[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /viewtopic.php on line 943: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone.
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /viewtopic.php on line 943: getdate(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone.
THE (ALMOST) UNDELETED • View topic - Books in the pile
Page 1 of 1

Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:06 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:10 am
by Phaedrus
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.

:(

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:05 am
by SandChigger
I'm over 200 pp into The Terror; also read about half of the "Melange" article in TSoD. :)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:55 am
by Mandy
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.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:36 pm
by SandChigger
The Gripping Hand was fun...if you're into furry mutant aliens. :D

(And have read The Mote in God's Eye.)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:04 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:05 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:51 pm
by Mandy
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? :)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:33 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:59 pm
by Mandy
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.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:19 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:14 am
by SandChigger
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....

;)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:18 am
by Freakzilla
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:35 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:42 am
by Freakzilla
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:09 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:49 pm
by Freakzilla
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?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:07 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:36 pm
by Freakzilla
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

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:37 pm
by Omphalos
"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?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:57 pm
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:41 pm
by Robspierre
Now reading GENTLEMAN'S GAME by Greg Rucka, a prose novel using his Queen & Country comic series characters.

Rob

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:42 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:46 pm
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:50 pm
by Nekhrun
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:00 pm
by GamePlayer
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:02 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:16 am
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:47 am
by Ragabash
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:02 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:48 pm
by Robspierre
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

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:12 pm
by SandChigger
From Hell?

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

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:39 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:42 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:45 pm
by Robspierre
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

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:29 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:31 am
by SandChigger
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

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:59 am
by Nekhrun
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.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:15 am
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:09 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:15 pm
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:23 pm
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:32 pm
by Robspierre
I didn't say it would be good :wink: but yeah it will be interesting to say the least.

Rob

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:53 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:25 pm
by Robspierre
Just finished PRIVATE WARS by Greg Rucka. Tara Chace rocks!

Rob

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:07 pm
by SandChigger
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.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:39 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:39 pm
by Ragabash
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.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:40 pm
by Ragabash
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.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:42 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:46 pm
by Ragabash
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).

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:47 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:18 pm
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:21 pm
by Omphalos
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?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:01 pm
by GamePlayer
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.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:24 am
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:00 am
by GamePlayer
I've not seen any of their other films. Production wise, From Hell was good even if the script was awful.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:36 am
by Robspierre

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:14 pm
by GamePlayer
Yeah, I already check out their filmography, but on the IMDB. Thanks anyway.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:51 pm
by Phaedrus
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:40 pm
by Omphalos
Just started The Healer's War last night, by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:21 pm
by Omphalos
Got bored with The Healer's War, and picked up Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:45 am
by tanzeelat
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:58 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:05 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:38 pm
by Mandy
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:01 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:15 pm
by Robspierre
LeGuin is just good stuff all around.

Rob

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:47 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:51 pm
by Mandy
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:57 pm
by Liege-Killer
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:

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:00 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:58 pm
by Tleilax Master B
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.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:14 pm
by Omphalos
Ill bump the review over here, if anyone else wants to comment.

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


Feel free to move my comments to that section.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:24 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:51 pm
by GamePlayer
Big O's note to self: must learn all admin panel commands as part of fun of moderating :)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:03 pm
by Omphalos
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?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:49 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:27 am
by Star Dust
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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:29 pm
by Omphalos
Just started "I Dream of a Drowned Star City," by S.P. Somtow last night. Should finish tonight, it reads so quickly.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:34 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:57 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:50 pm
by SandChigger
Going to start Dan Simmons' collection Prayers to Broken Stones this afton. :)

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:10 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:26 pm
by Omphalos
Man, I am always fucking doing that. Ill go fix it. Sorry!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:58 pm
by Phaedrus
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.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:35 am
by Omphalos
3/4 of the way through The Black Cloud, by Fred Hoyle. After that, I'm thinking some Heinlein is in order.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:36 am
by SandChigger
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?! ;)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:16 am
by Phaedrus
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.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:01 pm
by SandChigger
Nobody listens to me mumble mumble mumble...

:D

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:14 pm
by Star Dust
eh? you say sumthin? :P

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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:27 pm
by Omphalos
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?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:09 pm
by Robspierre
ALL THE PRETTY HORSES Cormac McCarthy

Rob

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:49 am
by Mandy
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?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:07 am
by Tleilax Master B
I'm about to read A Walk in the Woods by Bryson. My wife keeps insisting I read it....

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:12 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:28 am
by Star Dust
I just picked the audio book for Bryson's History of Everything. Work is somewhat bearable now.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:31 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:18 pm
by Ragabash
Robspierre wrote:ALL THE PRETTY HORSES Cormac McCarthy

Rob


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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:26 pm
by Omphalos
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).

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:54 am
by Tleilax Master B
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.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:24 am
by Freakzilla
I went for a week one October in PA , it was beautifull.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:25 am
by SandChigger
Tleilax Master B wrote:Backpacking is one of my big hobbies.

Yes, we've seen the pix with Master C in one. :D

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:51 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:32 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:07 pm
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:40 am
by Phaedrus
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?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:04 am
by tanzeelat
I've jusy started Iain Banks' new novel, Matter.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:45 am
by GamePlayer
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.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:48 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:04 pm
by SandChigger
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. :)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:10 am
by Mandy
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.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:30 am
by Omphalos
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).

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:18 pm
by Omphalos
Finished a few other things and now Im finishing up the SFWA book, but I think Ill start A Canticle for Liebowitz tomorrow.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:45 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:36 pm
by SandChigger
Is that the one where the title is a reference to an I Jing hexagram?

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

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:37 pm
by Liege-Killer
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:

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:31 pm
by Nekhrun
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.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:22 am
by tanzeelat
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.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:43 am
by Nekhrun
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.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:50 am
by Omphalos
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!!)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:25 am
by Omphalos
Just started Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut. Excellent book!

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:54 am
by tanzeelat
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.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:27 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:34 pm
by Omphalos
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:

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:42 pm
by Omphalos
Ick! That review is horribly written. Ill redo it tonight or tomorrow.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:32 pm
by Ragabash
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.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:37 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:15 pm
by Freakzilla
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.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:06 pm
by Omphalos
I going to read those soon and review them, Freak.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:08 pm
by Omphalos
I just started A Princess of Mars, and Im just finishing up A Canticle for Liebowitz.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:18 pm
by GamePlayer
Every time I hear that name, I can't help but think of the famous photographer :)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:49 am
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:36 am
by Freakzilla
Brain damage? I guess you could call it Brian Damage.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:04 am
by SandChigger
:lol: :lol: :lol:

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:07 pm
by Omphalos
Finishing The Martian General's Daughter this evening, though the main character is no a Martian. He just hung out there for a while.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:45 am
by SandChigger
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. ;) )

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:30 am
by Robspierre
Coming up when the semster is over next tuesday, THE ROAD Cormac McCarthy.

Rob

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:51 am
by Freakzilla
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.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:17 am
by Omphalos
Just started a few Heinlein books.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:21 pm
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:31 am
by SandChigger
: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:

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:04 am
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:59 am
by SandChigger
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. :)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:00 pm
by GamePlayer
*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. :)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:09 pm
by SandChigger
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. ;) )

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 4:32 am
by inhuien
GamePlayer, did you get Matter yet?

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 7:47 am
by GamePlayer
No, not yet. It's simply not coming around here. I'm going to have to import it.

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 2:02 pm
by SandChigger
Worked for me. ;)



(The only Amazon branch I haven't done business with and have an account on is the China one. :shock: )

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 4:31 pm
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 7:35 pm
by SandChigger
What, you think they use English on the UK site? :shock:

:wink:

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 5:40 am
by inhuien
SandChigger wrote:What, you think they use English on the UK site? :shock:

:wink:

Aye, the Queens ya Bam :P

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 9:32 am
by SandChigger
God rest thee, merry (bouncy) gentleman, I'm sure. :D

(Wheeeee!)

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 6:22 pm
by SandChigger
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: )

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 8:31 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 11:04 pm
by Freakzilla
My wife brought home a stack of Edgar Rice Burroughs books, any good?

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 11:17 pm
by Omphalos
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?

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 1:02 am
by tanzeelat
Lin Carter was a hack, but his Jandar of Callisto books are a pretty good homage to ERB's Barsoom books.

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 8:49 am
by Omphalos
Never read Lin Carter before. That's the author's name?

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 8:58 am
by Freakzilla
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.

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 9:06 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 4:48 pm
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 5:00 pm
by Omphalos
Good thing his partner has a B.A. in physics to keep him straight, no? :P

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 5:37 pm
by SandChigger
But who's there to keep him straight? :shock:




:wink:

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 5:40 pm
by Omphalos
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:

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 8:12 pm
by Robspierre
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)

Rob

Sidney's Comet update...

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 9:38 pm
by SandChigger
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. ;)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:02 pm
by Phaedrus
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:14 pm
by SandChigger
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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:43 pm
by Omphalos
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?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:05 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:53 pm
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:57 pm
by Omphalos
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!

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:21 am
by SandChigger
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:47 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:03 pm
by Phaedrus
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.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:10 am
by SandChigger
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. ;)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:11 pm
by Phaedrus
'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.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:47 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:47 pm
by SandChigger
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.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:58 pm
by SandChigger
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! :)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:00 pm
by Omphalos
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

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:58 pm
by Phaedrus
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...).

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:38 pm
by SandChigger
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.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:46 pm
by GamePlayer
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.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:05 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Done. I'll get it ASAP. Thank you.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:00 pm
by GamePlayer
Btw, did the help I sent you via PM work out? You never replied back.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:21 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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).

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:54 am
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:54 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Alright, just got tPoG... $20 bucks for a paper back? Sheesh! I'm sure it'll be worth it.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:37 pm
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:33 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:09 pm
by GamePlayer
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!

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:14 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:39 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:40 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:46 am
by Robspierre
Just FInished UNDER THE BLACK FLAG aboot pirates, good read it is.

Rob

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:00 pm
by Omphalos
Im about a hundred and twenty pages into a reread of The Mote in God's Eye.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:17 pm
by GamePlayer
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:45 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:17 pm
by SandChigger
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?" :) )

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:25 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
(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.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:29 pm
by Robspierre
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.


Rob

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:10 am
by A Thing of Eternity
Reading A Clockwork Orange right now.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:23 am
by Mandy
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.


Rob


I've been meaning to get that book.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:08 pm
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:13 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:50 pm
by Omphalos
I loved that book.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:25 pm
by SandChigger
The yizik in Orange give you a bit of a bowl in the ole galava, did it, Thang? :P

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:44 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:56 pm
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:04 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:35 pm
by SandChigger
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.)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:49 pm
by Phaedrus
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...?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:01 am
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:...Sidney's Vomit...


:lol: :lol:

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:05 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:37 am
by SandChigger
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: )

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:51 am
by Omphalos
So this whole seven suns thingie takes place in one system? boring.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:04 pm
by Freakzilla
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!

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:20 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:32 pm
by Freakzilla
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:03 pm
by Robspierre
I have the expanded version and its quite good, not a bad tale at all.

Rob

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:18 pm
by Freakzilla
Robspierre wrote:I have the expanded version and its quite good, not a bad tale at all.

Rob


What's expanded about it?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:15 pm
by SandChigger
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!)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:20 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:23 pm
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:07 am
by orald
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:

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:32 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:04 pm
by Freakzilla
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


I loved the language in ACO.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:05 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
It's great but it wont get out of my head!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:03 pm
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:24 pm
by SandChigger
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: )

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:08 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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...

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:14 pm
by Robspierre
Reading EYE by Frank Herbert. Love the illustrations.

Rob

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:37 pm
by SandChigger
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.)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:58 am
by tanzeelat
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"?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:16 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:50 pm
by tanzeelat
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:08 am
by GamePlayer
Finished reading a non-science fiction book called The Wasp Factory by Iain M. Banks. Very creepy book.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:35 am
by orald
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.
IDK.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:22 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:49 pm
by inhuien
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:52 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:06 pm
by Omphalos
Banks typically uses the middle initial "M." in US non SF books.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:31 pm
by GamePlayer
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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:52 pm
by SandChigger
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: )

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:45 pm
by GamePlayer
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:58 pm
by SandChigger
Whew...was a bit worried.

(Did you leave a mark? :P )

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:25 am
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:39 pm
by Ragabash
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.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:45 pm
by Omphalos
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.


Have you read Matter yet, bro?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:31 pm
by SandChigger
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!)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:11 am
by GamePlayer
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.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:43 am
by Omphalos
Just started Dangerous Visions last night, and read a bunch of City of Illusions, by Ursula K. Le Guin while at jury duty yesterday.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:49 am
by inhuien
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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:27 pm
by SandChigger
: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)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:35 pm
by Omphalos
Thinkun' machines indeed. Kind of like Jethro's "see-ment pond."

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:37 pm
by SandChigger
Dammit, Jed! Move away from there! :)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:40 pm
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:Dammit, Jed! Move away from there! :)


:wink:

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:10 pm
by Ragabash
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.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:10 pm
by GamePlayer
LOL :) If there's one part of the Banks books that comes across as unabashedly Scottish, it's the names for the ships :)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:49 pm
by SandChigger
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! :) )

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:41 am
by SandChigger
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. :)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:24 am
by GamePlayer
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.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:08 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:21 pm
by SandChigger
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. ;)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:48 pm
by Omphalos
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!"

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:26 pm
by SandChigger
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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:06 pm
by GamePlayer
"You have learned much, young one"

Yeah I know, it doesn't quite work :)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:33 pm
by SandChigger
Well...definitely not the last two words, eh? :roll:

;)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:41 pm
by Omphalos
Quite work? I dont get it.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:05 pm
by SandChigger
(Neither did I. I'm just humoring him. You know how sensitive they are up North. Especially this one. ;) )

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:25 pm
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:33 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:43 am
by tanzeelat
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...

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:23 am
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:36 am
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:51 am
by Star Dust

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:51 am
by GamePlayer
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:

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:23 am
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:32 pm
by SandChigger
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

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:43 pm
by Omphalos
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."

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:25 pm
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:23 am
by Robspierre
I loved the tachikoma's! :P

Rob

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:06 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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 $

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:45 pm
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:45 pm
by Omphalos
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Totally off-topic, what the Hype would call spam

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:17 pm
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:33 am
by SandChigger
(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. ;) )

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:48 am
by GamePlayer
Wow, you've now surpassed me. I've not read Inversions as yet. Good on my chigga :)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:30 am
by SandChigger
Did you ever get a copy of Matter yet?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:41 am
by GamePlayer
No. Too many other things in the way. It's a lousy time right now :(

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:40 pm
by SandChigger
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. ;)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:17 pm
by Mandy
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.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:25 pm
by SandChigger
Oscar Wao? You mean the Irish guy they locked up in Reading Gao? ;)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:36 am
by Mandy
I have no idea :)

You'd love the book, my Chigga. It's hilarious, it has Spanglish, and Oscar reads Dune.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:24 am
by A Thing of Eternity
I have nothing to read now. May read 10000 leagues. May not. See how I feel after my morning coffee.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:02 pm
by SandChigger
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.... :) )

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:17 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:06 am
by Mandy
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.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:27 am
by Star Dust
Just added Gibson's Neuromancer and LeGuin's The Left Hand of Drakness to the stack.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:08 pm
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:45 pm
by SandChigger
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

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:15 pm
by Omphalos
I just started Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut. Its OK.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:05 pm
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 4:45 am
by inhuien
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.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:38 am
by SandChigger
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?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:05 am
by inhuien
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.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:42 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:11 pm
by inhuien
Is Altered Carbon a stand alone novel? Me local amazon have for 33p +p&p :)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:26 pm
by SandChigger
(Thang, I'd have to go back through the thread to check! :lol: I think I read the short stories before UoW....)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:05 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:43 pm
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:12 pm
by Omphalos
I always buy the 1 cent books of Amazon. You only have to pay $3.50 shipping.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:13 am
by inhuien
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.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:36 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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:

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:30 pm
by SandChigger
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....

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:00 am
by inhuien
Be like water my friend...


r.i.p. bruce... the good die young and the bad hang around stinking the place up.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:59 am
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:51 am
by inhuien
I have the movie, the character (Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV) without a spine is so cool, is the quote from that?

Image

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:42 am
by GamePlayer
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:

Image

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:28 am
by Omphalos
Nice cartoon ass.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:51 am
by Freakzilla
Omphalos wrote:Nice cartoon ass.


I'll say!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:15 am
by Robspierre
I demand some Faye Valentine goodness for this thread!


Rob

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:41 am
by inhuien
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.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:59 am
by A Thing of Eternity
Just starting The Garden of Rama.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:04 am
by Freakzilla
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

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:56 pm
by inhuien
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

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:57 pm
by Freakzilla
inhuien wrote:Did you really mean to type the toungey smiley there :_))


Of course!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:01 pm
by Freakzilla
Hey, that's the kid fro G-Force! I used to love that cartoon as a kid.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:21 pm
by Omphalos
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?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:32 pm
by Robspierre
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

Rob

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:09 pm
by Phaedrus
Just finished Watchmen.

It was pretty incredible.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:47 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:32 pm
by GamePlayer
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 :(

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:16 pm
by Seraphan
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?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:27 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:34 pm
by Seraphan
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

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:39 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:25 am
by The Phantom
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

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:31 am
by A Thing of Eternity
Just starting Rama Revealed Arthur C Clarke.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:36 am
by Star Dust
About 1/3 of the way through Ursula K Leguin's Left Hand of Drakness. Nice so
far, but not feeling the vibe.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:37 am
by Star Dust
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? ;)

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:32 am
by Ampoliros
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.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:48 pm
by Liege-Killer
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?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:31 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:11 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:17 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:32 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:21 am
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:53 am
by Seraphan
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

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:00 am
by GamePlayer
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! :)

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:02 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:30 am
by Omphalos
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

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:03 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:32 pm
by Rakis
Just begun Time's Eye from Clarke and Baxter

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:36 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:09 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:39 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:23 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:21 pm
by Robspierre
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


Rob

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:23 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Just started Black Man by Richard Morgan (titled Thirteen in the US).

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:11 pm
by Nekhrun
I'm starting a new pile today and it consists of Paul of Dune!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:59 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:44 pm
by Manbearpig
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

PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:59 am
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:32 am
by Freakzilla
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:

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:53 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:02 am
by Freakzilla
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.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:05 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:30 pm
by Freakzilla
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.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:47 pm
by Omphalos
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!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:52 pm
by Robspierre
Anathem by Neal Stephonson is being used to hold down two cats and a baby :shock:

Rob

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:57 am
by Freakzilla
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

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:20 pm
by Robspierre
they are the neighbors cats and the little shits deserve it.

Rob

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:28 am
by Freakzilla
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.)

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:25 am
by Freakzilla
Kind of a depressing ending. :(

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:29 am
by SandChigger
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:

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:53 pm
by Omphalos
I enjoy his militart stuff. I have Solip: System in my pile.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:39 pm
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:47 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:23 pm
by Robspierre
Listening to the audiobook of God Emperor of Dune, just finished disk four.

Rob

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:47 pm
by Rakis
Finishing soon the Time Odyssey series by Clarke and Baxter

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:25 am
by inhuien
Robspierre wrote:Listening to the audiobook of God Emperor of Dune, just finished disk four.

Rob


Who's reading it please?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:00 am
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:46 am
by inhuien
Thanks Rob.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:35 pm
by The Phantom
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

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:41 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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 )

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:37 am
by The Phantom
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

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:32 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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:

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:40 am
by The Phantom
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.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:31 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:10 pm
by The Phantom
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

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:29 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:03 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:10 pm
by Freakzilla
Image

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:11 pm
by The Phantom
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.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:24 pm
by Freakzilla
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!

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:31 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
RAmen!

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:39 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:55 pm
by Nekhrun
I just started The God Delusion yesterday.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:10 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:08 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:26 am
by SandChigger
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

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:22 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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? :?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:44 pm
by SandChigger
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. ;)

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:09 pm
by Nekhrun
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.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:30 pm
by Himachil
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.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:26 am
by A Thing of Eternity
I'll see if a copy pops up at my favorite used book shops. Thanks.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:56 pm
by SandChigger
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.)

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:58 pm
by Omphalos
Just finished From Hell last night, and sarted something called The Ninth Craft, or something like that. Its not looking too good.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:31 pm
by SandChigger
(Sarting...that's nothing like sharting, is it? ;) )

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:38 pm
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:(Sarting...that's nothing like sharting, is it? ;) )


Actually, with this book.....

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:04 am
by inhuien
Got me a copy of Matter at long last, I'll get on to that after I'm done with The Jesus Incident.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:51 am
by The Phantom
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

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:18 am
by GamePlayer
Currently on Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:54 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:33 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:00 pm
by Omphalos
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?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:13 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:36 pm
by Robspierre
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

Rob

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:55 pm
by SandChigger
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: )

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:10 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:16 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:06 pm
by GamePlayer
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 :)

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:15 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:35 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
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.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:01 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:49 pm
by Omphalos
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!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:11 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Sometimes short is best, just read The Machine Stops and that would have sucked as a big epic novel.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:40 pm
by The Phantom
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Sometimes short is best,


yeah, and only losers say the main goal is having fun :P ;)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:25 am
by A Thing of Eternity
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!

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:09 pm
by Omphalos
Just read Teh Walking Dead omnibus number two last night. I love that series.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:32 pm
by Robspierre
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.

Rob

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:24 am
by SandChigger
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.)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:06 pm
by SandChigger
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.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:39 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:58 pm
by The Phantom
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:22 pm
by SandRider
The Judas Field, Howard Bahr

River Run Red:Forrest & the Fort Pillow Massacre, Andrew Ward

starting annual re-reading of The Decameron

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:19 pm
by Omphalos
You read The Decameron yearly? Ive been thinking of rereading that one lately too.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:24 pm
by SandChigger
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. :? )

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:12 pm
by Omphalos
Which Scalzi? The new one?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:32 pm
by SandChigger
Old Man's War

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:45 am
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:46 am
by SandRider
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 ?}

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:16 am
by SandChigger
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! ;)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:01 am
by SandRider
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.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:25 pm
by Liege-Killer
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.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:09 pm
by SandChigger
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: )

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:38 pm
by SandChigger
Loving the Scalzi. About halfway thru now.

(Who's the military scifi freak again ... Trang?)

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:09 pm
by Omphalos
Yep. Trang.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:12 pm
by Omphalos
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.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:24 am
by SandChigger
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 bring us the McDune books. I'm coming to consider them the whores of scifi.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:01 am
by Omphalos
Tom Doherty and Tor are worth their weight in gold. They have done LOTS to bring good SF to market.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:59 am
by SandChigger
So we forgive them for also doing the shit like McDune?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:59 am
by Omphalos
I prefer not to slay the messenger.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:32 pm
by SandChigger
We're speaking to the kinder, gentler Omphalos now, correct? ;)

Finished the Scalzi. Not sure what to get into next...

Anyone ever read his blog?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:40 am
by Robspierre
I do from time to time. I like his "Big idea" posts with other authors. Way ore entertaining than the hack's.

