Alpha Centauri 2

Community => Recreation Commons => Topic started by: Unorthodox on November 12, 2012, 08:40:49 PM

Title: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on November 12, 2012, 08:40:49 PM
Whacha readin'? 


I'd suppose a lot of Scifi from this board. 

Not much a reader, myself, actually.  But, Nov-Jan I do find some time, and whenever on business travel.


Presently working through 2 series simultaneously. 

Well, the first is a "series" in a very loose sense. 

The Pendergast novels from Preston and Child.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloysius_X.L._Pendergast (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloysius_X.L._Pendergast)


As detective novels, I don't know that I would actually recommed them highly.  They are full of flaws, and if you let it, that can really derail them.  They want to be on the brainy side, but at the same time are rather ludicrous in their "science".  They also seem to universally suffer from a mid book slow down.  What I really come to appreciate, however, is the richly detailed descriptions of insert grim locale featured this novel here.  Grisly catacombs, fetid underground chambers, cobbled altars built of human remains...THIS is why I read these books.  Otherwise, it's your standard Sherlock Holmes made way too long.  Detective novels should remain on the shorter side.   


The second series is a total accident, actually.  Picked up as a book on tape for a drive, my son really got caught up in it.  I've been reading these to make sure he's actually doing HIS reading.

The Wardstone Chronicles.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wardstone_Chronicles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wardstone_Chronicles)

Young reader crap you can fly through in a night.  Will never be as popular as Harry Potter, but for my money, it sure makes a better set of stories.  Darker than Harry, no doubt.  There's a movie that's in production, but it appears to have been horrendously miscast for how the book was written.  But, you could do full on horror with some of these books, so I don't know what kind of reimagining the movie really is. 



Speaking of books on tape.  If you're into that kind of thing, I strongly recommend The Old Country.  http://www.amazon.com/Old-Country-Mordical-Gerstein/dp/0307245446/ref=sr_1_1_title_2_aud?ie=UTF8&qid=1352752666&sr=8-1&keywords=the+old+country (http://www.amazon.com/Old-Country-Mordical-Gerstein/dp/0307245446/ref=sr_1_1_title_2_aud?ie=UTF8&qid=1352752666&sr=8-1&keywords=the+old+country)

Marvelously read by Tovah Feldshuh, I don't think it would be quite the same reading it yourself as hearing her, and that is a rarity in audiobooks. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 12, 2012, 08:57:40 PM
Currently, I'm rereading through an anthology series.  I'm on [pauses to go to bedroom and grab] Year's Best SF 10 right now.  Good stuff.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: cryopyre on November 12, 2012, 08:59:03 PM
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. It's about a future with nanotechnology, where, since material goods are easily manufactured and no longer scarce, institutions rely on intellectual property to make a profit. One of these institutions provides "the feed" which is a monopoly on intellectual property and constituent materials used to assemble things. One of the characters wants to create "the seed" which would be a form of nanobots which can instead use surrounding materials to create things instead of relying on the centralized system of tubes of "the feed".

I started reading it after I finished Snow Crash: another Neal Stephenson novel.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on November 12, 2012, 09:24:31 PM
Anyone here read the ender's books? 

been considering bruning through those before the movies start to hit. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: cryopyre on November 12, 2012, 09:31:27 PM
Anyone here read the ender's books? 

been considering bruning through those before the movies start to hit.

I've read Ender's Game. But that's it.

Pretty good, though.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 12, 2012, 09:35:51 PM
Yes.  They're genuinely very good.  You will personally relate to the gifted kid in horrible situations of the first book; I know I did.

Now, I've only read up to Children of the Mind, the main series, not any of the parallel Ender's Shadow stuff, which strike me as being exactly like when Anne McCaffrey kept writing Dragon books long after the story was done, or Anne Rice and a new pointless vampire book every year or two.  I dunno if those guy ran out of ideas, or they were paycheck novels or what - but Card is always very readable, and I imagine that even his paycheck novels, or whatever they are, are still excellent reads.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on November 12, 2012, 10:04:04 PM
You don't strike me as an Anne Rice type, BU....

Heading to the library in a few, will see what catches my eye. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 12, 2012, 10:13:42 PM
I don't fit the profile of a Rice fan, no - but Queen of the Damned was possibly the best book I read in the 80's, and that's against several thousand other books.  Everything else in the series has been a let-down by comparision.  What can I say?  When she's good, she's good. 

Same goes for Steven King.  Not my sort of stuff, but he's REALLY good at it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on November 12, 2012, 10:21:35 PM
I only read Interview, Lestadt (sp?), and Queen of the Damned.  Couldn't be bothered with the rest. 

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: cryopyre on November 12, 2012, 10:27:37 PM
Has anyone here read The Killing Star? That's one of my favorite hard SciFi novels.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on November 13, 2012, 01:01:02 AM
Last scifi I read: 

Warhorse by Timothy Zahn, based on the fact I liked his star wars trilogy. 

It was....

Surprised I made it through it. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 13, 2012, 01:07:47 AM
My impression of Zahn -and I may or may not have read stuff by him; I've read a LOT of books in my life, and it's hard to keep track- is such that hearing the Thrawn stuff is so good and by him comes as a surprize.  But word on Thrawn is 100%...


I only read Interview, Lestadt (sp?), and Queen of the Damned.  Couldn't be bothered with the rest.
You stoped in the best possible place - though I liked Memnoch the Devil a lot...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rymdolov on November 15, 2012, 03:11:11 PM
Timothy Zahn has written at least one really good short story (can't remember the name), in which a human and an alien find themselves in a room with only a strategy game to keep them company.

I've read the Ender stories and even the Shadow series. The first book and the second, Speaker for the Dead, are good reads, but then the decline started. Actually, I'd rather recommend the Shadow books than the third and fourth Ender books. Like BU said, Card is always entertaining. Even the book Empire, about a very-near-future civil war in the US between red and blue states, is a good yarn, but I wouldn't recommend it. Card is politically naive and seems to assume that culture and religion is the same thing, which makes his books annoying from time to time.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 15, 2012, 03:19:12 PM
For that matter, if you can't stomach Card's family values world view, reading his stuff is a craphoot.  Some of his work really crams it down your throat if you don't like that, some doesn't.  Specifically, if you have a problem with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you probably won't like the favorable mentions of Mormons that pop up. 

See also my recent post in the Election thread about his turn to insane politics - I haven't read anything written by him in the last 12 years, and cannot say how it's reflected in the work.

However, he really is very good...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on November 15, 2012, 05:44:58 PM
So the library doesn't carry the next book in the Pendergast novels.  Only have the Ebook copy, but I don't have a tablet/reader doodad.  Anyone actually like reading on those?  They had samples of all of them at the library, and didn't see much difference other than brand/price and size. 

Probably head over to Barnes and Noble at lunch.   
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rymdolov on November 15, 2012, 08:13:53 PM
Good luck with the next part! We all know about the frustration of not being able to lay your paws on the next book in a series.

By the way, I'm now reading the short story collection Pretty monsters by Kelly Link and let me tell you that these stories are really, really good. Above all, Link is a genuine short story writer. You can tell that she's not using the format to use the ideas "not good enough" to fit in a novel. All the stories are pieces of art in their own right. They're horror, fantasy and sf, from most common to least. I highly recommend the collection to anyone, though. Even people who hate these genres would have to admit that Link is a great story-teller, I think.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 15, 2012, 11:40:14 PM
Say Rym; I heard a rumor that you're quite the SF book reviewer.  Any chance at some of that action here?  I love to see it...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on November 16, 2012, 01:58:24 AM
No dice.  Thought of a backup series, and nothin' doin' there either. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rymdolov on November 18, 2012, 04:21:50 PM
Say Rym; I heard a rumor that you're quite the SF book reviewer.  Any chance at some of that action here?  I love to see it...

Who told you that? Or have you been looking at our blog? :)

I haven't reviewed anything for a long time and I don't think my English is good enough for doing it in that language. It would be possible to convey a message, but I wouldn't be having as much fun. In Swedish, I can go nuts.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 18, 2012, 04:26:25 PM
I have my sources and know many things.  An your English is too good enough.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: cryopyre on November 18, 2012, 10:17:07 PM
Say Rym; I heard a rumor that you're quite the SF book reviewer.  Any chance at some of that action here?  I love to see it...

Read The Diamond Age!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rymdolov on December 01, 2012, 01:41:10 PM
'Tis the season of jolly and what better way to celebrate than to read a short story? China Miéville was asked to write a cozy Christmas story fitting for an extreme left-wing magazine - and he pulled it off! Is there anything that bastard can't do (http://couldtheybeatupchinamieville.wordpress.com)? Imagine a future where all Christmas traditions are owned by corporations, so that you can't have a tree without a license...

Anyway, the story is called 'Tis the season and can be listened to for free at the StarShipSofa podcast (http://www.starshipsofa.com/podcast-archives/). Episode #56 is the one you want - but of course there are many other gems to be found at that site. The podcast is also available at the iTunes store, for those who are helped by that.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on December 27, 2012, 06:11:10 PM
I'm reading Peter F Hamiltons latest behemoth "Great North Road" now, he really is my favourite sf-author. Read every book he's ever written (except "Misspent Youth", but I'll get around to that one soon I suppose). Before that I read "The Fractal Prince" by Hannu Rajaniemi and he's either a genius or completely bonkers. It's full of psychedelic technobabble (well, not exactly babble, Rajaniemi has more PhD's than you can shake a stick at) which honestly clouds the actual plot and makes reading it somewhat of a chore. He's getting rave reviews for this and the previous book "The Quantum Thief", but that's probably because the reviewers don't get it either and don't want to look stupid... ;) Another disappointment was the collaboration between Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett, "The Long Earth". A bland exposé of semi-interesting ideas lacking both Baxters hard sci-fi and Pratchetts wit. I had high hopes for this, but alas... :(
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on December 27, 2012, 10:12:35 PM
I've been on a CJ Cherryh kick recently:  read 12 books in the Foreigner series.  Also a number of books in her Alliance-Union universe:  Heavy Time, Hellburner, Downbelow Station, Merchanter's Luck, Rimrunners, Tripoint; currently reading Cyteen and Finity's End.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 28, 2012, 08:29:54 PM
I've been a on a Larry Niven kick of late.  In the past few weeks I've reread  Juggler of Worlds, Building Harlequin's Moon, Scatterbrain, and am on Escape from Hell now.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Alfapiomega on December 31, 2012, 05:01:32 PM
So many books I have never heard about  :o
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 31, 2012, 05:54:31 PM
Reading Inside Straight, a Wild Cards novel, now.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on January 01, 2013, 02:19:08 PM
So many books I have never heard about  :o

Then you have a lot of reading to do :)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 01, 2013, 04:40:53 PM
Mother of Storms by John Barnes. 

I dunno why Barnes isn't a much bigger name - his stuff is dense and smart, and never disappoints.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on January 02, 2013, 07:19:07 PM
Finished Finity's End, now reading 40,000 in Gehenna, also by Cherryh.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 09, 2013, 12:30:40 AM
Deserted Cities of the Heart by Lewis Shiner.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on January 09, 2013, 02:38:10 PM
Neal Stephenson is always a good read  (cryopyre mentioned Diamond Age) (several are available in Russian and other languages): Snow Crash --- Cryptonomicon --- and others

William Gibson: Neuromancer --- Virtual Light --- and others

Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner; by just watching the movie you miss out on a lot)

Niel Gaiman: the Interworld books --- the Sandman series

Isaac Asimov: the Foundation novels

J.R.R. Tolkien: everything Middle-Earth (some faction ideas in there if you want something light)


not Sci-Fi, but good military reads:
Harold Coyle: Team Yankee, and the series that begins with Sword Point
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 18, 2013, 02:15:36 PM
Son had basketball practice last night, and it's far enough away it didn't make sense to go back home between dropping him off and picking him up, so I headed across the street to the library. 

They finally have the next book in my series in the system, so I reserved a copy of that, and picked up book 3 in The Last Apprentice series.  This is the series my younger son is reading, and I can burn through one in a night or two.  It's in the same vein as Harry Potter, but with far less prancing about in a fantasy world and more horror elements.  The forthcoming movie is, however, loosely based on the books just from the casting.  It could REALLY suck, or might surprise if they do it properly. 


Then I picked up Lord of the Dead by Tom Holland.  Vampire novel that supposedly harkens back to Anne Rice's glory days.  It's well reviewed and had been on my radar for a while. 

With only 10 minutes passed, I decided to do something I hadn't since I was a child.  Head over to the non-fiction and wander around seeing what grabbed my eye.  Many an afternoon thus spent learning how to build castles or hunt bigfoot as my mom did her research in various libraries.  Scrolling through various mythological/cryptozoological creature encyclopedias showed me there was very little there I either wasn't already familiar with, or would have better info on the internet.  I needed a field guide.  Sure enough, I found one. 

Monsters: an investigator's guide to magical beings by John Michael Greer. 

This explores the various mythologies behind the different beings, which interests me...then gets into magical means of identifying and dealing with them, which could prove useful in a halloween sense.  I've only scratched the surface so far
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 18, 2013, 06:48:22 PM
Foundation by Isaac Asimov.  It's still almost as good as when I was 12.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on January 18, 2013, 08:41:29 PM
Finished "40,000 in Gehenna," started Cherryh's "The Faded Sun Trilogy" (Kesrtih, Shon'jir, Kutath).  About 2/3 of the way through "Cyteen."
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 20, 2013, 05:56:21 AM
Foundation And Empire by Isaac Asimov. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Green1 on January 20, 2013, 07:51:07 AM
Some non-fiction here.

Finished up Michu Kaku's Physics of the Future.

A bit on the optomistic side, but a fascinating read. When they talk all these advances, they neglect to say who will benefit from those advances.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 20, 2013, 03:35:40 PM


Then I picked up Lord of the Dead by Tom Holland.  Vampire novel that supposedly harkens back to Anne Rice's glory days.  It's well reviewed and had been on my radar for a while. 


Awful....
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 22, 2013, 06:07:02 PM
Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 23, 2013, 06:43:01 PM
Storm Front first of the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher.  TV show was ok, so why not? 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on January 23, 2013, 08:32:55 PM
I just read "Food & Memories" by iconic swedish chef and restauranteur Tore Wretman. The man who, in the 40´s and 50´s almost singel-handedly, built up the modern swedish restaurant business and gave it a much needed injection of haute cuisine with his experiences from Paris and New York.  ;chef;
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 23, 2013, 10:04:42 PM
I just read "Food & Memories" by iconic swedish chef


Love that guy. 

The Muppets: Cårven Der Pümpkîn (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qj8PhxSnhg#ws)

(had to be done)  ;)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on January 23, 2013, 10:08:31 PM
(had to be done)  ;)
;b;
Bork! Bork! Bork!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 23, 2013, 10:13:07 PM
 :clap: ;chef; :clap:
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on January 24, 2013, 02:44:31 AM
Finished Cyteen, about to start its sequel Regenesis.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 24, 2013, 04:22:49 AM
Destroyer of Worlds by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner.

-I got 152 pages into it today and so far, it's not nearly as good as the last in the series.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on January 24, 2013, 04:23:38 AM


(had to be done)  ;)

Yep ;D
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 25, 2013, 01:46:46 AM
A Different Flesh by Harry Turtledove.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Green1 on January 25, 2013, 01:52:23 AM
Destroyer of Worlds by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner.

-I got 152 pages into it today and so far, it's not nearly as good as the last in the series.

I managed to find a hard copy of the short story collection Limits by Larry Niven abandoned at the Mississippi River ferry a few months ago. Did not care for Draco Tavern or the two fantasy short stories. But Spirals, the tale of an orbital moon colony and Earth politics going to hell in a handbasket was grade A stuff.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 25, 2013, 05:15:37 PM
In the Courts of the Crimson Kings by S.M. Stirling.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 26, 2013, 10:29:45 PM
Kaleidoscope Century, by John Barnes.  Mindblowing.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on January 27, 2013, 11:29:48 AM
 Jeez, BUncle, have you taken speed reading classes or do you read 10 books simultaneously?  :story:
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 27, 2013, 02:29:06 PM
I was reading on college level when I was 11, I have no life, I've run out of things I want to look at on the innerwebs ATM, and I had a bout of insomnia.

Manseed by Jack Williamson.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on January 27, 2013, 02:49:58 PM
Well, those are all good reasons to get some reading done...  ;b;
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 28, 2013, 07:45:05 PM
Roma Eterna by Robert Silverberg.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 31, 2013, 08:30:36 PM
Counting Up, Counting Down by Harry Turtledove.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on February 01, 2013, 01:13:21 AM
Finally getting my hands on Brimstone by Preston/Child.  Next Pendergast novel I've been trying to find since I started this thread. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on February 01, 2013, 01:21:19 AM
I was reading on college level when I was 11, I have no life, I've run out of things I want to look at on the innerwebs ATM, and I had a bout of insomnia.

Manseed by Jack Williamson.

Meanwhile I was taken out of english class for speech therapy lessons through all of elementary and struggled with reading through school.  Terribly slow at it.  Still don't say certain sounds right, and still wince expecting the yard stick when I particularly bungle one.  Same teacher tried to make me right handed...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 01, 2013, 01:45:10 AM
Whatever that fall when I was six did to my brain didn't seem to affect reading; I recall what I've read a lot better than what I'm told vocally, too.

