that I got for Christmas this year. This is one of them, and its looking awesome.
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Postby Robspierre » Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:07 pm

Ragabash wrote:
Robspierre wrote:ALL THE PRETTY HORSES Cormac McCarthy

Rob


That's a burly goddamn book. I love it.


Me too, he's been tramping around my area for the last several years doing his research.

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Postby Phaedrus » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:40 am

I just read C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters.

I thought it sucked tremendous balls. Why do people think he's a good writer? Or a good thinker, for that matter?
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Postby tanzeelat » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:04 am

I've jusy started Iain Banks' new novel, Matter.
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Postby GamePlayer » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:45 am

tanzeelat wrote:I've jusy started Iain Banks' new novel, Matter.


It's out? Damn! It's a fucking holiday today; nothing will be open. Grrr. This one really sneaked by me, especially since I was waiting and watching for it. Then again, I hope it's actually available here in Canada. I'll give Chapters a call and see if they are open today.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:48 pm

I finished with Rocannon's World. Wow, must be the shortest novel I've ever read; almost closer to a novelette. I'm keeping that omnibus edition at work to read during lunch and breaks, so tomorrow I'll be starting Planet of Exile.

At home, I've started on an ORB -- an official Omphalos-Reviewed Book! :wink: That would be The Joy Makers by James Gunn.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:04 pm

I got the Three Hainish Novels collection YEARS ago when I was a member of the Science Fiction Book Club. Reread it a few summers back while home in the States. I do love Le Guin. :)
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Postby Mandy » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:10 am

I love her because no matter how far into a reading slump I am, I can always count on one of her books to bring me out of it. She's right up there with Frank Herbert in my opinion.
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:30 am

Just started the SFWA's collection of the best short stories in SF up to 1964, edited by Silverberg. Im also finishing We, by Yevgeny Zamaytin (pardon my spelling. I know that is wrong, but the book is still in the crapper and I'm too lazy to go get it).
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:18 pm

Finished a few other things and now Im finishing up the SFWA book, but I think Ill start A Canticle for Liebowitz tomorrow.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:45 pm

Started Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep last night. I've heard great things about this author, but this is my first taste. So far so good.
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Postby SandChigger » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:36 pm

Is that the one where the title is a reference to an I Jing hexagram?

(Fire over Water, forming a condition of Transition? ;) )
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Postby Liege-Killer » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:37 pm

SandChigger wrote:Is that the one where the title is a reference to an I Jing hexagram?

(Fire over Water, forming a condition of Transition? ;) )


I wouldn't have the first clue what a condition of Transition is...... so uhh..... no idea. Maybe someone else can take that one. :lol:
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Postby Nekhrun » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:31 pm

I just picked up Prelude to Foundation and Foundation. They have been recommended to me for years and I just never got around to them. I guess I will see if it was worth the wait.
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Postby tanzeelat » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:22 am

Foundation is the first book in the Foundation trilogy. Prelude to Foundation was written years later. I remember enjoying the Foundation trilogy when I was a kid, but I reread it recently and thought it was terrible. Asimov is definitely a Golden Age of sf writer - i.e., he should only be read when you're thirteen years old.
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Postby Nekhrun » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:43 am

tanzeelat wrote:Foundation is the first book in the Foundation trilogy. Prelude to Foundation was written years later. I remember enjoying the Foundation trilogy when I was a kid, but I reread it recently and thought it was terrible. Asimov is definitely a Golden Age of sf writer - i.e., he should only be read when you're thirteen years old.

Not good to hear.
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:50 am

Dont worry about that, Nekhrun. The Foundation books are dated, but most people love them. Even if you finish Foundation and think that you have read better, there are still ideas and concepts in there that will stay with you for years and years. I think that they are almost required reading for SF genre lovers.

As for it being "terrible," well, that is one person's opinion. I myself dont love it as much as I used to. But the other big book that kind of falls into this category, Stranger in a Strange Land, I hate even more now than Foundadion, and I loved them both as a kid.

The first five novelettes of Foundation will probably grip you. The last four novellas are not as strong, but are good. You should enjoy it your first time through. I have a review too, if you want to see what you are in for (with SPOILERS, though!!)
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:25 am

Just started Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut. Excellent book!
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Postby tanzeelat » Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:54 am

Read it many, many years ago. The movie is... disappointing. Why can't Hollywood remake that instead of bloody The Day The Earth Stood Still? Oh, wait. The film of Slaughterhouse Five flopped. They wouldn't remake a flop. It might flop again.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:27 pm

Hey Omph! I just finished The Joy Makers; loved it, loved it, loved it, instant favorite! Great philosophical, thinking man's science fiction. I will definitely be getting more of Gunn's work. By the way, I still need you to set me up for commenting on your review site, please.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:34 pm

Liege-Killer wrote:Hey Omph! I just finished The Joy Makers; loved it, loved it, loved it, instant favorite! Great philosophical, thinking man's science fiction. I will definitely be getting more of Gunn's work. By the way, I still need you to set me up for commenting on your review site, please.


Sorry, L-K. I completely forgot. :oops:

Check your PM box.

My favorite book by Gunn is The Listeners, but the Immortals is really, really good too. Kampus runs a close fourth place for me.

That reminds me, too. I don't think I ever finished my review of The Joy Makers! :oops: :oops:
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:42 pm

Ick! That review is horribly written. Ill redo it tonight or tomorrow.
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Postby Ragabash » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:32 pm

Omphalos wrote:Just started Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut. Excellent book!


That's such a good book, I need to read it again. I've reread Breakfast of Champions and Cat's Cradle recently, both were staggering. It's amazing how Vonnegut's writing, while superficially dated, transcends time and manages to be relevant today. Thank god he left behind such a rich legacy.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:37 pm

Me too, but Breakfast of Champions? I'm pretty sure that was made up entirely of chapters he cut out of all his other books.

I saw a copy of a paperback written by Kilgore Trout the last time I was in Seattle. I think it was ghosted by Farmer, and I almost bought it.
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Postby Freakzilla » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:15 pm

I recommend Julian May's Saga of Pliocene Exile, starting with The Many Colored Land. Her Galactic Milieu and Intervention series are good too. All set in the same near future universe with many of the same characters.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:06 pm

I going to read those soon and review them, Freak.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:08 pm

I just started A Princess of Mars, and Im just finishing up A Canticle for Liebowitz.
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:18 pm

Every time I hear that name, I can't help but think of the famous photographer :)
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:49 am

Am 50 pages into Consider Phlebas.

This is my first Banks. I was caught on the first page with the factory ship.

Dayum.

...

WHY THE FUCK DID BRIAN HERBERT HAVE TO CHOOSE A FUCKING HACK AS HIS COAUTHOR ON THE NEW DUNE BOOKS??????

Ahem...sorry. :oops:
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Postby Freakzilla » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:36 am

Brain damage? I guess you could call it Brian Damage.
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:04 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

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Postby Omphalos » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:07 pm

Finishing The Martian General's Daughter this evening, though the main character is no a Martian. He just hung out there for a while.
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Postby SandChigger » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:45 am

Now three or four chapters into The Player of Games. (Go T'pog! ;) )

QUITE enjoyed Consider Phlebas. :D

The time frame revealed in the Appendices was a bit of a shock. (What, then, does "human" mean, really? Is this a Battlestar-Galactica-type universe? I'm deliberately avoiding online synopses and such, so as not to spoil. ;) )
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Postby Robspierre » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:30 am

Coming up when the semster is over next tuesday, THE ROAD Cormac McCarthy.

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Postby Freakzilla » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:51 am

I've only got a few chapters left on each of the Dune books besides Messiah, after that I'm thinking about doing a chapter-by-chapter of FH's other books.
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:17 am

Just started a few Heinlein books.
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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:21 pm

SandChigger wrote:Now three or four chapters into The Player of Games. (Go T'pog! ;) )

QUITE enjoyed Consider Phlebas. :D

The time frame revealed in the Appendices was a bit of a shock. (What, then, does "human" mean, really? Is this a Battlestar-Galactica-type universe? I'm deliberately avoiding online synopses and such, so as not to spoil. ;) )


AWESOME! Another fan :)

I think you should read some more Culture books before I answer that question. I don't want to spoil anything for you (though I'm having trouble remembering where exactly they deal with that). Anyway, read The Player of Games and we'll talk :)
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:31 am

:wink:

I was kinda surprised by what happened to Horza, you know? :)

And by what Balveda later did.

But I'm glad I picked the winning side. :twisted:
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Postby GamePlayer » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:04 am

Yeah. There was actually quite a few parts that were crazy. That whole sequence on the island was creepy. But it was great how Horza got out of it. I love Horza's nails :)

I loved how the last third of the book is written in consecutively shorter and shorter chapters. The climax is just astonishing. I couldn't put the damn book down; I had to keep reading the next chapter and the next and the next. It became like a race and I remember it was getting difficult to sit still. I recall reading some chapters standing. :)

The Idirans were actually quite formidable and very technically advanced (though I sometimes wonder how they could have ever become so advanced with such backward, stunted thinking), they just had no clue what they were getting into. I recall some reviewers making parallels between the Idiran/Culture War and the Vietnam war (though The Culture was ALWAYS the more powerful side in this case) because of the poor, unthinking way in which the Idirans tried to fight the war. I thought it was brilliant the way Banks wrote about the war, showing the reality of a conflict in space where one empire has no fixed assests and is in fact entirely mobile.

It's amazing how much I rmemeber of that book. I've not reread it for several years, but I can recall so much from it. Good stuffs :)
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:59 am

Um...I was trying to forget the island bits (erp), thank you. :mrgreen:

I especially liked the "Murphy's Law in Action" aspect of so much of what happened. ;)

This was a nice touch:

Nevertheless, the chronicles of the galaxy's elder civilisations rate the Idiran-Culture war as the most significant conflict of the past fifty thousand years, and one of those singularly interesting Events they see so rarely these days. :)
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Postby GamePlayer » Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:00 pm

*evil grin* My pleasure (mwuahahahahaha)

Oh yeah, the final section of the book was just great. I was blown away by the sense of tension and momentum in the writing. I was utterly hypnotized. Great stuff.

Hehehe, no doubt a not-so-subtle dig against the sorry state of sci-fi in general. :)
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:09 pm

Yeah, I didn't comment on that..."crescendo" last night, but I know what you mean.

Oh-oh. :D



(I was up and down with an upset stomach last night, so I got a bit further into TPoG. Gurgeh has just been man...er, machine-handled and propositioned. ;) )
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Postby inhuien » Thu May 01, 2008 4:32 am

GamePlayer, did you get Matter yet?
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby GamePlayer » Thu May 01, 2008 7:47 am

No, not yet. It's simply not coming around here. I'm going to have to import it.
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Postby SandChigger » Thu May 01, 2008 2:02 pm

Worked for me. ;)



(The only Amazon branch I haven't done business with and have an account on is the China one. :shock: )
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu May 01, 2008 4:31 pm

I've got a Japanese account, but not a UK one. Looks like it's time to get one. Should be a lot easier in english :)
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Postby SandChigger » Thu May 01, 2008 7:35 pm

What, you think they use English on the UK site? :shock:

:wink:
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Postby inhuien » Fri May 02, 2008 5:40 am

SandChigger wrote:What, you think they use English on the UK site? :shock:

:wink:

Aye, the Queens ya Bam :P
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby SandChigger » Fri May 02, 2008 9:32 am

God rest thee, merry (bouncy) gentleman, I'm sure. :D

(Wheeeee!)
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Postby SandChigger » Thu May 15, 2008 6:22 pm

Currently halfway through "The State Of The Art", Bank's second Culture story in the collection by the same name.

Mr Teg and I swapped books last week when he was up for the PoDcast. He's reading my copy of Brian Herbert's master(batori?)ful Timeweb and I'm going to read Sidney's Comet before proceeding on to Bank's Use of Weapons.

A quick glance at a random page or two in the BH was enough to make me wonder if it might not be interesting. The style is definitely different from that in Timeweb...so you have to wonder:

- How much influence (or intervention?) was there from FH on BH when he was writing the book?

- How much influence has the collaboration with KJA had on BH's writing?

and

- How much of the execrable Timeweb is due to BH's early senility and obvious mental deficiencies?

(Seriously, WHY on earth did the family ever let that book see print?! It's THAT bad. :shock: )
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Postby Liege-Killer » Thu May 15, 2008 8:31 pm

SandChigger wrote:- How much of the execrable Timeweb is due to BH's early senility and obvious mental deficiencies?

(Seriously, WHY on earth did the family ever let that book see print?! It's THAT bad. :shock: )


No idea about all that, but I once started reading BH's The Race for God, and it was pretty bad; I don't think I even made it through 50 pages before giving up.
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Postby Freakzilla » Thu May 15, 2008 11:04 pm

My wife brought home a stack of Edgar Rice Burroughs books, any good?
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Postby Omphalos » Thu May 15, 2008 11:17 pm

Hit or miss. Pellucidar is great. The Barsoom series is pretty good (check out the book reviews for a pretty thorough review of A Princess of Mars, the first), At Earth's core is wonderful, The Venus books are OK to pretty good. There are way too many of those damn Tarzan books, and I dont like any of them. I like the Moon Maid and The Land That Time Forgot.

He was pretty prolific. What do you have?
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Postby tanzeelat » Fri May 16, 2008 1:02 am

Lin Carter was a hack, but his Jandar of Callisto books are a pretty good homage to ERB's Barsoom books.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri May 16, 2008 8:49 am

Never read Lin Carter before. That's the author's name?
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Postby Freakzilla » Fri May 16, 2008 8:58 am

Omphalos wrote:Pellucidar is great.


She got a bunch of those, five maybe. I'll throw them on the pile.

There's a whole bunch of "Martian Tales" books and one Tarzan. They sound juvenile, maybe my 11-y-o will read them.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri May 16, 2008 9:06 am

I think a kid would really like them. Give A Princess of Mars a try and see what you think.


Though Ive never read but the first Pellucidar book.
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Postby SandChigger » Thu May 22, 2008 4:48 pm

I've started Sidney's Comet, but since it has thus far been "before conk out reading" I haven't progressed very far. I fear it's going to be slow going. (I dropped it once and nearly a second time last night; put it away after the second. —Don't worry, Teg, no damage! ;) )

It's supposed to be a comedy, right? (I keep telling myself that. Otherwise...)

My first impression from a quick glance-thru has not changed: it is better than anything else written (or purportedly co-written) by Brian Herbert that I have read to date. He hasn't quite pulled me in yet, though, so the ole disbelief is still grounded.

In just a few pages I've already found things that rub the wrong way, naturally. ;) A big one is his "cell memory." (How original!)