Rob

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:46 pm
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:We're speaking to the kinder, gentler Omphalos now, correct? ;)


Naw. Ive always respected Tor and been thankful for what they do. I'm not trying to quash your opinion or shut you up or anything. Just saying that I have a strong feeling about that one. But you can call them whores all you like and I promise not to be offended. :wink:

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:36 pm
by SandChigger
Fair enough. ;)

Since I do most of my book shopping online these days, and not in actual stores, I guess I don't have a feel for their product line. What's their crap-to-diamond ratio?


Happened to remember the Ted Chiang as I was rummaging about and started that last night, with the title story.

Interesting....


(Seriously ... who in the world ever read KJA and thought he was a good writer? I just don't get it....)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:36 pm
by Robspierre
There are those who think Laurell K. Hamilton is a good writer too :wink:

Rob

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:06 pm
by SandChigger
For anyone else whose first response to Rob's post above was also

WHO?!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurell_K._Hamilton

;)

(Seriously, had NEVER heard of her.)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:07 pm
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:Fair enough. ;)

Since I do most of my book shopping online these days, and not in actual stores, I guess I don't have a feel for their product line. What's their crap-to-diamond ratio?


Better than most, I think:

http://www.omphalosbookreviews.com/inde ... her/tor/NA



SandChigger wrote:(Seriously ... who in the world ever read KJA and thought he was a good writer? I just don't get it....)


Some editors read books and get excited. Some suits read sales reports and get excited. All those fucktard MBA's out there who no longer work their "magic" on Wall Street will be looking for other jobs shortly, so look for American society to get even dumber.

As for KJA...Ive said it before. Once you shame the American public into reading more, it will do exactly what it is supposed to do; demand written material that is on a par with its average intelligence. The exact same thing happened with political elections. You shame the idiots into voting more, and you have more idiots winning. It only took us 240 years to wreck the excellent system that the founding fathers designed to keep that from happening, and we did it with Diddy's "Vote or Die" campaign. :roll:

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:28 pm
by SandChigger
Aren't you Mister Sunshine today! ;)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:49 pm
by Mandy
I picked up Hyperion again yesterday. I tried reading it before and I guess I just wasn't in the mood. Great book, I'm glad I waited.

Anyway, I'm reading Martin Silenus's chapter and this passage made me think of KJA:

It isn't hard being a hack writer. Between Dying Earth II and Dying Earth IX, six standard years had passed relatively painlessly. My research was meager, my plots formulaic, my characters cardboard, my prose preliterate, and my free time was my own. (I would have shit myself if he'd said he spent his free time hiking)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:12 pm
by SandChigger
I wonder if he knows KJA. They both live in Colorado.

He never would respond to my inquiry about whether he had ever been contacted by (or in contact with) the HLP in connection with writing Dune-related material.

:?:

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:50 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Currently about halfway through Ian Banks' Use of Weapons - really enjoying it so far - seems to be typical Banks, prose that is almost poetry, and not much has happened yet. He seems to be leaving most of the real heavy plot to the end of his novels, not sure if it's something he always does or just in these first 3 I've read so far.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:47 pm
by SandChigger
Ah, Use of Weapons. :D

Whatever you do, don't peek ahead at the end. ;)

I'm still chugging along with the Chiang, but have added Loprieno's Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction.

No, not scifi, but quite enjoyable. :P

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:59 pm
by Robspierre
The Hounds of Skaith-Leigh Brackett.

Rob

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:25 am
by Omphalos
Monster Nation, by David Wellington. Zombie fare. Fun.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:49 pm
by Omphalos
I finished the Monster Trilogy; 890 pages of gory zombie destruction. FUN! Now I have started Ira Levin's The Boys from Brazil. Its a lot more forumulaic than I remember, but then again, at the time I read it I was very much into Stephen King and Dean Koontz and the like.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:57 am
by SandChigger
Finished The Ghost Brigades and have started The Last Colony. Am now a definite Scalzi fan. :D

Got Starship Troopers on the pile, too; have never read it. :oops:


Anyone remember a military scifi story from years ago about a troop on a jungle planet, fighting a biotech savvy bunch of rebels or aliens. (Something about booby-trapped sloths?) Injured men in the troop keep dying mysteriously, when they shouldn't be, from just minor wounds. Turns out their medic has gone psycho and is overadministering the pain-killers....

Ring any bells? I probably read it in an anthology in the late 70s or early 80s.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:10 am
by SandRider
53rd Alabama Cavalry (Partisan Rangers) : Regimental History
Robert McClendon, one of my cousins ...

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:33 pm
by Liege-Killer
I picked up a couple of Iain Banks' books today, since you guys mention him so often and I'm really not familiar with him. I got Consider Phlebas and Excession. Hell, I might even read them within the next couple of months, unless other reading options intrude.

Actually, I did read The Player of Games a long time ago -- must have been just when it was published, at the tail end of my teen years. I don't remember much about it at all. That's probably a reflection on my memory rather than on the book.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:33 pm
by GamePlayer
Have fun and enjoy. I'm eager to hear your thoughts on the Banks books.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:46 pm
by Robspierre
Finished In The Court of the Crimson Kings Audio book by S.M. Stirling and starting Spook Country by ol Billy Gibson next.

Rob

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:35 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
I finally finished Use of Weapons yesterday (had to read some other material for school, slowed me down). Great book, I think this is one I could stand to read again though, to look for foreshadowing of that "surprise ending", or, if that's missing entirely, then try to figure out what exactly Banks was trying to achieve other than shock value. He doesn't seem like the type to just shock for the sake of shock to me, and I'm left with the feeling that I missed something.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:48 am
by SandChigger
I had rather a lot of fun day-dreaming after that one.

"Oh, what an interesting bookcase! Those almost look like real b...." :twisted:

Finished The Last Colony. Got three more Scalzi books on the pile now, but think I'll finish the rest of the Chiang first.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:07 am
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:I'll finish the rest of the Chiang first.


Yaaa! Excellent book through and through.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:36 pm
by GamePlayer
A Thing of Eternity wrote:I finally finished Use of Weapons yesterday (had to read some other material for school, slowed me down). Great book, I think this is one I could stand to read again though, to look for foreshadowing of that "surprise ending", or, if that's missing entirely, then try to figure out what exactly Banks was trying to achieve other than shock value. He doesn't seem like the type to just shock for the sake of shock to me, and I'm left with the feeling that I missed something.


The ending definitely gives more than just a good shock ending. It tells a lot about Zakalwe. So much so in fact that the ending forces the reader to reinterpret a lot of the events of the book. Hence, that's why you are likely interested in reading Use of Weapons again. Which I strongly recommend.

If you liked Use of Weapons and appreciated the narrative complexity of the books, I'd recommend reading The Wasp Factory (non-sci-fi). It has a very similar style and is wonderful for pulling the rug from underneath your feet :)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:20 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
I just started Pirate Sun by Karl Schroeder.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:49 pm
by Robspierre
Finished Spook Country audiobook and am now on Time Enough For Love Audio Book. Twenty eight hours of dirty old man Heinlein! 8)

Rob

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:52 pm
by Omphalos
Once again Ive got seven books going at once. I gotta stop doing that. The one I picked up last night was Foundation's Edge, by Asimov.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:04 pm
by Freakzilla
Omphalos wrote:Once again Ive got seven books going at once. I gotta stop doing that. The one I picked up last night was Foundation's Edge, by Asimov.



Pffftt... I read all six Dune books at once AND wrote summaries. :P

I've got those Julian May books in LIT format if interested. (I believe that's microsoft reader).

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:39 pm
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:Once again Ive got seven books going at once. I gotta stop doing that. The one I picked up last night was Foundation's Edge, by Asimov.



Pffftt... I read all six Dune books at once AND wrote summaries. :P

I've got those Julian May books in LIT format if interested. (I believe that's microsoft reader).


Well, yea, but it took you two years. I did my seven in a week. :P

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:20 pm
by Freakzilla
Seriously, I don't know how you can do that. If I hadn't read all those Dune books before I'd have been totally lost. I can read one for a while then put it down and pick up another but I can't go back and forth like that and really get into it. I'm not a fast reader and I have to work at my retention too. If I'm to have any chance of finishing a book I have to go straight through. I wish I was a better reader.

I guess it wouldn't be that same as if I could just plug in, like in the matrix.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:33 pm
by The Phantom
Omphalos wrote:Once again Ive got seven books going at once. I gotta stop doing that. The one I picked up last night was Foundation's Edge, by Asimov.



love that book.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:46 pm
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:Seriously, I don't know how you can do that. If I hadn't read all those Dune books before I'd have been totally lost. I can read one for a while then put it down and pick up another but I can't go back and forth like that and really get into it. I'm not a fast reader and I have to work at my retention too. If I'm to have any chance of finishing a book I have to go straight through. I wish I was a better reader.

I guess it wouldn't be that same as if I could just plug in, like in the matrix.


If I didn't have a screaming case of ADHD I could never do things that way.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:49 pm
by Freakzilla
Baraka Bryan wrote:
Omphalos wrote:Once again Ive got seven books going at once. I gotta stop doing that. The one I picked up last night was Foundation's Edge, by Asimov.



love that book.


It's been a long time since I've read that series...

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:11 pm
by Mandy
I'm about halfway through Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I love Tom Robbins.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:01 pm
by Himachil
I have no idea what to listen to next at work.

Just finished Breakfast of Champions - not as good as Slaughterhouse Five... but still firmly cementing Vonnegut as one of my new favourite authors :)

Aww - just seen a link for Ender's Game Unabridged.. and I've just had a brilliant idea :)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:05 pm
by SandChigger
I never could get into/through Cowgirls. :(

Loved Still Life With Woodpecker, though. :)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:38 pm
by Mandy
I love the names he comes up with. Bonanza Jellybean!

You should try Skinny Legs and All, I really liked that one.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:30 pm
by Ampoliros
any fans of Moby Dick? I love it. I know, it's not sci-fi. at the moment i'm reading more graphic novels since schoolwork requires most of my mental capacity. I'm half-way through another reading of Watchmen, and restarting my foot and a half tall stack of Conan Comics.

Use of Weapons sounds interesting, I skipped through some of the responses since you guys say it has a shocking ending. Do I need to read the other books in the series first?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:37 pm
by SandChigger
Well ... not so into the Moby, but a spotted dick is nice around the holidays. :P

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:52 pm
by Omphalos
Ampoliros wrote:any fans of Moby Dick?


Here is something I wrote a while ago on Moby Dick.

SandChigger wrote:Well ... not so into the Moby, but a spotted dick is nice around the holidays. :P


I'm not even going to pretend to know what this means, but I think the spotted ones should be stayed away from.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:27 pm
by SandChigger
You've never had spotted dick?! :shock:

Barbarian!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotted_Dick

:P

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:48 pm
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:You've never had spotted dick?! :shock:

Barbarian!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotted_Dick

:P


No. I have never had a spotted dick. And if you have I ain't shaking your hand when we meet. :P

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:22 am
by inhuien
Ampoliros wrote:Do I need to read the other books in the series first?

Not at all, Stripped to the essentials the Culture setting is quite simply explained and Banks deals with it in such a way that it's not repetitive to long term readers.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:18 am
by SandChigger
Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:You've never had spotted dick?! :shock:

Barbarian!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotted_Dick

:P


No. I have never had a spotted dick. And if you have I ain't shaking your hand when we meet. :P

You didn't even bother looking at the Dikipedia article, did you? :roll:

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:34 am
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:You've never had spotted dick?! :shock:

Barbarian!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotted_Dick

:P


No. I have never had a spotted dick. And if you have I ain't shaking your hand when we meet. :P

You didn't even bother looking at the Dikipedia article, did you? :roll:


I looked at it. I just decided that you meant somehting else. :P

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:48 pm
by Liege-Killer
GamePlayer wrote:Have fun and enjoy. I'm eager to hear your thoughts on the Banks books.


I finished Consider Phlebas a few nights ago, and liked it quite a lot. I give it high marks for world-building; I liked the settings, and the whole social and political background of the Culture-Idiran War. A lot of cool ideas in it. On another level, though, it struck me as kind of comical. I mean, you have this Free Company being led around by this totally incompetent leader (Kraiklyn) who gets them into all kinds of trouble..... that part wasn't very believable. Still, there was something compelling about the book overall, just a feeling of being very comfortable with it.

Question for the Banks fans: is there any need for, or benefit from, reading the Culture books in their published order? Or does it not matter at all?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:23 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Liege-Killer wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:Have fun and enjoy. I'm eager to hear your thoughts on the Banks books.


I finished Consider Phlebas a few nights ago, and liked it quite a lot. I give it high marks for world-building; I liked the settings, and the whole social and political background of the Culture-Idiran War. A lot of cool ideas in it. On another level, though, it struck me as kind of comical. I mean, you have this Free Company being led around by this totally incompetent leader (Kraiklyn) who gets them into all kinds of trouble..... that part wasn't very believable. Still, there was something compelling about the book overall, just a feeling of being very comfortable with it.

Question for the Banks fans: is there any need for, or benefit from, reading the Culture books in their published order? Or does it not matter at all?


I haven't ran into a book yet that would have suffered from being read out of order, they don't seem to be very inter-connected - buuut, I've only read three so far, so there could be books ahead that would spoil something in these first ones.

I thought Phlebas was neat, but that the other books have been far superior.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:09 am
by SandChigger
I was just going to say the same thing.

I read Phlebas first (per GP's suggestion :) ) and really liked it. But in retrospect it's the one I enjoyed the least.

(That make sense? :lol: )

There's at least one Culture woman and her persnickety droid friend that reappear in one of the short stories. But I didn't know that and read the story before the novel. Didn't make any difference. ;)


Edit: Finally finished the last story in the Chiang book. Heading off next on a road trip to New Crobuzon and parts unknown. ;)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:36 am
by Omphalos
Perdido Street Station?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:13 am
by SandChigger
Bingo. Bango. Jingo. Jango.

Image

Django? :shock:


Steam(ed Rice )punk?! :P

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:25 am
by inhuien
Anyone here seen Visitor Q? Now that is one effed up leftfield flick.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:17 pm
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:Bingo. Bango. Jingo. Jango.

Image

Django? :shock:


Steam(ed Rice )punk?! :P


Is that the book cover? Looks like a movie poster.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:36 pm
by Mandy
I read Perdido Street Station, it was interesting. The story is very good, but there were times when I wished China Mieville had used less words to describe things. He's not repetitious, but he is wordy. Sometimes that is a good thing, and sometimes it isn't.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:50 pm
by SandChigger
Wordy ... yum! :D

(Movie poster, Omph. "Sukiyaki Western ... Jango!" Was on one of my satellite channels, but I just couldn't....)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:52 pm
by GamePlayer
Liege-Killer wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:Have fun and enjoy. I'm eager to hear your thoughts on the Banks books.


I finished Consider Phlebas a few nights ago, and liked it quite a lot. I give it high marks for world-building; I liked the settings, and the whole social and political background of the Culture-Idiran War. A lot of cool ideas in it. On another level, though, it struck me as kind of comical. I mean, you have this Free Company being led around by this totally incompetent leader (Kraiklyn) who gets them into all kinds of trouble..... that part wasn't very believable. Still, there was something compelling about the book overall, just a feeling of being very comfortable with it.

Question for the Banks fans: is there any need for, or benefit from, reading the Culture books in their published order? Or does it not matter at all?


I typically recommend either Consider Phlebas or Player of Games as starting points, but don't have much to say after that. Excession can be somewhat obtuse and difficult to get through, so I sometimes recommend people read that only after 2-3 other Culture books. You can read almost all of them out of order and it's fine. They are largely self-contained stories, just placed in the same universe. Often there are VERY long periods of time between one book and another. Also, the Culture stories are not all fictionally chronological, so there's little sense in sticking to the published chronology :)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:35 pm
by Ampoliros
Has anyone read the Rama series? I read the first while i'm waiting for Use of weapons, and picked up the second, but all the amazon reviews made it out to be as bad as some of KJA's books. So far i'm about 20 pages in and all that has happened is some poorly organized history about what happens between Rama I and II.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:45 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Ampoliros wrote:Has anyone read the Rama series? I read the first while i'm waiting for Use of weapons, and picked up the second, but all the amazon reviews made it out to be as bad as some of KJA's books. So far i'm about 20 pages in and all that has happened is some poorly organized history about what happens between Rama I and II.


I know, the beginning sucks, keep going - it gets good. Then finish the series, it ends with some fantastically interesting twists and turns. One of my favorite series so far for sure.

I think each of the four books starts off with some really dry re-capping, even the first one didn't it?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:47 pm
by Omphalos
I loved Rama. Not such a fan of the others.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:15 pm
by The Phantom
reading "The Left hand of Darkness" right now.. totally getting lost in just the first few chapters.. i think i have to stop reading books at night when i'm really tired and occassionally drunk. it tends to hinder the overall understanding of the book when a few chapters just dont seem to stick in the memory as well as others :P

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:02 pm
by Dune Nerd
Baraka Bryan wrote:reading "The Left hand of Darkness" right now.. totally getting lost in just the first few chapters.. i think i have to stop reading books at night when i'm really tired and occassionally drunk. it tends to hinder the overall understanding of the book when a few chapters just dont seem to stick in the memory as well as others :P


I too struggle with the drunk read. I can usually find a nice balance but sometimes the balance means a re-read the next evening. :)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:24 pm
by The Phantom
Dune Nerd wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:reading "The Left hand of Darkness" right now.. totally getting lost in just the first few chapters.. i think i have to stop reading books at night when i'm really tired and occassionally drunk. it tends to hinder the overall understanding of the book when a few chapters just dont seem to stick in the memory as well as others :P


I too struggle with the drunk read. I can usually find a nice balance but sometimes the balance means a re-read the next evening. :)


ya that's what I just did today :P work party last night and chapters 5-8 just weren't processing.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:42 am
by Hunchback Jack
I can only read words when drunk. Not sentences, and certainly not paragraphs, chapters or books.

I read Use of Weapons before any other Culture novels, and it's fine. Ideally, you might read Player of Games first, but you really don't need to.

HBJ

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:08 pm
by Mandy
I'm reading Ilium by Dan Simmons. Pretty good stuff so far.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:11 pm
by Hunchback Jack
Mandy, that's a fun, fun read. I enjoyed those two books immensely.

I hope you have Olympos waiting on the shelf for when you finish. You'll want it. :)

HBJ

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:08 pm
by SandChigger
:shock:

Inner ... struggle ... titanic ... epic ... Goth Girl grabbing keyboard ... Chigger trying to type ... biotch slaps ... pummeling ... can't ... post ... now!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:53 pm
by Ampoliros
I finished Use of Weapons and started Matter ( I have Consider Phlebus on order) Matter's opening hooked me pretty deep. I think i'd like to go back and read Use of Weapons's chapters in more chronological order...some of it was damn confusing starting off. What was that someone said about bookshelves?

I might have to go back and finish Rama also. Who are some good Clark-esque writers for when i finish him?

I still have to recommend Horus Rising by Dan Abnett. I think if it hadn't been published as a WH40k book it would be in the running for some awards. It was one of the better Sci-fi novels I've read. The rest of the series is good, but that first book was genius in how it discusses the universe and culture.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:29 pm
by Mandy
Fortunately I do have Olympos! I made the mistake of not having the rest of the Hyperion books a couple months ago, I still haven't finished that series.

I've been reading nonstop since I made that post. I am loving it. Hockenberry just changed everything, I think.

Chigger :)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:25 pm
by Hunchback Jack
I'm dividing my time between "American Gods" by Gaiman, and "The Fire" by Neville. Liking them both so far, but not very far into either.

HBJ

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:37 am
by The Phantom
just finished asimov's Nemesis and now reading he and silverberg's Nightfall.

once that's finished i'll be reading whipping star and dosadi again.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:35 pm
by Liege-Killer
Mandy wrote:I made the mistake of not having the rest of the Hyperion books a couple months ago, I still haven't finished that series.


Same here, I still need to get the Endymion books.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:05 pm
by Omphalos
Just finished City by Simak and picked up Pohl's volume one of the SFWA Grand Master series with Heinlein, Simak, Lieber, Williamson and one other I cant remember right now.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:20 pm
by SandChigger
Ah, the SFWA again... :lol:

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:25 pm
by Hunchback Jack
Yeah, but edited by Pohl. One of the "top 15" guys, IIRC.

HBJ

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:49 pm
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:Ah, the SFWA again... :lol:


This is grandmaster award, and before the cursed "Sawyer Years."

Actually, I don't know when the SFWA award started sucking, but I associate the suck with him.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:14 am
by Mandy
SandChigger wrote::shock:

Inner ... struggle ... titanic ... epic ... Goth Girl grabbing keyboard ... Chigger trying to type ... biotch slaps ... pummeling ... can't ... post ... now!


I take it you didn't care for Ilium and Olympos (from what Thing said over at Worm's). I thought Ilium was really funny, and quirky, just plain fun to read, but Olympos is driving me nuts. Did someone hit Simmons with the KJA stick? How many times do I need to be told that Daemon used to be pudgy, or that Orphu is blind (and how it happened), or that one of the moravecs sounds like an actor, or that Harman is old.. not to mention the pages of descriptions I just want to skip over. He didn't leave anything to the imagination! When I start skipping paragraphs or "blah blah blahing" in my head, I know it's bad! Jeesh, I still have a couple hundred pages to go, it better pay off.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:01 pm
by Omphalos
just finished The Dechronization of Sam Magruder, by George Gaylord Simpson. Ill start a new Mike Resnick novella ( :P ) tonight, then the brand-spanking new Ted Chiang novella called Exahlation. Cannot wait for that one.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:10 pm
by SandChigger
What, dat Thang been talkin my shit somewheres agin? :twisted:

:P

Mandy, oh Mandy! Let me know when you finish ... or give up ... and then I'll commençer (come on say).... ;)


Edit: Hey! You both been talkin' 'bout me! Agh! :shock:

Gonna have to have the "Reading is..." talk with that boy again, I see. :P

I loved Ilium, but hated Olympos.

Oh, OK. Just read Omph's comment, where he sets the record straight. And evidently it should be obvious. :)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:30 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
:lol:

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:13 pm
by Mandy
I'm not giving up! I am skipping at least a paragraph every page, and I know that I'm not missing anything.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:44 pm
by SandChigger
I was never so happy to finish a book as that one.

I'd already ordered all four Hyperion/Endymion books before starting Olympos, but hadn't started them. Olympos pissed me off so bad I didn't even look at them (or anything else by Simmons) for nearly a year. :evil:

The Cantos restored his rep with me, of course. And I quite liked The Terror. Am still eyeing Drood.... ;)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:55 am
by Hunchback Jack
I'll readily agree that Olympos is a struggle to get through after Ilium. But I enjoyed the series as a whole very much.

Hmm, Drood. I'm tempted but it looks pretty damn long, and I'm not convinced it really needs to be. Simmons is good, but he can be wordy.

Right now, I'm reading The Crow Road by Iain Banks (no M). Haven't read it before. Reminds me of Garbadale (a more recent Banks novel), but I think the writing's a bit more polished in Crow Road.

HBJ

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:34 am
by inhuien
I read The Crow Road when it just came out years ago, Loved the way he tells the story. It just flows.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:20 pm
by SandChigger
I grabbed a few "no M" Banks books during last year's spree but haven't read any of them yet. Those titles don't look familiar, either; will check later in office....


I guess if I had to sum up Olympos in one word, it would be ... gratuitous.