I might've gotten more out of speech therapy if they'd bothered to tell me why I was there.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 02, 2013, 07:11:58 PM
Washington's Dirigible by John Barnes.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 03, 2013, 08:32:45 PM
The Disunited States of America by Harry Turtledove.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on February 03, 2013, 10:18:16 PM
On the Dresden Files novels:

Better than the TV series.  Good little detective novels if you don't like to think too hard. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 09, 2013, 05:59:18 PM
Choosing Names: Man-Kzin Wars VIII edited by Larry Niven.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 10, 2013, 09:46:36 PM
Destiny's Forge by Paul Chafe.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 12, 2013, 06:07:12 PM
A Decade of Fantasy and Science Fiction selected by Robert P. Mills.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on February 12, 2013, 10:48:02 PM
Finished The Faded Sun Omnibus, starting The Chanur Saga (The Pride of Chanur, Chanur's Venture, The Kif Strike Back), also by CJ Cherryh.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 15, 2013, 03:18:08 AM
Worlds by Joe Haldeman.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 15, 2013, 10:28:21 PM
Matter's End  by Gregory Benford.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 17, 2013, 07:49:34 PM
The Magic May Return edited by Larry Niven.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 18, 2013, 04:39:44 AM
Flux by Orson Scott Card.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 19, 2013, 04:57:11 PM
Drakas! edited by S.M. Stirling.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 21, 2013, 03:31:05 AM
I do my reading in my bedroom, and never report a new book right away - burned through two yesterday.

Mindbridge and Tool of the Trade both by Joe Haldeman.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on February 21, 2013, 04:44:33 PM
Finally getting my hands on Brimstone by Preston/Child.  Next Pendergast novel I've been trying to find since I started this thread.

 :-\


The Casque of Amantillado was better when it wasn't 500 pages....Pretty much straight copying with some other classic detective stories copied to fill in the 500 pages.  They even acknowledge this was done on purpose at the end of the book afterword.  WTF?   


For the first time I'm on the fence with these guys.  This was a stark departure from the previous books.  This was the first in a trilogy, and I'm less than exhuberent about moving on to #2. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 22, 2013, 03:34:15 AM
A Treasury of Great Science Fiction  Volume Two edited by Anthony Boucher.

The final story, the novel The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, never fails to entertain - and this was something like my sixth reading since I was 12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stars_My_Destination (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stars_My_Destination)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on February 22, 2013, 01:52:40 PM
Dance of Death by Preston/Child. 

Next in the series.  We'll see how it goes.  (they didn't have the next book in the dresden files, so this'll do.)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 22, 2013, 07:38:18 PM
The FInal Reflection by John M. Ford.

-The finest Star Trek novel ever.  I mean, if there wasn't a Klingon playing chess with a Vulcan on the cover, I bet this would have won the Hugo and Nebula awards that year.  It's that good.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 23, 2013, 04:39:02 PM
1984 by George Orwell.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 25, 2013, 01:20:40 AM
-Not as good as the first two or three times; not that much actually happens, I know how it ends, and it's not the sort of fantasy I enjoy.  Thanks anyway, Mr. Blair.

...

The Sky People by S.M. Stirling.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 25, 2013, 05:38:48 PM
The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction edited by George Mann.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 27, 2013, 06:53:52 PM
Hart's Hope by Orson Scott Card.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on February 28, 2013, 05:32:38 AM
Navy SEALs: A History Part II - The Vietnam Years, by Kevin Dockery
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 28, 2013, 09:31:49 PM
The Day the Matians Came by Fredrick Pohl.

-It's not porn.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 01, 2013, 09:18:15 PM
Federation by H. Beam Piper.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 03, 2013, 05:56:32 PM
Reading some Piper led to me looking up Little Fuzzy, and thence to discovering that it's public domain and rereading it online at Project Gutenburg yesterday; http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18137/18137-h/18137-h.htm (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18137/18137-h/18137-h.htm) 

It's highly recommended for everyone but Uno, being a great read and Fuzzies being unbearably cute.  I'm definitely calling Kilkakon's attention to this.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on March 03, 2013, 06:19:55 PM
Tubes:  A Journey to the Center of the Internet, by Andrew Blum
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 04, 2013, 07:46:17 PM
The Golden Globe by John Varley.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on March 07, 2013, 07:35:46 PM
Dance of Death by Preston/Child. 

Next in the series.  We'll see how it goes.  (they didn't have the next book in the dresden files, so this'll do.)


Meh.  I give up on this series.  I can appreciate what they are trying to do, but it's not working for me. 

 :(

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 07, 2013, 08:57:53 PM
The Siege of Eternity and The Far Shore of Time by Fredrick Pohl.

My digestive system was acting up last night, and the finished the one and burned all the way through the other before I went back to bed this morning.  The latter was far more satisfying than the former, though that's what I get for starting a trilogy in the middle.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 09, 2013, 05:52:39 PM
The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction Volume Three edited by George Munn.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on March 10, 2013, 03:57:13 AM
Fool Moon:  Book 2 of the Dresden Files.

Ok, the first book was OK.  This book rocks.  Gotta go find the third. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 10, 2013, 05:26:35 PM
Demon in the Skull by Frederik Pohl.

I didn't care much for it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 11, 2013, 05:21:01 PM
Uller Uprising by H. Beam Piper.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 12, 2013, 05:24:54 PM
Homegoing by Fredrick Pohl.

One compliant - the protagonist was raised by alies in 1.4 G, and weighs 200 pounds.  Now, I ain't been lighter than that since the 80s, mostly substatially heavier, and while I am indeed hard on lawn chairs, I hardly need to look over the available chairs in a room before I consider sitting.  I call shenanigans.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 13, 2013, 06:43:54 PM
Legends edited by Robert Silverberg.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 15, 2013, 10:51:31 PM
The Other End of Time by Fredrick Pohl.

I can't tell if it's any good, having read the next two books in the trilogy first.  I had hoped getting the details of what I already knew filled in would be more interesting.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on March 15, 2013, 11:46:22 PM
Finished "The Chanur Saga," moving on to "Chanur's Endgame," by CJ Cherryh, comprising "Chanur's Endgame" and "Chanur's Legacy."
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 16, 2013, 02:59:06 PM
Forward the Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

I read Prelude to Foundation years ago, and thought it wasn't good.  This strikes me as more of the same, so far.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 20, 2013, 04:06:42 AM
And it was.  Believe me, I can burn through 500 pages in a day when the book is good enough.

...

Time Gate vol.2 Dangerous Interfaces created by Robert Silverberg. 

The first story, by Gregory Benford is boring me the same way so far.  If you know his work, when he's good, he's really good, but sometimes he goes off on a long tangent with old people sexing it up, or 100+ pages of Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn tribute in the middle of a novel - this is that sorta thing.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on March 20, 2013, 04:00:11 PM
Grave Peril

Book 3 of the dresden files.  I've come to really like this series.  Much better than the 'scifi' show.  Book 2 actually managed to keep me up at night with nightmares. 
Though it was evil dogs, so, ya know...

The series is getting better as it goes so far, which is unusual. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 20, 2013, 09:30:45 PM
6th Annual Edition The Year's Best S-F edited by Judith Merril.

From 1962 - a little golden age-y, but good stuff.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 24, 2013, 08:24:08 PM
Man Plus by Fredrick Pohl.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 26, 2013, 04:02:32 PM
Mars Plus by Fredrick Pohl and Thomas T. Thomas.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 29, 2013, 03:56:18 AM
TesseractsQ edited by Elisabeth Vonarburg and Jane Brierley - a collection of translated Quebec SF from the last 20 years.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on March 30, 2013, 12:19:20 PM
West of Honor - Jerry Pournelle.
A novel set in the CoDominium Universe.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 30, 2013, 01:26:04 PM
This would be one of the mercenary books?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on March 30, 2013, 01:49:52 PM
As far as I can see, yes. It's with Falkenberg as a 'regiment/battalion' commander on the planet Arrarat.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 11, 2013, 10:21:48 PM
That last wasn't very good, IMAO, and for weeks I've been playing SMAX in the daytime and falling asleep fast at night.  Just got to this new one last night.

The Worlds of Science Fiction edited by Robert P. Mills.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on April 13, 2013, 09:01:25 AM
Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood, it's kinda depressing. But it's a dystopian post-apocalyptic piece of fiction, so I suppose it's meant to be...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on April 18, 2013, 11:38:41 PM
Angel with the Sword (Merovingen Nights book 0) by CJ Cherryh
The Deep Beyond (Cuckoo's Egg, Serpent's Reach) by CJ Cherryh
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 18, 2013, 11:44:01 PM
I usually can't take too much Cherryh; it's not that she can't write, but the stories tend to focus on obsessions I can't get behind.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on April 19, 2013, 06:10:51 PM
Destiny's Forge by Larry Niven.
Plays out in his 'Known Space' universe, Man-Kzin Wars section.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 19, 2013, 06:21:48 PM
Destiny's Forge is by Paul Chafe, ISTR.

Loved it.  Far from flawless, but I loved it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 21, 2013, 04:20:19 PM
Legends II edited be Robert Silverberg.

The first story is another hedge knight story by George R. R. Martin - all I've read of the Game of Thrones stuff is as far as I got into this last night, and another hedge knight story in the first Legends, (I've not seen a second of the HBO stuff, either) but I sorta see why geeks are so into it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on April 21, 2013, 05:17:46 PM
Careful who you call a geek. A guy you once called awesome (among other adjectives) is way deep into GoT stuff...   :D
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 21, 2013, 05:26:22 PM
How long has it been since geek was a pejorative label?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on April 21, 2013, 07:17:51 PM
Not too long if I can remember those days.  :P
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 21, 2013, 07:42:50 PM
You barely remember past ten years ago?  What kind of drugs do that?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on April 21, 2013, 09:29:30 PM
Happiness, a good cook, and good bank account.  :D
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 21, 2013, 09:41:20 PM
So you're Bill Gates?  I don't want Bill Gates here.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on April 24, 2013, 07:14:33 PM
At the Edge of Space (Brothers of Earth, Hunter of Worlds) by CJ Cherryh

Also re-reading A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin (also parts of A Storm of Swords, where I'd forgotten what happened)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on April 24, 2013, 09:49:26 PM
"Fossile Hunters" by Björn Hagberg and Martin Widman. A gripping tale about the rise of swedish paleontology :)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 27, 2013, 06:01:39 AM
Black Star Rising by Fredrick Pohl.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 10, 2013, 05:24:14 AM
Dickess by Madison Dale Bruffy.

Started it almost a week ago.  This has got to be the limpest excuse for a book I've struggled through in a very long time - and I waded through that French-translated anthology a couple books back.  Real amateur hour; I don't believe in the milieu, the characters, the plot - anything about it.  It plods, it bores, and it's neither stimulating nor fun.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on May 10, 2013, 03:21:52 PM
Started with Heart of the Comet by Brin and Benford.
But I'm going to try to hold it for my vacation.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 10, 2013, 03:59:20 PM
That's an excellent yarn right there.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on May 14, 2013, 02:16:06 PM
Summer Knight The next in the Dresden Files.

While the series started out as a supernatural Sherlock Holmes, it has since morphed into much more of a cross between the X Files and the old radio drama of The Shadow.  The previous books in the series pretty much only serving as backstory on how Dresden rounds up his set of tools, this is the first book where he starts to become confident and the one driving the action rather than reacting to things happening to him.  It's a welcome shift.   
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on May 14, 2013, 08:05:32 PM
That's an excellent yarn right there.

Let's see if I need it over Norwegian vistas.  :D
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on May 16, 2013, 04:32:26 AM
Halloween customs, spells, and recipes by Silver Ravenwolf


Yes. I bought a spellbook.

Not a whole lot here I really needed.  Bought for a couple reasons. 

1. New specialty store we stumbled on.  I try to support these kinds of stores when I can, and didn't need any magic candles (though the first store to have one particular variety I'd been looking for, and it was properly seeded even, so might go back if I decide on that route), but they can get me some blanks.  Since the other store flaked out on me there, that's good news. 

2.  A complete how-to on making rather detailed voodoo dolls out of corn husks.

Most the spells and rituals in here are standard Wiccan fare modified to make use of a pumpkin.  But, there was one on making magic dust for voodoo rites.  I don't think it's showy enough for my intended veve, but might mix some just to be sure.   
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 26, 2013, 02:47:23 AM
Since I last posted here:

The Sundered by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels.  -A post-Undiscovered Country Captain Sulu novel that demonstrates no feel for Captain Sulu, First Officer Chekov, or really, little for Star Trek in general; however the flashbacks about the other aliens are pretty good, if not nearly enough to rescue the piece.


Murasaki by  Poul Anderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, Nancy Kress and Frederik Pohl, edited by Robert Silverberg.  A 1992 "shared universe" hard science fiction novel in six parts, and not bad at all.


-I'll start a new one tonight, and try to remember to post about it while it's current...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on May 26, 2013, 05:19:07 AM
Sometimes I start books, then put them down for a while to read something else, eventually getting back to them.  E.g., Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, by HG Bissinger; The Sam Gunn Omnibus, by Ben Bova; Patton: A Genius for War, by Carlo D'Este.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Green1 on May 26, 2013, 11:14:11 AM
Halloween customs, spells, and recipes by Silver Ravenwolf


Yes. I bought a spellbook.

Not a whole lot here I really needed.  Bought for a couple reasons. 

1. New specialty store we stumbled on.  I try to support these kinds of stores when I can, and didn't need any magic candles (though the first store to have one particular variety I'd been looking for, and it was properly seeded even, so might go back if I decide on that route), but they can get me some blanks.  Since the other store flaked out on me there, that's good news. 

2.  A complete how-to on making rather detailed voodoo dolls out of corn husks.

Most the spells and rituals in here are standard Wiccan fare modified to make use of a pumpkin.  But, there was one on making magic dust for voodoo rites.  I don't think it's showy enough for my intended veve, but might mix some just to be sure.   



Uggh...

Llewellen books. I think on some of the fluffier ones you can just copy/paste and just change the name and you have the same book. They put out dozens of those things out back in the day.

But hey, I once owned a copy of Raymond Buckland's "Big Blue Book" of Wicca back when it was a fad and all the kids dressed in black with cool pentagrams in New Orleans circa late 900- early 00s. Even owned a book on ceremonial magick. Talk about out there.

Anyways... past all the BS of Wicca, I have never understood the whole "goddess" focus of Wicca. If I remember correctly, the Wiccans were supposed to have a male god, too. But, methinks these folks were more into radical feminism and using Wicca for the cool rituals and attire. Nothing worse than a born again Wiccan is what I say, even though they are rare breeds nowadays (thankfully).

I say if you want a goddess, read The Principia Discordia. Eris is much cooler and can beat up the Wiccan goddess in a catfight. Roze approves:

http://principiadiscordia.com/ (http://principiadiscordia.com/)

Edit:

@UNORTHODOX...

Voodoo is a tourist funded big bussiness in New Orleans. I doubt anyone practices it. In fact, no one practices it except those who make money off of tourists saying they practice it. The religion died many decades after Marie Laveau and with intermarriage of the blacks and Cajun and better education. But, if you want gris-gris and voodoo dolls and how to make them, I would suggest looking at some of these bead shop websites and look at a few. they do not seem too hard to make.

I one time worked in one of these shops. Surprisingly, the guy that makes them is a Episcopalian Christian. He told me he had no issues making them. He called them "post-it notes" to your god.



Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on May 26, 2013, 12:29:26 PM
Murasaki by  Poul Anderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, Nancy Kress and Frederik Pohl, edited by Robert Silverberg.  A 1992 "shared universe" hard science fiction novel in six parts, and not bad at all.

Must remember.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 27, 2013, 01:20:15 AM
I wonder whether you should remember this:

Empire by Orson Scott Card.

Taking the bull by the horns -I've noticed that my enjoyment of Card's always-excellent work has been decidedly hurt since I found out he went all Miller after the thing happened in New York 12 years ago- I picked up a novel by him that I knew was about the American political Left and Right having a civil war.  I started it late last night and finished it, bumping 400 pages, a few hours ago.

...I could write all day about all the crap the man is wrong about in the book, about the ridiculous false premises throughout and a million things in the story that I don't believe for a second, but the fact remains that I kept reading, because it's good anyway.  This would make a fantastic Tom Clancy-ish movie, the sort of thing that stars Ben Afleck and Samuel L. Jackson.  It's got strong elements of buddy adventure, political thriller, and plenty of sequences that would make strong movie chase scenes, yet work as prose.  Lots of snappy, often funny, dialogue, too. 

Card still pisses me off, not least for a hypocritical afterword from a man too smart to be such a hypocrite and not know it, but gosh, when he's good, he's the best.  Recommended if you think you can stomach the politics - he clearly bent over backwards to try to be fair, and just as clearly doesn't know how badly he failed.  But still, I already finished it, because it worked so well as a story that my need to throw the book across the room in discust lost out to my need to turn the page and read more 355 times in a row.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on May 27, 2013, 06:07:27 PM
I wonder whether you should remember this:

Empire by Orson Scott Card.

Taking the bull by the horns -I've noticed that my enjoyment of Card's always-excellent work has been decidedly hurt since I found out he went all Miller after the thing happened in New York 12 years ago- I picked up a novel by him that I knew was about the American political Left and Right having a civil war.  I started it late last night and finished it, bumping 400 pages, a few hours ago.

While a novel about a broken-up USA has merits of its own, its probably not SciFi enough for me.  :D
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 27, 2013, 08:07:14 PM
The rebels are using mechs - no kiddin'.

But yes, not very science-fictiony, and no one less conservative than me, let alone less American, will understand the book at all.  It's still really good. Caveat emptor.

-Also, you'll miss us when we're gone...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 28, 2013, 04:15:13 AM
Reave the Just and Other Tales by Stephen R. Donaldson.