Frank Herbert can be excused for making genetic memory a major part of the Dune universe because of when he began writing the books. By 1984, however, it should have been becoming clear that such things were not possible.

Hmmm. Then again, maybe not? When was that horrid movie with William Hurt eating a lizard made? (Altered States. 1980. Gah.) Oh well, we KNOW that Brian isn't the most savvy pea in the pod when it comes to scientific developements. :roll:
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Postby Omphalos » Thu May 22, 2008 5:00 pm

Good thing his partner has a B.A. in physics to keep him straight, no? :P
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Postby SandChigger » Thu May 22, 2008 5:37 pm

But who's there to keep him straight? :shock:




:wink:
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Postby Omphalos » Thu May 22, 2008 5:40 pm

SandChigger wrote:But who's there to keep him straight? :shock:


I'm pretty sure that whenever he is "correcting" Brian, he is as straight as he is capable of getting. :lol:
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Postby Robspierre » Thu May 22, 2008 8:12 pm

Omphalos wrote:Good thing his partner has a B.A. in physics to keep him straight, no? :P


More like a Bull Shit of science 8)

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Sidney's Comet update...

Postby SandChigger » Fri May 23, 2008 9:38 pm

Hmm. 42 pages in now and I'm asking myself why I'm reading this...farce again...other than just to be able to say that I've read something of Brian Herbert's other than his "Dune" crap.

The writing isn't terrible like that in Timeweb; it's adequate, I suppose, but doesn't thrill me. It's the story that's failing in this one.

The president's "coffee service" was kind of a "dromedary dorsal destructor", though. ;)
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Postby Phaedrus » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:02 pm

I just finished Vonnegut's Player Piano, and I'm considering going for Breakfast of Champions, Timequake and Slaughterhouse Five(the Vonnegut books that I haven't read and have access to) next.

I picked up Consider Phlebas the other day, and it's been really interesting so far(I think the culture in Player Piano might be considered a pre-Culture, er, culture, actually. Vonnegut on the mind lately). I skipped most of that conversation between SC and GamePlayer on the subject, because I don't want any spoilers.

But I'll probably get through the Vonnegut, first. I can read his books in a couple of sittings, as opposed to most other books I read.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:14 pm

I read a bit more of Comet last night after taking a break for two days or so (I'm just reading it right before sleeping or a little after waking). "Currents" in space and a "comet" threatening Earth seemingly from a distant point of origin light years away, dimwits rollerskating around in "moto-shoes"...what can I say but...tedious.

I'm looking forward to getting back to Banks! :D
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:43 pm

Started on Greg Bear's Hardfought, and will likely finish it tonight. Its pretty cool. After that I have Harry Harrison's Make Room! Make Room!

I really liked Player Piano, but I have never read a culture novel. I have Consider Phlebas in the pile though.

Chig, is "Comet" one of those Timeweb books? Why do you do that to yourself?
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:05 pm

I hear constant good things about Banks, but the one book of his that I've read is Consider Phlebas and I really didn't enjoy it that much. It read well, and had some interesting ideas, I just didn't see the point when I finished it. Ever get that feeling? Maybe I should try one of his other books.

Considering I just finished sadworms and have (for the first time in a while) nothing in the pile, I have to find something really good to bring back my love for literature. I haven't even had the urge to go near a book the last couple days.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:53 pm

P & B as Reader Killers. Oh no.... :shock:


Omph, sorry, "Comet" is Sidney's Comet, from 1984 or so.

I forget, have you read it? Gah! Ssssss! Tleeeee! :lol:
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:57 pm

SandChigger wrote:P & B as Reader Killers. Oh no.... :shock:


Omph, sorry, "Comet" is Sidney's Comet, from 1984 or so.

I forget, have you read it? Gah! Ssssss! Tleeeee! :lol:


The only one by him I recall reading was something about a comet made of garbage. When I was talking to Teg I thought he mentioned that it may be that book, but I'm not sure. Was it part of a "garbage trilogy" (nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!) I cant remember the name. But I did read the first few chapters of Time Web. Awful!
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:21 am

That's the one, a book of garbage about a comet made of garbage: Sidney's Comet.

At first it seemed a lot better than anything else I have read with his name on it—and I still think that technically it isn't all that bad...and have to wonder how much of a hand FH might have had in it—but after a while the heavy-handed satire (I suppose it is supposed to be?) just gets to be too much. And the science part of it is just plain stupid/silly.

Maybe it was funny and/or witty back in 1984 or so; it was a different time and all. But now it just falls flat.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:47 am

SandChigger wrote:...but after a while the heavy-handed satire (I suppose it is supposed to be?) just gets to be too much. And the science part of it is just plain stupid/silly.


That was pretty much my impression too. Brian Herbert is a really clumsy writer, and I dont trust him to be able to write an actual "theater of the absurd" type manuscript. That takes knowledge and restraint, neither of which he has. I just got the impression that he had lost control of a social satire he was trying to write, and was too lazy to even try to make the science at least believeable.
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Postby Phaedrus » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:03 pm

Started and finished Slaughterhouse Five today, moving on to Timequake...

And the pile is:
Consider Phlebas (Banks)
Breakfast of Champions (Vonnegut)
On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (Haruki Murakami)
Haunted (Chuck Palahniuk)
Philip K. Dick: Four Novels of the 1960s(library of America thing)

I'm sure I have things to read other than these, but these are literally in a pile.
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:10 am

Who's the translator of the Murakami?


I tried reading his Noruwei no Mori ("Norwegian Woods") when it came out, the first year I was over here. (It was recommended to me by a Japanese friend.) I only made it through the first volume (of two). I think I have a small bunkobon paperback edition of the one you list around here somewhere; bought it but never got round to reading it. ;)
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Postby Phaedrus » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:11 pm

'Translated by Alfred Birnbaum'

What I've read of this one has been good, and I've heard the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is also good. It's definitely different.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:47 pm

Hey Gameplayer, I figure with all the rave reviews I should give Banks another try. What's the best book to go to after Phlebas?
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:47 pm

Read some more of Comet this morning; still got about 70 pages to get through.

Omphalos wrote:I just got the impression that he had lost control of a social satire he was trying to write, and was too lazy to even try to make the science at least believeable.

And he's not even consistent in that. I've been collecting some of the sillier gaffes:

"I remember not so awfully long ago," the blind man said, "when it took much longer...before G-gas allowed passengers to travel at high speeds."

Fooking Hell, the man's understanding of motion has not progressed in twenty years. (Isn't this a variation on the machines being able to withstand higher velocities in the Legends books?) It's not "high speeds" that people can't take, it's HIGH ACCELERATIONS. Shit.

He writes about "currents" in space, but then later gives the reader this:

Spaceships entered and left through iron gates which clanked noisily in airless space as they opened and closed. He knew this was impossible, but his dream permitted no questions.

So he knows you can't have sound in "airless space"; he obviously just doesn't care that that means you also can't have currents in it.

The old blind man mentioned above turns out to be a "chameloperson" ("Very convenient for undercover work.") and the first thing I thought of was the Mutati in Timeweb, a comparison primed by the miraculous healing of the title character's physical infirmities just a few paragraphs before. (Noah Watanabe is similarly healed at the end of Timeweb; plus there's always Sponge Paub.)

I shudder to think what silliness awaits me in the remaining pages. The characters' actions often seem at odds with their stated plans (they are not, overall, the sharpest pencils in the cup, after all), so there's really little point in trying to keep track of them. Not a book I'm going to be recommending, I think.
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:58 pm

Phaedrus wrote:'Translated by Alfred Birnbaum'

That's what I figured; he seems to be (or at least was) Murakami's official translator. I haven't looked at any of the translations. ;)

What I've read of this one has been good, and I've heard the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is also good. It's definitely different.

Kinda funny: I just checked the Japanese WP page and the elements are reversed in the title; it's Sekai no Owari to Haadoboirudo Wandaarando in Japanese. I wonder if the change is significant. I've heard/seen the title of the other one (Nejimaki Tori Kuronikuru), but not much about it. Ah well...enjoy! :)
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:00 pm

SandChigger wrote:
Phaedrus wrote:'Translated by Alfred Birnbaum'

That's what I figured; he seems to be (or at least was) Murakami's official translator. I haven't looked at any of the translations. ;)

What I've read of this one has been good, and I've heard the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is also good. It's definitely different.

Kinda funny: I just checked the Japanese WP page and the elements are reversed in the title; it's Sekai no Owari to Haadoboirudo Wandaarando in Japanese. I wonder if the change is significant. I've heard/seen the title of the other one (Nejimaki Tori Kuronikuru), but not much about it. Ah well...enjoy! :)


You mean its like, "The bird winds up?" or "The Bird is wound""

What are you saying? I dont speak Japanese
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Postby Phaedrus » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:58 pm

Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:
Phaedrus wrote:'Translated by Alfred Birnbaum'

That's what I figured; he seems to be (or at least was) Murakami's official translator. I haven't looked at any of the translations. ;)

What I've read of this one has been good, and I've heard the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is also good. It's definitely different.

Kinda funny: I just checked the Japanese WP page and the elements are reversed in the title; it's Sekai no Owari to Haadoboirudo Wandaarando in Japanese. I wonder if the change is significant. I've heard/seen the title of the other one (Nejimaki Tori Kuronikuru), but not much about it. Ah well...enjoy! :)


You mean its like, "The bird winds up?" or "The Bird is wound""

What are you saying? I dont speak Japanese


I assume he's talking about the book I have, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, which is probably Sekai no Owari to Haadoboirudo Wandaarando (which I assume is The End of the World and Hardboiled Wonderland, or something close? Those last two words look like "Hardboiled Wonderland" sort of converted to Japanese, so that's my guess...).
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:38 pm

Sorry...that wasn't very clear, was it. :(

The Japanese title of the book Phaedrus first mentioned reverses the order of the elements; it's The End of the World and Hardboiled Wonderland. (And yes, the second is just borrowed direct and adapted to the Japanese sound system.)

The avian one is pretty straightforward, "wind-up-bird", like a wind-up toy or something.
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Postby GamePlayer » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:46 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Hey Gameplayer, I figure with all the rave reviews I should give Banks another try. What's the best book to go to after Phlebas?


Definitely The Player of Games. Just as good if not better than Consider Phlebas, but a lot more accessible. I always try to persuade people to read that book first since I think it is the smoothest way to ease new readers into Bank's Culture universe.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:05 pm

Done. I'll get it ASAP. Thank you.
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Postby GamePlayer » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:00 pm

Btw, did the help I sent you via PM work out? You never replied back.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:21 pm

It worked, but the video froze half way through. It wasn't a buffering issue, I let it buffer fully before playing, and it would not allow me to skip past the glitch. I'm going to try it again later, right now I'm tied up with some other stuff (top secret).
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Postby GamePlayer » Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:54 am

You have the worst luck. Give some of the other ones a try and see if it works. If you need help, don't be shy :)
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:54 pm

Alright, just got tPoG... $20 bucks for a paper back? Sheesh! I'm sure it'll be worth it.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:37 pm

Orbit paperback, right? CAN $18.50. I ordered mine from Amazon U.K. I thought it was weird that it says "Not for sale in the U.S." :wink:
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:33 pm

That's the one, 18.50 plus taxes. Just seems expensive; I don't think it's even quite trade sized. Weird. I've never seen an overised paperback go for so much. Oh well.

Hey GamePlayer, I got that site working, I've just watched the first episod so far. Hopefully I'll be caught up soon.
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Postby GamePlayer » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:09 pm

Sadly, all of Banks books are expensive over here in Canada. But I love them.

That's great news, AT Eternity. Glad I could help!
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:14 pm

I know it's a bit of an unwieldly name... Thing or ATOE seem to work, but nicknames never go the way you want or plan them to. By the end I'll probably just be called Toe.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Just watched episode two, holy shite did their CGI budget go through the roof! Even with the crappy compressed files the Centurions look breath taking, even compared to just last season. They finally got the "reflection" programming up and running, it's not just image mapping and shadow. The detail - stunning. I'm glad to see that they got some extra dollars to play with in this final season. I'm also glad that there is a real (planned) final season, some shows just go on and on and on.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:40 am

GamePlayer wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Hey Gameplayer, I figure with all the rave reviews I should give Banks another try. What's the best book to go to after Phlebas?


Definitely The Player of Games. Just as good if not better than Consider Phlebas, but a lot more accessible. I always try to persuade people to read that book first since I think it is the smoothest way to ease new readers into Bank's Culture universe.


Finished. Wonderful, Banks is definitly back in my good books. I didn't find Phlebas un-accessible in comparision, just less focussed. I may go back and read it again, but I thought this book was far better from a plotting and charactor development standpoint. I will certainly go on to read all the other SF by this wonderful Mind. The biotech was fantastic but very believable - don't see that second part so often in SF (especially SF with force feilds and FTL and the likes) even the fringe physics were portrayed very well, focussing often on their limitations. Very fun read while managing to maintain philisophical value.

EDIT: Shit, didn't realize this was my third post in a row. Sorry folks.
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Postby Robspierre » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:46 am

Just FInished UNDER THE BLACK FLAG aboot pirates, good read it is.

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Postby Omphalos » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:00 pm

Im about a hundred and twenty pages into a reread of The Mote in God's Eye.
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:17 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Finished. Wonderful, Banks is definitly back in my good books. I didn't find Phlebas un-accessible in comparision, just less focussed. I may go back and read it again, but I thought this book was far better from a plotting and charactor development standpoint. I will certainly go on to read all the other SF by this wonderful Mind. The biotech was fantastic but very believable - don't see that second part so often in SF (especially SF with force feilds and FTL and the likes) even the fringe physics were portrayed very well, focussing often on their limitations. Very fun read while managing to maintain philisophical value.


I found Consider Phlebas magnetic and very well written structurally, but it's not a happy ending. Not that I mind, but it can be a rough first novel for some readers. The Player of Games is more fulfilling and hence it usually entices new readers to read more. But both books are unabashedly Banks. Anyway, I'm glad you liked them. It's great stuff.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:45 pm

GamePlayer wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Finished. Wonderful, Banks is definitly back in my good books. I didn't find Phlebas un-accessible in comparision, just less focussed. I may go back and read it again, but I thought this book was far better from a plotting and charactor development standpoint. I will certainly go on to read all the other SF by this wonderful Mind. The biotech was fantastic but very believable - don't see that second part so often in SF (especially SF with force feilds and FTL and the likes) even the fringe physics were portrayed very well, focussing often on their limitations. Very fun read while managing to maintain philisophical value.


I found Consider Phlebas magnetic and very well written structurally, but it's not a happy ending. Not that I mind, but it can be a rough first novel for some readers. The Player of Games is more fulfilling and hence it usually entices new readers to read more. But both books are unabashedly Banks. Anyway, I'm glad you liked them. It's great stuff.