(Still on the Miéville, but got bogged down in monstrous parts and Khepri spit. :shock: )

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:03 pm
by Hunchback Jack
There are still 3 or 4 "no M" Banks I haven't read yet; they're sitting on my shelf. I've read all the "M" Banks.

I find the "No M" Banks to be a bit more variable than "M" Banks. Not so much in writing quality (although there is a bit of that as well), but just in terms of how much I like them. Some I think are just brilliant, others are just "good". All worth a read, though.

HBJ

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:36 pm
by Mandy
Do you see what I meant about Miéville being a bit wordy? Still.. not nearly as "wordy" as Simmons is in Olympos :)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:38 pm
by SandChigger
Yeah. I've actually had to check a few in the dictionary. ;)

I love the world-building, and the fact that I still don't know if the setting is some far-flung, far-future colony world where humans cohabit with aliens or whether the hybrid forms are the result of weird genetic experimentation in the(ir) distant past. Or if it's just a alternate fantasy world. :D

And probably "bogged down" wasn't the right way to put it above; it's real world stuff that has kinda gotten in the way and I haven't been reading much before bed or on the weekends, not that the book was work or hard going. ;)


I take that back above about the "no M" Banks as well: I haven't read any. I've got three "M" Banks left. Sorry! :oops:

The Algebraist, Feersum Endjinn, and Against a Dark Background. Any recommended order for those? ;)


Finally, I don't think I've asked this yet, mainly because it's not SF genre, but is anyone familiar with George Alec Effinger?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:57 am
by inhuien
If it was my dollar I'd go for Feersum Endjinn as it's the more not-usual of the three, but only if you dig the somewhat strange style of a few chapters. Second choice ...Dark Background. There's nothing wrong with The Algebraist it's standard Banks fair.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:18 am
by SandChigger
Cheers! :D

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:46 am
by GamePlayer
I'm a sucker for fictional anthropology, so I love well constructed worlds. Especially sci-fi worlds that introduce me to thoughts or concepts I'd never considered before. Allegorical reference to modern times is interesting, but created concepts I've never seen before is even better. That's why I've a tendency to enjoy Banks sci-fi more than his regular fiction. But both lines of his work are equally well written. The non-sci-fi The Wasp Factory was very well written and astonishingly, it's one of his first works.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:01 am
by Omphalos
GamePlayer wrote:I'm a sucker for fictional anthropology, so I love well constructed worlds. Especially sci-fi worlds that introduce me to thoughts or concepts I'd never considered before. Allegorical reference to modern times is interesting, but created concepts I've never seen before is even better. That's why I've a tendency to enjoy Banks sci-fi more than his regular fiction. But both lines of his work are equally well written. The non-sci-fi The Wasp Factory was very well written and astonishingly, it's one of his first works.


That one is sitting in my pile, but its been there for years. I keep bumping it for SF. GP, have you ever read Chad Oliver? He does anthropology better than anyone, including LeGuin, IMHO. Zenna Hendersond is great too, but not as great as LeGuin.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:29 am
by GamePlayer
Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:The non-sci-fi The Wasp Factory was very well written and astonishingly, it's one of his first works.


That one is sitting in my pile, but its been there for years. I keep bumping it for SF. GP, have you ever read Chad Oliver? He does anthropology better than anyone, including LeGuin, IMHO. Zenna Hendersond is great too, but not as great as LeGuin.


No, I haven't read any Oliver, LeGuin or Hendersond. LeGuin's name keeps popping up a lot, so I should give something of her's a read.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:34 am
by A Thing of Eternity
GamePlayer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:The non-sci-fi The Wasp Factory was very well written and astonishingly, it's one of his first works.


That one is sitting in my pile, but its been there for years. I keep bumping it for SF. GP, have you ever read Chad Oliver? He does anthropology better than anyone, including LeGuin, IMHO. Zenna Hendersond is great too, but not as great as LeGuin.


No, I haven't read any Oliver, LeGuin or Hendersond. LeGuin's name keeps popping up a lot, so I should give something of her's a read.


LeGuin is great. If you like shorts that don't actually have any plot (whatsoever) The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is good stuff.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:18 am
by Mandy
I love Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness is one of my favorite books.

I finally finished Olympos, it ended just the way I expected it to. Sad that such a talented writer wrote such a predictable and unsatisfying 800 + page monstrosity. All the book needed was a skillful editor, and it would have been just as enjoyable as Ilium.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:39 am
by The Phantom
Mandy wrote:I love Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness is one of my favorite books.


I started it, but had too many late/drunk reading nights and got lost so i quit it for a while.. i'll pick it back up later this year

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:46 am
by Omphalos
GamePlayer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:The non-sci-fi The Wasp Factory was very well written and astonishingly, it's one of his first works.


That one is sitting in my pile, but its been there for years. I keep bumping it for SF. GP, have you ever read Chad Oliver? He does anthropology better than anyone, including LeGuin, IMHO. Zenna Hendersond is great too, but not as great as LeGuin.


No, I haven't read any Oliver, LeGuin or Hendersond. LeGuin's name keeps popping up a lot, so I should give something of her's a read.


Oliver and Henderson are obsucure. I think its a crime that they have been forgotten. If you are interested in seeking some I will gladly help. LeGuin you can pretty much find anywhere. If anthropological fiction is your cup of tea, you wont do much better than those three. Mike Resnick's Africa stuff is great too.

Check out my book review site's search page. There are a ton of books listed under the anthropology tag (in "Themes") that may interest you.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:32 pm
by Omphalos
Just started The Handmaid's Tale last night. Oryx and Crake is next.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:54 pm
by Hunchback Jack
SandChigger wrote:The Algebraist, Feersum Endjinn, and Against a Dark Background. Any recommended order for those? ;)


They're all completely unrelated to each other, so no specific order is required. I'd agree with inhuien's recommendation.

GP, agree with you about Banks' SF vs. non-SF. Banks seems to write his SF with a bit more gusto, too, if you know what I mean.

For SF Banks fans wanting to read non-SF Banks, I'd recommend Wasp Factory, Walking on Glass, or The Bridge. Mysterious and fascinating stuff.

HBJ

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:05 pm
by Omphalos
I have not heard good things about the Algabraist, except from Ragabash, who is a Banks devotee. I have Feersum Endjinn sitting in my pile.

Anyone up for doing a Feersum Endjinn reading group, either here or at Worm's?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:41 pm
by SandChigger
How's that work? Read a chapter (or two), discuss, read a chapter, discuss? Might be inneresting. :)

A Mosque Among the Stars, eds. Ahmed A. Khan & Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmed, arrived at the house yesterday. I found it advertised on the Islam and Science Fiction website I blogged about at the end of last year (http://islamscifi.com/) and finally got around to ordering it in early February. (Lead story is by Lucius Shepard. I thought there was a complete listing on their site; if I can't find it, I'll list the stories and authors on my blog or here.) --That site is interesting, but they don't include anything with an unfavorable impression of Muslims (Simmons' Hyperion, Olympos, what esle?) No mention of Dune that I can find, either. :?

And speaking of Olympos ... time to bash it? :D

Nah. I guess for me, it was the lack of humor that hurt it the most. I laughed aloud countless times reading Ilium; I really, really enjoyed it. And I fell in love with the two moravecs.

Olympos seemed to devolve all too rapidly into one Voynix Slice-n-Dice bloodfest after another. I kept slogging on through the body parts, not enjoying it at all, and wondering what the hell had gone wrong. But it wasn't until Orphu was quietly outing the Trek fans among the mecs on the Queen Mab that I realized what I was missing: the humor.

There were any number of marvels of the imagination in the book (the cable car system, for example), but they just got lost (for me at least) in all the depressing gore. Even the ideas behind the origin of their green Mars and the nasty beasty thing failed to excite ... I just wanted the thing finished and done with. And I wonder, from the way he ended it, if Simmons hadn't come to feel the same way.

I just hope he has enough sense not to attempt the sequel the ending seems to create a potential for.... :roll:

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:50 pm
by Omphalos
At Worms we usually dont take such a metered approach. Everyone just kind of reads and posts as they go. Conversations develop as people catch up and jump in. Last time, with Blish's A Case of Conscience went pretty well.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:36 pm
by Hunchback Jack
Sounds interesting. How do avoid spoilers? A separate thread for each chapter?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:20 am
by Omphalos
Hunchback Jack wrote:Sounds interesting. How do avoid spoilers? A separate thread for each chapter?


Don't really worry about it too much. Most people read at about the same speed, and if you get to reading a post that is ahead of you, stop or a spoiler will happen.

Here is how the last one went. Its obvious that we all are reading at different paces with this one. Nobody really cared about spoilers, cause most of us were about to get to that point anyway.

http://www.wormsscifi.com/haven/viewtop ... ight=blish

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:13 pm
by The Phantom
Omphalos wrote:Just started The Handmaid's Tale last night. Oryx and Crake is next.


i liked Handmaid's Tale. i'm not a big fan of Atwood as a person and activist, but she's writes pretty well.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:32 pm
by Omphalos
Ditto. I really like feminist SF stuff though. Good thing there is a ton of it out there.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:02 am
by Freakzilla
My step-son turned 12 last week. I asked him what he wanted and he said, "books".

I'm still recovering...

I took him to Borders and told him I'd pick a book and he could pick a book for me to get him. I got him Ender's Game, the big "Author's Definitive Edition" paperback (with the intent to read it when he's done) and he expressed an interest in Mythology so I got him a complilation of Greek, Roman and Norse Myths.

Granny had given him money to buy what he wanted, he used that on books too. He bought a mythology picture book and The Books of The Wars, by Mark Geston. Anyone read it?

I hope Ender's Game isn't over his head.

At least he didn't ask for video games! :D

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:10 am
by The Phantom
Freakzilla wrote:My step-son turned 12 last week. I asked him what he wanted and he said, "books".

I'm still recovering...




awesome!
i didn't get to that point till about age 17.
then the answer was "clothes and books"

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:32 am
by Freakzilla
I had a talk with him on the way to the mall about how books can be more entertaining than any game or movie because your imagination will always be better than what someone else puts on the screen and you can get something new with each re-reading... of good books.

I warned him that most of it is trash and not to waste his time on trashy books.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:12 am
by Omphalos
Good kid! I think Ender's Game will be fine for a 12 y.o. Especially if you are gonna read it after him, you can talk to him about it.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:29 am
by SandChigger
Must be another of those kewl things about having kids. ;)

Correction on something I posted above (must have been leaking braingas): Effinger is SF. D'uh. I take it no one is familiar with him, though?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:38 am
by Mandy
I just started Sundiver by David Brin. I've heard good things about The Uplift trilogy, hope it's good.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:17 am
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:Must be another of those kewl things about having kids. ;)

Correction on something I posted above (must have been leaking braingas): Effinger is SF. D'uh. I take it no one is familiar with him, though?


Sorry Chig, didn't see the question. Ive read a bunch of Effinger. He has the Buyadeen trilogy (aka the Marîd Audran series), which is very much like Blade Runner only with cyberpunk instead of androids. Very good books, though the first is the strongest. They are When Gravity Falls, Fire in the Sun, and The Exile Kiss. There is also a volume of short stories in that universe out only recently from Golden Gryphon Press, called Buyadeen Nights, IIRC. Ive recommended all these before on DN for anyone who loved the Islamic cultural elements of Dune.

He also wrote a short piece called Schrödinger's Kitten that won all kinds of awards, and is very good.

There are a bunch of other novels but I have only read one, What Entropy Means to Me, and I liked it, but it wont get a place on the OBR because its not good enough, IMHO. All the others mentioned here evenutally will. I like what of his short fiction I have read though. Wikipedia says that he was a Clarion graduate and I can believe that.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:40 pm
by Eyes High
It is cool when kids ask to read books. My 11 year is still fighting the reading stage. The only thing close that he seemed to have enjoyed so far is the Spiderwyke Chronicles.


I have finished Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs and will be returning to Dune.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:43 pm
by Freakzilla
It totaly caught me off-balance, he's not doing well in school so the last thing I expected was books!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:48 pm
by Freakzilla
I forgot to mention, I saw Joseph Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces just above the Mythology book I picked out, I was realy tempted to get it but I'd spent enough money.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:18 pm
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:It totaly caught me off-balance, he's not doing well in school so the last thing I expected was books!


Might be he's not doing too well in school b/c they are not challenging him enough.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:26 pm
by Freakzilla
Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:It totaly caught me off-balance, he's not doing well in school so the last thing I expected was books!


Might be he's not doing too well in school b/c they are not challenging him enough.


I hate to say this but, if it was one of my kids I'd say, maybe. It's not that I think he's dumb, he's just lazy. He's no supergenius but he can do the work. He may be bored but I don't think the work is above him. I think part of the problem may be that when we moved, it was for the better schools. Our old babysitter (16, I think) who still goes to the other school said his work is only a couple of years behind her. I think his new school is a couple of years past where he was.

My oldest boy, Jimmy V, (7) is on the A-B honor role! Has been since he's been in school. I'm very proud, if you can't tell.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:59 pm
by SandChigger
Omph, those are the four I picked up recently for the book pile.

I forget where I came across a reference to him, but it was the Islamic setting & aspects that caught my interest. ;)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:45 pm
by Omphalos
If you start one any time soon, let me know. We can read at the same time and do a book club thing here if youre interested.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:30 pm
by Hunchback Jack
The only Effinger I've read is the Maureen Birnbaum short stories. Fun, but hardly hard-core SF :).

HBJ

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:35 pm
by SandChigger
Omphalos wrote:If you start one any time soon, let me know. We can read at the same time and do a book club thing here if youre interested.

Oh. I thought we were going to do Feersum Ingenue. :P

I've gotten back into the Miéville for the moment; probably be slugging away at it through the weekend?

How much ahead of time do we announce what we'll be reading? To give everyone want to take part a chance to get a copy, I mean? :)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:10 pm
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:
Omphalos wrote:If you start one any time soon, let me know. We can read at the same time and do a book club thing here if youre interested.

Oh. I thought we were going to do Feersum Ingenue. :P

I've gotten back into the Miéville for the moment; probably be slugging away at it through the weekend?

How much ahead of time do we announce what we'll be reading? To give everyone want to take part a chance to get a copy, I mean? :)


Ive never read any Banks before, so I'd rather start with that one.

I think a week should be enough. We would probably get more participation if we do it at Worms. What do you think? Anybody else want to do it here with us?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:15 am
by SandChigger
Worm's should be fine.

Start with Feersum; just name the date. ;)


(By the way, the Hack has posted a blawg called "Reading Shelf", about what he's "reading" now. Shows again how skewed his opinions of other writers' works are. :roll: )

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:06 am
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:Worm's should be fine.

Start with Feersum; just name the date. ;)


(By the way, the Hack has posted a blawg called "Reading Shelf", about what he's "reading" now. Shows again how skewed his opinions of other writers' works are. :roll: )


Sounds good to me.

[Had to send Worm a PM to give me mod status over there for that thread - can't start a topic unless I am one. Will post invitation there for everyone after that. Let's start in a bit over a week, so anyone who wants to join us can get a copy too?]

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:49 pm
by SandChigger
Okey-dokey. :)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:14 pm
by Ampoliros
Has anyone read Stackpole's Age of Discovery series? I was looking through Sci-Fi today and saw it. It caught my attention because it looks very similar to KJA's new Terra Incognita.

I was thinking maybe KJA was looking for a little revenge since Stackpole's I, Jedi upstaged and corrected KJA's Jedi Acrapamy Trilogy. (It's the only Star Wards EU book to reiterate events in another EU Book, and is generally considered to be much superiour to Jedi Academy.)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:19 pm
by Hunchback Jack
SandChigger wrote:(By the way, the Hack has posted a blawg called "Reading Shelf", about what he's "reading" now. Shows again how skewed his opinions of other writers' works are. :roll: )


"I have been a fan of Orson Scott Card since his first stories appeared in Omni magazine."

Translation: I was a fan of OSC before you were. *You* only started liking OSC because he won that Hugo. I'm such a fucking legend.

"[I, Robot] was definitely a genre-changing book in its time, but I’m afraid it feels very dated now."

Translation: Why didn't Asimov have his robots kill anyone or blow anything up? Seems like a wasted opportunity to me.

HBJ

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:58 am
by SandChigger
Ah, that's much better than what I came up with ("You'll never change the genre, Kevvie!"). ;)

And I first read OSC in Omni as well. So the little geek farm punk from Wisconsin ain't got nuttin' on me. :lol:

(Pity he didn't stay there, shtuppin' da sheep. :twisted: )

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:27 am
by GamePlayer
Hunchback Jack wrote:"I have been a fan of Orson Scott Card since his first stories appeared in Omni magazine."

Translation: I was a fan of OSC before you were. *You* only started liking OSC because he won that Hugo. I'm such a fucking legend.

"[I, Robot] was definitely a genre-changing book in its time, but I’m afraid it feels very dated now."

Translation: Why didn't Asimov have his robots kill anyone or blow anything up? Seems like a wasted opportunity to me.

HBJ


LOL! I love those. They are both so good, it's hard to pick a favorite :)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:00 am
by Omphalos
Hunchback Jack wrote:
SandChigger wrote:(By the way, the Hack has posted a blawg called "Reading Shelf", about what he's "reading" now. Shows again how skewed his opinions of other writers' works are. :roll: )


"I have been a fan of Orson Scott Card since his first stories appeared in Omni magazine."

Translation: I was a fan of OSC before you were. *You* only started liking OSC because he won that Hugo. I'm such a fucking legend.

"[I, Robot] was definitely a genre-changing book in its time, but I’m afraid it feels very dated now."

Translation: Why didn't Asimov have his robots kill anyone or blow anything up? Seems like a wasted opportunity to me.

HBJ


Looks like ole' Kevvie is trying to sharpen his critical teeth before that big nebula gig, huh? Good luck, toad!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:24 am
by Freakzilla
He shouldn't be allowed to read books of a higher quality than those he writes.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:45 am
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:He shouldn't be allowed to read books of a higher quality than those he writes.


Trust me. Being a critic ain't hard. :wink:

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:20 pm
by Hunchback Jack
Don't sell yourself short, Omph. Your reviews rock - and not just because I agree with most of them ;) .

What is difficult is reading I, Robot and not understanding what the hell you're reading. Or writing a review of I, Robot without showing a bit of fucking respect for the author.

(Oh, and thanks, GP).

HBJ

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:21 pm
by Omphalos
Aaaaah. Thanks.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:49 am
by Seraphan
Can any of you recomend a few good fantasy books? Yes, those with swords, magic, yada yada yada, because since The Lord of the Rings i havent read any that had good characterization and none of the typical clichés.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:57 am
by Omphalos
Seraphan wrote:Can any of you recomend a few good fantasy books? Yes, those with swords, magic, yada yada yada, because since The Lord of the Rings i havent read any that had good characterization and none of the typical clichés.


No such thing. :D

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:19 pm
by Eyes High
Seraphan wrote:Can any of you recomend a few good fantasy books? Yes, those with swords, magic, yada yada yada, because since The Lord of the Rings i havent read any that had good characterization and none of the typical clichés.


Yes, I can. Almost anything by Anne MacCafrey. Especially the Dragon Riders of Pern series. (Which the Dragon Riders do involve some Sci-Fi, if one stops to think about it because the Dragons were bio-enhanced to get as big as they are.)

There is also... The Death Gate Novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It's been a long time since I've read any of those but from what I recalled they were nice.

Oh, and also Spiff liked the Redwall series but I can't remember who they are by and he's not home right now.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:23 pm
by Mandy
Seraphan wrote:Can any of you recomend a few good fantasy books? Yes, those with swords, magic, yada yada yada, because since The Lord of the Rings i havent read any that had good characterization and none of the typical clichés.


A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R. R. Martin is the best fantasy I've ever read. It's not cute, or silly, and there's hardly any magic. Lots of blood, guts, and sex. The first book in the series is called A Game of Thrones, I promise you will be hooked. My dad hates fantasy, but I sent him the first 4 books anyway, and he loved them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Song_of_Ice_and_Fire

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:28 pm
by Himachil
I;ve got an anti-recommendation: ;)

I've been listening to an audiobook of Terry Brooks The Sword of Shannara at work recently - partly because Frank Herbert seemed to say it was ok... but it's grinding me down. -

I've gotten to the point where not-Gandalf (yes it is a little bit like LOTR) falls to his death. I reckon he's not actually dead... In fact I will give everyone on this forum £1,000 if he is actually dead :P. It holds it's own in places, but I'm not feeling it as a whole so far. It's a bit shit. :(


btw anyone know if it's worth slogging on?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:36 pm
by Seraphan
Eyes High and Mandy, many thanks for the recomendations and will try to check them out as soon as possible. Thanks once again :D

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:06 pm
by Mandy
Oh, I read The Death Gate Cycle a long, long time ago. I remember enjoying them a lot.

I'm reading The Atrocity Archives, by Charles Stross. It's hilarious, and weird.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:15 pm
by Eyes High
Found out the author for the Redwall series is Brian Jaques.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:46 pm
by Omphalos
Just started reading Barry N. Maltzberg's Breakfast in the Ruins. Very, very good so far.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:35 pm
by Hunchback Jack
You could try "Mordant's Need" by Donaldson. Vaguely medieval setting with swords and magic, but some pretty original ideas and a cool story. A lot of people don't like Donaldson's prose, though, so be warned - it may not be your cup of tea.

HBJ

Re:

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:33 am
by A Thing of Eternity
Seraphan wrote:Can any of you recomend a few good fantasy books? Yes, those with swords, magic, yada yada yada, because since The Lord of the Rings i havent read any that had good characterization and none of the typical clichés.

Tad Williams, both his Memory Sorrow and Thorn series (looooooong but amazing) and his new Shadow series (long and not finished yet)

Eyes High wrote:
Seraphan wrote:Can any of you recomend a few good fantasy books? Yes, those with swords, magic, yada yada yada, because since The Lord of the Rings i havent read any that had good characterization and none of the typical clichés.


Yes, I can. Almost anything by Anne MacCafrey. Especially the Dragon Riders of Pern series. (Which the Dragon Riders do involve some Sci-Fi, if one stops to think about it because the Dragons were bio-enhanced to get as big as they are.)


I would actually say that the Pern books are 100% SF (though far fetched, but there is plenty of far fetched SF out there... sometimes the line gets pretty blurry). I loved these as a kid and teen, haven't read any in quite a few years though.

There is also... The Death Gate Novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It's been a long time since I've read any of those but from what I recalled they were nice.


This is one of my all time favorite fantasy series. I'm blown away that the same people who invented DragonLance came up with something this good.

Re:

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:09 am
by Mandy
Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:Worm's should be fine.

Start with Feersum; just name the date. ;)


(By the way, the Hack has posted a blawg called "Reading Shelf", about what he's "reading" now. Shows again how skewed his opinions of other writers' works are. :roll: )


Sounds good to me.

[Had to send Worm a PM to give me mod status over there for that thread - can't start a topic unless I am one. Will post invitation there for everyone after that. Let's start in a bit over a week, so anyone who wants to join us can get a copy too?]


Worm is swamped at work, so I handled that for you. Get started whenever you're ready.

Re: Re:

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:47 am
by Omphalos
Mandy wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
SandChigger wrote:Worm's should be fine.

Start with Feersum; just name the date. ;)


(By the way, the Hack has posted a blawg called "Reading Shelf", about what he's "reading" now. Shows again how skewed his opinions of other writers' works are. :roll: )


Sounds good to me.