Donaldson is not the most accessible author in the world - when I read Lord Foul's Bane (at way too young an age to have any business reading something as -ahem- mature as Lord Foul's Bane, but still, I was a bookish kid with a vocabulary like you wouldn't believe) I didn't know what most of the colors were (these days, I think incarnadine is a vivid shade of blue, but wouldn't stake my life on it).  He doesn't write down to his audience.  Ever. To a fault.  This is a collection of more recent work, and considerably less impenetrable thus far.  I've read the first story, and so far, so good.  Donaldson, for all that he's capable of being unbearably frustrating to read -nothing happens for more than the first 100 pages of his latest novel, Against All Things Ending- writes really powerful, moving stuff, and I'm looking forward to the rest of this.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on May 28, 2013, 04:37:48 AM
(these days, I think incarnadine is a vivid shade of blue, but wouldn't stake my life on it).

Considering it's the name of a type of fake blood, I'm going to suggest it's red. Had no idea it was a color at all, to be honest, just fake blood.   
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 28, 2013, 04:55:31 AM
So it is, when I look it up. 

I could go flip randomly through Lord Foul's Bane for a few minutes and find a lot more stumpers - I have never been used to being stumped very often by obscure words since I was about 10, and Donaldson used to do it several times a page when we were both younger.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on May 28, 2013, 10:10:05 PM
I'd probably be much less useful on the rest.  English was not my strong suit in school.  Elementary school felt I didn't need to learn to read at the same pace as the rest of my class because I had speach problems, so I went to the *special* class where they attempted to correct my wrong-handedness along with the speach problems.  Made me LOVE reading/writing/english so much.  There's some words I still cringe when I say, because I still say them 'wrong' and should be getting the stick for doing so. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 29, 2013, 12:14:13 AM
That's not you - that's most of us on these boards.  Tending to be somewhat self-educated, we all have a lot of words in our vocabularies we've never heard anyone pronounce.  I bet you and I are also far from the only ones to have been put through a lot of bad speech therapy, too.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 02, 2013, 05:06:07 PM
Critical Mass by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth.  A short story collection, and good stuff so far.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on June 04, 2013, 06:33:09 PM
Halloween customs, spells, and recipes by Silver Ravenwolf


Yes. I bought a spellbook.

Not a whole lot here I really needed.  Bought for a couple reasons. 

1. New specialty store we stumbled on.  I try to support these kinds of stores when I can, and didn't need any magic candles (though the first store to have one particular variety I'd been looking for, and it was properly seeded even, so might go back if I decide on that route), but they can get me some blanks.  Since the other store flaked out on me there, that's good news. 

2.  A complete how-to on making rather detailed voodoo dolls out of corn husks.

Most the spells and rituals in here are standard Wiccan fare modified to make use of a pumpkin.  But, there was one on making magic dust for voodoo rites.  I don't think it's showy enough for my intended veve, but might mix some just to be sure.   



Uggh...

Llewellen books. I think on some of the fluffier ones you can just copy/paste and just change the name and you have the same book. They put out dozens of those things out back in the day.

But hey, I once owned a copy of Raymond Buckland's "Big Blue Book" of Wicca back when it was a fad and all the kids dressed in black with cool pentagrams in New Orleans circa late 900- early 00s. Even owned a book on ceremonial magick. Talk about out there.

Anyways... past all the BS of Wicca, I have never understood the whole "goddess" focus of Wicca. If I remember correctly, the Wiccans were supposed to have a male god, too. But, methinks these folks were more into radical feminism and using Wicca for the cool rituals and attire. Nothing worse than a born again Wiccan is what I say, even though they are rare breeds nowadays (thankfully).

I say if you want a goddess, read The Principia Discordia. Eris is much cooler and can beat up the Wiccan goddess in a catfight. Roze approves:

[url]http://principiadiscordia.com/[/url] ([url]http://principiadiscordia.com/[/url])

Edit:

@UNORTHODOX...

Voodoo is a tourist funded big bussiness in New Orleans. I doubt anyone practices it. In fact, no one practices it except those who make money off of tourists saying they practice it. The religion died many decades after Marie Laveau and with intermarriage of the blacks and Cajun and better education. But, if you want gris-gris and voodoo dolls and how to make them, I would suggest looking at some of these bead shop websites and look at a few. they do not seem too hard to make.

I one time worked in one of these shops. Surprisingly, the guy that makes them is a Episcopalian Christian. He told me he had no issues making them. He called them "post-it notes" to your god.


Just saw this. 

I do stuff for show, on Halloween, and try to be authentic as possible.  Last time I did "Voodoo", we had a few folks that refused to enter thinking it was real when it was all total nonsense.  My base symbology there has always been more Haitian than New Orleans style, but we have a growing Santeria base here in Ogden, and I like to get them nice and nervous every now and then. 

Do I want 'voodoo' dolls?  No, too plain.  Now, instructions on making dolls out of corn and means of folding/weaving the cornhusks has usage to me for any number of things, including resurrecting Husk (failed experiment from last year). 

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uYuoBUsX3Tw/UCatkCosViI/AAAAAAAANJI/Rq34sVB89Qs/s800/_IGP1478.JPG)

The store is more of just another contact for me to find bizaar stuff I might one day utilize, so I try to support them. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on June 04, 2013, 06:44:16 PM
Death Masks Next Dresden book. 

The Shroud of Turin is the real deal (if only because so many people believe it, that belief gives it power) and has been stolen, and Harry has to track it down. 

This one saw a little bit of a shift happen.  Previous books have been more or less stand-alone, but this one leaves a number of things open at the end as well as introducing a bunch of new characters I fully expect to be seeing around more often.  Where you could probably break into the series anywhere before this one and be fine, it's starting to feel more like a serial now. 

There seems to be a rotating set of stories now as well, ones that deal with the fairy world, and ones that deal with the Christian world, and there's a different supporting cast for wherever Harry needs to head off to.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on June 11, 2013, 01:43:48 PM
Technically book on tape, not read. 
Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz

This was the book out of left field suggested by the halloween group.  It was not bad, but not especially great either.  I could see various elements borrowed from various sources.  The overall arch had the feeling of some kind of sick cross between King's Carry and Rosemary's Baby

Although, it did bring a smile to my face that a key turning point in the book involved not only walpurgisnacht (while called by a more english name herein), but 2 Barghest...what's more, 2 Barghest with exposed ribcages.  Considering I just finished making one for walpurgisnacht and all.   
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 11, 2013, 05:21:03 PM
Novelets of Science Fiction edited by Ivan Howard.

Good stuff, so far.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on June 11, 2013, 11:21:30 PM
Blood Rites Dresden Files #6.

As I said, #5 left a number of things open ended, and transformed the books more into a serial.  Book 6 continues that and really transforms the series as a whole to show greater character progression all around.  Recurring villains now, and they are adapting to Harry's abilities, and turning them against himself.  Collateral damage to Harry's allies, debilitating injury, and realization of consequences for actions.  Very transformative book, but a little disjointed in getting these changes accomplished.  Feels more like a setup for Book 7, or maybe even books 5-7 are a little trilogy...but it lacks some typical elements of a 2nd act if that's the case. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on June 13, 2013, 09:29:24 PM
Dead Beat Dresden Files #7

More or less Dresden Files does Halloween.  Continuing the serial nature, and adding more backstory to some supporting cast.  Comes off more jovial than most the series (and the humor is one of the better selling points) despite some horrendously evil stuff happening. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 17, 2013, 05:35:12 PM
Syzygy by Frederik Pohl.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on June 17, 2013, 11:19:23 PM
Syzygy by Frederik Pohl.
Good one.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 17, 2013, 11:33:16 PM
Is it?  I haven't gotten very far yet, but the first 50 pages read like a disaster thriller - not my favorite sort of thing.

Still, Pohl rarely disappoints.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 25, 2013, 12:22:56 AM
Year's Best Fantasy 4 edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 25, 2013, 08:23:28 PM
Having recently seen "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," I re-read "The Girl who Played with Fire" and am re-reading "The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," by Stieg Larsson, translated by Reg Keeland.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 28, 2013, 08:03:52 PM
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

Did anyone not spot that the "End is Nigh" guy was Rorschach the very first time he appeared?   Am I the only one who spotted that Ozymandias was the guy behind everything early on?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 03, 2013, 11:27:37 PM
Years of the City by Frederick Pohl.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on July 04, 2013, 07:09:28 AM
Continuing Comet...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: sisko on July 10, 2013, 10:01:12 AM
Dune - House Corrino
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 10, 2013, 02:40:44 PM
I'm sorry.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: sisko on July 10, 2013, 02:41:37 PM
me too.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 10, 2013, 02:47:14 PM
It's a pity - I think the authors read a different Dune series than everyone else; they REALLY didn't understand the books I've read so many times.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: sisko on July 10, 2013, 07:52:38 PM
what should i read next? SF, of course..
any suggestion?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 10, 2013, 07:59:41 PM
The real Dune books?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: sisko on July 10, 2013, 08:06:48 PM
did that long time ago.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on July 10, 2013, 08:13:52 PM
@sisko, suggestion: William C. Dietz's duology "Deathday" (2001) and "Earthrise" (2002). An invasion/repulsion story, well-received.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rymdolov on July 10, 2013, 10:32:58 PM

Empire by Orson Scott Card.

Card still pisses me off, not least for a hypocritical afterword from a man too smart to be such a hypocrite and not know it, but gosh, when he's good, he's the best.  Recommended if you think you can stomach the politics - he clearly bent over backwards to try to be fair, and just as clearly doesn't know how badly he failed.  But still, I already finished it, because it worked so well as a story that my need to throw the book across the room in discust lost out to my need to turn the page and read more 355 times in a row.

/.../

But yes, not very science-fictiony, and no one less conservative than me, let alone less American, will understand the book at all.  It's still really good. Caveat emptor.

Hey, I've read that book and I think I understood it, in spite of being considerably less American and, well, maybe equally non-conservative. It was fascinating to see how little of the world Card understands, though. And while it's a good yarn (Card is an amazing story-teller - in that way he's probably the most worthy successor of Heinlein) I wouldn't really recommend it, if only because there are so many other books that are more rewarding, not the least many of Card's other books; even the shadow novels, the ones that retell the Ender story from another perspective, are a lot better.

I wonder what you mean when you say that Card is a hypocrite. In my view, the scary thing about him has always been that he seems to believe in what he says.  ???
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rymdolov on July 10, 2013, 10:38:44 PM
I've read China Miéville's collection of shorter fiction, Looking for Jake, which was long overdue. Some of those short stories are just brilliant. Others are more average, perhaps, but his prose and his ability to create an atmosphere is bloody amazing. I still have the novella Tain left to read. I want to save something for later, I guess.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 10, 2013, 11:01:14 PM

Empire by Orson Scott Card.

Card still pisses me off, not least for a hypocritical afterword from a man too smart to be such a hypocrite and not know it, but gosh, when he's good, he's the best.  Recommended if you think you can stomach the politics - he clearly bent over backwards to try to be fair, and just as clearly doesn't know how badly he failed.  But still, I already finished it, because it worked so well as a story that my need to throw the book across the room in discust lost out to my need to turn the page and read more 355 times in a row.

/.../

But yes, not very science-fictiony, and no one less conservative than me, let alone less American, will understand the book at all.  It's still really good. Caveat emptor.

Hey, I've read that book and I think I understood it, in spite of being considerably less American and, well, maybe equally non-conservative. It was fascinating to see how little of the world Card understands, though. And while it's a good yarn (Card is an amazing story-teller - in that way he's probably the most worthy successor of Heinlein) I wouldn't really recommend it, if only because there are so many other books that are more rewarding, not the least many of Card's other books; even the shadow novels, the ones that retell the Ender story from another perspective, are a lot better.

I wonder what you mean when you say that Card is a hypocrite. In my view, the scary thing about him has always been that he seems to believe in what he says.  ???
That's precisely the point, though - a man to whom truth is so important, who has long written about finding truth, has cast his lot in with the murderous, fascistic, liars of the right.  That afterward is false premises and false moral equivalence from beginning to end - being slightly more even-handed in his portrayal of the political climate than Rush Limbaugh is not the same as being even-handed, and anyone who thinks criticizing  Bush Jr. is bad has lost all acquaintance with truth, indeed, the American Way.

He was a hypocrite for making himself out to be fair in writing a book where liberals are the bad guys.  Do that, fine -the right is so far gone into fantasy that they just well write them up as stories- but don't pretend you're being fair.  Don't pretend that the most rapaciously, nakedly, evil administration of my entire life -and I'm old enough to remember Nixon- is headed by a decent person who is only criticized by fools and liars.

Card was never a liberal, but used to be reasonable, and mostly made a lot of sense.  It's painful to see yet another good man (and remember, I know him a little in real life; he was always enormously more angry than ever shows in his work, but mostly still sensible) ruined by that thing that happened in New York in 2001.  It just makes me sick and angry and sad.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 10, 2013, 11:13:43 PM
... Back to the Dune books, I think God Emperor of Dune is very, very good - notwithstanding that it has roughly 100 pages worth of plot spread out over closer to 400.  I suspect it's boring partly on purpose.

Anyone care to discuss?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on July 11, 2013, 07:34:17 PM
Finished Heart of the Comet (blame the rain  ;) ) and started on 2 Battletech novels: Far Country and what I think is the first Battletech novel.


It's too long since I read the fourth Dune book. Had to look up if it was the one that caused the Scattering.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 11, 2013, 09:13:00 PM
It was - the Scattering was central to Leto's plan all along.

...

Chrysalis 4 edited by Roy Torgeson.

It's a fantasy anthology from 1979 - and if I couldn't look that up on the copyright page, I'd have guessed it was supposed to be New Wave science fiction from about ten years earlier - back when pointless stories without plots were getting published a lot. 

I cannot recommend this book as of roughly halfway through.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 16, 2013, 03:46:10 PM
Out of ten stories in the aforementioned anthology, Chrysalis 4, three have endings - the rest sorta just stop before any satisfactory conclusion, or sense on my part that I understood what was going on.  I not only cannot recommend the book, I'm going to try to remember Roy Torgeson, so that in the future I can avoid collections he put together.

...

The Infinity Concerto by Greg Bear.

-So far, this seems very good, notwithstanding a title that sounds like a Marvel Comics crossover event about Thanos taking up classical music.

I hope Vishniac sees that joke.  I remember when Jim Starlin used to write comics that weren't stupid.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on July 16, 2013, 08:22:33 PM
Infinity Concerto - Earth boy who ends up in an alternative universe and must learn from 3 sort-of alien witches?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 16, 2013, 08:34:46 PM
Yes, that's the one.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on July 16, 2013, 08:41:09 PM
Don't think I ever finished that one. Must've been still a adolescent when I tried to read it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 16, 2013, 08:47:06 PM
I'm 115 pages in after two bedtimes reading, for what that's worth - with Chrysalis 4, I usually fell asleep before I got 10 pages read.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 20, 2013, 07:42:36 PM
A good read.  Now I gotta track down the rest of the story in Serpent Mage.

...

I read the collection of the first six issues of Astro City by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson last night.  It was good, but I dunno, I'm not sure it deserves as high a reputation as it has in comics circles.

...

Now on to The Playboy Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on July 20, 2013, 07:48:14 PM
Finished both Battletech novels I started reading yesterday. If the others are very similar, they're kinda me(c ;) )h if you ask me.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 20, 2013, 07:57:32 PM
What did you expect from Battletech novels in the first place?  Franchise novels like that are hardly the place to look for top-quality fiction, no matter the virtues of the particular franchise -- and we ARE talking Battletech, besides.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: JarlWolf on July 20, 2013, 11:38:52 PM
Anyone here ever read the short story I have no mouth but I must scream?

Was written back in the 70's if I recall.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 20, 2013, 11:43:56 PM
Sure.  By Harlan Ellison.  I was way too young when I first read that.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on July 20, 2013, 11:48:09 PM
... Back to the Dune books, I think God Emperor of Dune is very, very good - notwithstanding that it has roughly 100 pages worth of plot spread out over closer to 400.  I suspect it's boring partly on purpose.

Anyone care to discuss?
God Emperor of Dune is monumentally better than the dull slog that is Children of Dune, but it is tragically the novel that marks Herbert's descent into Dirty Old Man Syndrome that a lot of science fiction authors are plagued with (see also: Robert Heinlein), a condition that only gets worse in the subsequent two novels.

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: JarlWolf on July 20, 2013, 11:56:03 PM
Mhm... the amount of perversions in their writing are, and I sincerely apologize for this pun/term, shoved down our throats as we read it. But on the other hand the hard cynical outlook they develop also makes the novel more darker in some aspects, and not just in a perverted sense.

I remember reading I have no mouth but I must scream. Such a sadistic story, but it has quite a really strong humanist outlook message if you get past the crazy alterations and horrific social experiments. Apparently there was also a game produced on it during the 90's, was one of those point and click puzzler types, had a moral system for actions, and some of them were really obvious, kind of dumbed down the story in my opinion but the variety of choices was still pretty neat.

On the note of Dune, been ages since I've read them. I remember I still have an old VHS/VCR type tape of a movie they made, I'll have to dig it out later to find out which one it was based on. All I remember is it was produced in 1984 I think- that or around that time. I had a collection of them and I think the latest one in it was produced 1987.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 21, 2013, 12:06:45 AM
Heinlein had it hyper-bad in his last decade, that's for sure.  -But I don't really see it with Herbert.

I think you're the only person I've ever heard express that much admiration for God Emperor.  Most fans seem to have hated it.  I suppose it didn't give them what they'd come to expect from the other books.  It certainly had the least action/adventure of all of them.

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on July 21, 2013, 01:05:56 AM
I hated God Emperor, stopped reading the series at that point.  Tried a couple of the Brian Herbert books and stopped.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on July 22, 2013, 12:49:31 AM
Heinlein had it hyper-bad in his last decade, that's for sure.  -But I don't really see it with Herbert.