I don't think the ending threw me off because it was unhappy, I like those kind, just something about it made the whole story feel a bit pointless - maybe that was the idea though. I think I'll read it again after my next book (tolstoy) I might have read it back when I was in my "skip reading" phase, probably missed alot. It was quite a while ago, so I'm probably remembering the writing incorrectly, either way, Player was fantastic.
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:17 pm

Omphalos wrote:Im about a hundred and twenty pages into a reread of The Mote in God's Eye.

I first read that while in high school, reread it while home a few summers ago (in prep for reading The Gripping Hand when I got back here).

Moties will always have a special place in my heart, so I probably overlooked the places where it hadn't held up to the test of time. I did find myself becoming annoyed at the human "aristocrats". What I liked about both books was the "harder scifi" approach...harder than what we see in McDune, at least. ;)


(My reaction to the end of Consider Phlebas: Oh. Shit. That was abrupt, wot?" :) )
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:25 pm

(My reaction to the end of Consider Phlebas: Oh. Shit. That was abrupt, wot?" )

That's pretty much how I felt, I'll read it again and see if I'm better able to absorb it. I loved the Moties, the high ranking humans were asses though. Good books though, I also like it when I see some thought going into the science.
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Postby Robspierre » Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:29 pm

Just finished THE ROAD Cormac McCarthy. Excellent craftsmanship and I love how McCarthy can get you in to his characters without telling you every little fucking thing! This is going into my pile of books to read over and over again.


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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:10 am

Reading A Clockwork Orange right now.
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Postby Mandy » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:23 am

Robspierre wrote:Just finished THE ROAD Cormac McCarthy. Excellent craftsmanship and I love how McCarthy can get you in to his characters without telling you every little fucking thing! This is going into my pile of books to read over and over again.


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I've been meaning to get that book.
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Postby GamePlayer » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:08 pm

I have to read The Road before that new film adaptation comes out. Can't do that for Burgess novel, since I've seen the Kubrick film about a dozen times over :)
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:13 pm

So far it's way better than the movie, but I did want to tear out my hair for the first chapter or two - the language takes a bit of getting used to... Now that I understand what the hell is happening it's a really interesting book. Even without the plot and characters this thing would be worth reading just for the language, and I have a feeling that it's the kind of book that gets better on the second read, that way you've learned the language and don't miss as much.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:50 pm

I loved that book.
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:25 pm

The yizik in Orange give you a bit of a bowl in the ole galava, did it, Thang? :P
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:44 pm

SandChigger wrote:The yizik in Orange give you a bit of a bowl in the ole galava, did it, Thang? :P


Hardy har har... Seriously though - yes, it did. Now that I can understand what's happening it's a fantastic read, but at first I was a bit... taken by surprise.
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:56 pm

Ah, drook, you no gonna lubich Solzik. :wink:


I finally picked up "Sidney's Vomit" again this morning and read about half of what was left; still have 30 pp to go. I've come this far, is the only reason I'll bother. (Having read the whole thing being the only justification I need to burn the fooker over on Amazon.)

Teg's Star Book (W. H. Allen & Co PLC) paperback copy I'm reading has

The fascinating first novel by the son of Frank Herbert, author of Dune

I still can't decide if with the use of "fascinating" there they were taking the piss or not. :wink:
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:04 pm

SandChigger wrote:Ah, drook, you no gonna lubich Solzik. :wink:


I finally picked up "Sidney's Vomit" again this morning and read about half of what was left; still have 30 pp to go. I've come this far, is the only reason I'll bother. (Having read the whole thing being the only justification I need to burn the fooker over on Amazon.)

Teg's Star Book (W. H. Allen & Co PLC) paperback copy I'm reading has

The fascinating first novel by the son of Frank Herbert, author of Dune

I still can't decide if with the use of "fascinating" there they were taking the piss or not. :wink:


lubich Solzik - lost me on that one.

Seriously, why are you reading that? I have to read the first SoSS book soon as part of a bet with Byron, but from what I've heard that'll be like shakespear compared to Brian's solo stuff.
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:35 pm

Yeah, sorry, it's still a bit early for anyone to understand that. But soon. ;)

Um...Teg and I had been talking about Brian's solo books, so we exchanged books we had for reading: he borried ;) me Sidney's Comet and I loaned him Timeweb. He's already finished, but I'm dragging. I still haven't decided whether I'm going to actually read Timeweb all the way through when I get it back.

Anyway, the "why": if I've only read their "Dune" crap, I can only say they are shitty writers of books aobut Dune. After this I can say that they are shitty writers, period. (Or, at least, everything I have read by them has been bad.)

The first Saga book is shit. I've got a paperback copy of it now that I've been skimming instead of not reading the end of Brian's Comet and it's really bad. It's no Shakespeare compared to Brian. (If Brian's writing is the monkeys trying to hammer out Shakespeare, then Kevin's is REALLY HEARTFUL PROSE written by a pretentious highschool scribbler.)

And the science is going to give you shits, trust me. (I'm currently looking at whether it's really possible to have a planet where it is never night. Doesn't look promising.)
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Postby Phaedrus » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:49 pm

SandChigger wrote:(I'm currently looking at whether it's really possible to have a planet where it is never night. Doesn't look promising.)


Isn't that a ripoff of one of Douglas Adams's planets...?
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:01 am

SandChigger wrote:...Sidney's Vomit...


:lol: :lol:
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:05 am

SandChigger wrote:And the science is going to give you shits, trust me. (I'm currently looking at whether it's really possible to have a planet where it is never night. Doesn't look promising.)


Probably not without some tremendous tidal forces. Though is there a class of star that puts out enough photon energy that it would be bright enough for a human at a distance where gravity would not tear the fucker apart? Or if there were less shit in the "vacuum" between a planet and its two stars? Hmmmmm.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:37 am

Here's the only reasonable disposition of the systems that I've been able to come up with so far:

Image

The "Seven Suns" are (1) the Ildiran sun ("a warm orange K1 star"), (2)(3) the "close binary pair" Qronha A and B ("a red giant and a smaller yellow companion"), (4)(5)(6) the "amazing trinary of Durris" A, B, and C ("a closely tied white star and yellow star with a red dwarf orbiting the common center of mass"), and (7) "the blue supergiant Daym". (As in "Daym...dat's a BEEG STAR, Billy Bob!" maybe?)

Unless Ildira and its sun are in the middle and the other three stars/multiples arranged around them in the triangular pattern shown, I don't see how the planet can have light striking it at all times. (They'll also have to be in basically the same plane as Ildira's orbit, otherwise they'll shine more on one hemisphere or the other and could result in dark quadrants on the planet's surface. I've already seen this in one of my Celestia simulations. It's kewl...but no banana. :D )

As I've tried to show in the upper righthand corner, it becomes a problem of determining what part of the planet's surface is covered by light from each star/group at every point along its orbit. (I've just shown "light triangles" for the Ildiran sun and Daym.)

The stars in the two multiples will move about their own orbits, resulting in variable brightness. The distance from Ildria to each is very important: too far and they'll just appear as bright stars and not provide enough "daylight"; too close and their gravitational fields will disrupt the orbit of the planet around its sun.

The super blue giant is also a danger because it will have a short lifetime and go supernova after only a few hundred million years.

The problem with trying to model this in Celestia is it can only handle shadow calculations for one or two stars (I think). Several times I've set down on the surface of the planet and sped up the clock and watched the sky go from daytime blue to black and there still be a sun or two above the horizon. Sigh. :(

(And why do I have the nagging suspicion that I have already put more time and thought into this than the author himself. :evil: )
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:51 am

So this whole seven suns thingie takes place in one system? boring.
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Postby Freakzilla » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:04 pm

OMG, he's trying to one-up Asimov!

I knew the guy was a hack and an idea thief but the extent amazes me.

"Nightfall" is a story about a planet that does not experience nightfall except once in every 2,049 years. With six suns, Lagash otherwise exists in perpetual sunlight. In the course of describing the last four hours before darkness covers all, Asimov explains how a rare eclipse is able to blot out all the light and why the event always results in universal chaos. This feat he achieves by placing the story in the Observatory of the scientists who are able to predict the coming phenomenon. Aton 77, the aged director of Saro University and chief astronomer, is preparing to try to record the eclipse and whatever follows so that there will be scientific evidence to explain what has happened.

On a planet where darkness is unknown, the expectation is that everyone will go insane from fear.....


http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-nightfall/sum.html

I guess his story is different because it's got seven suns instead of six.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:20 pm

Freakzilla wrote:OMG, he's trying to one-up Asimov!

I knew the guy was a hack and an idea thief but the extent amazes me.

"Nightfall" is a story about a planet that does not experience nightfall except once in every 2,049 years. With six suns, Lagash otherwise exists in perpetual sunlight. In the course of describing the last four hours before darkness covers all, Asimov explains how a rare eclipse is able to blot out all the light and why the event always results in universal chaos. This feat he achieves by placing the story in the Observatory of the scientists who are able to predict the coming phenomenon. Aton 77, the aged director of Saro University and chief astronomer, is preparing to try to record the eclipse and whatever follows so that there will be scientific evidence to explain what has happened.

On a planet where darkness is unknown, the expectation is that everyone will go insane from fear.....


http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-nightfall/sum.html

I guess his story is different because it's got seven suns instead of six.

I'm reminded of This is Spinal Tap: Our amps go to eleven!


Fuck. I knew it'd heard the idea before. Thank's for reminding me where he stole it from. I should probably read that book first so it doesn't get tainted by KJA.
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Postby Freakzilla » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:32 pm

It's not a bad read. I read it a long time ago but I thought the concept was kind of cool.

One of the minor points I liked was that the people on this planet don't see the stars due to the constant daylight so they haven't gotten into space.
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Postby Robspierre » Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:03 pm

I have the expanded version and its quite good, not a bad tale at all.

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Postby Freakzilla » Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:18 pm

Robspierre wrote:I have the expanded version and its quite good, not a bad tale at all.

Rob


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Postby SandChigger » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:15 pm

Omphalos wrote:So this whole seven suns thingie takes place in one system? boring.

Huh?

No, that's just the Ildirans' home system. Because they never experience night, they're afraid of the dark. They're also overly gregarious and lived packed together and have a mild telepathic link focused through their leader called "thism". (I don't know why telepathy is so big for Kevin. The sentient trees of the Green Priests [who really are green because they have chlorophyl under their skin. :roll: ] are also telepathic and priest+tree units are essentially used as the telecommunications system across the "Sprial Arm". Oh...oh...I think my brain just farted. :shock: )

Anyway, the Ildirans are an older empire and humans are the brash newcomers. Blah blah blah. For some reason Earth has a king and ... oh, fook it. :roll:

Have fun reading it, Thang. (Sorry for the spoilers!)
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:20 pm

SandChigger wrote:
Omphalos wrote:So this whole seven suns thingie takes place in one system? boring.

Huh?

No, that's just the Ildirans' home system. Because they never experience night, they're afraid of the dark. They're also overly gregarious and lived packed together and have a mild telepathic link focused through their leader called "thism". (I don't know why telepathy is so big for Kevin. The sentient trees of the Green Priests [who really are green because they have chlorophyl under their skin. :roll: ] are also telepathic and priest+tree units are essentially used as the telecommunications system across the "Sprial Arm". Oh...oh...I think my brain just farted. :shock: )

Anyway, the Ildirans are an older empire and humans are the brash newcomers. Blah blah blah. For some reason Earth has a king and ... oh, fook it. :roll:

Have fun reading it, Thang. (Sorry for the spoilers!)


Have fun reading what - Hyperion? Oh! You're talking about the SoSS book... should be a good laugh.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:23 pm

As I've been skimming through, it's occurred to me several times that if you were a teenager who hasn't read a lot (period...or of scifi...or who has read more fantasy?) or someone who didn't pay a lot of attention in your science classes, it might not be that bad.

I guess we could be generous and say something like, well, people reading Kevin's books is better than them not reading anyting at all, right?

...

...

Nah, moldering in the grave would be preferable to reading Kevin. :evil:
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Postby orald » Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:07 am

SandChigger wrote:Nah, moldering in the grave would be preferable to reading Kevin. :evil:

Or him moldering in the grave be preferable to him writing(dick-tating?) anything.

Him who must not be named. :shock:
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:32 pm

Clockwork orange done. It was great, but I have a problem with novels that use interesting new words - they get stuck in my head, quite badly. After Whipping Star I just walked around repeating taprisiot in my head over and over for days. Terribly annoying... you can imagine what my mind is like after C.Orange. Oh well, it'll wear off.



On to Rama II
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Postby Freakzilla » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:04 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Clockwork orange done. It was great, but I have a problem with novels that use interesting new words - they get stuck in my head, quite badly. After Whipping Star I just walked around repeating taprisiot in my head over and over for days. Terribly annoying... you can imagine what my mind is like after C.Orange. Oh well, it'll wear off.



On to Rama II


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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:05 pm

It's great but it wont get out of my head!
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Postby Robspierre » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:03 pm

Freakzilla wrote:
Robspierre wrote:I have the expanded version and its quite good, not a bad tale at all.

Rob


What's expanded about it?



Robert Silverburg expanded it into a full length novel, the first 2/3's are quite good, the after effects not so much but still enjoyable.

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Postby SandChigger » Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:24 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:It's great but it wont get out of my head!

Hee hee hee. :twisted:

(With no appy-polly-logies! :lol: )
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:08 pm

Just finished Rama II. What stood was out how well Clarke writes about religion and religious characters. Most athiest authors are condescending on one level or another towards religion, wheras Clarke is always extremely respectful, and his religious characters are often his best. Good book, now I'm off to find Garden of Rama...
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Postby Robspierre » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:14 pm

Reading EYE by Frank Herbert. Love the illustrations.

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Postby SandChigger » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:37 pm

Started Iain M. Banks' Use of Weapons last night. :D

(I forgot to mention here that I finished Brian's Vomit and posted a brief pan over on the Amazon page for the recently reissued edition. Got to wondering the other day if the text has been "corrected" in any way. The comedic treatment(???) of people with physical disabilities [called "cappies", from "handicapped"?] probably goes over worse now than it did back in '83. Why they would re-release such a piece of shit is beyond me. :roll: Taken together with Timeweb, I'm now convinced that Brian is an idiot and the rest of the family isn't much better for letting him publish his verbal droolings. Whatever.)
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Postby tanzeelat » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:58 am

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Just finished Rama II. What stood was out how well Clarke writes about religion and religious characters. Most athiest authors are condescending on one level or another towards religion, wheras Clarke is always extremely respectful, and his religious characters are often his best. Good book, now I'm off to find Garden of Rama...