[Had to send Worm a PM to give me mod status over there for that thread - can't start a topic unless I am one. Will post invitation there for everyone after that. Let's start in a bit over a week, so anyone who wants to join us can get a copy too?]


Worm is swamped at work, so I handled that for you. Get started whenever you're ready.


Thankee-Sai. Im off on a trip to work this second, so Ill start a post when I get settled up there in Washington.

Good thing for him to be swamped, the way things are going these days.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:18 pm
by SandChigger
Thanks, Mandy.

Gotta look for my password to Worm's now... :(

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:56 pm
by Mandy
http://wormsscifi.com/haven/viewtopic.php?t=4988

Hi all,

Sandchigger and I are going to do a book club reading of Ian M. Banks' novel Feersum Endjinn. Id like to start on Monday the 13th, so as to give everyone who needs to order it time to get a copy from Amazon.

For those of you who have it, please don't get started in making comments without the rest of us. I have it, but not everyone does. Ill start the first post on Monday. If you guys want to start before Monday, just post here so we can see what the general feeling is.

I'd like to do this the way that we did A Case of Conscience; with everyone reading at their own speed, jumping into and out of the conversation as they best see fit. There will of course be some spoilage, but I think its really artificial to have everyone read two chapters, or something, then come back and post, and then read the next assignment. For those of you who do not read quickly, this is your chance to jump the gun and get ahead. Maybe that way everyone will finish at about the same time.

Im off on business til Thursday. Ill see you all then. Actually, I gotta go now, so would someone please paste this into Jacurutu and T(A)U?

Thanks,

Omph


Chig, the "forgot your password" thing should work as long as your email address is valid. Also, I talked Worm into installing subsilver for those of us on slow connections, or if you just hate the xbox theme.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:57 pm
by SandChigger
All OK. I did the reset password thingy, thanks! ;)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:52 pm
by The Phantom
just put a copy on order at the library.
I'll have plenty of free time for reading in the near future./

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:52 am
by Mandy
Worm is back, so if anyone is having problems registering let me know. One of my friends couldn't get the captcha thingy to work yesterday.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:57 am
by inhuien
Just dusted off Pratchett's Making Money, like a few of his books it started very well but fell a little flat by about the 3/4 mark. Banks Inversions is next and I'm really looking forward to it, cause, well I best not say. i don't want to give away a spoilers.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:07 am
by Hunchback Jack
Yeah, Inversions is a good one.

HBJ,
avoiding another "Banks is God" rant.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:44 am
by Ragabash
Hunchback Jack wrote:Yeah, Inversions is a good one.

HBJ,
avoiding another "Banks is God" rant.


I couldn't agree more with your unspoken rant :D

My GF found a copy of Against a Dark Background for me the other day on paperback swap; I can't wait to re-read it :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:36 pm
by Seraphan
Hunchback Jack wrote:Yeah, Inversions is a good one.

HBJ,
avoiding another "Banks is God" rant.

Then since you love Ian M. Banks, here, my treat:
Interview part 1:
http://www.viewfromheremagazine.com/2009/03/interview-with-iain-banks-part-1-of-2.html
Interview part 2:
http://www.viewfromheremagazine.com/2009/04/interview-with-iain-banks-part-2-of-2.html

One of the bonuses of these interviews is that, in some way or another, it makes KJA look like a complete moronic ape. :dance:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:59 pm
by Liege-Killer
Seraphan wrote:One of the bonuses of these interviews is that, in some way or another, it makes KJA look like a complete moronic ape. :dance:


Let's give credit where it's due: KJA can do that all by himself! :lol:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:03 pm
by Mandy
It's the one thing he's really good at, lol.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:41 pm
by Robspierre
Halfway through Anathem. Holy shit that is one massive book! Mind bending in a way that just makes you drool. The sheer volume of date Stephenson is giving you is mind boggling, and you can set it down and pick it up days later and not be lost, fucking brilliant, so skillfully written and engaging, best fucking book I've read in a long while!

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:17 am
by A Thing of Eternity
Well, I have a pile of books to choose from (and I just finished a really good detective novel for school by Jonathon Lethem called Motherless Brooklyn, which I'd highly recommend to anyone who can stomach books without spaceships ;) It's very noir and the main charracter/narrator has tourettes syndrome, good times all round). I've finaly started to round up books by classic authors I've read little or nothing of up to this point so that I can flesh out my SF experience, while still getting some stuff I'm more familiar with.

I can't pick which one to start reading...

Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-Five - I've never read anything by him

or

Iain M. Banks Matter - I've read a fair bit

or

Ursula K. Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness - I've only ever read some of her short fiction

or

Orson Scott Card Treason - I've never read anything by him


Anyone care to suggest a starting point?
Too many options is a nice predicament to be in. :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:27 am
by Omphalos
Vonnegut. Start with Vonnegut, then go to LeGuin, then Banks and finish up with Card, unless something good comes along.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:06 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
I heard the Vonnegut was pretty good. I actually saw one of his books recently in one of my classmate's pile of textbooks and asked them about it, they had no idea he was an SF writer, I guess that book was a philosophy/anti religion book that was required reading for one of her classes... kinda renewed my interest in the guy's writing.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:12 pm
by Omphalos
A Thing of Eternity wrote:I heard the Vonnegut was pretty good. I actually saw one of his books recently in one of my classmate's pile of textbooks and asked them about it, they had no idea he was an SF writer, I guess that book was a philosophy/anti religion book that was required reading for one of her classes... kinda renewed my interest in the guy's writing.


Vonnegut did all that he could during the ascendency and highpoint of his career to distinguish his writing from SF. He felt that it was way too limiting becasue of the editorial practices and the common view that SF was for a certain market of people, all of whom had something wrong with them. He developed in a cabal of SF writers though that included Wm. Tenn, Theodore Sturgoen and Robert Shekeley, and others. As a matter of fact, the name of one of his greatest recurring characters, Kilgore Trout, a down-on-his-luck SF author, was modeled after Theodore Sturgeon.

Many, if not all, of his books make use of SF themes, but more in the way of other mainstream writers who loot the genre for ideas and dont look back, though not as bad as most.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:28 pm
by The Phantom
Treason was ok. not one of my favourite standalone's from Card. The worthing saga was good IMHO.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:50 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Baraka Bryan wrote:Treason was ok. not one of my favourite standalone's from Card. The worthing saga was good IMHO.


I saw it used somewhere for cheap and grabbed it, otherwise I would have started with Ender's Game.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:51 pm
by Omphalos
Feersum Endjinn, by Banks
The Caves of Steel, by Asimov
The SF of Mark Clifton (I can already tell that this collection is going to get five stars with a bullet and Clifton is going to be one of my favorite authors)
In Search of Wonder, by Damon Knight

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:02 pm
by The Phantom
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:Treason was ok. not one of my favourite standalone's from Card. The worthing saga was good IMHO.


I saw it used somewhere for cheap and grabbed it, otherwise I would have started with Ender's Game.


a few other standalones of his that i liked were lovelock, pastwatch, and wyrms.
i stayed away from his overtly religious stuff, (except the Homecoming series which is great if you ignore the fact that it's a reimagining of the book of mormon), and most of his new books are crap (empire was painful TBH)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:48 am
by Phaedrus
Still working my way through Consider Phlebas...finding myself more and more annoyed with the action sequences, and wishing there were more of the Culture characters.

I'm about halfway through a reread of Chapterhouse, after I picked up a nice hardcover copy at a used book store on the cheap.

Haven't read much scifi in my offtime from here, other than a few Vonnegut books and the occasional online short story.

On the discussion about Card...the older I get, the more I find Card annoying and immature.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:22 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Phaedrus wrote:Still working my way through Consider Phlebas...finding myself more and more annoyed with the action sequences, and wishing there were more of the Culture characters.


This your first Banks novel? I just ask because it was my first, and I was reaaaallly underwhelmed by it. Everything I've read after that has been PURE masterpiece though.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:01 pm
by Phaedrus
Yeah. It's not bad so far, just not outstanding.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:53 pm
by Mandy
Just finished The Fall of Hyperion, probably start Endymion sometime today.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:03 pm
by Omphalos
In the middle of China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh. Excellent book. And CL, its another one that has a gay protagonist. You were wondering about any SF books that dealt with homosexuality a long time ago, IIRC, and this is a really, really well written one. Beautifully written, it seems.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:04 pm
by Mandy
I am getting close to the end of Endymion. I really love Simmons' universe, his characters, and the story in general, but the way he writes is sometimes extremely frustrating. It's like every chapter ends on a cliffhanger, and you think something will be resolved when he gets back to that group of characters, but he ends up describing someone's clothes or surroundings for three of four pages and the cliffhanger still doesn't get resolved until the next chapter.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:12 pm
by SandChigger
Must be the Colorado Writers Cliffhanger Syndrome? :lol:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:19 pm
by Robspierre
About 780 pages into Anathem, great stuff. I love that I can read it and put it down and a couple of days later pick up where I left off and not need to go back and refresh my memory.

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:33 am
by SandChigger
Isn't it funny how we usually cite that as a demerit of the McDune books? ;)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:13 am
by Omphalos
Personally I have a mental block about books that big, no matter who wrote them.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:35 am
by GamePlayer
No Count of Monte Cristo or Ulysses for you huh? :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:16 pm
by Omphalos
GamePlayer wrote:No Count of Monte Cristo or Ulysses for you huh? :)


Actually I loved Ulysses. Never read the Count of Monte Cristo. When I made that comment I was referring to new books. I judge classics with a different standard. Actually, I can't get into really, really long character driven novels. With novels of ideas long ones are OK.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:35 pm
by Robspierre
Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:No Count of Monte Cristo or Ulysses for you huh? :)


Actually I loved Ulysses. Never read the Count of Monte Cristo. When I made that comment I was referring to new books. I judge classics with a different standard. Actually, I can't get into really, really long character driven novels. With novels of ideas long ones are OK.


Anathem is all ideas. The characters are fairly flimsy but with more personality than the typical KJA character. Stephenson is overloading you with data and does a damn good job of it. The first fifty pages are tough, I started over twice, but after that it zooms along.

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:17 pm
by Mandy
I started The Rise of Endymion yesterday. Looks like this one is going to be annoying in the same way as Endymion, so far most of the chapters end with cliffhangers, and Simmons finds it necessary to describe everything in detail repeatedly. Maybe I should have waited a month or two before diving into this last book.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:47 pm
by SandChigger
While I liked all the books, I did enjoy the last two less than the first. Such is life....

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:20 am
by Mandy
I just can't wait to find out what happens to the characters! :P

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:01 pm
by SandChigger
You're so bad. :lol:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:23 am
by Ragabash
I just finished Rocannon's World (LeGuin). I am utterly blown away. It was like reading fine literature of the period in which it was set. What a satisfying, brutal and true ending. It's the first part of a book I got at a library sale called Three Hainish Novels. I can't wait to read the rest.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:26 am
by The Phantom
Ragabash wrote:I just finished Rocannon's World (LeGuin). I am utterly blown away. It was like reading fine literature of the period in which it was set. What a satisfying, brutal and true ending. It's the first part of a book I got at a library sale called Three Hainish Novels. I can't wait to read the rest.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

I bought Rocannon's World a while back but haven't been able to find the other two in the trilogy. I'm holding off reading it until I can read them all in sequence. Can't wait :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:36 am
by Ragabash
Baraka Bryan wrote:I bought Rocannon's World a while back but haven't been able to find the other two in the trilogy. I'm holding off reading it until I can read them all in sequence. Can't wait :)


This renews my interest in reading her stuff. I wanted to a few years back, but got distracted by shiny objects and bits of string.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:38 am
by The Phantom
Ragabash wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:I bought Rocannon's World a while back but haven't been able to find the other two in the trilogy. I'm holding off reading it until I can read them all in sequence. Can't wait :)


This renews my interest in reading her stuff. I wanted to a few years back, but got distracted by shiny objects and bits of string.

:lol: :lol:

i started reading the Left Hand of Darkness but read too much of it while half asleep before bed so i got really lost really quickly... I'm gonna wait till after the trilogy to re-try it

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:03 am
by SandChigger
I got Three Hainish Novels years ago when I first joined SFBC. Reread it a few summers back during the trip home. Still good. :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:10 am
by Omphalos
Ragabash wrote:I just finished Rocannon's World (LeGuin). I am utterly blown away. It was like reading fine literature of the period in which it was set. What a satisfying, brutal and true ending. It's the first part of a book I got at a library sale called Three Hainish Novels. I can't wait to read the rest.
:clap: :clap: :clap:


I read all three of those again recently. I still have about six other LeGuin n ovels sitting in the pile, but they are like twenty books down. Not enough time. I gotta retire I think. :?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:17 pm
by Ragabash
Her style of writing reminds me strongly of Gene Wolfe, who I also adore. I am definitely going to read more.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:09 pm
by Omphalos
I am not such a great fan of Gene Wolfe. I like some of his stuff. Others not so much.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 5:41 pm
by Liege-Killer
Ragabash wrote:I just finished Rocannon's World (LeGuin). I am utterly blown away.


Actually, I'd have to say that's my least favorite of all the Hainish novels. Not that it's bad, I'm not saying that. Just that all the others are better. :D

Ragabash wrote:Her style of writing reminds me strongly of Gene Wolfe, who I also adore.


I've never read anything of his, but I do have his Book of the New Sun in the pile.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:56 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
I started working on Sluaghterhouse 5 (sorry spelling, drin,k) a couple weeks ago, got t page 51 and put it down. Didn't really consciously decide to stop, I just lost interest. I'm sure it'll bea good book,not really SF yet though.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 12:39 pm
by Robspierre
Finished Anathem. Wonderful book and one of the better endings I've read from Stephenson. Working on The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan.

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 12:54 pm
by Dune Nerd
Just finished Ringworld Engineers and I am starting on The Anansi Boys. Niven does a good job in that book (and the first) but I think I will wait to read the last one, I have heard it is not as enjoyable.

I am reading Anansi for the first time, I picked it up at the same time as American Gods (when Waldenbooks went out of business they had all books on 50% off, we stocked up on waaaay too many books), and really enjoyed that one so I am hoping this one is as good.

I love being finished with school for the summer, I get to read what I want to read again.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:45 pm
by Mandy
I loved Anansi Boys.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 3:42 pm
by Omphalos
Dune Nerd wrote:Just finished Ringworld Engineers and I am starting on The Anansi Boys. Niven does a good job in that book (and the first) but I think I will wait to read the last one, I have heard it is not as enjoyable.

I am reading Anansi for the first time, I picked it up at the same time as American Gods (when Waldenbooks went out of business they had all books on 50% off, we stocked up on waaaay too many books), and really enjoyed that one so I am hoping this one is as good.

I love being finished with school for the summer, I get to read what I want to read again.


There are two, maybe three Rignworld books after Engineers. I read the next two and absolutely hated them both.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 5:02 pm
by SandChigger
One of them is called Throne of Ringworld or something like that, right? I think I read that one ... but couldn't tell you anything about it at the moment. So much for memorable, huh? ;)

I quite enjoyed Anansi Boys, too. IIRC it had me laughing out loud at several points. :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 7:25 pm
by Omphalos
Ringworld Throne and Ringworld Children. Both sucked soiled ass.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 7:57 pm
by Dune Nerd
Those were the same sentiments I had heard about those, so I pass.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:27 pm
by Himachil
A Thing of Eternity wrote:I started working on Sluaghterhouse 5 (sorry spelling, drin,k) a couple weeks ago, got t page 51 and put it down. Didn't really consciously decide to stop, I just lost interest. I'm sure it'll bea good book,not really SF yet though.

Slaughterhouse is a fantastic book: stick with it - but I'm not entirely sure that it is actually SF - although it blatantly uses SF motifs.

I'm back on Dune now - after taking a couple of months out to read Watchmen, then getting sidetracked by some Sturgeon short stories and a book on Strategy by Captain Liddell Hart...

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 6:21 pm
by Freakzilla
I couldn't make it through Ringworld.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 6:43 pm
by Dune Nerd
Freakzilla wrote:I couldn't make it through Ringworld.


I liked it but I have a buddy that claims it is too technical for him (or something to that effect). What was it that you did not like?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:40 am
by Freakzilla
Dune Nerd wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I couldn't make it through Ringworld.


I liked it but I have a buddy that claims it is too technical for him (or something to that effect). What was it that you did not like?


I just got kind of bored, I guess. I followed the technobabble well enough. I got to the part where they were flying over the ring and haven't had the desire to pick it up again.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:53 am
by GamePlayer
Ringworld was fascinating conceptually but rather dry dramatically. It doesn't really get compelling until the end of the book. I never had any interest in reading the ones that followed.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:48 am
by Omphalos
Niven's not the best novelist on his own. He's usually dynamite when he and Pournelle and/or Barnes are working together, but generally speaking I prefer his short stories. Ringworld, though, I personally loved. I read it at a very young age when I was just getting into SF, and if fit my prejudiced view of what SF should be very well. I still love it to this day. I used daydream all the time about going to the Ringworld when I was a kid.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:28 pm
by Mandy
I started reading Cat's Cradle this morning. I somehow missed out on Vonnegut when I was growing up. This is a used copy and there are passages highlighted here and there, I assume it belonged to a student. I can't figure out why anyone would highlight the passages that are highlighted, though. I've been trying to figure out what questions they could be answering :P

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 12:14 am
by SandChigger
Catching up...

Forgot to mention when I finished Perdido Stree Station. I quite liked it and the weird turn it took; the end was satisfying. I've got three more Mieville books on the pile now.

Finished Feersum Endjinn; will drop by Worm's later this evening to see where everyone else is.

Started reading that A Mosque among the Stars collection I mentioned getting a while back. The first story was Lucius Shepard's "A Walk in the Garden". Military weird set in a future occupied Iraq; disturbing but interesting, got me briefly back into an Old Man's War frame of mind. Trang might likey? :)

(Actually, it's online here, if anyone's interested: http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/origina ... ard61.html)

After that, I think I'll hit Effinger's When Gravity Fails before diving back into the next Mieville New Crobuzon book. :D

(I've been in kind of a Muslim/Arabic mood again lately. Downloaded some tunes and been allahuwakbarging up and down the road this week. :D )

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 1:44 am
by Omphalos
Ive been stuck in a rut lately. Ive been reading a lot of criticism and biographies to get over it. Hasnt happened yet.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 11:44 am
by Robspierre
Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. After her Victorian Lesbian Trilogy( Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, Fingersmith) she has branched out post war Britain in her last two works, The Night Watch & Little Stranger. Wonderful stuff.

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 12:48 pm
by Freakzilla
Omphalos wrote:Ive been stuck in a rut lately. Ive been reading a lot of criticism and biographies to get over it. Hasnt happened yet.


I emailed you the Pliocene Exiles series by Julian May. Four novels in .lit format (MS Reader), if you can stand it.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 1:45 pm
by Dune Nerd
Finished Anansi Boys, what a fun book. Really enjoyed it. Shifting gears and trying to start on a Game of Thrones, not really into fantasy but trying it out anyway. Maybe 50 pages in and already thinking of switching to a different book.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 1:52 pm
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:Ive been stuck in a rut lately. Ive been reading a lot of criticism and biographies to get over it. Hasnt happened yet.


I emailed you the Pliocene Exiles series by Julian May. Four novels in .lit format (MS Reader), if you can stand it.


Couldnt open them. Based on your recommendations Ive been meaning to get them anyway.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 5:34 pm
by The Phantom
after it'd been mentioned in conversation, I put the Chrysalids (Wyndham) on hold at the library. Just picked it up yesterday and got that started. I'm finding I like Wyndham's narrative style a lot.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:43 pm
by SandChigger
"Critical darling" level? ;)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:45 pm
by Omphalos
Yes, actually.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 7:01 am
by Freakzilla
Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:Ive been stuck in a rut lately. Ive been reading a lot of criticism and biographies to get over it. Hasnt happened yet.


I emailed you the Pliocene Exiles series by Julian May. Four novels in .lit format (MS Reader), if you can stand it.


Couldnt open them. Based on your recommendations Ive been meaning to get them anyway.


You have to download MS Reader. Don't bother though, I read a few chapters in the first book and the typos are awefull, even by my standards. I usually don't much mind if it's a free ebook, but damn. That series is out of print, I believe. Snatch 'em up if you see them.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:18 am
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:Ive been stuck in a rut lately. Ive been reading a lot of criticism and biographies to get over it. Hasnt happened yet.


I emailed you the Pliocene Exiles series by Julian May. Four novels in .lit format (MS Reader), if you can stand it.


Couldnt open them. Based on your recommendations Ive been meaning to get them anyway.


You have to download MS Reader. Don't bother though, I read a few chapters in the first book and the typos are awefull, even by my standards. I usually don't much mind if it's a free ebook, but damn. That series is out of print, I believe. Snatch 'em up if you see them.


You can get them all pretty easily at the Amazon used book market.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:01 am
by Mandy
Started The Left Hand of Darkness this morning. I thought it was time to read it again, I'm sure I missed some of the important stuff the first time.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 1:03 am
by SandChigger
Anyone familiar with a writer named Jetse de Vries?

Evidently was at Interzone for about four years and then left last year under slightly mysterious circumstances, citing differences with the other (three?) editors with regard to the direction of the fiction they would be publishing over the next year.

Anyway, I'm in the middle of a story of his included in that Mosque Among the Stars anthology, and it's just awful. (Unfortunately only two out of the four or five stories I've read so far have been any good.) The bad writing isn't helped by some really spotty editorial work (misspellings, weird typographical/punctuation stuff like using two hyphens for a dash, etc). And the story is about time travel and travel between alternate timelines/possible worlds, which has to be really well done to stave off the spastic spheencter flutters on my part.

I was thinking about doing a review of this anthology on my blog when I finish reading it ... but now I'm not so sure, if I'm not going to have much nice to say about it. :(

Monday morning edit: Finished the de Vries short story ("Cultural Clashes in Cadiz", in case anyone's interested) last night before watching 10,000 B.C. (stupendously BAD; knew it would be, but was hoping for some action. Feh) and There Will Be Blood (Fantastic!). Was bad to the end, the "message" left me cold, did nothing to dispose me more favorably to time travel tales in general.

The next story is called a fantasy by the editor who wrote the pre-story blurbs. Oh dear....

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 4:38 pm
by SandChigger
Still plodding along.

Read the fantasy, "Servant of Iblis" by Howard Jones, yesterday morning before crawling out of the futon; read "The Weight of Space and Metal" by Camille Alexa after crawling back in last night. :)

Both were well written and I liked them, but the aftertaste of the story by Alexa is less pleasant. It was the first of the stories written for the collection. To spoil it: It's about a four-member mission to Mars, the first to include a woman, who is the first-person narrator. One of the men is a Muslim (gentle, soft-spoken, devout, writes moving poetry) and he and the woman become close, but don't have sex, although the other two men assume they are; one of them becomes quite jealous. Right before they leave Mars, the Muslim dies in an accident outside ... with it left open as to whether the other jealous guy sabotaged his suit.

The purpose of the collection is to show Muslims and Islam in a more positive light than is common in the media. While I enjoyed the story during the reading, afterwards the story events just seemed too pat.