I think you're the only person I've ever heard express that much admiration for God Emperor.  Most fans seem to have hated it.  I suppose it didn't give them what they'd come to expect from the other books.  It certainly had the least action/adventure of all of them.
Though to be fair Heinlein also had it pretty bad in his early years to. Though arguably I Will Fear No Evil was probably half written by his wife so it may not count.

I'm currently 7/8ths of the way through Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. I actually do most of my reading on audiobooks when working or driving, since I find that I don't have as much time anymore for actual reading. But all of the Baroque Cycle books are narrated by Simon Prebble who has probably the best British narrator voice I've ever listened to.

Oh and if you have the chance, everyone should read Hannu Rajaneimi's books The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince which are probably the best science fiction novels written in the past decade.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 22, 2013, 01:32:39 AM
I'd still like an explication of the dirty old man charge against Herbert - I fancy that I know at least the Dune books pretty well, and I don't see it.

Heinlein was a disgusting pervert who, indeed, shoved it down our throats, mind you...

...

Jarl, the mid-eighties movie was the one David Lynch directed, which I thought was one of the most disappointing movies ever made (it HAS grown on me over the years, and the "edited for TV" version that begins with illustrated backstory instead of Princess Irulan isn't nearly as awful).  The two miniseries from around the turn of the century were, in my opinion, much, MUCH better, though opinion on that among fans is all over the place.

...

Avalon, those prequels were rancid.  I question whether Brian Herbert and Kevin Adnerson even read the same Dune series as the rest of us.  I mean, those books are so wrong-headed and just plain bad that I still feel a little angry that they were published and someone got paid for writing puking them out.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: JarlWolf on July 22, 2013, 01:48:21 AM
Mind I never said the movie was good. Just that I had it.

Re-watched it though, and its got that irritating habit lots of movies from the 70's 80's had- the internal whispering nonsense they always put in scenes. It just seems awkward and it doesn't work in film that great.

But alas I am derailing the thread talking of films. (Though we do need a film corner.)

On another note, I am tempted to pick up the Silmarrion again and read t but from what I remember it was a labour reading it and ardous due to the language and dialect it used. Bastard Faroese combined with Tolkien english is not an easy read...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 22, 2013, 01:54:33 AM
Love.  Love.  LOVE The Silmarillion - but that might have to do with a lot of time as a child spent reading The Bible, and being accustomed to history told in that sort of style and format.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on July 22, 2013, 02:13:06 AM
I'd still like an explication of the dirty old man charge against Herbert - I fancy that I know at least the Dune books pretty well, and I don't see it.
Heretics and Chapterhouse both have very explicit sex scenes, and Chapterhouse in particular has those scenes involving fairly young characters. I wasn't quite as uncomfortable as the one scene in Stephen King's IT, but they're much more pronounced and kind of jarring compared to the first three novels.

Then again the second half of the original Dune series is almost a completely different thing from the first half, as they basically descend into a somewhat pulpy space opera compared to the original novels being more grounded meditations on the nature of divinity and economics.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 22, 2013, 02:16:35 AM
Okay, I thought of the sex scenes, of course, when you first said that, but we're not talking about anything within an order of magnitude as sick as late Heinlein and his obsession with incest.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: JarlWolf on July 22, 2013, 06:17:29 AM
Hmm... personally as someone who likes to write I only use sexual intercourse or such things in any of my hobbied works for an actual story purpose: and that's to show an intimacy or passion, or how someone uses someone. For my AAR I was probably planning a relationship of sorts, and I'd keep it mild (I wouldn't be explicitly saying SHOVE IT IN THE REAR type mentality and make it a pornography) but there would be sensual bits.

The Silmarrion has a great amount of story to it and it really fleshes out Tolkiens universe, but unlike you I did not read The Bible or Qu'ran and was never brought up with religious story or tales. I learned of them of course later on but if anything my entire childhood and youth was devoid of religion. Where I live in particular now people are either of 3 camps: Most are apathetic atheists, a fair number (still a minority) are Orthodox Church and there is a fair bit of Muslims, mainly Sunni here. Go further south and you get more and more Muslims mixed with atheists. The Orthodox church is mainly implanted in the Western European regions of my country, but most people in the rest are atheist, with a huge amount of Muslims spanning along the Central Asian national borders and regions. And you do not want to go in the far central southern borders, there is very violent Shia Muslim groups and sects. And I forgive anyone who is Muslim here in advance for any ignorance I exhibit but I genuinely fear Muslim extremists and gangs, and I have good reason to (the same fear also goes towards fascists.) There is nothing scarier in people then a man hell bent on spiritual convictions and he thinks you are scum to be rid of. Men like that become relentless and merciless and they are terrifying to confront, and I speak from experience. But mind that's not a justification for persecution of an entire group of people either.

edit: And Heinlein took it too far most of the time. His works became less of a read and spiraled into a incest-fest in his late years.

I liked Children of Hurin for Tolkien, good read and it really gave some background to the different regions of Middle Earth.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on July 22, 2013, 02:07:39 PM
I'd still like an explication of the dirty old man charge against Herbert - I fancy that I know at least the Dune books pretty well, and I don't see it.

Heinlein was a disgusting pervert who, indeed, shoved it down our throats, mind you...


Though Heinlein did write The Moon is a Harsh Mistress so he gets an infinite pass with me.

Part of Heinlein's problem is that he puts characters in his books that are so obviously mouthpieces for his own views that it's impossible to separate the fairly horrible things that his characters say from him. He's like Ayn Rand in that way, except his prose is infinitely more readable, and he's less apt to make his antagonists obvious straw men (especially since in most of his books there aren't precisely identified villains but society as a whole).

Quote

Jarl, the mid-eighties movie was the one David Lynch directed, which I thought was one of the most disappointing movies ever made (it HAS grown on me over the years, and the "edited for TV" version that begins with illustrated backstory instead of Princess Irulan isn't nearly as awful).  The two miniseries from around the turn of the century were, in my opinion, much, MUCH better, though opinion on that among fans is all over the place.

...

Avalon, those prequels were rancid.  I question whether Brian Herbert and Kevin Adnerson even read the same Dune series as the rest of us.  I mean, those books are so wrong-headed and just plain bad that I still feel a little angry that they were published and someone got paid for writing puking them out.

The Dune miniseries are definitely more faithful to the book, but they commit the cardinal crime of being kind of boring. At the very least David Lynch's movie is interesting to look at and, to an extent, captures the spirit of the books rather than the miniseries which are sort of content just to translate the words onto the screen.

The real tragedy is that we never got Alexander Jodorovsky's Dune movie, which would have been an insane four out epic starring Jodorovsky's son, Mick Jagger and Salvador Dali as Emperor Shaddam, who sits on a toilet throne sculpted to look like two dolphins next to an identical robotic mannequin. It definitely would not have been faithful to the text but it would have been a true spectacle.

Supposedly Brian and Kevin's Dune books are based on Frank Herbert's notes, which wouldn't surprise me given the way that the later half of the series was going, but everything I've heard about them makes me glad that I never read them.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on July 22, 2013, 03:26:07 PM
I think the best side description of sex in a scifi novel was in A Fire upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge, when Ravna and Pham went at it. The Old One either needs lots of bandwidth to control 'events', or peek in.  ;lol
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on July 22, 2013, 03:41:28 PM
I think the best side description of sex in a scifi novel was in A Fire upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge, when Ravna and Pham went at it. The Old One either needs lots of bandwidth to control 'events', or peek in.  ;lol
I love A Fire Upon the Deep and its sequel A Deepness in the Sky immensely, but I couldn't get more than a few dozen pages into Children of the Sky. What I wanted as a sequel to Fire set centuries ahead where the descendents of the humans and the tines explore the galaxy as buddies. Mans best friend! Instead the result bored me to tears in record time.

Has anyone here read Embassytown by China Mieville? Now THAT's a story.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 22, 2013, 10:42:04 PM
Jarl, that's exactly my point; not only is The Silmarillion written in my native language, it's done in a pseudo-biblical tone that I happen to be more comfortable with than most.  Tolkien was a devout Catholic, you know, and the history of Middle Earth strongly indicates that he was a rather reactionary conservative, too.  There's all kinds of layers of difference between you and him, and how you see the world.  I'm no Catholic, but I'm still a lot closer to being his natural audience.  I think that I loved it, and many people can't get into it at all, reflects that.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on July 23, 2013, 05:31:43 PM
I love A Fire Upon the Deep and its sequel A Deepness in the Sky immensely, but I couldn't get more than a few dozen pages into Children of the Sky. What I wanted as a sequel to Fire set centuries ahead where the descendents of the humans and the tines explore the galaxy as buddies. Mans best friend! Instead the result bored me to tears in record time.

Aye, the swich from a galactic novel to a provincial clash of viewpoints does indeed sound lame. ;)
Haven't read the novel though, AFAIK it's not available on my side of the Atlantic.

Has anyone here read Embassytown by China Mieville? Now THAT's a story.

AFAIK, nope.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on July 23, 2013, 06:50:14 PM
Embassytown is amazing. It's set on a human settlement on the very edge of colonized space, where the colonists coexist with the natives, a race called the Arieke. Their native language can only be spoken by humans if they are specially engineered clones called Ambassadors, as the language requires two voices speaking simultaneously with one thought pattern. It's a really incredible study about the nature of language and how it shapes societies, and about the distinction between words, thoughts and the ideas that they represent.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 29, 2013, 01:11:15 AM
Now on to The Playboy Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Hardly teh suck, but you know that anything I take over a week (a very annoying week with my internet connection constantly cutting in and out and driving me nuts) to read didn't exactly send me.

...

Catch a Falling Star by John Brunner.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 02, 2013, 12:13:25 AM
Catch a Falling Star by John Brunner.
Not that good - the first draft was written in 1958, and it shows.  Not terrible, but not great.

...

The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Doc Nebula on August 02, 2013, 07:22:47 PM
Currently reading JONATHAN STRANGE & Mr NORRELL by Susanna Clarke.  Weird but delightful.

Prior to that, LORD VORPATRIL'S ALLIANCE by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Not one of the good Vorkosigan books, unfortunately.  Whenever Bujold does one of these "Let's rehabilitate Ivan" efforts, I can't  help but remember how he used to sexually harass Elena and Ellie (and various others) back in the early days of the series.  He was just generally loutish and dislikeable.  I guess people can change, but I don't buy it . To me he'll always be 'that idiot Ivan'. 

Prior to that, THE SERPENT SEA by Martha Wells, which was excellent, although not as good as the other pseudo Victorian stuff she won't write any more because it doesn't sell very well.  Which saddens me. 

Also, I'm kind of hitting my Kindle version of SALEM's LOT when I need a quick hit of early King.  I'm not a junkie or anything.  I can quit any time I want.  I just don't want to.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 02, 2013, 07:31:25 PM
I think King is a much better writer than you generally give him credit for being.  The very fact that all he writes about is the monster under the bed, and I've still read a fair bit of King, is testimony to that.  I have zero interest in the monster under the bed, let alone being afraid Danny Glick will slip in the window and bite me - but he writes about those things so WELL.

And I am still afraid of Danny Glick.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Doc Nebula on August 02, 2013, 07:51:51 PM
King is an AWESOME writer.  He's just a victim of his own success.  Any publisher in the world will happily publish ANYthing he writes now, and he's gotten really, really lazy. 

He won't allow himself to be edited, and he doesn't have to work any harder than he feels like, and I very much doubt he's written a second draft in twenty five years.

It's exactly the same thing that happened to Thomas Harris.  His first three books are great.  Once Hannibal Lecter became a cultural icon, though, he refused to allow any editorial changes to his books and just wrote whatever the hell he felt like... and all his books since SILENCE OF THE LAMBS have sucked HARD. 

But early King... up until IT, excluding CUJO, which just blew hard chunks... absolutely rocks. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 02, 2013, 07:54:17 PM
Same thing with Heinlein, I'll venture.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on August 02, 2013, 08:01:36 PM
I think King is a much better writer than you generally give him credit for being.  The very fact that all he writes about is the monster under the bed, and I've still read a fair bit of King, is testimony to that.  I have zero interest in the monster under the bed, let alone being afraid Danny Glick will slip in the window and bite me - but he writes about those things so WELL.

And I am still afraid of Danny Glick.
Actually if you look at King's bibliography, Monster-Under-The-Bed horror books probably make up less than half of his stuff; it's just what he's known for. More recently I think he's been getting back into science-fiction after he left it early in his carrer after The Jaunt and The Long Walk. If you haven't you should really give 11-22-63 a shot, it's amazing.

EDIT: King can't really be faulted for Cujo since he was so stoned/drunk during that period that he doesn't even remember writing it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Doc Nebula on August 02, 2013, 08:13:34 PM
King CAN be faulted for CUJO, as it sprang from his overwhelming ambition to be taken seriously as a literary writer, which is (a) stupid, pulp is better and (b) stupid, because he's not a good literary writer,  he's the best [intercourse gerund] pulp writer in history. 

As to 11-22-whatever, I read it and as soon as I discovered that it was set in the King Horrorverse instead of being about, you know, the actual historical Kennedy, I lost a lot of interest.   But, worse, King was proseletyzing the viewpoint that if Kennedy hadn't been assassinated, the present day would be a radioactive nightmare, and that's just... a forggin DOWNER, man. 

Plus, the whole time travel gimmick is just King at his laziest.  "I WANT it to work like this.  I NEED it to work like this.  So it works like this.  Nyaaaah nyaaaaah." 

But I reread everything King wrote before IT, with the exception of CUJO, pretty regularly.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on August 02, 2013, 08:21:45 PM
King CAN be faulted for CUJO, as it sprang from his overwhelming ambition to be taken seriously as a literary writer, which is (a) stupid, pulp is better and (b) stupid, because he's not a good literary writer,  he's the best [intercourse gerund]pulp writer in history. 

As to 11-22-whatever, I read it and as soon as I discovered that it was set in the King Horrorverse instead of being about, you know, the actual historical Kennedy, I lost a lot of interest.   But, worse, King was proseletyzing the viewpoint that if Kennedy hadn't been assassinated, the present day would be a radioactive nightmare, and that's just... a forggin DOWNER, man. 

Plus, the whole time travel gimmick is just King at his laziest.  "I WANT it to work like this.  I NEED it to work like this.  So it works like this.  Nyaaaah nyaaaaah." 

But I reread everything King wrote before IT, with the exception of CUJO, pretty regularly.
That's not what 11-22-63 is about at all though.

(click to show/hide)

Did you read Under the Dome? I have incredibly conflicting feelings about that book.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Doc Nebula on August 02, 2013, 08:26:48 PM
I read UNDER THE DOME.  Have it on my Kindle.  I have no conflicting feelings about it.  King's narrative style is always wonderfully compelling while immersed in it, but when I got to the end, I just didn't give a flying flark about any single character in it. 

King used to be all about characterization, which was why I loved his books.  Now he just comes up with a funky plot device and throws some cardboard characters into it. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on August 02, 2013, 08:29:36 PM
I read UNDER THE DOME.  Have it on my Kindle.  I have no conflicting feelings about it.  King's narrative style is always wonderfully compelling while immersed in it, but when I got to the end, I just didn't give a flying flark about any single character in it. 

King used to be all about characterization, which was why I loved his books.  Now he just comes up with a funky plot device and throws some cardboard characters into it.
To me, Under the Dome felt like King was trying to do what he did perfectly in IT, and almost made it, except that he sort of failed to give any of his characters any real charisma, so by the end, like you, I found it hard to care about the people in it. The only one I was particularly invested in was Big Jim, and that's mainly because I hated him more than any character I've ever encountered in any novel.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 02, 2013, 08:33:36 PM
You could come up with a mighty long list of creative people who turned out to be ruined by success, who did all their best work in the dynamic tension of having people around who could still say no to them.  In addition to the print writers already mentioned, I'd add Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas as obvious examples, and there's a lot in comic books, too.

King used to do the most wonderful characterization...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Doc Nebula on August 02, 2013, 08:40:39 PM
See, but I hated IT.  IT was the first King I ever read where he just said "frack it, I'm doing a huge book here, I don't have TIME to come up with three dimensional characters, I'm just going to stick in this cardboard and people will buy it anyway".

Also... the mother jugging TURTLE?  Frack you, Steve.

Also, we beat the big clown thing by having sex?  Well, that's stupid, but when it's 12 year olds having a gangbang in the sewers, that's not just stupid, it's offensive. 

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on August 02, 2013, 08:41:03 PM
I think King can still write characters. Big Jim in Under the Dome literally raised my blood pressure every time he was on the page. I haven't hated a character so much since Judge Holden from Blood Meridian.

EDIT:
Quote
Also, we beat the big clown thing by having sex?  Well, that's stupid, but when it's 12 year olds having a gangbang in the sewers, that's not just stupid, it's offensive.
I won't defend that scene because it's weird and creepy, but that's not what it was actually about. They'd already beaten IT by then, but were lost in the sewer because they had lost their empathic connection. The point of it was to connect them again long enough to escape.

It's still really weird though.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 02, 2013, 08:44:43 PM
Oh - if you were SUPPOSED to hate him, that's horse of a different color than I first assumed.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Doc Nebula on August 02, 2013, 08:46:49 PM
And creepy.