How much of the book was by Clarke though? The sequels to Rendezvous with Rama were all "co-written" by Gentry Lee (not the bloke from Rush).

And I have to ask, why all this recent contempt for "atheism"? Clarke said he doesn't believe in God. Why should that make him anti-religion? His views on - and treatment of - the subject should be quite clear from his fiction - 'The Nine Billion Names of God', 'The Star', Childhood's End, for example... What next? "For a homosexual author, he treats his heterosexual characters with respect"?
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:16 am

tanzeelat wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Just finished Rama II. What stood was out how well Clarke writes about religion and religious characters. Most athiest authors are condescending on one level or another towards religion, wheras Clarke is always extremely respectful, and his religious characters are often his best. Good book, now I'm off to find Garden of Rama...


How much of the book was by Clarke though? The sequels to Rendezvous with Rama were all "co-written" by Gentry Lee (not the bloke from Rush).

And I have to ask, why all this recent contempt for "atheism"? Clarke said he doesn't believe in God. Why should that make him anti-religion? His views on - and treatment of - the subject should be quite clear from his fiction - 'The Nine Billion Names of God', 'The Star', Childhood's End, for example... What next? "For a homosexual author, he treats his heterosexual characters with respect"?


I'm pretty sure Clarke wrote the bulk of it, it reads like his writing which is fairly distinct.

You'll get little contempt for Athiesm from me, I'm a through and through Athiest myself and I don't mind books which slag religion. I was just stuck by how, especially in this novel, Clarke manages to create devoutly religious characters who are sane and emotionally balanced, usually the more admirable of his characters. Most of the other Athiest authors I've read tend towards the opposite, even when they are honestly trying to write a "good" religious character.

Why should being an Athiest make him anti-religion? Pretty simple: most Athiests never manage to shake the thought that, on some level, everyone else is insane or mentally handicapped. Also, I've never met an Athiest who thought that organized religion was a positive force in human society/psychology. I've read the stories you mentioned about (excluding Childhood's End) and I agree that he carries the same respectful tone throughout those, I certainly wasn't saying that this was something I thought was a new position for Sir Arthur C Clarke. I was just remarking on the rarity of such true respect coming from an Athiest, it's a nice change from the usual.
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Postby tanzeelat » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:50 pm

I was reading Clarke's page on Wikipedia, and there's a section on his views on religion... and it struck me that ten years ago no one would have cared if an author had said he didn't believe in God. Then, any discussion on Clarke's views on religion would have been solely on his treatment of it in his fiction.
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:08 am

Finished reading a non-science fiction book called The Wasp Factory by Iain M. Banks. Very creepy book.
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Postby orald » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:35 am

Soon finishing a compilation of PKD short stories called(after one of them, and a very good one too) Second Variety.
I must say I'm really enjoying these(of course, with the right mindset you can see the plot twists from miles away, but still there're some nice surprises and even when not they'r still fun), much more than other, full length PKD books I've read in the past. I always thought he was a bit...meh.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:22 am

Glad to hear that you are enjoying his short stories, orald. Maybe the novels will strike you better once you have an appreciation for his short fiction.
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Postby inhuien » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:49 pm

GamePlayer wrote:Finished reading a non-science fiction book called The Wasp Factory by Iain M. Banks. Very creepy book.


That was his first book to be published and as you don't say it's dog burningly messed up. Is it published with his middle initial in Canada, just wondering as he drops it for his non sci-fi work in the UK. God save the Queen, naaa Fuck 'er.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:52 pm

inhuien wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:Finished reading a non-science fiction book called The Wasp Factory by Iain M. Banks. Very creepy book.


That was his first book to be published and as you don't say it's dog burningly messed up. Is it published with his middle initial in Canada, just wondering as he drops it for his non sci-fi work in the UK. God save the Queen, naaa Fuck 'er.


He drops the M in Canada too.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:06 pm

Banks typically uses the middle initial "M." in US non SF books.
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:31 pm

All of Iain's books I've seen here are either Iain M. Banks for his Culture novels and Iain Banks for his non-science fiction work.

The Wasp Factory is just disturbing. I'm still grappling with it. I thought I had read it years ago, but I think I confused it with another book. The content within The Wasp Factory is not something I'd ever forget if I had previously read it. It's amazing too because even though it's his first book, you can just tell it's Banks. I was amazed how much of his style and his subject matter was in this book. There are seeds and buds within The Wasp Factory that will later become fully fleshed out ideas in the Culture novels. :)

Once I got to the end of The Wasp Factory, I had an incredible urge to re-read the book. The reveal is making me re-think the whole narrative and I wonder now how the book would feel once one knows the ending. :)

EDIT Whoops, got the initial reversed
Last edited by GamePlayer on Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:52 pm

I woke up about 3:30 this morning and then couldn't get back to sleep, and ended up finishing the stories I hadn't read yet in Banks' collection The State of the Art. (Use of Weapons was downstairs here and I couldn't be bothered.)

Discovered that there is actually a definite third Culture story ("Descendant") and a fourth that leans that way ("Cleaning Up")...at least it mentions something that appears in Consider Phlebas. ("A Gift from the Culture" and "The State of the Art" are the two stories I had read; I think I've mentioned that here.) If you get a chance, "Odd Attachment" is a messy but fun little thing. :wink:

I have the Orbit UK paperbacks with the cover pix of all his books on the inside of their covers. The Culture and other scifi books are inside the front with his name as "Iain M. Banks". The inside of the back cover shows the other books (The Wasp Factory, Walking on Glass, Espedair Street, etc.) with his name as "Iain Banks". Please don't tell me that the use of the middle initial to indicate scifi/non-scifi differs from country to country or publisher to publisher. :roll:

(Oh yeah: I was really disappointed the other day when I realized that Orbit is the same company that publishes the paperbacks of the Hack's Saga of Seven Suns. That demotes them to potential slut status.)

(Speaking of wannabe-sluts [but no one will fuck her. Would you? Not me, not even with your dick], has "Broadzilla" reared her ugly head again yet? :lol: )
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:45 pm

No, they are not different names from the UK to overseas. I wrote my post incorrectly the first time. *slap myself* The books are staring me right in the face on my bookshelf too. I hate stupid errors like that. Non-science fiction is Iain Banks, Culture novels and other sci-fi is as Iain M Banks.
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:58 pm

Whew...was a bit worried.

(Did you leave a mark? :P )
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Postby GamePlayer » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:25 am

I hope I left something as a reminder. I just hate those moments when something is so simple, but I get it wrong. It really angers me :)
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Postby Ragabash » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:39 pm

My girl found me a copy of Against a Dark Background on paperback swap. I can't wait to reread it :)

Also, they're publishing Use of Weapons (the only Culture novel I haven't read yet) in the new line next month.
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:45 pm

Ragabash wrote:My girl found me a copy of Against a Dark Background on paperback swap. I can't wait to reread it :)

Also, they're publishing Use of Weapons (the only Culture novel I haven't read yet) in the new line next month.


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Postby SandChigger » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:31 pm

Well, if he's not going to answer, I will: no, not yet, though it's waiting for me on the shelf. :D

Finished Use of Weapons this morning. Liked, yes I did. Although I noticed a number of mistakes (less than 10, altogether), which I hadn't done in the other books thus far. :(

Didn't see the surprise coming until the ship told the drone and the sister said no, but I put it together before it was spelled out. ;)

I haven't checked the reviews over on Amazon yet, but I imagine there will be the usual whiners about the shifts around in time. I rather enjoyed the way Banks put it all together. :)

Will start Excession tonight!

(Inversions, Look to Windward, and then Matter. Yum!)
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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:11 am

Use of Weapons had a fantastic structure and a great ending. But it is old now and a bunch of books and movies have come out since then featuring a similar twist, so it's been somewhat diluted by pop culture. Still, it can be appreciated for the narrative and the characterizations are very good. Great read.
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:43 am

Just started Dangerous Visions last night, and read a bunch of City of Illusions, by Ursula K. Le Guin while at jury duty yesterday.
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Postby inhuien » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:49 am

SandChigger wrote:Will start Excession tonight!


You'll love it I'm sure. It may not have all the levels to it that some of the other Culture novels do but it has a stack of Mind/Ship talk to it and is in general a rollercoster.......erm I never thought I'd say this but I've just started a Thriller :roll: @me
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Postby SandChigger » Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:27 pm

:D :D :D

I decided very quickly that the drone in the ship under attack could have whipped the entirety of the Synchronized Worlds single-handed. :lol:

And I've settled on another adjective for the depiction of the "Thinking Machines" (snort) in Pinky and The Brian's books:

INFANTILE. 8)
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:35 pm

Thinkun' machines indeed. Kind of like Jethro's "see-ment pond."
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Postby SandChigger » Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:37 pm

Dammit, Jed! Move away from there! :)
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:40 pm

SandChigger wrote:Dammit, Jed! Move away from there! :)


:wink:
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Postby Ragabash » Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:10 pm

SandChigger wrote::D :D :D

I decided very quickly that the drone in the ship under attack could have whipped the entirety of the Synchronized Worlds single-handed. :lol:

And I've settled on another adjective for the depiction of the "Thinking Machines" (snort) in Pinky and The Brian's books:

INFANTILE. 8)


The best part about that book is the list of ship names in the Culture. Buahaha.
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Postby GamePlayer » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:10 pm

LOL :) If there's one part of the Banks books that comes across as unabashedly Scottish, it's the names for the ships :)
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:49 pm

Loving Excession, as expected.

This morning read the bit where the Sleeper not only awakens but goes on the lam. :lol:

(Realized with a bit of shock that I'm in the midst of a five-day weekend here. :shock: I had the books delivered to the office—lots of shelf space—and have been bringing them home to read. I may finish this one and not have the next to read until ... Wednesday. :shock: Guess I'll work more on the Galach shtuff! :) )
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Postby SandChigger » Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:41 am

Forgot to mention that I finished Excession this morning.

Ending was a bit anticlimactic, but I still liked it.

Will be grabbing Look to Windward from the office tomorrow. :)
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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:24 am

I think Excession is definitely the hardest sci-fi of the series or perhaps it's more accurate to say it's written like hard sci-fi. Unless you really understand the concepts of Bank's universe, Excession can come across as really obtuse. I liked it because I'm a tech/construct junkie and have a little of the anthropologist mentality in me, but I know Excession was hit and miss with some of my fellow sci-fi fans.
Last edited by GamePlayer on Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:08 am

Im knee deep in the reference book Anatomy of Wonder. I really cannot put that thing down. Im also in the middle of Alexi Panshin's The World Beyond the Hill, a monograph on SF that examines The Golden Age contribution, but I just started Jack Vance's The Languages of Pao as well.
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Postby SandChigger » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:21 pm

GamePlayer wrote:I think Excession is definitely the hardest sci-fi of the series or perhaps it's more accurate to say it's written like hard sci-fi. Unless you really understand the concepts of Bank's universe, Excession can come across as really obtuse. I liked it because I'm a tech/construct junkie and have a little of the anthropologist mentality in me, but I know Excession was hit and miss with some of my fellow sci-fi fans.

Obtuse, huh. Interesting. I still haven't looked at any reviews of it; may do so later this afternoon. ;)
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:48 pm

SandChigger wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:I think Excession is definitely the hardest sci-fi of the series or perhaps it's more accurate to say it's written like hard sci-fi. Unless you really understand the concepts of Bank's universe, Excession can come across as really obtuse. I liked it because I'm a tech/construct junkie and have a little of the anthropologist mentality in me, but I know Excession was hit and miss with some of my fellow sci-fi fans.

Obtuse, huh. Interesting. I still haven't looked at any reviews of it; may do so later this afternoon. ;)


Why don't you write one and post it here? That way I could say, "about fuckin' time, Bug!"
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:26 pm

Ragabash wrote:The best part about that book is the list of ship names in the Culture. Buahaha.

After finishing Look to Windward last night, I wonder if it wasn't the book you were thinking of in this comment, Ragabash, instead of Excession. There were a lot of ships named in Excession, of course, but in the later book there's a conversation conducted almost entirely by just quoting ship names.

Anyway...was quite good. :D

I suppose some might complain that the aliens were too human...but I liked the way how you were never quite sure immediately when a new character was being introduced whether they were human or not. Pleasant little surprises. ;)

(Contrast that with Kevin's abominable practice in Seven Suns of labelling "chapters" with the main character's name and having naming conventions [among the ILdirans, at least] that make it clear what kind of alien they are. :roll: )

Interesting little shifts in perspective, too.

Anyway, the only unfortunate thing is...I didn't expect to finish is so quickly and so didn't bring Matter home with me the other nigh. :(

Poop.

Oops. Looks like I forgot that Inversions is also a Culture novel. (It isn't so labelled on the cover. Grrrr.) Will have to read that before Matter.

But, on the bright side...ONE MORE CULTURE NOVEL TO READ!!! :D
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:06 pm

"You have learned much, young one"

Yeah I know, it doesn't quite work :)
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:33 pm

Well...definitely not the last two words, eh? :roll:

;)
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:41 pm

Quite work? I dont get it.
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:05 pm

(Neither did I. I'm just humoring him. You know how sensitive they are up North. Especially this one. ;) )
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Postby Robspierre » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:25 pm

Finished Little Brother from Cory Doctorow, overall well done lots of cool nifty real tech stuff, the last bit gets just a tad preachy and seems a bit to pat, BUT, I can see myself using this book in the classroom, along with 1984 and V For Vendetta.

Currently reading HaltinG StatE by Charles Stross, like the Scottishness, a bit meh on the gaming bits so far, 80 pages in and it's starting to get interesting with the outside world bits.

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Postby Omphalos » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:33 pm

You should look at Doctorow's website. If you found stuff that you would use in the class room there, you will find much, much more there. Doctorow has a huge online presence, and is outspoken on a several issues, including the free use of copyrighted material with a special set of rules to help with the financial cost to the authors.
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Postby tanzeelat » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:43 am

Omphalos wrote:You should look at Doctorow's website. If you found stuff that you would use in the class room there, you will find much, much more there. Doctorow has a huge online presence, and is outspoken on a several issues, including the free use of copyrighted material with a special set of rules to help with the financial cost to the authors.


Unless that author happens to be Ursula K Le Guin...
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Postby GamePlayer » Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:23 am

SandChigger wrote:Well...definitely not the last two words, eh? :roll:

;)


You said it, not me :)

Grrrr, sensitive! How dare you! It's obvious you and your family, friends, pets and dead relatives are out to get me! Well I'm onto you! Oh yes, you and all your other bitches (can't recall just now what it was she called us other than Mandy). I'll trol...er, surf the net looking for other forums where I can recruit unwitting Dune fans to my cause! Then I shall strike back at your blogs with ever more fearsome posts of rampant paranoia! Beware my h@X0r sk1lls for they are leet! No message board color scheme will remain safe from the Red Deer scourge! :P :wink: :lol:

Omphalos wrote:Quite work? I dont get it.


