What have you been reading lately

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Nyarlathotep
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What have you been reading lately

Post by Nyarlathotep » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:20 am

For me, I decided to to leap into that series where people have been waiting for ages for the next book to come out. No, not that one with the dragons and the big pointy chair. No, not the Dresden files either. Nope the OTHER one. The Kingkiller chronicles where the last book came out in 2011, though I am only on book 1, The Name of the Wind.

The main character, Kvothe, is very much a Gary Stu and his love interest, Denna, is a Manic Pixie dreamgirl so it SHOULD, by all rights, be annoying the shit out of me. But yet, I am digging it for some reason. Looking forward to the next book in the series and then I can join the long, long wait until Patrick Rothsfuss deigns to write the third one.
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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Doctor X » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:09 am

What, in English?

[In Japanese he reads "yuri" manga "with boobs."--Ed.]

嘘だ!

Their boobs are normal, and while there is a "Yuri," there is not yet . . . um . . . SHUT UP!

Brainless: finishing the series that the show The Expanse is based upon. Not bad. Would recommend it as a "page turner that is better than Game of Thrones" except for one or two Useless Characters.

My Brain Hurts: finishing a work by a scholar who really, really, wants to believe in religion despite having to face the actual meaning of the texts. In another book he made a bit of an idiot of himself by claiming to seek the "plain meaning" of text which, of course, means whatever makes him comfortable. This one is a bit better in that he reviews the history of approaches to criticism. As he highlights the assumptions and weaknesses one has to ask, "et tu?"

--J.D.
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"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:51 pm

The Emperor's Tomb by Joseph Roth.

Lead up to the First World War, the war itself, and the aftermath.

From the point of view of a sympathetic Austrian who loves the empire.

Spoiler alert: Does not have a happy ending.
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Nyarlathotep
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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Nyarlathotep » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:46 pm

Finished The Name of The Wind and am now working on the next in the series The Wise Man’s Fear.

Big ol’ Door stopper of a book. Enjoying it though. Which is surprising since I don’t usually do fantasy, believe it or not. But Rothfuss is an excellent storyteller so I am enjoying the hell out of it
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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Witness » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:26 pm

Image

Mostly boring. The spine of the plot, that writing down the True Theory of Everything™ will have cosmic consequences, is fantasy. Various elements (e. g. an invisible killer robot) appear and disappear without contributing anything to the story.

Wikipedia thinks that: "The novel contains a great deal of satirical commentary on gender identities, multinational capitalism, and postmodern thought." Which I doubt very much – just surfing on the buzzwords.

It's from 1995 but already:
Gender roles
Egan uses his hypothetical future to postulate the existence of not just one but five new genders, and introduces a set of new pronouns for gender neutral people. One of the central characters of the novel, Akili Kuwale, provides a demonstration of this change and its implications. As an asexual human, Akili has had all reproductive organs removed entirely. Within the scope of the novel, Egan uses the pronouns 've', 'ver', and 'vis' to represent Akili's definitive gender neutrality.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distress_(novel)

I was constantly under the impression he had to remind himself of using that gimmick, which quickly got very tiring.

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Grammatron » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:39 am

Nyarlathotep wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:46 pm
Finished The Name of The Wind and am now working on the next in the series The Wise Man’s Fear.

Big ol’ Door stopper of a book. Enjoying it though. Which is surprising since I don’t usually do fantasy, believe it or not. But Rothfuss is an excellent storyteller so I am enjoying the hell out of it
Don't expect a 3rd book from him.

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Grammatron » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:16 am

I'll expand on this.

Rothfuss finished the book in full. Publisher suggested he split the manuscript into 3 books, that was almost 20 years ago. I think he is enjoying being famous more than finishing the book.

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Doctor X » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:10 am

So he is just going to hang on to the final installment?

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Grammatron » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:13 am

There aren't that many "moving parts" in the story that he put them together ala GRRM's problem with Song of Ice and Fire. So, I just don't know what the fuck he is doing.

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Doctor X » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:17 am

Laughing his way to the bank probably.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Grammatron » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:23 am

Well yeah that's my point. He has all kinds of merch; TV rights; books set in the universe; etc.. There's no incentive to finish the series so I think people reading the books should know that going in.

I admit I am biased since GRRM soured me on writers not finishing their stories and then I started this one because a friend swore that it's only 3 books and the next one is coming out soon. I've since refused to read unfinished works by living authors.

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Doctor X » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:06 am

Weirdly enough, two writers who admire and consult with JGRRTM and who adapted his "chapter from a character's view" technique in their series known as "The Expanse" are able to finish their books. The HBO series pretty much started and ended with "the Kids" getting married while everyone has been waiting for the "next book!"

Despite all of my "Jets Fan" teasing towards "Fireman George" his books are very entertaining. I mentioned that while I like "The Expanse" series very much, they he has a few characters who are weak or "just there" to seem socially progressive. Portrayed well in the series is the Reverend Anna. The series cuts away much of the drek about her in that she is a lesbian in a racially mixed marriage with a daughter who has all of these abandonment issues as she follows the journey towards the Ring while abandoning her wife and daughter as she tries to keep telling everyone to believe in a deity that the entire fucking story just made into a fucking joke.