Five more to go... :)

Added: Oh yeah, in a strange development, the website of the publisher of the book seems to have disappeared since a day or two ago: www.zcbooks.ca. Weird.... :?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:59 pm
by Omphalos
Too bad it doesn't sound good. I would like to read a good anthology on Islam in SF. That last story does not sound like fantasy. I like themed anthologies like that (I'm reading one right now on criminal justice in SF), but when they take a repressed or despised group and "show (them) in a more positive light than is common in the media, they often sound contrived and come off as panderers. What they need to do is show them in a more human light; to humanize them. Put a human face on them if you will. Not glorify them.

Here are some pages I found on de Vries.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:42 pm
by SandChigger
Sorry if that was confusing, "Servant of Iblis" is the pure fantasy one. The one by Alexa (Mars mission) was science fiction, no question. (There's one more story about a sailing ship carrying slaves to the New World; not sure if it's going to be horror or science fiction, but vengeful ghosts are mentioned in the blurb, so I'm betting on the former.)

The story by one of the editors, Ahmed A. Khan, isn't really science fiction, either. At least not in any sense I can make sense of. ;) It's about an Indian guy whose wife has moved back to her parents' after a fight and who wakes up one morning with a vague premonition that something is wrong (besides the obvious marital stuff). A friend sees him acting a bit odd and gets together with another friend (a doctor and the Muslim in the piece) to do an intervention ... right after the guy gets a call from his mother that his father is in the hospital for emergency surgery, causing him to miss the only flight that would have gotten him to his parents' town that day. They later find out that the plane he would have taken crashed, killing all aboard. With his new lease on life, as it were, he goes to get his wife and she comes home with him and they indulge in some after-fight sex (what's the funny name for that again?) and make their first baby.

Looks like I'm doing the reviews here, huh?! :P

What really bothered me about that one (besides the lack of anything really scifi-y) was the abrupt change in language at the very end. Throughout it was rather stiffly formal-ish, and then suddenly you're bludgeoned with "fuck" and "copulation". I assume (hope) the effect was intentional, but it left me wondering ... WHY?! :?

I really wanted to like this collection, but I kinda feel they should go for something more balanced, especially on their website, and cover everything rather than just the positive stuff. There's absolutely no mention of Dune there, of the Effinger books, of Dan Simmons' rather critical references to Islam and Muslims in his Hyperion and Ilium/Olympos books, etc. Oh well.

(I found de Vries' blog, btw. Meh.)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 2:31 pm
by Omphalos
I would love to hear your thoughts on some linguistics-themed SF. I promise not to mention the dreaded "E" word, even if you do.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 2:36 pm
by Freakzilla
SandChigger wrote:...they indulge in some after-fight sex (what's the funny name for that again?) and make their first baby.


Make-up sex?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 4:52 pm
by SandChigger
Freakzilla wrote:
SandChigger wrote:...they indulge in some after-fight sex (what's the funny name for that again?) and make their first baby.


Make-up sex?

Hmm ... maybe that's it ... but I was thinking there was some really funny term for it....

:( Separation from the linguistic herd is adversely affecting me. (sniff)

:P

"E" word, Omph? You mean ... EBONICS?! NO!!! NOT AGAIN!!! AAAAAAH! AAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAH!!! :shock:

What specifically did you have in mind? I don't think I've read most of the biggies, like The Languages of Pao ... which sounds a bit preachy, from what I've read about it.... :?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 5:14 pm
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:I was thinking there was some really funny term for it....


If you are still pissed it can be a hate-fuck.


SandChigger wrote:What specifically did you have in mind? I don't think I've read most of the biggies, like The Languages of Pao ... which sounds a bit preachy, from what I've read about it.... :?


Here is a start, if you really need one. Personally I think that Story of your Life is one of the best linguistics story I have ever read, and I also suspect that it would be rather transparent to a linguist's analysis.

The Ballad of Beta-2 and Babel-17 would be excellent for you to tear apart too.

Pao, even if you do find it preechy, will give you plenty to talk about.

Sheila Finch has put out a bunch of stories about a "Xenolinguist's Guild" too, and while I have not read them, I hear that they don't miss the mark much. I'd personally like to hear why, because I doubt I would be able to articulate it myself.

China Mountain Zhang is relatively new and is set in a world dominated by China. Ive heard you say before that you believe that there is a lot of truth in that motif. Its also about the life of a gay A.B.C. man, and I suspect you would also appreciate a realistic story about a character with those traits that never descends into stereotypes. It also has a lot in it about how Chinese will seep into other languages.

Persistence of Vision is about non-verbal communication. I personally love that story and would appreciate a linguist's take on it.

I'm also working on a review of Nineteen Eighty-Four as we type. That's one of the grand-daddies, and it even has an appendix on the linguistics issues in it.

Have you got Alien and Linguistics yet?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 12:31 am
by Robspierre
Broke down and got a library card at the local library ( Cloudcroft). HOOOO boy do they have a tiny collection. Not a whole lot I am interested in but enough to grab a book or audiobook now and then. They do have all six of Frank's Dune work, including a copy of the Illustrated Dune. No sign of the hack twins at all! I think i will end up using interlibrary loan down the road a bit.

I did pick up

Ivanhoe
The Handmaid's Tale
The Lovely Bones Audiobook

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 6:56 pm
by SandChigger
OK, first things first:

Mosque bitching: I read the three shorter of the remaining five stories last night and this morning. Damn. If it's not another bint mooning over a dreamy dark Muslim man she can't have (at least not immediately), then it's a future Muslim American in space fuming over how his relatives have been killed by separatist "Christianists" and doing a Second Contact with an alien race whose religion is just Islam for Big-Eyed Multi-limbed Artoogans. Or a really strained "humor" piece that made me wonder why the author bothered.

And I'm sorry to say, the editing is shit. Most of the dialog lines had a space after the final punctuation, causing the end quotation marks to revert to initial quotes (curled the wrong way). And there were some really weird grammatical errors in the Muslim rage/Second Contact one. (The writing was pretty bad overall, so I'm not sure how to allot the blame between the author and the editors.) Very, very disappointing. (I'm going to show the book to Teg the next time we get together and get his opinion on the printing/binding job, too.)

I've got two stories left, the one with the slave ship with ghosts (or maybe djinn? Yeah, I peeked a bit), about 20 pages, and a 50-page-or-so novella by Thomas Ligon about a starship hijacking.

OK, next... Hate-fuck? That's a new one. :shock:

Let's see. I actually got the Finch "Xenolinguists" book back at the beginning of April, but haven't looked through it yet. I've had China Mountain Zhang in my cart since you mentioned it here, Omph. I'll put Pao, The Ballad of Beta-2 and Babel-17 in there, too.

I've had Meyers' Aliens and Linguists for ages, but still haven't gotten into it other than spot browsing here and there. (I think I got it before you did, no? ;) )

I think I posted a while back that I wasn't as impressed by the Chiang story. The radical differences between the aliens' spoken and written languages was interesting, as was the theme of the relation between language and thought along with the idea that learning a new language could change not only your way of thinking about the world but even your way of perceiving it. I guess I just had a real problem with the nature of the difference of the aliens' way of perceiving time (being able to see their whole lives from beginning to end ... now just how would that work in physical terms?) and the idea that a human could acquire the same ability just by learning an alien language.

Our mileage unfortunately varied. :( ;)

A lot of these stories seem to revolve around the concepts of linguistic relativity and determinism (more commonly, the "Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis") ... and misunderstandings thereof. Sorry, Eskimo has only three or four word roots that refer exclusively to snow. It's been a long time since I re-read 1984 (the last time was in 1984, IIRC ;) ); maybe I'll have a look at that appendix again.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 6:43 pm
by SandChigger
Started the slave/ghost-ship story last night and finished it this morning; started the starship hijack one, too.

The slaver tale was pretty good, but it's definitely NOT science fiction, so the Islamic elements have to be why it was included. The last one is turning out to be pretty good, both story- and writing-wise; hoping to finish it up this afternoon.... :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 5:53 pm
by SandChigger
Finished reading the "For a Little Price" novella by Tom Ligon last night (was pretty good), and with it wrapped up the A Mosque Among the Stars collection. Will probably post a review of sorts on my blog in a few days, after things percolate a bit more.

I don't really want to make an enemy of the editors, but it really wasn't very good, overall.

To cleanse my palate, as it were, this morning I read the first two chapters of Effinger's When Gravity Fails. Still very early (in the reading), but I think I'm going to like it. The world it's set in is rather bleak, though. The year is sometime around 1580 AH (2202 CE ;) ); about 70 years earlier the US and USSR (this was published in 1986, remember) and then most other countries had disintegrated into a patchwork of smaller kingdoms, republics and what-have-you.

I find that a very depressing prospect. A lack of large nation-states probably also means no significant space programs and no solar system exploration/colonization. And THAT means, basically, species suicide.

Oh well. At least the people of the world have their virtual entertainments...

"This species has amused itself to death!" ;)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 7:34 pm
by Omphalos
Im in the middle of Hugo Gernsback's Ralph 124C 41+. Its a very early SF novel, but its decent enough.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 9:16 pm
by SandChigger
Hey, did we ever discuss religious/Christian-inspired science fiction here? Like Antarktos Rising or The Didymus Contingency by Jeremy Robinson?

Was just wondering, because I found them hiding in one of my book piles and can't for the life of me figure WHY I bought them.


Also, here's a really freaky one: While going through a stack of old paperbacks yesterday that someone had given me years ago and that I'd never read, guess what I found that really blew me away! Banks' The Player of Games.

Damn ... I could have been on to him years ago. :(

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 10:44 pm
by Omphalos
Don't recall those books.

Just got a copy of The Poison Belt today.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:45 pm
by Liege-Killer
SandChigger wrote:Hey, did we ever discuss religious/Christian-inspired science fiction here?


Sounds like mislabeling to me; file under "fantasy."

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:15 pm
by SandChigger
I went into my order history on Amazon and found that I ordered them back in early December 2007, which is about when Omph started up this board. :)

James Blish's A Case of Conscience (which I also still haven't read yet) was in the same pile and the same order. Maybe I got onto the Robinson stuff through one of the discussions over there. Who knows.

Anyway, yeah, fantasy is right. I had a bit of a look thru last night before bed and I think it'll be a while yet before I read either. (The Blish is properly in the actively moving book pile now, though. ;) )

This Robinson fellow is evidently a hero to the POD people over there, since his first book was evidently a hit on LuLu. Omph, do you know anything about Breakneck Books/Variance Publishing? They sound like a POD publisher that has gone small press.

Oh yeah: our good friend Brian Conway has published his "review" of KJA's Terra Incognita: The Edge of the World. He gave the book four stars on Amazon but five on another site, with the same review. I've asked why there's a difference, but I doubt he will respond. ;)

(According to the review, there a place in the book called Terravitae, "Land of Life". A fantasy world with different creation myths but they still speak Latin. Yeah, Kev, that makes sense. :lol: )

Edit: Correction, he had replied by this morning. Claims the mouse slipped and that's why he gave it four stars. Lame, lame, lame.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:45 am
by chanilover
SandChigger wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
SandChigger wrote:...they indulge in some after-fight sex (what's the funny name for that again?) and make their first baby.


Make-up sex?

Hmm ... maybe that's it ... but I was thinking there was some really funny term for it....



Marriage. Probably.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:48 am
by Freakzilla
chanilover wrote:
SandChigger wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
SandChigger wrote:...they indulge in some after-fight sex (what's the funny name for that again?) and make their first baby.


Make-up sex?

Hmm ... maybe that's it ... but I was thinking there was some really funny term for it....



Marriage. Probably.


Then it becomes just "grude sex". :wink:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:02 pm
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:
chanilover wrote:
SandChigger wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
SandChigger wrote:...they indulge in some after-fight sex (what's the funny name for that again?) and make their first baby.


Make-up sex?

Hmm ... maybe that's it ... but I was thinking there was some really funny term for it....



Marriage. Probably.


Then it becomes just "grude sex". :wink:


Ah yes! The ties that bind. Its the best reason I have come up with for not strangling her sometimes. I'm sure the feeling is mutual.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:56 am
by Freakzilla
After that comes hallway sex.

That's when you say "fuck you" as you pass each other in the hall. :lol:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:39 pm
by Star Dust
Robspierre wrote:Broke down and got a library card at the local library ( Cloudcroft). HOOOO boy do they have a tiny collection.


I actually know where Cloudcroft is, having driven through a few times. How far is that from Weed, NM?

I got stuck reading this fantasy series by Brent Weeks called the Night Angel Trilogy. Pretty run of the mill, with yet another infuriating guilt-ridden, self-loathing, omnipotent hero character. <sigh>

Next week I have to start reading Absolom, Absolom by Faulkner for my friend's summer book club. Oh dear....Faulkner...200 pages, 400 sentences - IF THAT. :roll:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:01 pm
by Omphalos
About 1/3 through a book called Circuit, about a 15th Circuit Court set up for the Moon, Mars and the belt. So far its essentially a Star Trek space policy discussion, but I find that kind of stuff interesting (but not exciting).

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:42 pm
by SandChigger
I've got about 50 pp left in the first Effinger. Then I'm not sure which way I'm going ... into the second book, or back to some Miéville, or jump to a different "critical darling" with some Le Guin ... decisions, decisions. :P

(Have started the first chapter of In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent, btw. 'Tis all the rage now in the conlang circles. ;) )

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:15 pm
by Robspierre
Just finished Zoe's Tale by some guy named Scalzi, not a bad writer :P

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:41 pm
by SandChigger
I think that's one still in the pile from my earlier Scalzi spree.

I didn't jump right into it after reading the first three "Old Man's War" books, though, because telling the story again from Zoe's PoV seemed a bit of overkill ... if that makes sense?

Thought I'd let the details chill a bit. ;)

But yeah, not a bad writer at all.

(And I'd say WE KNOW BAD WRITERS.)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:48 pm
by Omphalos
I really wanna read Scalzi's Android book. From teh description it sounds great.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:29 pm
by SandChigger
I got that one and Agent to the Stars, too. ;)

(I said it was a spree. :oops: )

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:16 pm
by Omphalos
Im about 2/3 through Ringworld right now. I will always love that book.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:56 am
by Freakzilla
Omphalos wrote:Im about 2/3 through Ringworld right now. I will always love that book.


That's about where I left off... maybe I'll take another crack at it.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:53 am
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:Im about 2/3 through Ringworld right now. I will always love that book.


That's about where I left off... maybe I'll take another crack at it.


Ignore the horrible writing. Concentrate on the psychology and the motivation of the characters, on the wild scienctific speculation, and on the Puppeteer's plot to use all the other races against other. The writing is truly abysmal, but everything else is great.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:42 am
by Himachil
Just finished listening to A Scanner Darkly audiobook.

Much more better than the film. :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:50 am
by Omphalos
Did you like the film, Himachil? Despite my initial feelings, I enjoyed it. Book is better though.

BTW, Ive been meaning to ask you about that Darko Suvin quote. Have you read his stuff? He's the one big critic I have never read.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:36 am
by Himachil
I re-watched the film last night and I enjoyed it more than I did the first time around (pre-book). The book does things the film can't do - while the film stays true to the surface of the book, it misses all the explanation.

eg: coming home after the surveillance system has been covertly fitted, in the book that's quite a meaty chunk. Bob goes over it in his mind for quite a while, finding the cigarette/joint in the ash tray is quite a tense moment - the film doesn't do that, it can't do that. - it's all a bit of a non-scene. And there are a few of those.

Do love the visuals though :)

I've only read one Darko Suvin essay - It was pretty useful at the time. I've actually got a book of his somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic atm - Looking forward to doing a bit of a critical session at some point :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:59 pm
by Robspierre
SandChigger wrote:I think that's one still in the pile from my earlier Scalzi spree.

I didn't jump right into it after reading the first three "Old Man's War" books, though, because telling the story again from Zoe's PoV seemed a bit of overkill ... if that makes sense?

Thought I'd let the details chill a bit. ;)

But yeah, not a bad writer at all.

(And I'd say WE KNOW BAD WRITERS.)



It is aimed at the YA audience but it's damn good, choked me up a bit too.

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:08 pm
by Omphalos
Started Simak's Way Station the other night.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:21 pm
by Liege-Killer
I went to the annual summer book sale at the library the other day, but my book pile didn't get much bigger. This is a huge event every year, held outside the library with tables of books stretching all the way around the building. Last year I saw tons of SF (a lot of it worthless, but tons nevertheless). This year, there was practically none. And I was one of the first people there; it's not like other people beat me to it. It was a damn shame, I tell you. I came away with five books, I think, that's all. It was a sad, sad day. :(

Over the course of two visits, I did notice a copy of Sandworms of Dune sitting there, unsold. :lol:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:29 am
by A Thing of Eternity
I just started another Banks book last night, Matter, I think Banks is fast becoming a favourite author of mine. I still haven't finished Slaughterhouse 5, and I don't usually do 2 at once, but for some reason S5 just isn't drawing me in at all.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:59 pm
by SandChigger
Mmmm ... Matter. :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:15 am
by GamePlayer
Is that damn book available in paperback yet? The delay is killing me! Only reason I've managed to hold out this long is because I'm busy with non-fiction, currently reading Singer's Wired For War.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:17 am
by Omphalos
Yep. Several months now. Here it is.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:11 am
by GamePlayer
Finally. Now to see if a local seller has it :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:34 am
by inhuien
GP I thought I mentioned that Matter was out in Paperback, cause I knew you were holding out for it, Sorry if it slipped my mind.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:39 pm
by GamePlayer
I may have forgotten you mentioned it. I get paid this week so I'll go check out my local stores to see if I can snag a copy.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:00 pm
by Eyes High
Raising Atlantis by Thomas Greanias. (anyone else ever read this?)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:04 pm
by Dune Nerd
Just finished Choke by Chuck Palahniuk and started on Fight Club. Could not do scifi again, I started Left Hand of Darkness and enjoyed it but just wanted a different flavor.

Anyone else ever read his stuff? Best I can tell he is a sick twisted fuck who writes about craziness.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:22 pm
by Omphalos
Read Starship Troopers on my flight from Cleveland today.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:42 am
by SandChigger
How was the weather back in the ole Big O?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:44 am
by Omphalos
wetter and cooler than usual. We had three beautiful days there, thougs as an acclimated westerner, I hated the humidity. Chicago Midway got shut down on Wed and Thurs because of thunderstorms.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:06 pm
by Eyes High
Have finished "Raising Atlantis" not for sure what to read next, should get back to Dune but VBS starts Sunday and I know I won't have much time to devote to much fun reading.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:34 pm
by SandChigger
Started The Scar by "critical darling" China Miéville yesterday. :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:41 pm
by Mandy
I'm going to read Dune again. I've got a couple friends from another site interested in reading and discussing it.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:47 pm
by SandChigger
Kewl.

(TK the site? ;) )

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:08 pm
by Mandy
SandChigger wrote:Kewl.

(TK the site? ;) )


Yeah, how did you know? lol

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:25 pm
by SandChigger
I'm psychic that way. :P

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:58 am
by Freakzilla
Mandy wrote:I'm going to read Dune again. I've got a couple friends from another site interested in reading and discussing it.


Don't forget about the Dune Reading Group.

:D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:44 pm
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:
Mandy wrote:I'm going to read Dune again. I've got a couple friends from another site interested in reading and discussing it.


Don't forget about the Dune Reading Group.

:D


Freak, do you care that those are out of order? I can fix that permenantly if you want.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:20 pm
by Mandy
It's very hard to discuss Dune chapter by chapter and not mention things that I already know will happen. That's kind of why I don't go to your reading group, Freak.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:59 am
by Freakzilla
Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Mandy wrote:I'm going to read Dune again. I've got a couple friends from another site interested in reading and discussing it.


Don't forget about the Dune Reading Group.

:D


Freak, do you care that those are out of order? I can fix that permenantly if you want.


Yes, please. I would rather them stay in order. Thanks!

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:07 am
by Freakzilla
Mandy wrote:It's very hard to discuss Dune chapter by chapter and not mention things that I already know will happen. That's kind of why I don't go to your reading group, Freak.


That's OK, If it's a broad theme throughout the series I'd rather a topic in General Dune Discussion, or wherever.

Or you could just make a spoiler disclaimer. I have all the chapters of all the books in the series summarized, you could mention those things in the apropriate book/chapter. I pay close attention to what gets posted there, post what you want, if it's too big a spoiler I will remind you or point you to the right chapter.

Am I unrealistic to not want to spoil things for first time readers?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:43 am
by Mandy
Freakzilla wrote:Am I unrealistic to not want to spoil things for first time readers?


Oh no, I think that's a good idea. I just find it hard to stay within a chapter when I'm discussing Dune. Then there's the fact that there's really nothing most of us haven't discussed already, so coming up with new thoughts on anything in Dune is a challenge.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:35 am
by Freakzilla
Mandy wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Am I unrealistic to not want to spoil things for first time readers?


Oh no, I think that's a good idea. I just find it hard to stay within a chapter when I'm discussing Dune. Then there's the fact that there's really nothing most of us haven't discussed already, so coming up with new thoughts on anything in Dune is a challenge.


That's the only thing Preeks are good for. :wink:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:52 am
by Freakzilla
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Mandy wrote:I'm going to read Dune again. I've got a couple friends from another site interested in reading and discussing it.


Don't forget about the Dune Reading Group.

:D


Freak, do you care that those are out of order? I can fix that permenantly if you want.


Yes, please. I would rather them stay in order. Thanks!


While you're at it... :D

Can you make it so all chapters show up on the page for each book?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:52 am
by Omphalos
Freakzilla wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Mandy wrote:I'm going to read Dune again. I've got a couple friends from another site interested in reading and discussing it.


Don't forget about the Dune Reading Group.

:D


Freak, do you care that those are out of order? I can fix that permenantly if you want.


Yes, please. I would rather them stay in order. Thanks!


While you're at it... :D

Can you make it so all chapters show up on the page for each book?


Not sure what you mean? so readers dont have to go to a page 2?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:15 am
by Freakzilla
Nevermind, I don't think this is happening since we upgraded.

Older topics used to get hidden and you had to choose to show them all.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:29 am
by Mandy
I think this mod would be very helpful for your reading group. It makes it so you can hover your cursor over a topic title and read the first post without opening the thread.

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &t=1257235

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:18 pm
by Omphalos
Thanks Mandy

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:33 pm
by Freakzilla
I've seen that feature in an automotive forum I use, it IS very helpful.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:06 pm
by Dune Nerd
I'm going to read CITY from Clifford D. Simak. Love Simak, he is great.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:01 pm
by Omphalos
city is an incredibe book. Just finished Way Station.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:26 pm
by Robspierre
All sic of the Red Sonja books published in the early 80's, love the Vollejo covers.

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:39 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Just finished Matter. Extremely good book, I'll have to read some of the books he wrote between this one and Use of Weapons, because the tech in this book is phenominal - and it's leaps and bounds ahead of what was in his earlier books (not that those lacked, but they are notibly dated in the way tech is used. No hint of that in this one). Extremely well thought out and put together, and I don't say that lightly about a book with things like force feilds and made up dimensions and such (which I normally hate, but Banks pulls it all off so perfectly I can't even begin to complain).

The ending left me feeling like there is a huge message hidden in it, Banks doesn't just throw plot around lightly. That said, I cannot figure out the message. Like Use of Weapons, I'm going to have to put this book aside and read it again later for it to fully make sense.