I tried to think of an appropriate movie quote, but this one only partially fit. It was late, I was tired, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :)
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:36 am

Strike my blog, will you?! :twisted:

:shock:

That'd be a first. I don't think you've ever commented there, have you? Love to have you drop by! :lol:
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Postby Star Dust » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:51 am

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Postby GamePlayer » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:51 am

SandChigger wrote:Strike my blog, will you?! :twisted:

:shock:

That'd be a first. I don't think you've ever commented there, have you? Love to have you drop by! :lol:


No, I haven't. I suppose I felt your blog was guilty by association with the Hyppo epidemic, so I never chose to visit because, well, I get enough of that drama over here and on Jacurutu. Perhaps I should visit now, if it's safe to do so? :) :lol:
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Postby Robspierre » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:23 am

Omphalos wrote:You should look at Doctorow's website. If you found stuff that you would use in the class room there, you will find much, much more there. Doctorow has a huge online presence, and is outspoken on a several issues, including the free use of copyrighted material with a special set of rules to help with the financial cost to the authors.


I have it bookmarked along with BoingBoing which is a great resource as well.

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Postby SandChigger » Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:32 pm

GamePlayer wrote:Perhaps I should visit now, if it's safe to do so? :) :lol:

Might want to wait a bit, unless you want to see a pic of Kevin starring out at you from between two bumcheeks. :D
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:43 pm

SandChigger wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:Perhaps I should visit now, if it's safe to do so? :) :lol:

Might want to wait a bit, unless you want to see a pic of Kevin starring out at you from between two bumcheeks. :D


Note: "Staring" = "Dangling."
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:25 pm

Like an overripe dingleberry?

NICE! :D

Since I'm out of Banks for the moment, have been making do the best I can....

Remembered I hadn't yet finished all the stories in Dan Simmons' collection Prayers to Broken Stones, so I polished off two or three more and then read another twenty pages or so of a story called Tachikoma no Koi/First Love, Last Love by Jun'ichi Fujisaku, set, obviously, in the Ghost In The Shell/Stand Alone Complex universe.

I picked up four small books of this sort a while back, three by Fujisaku—who was a staff writer on the animé productions—and one by a Masaki SomethingOrOther, the last set in the Innocence alternate GitS-iverse. Kinda interesting. I started with the tachikoma short story 'cause, well, I'm a big tachikoma fan. :oops:
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Postby Robspierre » Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:23 am

I loved the tachikoma's! :P

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:06 pm

Emissaries from the Dead by Adam-Troy Castro. This is his first original novel, he's done a bunch of award winning shorts (that I've never read) and a bunch of stuff like spiderman and other assorted BS that reminds me abit too much of the Hack.

So far, it's okay... except the character building which is extremely sub-par (not KJA sub-par, but shite non the less). Main character is cheesy to the point of being hard to read, and there have been so many lame SF cliches I've lost count. I'll post if I find any sufficiently redeeming qualities, so far, I wouldn't recommend it, or anything by this guy. Waste of $
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Postby SandChigger » Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:45 pm

The Hack. I like that. :D

Back in the office today. (Haven't heard anything different this morning yet, so Teg should be on his way up for...lunch with obscene amounts of coffee and maybe a...PODCAST!) Have already set Inversions and Matter aside to take home tonight. :)


EDIT: Seems I was having a not-quite-senior-yet senior moment earlier. Teg will be coming up next week for the podcast. :oops:
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:45 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Totally off-topic, what the Hype would call spam

Postby SandChigger » Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:17 pm

Laugh now, Kimowasabi.

Bleh. Liver-horseradish? Where'd I come up with that?! :shock:

Or Kirin with this:

"Kirin, from the Kitchen of the World: Mint Julep Soda. Inspiration from Cuba. Grapefruit."

And that's exactly what it tastes like: someone chewed up some peppermint and then spit it out in a glass of grapefruit juice. Blick.

Stopped by the student co-op shop on the way back from lunch to grab something liquid for the rest of the afton. Lunch co-conspirator pointed out two new additions to the selection (the other was coconut-flavored milk tea), so silly "I'll try anything once!" me bought them.

Here's hoping the tea isn't half bad. :shock:
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:33 am

(Ugh. The coconut was even worse than the mint julep. Ended up not even being able to drink it. Was doing some house-cleaning last weekend and came across an old box of Indian incense cones. Lit one up while I was sorting through some old papers and I swear the tea tasted like that incense smelled. Made me kinda sick so I threw it out. :mrgreen: )

Reading Inversions now. Interesting change of pace from the other Culture novels. (I can see why it's not explicitly labelled as one. But the little hints are there. ;) )
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Postby GamePlayer » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:48 am

Wow, you've now surpassed me. I've not read Inversions as yet. Good on my chigga :)
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:30 am

Did you ever get a copy of Matter yet?
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Postby GamePlayer » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:41 am

No. Too many other things in the way. It's a lousy time right now :(
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:40 pm

Pooh. I'll be sure to spoiler it for you! :P

(Kidding!)

Inversions is getting fun(ner). Looks like there are two Culture characters, as I suspected. "Prime Directive" quandary issues. ;)
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Postby Mandy » Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:17 pm

I just started reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. It is fucking awesome already. I love the way it's written. Even the footnotes are good.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:25 pm

Oscar Wao? You mean the Irish guy they locked up in Reading Gao? ;)
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Postby Mandy » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:36 am

I have no idea :)

You'd love the book, my Chigga. It's hilarious, it has Spanglish, and Oscar reads Dune.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:24 am

I have nothing to read now. May read 10000 leagues. May not. See how I feel after my morning coffee.
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Postby SandChigger » Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:02 pm

I'm getting a timestamp says you posted that seven hours ago. What'd you go with? ;)


(Thanks for the info, Mandy. Will put it on one of my lists.... :) )
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:17 am

SandChigger wrote:I'm getting a timestamp says you posted that seven hours ago. What'd you go with? ;)


(Thanks for the info, Mandy. Will put it on one of my lists.... :) )


Decided to read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea... :oops: I make that exact same mistake almost every time I name that book.
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Postby Mandy » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:06 am

SandChigger wrote:Oscar Wao? You mean the Irish guy they locked up in Reading Gao? ;)


lol... I just found out that is exactly why they started calling Oscar, Oscar Wao.. cause he looks like Oscar Wilde.

I do not want to give away any of the surprises of the book, I will just say that the similarities to some of the people we talk to online are fucking shocking. It's like the author knew all of us, and put things in the book that we would totally get. Even Oscar's mom's name will make you laugh. As an added bonus, you get a little history lesson of the Caribbean.
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Postby Star Dust » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:27 am

Just added Gibson's Neuromancer and LeGuin's The Left Hand of Drakness to the stack.
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:08 pm

Finished Inversions (nice!), have started Matter. Fun. :D (Some new weird aliens to play with, the usual close-to-human crowd.)

The writing doesn't have to be repetitive and simplified just because the story is action-packed. Banks isn't the best writer in the world, but he sure as hell blows you-know-who out of the water. It's amazing people even read the latter with people like Banks around. Ah, well, to each his own.

:roll:
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:45 pm

Finished Matter this morning.

Wow. :shock: Yes, enjoyed. :D

Quandary: what to start on next. I've finished all the Culture novels now. I have his other "Iain M. Banks" scifi works, but maybe it's time for a weE change.

I'm thinking Dune, by Frank Herbert. Just to have everything fresh, for when PuD, I mean, PoD comes out in a couple of weeks. :P
Last edited by SandChigger on Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:15 pm

I just started Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut. Its OK.
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Postby GamePlayer » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:05 pm

SandChigger wrote:Finished Matter this morning.

Wow. :shock: Yes, enjoyed. :D

Quandary: what to start on next. I've finished all the Culture novels now. I have his other "Iain M. Banks" scifi works, but maybe it's time for a weE change.

I'm thinking Dune, by Frank Herbert. Just to have everything fresh, for when PuD, I mean, PoD comes out in a couple of weeks. :P


You've done a marathon on Banks. I'd definitely say try some other stuff before going back to him. There can be too much of a good thing.

When you do go back to Banks, I'd definitely recommend The Wasp Factory, though be in store for something truly fucked up :)
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Postby inhuien » Sun Aug 24, 2008 4:45 am

SandChigger wrote:Finished Matter this morning.

Wow. :shock: Yes, enjoyed. :D

Quandary: what to start on next. I've finished all the Culture novels now. I have his other "Iain M. Banks" scifi works, but maybe it's time for a weE change.

I'm thinking Dune, by Frank Herbert. Just to have everything fresh, for when PuD, I mean, PoD comes out in a couple of weeks. :P


Don't overlook Alistair Reynolds Revelation Space saga. It's hard, gritty, quite out there and a well written good read.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby SandChigger » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:38 am

I read and really liked the first of those, but the ending kinda pissed me off for some reason, so I didn't go after the other books at that time. Something I've been meaning to get back to.

Reynolds has a new book out now or soon, right?
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

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Postby inhuien » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:05 am

I know what you mean about the ending . You have the word faff, well it did it. Read the second and third books as well and they seemed to be up and down from what I recall but enjoyable in the whole.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:42 am

I'm well into Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon, I like this guy more and more with each book I read - really noir gritty stuff with a fairly interesting take on identity.

I've been attempting to go on a Banks bender myself, but I can't find Use of Weapons anywhere, it's the one to read after tPoG right?
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Postby inhuien » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:11 pm

Is Altered Carbon a stand alone novel? Me local amazon have for 33p +p&p :)
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby SandChigger » Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:26 pm

(Thang, I'd have to go back through the thread to check! :lol: I think I read the short stories before UoW....)
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:05 pm

inhuien wrote:Is Altered Carbon a stand alone novel? Me local amazon have for 33p +p&p :)


No, it's his first novel but there are two sequels, Broken Angels and Woken Furies which revolve around the same main character, Takeshi Kovachs. I read the second one first and still have to finish AC before I get to the last one. They're pretty much mystery novels though, so there's not a lot of plot from book to book, reading the second one first didn't really take anything away from either book.

Also, I don't know what this means: 33p +p&p :?

SandChigger wrote:(Thang, I'd have to go back through the thread to check! :lol: I think I read the short stories before UoW....)


I'm sure I'll figure it out. Now I just have to find the damn book.
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Postby SandChigger » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:43 pm

You're kidding, right? :shock:

33 pence plus (and I'm guessing on half of this next) packing & postage.

Whaddaya know, being an Anglophile actually does come in handy sometimes. :shock:
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Postby Omphalos » Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:12 pm

I always buy the 1 cent books of Amazon. You only have to pay $3.50 shipping.
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Postby inhuien » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:13 am

SandChigger wrote:You're kidding, right? :shock:

33 pence plus (and I'm guessing on half of this next) packing & postage.

Whaddaya know, being an Anglophile actually does come in handy sometimes. :shock:


Correct SC, See that Mekon brain has it's uses :P :)

edit to add: Sorry for the oversight AToE, thank you for the info.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:36 am

SandChigger wrote:You're kidding, right? :shock:

33 pence plus (and I'm guessing on half of this next) packing & postage.

Whaddaya know, being an Anglophile actually does come in handy sometimes. :shock:


Hardy har har. :x I had a hunch that was what the 33P meant, but I had no idea about the p&p. We don't use the term postage and handling that I've ever heard, it's always shipping and handling... guess I didn't fill that in. :oops:
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Postby SandChigger » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:30 pm

And thus you fail to grab the pebble from my hand, Grasshop...er, Sandwormy-thang. You must cultivate the flexibility of Word Mind that allows you to absorb without thinking the linguistic peculiarities of our Tongue Brothers and Sisters across the Big Pond....

:P

What the hell thread was this again? Oh, yeah.

I skimmed through a Russian grammar again last night. Can't decide whether to read Dune or Eye, which I haven't read and got a used copy of a while back. Hmmm....
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

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Postby inhuien » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:00 am

Be like water my friend...


r.i.p. bruce... the good die young and the bad hang around stinking the place up.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:59 am

Ever watch Cowboy Bebop? The main character, a martial artist himself, makes reference to Lee's interview about Jeet Kune Do, using a line similar to what you posted. It's such a fanboy moment :)
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Postby inhuien » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:51 am

I have the movie, the character (Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV) without a spine is so cool, is the quote from that?

Image
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby GamePlayer » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:42 am

Nope. It's from the series, episode #8 Waltz For Venus. Spike is seen fighting by this crazy guy named Rocco, who then wants to learn how to fight like Spike. So Spike reluctantly teaches him a few fighting tips and some philosophy, with a Bruce Lee quote about the nature of being fluid like water. I recognized the reference instantly :)

That's a great picture of Ed. She's such a delightfully fucked up character :)
This is one of my favorite pictures:

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Postby Omphalos » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:28 am

Nice cartoon ass.
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:51 am

Omphalos wrote:Nice cartoon ass.


I'll say!
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Postby Robspierre » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:15 am

I demand some Faye Valentine goodness for this thread!


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Postby inhuien » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:41 am

Robspierre wrote:I demand some Faye Valentine goodness for this thread!


Rob


Here you go, take this as a big I'm sorry for being so cheeky in that other thread :)

Image

there were a lot more, but I didn't want to get banned for posting p0rn(ish) stuff.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:59 am

Just starting The Garden of Rama.
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:04 am

inhuien wrote:
Robspierre wrote:I demand some Faye Valentine goodness for this thread!


Rob


Here you go, take this as a big I'm sorry for being so cheeky in that other thread :)

Image

there were a lot more, but I didn't want to get banned for posting p0rn(ish) stuff.


I see a camel toe! :P
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Postby inhuien » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:56 pm

Did you really mean to type the toungey smiley there :_))

GamePlayer wrote:That's a great picture of Ed. She's such a delightfully fucked up character :)


Completely, I'm mad for the Keyop (BOTP) like characters.

Image
Last edited by inhuien on Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:57 pm

inhuien wrote:Did you really mean to type the toungey smiley there :_))


Of course!
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:01 pm

Hey, that's the kid fro G-Force! I used to love that cartoon as a kid.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:21 pm

Freakzilla wrote:Hey, that's the kid fro G-Force! I used to love that cartoon as a kid.


Me too. He had some speech impediment where he quacked like a duck, right?
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Postby Robspierre » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:32 pm

Interpersonal Communication: Fourth Edition
The English Teacher' Companion: Third Edition-Jim Burke
Mythology-Edith Hamilton
D'aulaires' Book of Greek Myths


My reading for this semester

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Postby Phaedrus » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:09 pm

Just finished Watchmen.