This goes on for chapters.

They He suffers similarly with "Bobby" Draper who is "Girl Power" because she is big and part Samoan and all of that. Remove the forced moments of "Girl Power" and she is a decent character. They actually do a very interesting take on a character you do see in the series that I will not spoil. This makes their use of Anna all the more irritating.

Then there is "Pa" who the less written about the better.

Martin does not do that with GoT. If Arya is "Girl Power," he does not write her as such. Arya stumbles, fails, struggles, all of that during the books. She is not "inherently" a "t3h aw3s0m3st" swordswoman, ninja, and all of that. The series does a major disservice to her by changing "the Waif" character into a rival cum villainess. Briann . . . Bryann . . . "The Big Woman!" may be a bit irritating in the books, but it is her nature to be that way since she is trying, desperately, to play a role that no one wants her to play.

In fact, there is not a "Useless Character" in GoT who has a "point-of-view."

So . . . I guess . . . if it takes Fireman George that long to write quality, who am I, other than a fan of a TEAM WITH SIX SUPER BOWL RINGS IN YOUR FACE FAT GEORGE, to judge him?

The "Expanse" team is not useless with female characters. They do present a few good ones, and Avarasala is one of the best characters period. Putting her in GoT would be like putting Macbeth in Hamlet: the play would last five minutes. Actually, I suspect that "they" not only model Holden on John Snow, they show what Snow could have done if he had a bit more personal insight and an uncompromising Hindu ramming her high heels up his backside periodically.




In the rain.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Grammatron » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:51 am

I agree with you about GRRM's quality being so good that it makes it worth the wait and honestly I have no other choice -- plus I at least have a version of the ending of the book.

Rothfuss has no such case. While the world in his books is wonderful and very creative, the main character is very straight forward. The following is a spoiler from the second book so all Nyar's and those who have not and wish to read it should stay away:
Spoiler:
The main character travels to a fairy land and learns to be the best at sex from a sex goddess. Pretty troppish.
I suspect he may have ballooned the story in book 2 and can't finish the 3rd book with how much he still has to tell. I fear he would have to pull a GOT Season 8 to finish it in one book.

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Doctor X » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:15 am

Uh yeah. Not much of a spoiler for the Expanse series, but the authors love to introduce polygamy with multiple genders because . . . progressive. No problem. Same sex to multiple sex marriages are "the norm" and "not weird" but it still comes off as forced. Though I suppose since the events take place centuries in THE FUTURE . . .



. . . they would retort, if they cared, that they wanted to simply present how "things are different," but it still seems forced. The reason people do not get married to seven people is because it is hard enough to deal with one or two and then children.

At least they do not turn it into a sex fantasy with painful details, as Heinlein infamously did and utterly failed to achieve.

I am being hypercritical. Like Fat Jets Fan, their books are entertaining and have some nice ideas. As either you or, I think, Anax's Mom mentioned when recommending the series, they do a fantastic job of presenting different groups of people in conflict.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

ImageWS CHAMPIONS X4!!!! ImageNBA CHAMPIONS!! Stanley Cup!Image SB CHAMPIONS X6!!!!!! Image

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by ed » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:30 am

Re reading Downfall

n.b. Japan still looses.
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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by asthmatic camel » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:05 pm

Currently zipping through M. D. Cooper's Orion War series, having finished the introductory Intrepid trilogy. It's not bad but Cooper's never going to make it into the SciFi Hall of Fame. It's been a while since I've read an outstanding new SciFi novel: they don't make 'em like they used to. :(
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by ed » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:50 pm

asthmatic camel wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:05 pm
Currently zipping through M. D. Cooper's Orion War series, having finished the introductory Intrepid trilogy. It's not bad but Cooper's never going to make it into the SciFi Hall of Fame. It's been a while since I've read an outstanding new SciFi novel: they don't make 'em like they used to. :(
I've noted that about a number of entertainment areas.

It occurs to me that it might be an age thing. You have read and seen so much that everything seems sorta derivative. Also you have a group of "things" that are really top notch to compare current offering with and they almost always come up short.

MEG conjured up Jaws to its detriment. But suppose you never saw Jaws. It would have been ok.
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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by Nyarlathotep » Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:23 pm

Jesus Fuck, The Wise Mans Fear is a long book
The Luggage said nothing, but louder this time.

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by asthmatic camel » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:54 pm

The Long Home by William Gay.

Not an easy read for a Brit but well worth the effort. Period Redneck drama. *****

The Brightonomicon by Robert Rankin. Bonkers, Carrollian detective yarn. Charming and funny. ***

Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell. Enjoyable military space opera. ****
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: What have you been reading lately

Post by asthmatic camel » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:33 pm

The Crimson World Series by Jay Allan.

Just about readable military space opera series. Same old battle after battle, badly marred by seemingly invincible hero Erik Cain's incessantly repeated guilt trips over his dead soldiers. Meh. **
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.