I think I'm going to read Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness next.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:46 pm
by Dune Nerd
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Just finished Matter. Extremely good book, I'll have to read some of the books he wrote between this one and Use of Weapons, because the tech in this book is phenominal - and it's leaps and bounds ahead of what was in his earlier books (not that those lacked, but they are notibly dated in the way tech is used. No hint of that in this one). Extremely well thought out and put together, and I don't say that lightly about a book with things like force feilds and made up dimensions and such (which I normally hate, but Banks pulls it all off so perfectly I can't even begin to complain).

The ending left me feeling like there is a huge message hidden in it, Banks doesn't just throw plot around lightly. That said, I cannot figure out the message. Like Use of Weapons, I'm going to have to put this book aside and read it again later for it to fully make sense.

I think I'm going to read Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness next.


Just finished The Left Hand of Darkness and I have to say that it took me a bit to get into the book but overall it was an interesting story with good characterizations.

That being said be careful b/c she is a 'critical darling' so it may not be all it is cracked up to be. :roll: :lol:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:43 pm
by SandChigger
;)

(Mention of Le Guin reminded me of something in WoD I forgot to kvetch about: a planet named Grand Hain. It's in PoD, too. :twisted: )

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:49 pm
by Omphalos
In the middle of William Golding's The Inheritors. Its SF, about a group of neandertals with psi powers who are being hunted and killed by the new kids on the block, homo sapiens.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:32 am
by Freakzilla
Omphalos wrote:In the middle of William Golding's The Inheritors. Its SF, about a group of neandertals with psi powers who are being hunted and killed by the new kids on the block, homo sapiens.


Sasquatch makes an appearance in one of Julian May's books, I think it was Magnificat, the narrator is hidding out in the northern wilderness of Canada and uses the Sasquatch's sub-operant mental signature to mask his from the Galactic Polity.

Not that bigfoot is Neanderthal, just that the species is somewhat operant reminded me of that.

http://www.amazon.com/Magnificat-Galact ... 773&sr=1-2

OOPS...

I think it's Jack the Bodiless:

http://www.amazon.com/Jack-Bodiless-Gal ... =pd_cp_b_3

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:06 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Oh, I forgot to mention, there's an interview with Banks at the end of Matter, he gives a breif nod to Dune, and he unfortunately almost word for word repeats KJA, talking about the infinite effects budget of SF novels.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:26 pm
by Liege-Killer
Omphalos wrote:In the middle of William Golding's The Inheritors. Its SF, about a group of neandertals with psi powers who are being hunted and killed by the new kids on the block, homo sapiens.


Hunted.... and eaten? :lol:

(Reference to a post at Worm's, in case it's not obvious.)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:29 pm
by Liege-Killer
Oh by the way, I'm so bad about forgetting to post about my reading adventures here.

I recently finished A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge, and Lady of Mazes by Karl Schroeder. Both very good reads.

I'm currently working on Excession by Banks, and The City and the Stars by Clarke.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:38 pm
by SandChigger
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Oh, I forgot to mention, there's an interview with Banks at the end of Matter, he gives a breif nod to Dune, and he unfortunately almost word for word repeats KJA, talking about the infinite effects budget of SF novels.

I don't think the idea is so bad in and of itself, because in a way isn't it really about the author using the imagination of the reader?

The problem is in the application of the idea. In the hands of a hack like Kevin J. Anderson (not that his hands are in any way involved in his "writing" process), it's just flash, the crutch he has to use because he has absolutely nothing going on anywhere else. Banks at least can write. ;)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:50 pm
by Omphalos
Liege-Killer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:In the middle of William Golding's The Inheritors. Its SF, about a group of neandertals with psi powers who are being hunted and killed by the new kids on the block, homo sapiens.


Hunted.... and eaten? :lol:

(Reference to a post at Worm's, in case it's not obvious.)


Which post was that? Got my mind on work lately and can't recall which it was.

And no, they weren't eaten. But they did become sapiens-chow in Jack London's Before Adam, which is essentially about the same thing, only the conflict was between homo sapiens (?) and a strain of man that went extinct about two million years before homo sapiens came along, IIRC. Its been a while since I read the London book.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:57 pm
by The Phantom
just finished a re-read of Animal Farm and 1984.. now I'm working on Asimov's The End of Eternity

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:34 pm
by Eyes High
Half way thru Starship Troopers. (Spiff gave it to me for my birthday. wasn't he nice.)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:43 pm
by Omphalos
Eyes High wrote:Half way thru Starship Troopers. (Spiff gave it to me for my birthday. wasn't he nice.)


Ill be putting a review of that up shortly. Just have to proof it again and up it goes.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:22 am
by Eyes High
Omphalos wrote:
Eyes High wrote:Half way thru Starship Troopers. (Spiff gave it to me for my birthday. wasn't he nice.)


Ill be putting a review of that up shortly. Just have to proof it again and up it goes.



Just saw it over at Worm's. Thanks for the review. :mrgreen:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:56 am
by GamePlayer
Baraka Bryan wrote:just finished a re-read of Animal Farm and 1984.. now I'm working on Asimov's The End of Eternity


Good taste. I've read both. Excellent books. In school, 1984 was one of the few mandatory books that was a pleasure to read. I never got the chance to read Animal Farm during school so I enjoyed it years after college.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:59 am
by The Phantom
GamePlayer wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:just finished a re-read of Animal Farm and 1984.. now I'm working on Asimov's The End of Eternity


Good taste. I've read both. Excellent books. In school, 1984 was one of the few mandatory books that was a pleasure to read. I never got the chance to read Animal Farm during school so I enjoyed it years after college.


they're both on my "re-read annually" list, along with the Dune Chronicles :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:19 am
by A Thing of Eternity
Baraka Bryan wrote:just finished a re-read of Animal Farm and 1984.. now I'm working on Asimov's The End of Eternity


If I don't hurry up and read 1984 soon I'm going to have to punch myself.

I've also looked at The End of Eternity several times, let me know how that one is, if you could please.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:27 am
by The Phantom
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:just finished a re-read of Animal Farm and 1984.. now I'm working on Asimov's The End of Eternity


If I don't hurry up and read 1984 soon I'm going to have to punch myself.

I've also looked at The End of Eternity several times, let me know how that one is, if you could please.



I'm about halfway through it right now and the plot is just getting exciting. It's pretty typical Asimov fare, with good characterization, a neat and well explained sci-fi idea as its basis, and interesting contexts for the action. so far I'd recommend.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:52 am
by Freakzilla
Baraka Bryan wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:just finished a re-read of Animal Farm and 1984.. now I'm working on Asimov's The End of Eternity


If I don't hurry up and read 1984 soon I'm going to have to punch myself.

I've also looked at The End of Eternity several times, let me know how that one is, if you could please.



I'm about halfway through it right now and the plot is just getting exciting. It's pretty typical Asimov fare, with good characterization, a neat and well explained sci-fi idea as its basis, and interesting contexts for the action. so far I'd recommend.


Is that the one about the postron pump?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:05 pm
by Omphalos
Are you thinking of The Gods Themselves?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:24 am
by The Phantom
this one has the two dimensions, so to speak... one time based, divided into sections based on centuries, and an eternal realm where the "Eternals" basically monitor time based reality and introduce changes to protect humanity from itself.. they also manage inter-temporal trade.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:49 am
by Freakzilla
Been ages since I read those, I barely remember that story.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:15 pm
by Omphalos
Baraka Bryan wrote:this one has the two dimensions, so to speak... one time based, divided into sections based on centuries, and an eternal realm where the "Eternals" basically monitor time based reality and introduce changes to protect humanity from itself.. they also manage inter-temporal trade.


This is one of those books where the Eternals chose the universe of the Foundation for humanity: Lots of planets, no aliens.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:15 pm
by Eyes High
Finished Starship Troopers last night. Thinking about going back to Dune.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:09 pm
by SandChigger
Am slowly trying to work up the energy to return to The Scar, after the nastiness that was WoD. :mrgreen:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:18 am
by The Phantom
Omphalos wrote:
Baraka Bryan wrote:this one has the two dimensions, so to speak... one time based, divided into sections based on centuries, and an eternal realm where the "Eternals" basically monitor time based reality and introduce changes to protect humanity from itself.. they also manage inter-temporal trade.


This is one of those books where the Eternals chose the universe of the Foundation for humanity: Lots of planets, no aliens.



correct, except fo rthe lots of planets thing...
in fact, the Eternals tend to steer humanity away from space travel and keep them confined to earth, travelling through time rather than space.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:21 am
by Omphalos
I think those Eternals books may have been some of the first SF I ever read.

I just started a book by David Wingrove last night called Chung Kuo: The Middle Kingdom. Its about a world dominated by China. Its pretty good. The writing is not stellar, but the story is interesting (though slow moving). The book is about 650 pp, and I just found out a few moments ago that there are six other volumes in the series. I guess Wingrove had a lot to say.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:24 pm
by SandChigger
I started reading that, but when I found out I couldn't easily get the rest of the series, I lost interest. The use of the Wade-Giles romanization also annoyed the hell out of me, being used to Pinyin. (I guess he figured more people are familiar with the old? Patently false, of course.) And the writing is pretty dire.

I also had problems with the basic setting. Like a world-dominant China would really return to traditional culture? I guess stranger things have happened. :?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:48 pm
by Omphalos
Yea, I came to the conclusion last night that his sociological ideas were a little far fetched, but his technological are amazing. I also do like that the conflict is between the westerners who own corporations and favor technolgical development and the royalty who have in place an Edict to stiffle that. And I suppose the fact that the government's change-phobic outlook, which is due to the might of an enormous population, does translate well from the most populous nation on Earth to the Earth itself. His character development is awesome too; worthy of respect.

the only real problem is that his writing is bland. Nothing stands out as really great. Wingrove is a critic and scholar - I think he co-write Trillion Year Spree with Aldiss. He has gotten so wrapped up in the technical that he's snubbed the artistic.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:15 pm
by Robspierre
Finished Orphans of the Sky and am now on Beyond This Horizon, both by Heinlein.

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:16 pm
by GamePlayer
I finally picked up Matter by Iain M. Banks in paperback and have begun reading. Here we go! :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:45 pm
by Star Dust
The Streets of Laredo by James McMurtry. Love me a good western!

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:08 pm
by Omphalos
Started The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach last night. Got about 150 pp into it until I could not keep my eyes open any longer. Its really good, if a bit detached and, at least for now, its hard for me to figure where the author is going.

Still have about a dozen half-finished books sitting on my bedside table though.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:16 pm
by The Phantom
Rocannon's world, Le Guin

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:34 am
by inhuien
GamePlayer wrote:I finally picked up Matter by Iain M. Banks in paperback and have begun reading. Here we go! :)

:banana-dreads: :banana-explosion: :banana-fingers: :banana-guitar: :banana-rainbow: :banana-rock: :banana-stoner: :banana-tux: :banana-wrench: :banana-guitar: :banana-jumprope: :banana-linedance: :banana-parachute: :banana-ninja:
I hope the above emoto-conic review hasn't spoiled the novel for you any. :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:47 am
by GamePlayer
I'm sure all will be clear very soon :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:16 am
by inhuien
GamePlayer wrote:I'm sure all will be clear very soon :)

Strangely it makes a sort of sense, but then so do the predictions of Nostradamus. At least retrospectively.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:10 am
by A Thing of Eternity
GamePlayer wrote:I finally picked up Matter by Iain M. Banks in paperback and have begun reading. Here we go! :)


You should definitely let me know what you think of the ending.

EDIT TO ADD: I just started Brave New World, I actually didn't know this was written in the thirties, I thought it was newer. I'm really looking forward to this one, I love dark SF from the early days. Somehow, the writers of the last couple decades just don't manage to scare me the way these old masters could.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:01 am
by GamePlayer
This weekend was rather busy, so I didn't have a chance to read much. Grrrr. I'm only on the third chapter. But so far it's grabbed my attention well. I will definitely post my thoughts on the "matter" once I'm done (yeah, I know, but I just had to say that :))

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:37 am
by Robspierre
Biology text book for my online summer class. Fuck it's almost as bad as reading KJA!

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:32 pm
by Rakis
Haven't read anything since last november when baby boy came to this world...

Next week, i'm beginning Banks' The Culture series... :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:59 am
by Omphalos
Halfway though. Lester del Rey's history of SF, The World of Science Fiction.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:12 am
by GamePlayer
I've barely got any reading time into Matter. I've been relegated to 30 minute intervals. Even so, I've made it to page 318 and so far it's been great. So many interesting places, events and characters. Anaplian (and the hilarious knife missile opening), the scheming Oct, the even more long-term machinations of Special Circumstances (this is so Player of Games-ish), Oramen, Shellworlds, and I find I'm even somewhat curiously charmed by the foppish Ferbin. The dialog is also fantastic and there have been some fantastic quotes so far. As luck would have it, this is a long weekend for us here in Ontario. So that book is going down for the count this weekend! :)

Rakis wrote:Next week, i'm beginning Banks' The Culture series... :)


When you do, don't be shy chatting about it. Which one ya gonna start with? :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:53 pm
by Rakis
GamePlayer wrote:I've barely got any reading time into Matter. I've been relegated to 30 minute intervals. Even so, I've made it to page 318 and so far it's been great. So many interesting places, events and characters. Anaplian (and the hilarious knife missile opening), the scheming Oct, the even more long-term machinations of Special Circumstances (this is so Player of Games-ish), Oramen, Shellworlds, and I find I'm even somewhat curiously charmed by the foppish Ferbin. The dialog is also fantastic and there have been some fantastic quotes so far. As luck would have it, this is a long weekend for us here in Ontario. So that book is going down for the count this weekend! :)

Rakis wrote:Next week, i'm beginning Banks' The Culture series... :)


When you do, don't be shy chatting about it. Which one ya gonna start with? :)


I'll begin with Consider Phlebas... :P

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:17 pm
by GamePlayer
A fine choice. That was my first Banks book :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:10 pm
by SandChigger
As a machine-wannabe, I was hooked by the beginning of that one, but I sometimes wonder if your namesake volume might not be the better intro...

But we've had this discussion ... have we not ... or have we? ;)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:14 pm
by GamePlayer
We have :)
But honestly, the question of which Culture novel new readers should begin with is a subject of some debate among all Banks fans. I'm not typically concerned if new readers pick Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games or State of the Art for beginners. I only worry when a new reader says they want to start with Excession, Inversions or Look To Windward, which are all better read if one is familiar with at least one or two earlier Culture novels. Especially since Banks can be a very challenging writer, I know some aspects of the Culture have turned off readers who are almost offended by the daringly progressive themes and norm-challenging concepts explored in the fiction. One person I recommended the Culture novels too was so offended/disturbed/disgusted by the citizens ability to control their own sex that he never even finished the book I lent him. Of course, that's an extreme example and that person was never going to like authors like Banks, Herbert, Heinlein, anyway, so it's not so much a loss as it is an unfortunate reality. But there is some material in in Bank's fiction that tramples upon even what is held sacred by some open-minded modernists and conservative atheists/secularists. Hell, I'm not even comfortable with some of the daring concepts Banks has written, but that's kinda the point of reading good fiction. :)

Digressing, Use of Weapons and Matter can work well as explanatory novels of the Culture. However, Use of Weapons has a challenging non-linear narrative that can clash with some readers (I adore it, but I'm a Memento fan, so I love crazy structural innovation like that) while Matter is very dense, lengthy and you're hit with so much detail that I can imagine new readers losing all the world building in amongst struggling just to remember people and places.

Still, I think it's better to go read any of the three Culture novels I listed first before any others simply because I have no way of knowing the tastes of a potential new reader to Banks. Granted, I have to assume most who can handle Frank Herbert can handle Iain M. Banks, but I don't see any reason to throw new readers into the harder novels. If I knew a potential new reader had read/enjoyed Peter F. Hamilton, I'd say start with Excession. Otherwise, stick with the more accessible books first. Besides, if someone doesn't like Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games or State of the Art, there's little chance they'll like any of the other books.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:46 am
by SandChigger
Fair enough. :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:10 am
by Omphalos
Im still uncultured, and after reading that travesty, Feersum Endjin, Im likely to remain that way.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:52 am
by GamePlayer
Feersum Endjin isn't a Culture novel. That's one of Bank's other sci-fi books. I've never read stuff like Bank's Feersum Endjin or The Algebraist, but everyone I have spoken with that's read them does not like them. They call them experimental, esoteric, pseudo-philosophical and so forth. I've got the impression Banks writes those books to test new unconventional ideas/concepts in both the fiction and the writing process. I suspect the results are much like some musician's jam session :)

I've only read Bank's fiction books and the Culture science fiction novels, both of which are solidly written and among the best writing I've read.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:03 pm
by Omphalos
I didnt mean to suggest that it was a culture novel. I know it isnt. Im just saying burn me once, shame on him. Burn me twice, shame on me.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:16 pm
by GamePlayer
Well, I can only say how unfortunate that is and the rest is out of my hands. But I am curious, what made you decide to read Feersum Endjin over all of Bank's other books, sci-fi or otherwise?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:43 pm
by Omphalos
GamePlayer wrote:Well, I can only say how unfortunate that is and the rest is out of my hands. But I am curious, what made you decide to read Feersum Endjin over all of Bank's other books, sci-fi or otherwise?


I wanted to read some Banks, and do a reader's club thing at Worms. My brother is a huge Banks fan and recommended that as a good non-culture novel to read. I guess I did not want to start a series and not like it.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:39 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
GamePlayer wrote:Digressing, Use of Weapons and Matter can work well as explanatory novels of the Culture. However, Use of Weapons has a challenging non-linear narrative that can clash with some readers (I adore it, but I'm a Memento fan, so I love crazy structural innovation like that) while Matter is very dense, lengthy and you're hit with so much detail that I can imagine new readers losing all the world building in amongst struggling just to remember people and places.

I agree that Use of Weapons would challenge a new Banks reader due to the lack of a linear plot -but I dissagree about Matter being a good explanatory book. I remember thinking as I read it that my girlfriend might like it, but without reading a book like The Player of Games I think she would be completely lost, and so much of what the S.C. characters say/think about would be gibberish. Not necessarily a bad thing, I like some good confusion in my SF, but I think that reading Matter before the earlier books would greatly diminish the enjoyment of Matter.

That said, Matter does do a great deal of explaning about Culture, and expanding what I'd already known, but what is left out is a pretty huge pile.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:57 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Omphalos wrote:Im still uncultured, and after reading that travesty, Feersum Endjin, Im likely to remain that way.

:o NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! You simply CANNOT allow whatever is so terrible about Feersum Endjin (haven't read it myself) to prevent you from reading more Banks. This is the great SF author of our times. His philosophy is subtly stated, but hits like a hammer once the reader clues in (I know I've missed half the philosophy in his books, like FH, Banks would do well with re-read upon re-read for ever deeper layers), his characterization and prose are breathtaking. Breathtaking. When you read his Culture novels you forget that anyone even gives a shit about plot. Not that he skimps on a good plot though, he fearlessly kills off your favourite character, or has the protagonist take a completely realistic but utterly disappointing path (zero pandering to lower denominators' need for heroes in fiction). He is one of the few authors that if I catch myself starting to feel like skipping even one word out of a sentence I force myself to take a break, because it's a crime to miss a single word this man writes. Poetry, every line. He has obviously put as much re-writing and thought into every chapter as most of the best authors I read must put into their entire novels.

You must read The Player of Games, then Use of Weapons. Forget Consider Phlebas for now IMO, the latter two are better and I don’t think the earlier one would loose anything for being read latter if you want. Don’t let anything in TPoG to dissuade you from reading UoW either – you finish both them books! :wink: THEN, you can talk about skipping out on the rest of the Culture novels. And you don’t have to worry about your hatred of long series, because as far as I can tell there really is no series, each novel is a complete standalone from the others.













Ok, was that laying it on thick?

No. I don't think it was. :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:29 pm
by GamePlayer
Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:Well, I can only say how unfortunate that is and the rest is out of my hands. But I am curious, what made you decide to read Feersum Endjin over all of Bank's other books, sci-fi or otherwise?


I wanted to read some Banks, and do a reader's club thing at Worms. My brother is a huge Banks fan and recommended that as a good non-culture novel to read. I guess I did not want to start a series and not like it.


Wow.

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:Digressing, Use of Weapons and Matter can work well as explanatory novels of the Culture. However, Use of Weapons has a challenging non-linear narrative that can clash with some readers (I adore it, but I'm a Memento fan, so I love crazy structural innovation like that) while Matter is very dense, lengthy and you're hit with so much detail that I can imagine new readers losing all the world building in amongst struggling just to remember people and places.

I agree that Use of Weapons would challenge a new Banks reader due to the lack of a linear plot -but I dissagree about Matter being a good explanatory book. I remember thinking as I read it that my girlfriend might like it, but without reading a book like The Player of Games I think she would be completely lost, and so much of what the S.C. characters say/think about would be gibberish. Not necessarily a bad thing, I like some good confusion in my SF, but I think that reading Matter before the earlier books would greatly diminish the enjoyment of Matter.

That said, Matter does do a great deal of explaning about Culture, and expanding what I'd already known, but what is left out is a pretty huge pile.


I never got that feeling from Matter. It doesn't embellish Special Circumstances or Contact, but it does tell the reader exactly what they are and what they do. I don't see how the thoughts of Jerle Batra of Anaplian would become indecipherable within just the context of Matter. You don't get as much out of Matter as you would if you'd read another Culture novel, but that's the extent of it, at least in my opinion. Maybe things will change, I still haven't finished Matter (fucking malware infected my computer this weekend and had robbed me of nearly all my free time).

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:04 pm
by Liege-Killer
Continuing with the Culture discussion, here's my (limited) experience and some comments and questions.

I read The Player of Games when I was in high school, but like quite a few books I read back then, I can't remember much about it. I should probably re-read that one soon.

I read Consider Phlebas and liked it, gave it 3 stars in my review, IIRC. I didn't think it was anything spectacular, but it was solid and satisfying.

I recently finished Excession, haven't done the review yet, but I'm thinking it'll also come in at 3 stars. In some ways it was better than Consider Phlebas (for example, all the intrigue among the ship Minds), but in other ways less satisfying. For one thing, the (biological) characters in the former were far more interesting, while I couldn't care much about the ones in Excession. There may have been things I missed, but that's pretty much my feeling about it right now.

Comment: so far I like Banks, but by no means do I see him in the high terms AToE just used. Breathtaking prose? Ummm, it's ok. :P

Question: which Culture novel should I consider next? Besides re-reading TPoG, I mean? If the above novels didn't didn't take my breath away, which one might?

I think an "explanatory" novel would do me some good, because so far I've had some trouble really buying into the culture of the Culture. It just seems to me that it's not an entirely plausible society. In some ways it's so soft and hedonistic, but in other ways very aware and involved in galactic affairs. There's something about that that seems unrealistic to me. It's hard to get a sense of what makes the Culture tick, what drives them, what they want out of life. Does that make any sense?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:31 pm
by Omphalos
That is kind of what I am thinking the books will be like. Average or maybe slightly above. You see, I really did dislike the "experimental" aspects of Feersum Endjin, but even discounting all that I was still kind of underwhelmed. It was science fantasy, and average at best. I guess Ill try one of the culture novels one day. Just not in a hurry.