It was pretty incredible.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:47 pm

I really cant wait for that movie.

I finished Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys last night. Now I think its off to Stanislaw Lem's The Futurolgoical Congress.
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Postby GamePlayer » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:32 pm

Phaedrus
Well done. I suspect you can now see why Watchmen was turned into a film; the panels and the artwork is very cinematic.

Omphalos
We may have to, given the legal crap :(
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Postby Seraphan » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:16 pm

I need some advice, i never read a philip k dick novel and i'm very interested? Can someone tell with wich one to start?
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:27 pm

Seraphan wrote:I need some advice, i never read a philip k dick novel and i'm very interested? Can someone tell with wich one to start?


Martian Time Slip is a good starter. So is Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? I personally love The Man in the High Castle, but get ready for a thinker, a talker and in some parts a snoozer. There are tons of short stories out too, and those may be good places to start.
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Postby Seraphan » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:34 pm

Omphalos wrote:
Seraphan wrote:I need some advice, i never read a philip k dick novel and i'm very interested? Can someone tell with wich one to start?


Martian Time Slip is a good starter. So is Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? I personally love The Man in the High Castle, but get ready for a thinker, a talker and in some parts a snoozer. There are tons of short stories out too, and those may be good places to start.

Thanks i'll go dig them out :D
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:39 pm

I liked Radio Free Albemuth too, and all save for the LSD scene, a book called The Unteleported Man (now retitled Lies, Inc., I think). Once you read that one you will know why I like it. :wink:

And Confessions of a Crap Artist. That's good.
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Postby The Phantom » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:25 am

Omphalos wrote:
Confessions of a Crap Artist.



can't wait for "Confessions of a Crap Writer: A Memoir" by KJA
that's a book i'd read :P
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:31 am

Just starting Rama Revealed Arthur C Clarke.
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Postby Star Dust » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:36 am

About 1/3 of the way through Ursula K Leguin's Left Hand of Drakness. Nice so
far, but not feeling the vibe.
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Postby Star Dust » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:37 am

was posted at Worm's Haven:

http://cjonline.com/stories/082808/bre_fiction.shtml

Guess where I'll be next week? Bag o books anyone? ;)
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Postby Ampoliros » Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:32 am

I'd start with PK Dick's short stories, they are amazing. "Mold of Yancy" is fearfully prescient of political pundits today. I can't remember the title, I think its called "The Stranger" or "The Hanging Man" is another favorite about a man who closes up his shop and finds a man hung from the lightpost in broad daylight.

It's amazing how many of his stories have been raped into crap films. Blade Runner and Screamers are the only ones worth a damn. And Screamers is based off of about 2 lines from "Second Variety".

"Paycheck" is probably one of the best short stories ever written. I refused to go see the film, i knew they'd fuck it up incredibly.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:48 pm

Maybe I oughta give ol' PKD another try one of these days. The only thing I've read is Dr. Futurity, and it was crap. That kinda put me off, ya know?
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:31 pm

Liege-Killer wrote:Maybe I oughta give ol' PKD another try one of these days. The only thing I've read is Dr. Futurity, and it was crap. That kinda put me off, ya know?


A lot of his stuff comes off that way. He was writing to pay the bills, not say something grand (most of the time). But even so he is a really unique voice, and although the execution of some of his ideas sucks, the kernels of them are sometimes pretty good. I think one thing that bugs most people about Dick is that his plots are almost always all over the place. There is no structure at all to them. It bugs me, even though I know that was part of his unique avant-garde approach to writing.

Oh yea, and stay the hell away from VALIS until you have sufficient experience with hallucinogens.
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:11 pm

Finished The Man Who Fell to Earth, by Walter Tevis on Saturday, and made a big dent in Stephen King's The Stand on Sunday.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:17 pm

Just finish Rama Revealed fantastic ending to the series. I'll probably go on to read the sequels by just Gentry Lee at some point.

Now I'm on to The Instrumentality of Mankind by Cordwainer Smith.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:32 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Just finish Rama Revealed fantastic ending to the series. I'll probably go on to read the sequels by just Gentry Lee at some point.

Now I'm on to The Instrumentality of Mankind by Cordwainer Smith.


Is that the NESFA edition? That one, IIRC, is complete. I just started the NESFA edition of all of Don A. Stuart's SF.
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:21 am

Well, we all know what pile I have on the pile at the moment, so this is just an update of pile contents!

I was surprised to find, in the Borders in the Barboursville Mall, English translations of two of the GitS:SAC-spinoff novels I've mentioned previously:

The Lost Memory and Revenge of the Cold Machines, both by Junichi Fujisaku, from DH Press. Also picked up an English translation of the GitS 1.5: Human Error Processor manga.

(Was also completely blown away by finding pretty much the whole series, including Innocence and one of the other movies, in DVD in another store.)

Bunmei comes to the boonies! :lol:
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Postby Seraphan » Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:53 am

I recently got a hold of the mangas as well, i havent seen all the episodes of both SAC abd SAC 2, nor Solid State Society movie. He he he but i'm working on it :D . Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence by the way is an excellent movie and i urge anyone that hasnt seen it to go see that movie
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:00 am

The rest of the GITS franchise is surprisingly good. SAC and the second film were great; not as good as the first film, but they were some fine productions with a lot going for them. I've not yet finished the first season of SAC either, so I don't want to touch 2nd Gig or SSS. But I want to see them! :)
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:02 am

Omphalos wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Just finish Rama Revealed fantastic ending to the series. I'll probably go on to read the sequels by just Gentry Lee at some point.

Now I'm on to The Instrumentality of Mankind by Cordwainer Smith.


Is that the NESFA edition? That one, IIRC, is complete. I just started the NESFA edition of all of Don A. Stuart's SF.


I don't think so, would it say NESFA somewhere on it? This certainly isn't complete, it doesn't even have Scanners Live in Vain which I'd really like to read. It has an Instrumentality timeline at the beginning which shows a bunch of shorts which aren't in this book, and this book has a few shorts from other universes. I don't know if you’ve seen the timeline, but it's waaay out to lunch unless I'm missing something (it puts Mark Elf at 2000 AD, but the story repeatedly states that it's about 16,000 years in the future. I have a feeling I might be missing something though).

Also, what's with the weird alternate WWII tech/history? I was pretty lost until I decided it must just be plain old alt-hist, at first I was trying to figure out if it was some kind of a riddle for the reader to figure out.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:30 am

Its an altered history, but I don't think that Smith was too consistent. Who published the book that you have? Is it new? Is it published by Baen? NESFA is a publisher. Here is a link to their book. I know it has all the Insturmentality stories in it, and I think it has everything that he ever published, except for the two books of Norstrilia.

Here are some links to free Cordwainer Smith stories, including Scanners Live in Vain:

War No. 81-Q (rewrite)

The Lady who Sailed The Soul

Scanners Live in Vain

Queen of the Afternoon

Mark Elf

No! No! Not Rogov!

When the People Fell

Mother Hittun's Littul Kittuns

The Dead Lady of Clown Town

Under Old Earth
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:03 pm

Thanks, I think I'll have to hunt down that Book, I just saw this one at a used book store and had to have it. It's published by DEL REY / Ballantine and it's a 1985, first edition was 1979. I'll also have to check out that re-write of War No. 81- Q I think this book has the original (from 1928) and it's pretty weak.

I agree, I don't think consistancy really bothered him much. I do like his killer nazi robots and nazi space ships from the 40s though. :D
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Postby Rakis » Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:32 pm

Just begun Time's Eye from Clarke and Baxter
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:36 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Thanks, I think I'll have to hunt down that Book, I just saw this one at a used book store and had to have it. It's published by DEL REY / Ballantine and it's a 1985, first edition was 1979. I'll also have to check out that re-write of War No. 81- Q I think this book has the original (from 1928) and it's pretty weak.

I agree, I don't think consistancy really bothered him much. I do like his killer nazi robots and nazi space ships from the 40s though. :D


He was a man of his era, no?

My favorite stories by him are Mother Hittun's Littul Kittons and Scanners Live in Vain. There are of course other good ones, but I like those two the best.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:09 am

Thanks again for those links Omph, I'm going to print off Scanners and read it before I get to the shorts which are set after it chronologically. Then I can worry about finding a nice novel copy of it at a more leisurely pace.

With anyone other than Smith I'd be pissed at the alt-hist (I hate alt-hist), but with him it's pretty necessary to the over all fucked-up-ness of his stories. It definitly adds rather than takes away in his case.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:39 am

Well, they are really not alternate history stories. Smith was much more interested in human reactions and psychology. It was h is specialty as a spy. The alternate history aspects were nothing more than backdrop.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:23 pm

Omphalos wrote:Well, they are really not alternate history stories. Smith was much more interested in human reactions and psychology. It was h is specialty as a spy. The alternate history aspects were nothing more than backdrop.


I know, I just normally wouldn't like any alternate history in an SF story I was reading. In his case he makes it work very well, and as you said its just background.
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Postby Robspierre » Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:21 pm

Added to my reading pile

For school:

One Who Walks Alone
The Barbaric Triumph
Blood & Thunder The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard


My me pile:

The Savage Sword of Conan Vol 2
The Dutchess (Keira Knightley cover)
Anathem
Red Sonja novels vol 3-5


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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:23 pm

Just started Black Man by Richard Morgan (titled Thirteen in the US).
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Postby Nekhrun » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:11 pm

I'm starting a new pile today and it consists of Paul of Dune!
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:59 pm

Ive chickened out with PuD. I dont want to read it. Ill let you guys handle it.

I finished Joe Haldeman's newest, Marsbound, last nigth, and started Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy.
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Postby Manbearpig » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:44 pm

Sunday i bought Pail of Dung and Brisingr (Eragon book 3) ...reading pail of dung first...so i can read Brisingr second and actually feel good about dropping 50 bucks knowing one is garbage that encourages more garbage
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Postby Robspierre » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:59 am

Just added the unabridged audio versions of Messiah, Children, and God Emperor of Dune to the pile. Also Audio versions of Friday and a collection of Robert E. Howard stories.

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Postby Freakzilla » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:32 am

I think I'm going to re-read Julian May's Saga of Pliocene Exile again.

I couldn't say enough good things about her books.

First up... The Many-Colored Land

http://www.amazon.com/Many-Colored-Land ... pd_sim_b_2

4-1/2 stars... not that that means anything. :roll:
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:53 am

Freakzilla wrote:I think I'm going to re-read Julian May's Saga of Pliocene Exile again.

I couldn't say enough good things about her books.

First up... The Many-Colored Land

http://www.amazon.com/Many-Colored-Land ... pd_sim_b_2

4-1/2 stars... not that that means anything. :roll:


Ive been meaning to read those, Freak. You have said a lot of good things about them in the past. I actually have a copy of The Many Colored Lands. Just have not gotten to it yet.

I finished Hitchhiker's Guide last night, and started on a novella by Walter Miller, Jr. called The Darfstellar. I think Ill finish that this evening and start The Restaurant at the End of the Univerese.
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Postby Freakzilla » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:02 am

Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I think I'm going to re-read Julian May's Saga of Pliocene Exile again.

I couldn't say enough good things about her books.

First up... The Many-Colored Land

http://www.amazon.com/Many-Colored-Land ... pd_sim_b_2

4-1/2 stars... not that that means anything. :roll:


Ive been meaning to read those, Freak. You have said a lot of good things about them in the past. I actually have a copy of The Many Colored Lands. Just have not gotten to it yet.

I finished Hitchhiker's Guide last night, and started on a novella by Walter Miller, Jr. called The Darfstellar. I think Ill finish that this evening and start The Restaurant at the End of the Univerese.


I think I'll join you at the Restaurant, I just read HHG a couople months ago and I could use some quick comedy before getting into anything that serious.

You seem to have a lot of interest in myths and legends (didn't you have a topic on that? I couldn't find it), the Saga of Pliocene Exiles explains where they all come from, among other things.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:05 pm

Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I think I'm going to re-read Julian May's Saga of Pliocene Exile again.

I couldn't say enough good things about her books.

First up... The Many-Colored Land

http://www.amazon.com/Many-Colored-Land ... pd_sim_b_2

4-1/2 stars... not that that means anything. :roll:


Ive been meaning to read those, Freak. You have said a lot of good things about them in the past. I actually have a copy of The Many Colored Lands. Just have not gotten to it yet.

I finished Hitchhiker's Guide last night, and started on a novella by Walter Miller, Jr. called The Darfstellar. I think Ill finish that this evening and start The Restaurant at the End of the Univerese.


I think I'll join you at the Restaurant, I just read HHG a couople months ago and I could use some quick comedy before getting into anything that serious.

You seem to have a lot of interest in myths and legends (didn't you have a topic on that? I couldn't find it), the Saga of Pliocene Exiles explains where they all come from, among other things.


I moved the myths forum to the trash because Pardot bailed. Those books look interesting. She got a lot of critical props for writing them too.
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Postby Freakzilla » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:30 pm

I liked the Pliocene Saga because it was a strong mix of SF and Fantasy elements. The Galactic Milieu and Intervention series is more straight SF. For all of them though, you must accept that mankind has latent mental abilities which are begining to blossom. If you can do that, it's almost an alternate history/speculative fiction series.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:47 pm

Freakzilla wrote:I liked the Pliocene Saga because it was a strong mix of SF and Fantasy elements. The Galactic Milieu and Intervention series is more straight SF. For all of them though, you must accept that mankind has latent mental abilities which are begining to blossom. If you can do that, it's almost an alternate history/speculative fiction series.


I'll buy that for a dollar!
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Postby Robspierre » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:52 pm

Anathem by Neal Stephonson is being used to hold down two cats and a baby :shock:

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Postby Freakzilla » Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:57 am

Robspierre wrote:Anathem by Neal Stephonson is being used to hold down two cats and a baby :shock:

Rob


I can't believe you'd treat cats that way! :x
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Postby Robspierre » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:20 pm

they are the neighbors cats and the little shits deserve it.

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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:28 am

I've created a PDF of Douglas Adams' Restaurant at the End of the Universe from the link Omph gave us. If anyone wants it, let me know. (I also have a PDF of HHGthG.)
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Postby Freakzilla » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:25 am

Kind of a depressing ending. :(
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Postby SandChigger » Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:29 am

Got tired of fooking around with Pile of Dung and started reading Walter Jon Williams' The Praxis.

Nice! :D

This is my first Williams, but so far (I'm about 60-some pages in) I know two very good things about him:

(1) He can write. (Like Kevin J. Anderson only wishes he could.)

(2) He cares about incorporating a touch more scientific reality to his fiction (than hacks like Anderson) and either knows enough on his own to do so OR knows enough to ask others who do to help him out.