IT was, to me, like Stephen King trying desperately to be Peter Straub.  And nearly succeeding.  Which was a bad bad bad thing.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on August 02, 2013, 08:48:13 PM
Oh - if you were SUPPOSED to hate him, that's horse of a different color than I first assumed.
Oh god yes. There's a chapter in Under the Dome called "Feeling It" where everything just goes right for that character and it almost made me quit reading because of how infuriating it was.  It's glorious.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Doc Nebula on August 02, 2013, 09:00:14 PM
King has said that Big Jim is meant to be Dick Cheney.  I don't think King pays much attention to Dick Cheney; he's a much scarier man than Big Jim, and far far more profane. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on August 03, 2013, 05:33:29 AM
King has said that Big Jim is meant to be Dick Cheney.  I don't think King pays much attention to Dick Cheney; he's a much scarier man than Big Jim, and far far more profane.
Yeah, one of the thing that I disliked about Under the Dome is how naked the analogy is between Big Jim and Andy and Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. I get that King is an ex-hippie liberal and I have no problem with that but he has no talent for writing with any kind of political angle.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: JarlWolf on August 03, 2013, 05:40:10 AM
His angle is more psychological. Or psycho, one of the two.

Been reading more for the Dark Tower series, got up to the fourth book but I am trying to hunt down the 5th. I have 6th/7th I think... maybe 8th as well but I hate skipping things. Drives me nuts backtracking with series.

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on August 03, 2013, 05:45:24 AM
His angle is more psychological. Or psycho, one of the two.

Been reading more for the Dark Tower series, got up to the fourth book but I am trying to hunt down the 5th. I have 6th/7th I think... maybe 8th as well but I hate skipping things. Drives me nuts backtracking with series.
If you haven't already you should do yourself a favor and spoil the ending of the series for yourself.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: JarlWolf on August 03, 2013, 05:58:07 AM
His angle is more psychological. Or psycho, one of the two.

Been reading more for the Dark Tower series, got up to the fourth book but I am trying to hunt down the 5th. I have 6th/7th I think... maybe 8th as well but I hate skipping things. Drives me nuts backtracking with series.
If you haven't already you should do yourself a favor and spoil the ending of the series for yourself.

I was going to ask why but I have a feeling that the answer to that is "its disappointing" or along those lines.

Note I'd rather keep it a mystery and read on, I got time to piss so its not a big deal if there is some shortfall later on.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 16, 2013, 04:58:57 AM
The Road of Danger (Republic of Cinnabar Navy #9) by David Drake
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 17, 2013, 02:30:58 PM
The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card.
This was a re-read, but the last time might have been over 20 years ago, and I barely remembered even having read it after so long, so it hardly counts as one.  The long time I took to read it this time is reflective of how late I've been going to bed recently, and not the good quality/readability of the story.

Despite being science fiction, with psychic powers and all taking place on other planets, this reads a lot like a first draft of the Alvin Maker series.  Most of it's set in fairly primitive agrarian communities and centers around a guy with special powers.

Recommended, but with the caveat that Card in this seems to think so well of the pre-technological farming life that one is led to wonder whether his idea of hot pron is a documentary about the Amish.

My dad grew up on a working farm, and he strongly begged to differ about the joys of the life.

...

Queen of Angels by Greg Bear.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on August 17, 2013, 09:45:40 PM
Found Hyperion - by Dan Simmons - online, so started to reread it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 17, 2013, 11:19:25 PM
Hyperion  ;b;
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on August 18, 2013, 10:28:38 AM
Why the edit, HatsOn?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 18, 2013, 01:05:00 PM
Housekeeping.  Your italics didn't close.  (You just earned an infraction at CFC. ;))

Gonna be out of touch today traveling.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on August 18, 2013, 06:22:35 PM
(You just earned an infraction at CFC. ;))

Wouldn't be the first time.  ::)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on August 23, 2013, 12:00:30 AM
(You just earned an infraction at CFC. ;) )

Wouldn't be the first time.  ::)

Oh, come now. They don't infract there for tags not being properly closed. They infract you for spelling, double posts, and lots of other silly things.


Quote from: Lord Avalon
Several posts about C.J. Cherryh, one of my favoritest authors, ever

I'm so happy to find someone else who enjoys her books! I've read Cyteen and the Merovingen Nights books so many times, I honestly can't count. I've also read and re-read the Union/Alliance books, the Merchanters books... it's all basically one big universe.


As for Dune... is there a dedicated Dune thread here? If not, we need one. There's so much to say about it, it's really beyond the scope of this thread.


The last thing I finished reading was the 2-hour script for a proposed TV-movie to finish off the Borgias TV series (in lieu of the 4th season they should have had, and which Showtime vetoed). The script is the only closure the fans are going to get, since even a 2-hour movie was shot down.


Otherwise, I've got several books on the go, ranging from SF to historical fiction to Digital Photography for Dummies (I have a new camera I'm having a hard time understanding).
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 23, 2013, 12:14:29 AM
Geo had asked why I edited his post - my reason for doing it was closing the tag.  I have reason to believe you are familiar with a certain CFC rule against asking why a mod did something...  Were this there, you would now be in violation , too, would you not?


PLEASE start a Dune thread.  I may quote some random Dune posts from here and there, if I can find them.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on August 23, 2013, 02:48:19 AM
Geo had asked why I edited his post - my reason for doing it was closing the tag.  I have reason to believe you are familiar with a certain CFC rule against asking why a mod did something...  Were this there, you would now be in violation , too, would you not?


PLEASE start a Dune thread.  I may quote some random Dune posts from here and there, if I can find them.

I was intending humor. I really don't want to seriously argue CFC stuff here.


I've been rewatching Children of Dune, since there's a thread over at TrekBBS I've been posting in. It helps to refresh the memory. But before I do start one, it would be prudent to know if there are many KJA/BH nuDune fans here? I don't want to accidentally start a war...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 23, 2013, 03:10:13 AM
There's a no bad-mouthing other site rule here that only applies to me and sisko, and I'm sometimes in breech of it.  Should've at least stuck on smiley, 'cause I was joking, too.



I have no idea exactly who doesn't like what beyond some back and forth on movie v. miniseries (mostly the latter  for me) and I don't recall whether anyone but me has mentioned the prequels, which I think are wretched beyond all tolerance, though I see a lot of hateful talk elsewhere on the web about the authors that I find utterly inexcusable.

I think it is safe to talk about and openly like whatever you want without fear of a war.  Hopefully some good discussion and maybe fun argument, but war?  My boys don't do war on the forum - I wouldn't even have to say anything.

(Considering that they had to use water-fat offworlders to play Fremen, and the same actress to play Alia at 15 and 24, and the twins were way too old, Children was pretty brilliant.)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on August 23, 2013, 03:29:42 AM
There's a no bad-mouthing other site rule here that only applies to me and sisko, and I'm sometimes in breech of it.  Should've at least stuck on smiley, 'cause I was joking, too.

Okay, thanks. :) I'm still feeling my way here, and need to learn what's acceptable and not.



Quote
I have no idea exactly who doesn't like what beyond some back and forth on movie v. miniseries (mostly the latter  for me) and I don't recall whether anyone but me has mentioned the prequels, which I think are wretched beyond all tolerance, though I see a lot of hateful talk elsewhere on the web about the authors that I find utterly inexcusable.

If it had the names [redacted to avoid a vanity googling] attached to it, or anyone who posts on [redacted]'s blog or a couple of Dune forums I will not name (because they are truly not civil places), it wouldn't surprise me. [redacted] is sometimes a gifted researcher when it comes to Dune, but he's also made it one of his life's goals to make KJA's professional life as miserable as possible; even his and BH's families have been targets. I don't like KJA, but he never deserved the vile things some of these people have said.

Quote
I think it is safe to talk about and openly like whatever you want without fear of a war.  Hopefully some good discussion and maybe fun argument, but war?  My boys don't do war on the forum - I wouldn't even have to say anything.

(Considering that they had to use water-fat offworlders to play Fremen, and the same actress to play Alia at 15 and 24, and the twins were way too old, Children was pretty brilliant.)

Yep - I took one look at the twins and thought they looked considerably older than 9! But the Alia-actress gets a pass - it says right in Children of Dune that she'd been using Bene Gesserit tricks to keep herself looking youthful.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 23, 2013, 03:35:24 AM
I think the double-age twins was a simple decision to use actors mature enough to be able to act, which is a bit much to expect of any nine year-old but Dakota Fanning at nine.  The ones they used at least had a very charming chemistry, like actual close siblings.

Their Alia was also full of charisma and win...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on August 23, 2013, 03:18:16 PM
Wouldn't be the first time.  ::)

Oh, come now. They don't infract there for tags not being properly closed. They infract you for spelling, double posts, and lots of other silly things.

I literally meant it wouldn't been the first time I got an infraction at CFC. The reason was of course for a completely different issue.
That said, I only ever had one infraction imposed on me at the site.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sigma on August 23, 2013, 03:26:30 PM
I've actually been rereading Dune for the first time in like eight years, this time via Audiobook, which is how I do most of my reading. The narrator is great, but it's a partially voice acted audiobook and some of the choices are...questionable. Most notably the guy they have playing Gurney Halleck sounds like Jack Nicholson, and the actor voicing Paul has a british accent but Leto doesn't.

That aside, man I completely forgot how brilliant that first book is. I'm amazed at how seamlessly it can drift between discussing statecraft, politics, religion and ecology-- especially the ecology part, to the extent that Arrakis feels like as much of a character as the actually people in the story.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 24, 2013, 02:10:34 AM
Intruder (Foreigner #13) by CJ Cherryh
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: uss1701jb on August 24, 2013, 04:37:23 AM
Read ALL the dystopia!!! :danc:
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on August 24, 2013, 01:07:54 PM
I'm currently reading "The evolution of God" by Robert Wright. It's an welcome break from the islamophobic in-your-face rethoric from the 'god fathers' of the New Atheism movement (Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris) as it takes a objective and materialistic stance in dealing with faith and gods.  It's not without it's own set of biased pet theories though. But still, a really good and interesting read! 

Quote
Wright's thesis entails three basic propositions. The first is that God evolves. By this Wright means not an actual God, whom he generally treats as illusory, but rather peoples' conceptions of gods and God. The "evolution" he writes about is mostly cultural evolution, although he includes an appendix on the possible biological roots of religion.

The bulk of the book is devoted to his tracing the history of gods from hunter-gatherer societies through chiefdoms, polytheistic kingdoms, the evolution of monolatry and monotheism, and then the scriptural presentation of God in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Wright is interested mainly in how gods may have felt about cultural outsiders, about "others" not part of one's own group. He emphasizes how gods have alternated between coaxing their followers to destroy designated others and urging accommodation and acceptance of people with different beliefs.

Wright proposes that whether gods were seen as belligerent toward out-groups or not often depended on the political needs of societal leaders at the time. When leaders perceived zero-sum conflict situations in relations with other groups it was useful to have one's own gods offer some encouragement to rally the troops. But if there were non-zero-sum opportunities in possible alliances, say through trade or military coalitions, then it became useful to be more ecumenical, to accept to some degree others' gods as well as one's own. For instance, one way of accommodating polytheistic gods when political coalitions were built was to make them into a clan of gods, related to each other.

His historical analysis of the cultural evolution is not as strong as it could be, not least because he leaves out a big chunk of time. While he relies on relatively modern evidence from hunter-gatherer and chiefdom societies, draws on certain contemporary events, and offers limited comments on the intervening centuries, he focuses mostly on the developmental period preceding about 700 AD. After Constantine, for instance, we hear very little of how the evolution of God may have played out in Christianity through the administration of churches and states.

Wright's second basic proposition is that there is a moral trajectory in history, expanding opportunities to realize the good. "The march of history challenges people to expand their range of sympathy and understanding, to enlarge their moral imaginations, to share the perspective of people ever farther away," he claims. He concedes that it is not inevitable that we will get closer to moral truth, but he believes that growing non-zero-sumness is forcing us to face up to it or to otherwise descend into chaos.

He allows that there has not been simple linear progress, but contends that there has been an advance through fits and starts, some forward, some backward. Yet since again he barely skims the past 1300 years, his assertion that history demonstrates moral progress remains highly questionable, unproven at best.

Wright's third basic proposition relies on the first two. He says that if there is a moral order (Proposition #2) and if conceptions of God have evolved to support it (Proposition #1), it does not necessarily mean there is a God; but, he asserts, these conditions are evidence in favor of the God hypothesis (Proposition #3).

Even if gods arose from illusions, he suggests, the evolution of the illusions "points to the existence of something you can meaningfully call divinity." He is not arguing the God hypothesis is true -- he is merely offering it up for consideration as plausible.

Wright's reasoning is dubious. From his questionable assertion that there has been moral progress it is a big leap to claim, as he does, that it reflects a purposeful historical goal. Patterns do not necessarily imply purposes. And only after he has smuggled in the idea of purposeful history is it possible for him to speak of a source of the purpose. A "purpose" by its very nature has an agent, some sentient entity capable of intent, at least in our common understanding. Where we see purposes we see agents, just as Wright does here. There are further flaws in his logic, including reliance on a false analogy between propositions about God as the source of moral order and physicists' postulation of electrons to help explain the behavior of matter.

So Wright's conclusion that the evolution of the concept of God and moral progress in history constitute evidence for the God hypothesis is unconvincing. Nevertheless, The Evolution of God is likely to sell well, and perhaps it should. Certainly the title and subject matter are fashionable, in both their evolution and God dimensions. Wright deserves credit for the ambition of this work, for its sweep and boldness. The Evolution of God will make readers think, if only to marshal their responses to the parts where they believe Wright is wrong.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on September 03, 2013, 06:39:39 PM
Fredericksburg, VA, is just invaded by the Posleen in John Ringo's Gust Front!  ;aaa
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on September 03, 2013, 08:14:27 PM
The Last Spaceship. Murray Leinster, 1949. A must-read for any hardcore SF fan. Politics, technology, romance. Way deeper than pulp, a serious spacefaring tale.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Arbee on September 19, 2013, 01:25:53 AM
Lately, I've been reading the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett.  It's actually pretty amusing, both a parody of and an homage to all sorts of literature, set in a world where fantasy meets science.  It's fun to read through and try to catch all of the references that are made, especially in the Night Watch novels.

I'd recommend the series to anyone, even if you're not a fan of fantasy.

Good Omens, which is a collaborative work by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, is an interesting read, as well.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 19, 2013, 01:30:55 AM
Loved it.  Also Small Gods from the Diskworld series.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Arbee on September 19, 2013, 02:55:53 AM
I haven't been able to find a copy of Small Gods anywhere.  I found the radio play on Youtube, but the person who posted it didn't have the full play and only posted what parts they had.  Very disappointing.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 19, 2013, 02:58:08 AM
Worth a read when you find it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Arbee on September 19, 2013, 03:00:24 AM
I suppose I'll have to look harder, then.  I'm also looking for Feet of Clay and Thud!, two more hard-to-find titles... I suppose one of these days I might have to resort to buying books from the Internet.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on September 19, 2013, 05:34:02 AM
I am halfway through Snuff, the 34th Discworld novel (not counting YA).  I have read the 33 prior; might get around to the YA ones at some point.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Arbee on September 19, 2013, 05:38:18 AM
I've got a growing collection of them, haha, though I loaned all of my Night Watch series books to a friend so that he could get in on the magic.  I've been reading them out of order because I'm a naughty boy, haha.  The first one I read was Monstrous Regiment, which was my, erm, "initiation" into Pterry's little world. XD
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on September 19, 2013, 04:37:37 PM
Driving to california in a week, could use a good audiobook...difficulty: must be suitable for the kids. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Arbee on September 19, 2013, 06:11:52 PM
I'd recommend Going Postal, it's one of Terry's lighter-hearted novels... though the kids would probably have to be older to get some of the humor/references.

http://www.audiobooks.com/book/33959 (http://www.audiobooks.com/book/33959)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 22, 2013, 08:53:37 PM
Queen of Angels by Greg Bear.
Interesting book.  The dialogue is straightforward enough, but the two viewpoint characters use contracted futurespeak grammar in their internal monologues, which was distancing and hard to get into as a reader.  However, the ultimate theme of the book is minds and how they works, so it wasn't a bad tonal choice, if a difficult accessibility one.

Bear never writes bad books, and the two months I took to read it is reflective of my recent sleep cycles, not the quality of the work.  Recommended.

...

Chicks in Chainmail, edited by Esther Friesner.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Arbee on September 23, 2013, 07:24:04 AM
I recently re-read Harold Coyle's The Ten Thousand.  Great, great story.  If you like military fiction, you ought to look into it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on October 02, 2013, 10:30:18 PM
R.I.P. Tom Clancy (1947-2013), age 66. A former insurance agent, he wrote many novels (some of which were made into movies), beginning with The Hunt for Red October in 1984, and the last (Command Authority) to be released December 3, 2013. The Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell books are his, along with the video games: Ghost Recon, The Hunt for Red October, and Splinter Cell.

(edit: Sorry; I had Harold Coyle on the brain after reading Arbee's post. A fine author he is, and very much alive. He was born in 1952, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1974 and spent fourteen years on active duty with the U.S. Army. 21 books to his name from 1987 to 2009.)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 02, 2013, 10:33:43 PM
Was Harold Coyle Tom Clancy's pen name?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on October 03, 2013, 12:25:51 AM
Regarding Harold Coyle, he wrote Team Yankee shortly after leaving the Army. The next 5 novels are a series: Sword Point, Bright Star, Trial by Fire, The Ten Thousand, and Code of Honor. Making use of several contacts still on active duty, he had to be careful not to disclose unpublicized, sensitive, or even classified information about some equipment and tactics. The lot are, indeed, great reading.
Team Yankee the PC game and its two sequels received mostly positive reviews in the top gaming magazines of the early 1990s.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on October 03, 2013, 12:27:16 AM
According to my CBC newsfeed, it's Tom Clancy who died.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Arbee on October 03, 2013, 04:11:31 PM
Regarding Harold Coyle, he wrote Team Yankee shortly after leaving the Army. The next 5 novels are a series: Sword Point, Bright Star, Trial by Fire, The Ten Thousand, and Code of Honor.