Not only all of that, but those wankers over at SF Chronicles are always going on and on about what a genius Banks is. That alone turns me off of him.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:40 pm
by GamePlayer
Liege-Killer wrote:I think an "explanatory" novel would do me some good, because so far I've had some trouble really buying into the culture of the Culture. It just seems to me that it's not an entirely plausible society. In some ways it's so soft and hedonistic, but in other ways very aware and involved in galactic affairs. There's something about that that seems unrealistic to me. It's hard to get a sense of what makes the Culture tick, what drives them, what they want out of life. Does that make any sense?


Read A Few Notes on the Culture

That article, written by Banks, explains why the Culture functions, particularly paying attention to the social/economic/industrial/ideological details of why it WOULDN'T work for the current state of our species, considering the technology and social systems of today. From that point, the article moves forward piece by piece explaining how each hurdle would be solved to attain this quasi-anarchist, post-scarcity "utopia" (a somewhat inaccurate term, given that the Culture is still unable to reconcile several fundamental existential problems, such as war).

Some editions of the short story collection The State of the Art include A Few Notes on the Culture. SoO if you don't like reading on the computer, you can peruse your local bookstore and obtain a copy of that book (reading through it first, to ensure it's the type of edition that includes the "Notes").

Omphalos wrote:That is kind of what I am thinking the books will be like. Average or maybe slightly above. You see, I really did dislike the "experimental" aspects of Feersum Endjin, but even discounting all that I was still kind of underwhelmed. It was science fantasy, and average at best. I guess Ill try one of the culture novels one day. Just not in a hurry.

Not only all of that, but those wankers over at SF Chronicles are always going on and on about what a genius Banks is. That alone turns me off of him.


I just wouldn't read any more Banks.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:47 pm
by Omphalos
GamePlayer wrote:
I just wouldn't read any more Banks.


Ill read it when I want to read it.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:56 am
by inhuien
I've been reading Banks (with and without the M) for more than 2 decades and I can understand why to some peoples taste he doesn't set your world on fire. He is a rather inconsistent author, my copy of Complicity now resides in a landfill in Ayrshire, the ending of that book infuriated me so much. But much like Chinese food if you start out with the chicken feet you may not stay it you're served the Singapore stir fry.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:46 am
by Rakis
Read A Few Notes on the Culture


That's what convinced me to start reading the Culture series... :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:39 am
by Liege-Killer
GamePlayer wrote:Read A Few Notes on the Culture


Ok, that gives me a better understanding of Banks' underlying premises for the Culture. Thanks. I still don't know if such a society is entirely believable, or if it could ever come into existence. But hey, the same could be said for many of the worlds of science fiction. I'm sure I'll try a few more of the Culture books somewhere along the line.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:33 am
by GamePlayer
Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:
I just wouldn't read any more Banks.


Ill read it when I want to read it.


The advice was offered in good faith and should be taken as such, thank you very much.

inhuien wrote:I've been reading Banks (with and without the M) for more than 2 decades and I can understand why to some peoples taste he doesn't set your world on fire. He is a rather inconsistent author, my copy of Complicity now resides in a landfill in Ayrshire, the ending of that book infuriated me so much. But much like Chinese food if you start out with the chicken feet you may not stay it you're served the Singapore stir fry.


Exactly. Not everyone is going to like everything. Though I agree, best to start off with something good than something not so good. But I'm not sure your choice of foods make for a good analogy :P :wink: :lol:

Rakis wrote:
Read A Few Notes on the Culture


That's what convinced me to start reading the Culture series... :)


That's a fine way to start, although I imagine if I suggested it to most people, they'd consider it more than a little dry. Like anthropology, but I love that sort of thing and it seems like you do to, so for some it would work brilliantly. If I recall, I read Consider Phlebas first. I think it was sometime during or after The Player of Games that I discovered the "Notes", which only made reading the books more enjoyable. It's a great companion piece.

Liege-Killer wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:Read A Few Notes on the Culture


Ok, that gives me a better understanding of Banks' underlying premises for the Culture. Thanks. I still don't know if such a society is entirely believable, or if it could ever come into existence. But hey, the same could be said for many of the worlds of science fiction. I'm sure I'll try a few more of the Culture books somewhere along the line.


I'm glad you feel that way. I think most empires in science fiction aren't given half the amount of consideration and effort that Banks invested in writing the Culture. That effort shows in the writing and the books benefit greatly because of it. Also, I think it's enough that Bank's creation makes you think and challenge the assumptions. It's inspirational in that way and hopefully encourages more material like it.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:53 am
by inhuien
I think I may have got my chicken feet and dogs balls mixed up. :lol:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:32 am
by GamePlayer
inhuien wrote:I think I may have got my chicken feet and dogs balls mixed up. :lol:


I think I'm going to be ill :wink: :P :lol:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:52 am
by A Thing of Eternity
GamePlayer wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:Digressing, Use of Weapons and Matter can work well as explanatory novels of the Culture. However, Use of Weapons has a challenging non-linear narrative that can clash with some readers (I adore it, but I'm a Memento fan, so I love crazy structural innovation like that) while Matter is very dense, lengthy and you're hit with so much detail that I can imagine new readers losing all the world building in amongst struggling just to remember people and places.

I agree that Use of Weapons would challenge a new Banks reader due to the lack of a linear plot -but I dissagree about Matter being a good explanatory book. I remember thinking as I read it that my girlfriend might like it, but without reading a book like The Player of Games I think she would be completely lost, and so much of what the S.C. characters say/think about would be gibberish. Not necessarily a bad thing, I like some good confusion in my SF, but I think that reading Matter before the earlier books would greatly diminish the enjoyment of Matter.

That said, Matter does do a great deal of explaning about Culture, and expanding what I'd already known, but what is left out is a pretty huge pile.


I never got that feeling from Matter. It doesn't embellish Special Circumstances or Contact, but it does tell the reader exactly what they are and what they do. I don't see how the thoughts of Jerle Batra of Anaplian would become indecipherable within just the context of Matter. You don't get as much out of Matter as you would if you'd read another Culture novel, but that's the extent of it, at least in my opinion. Maybe things will change, I still haven't finished Matter (fucking malware infected my computer this weekend and had robbed me of nearly all my free time).



Maybe you're right, I might have overstated the confusingness of Matter. It's more the little things, like I think he mentions glanding several times, but I don't remember any mention of the glands. It does do great explanation of SC and Contact, much better than the other books I've read, you're definitely right about that. I just think that TPoG gives the best introduction to what exactly the culture is, and what it's like to be a citizen.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:01 am
by A Thing of Eternity
Ha, I see I may have really gone overboard with the Banks praise! Sometimes I get worked up, and hyperbole is probably one of my biggest and most annoying character flaws. However, Use of Weapons really was what cemented him as a genius (or at least a master) for me, TPoG is more relaxed and "average" but really sets up an understanding of the Culture.

Maybe also my taste for prose hasn't come far enough, but in my opinion the prose in a Banks book is truly good, especially in UoW which almost felt like an epic poem to me sometimes (not quite as poetic as Hyperion, but similar feel at points). I still have a lot to learn about what seperates truly amazing prose from the simply good, but I think Banks is far ahead of the pack.

Omph - sorry if I came off pushy, I just really love his work, and I would hate to see him written off because of a book I haven't read myself, I didn't mean to be rude.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:35 pm
by Omphalos
GamePlayer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:
I just wouldn't read any more Banks.


Ill read it when I want to read it.


The advice was offered in good faith and should be taken as such, thank you very much.


My grandma used to thank herself too. I think it was her way of saying "fuck you." :wink:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:52 pm
by The Phantom
just re-read Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra

gotta go find a copy of That Hideous Strength to complete the trilogy

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:24 am
by GamePlayer
Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:
I just wouldn't read any more Banks.


Ill read it when I want to read it.


The advice was offered in good faith and should be taken as such, thank you very much.


My grandma used to thank herself too. I think it was her way of saying "fuck you." :wink:


Would that I wonder one's words any wilder worrying woe than warning what and when one will do whatever, I'd wager. :P

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Maybe you're right, I might have overstated the confusingness of Matter. It's more the little things, like I think he mentions glanding several times, but I don't remember any mention of the glands. It does do great explanation of SC and Contact, much better than the other books I've read, you're definitely right about that. I just think that TPoG gives the best introduction to what exactly the culture is, and what it's like to be a citizen.


They both mention and explain glanding in Matter. However, the book is dense and a bit too so for a first novel, I would think. But then again, people level the same complaint against Frank Herbert, so I guess there's no winning them over :)

Nonetheless, while you may be over-enthusiastic in your praise for Banks, his talent and creativity lends more cause to indulge than to criticize. I will say that while Banks does possess skill for prose, his greatest talents lie in character, detail, pacing and most definitely structure. He's also absolutely brilliant at grounding his own admittedly far flung fiction. He basically pushed science fiction nearly as far as was still comprehensible and then demanded a way within that world to tell tales to which the reader could still relate. It's no small feat and I certainly hold him in high regard for his science fiction. It's among the best I've read, new or old.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:34 pm
by Freakzilla
Thank you very little.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:53 pm
by Liege-Killer
GamePlayer wrote:If I knew a potential new reader had read/enjoyed Peter F. Hamilton, I'd say start with Excession.


Oh, I meant to ask.....

I've never read Hamilton. Any good?

Isn't he another of those guys who write long, loooooong books?

I think there's a story of his in an anthology on my waiting-to-be-read shelf.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:01 pm
by Omphalos
His books all seem to be giants. They also seem space opera like, and Ive been thinking of giving him a try lately.

Is there any one book that stands out?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:37 am
by inhuien
The last Greg Mandel book, i think it's called Nano Flower and the first of the Night Dawn books, The Reality Dysfunction, are the two I suggest as stand outs. I've not read anything since Pandora Star (2004) so there may be something newer that better.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:36 am
by GamePlayer
Liege-Killer wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:If I knew a potential new reader had read/enjoyed Peter F. Hamilton, I'd say start with Excession.


Oh, I meant to ask.....

I've never read Hamilton. Any good?

Isn't he another of those guys who write long, loooooong books?

I think there's a story of his in an anthology on my waiting-to-be-read shelf.


Just to clarify, I used Peter F. Hamilton as an analogy only for his like-minded sci-fi oddness and complexity. Iain M. Bank's novel Excession is only 451 pages, nowhere near the length of a Hamilton novel. But you're right, Hamilton does write BIG books.

I'm rather ashamed to admit I've only read one Peter F. Hamilton book and I didn't finish it :oops:
I read over a third of The Reality Dysfunction, which is some 1,200 pages, thus I covered some 400-500 pages of the book, which is roughly the equivalent of most regular novels. The book is daunting and it's only the first of a trilogy, each of which are similar length, totaling some 3,600 pages. To give you an idea how lengthy that is, all three books of the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien total roughly 1,100 pages, including appendices.

I don't want to scare anyone away from Peter F. Hamilton just because I didn't finish one of his books. My impression of him is one of a competent writer who can engage the reader and his science fiction is enthralling. It's just the subject matter and detail is vast and a reader must be prepared for a long haul. I was also trying to read Hamilton during the height of my giddiness for Banks. It's fair to say I lost patience with The Reality Dysfunction in a race to get to my next Bank's book (Use of Weapons). Clearly, it was unfair to Hamilton. If I wasn't truly interested in reading his book, I should have waited until I was. But I was recommended Hamilton at the behest of a friend's mother (who is a sci-fi geek, very unusual) and was under the clock to return the book before moving away out east. I cannot honestly say whether I would have finished to book or not. If I had a copy now, I probably would, but I guess my actions speak volumes :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:07 am
by A Thing of Eternity
I like loooooong works, 3600 pages sounds right in the sweet zone for an epic to me. Maybe I should put this into my list of things to read.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:51 am
by Omphalos
I'm in the middle of David Wingrove's first Chung Kuo (SF in a utopian world dominated by the Chinese) novel. Its about 700 pages and its the first of nine (soon to be ten) books set in the same universe. As a matter of fact, colletively they only tell the story of a few hundred years of time. I don't know if I have the stamina for 7000+ pages of one story, but I like the first book enough to read the second, which is on my shelf.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:46 pm
by Liege-Killer
The only way I would read a 1200-page book is if it was a standalone, and if it sounded very, VERY damned interesting. But a whole series of such ponderous tomes? No thanks. Sounds like Hamilton's a no-go for me.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:44 pm
by Omphalos
I used to really be into long books. That's why I got so much into The Stand as a kid. I just do not look for them the way I used to though.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:52 pm
by GamePlayer
I don't mind long books, but I find as I have become more experienced reading/watching/listening to books/films/music, the familiarity breeds contempt. Especially with books, I need the construct to stand out, otherwise it's something I've already seen before. Herbert, Asimov, Card, Banks, Niven, Gibson, Dick, and all the rest each utilize radically different constructs that are uniquely distinct from those of the other authors. Each author may explore similar themes in similar ways, but the worlds are truly worlds apart. I think Hamilton's construct is definitely distinct, so even if his books are long, one should have no trouble appreciating the distinctiveness of the fiction. But of course, I can't say for sure if it's "very, VERY damned interesting" enough to be worth it.

I will say Hamilton's books are readily available now, just like Banks. In the early years, you had to order overseas to get the novels, but no longer.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:58 pm
by Mandy
I like long books IF the book is really good, cause then I don't want it to end.

I'm almost finished with the first Wild Cards book, it's a lot better than I expected it to be based on the description. I'm usually not interested in superhero stuff, but this one surprised me.
http://wildcards.wikia.com/wiki/Wild_Cards_Wiki
The Wild Cards series of mosaic novels developed out of an ongoing superhero roleplaying campaign run by author George R.R. Martin and eventually spanning 19 volumes. Contributing authors include Roger Zelazny, Lewis Shiner, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Walter Jon Williams, John Jos. Miller, and Martin himself.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:09 pm
by GamePlayer
Finally finished Matter and enjoyed it. It hasn't beaten my favorite Culture books (Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games and Use of Weapons), but it's definitely a hit. I posted my review on Amazon and on Jacurutu (My review of Matter by Iain M. Banks on Jacurutu)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:50 am
by Rakis
Well, i just finished reading Consider Phlebas from Banks and i really enjoyed it :)=

I wasn't sure what to expect at first, i really got into it after the first third of the book and it became real interesting after that. I love the humor in it, reminds me a bit of Douglas Adams, although the story is quite tragic in a sense...a real war story...

...and the Idirans are one though sons of bitches ! :shock=:

I'll begin Player of games in a few days... :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:19 am
by Serkanner
Rakis wrote:Well, i just finished reading Consider Phlebas from Banks and i really enjoyed it :)=

I wasn't sure what to expect at first, i really got into it after the first third of the book and it became real interesting after that. I love the humor in it, reminds me a bit of Douglas Adams, although the story is quite tragic in a sense...a real war story...

...and the Idirans are one though sons of bitches ! :shock=:

I'll begin Player of games in a few days... :D


Great! I am reading Phlebas at the moment and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:38 am
by GamePlayer
Awesome. Glad to hear you liked it. It is a fine book and one of my personal favorites.
I really enjoyed the last third of the novel, particularly the engaging structure. You've got these three converging stories all slowly being drawn toward the others. Then the pace picks up a little and the chapters become shorter. The book plays with the reader and teases them with more hints of what's going to happen. Then the pace picks up again and the chapters become even shorter. You can feel the gaining momentum and are beginning to piece things together. Then the train (literally) is on a collision course and the converging narratives keep coming faster and faster and faster until...boom! It was almost as good as sex :)

I love the description of the Idiran-Culture War, particularly the way in which it was fought and the reasons why the losing side lost the war. The sense that the war was lost due to one side's inability to understand and adapt to the dynamics of modern warfare in space gives the fiction a plausible anchor that makes the events feel that much more real. I also enjoyed the Idirans as a rather interesting science fiction species, particularly their physiology impacting their ideology. Very creative.

Anyway, I'm done gushing :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:24 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
I finished Brave New World, and then read Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, definitely one of the best books that I've read by him so far.

Not sure what I'll grab next, maybe Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, but I also just picked up another Richard Morgan book, Woken Furies, which is looking pretty temping. I also have The War of the Worlds in the pile, but I think I'll leave that one for now.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:16 pm
by Freakzilla
The Many Colored Land - Julian May

25 five star reviews out of 34... :wink:

I still can't believe none of you have read this series, it's not like I recommend books often. :roll:

3-1/2 stars at SF Reviews.net:

As fresh and original as any book in the field, The Many-Colored Land, the deservedly acclaimed first novel in a series of series, takes readers on an amazing journey from the distant future to the distant past, using unexpected routes all along the way. In The Saga of Pliocene Exile, the human race has been discovered by benevolent aliens who have invited us to join a galaxy-spanning federation of sorts known as the Galactic Milieu, offering us interstellar travel, countless worlds for the colonizing, and the ability for certain gifted humans to discover and develop various "metapsychic" skills. The catch is, of course, that we must adhere to the strict, more or less socialist rules and agenda of the Milieu itself, which, while pretty much completely benevolent, still don't encourage anyone to be much of a free spirit.

Enter the startling discovery, on Earth (in France yet; how quaint!), of a one-way time portal leading back six million years to the Pliocene Era. Remarkable, but impractical — there really seems nothing to use it for — the portal soon becomes a way out for Milieu misfits and malcontents, or simply displaced souls who feel they'd be happier somewhere else. And so, in the years between the portal's discovery and the onset of this story, over a hundred thousand people have made the non-returnable voyage into the past, to build — hopefully — a new, happier and freer life.

As The Many-Colored Land opens, we are introduced to an ensemble cast of incipient time travellers, each of whom has his or her own reason for fleeing the Milieu and seeking a new start. A convicted felon spaceship captain, a guilt-ridden and faith-challenged nun, a loose-cannon prankster, a widower, a lovelorn anthropologist, a temperamental athlete unable to accept her fame, a metapsychic who has lost her talents in a crippling accident — these people and more converge upon the French estate housing the portal, receive whatever briefing there is on what they can probably expect on the other side, and, finally, are escorted through. However, though they all were expecting that they would emerge in an only vaguely familiar world, with little but their wits to guide them (regardless of the fact that the previous travellers must have formed a society of sorts in the Pliocene)...what they actually discover waiting for them on the other side is a shock none of them are quite prepared to handle...

For the few of you who still have not discovered this series after all these years, I simply cannot do the disservice of spoiling any surprises from here on out. Briefly, May's triumphs here include a tremendously original premise; fast-paced storytelling that defies predictability; and a sympathetic and well-rendered cast of characters who hold your attention throughout this whole high adventure. Now as the book nears its end, it probably isn't surprising that May kind of lets it get away from her. Sometimes, it seems as if she has things moving just too fast; there's quite a lot to take in here, and May doesn't go easy on the lazy reader, who could feel bulldozed by it all.

There are a few other problems. Often the story is too self-satisfied and glib. Certain scenes, particularly those late in the book dealing with the Firvulag, meant to provide comic relief, come off as simply cheesy, full of overly-broad campiness bordering on kitsch. But apart from these sequences, I must say that I really enjoyed reading a first novel in yet another multi-book saga that — for a change — doesn't drag its feet, and drag us as well, through interminable exposition and set-up, nor the same old cliché-ridden boring story. This novel, and this saga, are rightfully held to be among the more noteworthy SF achievements of the '80's. If you haven't passed through Julian May's time portal yet, well, hop in. There's always room for one more.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:18 pm
by Omphalos
It's actually in my pile Freak. I bought a copy a while ago, but I have not gotten to it yet.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:12 am
by Serkanner
I have read the entire series way back. Most of them in Dutch however. I really like the series, especially the first four. The later sequels were less interesting but still interesting enough to buy and read. Like Freakzilla I would recommend these as well.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:18 am
by Liege-Killer
I've always thought it sounded interesting, but never got around to it. And I'm not likely to these days, given that part about it being "the first book in a series of series."

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:22 pm
by Robspierre
I read the three that started with Jack the Bodyless. Fun stuff. Very well written.

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:29 am
by Freakzilla
Robspierre wrote:I read the three that started with Jack the Bodyless. Fun stuff. Very well written.

Rob


That's actually the last "series of series" chronologically, but as good a place to start as any I guess.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:26 pm
by Rakis
I finished reading The Player of Games from Banks...what can i say but...WOW ! :bow-blue:

Maybe one of the best book i read with God Emperor, simple as that...I liked two things in it : The subtle look at our present society and, for me, how the media in general play a role in making us desensitize towards abuse, violence and so on...

I also liked everything about the meaning of games in it. The part where they explained the game of Azad for the first time, it's meanings, the importance of it, the way Gurgeh reacted to it was just amazing the way it was written...I don't know where Banks' found that inspiration, but it's just mind boggling in it's complexity and meanings...The way Gurgeh played and think about the game reminded me of how a Mentat works toward making a Prime Projection in FH's books...and the humor in it is just so good, icing on the cake... :clap:

GP :I don't know if i should read Use of Weapons or State of the Art next, because i know the story in State of the Art precedes Use of Weapons...what do you recommend? :think:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:00 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Just finished Woken Furies by Richard Morgan, the third and final book in his Takeshi Kovacs series. It was really good, the advancement of technology and character from the first book is impressively well done (the three books span over a hundred years I believe). Very good, but I think Black Man (called Thirteen in the US), a stand alone novel, is the best thing I've read from him so far. I just have Market Forces left and then I've read all of Morgan's SF, and I'll have to start reading his new fantasy noir book.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:57 am
by A Thing of Eternity
The Left Hand of Darkness

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:06 pm
by Omphalos
Good book, Thing. Ive been reading a lot of anthologies lately. Last night I started Gardner Dozois' Best of SF from 1993, the 11th edition.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:30 pm
by Rakis
Just finished State of the Art from Banks...another fine observation of humanity, although it was a short one...just begun Use of Weapons :twisted:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:23 pm
by Ampoliros
I'm almost done with my post winds Dune purge, working through Heretics. I need another really good series after this. I still have a few Bank's Culture books to do, namely Excession, State of the Art and Look to Windward. TYTYTYTYTYTYTYTY GP for introducing me to Banks!

Where do I go after Banks?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:00 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Rakis wrote:Just finished State of the Art from Banks...another fine observation of humanity, although it was a short one...just begun Use of Weapons :twisted:


I loved Use of Weapons. Be ready to concentrate really hard!

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:21 am
by inhuien
Ampoliros wrote:Where do I go after Banks?

Have you considered Stephen Baxter?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:17 am
by Omphalos
inhuien wrote:
Ampoliros wrote:Where do I go after Banks?

Have you considered Stephen Baxter?


Now there is a once big name that never gets discussed any more. Anyone read Flood?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:34 am
by inhuien
I haven't read that but I have read most of his early series "Xeelee" and a few others with Evolution waiting in the pile.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:58 am
by Omphalos
inhuien wrote:I haven't read that but I have read most of his early series "Xeelee" and a few others with Evolution waiting in the pile.