If the rest of the book (and the trilogy) is as good as what (little) I've read so far, I'm going to like this one a lot. :wink:
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Postby Omphalos » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:53 pm

I enjoy his militart stuff. I have Solip: System in my pile.
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Postby Robspierre » Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:39 pm

William's is good, Hardwired rocked, but he can be more than an arrogant ass, his blog:


http://walterjonwilliams.blogspot.com/

he's a bit of a narcissist from what i hear from folks.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:47 am

I'm still working on Cordwainer Smith's shorts collection The Instrumentality of Mankind. Just finished Drunkboat, which is probably my favorite of the collection so far.
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Postby Robspierre » Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:23 pm

Listening to the audiobook of God Emperor of Dune, just finished disk four.

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Postby Rakis » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:47 pm

Finishing soon the Time Odyssey series by Clarke and Baxter
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Postby inhuien » Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:25 am

Robspierre wrote:Listening to the audiobook of God Emperor of Dune, just finished disk four.

Rob


Who's reading it please?
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby Robspierre » Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:00 am

inhuien wrote:
Robspierre wrote:Listening to the audiobook of God Emperor of Dune, just finished disk four.

Rob


Who's reading it please?


Scott Brick, he's quite good.

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Postby inhuien » Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:46 am

Thanks Rob.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby The Phantom » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:35 pm

soon to be reading pastwatch: the redemption of christopher columbus by orson scott card.

sounds good from descriptions. i'm quite a fan of time travel books. this is planned to be a trilogy, though some time has passed since this one's publication. the next two are supposed to be about the flood and the garden of eden :D
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:41 pm

Baraka Bryan wrote:soon to be reading pastwatch: the redemption of christopher columbus by orson scott card.

sounds good from descriptions. i'm quite a fan of time travel books. this is planned to be a trilogy, though some time has passed since this one's publication. the next two are supposed to be about the flood and the garden of eden :D


Time travel or travel to alternate dimensions? :wink:

(Reaally sorry but I couldn't pass it up :D )
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Postby The Phantom » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:37 am

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:soon to be reading pastwatch: the redemption of christopher columbus by orson scott card.

sounds good from descriptions. i'm quite a fan of time travel books. this is planned to be a trilogy, though some time has passed since this one's publication. the next two are supposed to be about the flood and the garden of eden :D


Time travel or travel to alternate dimensions? :wink:

(Reaally sorry but I couldn't pass it up :D )



well done :P
time travel :D
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:32 am

Baraka Bryan wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:soon to be reading pastwatch: the redemption of christopher columbus by orson scott card.

sounds good from descriptions. i'm quite a fan of time travel books. this is planned to be a trilogy, though some time has passed since this one's publication. the next two are supposed to be about the flood and the garden of eden :D


Time travel or travel to alternate dimensions? :wink:

(Reaally sorry but I couldn't pass it up :D )



well done :P
time travel :D


I'm glonna let that slide... :wink:
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Postby The Phantom » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:40 am

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:soon to be reading pastwatch: the redemption of christopher columbus by orson scott card.

sounds good from descriptions. i'm quite a fan of time travel books. this is planned to be a trilogy, though some time has passed since this one's publication. the next two are supposed to be about the flood and the garden of eden :D


Time travel or travel to alternate dimensions? :wink:

(Reaally sorry but I couldn't pass it up :D )



well done :P
time travel :D


I'm glonna let that slide... :wink:


in all honesty, i don't adhere to a literal belief in the creation story, i'd be what's considered 'old creationist' or 'creationomic' or something like that.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:31 am

Baraka Bryan wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:soon to be reading pastwatch: the redemption of christopher columbus by orson scott card.

sounds good from descriptions. i'm quite a fan of time travel books. this is planned to be a trilogy, though some time has passed since this one's publication. the next two are supposed to be about the flood and the garden of eden :D


Time travel or travel to alternate dimensions? :wink:

(Reaally sorry but I couldn't pass it up :D )



well done :P
time travel :D


I'm glonna let that slide... :wink:


in all honesty, i don't adhere to a literal belief in the creation story, i'd be what's considered 'old creationist' or 'creationomic' or something like that.


Something like: god created space and time (big bang) and then guided everything to where it is now through systems and planets forming and guided evolution and such? Seems to be a pretty common belief for theists now-a-days, and it makes much more sense than trying to take creation in The (or any other) book literally.
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Postby The Phantom » Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:10 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:soon to be reading pastwatch: the redemption of christopher columbus by orson scott card.

sounds good from descriptions. i'm quite a fan of time travel books. this is planned to be a trilogy, though some time has passed since this one's publication. the next two are supposed to be about the flood and the garden of eden :D


Time travel or travel to alternate dimensions? :wink:

(Reaally sorry but I couldn't pass it up :D )



well done :P
time travel :D



I'm glonna let that slide... :wink:


in all honesty, i don't adhere to a literal belief in the creation story, i'd be what's considered 'old creationist' or 'creationomic' or something like that.


Something like: god created space and time (big bang) and then guided everything to where it is now through systems and planets forming and guided evolution and such? Seems to be a pretty common belief for theists now-a-days, and it makes much more sense than trying to take creation in The (or any other) book literally.


more along the lines of our translated word 'day' actually referred to a period of time in the original and creation was accomplished over a long period of time, which reconciles creation with the age of the earth as discovered through science. the writer of genesis was working from a limited knowledge and regardless of what was revealed to him, had to write from that perspective.

could the God willed it into existence have been accomplished through a mechanism such as a single point of beginning expanding outwards (big ban) ? sure. but still His will that accomplished it. I don't believe in evolution to the point of apes-->humans because I believe in a fundamental difference between man and animal. But did God take an ape-like creature and give it a soul to create it 'in his image' ? possibly.

While I believe that God could have willed the universe into existence to appear billions of years old to keep us guessing, I am not so arrogant as to think i have all the answers. I find the key to that is simply acknowledging the sovereignty of God over all of history and accepting that I don't have to know some answers.


EDIT TO ADD: admins, feel free to move this latest discussion (everything past AToE's "I'm gonna let that slide" probably) to an origins thread as it appears discussion may continue for a bit and I don't want to derail the sci-fi books thread
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:29 pm

Sorry about the derailment too, I get carried away with the discussion sometimes and forget what thread I'm in.

I wouldn't mind this being moved either in case it does continue, but I'm personally not going to get into the whole creation vs evolution thing here, not much point seeing as we both have our opinions and neither of us is going to convince the other of anything. I've been running off too much about politics lately, no need to get me started on the even juicier topic of religion, best if I just walk away from this for now.

I would add though that I do appreciate views like yours which (I assume) incorporate original thought of your own and show questioning of what is presented both sides of the subject. Too many people (on both sides) refuse to question what they are told.
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:03 pm

Derailments are OK. People know to post here about what they are reading, even if you guys are going off on a tangent. If you want it moved, let me know and Ill do it.
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Postby Freakzilla » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:10 pm

Image
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Postby The Phantom » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:11 pm

kind of feel bad for adam there... despite being ripped, he's a little lacking in other areas...

EDIT: kind of feel bad for eve


nah ok, leave it where it is.. maybe we'll start a thread on that sometime.
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Postby Freakzilla » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:24 pm

Baraka Bryan wrote:kind of feel bad for adam there... despite being ripped, he's a little lacking in other areas...

EDIT: kind of feel bad for eve


nah ok, leave it where it is.. maybe we'll start a thread on that sometime.


I think maybe the artist was trying to make himself feel better. :wink:

But look at the length of those noodles!
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:31 pm

RAmen!
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:39 pm

I always thought that when the divine one touched Adam that would change. Its like God were saying "Go forth and mulitply! Oh! I'd better make that easier for you! Here ya go, big fella; take this schlong!" Were just seeing him too early. After all, the thing obviously required a GIANT fig leaf the next time we see that region.
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Postby Nekhrun » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:55 pm

I just started The God Delusion yesterday.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:10 pm

Nekhrun wrote:I just started The God Delusion yesterday.


Is it any good? I was looking at that book, and another one call God is not Great but I decided to skip them. I don't really stand to benefit from someone explaining to me why atheism is better than theism (or is the author arguing Agnosticism vs Religion?), but as long as the author doesn't go on some kind of crazy self righteous rant for the whole thing I would like to read it at some point just to see if he raises any good argument points. Despite being a hard line Atheist myself I have a disslike of other Atheists going on uninformed unobjective rants (well informed objective rants I do enjoy though :wink: ).

I shall await your review to purchase this one Nekhrun, if you say its worth reading I'll give it a go.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:08 pm

Baraka Bryan wrote:But did God take an ape-like creature and give it a soul to create it 'in his image' ? possibly.


I thought what happened to those apes was explained in 2001: A Space Odyssey. :lol:

Baraka Bryan wrote:soon to be reading pastwatch: the redemption of christopher columbus by orson scott card.


I'm sorry for you.

Nekhrun wrote:I just started The God Delusion yesterday.


One of the few books of his I haven't read, for the simple reason that I already agree with everything it would tell me. But it'll be good to get your opinion when you're done.
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Postby SandChigger » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:26 am

I rather enjoyed god Is Not Great (I'd never heard the Buddhist joke before ;) ). Have The God Delusion but haven't read it yet.

I wondered if this was going to go the way it did. And it did.

Leto was right: prescience is a bore. :P
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:22 am

SandChigger wrote:I rather enjoyed god Is Not Great (I'd never heard the Buddhist joke before ;) ). Have The God Delusion but haven't read it yet.


Would you recommend it? I could handle some more reading in my pile that isn't fiction.
I wondered if this was going to go the way it did. And it did.

Leto was right: prescience is a bore. :P


What went what way? :?
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Postby SandChigger » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:44 pm

Hmm...what's that quote about the thing better left unsaid? ;)

Would I recommend it? Hmmm....

Yeah, why not. I breezed through it fairly quickly. I hadn't read any of Hitchens' stuff before but remembered his name as the man who vilified the Old Prune of Calcutta. No new or stunning arguments that I recall. Get if from the library or bargain bin. ;)
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Postby Nekhrun » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:09 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Nekhrun wrote:I just started The God Delusion yesterday.


Is it any good? I was looking at that book, and another one call God is not Great but I decided to skip them. I don't really stand to benefit from someone explaining to me why atheism is better than theism (or is the author arguing Agnosticism vs Religion?), but as long as the author doesn't go on some kind of crazy self righteous rant for the whole thing I would like to read it at some point just to see if he raises any good argument points. Despite being a hard line Atheist myself I have a disslike of other Atheists going on uninformed unobjective rants (well informed objective rants I do enjoy though :wink: ).

I shall await your review to purchase this one Nekhrun, if you say its worth reading I'll give it a go.

I'd agree with Chig. God is not Great makes for a somewhat interesting quick read. I'm not finished with The God Delusion yet, but it doesn't really add anything new to the discussion. I do like that there is a well laid out argument against religion all in one place, so for that reason I'd recommend it. I borrowed it and suggest you do the same. I'm enjoying it so far. It might be one of those books though that it's nice to have a copy of so you can lend it to people.
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Postby Himachil » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:30 pm

Nekhrun wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Nekhrun wrote:I just started The God Delusion yesterday.


Is it any good? I was looking at that book, and another one call God is not Great but I decided to skip them. I don't really stand to benefit from someone explaining to me why atheism is better than theism (or is the author arguing Agnosticism vs Religion?), but as long as the author doesn't go on some kind of crazy self righteous rant for the whole thing I would like to read it at some point just to see if he raises any good argument points. Despite being a hard line Atheist myself I have a disslike of other Atheists going on uninformed unobjective rants (well informed objective rants I do enjoy though :wink: ).

I shall await your review to purchase this one Nekhrun, if you say its worth reading I'll give it a go.

I'd agree with Chig. God is not Great makes for a somewhat interesting quick read. I'm not finished with The God Delusion yet, but it doesn't really add anything new to the discussion. I do like that there is a well laid out argument against religion all in one place, so for that reason I'd recommend it. I borrowed it and suggest you do the same. I'm enjoying it so far. It might be one of those books though that it's nice to have a copy of so you can lend it to people.


That sounds about right: It is a very well laid out one-stop-shop for destroying every single argument you see used by ignorant people :P

Richard Dawkins always comes across as a bit of an arse - It might be the way he attacks religion that makes me dislike him a bit - but he does explain why he attacks religion and you (I) have to agree with him on all counts - it all sounds very true.

I listened to the audiobook (which is mostly read by him). Was good - worth a gander for sure.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:26 am

I'll see if a copy pops up at my favorite used book shops. Thanks.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:56 pm

Have almost finished The Praxis (been reading just a wee bit every night before bed ;) ).

I really like the fact that after thousands and thousands of years they haven't got "inertial dampeners" on their ships and they have to limit their accelerations to low multiples of gee. Adds a nice bit of realism to the space travel and battle scenes that is sadly lacking in, ahem, a certain other series. ;)

(I'm never happy about wormhole transit systems, but Williams adds some interesting twists.)
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:58 pm

Just finished From Hell last night, and sarted something called The Ninth Craft, or something like that. Its not looking too good.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:31 pm

(Sarting...that's nothing like sharting, is it? ;) )
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:38 pm

SandChigger wrote:(Sarting...that's nothing like sharting, is it? ;) )


Actually, with this book.....
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby inhuien » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:04 am

Got me a copy of Matter at long last, I'll get on to that after I'm done with The Jesus Incident.
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Postby The Phantom » Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:51 am

gonna be reading Kurzweil's The Age of Spiritual Machines after I finish off the Asimov's empire series tomorrow.

I very rarely read non-fiction but this one sounds pretty good. heard of it through my fandom of Our Lady Peace
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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:18 am

Currently on Cormac McCarthy's The Road.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:54 am

GamePlayer wrote:Currently on Cormac McCarthy's The Road.


Great book.

Ill give The Third Craft one more try. Last night they dug up a UFO in northeastern Canada. Its not often I come across Canuk SF, so Im going to give this one the benefit of every doubt, but the writing is pretty bad. Its a try at YA book I think, but I cant imagine a teen being into this.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:33 pm

I'm working my way through Tad Williams' Shadowmarch again because I just bought the second book Shadowplay and it's been so long I can't remember much of the first.

Then I'll wait another couple years for Shadowrise and have to read them all all over again. Kinda painful with these super thick super complicated epics.

I also just got an Amazon shipment :D so I have Use of Weapons and Pirate Sun in the pile as well.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:00 pm

Not only am I not so much a fan of fantasy, but those Tad Williams books are fucking monsters. Like the new GRRM books, I just cant foresee myself finding the time to slog through that much.