I'll have to look into those... and then re-read The Ten Thousand again as part of the series.  Looks like I'll have my entertainment cut out for me there, haha.  Thanks for bringing the series aspect of it to my attention!  Literally had no idea.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on October 03, 2013, 04:39:26 PM
R.I.P. Tom Clancy (1947-2013), age 66.

Way too soon. He's the age of my mother.  :'(
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 12, 2013, 01:01:36 AM
Chicks in Chainmail, edited by Esther Friesner.
All the stories are humorous.  I don't know why I didn't expect that, given the title.  A good read.

...

Starting The Serpent Mage by Greg Bear tonight.  I've been wanting to read the sequel to The Infinity Concerto for five months, so looking forward to this...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 14, 2013, 01:57:28 AM
Starting The Serpent Mage by Greg Bear tonight.  I've been wanting to read the sequel to The Infinity Concerto for five months, so looking forward to this...
Considering that I took two months apiece to get through the last two books, which were okay, and that I've already burned all the way through this one in two nights, I invite you to deduce for yourself whether I recommend it...

...

The Magic Goes Away by Larry Niven.  I'm going to try to pace myself a little better on this one.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 15, 2013, 08:21:28 PM
I did, but it turns out that it's really a novella - slightly under 200 hundred pages, and as the cover proclaims "Massively illustrated".  That means over a third of the pages are line drawings - some of which are cool Frazetta-esque stuff.  Recommended if you like Niven, which I do.

...

Science and Sorcery compiled by Garret Ford.  An anthology of golden age stuff.  I had a wretched and stressful morning, am out of science articles to post, cooked ribs for lunch, and I'm getting the itis - I think I'll go read on this now, until I fall asleep for a nap...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on October 15, 2013, 08:22:52 PM
Going to start on "A hymn before battle" by John Ringo - the same writer of its sequel, "Gustfront".
Some comments marked the first novel better then "Gustfront".
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 20, 2013, 11:30:17 PM
Science and Sorcery compiled by Garret Ford.  An anthology of golden age stuff.
To give an idea of the quality, there was a Ray Bradberry Mars story in there not good enough to have made The Martian Chronicles.  Lots of mediocre stories -not terrible, but not good- read if a free copy falls into your hands and you're out of good stuff to read.

...

The Draco Tavern by Larry Niven.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on October 21, 2013, 05:00:54 AM
I always enjoy Niven's  Warlock stories.
In one sense they are magical fantasies.
In another they are formula science fiction, you start with a single technological premise, and contemplate the implications. In this case, "What if magic were like energy, and it could be used up?"
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 21, 2013, 05:25:58 AM
Yeah; exactly.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on October 21, 2013, 05:52:10 AM
I just finished a short memoir- "How I shot down 62 Planes " by Ernst Udet

This is probably the fourth such story I've read about World War I aviators. It was probably the only glorious part of that great meat grinder.

Airplanes were still what we'd consider experimental and subject to failure, even without pushing the performance limits or being hit with shrapnel and machine-gun fire. So were the instruments.

I think the average life expectancy of an allied fighter pilot was 3 weeks. They were dead before they finished their on the job training. Reading this German account, apparently they had more flight time before being sent to the front ( at least until the end of the war).  A lot of it was about living long enough to become a good pilot. After that, it had a lot to do with nerves, according to Ricthoffen, and Udet agreed.

I don't disagree. I read an account by an "average" pilot who shot down a couple of planes before he was shot down and captured.

I read about Billy Bishop, who was in the same league as Ricthoffen in numbers of kills. Bishop spent his first year on the front  as the rear gunner in a two-seater, so he got his experience that way. Then, as a pilot he excelled. He spent a lot of time flying solo missions. According to him, it was mostly about being a great shot, and being confident.

Not unlike the Red Baron. According to Udet, the Baron ate, slept, flew, and did little else. The baron expected his flying circus to shoot for the fuel tanks. Setting a plane on fire usually destroyed it, the pilot, and damaged the enemy's morale as well.

The guy I respect the most is Rickenbacher. Not because he was the greatest ace or even the greatest American ace ( he credited others with those honors).  He seemed to grasp the idea that he survived his own mistakes by luck. He was determined to learn from those mistakes. He was also determined to learn from everybody else. He knew the value of his own growing knowledge and worked to spread it to others. He wasn't out for glory, he was out to train squadrons and leaders and help win a war. While others were out dueling, he was drilling and briefing his pilots. When he flew he was often  shadowing rookie patrols to ensure that they returned safely.
 
( edited for clarity )
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on October 21, 2013, 10:04:12 AM
Science and Sorcery compiled by Garret Ford.  An anthology of golden age stuff.
To give an idea of the quality, there was a Ray Bradberry Mars story in there not good enough to have made The Martian Chronicles.  Lots of mediocre stories -not terrible, but not good- read if a free copy falls into your hands and you're out of good stuff to read.
Sadly, a lot of Bradbury's stuff would have to be read as a fairy tale or fantasy, rather than science fiction these days. They're really dated. About the only one of the Martian Chronicles stories that is still scientifically relevant is "There Will Come Soft Rains" - that one scared me when I first read it in Grade 7, and I still find it disturbing now.

I saw the miniseries on TV and it was a treat, seeing Roddy McDowell playing a missionary sent to convert the Martians to Christianity.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on October 21, 2013, 11:38:10 AM
Reading The Lady Hecate, a BSG fanfic.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 21, 2013, 02:11:02 PM
I saw the miniseries on TV and it was a treat, seeing Roddy McDowell playing a missionary sent to convert the Martians to Christianity.
The miniseries was pretty good, IIRC.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on October 26, 2013, 05:18:56 PM
Not that I'm likely to read them cover-to-cover, but yesterday at the local library's book sale I bought a 1901 German Bible (for my step-daughter who is learning German) and a 1943 edition of Westcott & Hort's New Testament in Koine Greek (for my studies). Those, along with a copy of Tom Clancy's Armored Cav to read cover-to-cover.
Any collectors out there who like (and maybe) read their old books?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on October 27, 2013, 01:34:11 AM
Any collectors out there who like (and maybe) read their old books?
The oldest book I own is a turn-of-the-last-century (1800s to 1900s) prayer book that my great-grandfather gave my great-grandmother. I don't know how old it was when he gave it to her.

I haven't read it because I don't read Swedish very well.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 27, 2013, 03:53:10 AM
The Draco Tavern by Larry Niven.
If you like Niven, you should like this.

...

When The Gods Returned by Charles Beamer.  Everything after the first chapter has sucked, so far.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 28, 2013, 04:16:31 PM
When The Gods Returned by Charles Beamer.  Everything after the first chapter has sucked, so far.

...

Cities in Space edited by Jerry Pournelle with John F. Carr.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 02, 2013, 03:08:41 AM
Cities in Space edited by Jerry Pournelle with John F. Carr.
Good enough.

...

The Fantastic Adventures of Robin Hood  Edited by Martin H. Greenberg.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 08, 2013, 04:31:28 AM
The Fantastic Adventures of Robin Hood  Edited by Martin H. Greenberg.
Meh.

...

Mariposa by Greg Bear.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 13, 2013, 01:46:25 AM
Mariposa by Greg Bear.
Not bad.

...

SCIENCE FICTION: The Best of the Year 2007 edited by Rich Horton.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 15, 2013, 11:51:21 PM
SCIENCE FICTION: The Best of the Year 2007 edited by Rich Horton.
Excellent.

...

Three Times Infinity Edited by Leo Margulies.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on November 16, 2013, 09:38:57 AM
Journey to Centauri by Mike Ely.

Mediocre. ;q;;b;























;cute
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 17, 2013, 06:21:07 PM
Three Times Infinity Edited by Leo Margulies.
Good.

The first story was a delightful surprise, as being co-written by Ray Bradbury, I feared that it would be about sneakers, nostalgia for 1910, or something lame like that; but the other author was Leigh Brackett, and true to form, the story was a flat-out planetary romance.

...

Hegira by Greg Bear.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on November 18, 2013, 05:32:20 PM
Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills by Charles Henderson

It's the story of Carlos Norman Hathcock II , a national champion rifleman, who became the first and foremost sniper during the Viet Nam War.

In the same way that I've read a number of books by WWI fighter pilots, I've read a number of books about Navy SEALS and snipers, because hunting and shooting was my hobby until my hearing loss.  A lot of people consider snipers something like serial killers. As I see it, they kill more humanely, and are much less likely to harm non-combatant civilians and their property than is the norm for a war.

As I was reading I had another insight. It was about the WWI pilots. In an age when fighter pilots mostly fought either as  light cavalry used to, or as fencing duelists used to, Canadian Ace Billy Bishop thought and fought as a sniper.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on November 18, 2013, 09:59:19 PM
As I was reading I had another insight. It was about the WWI pilots. In an age when fighter pilots mostly fought either as  light cavalry used to, or as fencing duelists used to, Canadian Ace Billy Bishop thought and fought as a sniper.

He seems to have started with a "chargeeeeee" attitude from what I read in his Wiki article.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on November 19, 2013, 12:37:11 AM
I made the sniper comparison because-

* he had superior eyesight and marksmanship on the range.

* He had a notable economy of ammunition.

* The enemy gave him a nickname and placed a bounty on his head.

* He preferred to work alone  and behind enemy lines in surprise attacks.

*Consequently many of his kills are unconfirmed. ( Whatever Bishop's  actual total, even if it was only the lowest estimate of 27, that's still more than Rickenbacker or any other American. )

* He had a passion for going on missions, and command had to reign him in for his own protection, because he reached a point where he was a propaganda icon /psychological weapon.


For those reasons, and  other intangible personality qualities, Bishop reminds me of snipers like Hathcock  and  Chris Kyle more than other contemporary aces.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 19, 2013, 06:16:53 PM
Hegira by Greg Bear.
Not bad.  Missing something, but not bad.

...

Dinosaur Summer by Greg Bear.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 22, 2013, 12:23:13 AM
Dinosaur Summer by Greg Bear.
Okay.

...

Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on November 23, 2013, 08:01:18 PM
Re-read A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin, as I recently got A Dance with Dragons, mass market edition.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 26, 2013, 10:07:12 PM
Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove.
I didn't believe any of it for a second, but a charming yarn.

...

Strength of Stones by Greg Bear.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 02, 2013, 12:16:40 AM
Strength of Stones by Greg Bear.
It's okay, but it turned out I had read it before...

...

The Wind from a Burning Woman by Greg Bear.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 04, 2013, 10:16:05 PM
The Wind from a Burning Woman by Greg Bear.
Thumbs up.

...

The Best From Fantasy and Science Fiction  Fourth Series Edited by Anthony Boucher.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on December 05, 2013, 08:14:57 PM
Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold. The same story composition as the first two novels I read in the Vorkosigan series: the main persona attempts to go "off the grid" to solve the puzzle.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 08, 2013, 03:33:53 AM
The Best From Fantasy and Science Fiction  Fourth Series Edited by Anthony Boucher.
-And a mid-50s first paperback edition, at that.  Too many stories I'd read before, but they were still a small minority.  Thumbs up, at least if you fancy 50s SF.

...

Year's Best SF 15  edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on December 10, 2013, 11:44:07 PM
Cold City: A Repairman Jack Novel, The Early Years Trilogy Book One - by F. Paul Wilson
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on December 11, 2013, 05:40:49 AM
I've been rereading Chekov's Enterprise (Walter Koenig's account of filming Star Trek: The Motion Picture).
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 12, 2013, 07:53:34 PM
Year's Best SF 15  edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer.
First-rate stories, all of them.

...

Hot And Steamy:  Tales of Steampunk Romance  edited by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenburg.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 19, 2013, 07:15:05 PM
Hot And Steamy:  Tales of Steampunk Romance  edited by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenburg.
Disappointing.  Tough to put a finger on why, but many of the stories seem to just stop instead of come to an ending.

...

Narabedla LTD. by Frederik Pohl.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on February 12, 2014, 07:37:18 AM
Treasure of Khan by Clive & Dirk Cussler
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 18, 2014, 08:36:46 PM
I've fallen over ten books behind in my posting here, so I need to skip 'em, or I'll never get caught up...


The Future of War  VOL III Orion's Sword Edited by Reginald Bretnor.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 21, 2014, 04:03:46 AM
The Future of War  VOL III Orion's Sword Edited by Reginald Bretnor.
Some non-fiction essays, some of which were a bit tedious, but the majority fictional SF was good.

...

Other Worlds, Other Times Edited by Sam Maskowitz and Roger Elwood.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 26, 2014, 01:02:39 AM
Other Worlds, Other Times Edited by Sam Maskowitz and Roger Elwood.
Decent selection of golden age stuff.  -Depending on how well you like golden age stuff, of course.

...

Dr. McCoy's least favorite novel, Spock, Messiah! by Theodore R. Cogswell and Charles A. Spano Jr.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 27, 2014, 07:20:50 PM
Dr. McCoy's least favorite novel, Spock, Messiah! by Theodore R. Cogswell and Charles A. Spano Jr.
I don't think I'd re-read this one since the 70's.  Not good, but by no means terrible.  Possibly worth your time if you like Star Trek fanfic.

...

In the Presence of Mine Enemies by Harry Turtledove.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 06, 2014, 03:57:40 AM
In the Presence of Mine Enemies by Harry Turtledove.
Turtledove characters sometimes have a quality that their thoughts and actions are explained so carefully and their conversation is so plodding that they seem a bit dim.  Turtledove also has a weakness for transplanting bits of real history into his alternates in a different time and place, but way too obviously.  This book, about Jews hiding in a 2009 Germany where the Nazis won, is guilty of both.

However, bad Turtledove is rather like bad sex; still pretty good.  I burned through an over 600 page book since Thursday reading only a while at bedtime each night.  I get sleepy much faster when the book sucks, but here I kept wanting to see what happened next.

Recommended.

...

Dr. McCoy's favorite Star Trek novel, Spock Must Die! by James Blish.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 11, 2014, 02:19:16 AM
Dr. McCoy's favorite Star Trek novel, Spock Must Die! by James Blish.
Another one I hadn't reread in decades.  Aside from annoying bits like Kirk calling McCoy "Doc" and the author thinking Uhura handled the sensors, the book's barely over 100 pages, yet took me four nights to read - I stayed awake through half again that much of a middlin' Turtledove novel the book before.  He DID get the science right -there's zero point energy in there over a decade before people even started calling it that- to an impressive degree, but the narrative just wasn't immersive as it needed to be.  Not recommended unless you're WAY into ST novels, to be a completest.

...

Alternate Generals edited by Harry Turtledove.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 14, 2014, 01:58:17 AM
Alternate Generals edited by Harry Turtledove.
Strongly recommended, at least to Rusty, who would love, love, LOVE all the excellent military battle yarns - many naval battles in a rather Hornbloweresque style.

...

The New Space Opera Edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on March 14, 2014, 02:32:38 AM
I'm re-reading Young Rissa and Rissa and Tregare by F.M. Busby, in preparation for writing some Hulzein Saga fanfic. Camp NaNoWriMo (sorta NaNoWriMo-lite) is coming up in April, and I've set myself a more modest goal of 10,000 words. Since I made 21,000 words in November, this time I should actually meet/exceed the word count.


Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on March 24, 2014, 01:31:41 PM
In "Virtual Reality Is Here. Can We Play With It?" http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=7885.0, (http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=7885.0,) the book Neuromancer is mentioned. I don't know if it's already been mentioned in this thread. It's a good read.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 09, 2014, 04:44:53 AM
The New Space Opera Edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan.
640 pages of smart, beguiling, absolutely top-drawer stuff.

...

The Enchanter Completed  A Tribute Anthology for L. Sprague de Camp  Edited by Harry Turtledove.

Started this mid-last week, and I'm 249 of 387 pages in...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 12, 2014, 10:27:59 PM
The Enchanter Completed  A Tribute Anthology for L. Sprague de Camp  Edited by Harry Turtledove.

Started this mid-last week, and I'm 249 of 387 pages in...
Good, solid stuff.  I was once insulted by de Camp.

...

The Ninth Galaxy Reader Edited by Frederik Pohl.  -From 1964, FWIW.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on April 20, 2014, 03:18:54 AM
Sort of a "bad habit" of mine: I start a book, then start another book before finishing the previous one.

Most of the way through The Dreamthief's Daughter, by Michael Moorcock. (Maybe I've slowed down because I couldn't find the next book at home - I think it got boxed up and put in storage, and I have yet to go there and dig through a multitude of boxes to find it.)


Started The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian: The Original Adventures of the Greatest Sword and Sorcery Hero of All Time, by Robert E. Howard, first in a collection of Conan stories, in the order they were published (although some are versions published later - maybe they didn't have the original pulp mags?) and unedited/unembellished by others. I guess the others would mostly be L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, who arranged the stories chronologically and added their own "pastiches," and whose editions I read as a boy.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 21, 2014, 04:05:01 PM
Alternate Generals edited by Harry Turtledove.
Strongly recommended, at least to Rusty, who would love, love, LOVE all the excellent military battle yarns - many naval battles in a rather Hornbloweresque style.
Bumped for Rusty's attention.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on April 21, 2014, 04:39:09 PM
Thanks, I've ordered some samples for my kindle. I'm starting a 2 week road trip to visit my parents tomorrow. I'll be reading more and online less.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Guynemer on April 27, 2014, 11:47:38 PM
Christopher Moore, of "Lamb" fame (and "Coyote Blue", "Sacre Bleu", "A Dirty Job", "Practical Demonkeeping", "Bloodsucking Fiends", etc.) has a new novel out, a sequel to "Fool".  "The Serpent of Venice" folds Othello and The Merchant of Venice into Pocket's story.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 28, 2014, 12:27:17 AM
The Ninth Galaxy Reader Edited by Frederik Pohl.  -From 1964, FWIW.
Solid 1964 stuff.  Recommended.