I read one of those Manifold books and just could not get into it, but I have read two Xeelee stories and thought they were fantastic. I've been meaning to pick up more. Seems like with Flood though the author has moved into mass market thrillers, kind of like Greg Bear did with Quantico.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:03 am
by inhuien
Ach well, as long as they're good reads well wrote, can't sat he hasn't paid his dues. Just remembered another one "transcendence" I think it's called about a coven of females living secretly under Rome for the last 2000 years, kind of a cross between Hellstorms Hive and Bene Gesserit themes an interesting book but then he penned 3 more of them which I've not read.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
by Omphalos
inhuien wrote:Ach well, as long as they're good reads well wrote, can't sat he hasn't paid his dues. Just remembered another one "transcendence" I think it's called about a coven of females living secretly under Rome for the last 2000 years, kind of a cross between Hellstorms Hive and Bene Gesserit themes an interesting book but then he penned 3 more of them which I've not read.


He's got some dinosaur books too that Ive never read.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:49 pm
by Rakis
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Rakis wrote:Just finished State of the Art from Banks...another fine observation of humanity, although it was a short one...just begun Use of Weapons :twisted:


I loved Use of Weapons. Be ready to concentrate really hard!


Indeed. Like it very much so far... :)=

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:44 pm
by Liege-Killer
Omphalos wrote:I read one of those Manifold books and just could not get into it.....


I read one of those too..... pretty sure it was the first one, Manifold Time. Been a long time, don't remember too much about it. Seemed ok at the time, but nothing that inspired me to get more of his books.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:04 pm
by GamePlayer
Rakis wrote:I finished reading The Player of Games from Banks...what can i say but...WOW ! :bow-blue:

Maybe one of the best book i read with God Emperor, simple as that...I liked two things in it : The subtle look at our present society and, for me, how the media in general play a role in making us desensitize towards abuse, violence and so on...

I also liked everything about the meaning of games in it. The part where they explained the game of Azad for the first time, it's meanings, the importance of it, the way Gurgeh reacted to it was just amazing the way it was written...I don't know where Banks' found that inspiration, but it's just mind boggling in it's complexity and meanings...The way Gurgeh played and think about the game reminded me of how a Mentat works toward making a Prime Projection in FH's books...and the humor in it is just so good, icing on the cake... :clap:

GP :I don't know if i should read Use of Weapons or State of the Art next, because i know the story in State of the Art precedes Use of Weapons...what do you recommend? :think:


Whoops, somehow missed this one. I can see you already went ahead with "The State of the Art" and glad you liked it. You can't go wrong with Use of Weapons so I'm glad you're on that one. But really, you're ready for any of the other Culture novels at this point. Excession, Look to Windward, Inversions, etc. Just take your pick and enjoy.

It's really time for me to re-read some early Banks again, but only after I'm done Dune for the third or fourth time. I'm enjoying Frank's original so much again, I think I'm going to write a review when I'm done just for fun. :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:17 pm
by Omphalos
About 1/2 way through The Legacy of Heorot, by Niven and Pournelle. I also have about ten pages left of James Gunn's Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction. Its actually half-opinion, half-history. Its one of the best histories out there, and I really love the way Gunn states his observations about SF.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:34 am
by A Thing of Eternity
Finished The Left Hand of Darkness last night, great book. I should really track down more of her stuff.

Now a couple chapters into The Sunless Countries by Karl Schroeder. This one is supposed to be a deviation from the previous 3 books in the Virga universe, those were more pulp/adventure novels, this one is supposed to be back to the deep thinking style I love Schroeder for. We'll see.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:08 pm
by The Phantom
I still have to give Left Hand a second try... read too much of it when i was drunk or tired last time so I still don't get it :P

currently reading Wells' The Food of the Gods .... dropped into my local used bookstore that has a huge SF/F collection and realized I only owned 2 Wells' books... bought 5-6 more :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:44 pm
by Rakis
Just finished Use of Weapons :shock=:

I really liked it, but i have mixed feelings about some of Zakalwe's back stories, some i liked, others...meh...

But i really liked the finale and understanding what the hell happened to him and what the fuss was all about "the chair" :twisted:

Taking a short brake (Girlfriend has to get her gallbladder removed, so will be busy with kids) and then going after the Excession :mrgreen:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:21 am
by SandChigger
Excession!

Loves them Minds. :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:25 pm
by Liege-Killer
Omphalos wrote:I also have about ten pages left of James Gunn's Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction. Its actually half-opinion, half-history. Its one of the best histories out there, and I really love the way Gunn states his observations about SF.


I was considering that recently myself, while browsing ebay. I passed it up at the time in favor of some other purchases. But now I'll definitely keep it in mind.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:10 pm
by Omphalos
Liege-Killer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:I also have about ten pages left of James Gunn's Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction. Its actually half-opinion, half-history. Its one of the best histories out there, and I really love the way Gunn states his observations about SF.


I was considering that recently myself, while browsing ebay. I passed it up at the time in favor of some other purchases. But now I'll definitely keep it in mind.


I know this sounds geeky, but I really cannot get some of the things that he was saying out of my mind. It all struck me so hard that even over a week after reading it I can visualize the page, the text and the page number. I think I should reread pp 212-215 each week until I can recite it. :shock=:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:15 pm
by Rakis
Omphalos wrote:
Liege-Killer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:I also have about ten pages left of James Gunn's Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction. Its actually half-opinion, half-history. Its one of the best histories out there, and I really love the way Gunn states his observations about SF.


I was considering that recently myself, while browsing ebay. I passed it up at the time in favor of some other purchases. But now I'll definitely keep it in mind.


I know this sounds geeky, but I really cannot get some of the things that he was saying out of my mind. It all struck me so hard that even over a week after reading it I can visualize the page, the text and the page number. I think I should reread pp 212-215 each week until I can recite it. :shock=:


Ok, now i'm curious...what's so special about pages 212 to 215 ? :|

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:42 pm
by Omphalos
Rakis wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Liege-Killer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:I also have about ten pages left of James Gunn's Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction. Its actually half-opinion, half-history. Its one of the best histories out there, and I really love the way Gunn states his observations about SF.


I was considering that recently myself, while browsing ebay. I passed it up at the time in favor of some other purchases. But now I'll definitely keep it in mind.


I know this sounds geeky, but I really cannot get some of the things that he was saying out of my mind. It all struck me so hard that even over a week after reading it I can visualize the page, the text and the page number. I think I should reread pp 212-215 each week until I can recite it. :shock=:


Ok, now i'm curious...what's so special about pages 212 to 215 ? :|


He gives a really interesting breakdown of the point of SF, and the differences between SF, fantasy and mainstream literature. He stated it eloquently and supported his points. I am going to write something about the book this weekend, and Ill quote some of that language.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:00 am
by Rakis
Omphalos wrote:
Rakis wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Liege-Killer wrote:
Omphalos wrote:I also have about ten pages left of James Gunn's Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction. Its actually half-opinion, half-history. Its one of the best histories out there, and I really love the way Gunn states his observations about SF.


I was considering that recently myself, while browsing ebay. I passed it up at the time in favor of some other purchases. But now I'll definitely keep it in mind.


I know this sounds geeky, but I really cannot get some of the things that he was saying out of my mind. It all struck me so hard that even over a week after reading it I can visualize the page, the text and the page number. I think I should reread pp 212-215 each week until I can recite it. :shock=:


Ok, now i'm curious...what's so special about pages 212 to 215 ? :|


He gives a really interesting breakdown of the point of SF, and the differences between SF, fantasy and mainstream literature. He stated it eloquently and supported his points. I am going to write something about the book this weekend, and Ill quote some of that language.


Kewl. Thanks 8)=

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:22 pm
by Liege-Killer
Rakis wrote:Ok, now i'm curious...what's so special about pages 212 to 215 ? :|


Probably those are the pages showing photos of old pulp magazines with near-naked chicks on the covers. :lol=:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:56 pm
by Omphalos
Liege-Killer wrote:
Rakis wrote:Ok, now i'm curious...what's so special about pages 212 to 215 ? :|


Probably those are the pages showing photos of old pulp magazines with near-naked chicks on the covers. :lol=:


That's pages 2-211

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:23 am
by A Thing of Eternity
I just started We by Yevgeny Zamyatin last night. So far it's giving me a very similar vibe as Brave New World

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:59 am
by inhuien
I'm half way through a collection of shorts by Alastair Reynolds called Galactic North set in his Revelation Space-verse. It's a cracking read. If anyone's not read him have a looksee, he's up there with Iain M. Banks with perhaps more of a hard edge.

Speaking of Banks I noticed that his new contemporary novel is out in hardback so hopefully he's busy writing us all a new Culture opus.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:09 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
I've read a fair bit of Reynolds, I don't think he's that close to Banks as far as overall skill goes, but he is pretty good. I like a lot of his tech.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:08 pm
by SandChigger
I can't remember now if I've read anything besides Revelation Space. :(

I really liked it up until the end, which seemed a little too dicey ex machina. ;)

I've seen this Galactic North collection advertised, have wondered about getting it and giving him another go....

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:53 pm
by Rakis
inhuien wrote:
Speaking of Banks I noticed that his new contemporary novel is out in hardback so hopefully he's busy writing us all a new Culture opus.


:pray:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:03 am
by SandChigger
It's going to take him a while to follow Matter, don't you think? :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:16 am
by inhuien
SandChigger wrote:I really liked it up until the end, which seemed a little too dicey ex machina. ;)
Shooting from the hip here, but if memory servers the ex machina moment is more a reveal than a conclusion. Perhaps someone can support or refute this.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:27 am
by SandChigger
Ahp, like as. ;)

I just remember being pissed off enough (at the time) at not learning more about the evil ancient aliens and the prospect of YET ANOTHER TRILOGY that I didn't get the next book in the series. And still haven't. :(

(I still haven't gone back to finish the Praxis series, either. And then there's Olympos, which put me off me Simmons for about two years. I'm finicky. :) )

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:46 am
by A Thing of Eternity
I'm still wading through We, for some reason it has turned into a very slow read for me. Good book though, I love really old SF/Utopia stories, they have a ring of truth to them that I don't see much in modern books. I think it might be because the authors at that time were writing what they were truly afraid of.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:55 pm
by inhuien
Just got "World War Z" out on loan from the library, I'll read that when I'm done with G-north. How is Simmons? I seen some of his books on the shelf today.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:01 pm
by inhuien
SandChigger wrote:...the prospect of YET ANOTHER TRILOGY that I didn't get the next book in the series. And still haven't. :(

IKWYM. It would be nice, just once in a while to read a book that has an ending. I know I'm a sucker for my Pratchett and King but at least their books conclude at page 399, oh and Banks and et al.

I hate it when I end a post arguing with myself, I thought that was what the wife was for.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:47 pm
by Rakis
Anyone (besides L-K) read Transition from Banks? Was thinking of reading this after the Culture series... :think:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:25 am
by inhuien
No I've not read it, but I have read about half of his non-scifi output and they were all very enjoyable in their own way. I would say he not as consistently excellent with notable lows, IMO, being the likes of Whit and Complicity, but the premiss sounds interesting and I was thinking of reading it soon myself.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:38 pm
by Liege-Killer
Oh yeah, Transition..... here's my review if anyone's interested. It's very strange, I thought. One of those books I can't quite make up my mind about. My initial feeling upon finishing was that it was pretty poor. Then after thinking about it some more, I thought it was fairly ingenious. Then later I went back to thinking it was just so-so. Anyone ever felt that way about a book?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:20 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
inhuien wrote:Just got "World War Z" out on loan from the library, I'll read that when I'm done with G-north. How is Simmons? I seen some of his books on the shelf today.


Hyperion was killer, the second book less so, and that's all I've read from Simmons.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:42 pm
by Nekhrun
Got a few days off so my first read on the airplane is going to be The World of Karl Pilkington.
I've been trying not to open it for the last couple days.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:49 am
by Rakis
SandChigger wrote:It's going to take him a while to follow Matter, don't you think? :)


Bump !

There's something on Amazon about a new Culture novel for september 2010 :mrgreen:

http://www.amazon.ca/New-Culture-Novel- ... 18&sr=1-12

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:14 pm
by Serkanner
Rakis wrote:
SandChigger wrote:It's going to take him a while to follow Matter, don't you think? :)


Bump !

There's something on Amazon about a new Culture novel for september 2010 :mrgreen:

http://www.amazon.ca/New-Culture-Novel- ... 18&sr=1-12


That is about the same time as Throw-up on Dune will be released. I wonder which one will get better reviews.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:18 pm
by SandChigger
:lol:

What was it that one nitwit called it the other day on DN, The Thrown of Dune? Let's just add an (Up) in there. :P


If we're taking bets, my money's on the Banks. :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:16 pm
by Rakis
Just finished Excession...really,really liked it :)= ...was actually sad when it was over :(= ...SO fascinating those Minds talking to each other. Maybe the most Trekkish of the novels so far (in a good way)...Moving to Look to Windward...

Meatfucker... :P

Love them names...

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:13 am
by SandChigger
I'd forgotten that one.

Have to start using it more often. :)

(Any word on GP yet? :( )

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:51 am
by Omphalos
I saw a few postings over at Jacurutu since Eyes was asking about him.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:43 pm
by SandChigger
Really? I must have missed them then. The board here says "Last visited:Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:25 am". :(

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:38 pm
by Omphalos
Hmm. Over there too. The 16th. Guess I saw some old posts in revivified threads. I dropped him an e-mail a few weeks ago then saw those posts the next day. Guess I assumed that they were new without really looking at the dates. My bad.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:38 pm
by SandChigger
I was going to suggest that you email him, since you could get his address from the board. He never replied, I take it? :(

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:50 pm
by Hunchback Jack
Can't tell you how pleased I am to see so many enthusiastic Banks readers here.

HBJ

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 pm
by SandChigger
I think I've got one or two of his science fiction books left to read. Still debating whether to start with the non. ;)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:24 pm
by Robspierre
I have The New Space Opera 1 & 2 on my desk at the moment.

Rob

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:09 pm
by Liege-Killer
Robspierre wrote:I have The New Space Opera 1 & 2 on my desk at the moment.


Hey, I've got the first one too. I've had it for a while in my short pile of stuff to read in the very near future, but other stuff keeps getting ahead of it. I'll get to it soon.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:40 pm
by Omphalos
The Death of Captain Future, which I think is in book I, is one of my favorite comedy pieces in SF.

Ive been meaning to read those books too.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:22 pm
by Omphalos
Just started a long form SF poem called Aniara, by Harry Martinsen. Its translated from Swedish. It may be the best thing that I have read so far this year - maybe in years. The rumor is that this poem won Martinsen the 1975 Nobel Prize in Literature. I cant wait to finish this thing and share it with you guys.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:12 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Cooooooool. Glad the translation is good, my experiences with translated poetry have not been good (Dante's Inferno for example).

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:53 pm
by SandChigger
Kan du inte läsa svenska? :shock:

(Jag kan, en lilla. ;) )

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:59 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
SandChigger wrote:Kan du inte läsa svenska? :shock:

(Jag kan, en lilla. ;) )


Weird, that's close enough to english that I actually understood what you said. Closer than German even. Weird.

And no, I can't speak it, not even a "little" like you kan. :wink:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:12 pm
by Omphalos
I was very close with a Swedish speaking Finn once. I was head over heels for her and I picked up some of it then. Sweedish was cool and made a lot of sense. Finnish? I just understood words and could piece what was being said to me roughly.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:50 pm
by Liege-Killer
Let us know how that goes. I've never read an sf poem I liked, for whatever reason.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:21 pm
by Omphalos
Liege-Killer wrote:Let us know how that goes. I've never read an sf poem I liked, for whatever reason.


Absolutely I will. This thing is just so good. Most SF poems are total shit. But Ive been reading about a bunch in Barron's SF guide lately that I want to acquire. This is supposed to be the best.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:50 am
by Freakzilla
I started reading Erewhon but have gotten really bored with the journey through the mountains... I'll keep at it though.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:15 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Freakzilla wrote:I started reading Erewhon but have gotten really bored with the journey through the mountains... I'll keep at it though.


I'm still hunting for a copy. :(=

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:48 pm
by Freakzilla
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I started reading Erewhon but have gotten really bored with the journey through the mountains... I'll keep at it though.


I'm still hunting for a copy. :(=


I downloaded it: http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:01 am
by SandChigger
Freakzilla wrote:I started reading Erewhon but have gotten really bored with the journey through the mountains... I'll keep at it though.

Rather than dive right into the story while I was back home, I decided to read the intro. BIG mistake. Put me right to sleep every night.

Not that I needed much help after running around, cutting on the jungle outside, cleaning a year's worth of dust and other crap inside, messing with the sump pumps and stuff in the under-house hole, etc etc etc. :D

I finally finished it after I got back over here. Put it aside will browsing some other stuff, like that Graham Moroccan travelogue from 1898. Actually read some more last night. I'm finally over the mountains and properly into Erewhon now.

(Freak, keep at it: the women have perfect breasts! :P )

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:59 am
by Freakzilla
SandChigger wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I started reading Erewhon but have gotten really bored with the journey through the mountains... I'll keep at it though.

Rather than dive right into the story while I was back home, I decided to read the intro. BIG mistake. Put me right to sleep every night.

Not that I needed much help after running around, cutting on the jungle outside, cleaning a year's worth of dust and other crap inside, messing with the sump pumps and stuff in the under-house hole, etc etc etc. :D

I finally finished it after I got back over here. Put it aside will browsing some other stuff, like that Graham Moroccan travelogue from 1898. Actually read some more last night. I'm finally over the mountains and properly into Erewhon now.

(Freak, keep at it: the women have perfect breasts! :P )


I skipped the intro. Thanks for the tip, I think I might make it now! :P

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:43 am
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:(Freak, keep at it: the women have perfect breasts! :P )


I have the illustrated version from Easton Press. :wink:

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:27 pm
by SandChigger
Ooh! Scanny-scan-scan! :P

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:17 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
About halfway through Haldeman's There is No Darkness right now. I really need to get my hands on more of his books.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:57 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Just started Fahrenheit 451 for the first time.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:48 pm
by Omphalos
Just began re-reading all of my Walking Dead omnibi, as vol. 5 is going to ship to me today.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:08 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
I just started Card's Treason yesterday, I was a little hesitant because the guy is such an idiot, but he seems to be a pretty good writer so far.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:32 pm
by inhuien
Just stated Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton, I'm not expecting greatness just a good ride. Hopefully I'll be able to find Hyperion at one of the local libraries soon.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:53 pm
by Omphalos
Started a reread of When Worlds Collide. But Ive been on vacation and dont even have the energy to pick the book up in the evening. Its going slow.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:59 am
by Freakzilla
Recently read (in no particular order):

Invasion - Robin Cook
The Texas Isreali War: 1999 - Howard Saunders & Jake Waldrop
Gateway - Frederick Pohl
The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds
Hyperion - Dan Simmons
The Mote in God's Eye - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
Moving Mars - Greg Bear
Old Man's War - John Scalzi
The Player of Games - Ian M Banks (Twice)
A Canticle For Leibowitz - Walter M Miller
The Terror - Dan Simmons

:o

One thing that reading all those books recently made me realize... what a talentless hack Kevin J Anderson is.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:50 am
by Omphalos
Well, well. Look what the dog dragged in.

An extremely hearty welcome back my friend. Hope you find I kept your home safe and the fire lit, over there at Jacurutu.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:34 am
by Freakzilla
Omphalos wrote:Well, well. Look what the dog dragged in.

An extremely hearty welcome back my friend. Hope you find I kept your home safe and the fire lit, over there at Jacurutu.


I appreciate it, thank you. Looks like we got about a dozen new members over there!

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:25 am
by inhuien
Freakzilla wrote:Recently read (in no particular order):

Invasion - Robin Cook
The Texas Isreali War: 1999 - Howard Saunders & Jake Waldrop
Gateway - Frederick Pohl
The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds
Hyperion - Dan Simmons
The Mote in God's Eye - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
Moving Mars - Greg Bear
Old Man's War - John Scalzi
The Player of Games - Ian M Banks (Twice)
A Canticle For Leibowitz - Walter M Miller
The Terror - Dan Simmons

:o

One thing that reading all those books recently made me realize... what a talentless hack Kevin J Anderson is.

That's a fine list of novels there, some I've read and some I'd like to. TPoG, twice. Why? :)=

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:55 am
by Freakzilla
inhuien wrote:TPoG, twice. Why? :)=


This may sound like insanity but...

I read all the books y'all sent to me and I had only a few days left and was having a hard time trying to think of which one of those to read again.

That day I got a second copy of TPoG in the mail.

So...

:?

Honestly, I didn't think the story was that good but it was very well written.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:59 am
by SandChigger
Is that your first/only Culture novel?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:08 am
by Freakzilla
SandChigger wrote:Is that your first/only Culture novel?



Yes. It didn't really tell me a lot about the Culture. It seemed to be an impossibly perfect paradise and felt awkward.

In the back it had an extra chapter from Matter, that looked interesting. I liked his writing, I guess I need to figure out the order of the books and start at the beging.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:17 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
His books are kind like Cohen brothers movies, sometimes they leave you sitting there thinking "what???", but they're well done.

I'd recommend use of weapons, that's a good'r.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:02 pm
by SandChigger
Ahp. Liked Matter, too. :)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:32 pm
by A Thing of Eternity
Somehow forgot about that one...

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:59 am
by Freakzilla
So are they all just kind of random stories that happen in the Culture?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:41 am
by inhuien
Essentially, Yes. They are all in the same broad story arc but can be enjoyed (you hear that, ENJOYED!! :D ) in isolation to one another.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:18 am
by inhuien
I've just blown the dust off of Simmons' Ilium, this is my 1st book of his and I'm looking forward to it. 50 pages in and I'm really enjoying his style and the story lines so far revealed, I think this is going to turn out to be a very special book. :D :D :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:10 am
by SandChigger
I loved it. :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:15 am
by Freakzilla
Is it set in "The Culture"?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:26 am
by A Thing of Eternity
Freakzilla wrote:Is it set in "The Culture"?


Yes.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:50 am
by SandChigger
I'm confoosed now. :?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:26 am
by A Thing of Eternity
I was at first too.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:21 pm
by inhuien
It's just a jump to the left...

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:37 pm
by SandChigger
Oh no, NOT the Timewarp agaaaaaaaaaaaaaain!!! :P

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:01 pm
by Freakzilla
Image

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:45 pm
by Hunchback Jack
IIRC, Consider Phlebas was published first, but I've heard that Player of Games is a better novel to read first, since it introduces aspects of the Culture more clearly. Banks wrote it first too, I think.

I actually read Use of Weapons first, which is my personal favourite.

HBJ

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:26 am
by Freakzilla
Fans of Simmons' The Terror may find this interesting...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100729/ap_ ... ship_found

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:13 pm
by SandChigger
Cool!

(Literally. :shock: )

That's the really cool (again) thing about both The Terror and Drood: the RESEARCH Simmons obviously put into them, and how he wove his stories around the historical facts. You know he did more than just take a cruise and ham-fist the ambience into a recorder. ;)

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:42 am
by Freakzilla
Simmons' ambience will give you frostbite and scurvy.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:27 pm
by SandChigger
:lol:

Yeah. And I read that one slowly, starting in mid- or late December, IIRC. Brrrrrrrr! :D

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:35 am
by Omphalos
Just started Messiah, by Gore Vidal.

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:20 pm
by inhuien
Anyone round these parts read Joe Abercrombie, I've been given a strong recommendation from a trusted source. What do you guy think of him?

Re: Books in the pile

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:55 pm
by SadisticCynic
I haven't read any of his yet, but like you I've received strong recommendation, especially for his First Law series.