Does anyone else hate seeing so many ginormous books out there?
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:13 pm

Omphalos wrote:Not only am I not so much a fan of fantasy, but those Tad Williams books are fucking monsters. Like the new GRRM books, I just cant foresee myself finding the time to slog through that much.

Does anyone else hate seeing so many ginormous books out there?


You aint kidding about them being monsters: the final book of his Memory Sorrow and Thorn series was 1630ish pages in paperback, had to be split into 2 smaller books for the paperback run. For the hardcover I think it was about a thousand pages with tiny writing like a paperback. The whole 3 (or 4) book series was about 3200 pages. Ouch.

This ShadowMarch series is also going to be three books and is shaping up to be about the same size, maybe a bit bigger or smaller.

I hate seeing big books that don't need to be big, but for something like this it actually is necessary to clock in at, say, 800,000 words per story. Williams tends to do coming of age type stuff where the reader is taken so carefully through the character changes (which are beautifully shown not told about, fuck you and your writing KJA) that when the character finally has that moment where they realize how much they've changed the reader experiences it too, because it was so subtle a shift that it wasn't noticed. Like finding an old picture of yourself. Very cool, very well done writing.

I'm growing out of fantasy myself, but Williams manages to suck me in because it's just so bloody well written, and his stories don't really have much real magic in them, mostly just weird creatures. They are not fast paced though (aside from the odd scene that needs to be), and you better be ready to give up a good chunk of your year to do one of his series, because it's not the kind of stuff you can read more than 30 or 50 pages in a sitting before getting fidgety.

I like my epics though, I can see why a lot of people don't want to touch them. I'm looking forward to reading the GRRM stuff, but I think I'll leave it a few years so he can finish it and I can read it all together.
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Postby Robspierre » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:36 pm

I hate long extended fantasy series in general but I do like GRRM's stuff, well written and unbelievably gritty and harsh, no hobbits and crap in his work :D

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Postby SandChigger » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:55 pm

Well...I finished The Praxis on Friday but I'm having real trouble making any progress in The Sundering. Williams is doing the "repetition of stuff even a moron should remember and not need reminded of" routine big time. I mean, I'm talking McDune level or worse, and it's really starting to piss me off.

Who's read these things again? Anyone remember how long he keeps this shit up? Much more of it and I'm going to throw the second and third books back on the pile and wait a few months to read them. If he's going to remind me of everything I read in the first book, I may as well wait until the details have become fuzzy to read the sequels. :evil:

(Edit: On the way down the road I got to thinking that maybe recap is a better term for what he's doing. Early morning fuzz.... :roll: )
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Postby Liege-Killer » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:10 pm

Omphalos wrote:Does anyone else hate seeing so many ginormous books out there?


*raises hand*

To me, the ideal length for a novel is anywhere between 200 and 400 pages. Anything over that and it really starts to annoy me. I think there's something wrong if an author can't tell a story in 400 pages.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:16 pm

Liege-Killer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:Does anyone else hate seeing so many ginormous books out there?


*raises hand*

To me, the ideal length for a novel is anywhere between 200 and 400 pages. Anything over that and it really starts to annoy me. I think there's something wrong if an author can't tell a story in 400 pages.


Even trilogies and such? I think sometimes a story just takes a long time and that's that.
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Postby GamePlayer » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:06 pm

Can't say I really agree. I like shorter books as much as the next person simply because they are easier to read and I can read more books. But some of the best books are huge. Dune is over 400 (but only just) and Lord of the Rings is immense as a trilogy. Watchmen is also very big for a graphic novel. Good things sometimes take time :)
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:15 pm

I dont consider Dune to be ginormous. But a book, especially a book in a series where all entries are 900 pp + seems excessive to me. Nobody needs that much space to tell one story. But you get these books with twelve stories wrapepd around each other where the author bothers to tell you such things as the hue of the reflection from a fly's wings and such...its just too much.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:35 pm

I thought Dune was a "medium" sized book myself, my copy is about 480 pages.

I do agree that some authors could stand to condense their work a fair bit, even Tad Williams, whose work I love, takes at least twice or three times as many pages to tell a tale as a really good, well condensed writer like Tolkien would need to tell the same story. LoTR is a huge book, but if anyone else had written it it would have been trice the size.

But that said - though I do prefer "dense" writing to frilly stuff with too much filler, I still like em big. Anything under 350ish pages feels like a peice of short fiction to me, which is fine, I think shorter stories actually allow for more artistic freedom (for whatever reason). And I do think that the better the technical writer, the less words that are needed to get the same info across. Even then, I like 600-700 pages for what I consider a robust story, and as long as there is a real point to it I'm happy to pick up a multi-book piece that is literally 8 inches thick from the first cover to the last. Sometimes that's what is necessary.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:01 pm

I didn't mean my statement as an iron-clad rule. Of course there are exceptions. And of course the better the story, the more I'm willing to forgive the excessive length. But still, I don't think I've ever read a book over, say, 500 pages that I thought really, really needed that much space to be told. Even some of the Dune books, if you ask me, could have been a bit shorter.

Some of the best books I've read lately have been from the 50's and 60's, and authors back then didn't seem to need 500+ pages to tell a good story. Some of the best books I know of are less than 250.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:49 pm

Liege-Killer wrote:Some of the best books I've read lately have been from the 50's and 60's, and authors back then didn't seem to need 500+ pages to tell a good story. Some of the best books I know of are less than 250.


What I should have said. Personally I love SF novellas. Get in - tell a story - get out. Volia!
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:11 pm

Sometimes short is best, just read The Machine Stops and that would have sucked as a big epic novel.
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Postby The Phantom » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:40 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Sometimes short is best,


yeah, and only losers say the main goal is having fun :P ;)
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:25 am

Just started into Shadowplay by Tad Williams. I'm starting to get SF withdrawl though, hope I can hold out long enough to finish this book!
I deleted some of your posts because they were derailing the topic and not focusing on the issues asked, and instead going after the authors or their material. That's why. ~ BM
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:09 pm

Just read Teh Walking Dead omnibus number two last night. I love that series.
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Postby Robspierre » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:32 pm

Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler. Fuck yes, damn this book rocked.

America after the apocalypse where the main bastions of civilization are Joey Armageddon's Sassy-A-Go-Go strip clubs. Toss in Buffalo Bill, strippers, violence, a crazy mountain man Ted from Atlanta who hates Jane Fonda and Tarantino-esque action, minus the wankfest, and this book satisfies on all levels. It's a fast fun read that has all the goodness of an exploitation film without the perv in the trenchcoat sitting next to you jacking off.

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Postby SandChigger » Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:24 am

I read Watchmen up until Rorschach gets captured and then kinda got bogged down with some other stuff. :(

I rode through the annoyance at all the recap and have been reading fits and pieces of William's The Sundering, mostly as a distraction/change of pace and something to make me drowsy before bed.

I was reading a little bit more just a while ago and suddenly came across mention of a new character named "Lord Convocate Oda Yoshitoshi".

Well shit.

One thing that really pisses me off is the insistence by a certain faction of Japanese that it should be perfectly all right for them to keep their names in native Japanese order (surname first, followed by given name; they don't have "middle names") even when writing in English. Because a person's name is very important, and expecting someone to change their name around just because that's the way English does it is cultural and linguistic imperialism. Never mind the possible confusion that may result. Or the fact that the never voiced expectation on their part—that everyone in the world needs to learn that Japanese names are in "reverse" order to what someone reading English expects—is in its way just as imperialistic. :roll:

Anyway, there's also a faction of (soft-headed) non-Japanese who buy into the line, and since Oda is a famous family name (ever hear of the warlord Nobunaga?) and Yoshitoshi is a male given name that probably is never used as a surname, I figured Williams for one of the gaijin puttyheads and was annoyed. Let's ignore the fact that thousands of years have gone by and that Williams has explicitly stated that no one still speaks or really remembers the old languages of Earth, the Japanese are still sticking to the name bullshit.

But I read on...and in the next few paragraphs came across...

"Yoshitoshi was a broad-shouldered, glossy-haired man ... There was a Senior Captain Lord Simon Yoshitoshi ... Clan Yoshitoshi ...."

Oh. Shit.

My earlier annoyance was replaced by that ole sinking feeling of profound disappointment you get when you realize someone you kinda hoped better of has made a colossally stupid mistake. Dammit. This is just as bad as, or maybe even worse than, Brian "Fuzzyhead" Herbert's ridiculous Saito Watanabe (two surnames, neither of which is likely to ever be used as a given name) in his Timeweb books.

I don't know...I think this has finally killed this one for me. (Mind you, this is on page 162 out of 436 and I'm really not feeling any great love or interest for the characters. Meh.)
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:06 pm

Someone shoot me already. Beyond reason I've slogged through another 100 pp of The Sundering. Since nothing much is happening on the civil war front, Williams is focusing on the on-again-off-again romance of the two main characters, two aristocratic "Peers", and the doings of the rich and richer and better connected. Now they've broken up again and it made no sense at all. (To me at least. The woman is a head-case imposter and the man is a brilliant doofus that can't keep it in his pants.)

It's never a good sign when you want the war to flare up again and the main characters to all die. :twisted:

I'm going to try to get through the rest of the thing and then read Scalzi's Old Man's War instead of the third Praxis. Feh.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:39 pm

Just finished Survivor by Octavia Butler and The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard. Started A Time of Changes by Silverberg and a history of the genre from 1930 to 1970 by Lester Del Rey. I also started an obscure title by Olaf Stapledon called Darkness and Light. Its really good. Oh! and I read both of the Gunslinger graphic novels and the last two Walking Dead graphic novels during various dumps in the last two weeks. There is nothing as cathartic as reading zombie literature while evacuating one's bowels. Not even porn.
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Postby The Phantom » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:58 pm

currently reading strangers in a strange land.. the first 2 sections i thought were great.... wasn't sure through the third one... seems to be getting cool in the 4th.

picking up the positronic man as a time filler before I read robots and empire once i get back to my place in Toronto. finished off the first 3 robot novels this past week and am loving them. I think I almost prefer them to the foundation books, but the jury is still out.
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Postby SandRider » Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:22 pm

The Judas Field, Howard Bahr

River Run Red:Forrest & the Fort Pillow Massacre, Andrew Ward

starting annual re-reading of The Decameron
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:19 pm

You read The Decameron yearly? Ive been thinking of rereading that one lately too.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:24 pm

FINALLY finished The Sundering this morning. :roll:

The last third was a lot better (the middle bit was terrible!) once Williams got past the hoity-toity rich bitch oooh-waaah and implausible romance bullshit and returned to the space and urban guerilla warfare.

The third volume, Conventions of War, was handy on a nearby pile, so I picked it up and read a few pages....

He starts in with the recap bullshit again, so I put it down. I'll start the Scalzi later in the afton.

(The Galactica Marathon starts at 3:00 today. :P Stopped last night with the return of the Pegasus episode I'd seen before. I didn't catch the rest of that arc when it aired (and I posted about it) before. Curious to see how it plays out, but not really looking forward to it. :? )
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:12 pm

Which Scalzi? The new one?
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:32 pm

Old Man's War
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Postby Omphalos » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:45 am

Enjoyable. Im halfway through it right now, but I put it aside a few weeks ago when Vol 3 and 4 of my zombie comic books came in. Yahoo! I think Trang loves that one.
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Postby SandRider » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:46 am

Omphalos wrote:You read The Decameron yearly? Ive been thinking of rereading that one lately too.



yeah, it's a traditional thing - I've got the 1940 Heritage Club edition my Daddy had - it
was one of his favorites (with Tristam Shandy) - he'd sit in his chair and smoke his pipe and
read one novel every other day for ten months - (one month per day) {There's "Ten Days",
each with "Ten Novells"} (November & December was Dickens) He died in 73, I got the book. I was already smoking a pipe, so ....

You know, it's like what the Gameplayer said in jacurutu about the mediocre literature.
There's plenty of good stuff out there.
I went thru a period of reading nothing but Victorian novels for a long time, Jane Austen
to Thomas Hardy.

These days, all I read is Civil War and Texas History related stuff, and there's enough of
that to keep you busy....


{hey, Chig, has BSG gotten to point where they kill off Starbuck ?}
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Postby SandChigger » Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:16 am

SandRider wrote:{hey, Chig, has BSG gotten to point where they kill off Starbuck ?}

OH YOU BASTARD!!! :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

:lol:

No, but it looks from the preview for the episode starting RIGHT NOW like Adama (Lee) is finally going to nail her! ;)
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Postby SandRider » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:01 am

oh,shoot, they haven't temporarily settled on New Caprica, huh ? that
whole show kinda runs together for me - I've got all the available DVDs
and alot of times just stick one in for background noise while I'm
puttering around the house. Oh yeah, if you're at the Pegasus part,
yeah, that was a long, long time ago. Do the Japs not sell bootleg
DVDs the way the rest of Asia does ? Guess not, Big Friend of Uncle Sam.
Hope a boat to Indonesia and get all the boxed sets for a dollar.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:25 pm

I spent a lot of time last year reading older books. So right now I'm spending a little time going in the other direction, picking up some more current stuff (recently published or soon to be). I've read next to nothing from recent times, say the last 5 years. So I got these three, from authors I have never read before:

Walter Jon Williams -- This Is Not A Game
(just finished, not terribly impressed but it's ok)

Michael Flynn -- Eifelheim
(working on it now, like it a lot)

Robert J. Sawyer -- Rollback
(waiting on the shelf)

I've got lots of older stuff to read too. I picked up a big H.G. Wells volume with seven novels in it, so I'll be reading some of that soon.
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Postby SandChigger » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:09 pm

Ended up not starting the Scalzi until bedtime.

Initially set in small-town Ohio (where Scalzi lives, last time I heard) - Kewl! :D

It's like having SandRider in yer head. :shock:


(BG ended with the Cylons showing up at New Caprica and the Fleet squealing "Run away!" But these are obviously the New Good Cyclons, so it's kewl. For now. :twisted: )
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:38 pm

Loving the Scalzi. About halfway thru now.

(Who's the military scifi freak again ... Trang?)
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:09 pm

Yep. Trang.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:12 pm

Finishing Darkness and the Light, by Olaf Stapledon tonight. Will probably start Galactic Pot Healer by PKD, then all my library books are read, and my pile will actually be down to just a few. One Norm Cowie book, one Jules Verne, and a Hal Clement.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:24 am

Had to take a break from proofreading theses/essays, so I read more of the Scalzi for an hour or two. Came back down from upstairs and got on Amazon and ordered the next two books in the series. :D

I've got a minor problem with the "It's a wild and wooly universe out there teeming with hostile aliens" element (if that were true, why hadn't any of them shown up at Earth for the free buffet long before we could defend ourselves?), but overall it's fun enough that I can overlook that.

The book was published by TOR, the clueless lot what br