...

Return to Avalon  A Celebration of Marion Zimmer Bradley edited by Jennifer Roberson.  I'm actually about 2/3rds of the way through this one, due to not posting when I started.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 07, 2014, 01:32:59 AM
Return to Avalon  A Celebration of Marion Zimmer Bradley edited by Jennifer Roberson.  I'm actually about 2/3rds of the way through this one, due to not posting when I started.
If you like MZB, this is decent stuff in that style.

...

Psychlone by Greg Bear.  I wish I'd recognized it before I bought a second copy, but I don't remember how it ends, so...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 18, 2014, 02:33:13 AM
Psychlone by Greg Bear.  I wish I'd recognized it before I bought a second copy, but I don't remember how it ends, so...
I didn't like how it ended, and I still don't actually remember reading it before, but I recognized too many bits not to have,and think it was fairly recent the first time.  Recommended for no one but possibly Uno and fans of supernatural thrillers.  This was a very early Bear work - 1977 copyright, and I don't think he's old enough to have started much earlier - and he has become a much better writer over the years since.

...

Isaac Asimov's Valentines edited by Gardener Dozois and Sheila Williams.  Stories not by Asimov; one of those Asimov Presents deals he didn't even present, being long dead when it was assembled and published in 1999.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on May 18, 2014, 09:02:33 AM
Psychlone by Greg Bear.  I wish I'd recognized it before I bought a second copy, but I don't remember how it ends, so...
I didn't like how it ended, and I still don't actually remember reading it before, but I recognized too many bits not to have,and think it was fairly recent the first time.  Recommended for no one but possibly Uno and fans of supernatural thrillers.  This was a very early Bear work - 1977 copyright, and I don't think he's old enough to have started much earlier - and he has become a much better writer over the years since.
[/quote]

Perhaps it started as a short story, and Bear later made a full-blown novel of it?
Something like Kevin O'Donnell's ORA:KEL.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 18, 2014, 03:38:54 PM
Possibly.  The parts about the cabin and the pig spirit seemed more familiar than the rest...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 27, 2014, 06:48:43 PM
Isaac Asimov's Valentines edited by Gardener Dozois and Sheila Williams.  Stories not by Asimov; one of those Asimov Presents deals he didn't even present, being long dead when it was assembled and published in 1999.
Good stuff.  Recommended.

...

Spock's World by Diane Duane.  On the strength of Duane's previous The Romulan Way, which was magnificent until a crap ending, and Valka's recommendation, Mylochka picked this up.  I keep falling asleep without making it many pages, sometimes less than one, but that reflects my current circumstances, not the quality of the work so far.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sensor Osden on June 01, 2014, 02:26:37 PM
I'd like to recommend Barnaby Rogerson's 'The Last Crusaders' which takes in the chequered history of the various dynasties which ruled Morocco, the Barbary Corsairs, the Reconquista and the struggles of the Habsburgs at both ends of the Mediterranean with militant Islam.

A fascinating book.

Also the Wahloo/Sjowall detective stories which began in the 1960s and thus predate the current vogue for Nordic noir by quite a few decades...

Quote
It might count as one of the most remarkable writing collaborations in the history of publishing. A man and a woman, a couple, sit down every evening to write. Dinner is over, their children are in bed. She's never written a book before. He's a published author, but not with anything like this. They write in long hand, through the night if necessary. One chapter each. The following evening they swap chapters and type them up, editing each other as they go along. They don't argue, at least not about the words. These seem to flow naturally.

Ten years, 10 books. Each book 30 chapters, 300 chapters in all. Every one centred on the same group of middle-aged, mostly unprepossessing policemen in Stockholm's National Homicide Department. Often, very little happens. Sometimes for pages on end. What is more, each book is a Marxist critique of society. Their mission – or "the project" as the authors call it – is to hold up a mirror to social problems in 1960s Sweden.


http://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/nov/22/crime-thriller-maj-sjowall-sweden (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/nov/22/crime-thriller-maj-sjowall-sweden)


One I read recently, Roslund/Hellstrom's 'The Beast', reminded me very much of the Martin Beck series.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 01, 2014, 09:23:27 PM
How do you read while merged with the worldmind?
Title: The World Is Not Enough
Post by: Sensor Osden on June 03, 2014, 04:24:47 PM
Use large print and the Reader's Digest.


;)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 03, 2014, 04:28:41 PM
Oh, and get your extreme right-wing politics quota in the process?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Sensor Osden on June 03, 2014, 04:36:19 PM
If it floats your boat.  ;)

Me, I'd rather reread 'The Communist Manifesto'. Or even 'The Wealth of Nations'- there's a lot to be said for the clarity and beauty of 18th Century English prose.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 03, 2014, 04:39:41 PM
Thirteen years now since I read The Communist Manifesto - honestly, I didn't take much away that I didn't already know about Communism; noble ideas, but not workable without an entirely different people/ethical culture already in place.
Title: The Grouchy Marx tendency
Post by: Sensor Osden on June 03, 2014, 04:49:02 PM
True enough, but the fun is in trying to achieve the impossible dream.

You should read (if you haven't) U. K. Le Guin's 'The Dispossessed' and Cecelia Holland's 'Floating Worlds'- two different ways of looking at anarchist societies.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 03, 2014, 05:08:42 PM
I've been through The Left Hand of Darkness several times for general excellence, (LeGuin can't be beat for stories about cultures and people,) but the work always mentioned next in the same breath, The Dispossessed, I've never stumbled over a copy of.

It's one of those great SF works like The Forever War that you hear about forever, but that's dismayingly hard to find.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 04, 2014, 12:10:13 AM
The Bloody Crown of Conan - Robert E. Howard. Volume 2 of the Complete Conan of Cimmeria, from Del Rey Books' Fully Illustrated Robert E. Howard Library
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 05, 2014, 02:27:07 AM
Spock's World by Diane Duane.  On the strength of Duane's previous The Romulan Way, which was magnificent until a crap ending, and Valka's recommendation, Mylochka picked this up.  I keep falling asleep without making it many pages, sometimes less than one, but that reflects my current circumstances, not the quality of the work so far.
I didn't agree with every single little thing in there about the Vulcans, but this is basically the way I see them - some work harder at the logic-and-self-control stuff than others.  (Kirk called Spock "more Vulcan than the Vulcans" at one point.)  They have a regard for ceremony and tradition that may not be entirely logical, but it IS there and a thing.

Possibly Dr. McCoy's finest hour, playing against expectations nicely , even straining credulity.

A decent yarn.  It was no (most of) The Romulan Way, alas, but still recommended.

---

Deeper than the Darkness by Greg Benford.  I've read this one twice already over the years (published 1970, so a very early Beford work), but don't recall how it ends, or it sucking...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on June 05, 2014, 08:50:55 AM
A darker geometry - by Mark O. Martin and Gregory Benford
Set in Larry Niven's outside-writer opened Man-Kzin Wars time frame.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 05, 2014, 01:16:24 PM
That one's soooo incredibly not cannon...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on June 05, 2014, 02:28:55 PM
Why are you spoiling my read? :mad:
Enjoy that! :(
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 05, 2014, 02:35:29 PM
:D
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on June 05, 2014, 02:37:25 PM
If you really want to be a rundowner, talk about the "Colonel's Vauhn Tigerman" then. ;hypocrite
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 05, 2014, 02:45:57 PM
What about it?  That one didn't break the toys...

Mind you A Darker Geometry IS good...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on June 05, 2014, 03:34:58 PM
Oh well, I switched to "The Wunder War" now. Caves galore there.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 05, 2014, 03:35:44 PM
That one breaks continuity a little, too, if you ask me.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on June 05, 2014, 03:43:15 PM
Sofar, I only came as far as the caves. :dunno:
'Scouting/exploring Kzinti before their main force was near Wunderland had me frowning, until I grokked there was appearantly already a conflict going in space at the time the Defense Committee was set up.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on June 05, 2014, 03:44:42 PM
How many of the War books do you have, and are they in paper or e-format?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 05, 2014, 03:51:28 PM
Paper - and I've missed a few of the very latest, but 10 or so.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on June 05, 2014, 05:25:25 PM
Handy amnesia on Dimity. ;lol
Still, the rescuers should've been able to see battle damage. ;q;
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Vishniac on June 05, 2014, 09:32:34 PM
Started The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian: The Original Adventures of the Greatest Sword and Sorcery Hero of All Time, by Robert E. Howard, first in a collection of Conan stories, in the order they were published (although some are versions published later - maybe they didn't have the original pulp mags?) and unedited/unembellished by others. I guess the others would mostly be L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, who arranged the stories chronologically and added their own "pastiches," and whose editions I read as a boy.
It's not really reading but...if you like them, you should get the Conan comics by Marvel.
Especially the series Savage Sword of Conan. You'll love them.

As this series is in black & white, there is no disadvantage to buy the essential paperbacks. (Better have a good credit card though: lots of albums, lots of stories...)
Conan thief, Conan pirate, Conan mercenary, Conan warlord, Conan adventurer, told and drawn by the greatest artists such as Roy Thomas with a luxus of details on every page just...incredible!  ;b; The fun never ends. And there are the stories by R.Howard illustrated.

I own almost all Conan comics stories published in French but there are probably many more in English (and in the right order).
http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Sword-Conan-Vol-v/dp/1593078382/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401999610&sr=1-1&keywords=savage+sword+of+conan (http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Sword-Conan-Vol-v/dp/1593078382/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401999610&sr=1-1&keywords=savage+sword+of+conan)

(http://www.ferretpress.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Roy-Thomas-John-Buscema-Alfredo-Alcalá-The-Savage-Sword-of-Conan-7-19752.jpg)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 05, 2014, 09:55:16 PM
I believe it was Thomas who actually coined the term "Conan the Barbarian".
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 06, 2014, 02:49:05 AM
I have read a couple of the Conan comic collections. Maybe someday I'll get more.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 09, 2014, 05:15:25 AM
Deeper than the Darkness by Greg Benford.  I've read this one twice already over the years (published 1970, so a very early Beford work), but don't recall how it ends, or it sucking...
This is an earlier version of The Stars in Shroud, but I don't remember well enough to tell if the latter was an improvement.  This was decent.

---

Bodyguard and four other short science fiction novels from Galaxy edited by H. L. Gold.

-I already burned through the whole 273 pages in a few nights, so it must have been okay - not feeling good for the last week -stomach troubles- helped, though.  Sometimes, you even I don't feel like sitting at the keyboard all day.

It's always tough to know what to say about anthologies w/o reviewing each story, which would be too much work - but if you like the sort of SF they published in Galaxy circa 1960, you'll like this.

---

The Maker of Universes by Phillip Jose Farmer.  First of the World of Tiers series.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on June 12, 2014, 08:34:59 PM
Grossgeister Swamp - Man-Kzin Wars XI, by Hal Colebatch.

A welcome return of the Jotoki. 8) ;b;
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 13, 2014, 06:42:32 PM
The Maker of Universes by Phillip Jose Farmer.  First of the World of Tiers series.
Sort of like the Riverworld books, if not as deep, ultimately.  A huge artificial world toured by the protagonist, who has many adventures along the way.

---

A Private Cosmos by Phillip Jose Farmer.  Third in the same series.  See previous remarks.  Recommended if you don't get your hopes too high.

---

Dayworld by Phillip Jose Farmer.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Ultimatum on June 17, 2014, 07:45:53 PM
I'm presently reading The Wiseman's fear,and I've just finished reading Leviathan Wakes.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 17, 2014, 08:04:03 PM
Who are those by?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Ultimatum on June 17, 2014, 08:15:11 PM
Patrick Rothfuss(Wiseman's fear) and  James S.A. Corey (Leviathan Wakes)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on July 10, 2014, 08:19:19 AM
Other Times Than Peace, by David Drake
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on July 30, 2014, 02:56:59 AM
Nightworld (A Repairman Jack Novel/ last book of the Adversary Cycle), by F. Paul Wilson
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 10, 2014, 10:32:47 AM
Deadly Quicksilver Lies (Garrett, P.I. #7), by Glen Cook
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 16, 2014, 09:18:35 PM
Moonlight Mile (Kenzie & Gennaro #6), by Dennis Lehane
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 19, 2014, 05:56:37 AM
Protector (Foreigner #14), by CJ Cherryh
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 24, 2014, 11:44:05 PM
Modesty Blaise: Pieces of Modesty, by Peter O'Donnell

Quick Fixes: Tales of Repairman Jack, by F. Paul Wilson
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 25, 2014, 10:34:10 PM
George RR Martin's Wild Cards: The Hard Call, written by Daniel Abraham, illustrated by Eric Battle
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on September 01, 2014, 05:07:35 PM
The Skrayling Tree: The Albino in America (sequel to The Dreamthief's Daughter), by Michael Moorcock
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: JarlWolf on September 03, 2014, 12:43:09 PM
Read Gotrek and Felix: Trollslayer recently.. son in law lended... was alright. Characters have a lot of personality to them, I do feel it can become somewhat episodic though. Fairly good read for an afternoon or evening.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on September 03, 2014, 07:28:30 PM
I'm only reading 'Shadow of Saganami' by David Weber. :-[
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 03, 2014, 07:33:40 PM
I was a little down, and lost track of posting what I was reading in June, when I ran out of new books.  Lately, I been re-reading stuff I already posted about...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on September 08, 2014, 04:28:19 AM
The White Wolf's Son: The Albino Underground, by Michael Moorcock
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on September 08, 2014, 07:46:16 PM
At all costs - David Weber. ???
Title: Peter Thiel's 6 favorite books that predict the future
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 25, 2014, 12:51:11 AM
Quote
Peter Thiel's 6 favorite books that predict the future
The PayPal co-founder recommends works by Francis Bacon, Tom Wolfe, and more
By The Week Staff | 10:35am ET   


(https://7e8c.https.cdn.softlayer.net/807E8C/origin.theweek.com/img/dir_0125/62792_article_full.jpg?209)
Courtesy of the author



The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Random House, $17). The weirdest idea anyone ever had about the future is that we should expect it to look like the past — but that's what the reigning science of statistics assumes. Nassim Taleb has not been fooled; he is the single best guide to understanding uncertainty.

New Atlantis by Francis Bacon (Wiley, $12). Today we take for granted what used to exist only in dreams. Francis Bacon dreamed of science and technology to make our lives better. We've gotten a lot done since, but New Atlantis is still futuristic, especially for science fiction from 1627.

The American Challenge by Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber (out of print). In 1968, Servan-Schreiber predicted relentless economic growth for America; he wrote this book to wake up his European audience to the threat of eclipse. It was a controversial best-seller, but nobody argued with the premise. In the 1960s, everyone expected progress. This is the future we have lost.

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (Picador, $17). "What is it, I wondered, that makes a man willing to sit up on top of an enormous Roman candle…and wait for someone to light the fuse?" Wolfe asks that question in his classic about the test pilots who became the first astronauts. It's both a great history of the space race and a meditation on how to steel yourself to take risks.

The Sovereign Individual by Lord William Rees-Mogg and James Dale Davidson (Touchstone, $29). This book breaks the taboo on prophecy: We're not supposed to talk about a future that doesn't include the powerful states that rule over us today. Rees-Mogg and Davidson argue that national governments could soon become as antiquated as 19th-century empires.

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (Spectra, $16). You can't build new things just with technical know-how; you need imagination. Stephenson's is boundless: This novel is not just the most entertaining book you can read about artificial intelligence and nanotechnology; it will inspire inventions your kids will use — or create.

— Facebook investor Peter Thiel is the author of the new book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.
http://theweek.com/article/index/268318/peter-thiels-6-favorite-books-that-predict-the-future (http://theweek.com/article/index/268318/peter-thiels-6-favorite-books-that-predict-the-future)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Dio on October 27, 2014, 03:09:45 AM
Hellstrom's Hive / PROJECT 40 by Frank Herbert.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 03, 2014, 08:42:55 PM
I recently re-read In the Courts of the Crimson Kings by S.M. Stirling - and I can't underline strongly enough was an awesome read it is for anyone who loves planetary romance like Edgar Rice Burroughs used to do - only not written in a turgid and overwrought Victorian style (with a strong gay subtext).
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Flux on November 11, 2014, 04:04:45 AM
Just finished "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner before I saw the movie of it.
Then I speed-read both sequels.
I've gotta say, the first made me want more but the last 2....
Just a bunch of filler, I think half the chapters ended with Thomas (main character) losing consciousness :-\
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on December 07, 2014, 07:10:33 PM
Serentiy 4: Leaves on the Wind, by Zack Whedon & Georges Jeanty with Fabio Moon
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Vishniac on December 11, 2014, 05:59:08 PM
Read Gotrek and Felix: Trollslayer recently.. son in law lended... was alright. Characters have a lot of personality to them, I do feel it can become somewhat episodic though. Fairly good read for an afternoon or evening.
Trollslayer is alright but fairly bland.
Its followings are much much better: Skavenslayer and Demonslayer are truly epic and entertaining.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on December 24, 2014, 03:33:08 AM
I haven't read this one - yet.

War History Online | News
The Strangest Battle of WWII: When Americans and Germans Fought the SS Together

on January 19, 2014 at 23:00

(http://www.warhistoryonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/M4-Sherman_tank-European_theatre.jpg)

thedailybeast.com reports: Days after Hitler’s suicide a group of American soldiers, French prisoners, and, yes, German soldiers defended an Austrian castle against an SS division—the only time Germans and Allies fought together in World War II. Andrew Roberts on a story so wild that it has to be made into a movie.

The most extraordinary things about Stephen Harding’s The Last Battle, a truly incredible tale of World War II, are that it hasn’t been told before in English, and that it hasn’t already been made into a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Here are the basic facts: on 5 May 1945—five days after Hitler’s suicide—three Sherman tanks from the 23rd Tank Battalion of the U.S. 12th Armored Division under the command of Capt. John C. ‘Jack’ Lee Jr., liberated an Austrian castle called Schloss Itter in the Tyrol, a special prison that housed various French VIPs, including the ex-prime ministers Paul Reynaud and Eduard Daladier and former commanders-in-chief Generals Maxime Weygand and Paul Gamelin, amongst several others. Yet when the units of the veteran 17th Waffen-SS Panzer Grenadier Division arrived to recapture the castle and execute the prisoners, Lee’s beleaguered and outnumbered men were joined by anti-Nazi German soldiers of the Wehrmacht, as well as some of the extremely feisty wives and girlfriends of the (needless-to-say hitherto bickering) French VIPs, and together they fought off some of the best crack troops of the Third Reich. Steven Spielberg, how did you miss this story?

(http://www.warhistoryonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/1004663_1807685589370432_793174618_n-439x640.jpg)
The very model of a Wehrmacht officer… In this photo, newly contributed by Sepp Gangl’s son, Norbert, the man who would later help Jack Lee defend Castle Itter is seen during a rare happy moment in 1944, probably just before the Allied landings at Normandy (Source: Facebook)

The battle for the fairytale, 13th century Castle Itter was the only time in WWII that American and German troops joined forces in combat, and it was also the only time in American history that U.S. troops defended a medieval castle against sustained attack by enemy forces. To make it even more film worthy, two of the women imprisoned at Schloss Itter—Augusta Bruchlen, who was the mistress of the labour leader Leon Jouhaux, and Madame Weygand, the wife General Maxime Weygand—were there because they chose to stand by their men. They, along with Paul Reynaud’s mistress Christiane Mabire, were incredibly strong, capable, and determined women made for portrayal on the silver screen.

(http://www.warhistoryonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/1368348328881.cached-640x426.jpg)
‘The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe’ By Stephen Harding. 256 pages. Da Capo. $25.99.

There are two primary heroes of this—as I must reiterate, entirely factual—story, both of them straight out of central casting. Jack Lee was the quintessential warrior: smart, aggressive, innovative—and, of course, a cigar-chewing, hard-drinking man who watched out for his troops and was willing to think way, way outside the box when the tactical situation demanded it, as it certainly did once the Waffen-SS started to assault the castle. The other was the much-decorated Wehrmacht officer Major Josef ‘Sepp’ Gangl, who died helping the Americans protect the VIPs. This is the first time that Gangl’s story has been told in English, though he is rightly honored in present-day Austria and Germany as a hero of the anti-Nazi resistance.

http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/wwiis-strangest-battle-americans-germans-fought-together.html (http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/wwiis-strangest-battle-americans-germans-fought-together.html)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 24, 2014, 03:47:50 AM
This is SO Rusty...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on December 24, 2014, 04:56:18 AM
Never heard of it.
Now I've got to read more about it. Purchased!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on December 24, 2014, 06:26:23 AM
Meanwhile, I wanted to share one of the funniest series of books (in terms of laughing out loud) I've read since Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles. It's the fantasy story of the world's last Druid, a survivor from the Iron Age due to magical discoveries. He poses as the owner of an occult bookstore/herbal tea shop in Tempe AZ. His attorneys are a werewolf and a vampire ( who wants his help to kill Thor) . One of the Irish gods wants to kill the Druid. Another is his protector.

The Druid has a pet Irish Wolfhound, and he's telepathically linked to it. The hound, Oberon,  is obsessed with sausages, bacon, and poodles. Oberon's terrible with time estimations. He's also handy with descriptions of scents. < someone dead is coming > usually means a vampire. Oberon complains that it would be so much easier if he were allowed to sniff butts.

There is also a nosey neighbor who happens to have a grenade launcher in his garage, an old Irish widow who loves her whiskey, and a gang of ghouls with a refrigerated truck on speed dial to clean up the crime scenes.

Mostly, our hero is trying to mind his own business and survive, but he is always being tricked or drawn into supernatural turf wars and plots between ancient gods. Then there are witches, the fae, demons, and various other mythological beings from multiple pantheons and legends. Coyote is a recurring character. The Druid  also has a drink with Jesus, who observes that people mostly summon Jesus either in an emergency, or a false alarm. Nobody ever asks him to have a friendly beer.

Anyway- action, plot, humor, and all of the books seem to have 4&1/2 stars out of 5 on average as a composite review on Amazon.

Even if I didn't convince you with this review, I'm certain it's worth your time to read the reviews of these books at one of your favorite websites.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on December 24, 2014, 03:28:54 PM
Never heard of it.
Now I've got to read more about it. Purchased!


Me too. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on December 24, 2014, 03:47:45 PM
Meanwhile, I wanted to share one of the funniest series of books (in terms of laughing out loud) I've read since Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles. It's the fantasy story of the world's last Druid, a survivor from the Iron Age due to magical discoveries. He poses as the owner of an occult bookstore/herbal tea shop in Tempe AZ. His attorneys are a werewolf and a vampire ( who wants his help to kill Thor) . One of the Irish gods wants to kill the Druid. Another is his protector.

The Druid has a pet Irish Wolfhound, and he's telepathically linked to it. The hound, Oberon,  is obsessed with sausages, bacon, and poodles. Oberon's terrible with time estimations. He's also handy with descriptions of scents. < someone dead is coming > usually means a vampire. Oberon complains that it would be so much easier if he were allowed to sniff butts.

There is also a nosey neighbor who happens to have a grenade launcher in his garage, an old Irish widow who loves her whiskey, and a gang of ghouls with a refrigerated truck on speed dial to clean up the crime scenes.

Mostly, our hero is trying to mind his own business and survive, but he is always being tricked or drawn into supernatural turf wars and plots between ancient gods. Then there are witches, the fae, demons, and various other mythological beings from multiple pantheons and legends. Coyote is a recurring character. The Druid  also has a drink with Jesus, who observes that people mostly summon Jesus either in an emergency, or a false alarm. Nobody ever asks him to have a friendly beer.

Anyway- action, plot, humor, and all of the books seem to have 4&1/2 stars out of 5 on average as a composite review on Amazon.

Even if I didn't convince you with this review, I'm certain it's worth your time to read the reviews of these books at one of your favorite websites.

Sounds right up my alley. 

While one it, have you looked into the Dresden files?  Sounds like it would be on a similar vein.  Wizard detective in Chicago, the series starts off as something of an homage to hard-boiled detective novels with Harry helping the police with cases that involve occult killings or werewolves, but after a couple novels establish the players, Harry is sucked into bigger events of the supernatural world, often against his will. 

The list of recurring characters is hard to list without making spoilers, but they are many, and little nuances and things that happen always seem to come back in later novels. 

There was a TV series loosely based on the books a while back (only one episode was based on a story from the books, iirc).  They don't do the books justice, but get the basic idea across. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on December 24, 2014, 08:19:13 PM
Sounds right up my alley. 

Uh... Now that I think about it, that may very well be. You might love them- or hate them. He trades favors with Coyote, and winds up fighting some "Skin walkers" on Dine lands in one of the books. I have no idea if he got his facts straight  or if it's artistic license.

So I'll make you, and you only an offer. I'll guarantee the stuff. If you buy an Iron Druid book or audio book and decide you don't like it,  I'll buy it back from you. I'm thinking about getting the stuff for a friends & family lending library anyway. If you go the e-book bundle route and don't like it... I'll refund your purchase price, but you'll owe me a consult for fog/ snow machine selection.

While one it, have you looked into the Dresden files?  Sounds like it would be on a similar vein.  Wizard detective in Chicago, the series starts off as something of an homage to hard-boiled detective novels with Harry helping the police with cases that involve occult killings or werewolves, but after a couple novels establish the players, Harry is sucked into bigger events of the supernatural world, often against his will. 

The list of recurring characters is hard to list without making spoilers, but they are many, and little nuances and things that happen always seem to come back in later novels. 

There was a TV series loosely based on the books a while back (only one episode was based on a story from the books, iirc).  They don't do the books justice, but get the basic idea across.
 

This sounds very similar. Except that Harry is a private detective, and "Atticus" ( as he likes to be called ) is more like "The Fugitive".

I ordered the e-sample. Well, it's a busy day, and company just arrived.

Merry Christmas everyone!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on December 24, 2014, 08:28:59 PM
oh, I'll just library a couple before I decide to buy. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on December 28, 2014, 05:29:26 AM
It took me a while to get into the groove of a private detective novel.

I am enjoying Dresden. Getting a sense of the rules of his world. I care about him and some of the other characters- Lt. Murphy, Susan the reporter, Bob the skull. The mysteries intrigue me. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through the werewolf book now. I recognize some of the Chicago locations. I expect to complete the series.

Thanks, Uno!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on December 28, 2014, 09:08:00 AM
Insurrection by David Weber and Steve White.
From Baen Books Free Library.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on January 15, 2015, 01:58:37 AM
I started The Last Battle. It  was educational. I read about the history of the castle and the biographies of some of it's VIP prisoners.  Apparently the labor unions thought that if they could reach across borders, the factory workers could actually prevent/ stop  wars.

An interesting idea. Idle factories means no war machine. Trouble was that the various flavors of socialists and Communists couldn't agree. Revolutionaries aren't pacifists at heart.

But it wasn't the page-turner that The Dresden Files are, and I returned to that series. I'm about ten books in now.

Uno, I'd say Iron Druid is right up your alley. While the characters and settings are different, the deeper I get into it, the more parallels I find.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on January 15, 2015, 02:56:14 AM
The stars at war by David Weber and Steve White.
Hey, it's free to read. :story:
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 15, 2015, 02:51:28 PM
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu  Fascinating Vampire story that predates Dracula. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Mart on January 16, 2015, 10:49:06 PM
Recall Not Earth by C.C. MacApp
The story is from 1970 and it is in large part (if not 100%) space opera. One of the best sci-fi books I have ever read. Simple idea, yet written in such a way, that you cannot stop reading before the end.
Earth enters into Galactic intrigues and is destroyed with nuclear weapons. Only a handful survivors remain from a space scouting fleet. They now serve as mercenaries for other empires. Humanity has no future, cause there were no women in that fleet. Yet, some were rescued shortly before Earth was defeated by ...
Ok, the rest of the plot is for the reading
What's inside? Spaceship battles, small and huge, galactic empires intrigues, derelict spaceships, ...
Link (http://www.amazon.com/Recall-Not-Earth-C-MacApp/dp/B000CLM6RM)

Some years ago, someone told me, that there was a movie made based on this book (in Australia?).
Anyone knows more about it?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Flux on January 16, 2015, 10:53:27 PM
Recall Not Earth by C.C. MacApp
I know that this is a book I want. Thats about it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on January 18, 2015, 06:05:05 PM
So I'm  maybe 11 books into the Dresden Chronicles. This excerpt made me laugh out loud.-


“Nothing. Someone was here first. They erased everything related to the shipment less than three hours ago.”

 “What about the paper copy?” I asked.

 “Harry,” Susan said. “Have you ever heard of the paperless office?”

 “Yeah,” I said. “It’s like Bigfoot. Someone says he knows someone who saw him, but you don’t ever actually see him yourself.” I paused. “Though I suppose I actually have seen Bigfoot, and he seems like a decent guy, but the metaphor still stands.

Butcher, Jim (2010-12-28). The Dresden Files Collection 7-12 (Penguin Classics) (Kindle Locations 36919-36924). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

My wife the CPA says this is very true! :D
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 20, 2015, 12:32:20 AM
Ooo, you're on Changes....


among my favorites
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on January 21, 2015, 04:23:09 PM
I must agree. It was quite epic, and we got to learn more about Mouse, Harry's Fairy godmother, and Harry's family tree. The trial by combat in the Erl King's hall could have been a climax in one of the earlier books. I liked the part about Odin, too. Quite a page-turner.

As for the ending, when something like that happens on television, my wife and I say that they must be in contract negotiations. ;). Even so, if that had been the last book I'd consider it an excellent series, and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in wizards and the like in the modern day.

But knowing that there were  further books, I had to see how Butcher approached it. I finished Ghosts last night. So just when the rules of his magical universe were well established- he gives it a twist. I really enjoyed all of the Star Wars and Star Trek references in this one.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 22, 2015, 03:26:22 PM
Now you're going to be stuck in the waiting for the next one boat with me soon. 

Did you get side jobs?  I think that was the one with all the short stories.  I think you're about the place you should read that anthology, before going on to post ghost story.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 22, 2015, 03:30:29 PM
Love Cold Days. 

Skin Game is a fairly by the numbers heist film, really, and you either appreciate how that works or you don't. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on January 22, 2015, 10:20:24 PM
Now you're going to be stuck in the waiting for the next one boat with me soon. 

Did you get side jobs?  I think that was the one with all the short stories.  I think you're about the place you should read that anthology, before going on to post ghost story.
No.
I'll have to look for them.

Thanks!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on January 27, 2015, 06:20:10 AM
Finished the Side Jobs. I think I liked the one about the Love Spell and the Illinois state fair best. Or maybe the one about the Grendelkind.

On to Cold Days.



TANGENT- Why can't there be a better correlation between books and covers? It's a common problem in the industry, but you'd think they'd get it straightened out by the tenth book in a series.

IIRC - Harry Dresden is over 6&1/2 feet tall, his staff is only 6. He doesn't have a hat.
  He does have a revolver. Or two, depending which book.

Oh well.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 27, 2015, 07:54:32 PM
TANGENT- Why can't there be a better correlation between books and covers? It's a common problem in the industry, but you'd think they'd get it straightened out by the tenth book in a series.

IIRC - Harry Dresden is over 6&1/2 feet tall, his staff is only 6. He doesn't have a hat.
  He does have a revolver. Or two, depending which book.

Oh well.

The hat is actually a running gag between the artist and Butcher. 

Uh, you'd have to point me at the staff problem...IIRC the other weaponry is explained in the books which it appears on the cover...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on January 28, 2015, 06:20:39 PM
Oh! This is why I love reading novel series!

Yeah, I know, not all authors and series are created equal, and lesser ones are "same guy/different crap", but Dresden Chronicles is an example of why I invest the time and money into a series. Things tie together into larger plots. The conversations, the villains, etc. from earlier novels turn out not to be red herring or isolated incident you thought they were.

I think I'm about 40% through Cold Days and loving it.

As for the covers... the part about  the hat ...that's cool.
The staff size can wait until I finish reading.

Back to the book.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 28, 2015, 06:55:55 PM
Almost through a re-read of The Forever War by Joe Haleman.

 ;b; ;b; ;b; ;b; ;b;
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 28, 2015, 07:50:10 PM
Oh! This is why I love reading novel series!

Yeah, I know, not all authors and series are created equal, and lesser ones are "same guy/different crap", but Dresden Chronicles is an example of why I invest the time and money into a series. Things tie together into larger plots. The conversations, the villains, etc. from earlier novels turn out not to be red herring or isolated incident you thought they were.

Just finished a re-read over the summer, and there are a couple characters I see coming back in the future and one chance encounter along with a comment from Lea in a much later book that I'm really looking forward to how it comes back around. 

Cold Days is probably my favorite of the series, with Changes and Skin Game being tied for second.  But, my favorite scene among the books is still the doughnut. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Vishniac on January 29, 2015, 12:41:04 AM
Almost through a re-read of The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.

 ;b; ;b; ;b; ;b; ;b;
A hell of a book, Man!
Creepy from the start to the end...except the last page which leaves you happy at last.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 29, 2015, 12:58:24 AM
Yeah - some of the appeal is a happy ending after all the bleakness.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on January 29, 2015, 01:39:35 AM
Oh! This is why I love reading novel series!

Yeah, I know, not all authors and series are created equal, and lesser ones are "same guy/different crap", but Dresden Chronicles is an example of why I invest the time and money into a series. Things tie together into larger plots. The conversations, the villains, etc. from earlier novels turn out not to be red herring or isolated incident you thought they were.



Just finished a re-read over the summer, and there are a couple characters I see coming back in the future and one chance encounter along with a comment from Lea in a much later book that I'm really looking forward to how it comes back around. 

Cold Days is probably my favorite of the series, with Changes and Skin Game being tied for second.  But, my favorite scene among the books is still the doughnut.

That was pretty awesome...

I just read- "[I started counting to three hundred and briefly wondered why I kept running into repeat uses of various locations around town. This wasn’t the first time I’d dealt with the bad guys choosing to reuse a location different bad guys had used before them. Maybe there was a Villainous Time-share Association. Maybe my life was actually a basic-cable television show, and they couldn’t afford to spend money on new sets all the time.

Butcher, Jim (2012-11-27). Cold Days (The Dresden Files, Book 14) (p. 366). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition. /i]

The scene where Harry and Molly picked up Mouse with the Star Wars and Scooby Do references was pretty good, too.

Since it's set in Chicago I sort of wish he'd use some Blues Brothers-

"Jake: No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD! "
**********************************

Jake: We're putting the band back together.

Mr. Fabulous: Forget it. No way.

Elwood: We're on a mission from God.
*************************


Anyway, glad to know it keeps getting better. The other one I really enjoyed was White Night.

Back to the book...there was an explosion in the warehouse.

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Flux on January 29, 2015, 02:03:10 AM
Began reading Centauri Dawn.
UN fans would like it. Pravin backstory galore.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on January 29, 2015, 04:15:17 PM
Okay, I never expected the Winter Lady to pull a pistol...
Well, I guess the Summer Lady didn't either.

Best one yet!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on January 29, 2015, 06:54:42 PM
On to Skin Game already! 

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on January 31, 2015, 07:42:21 AM
That was great! I guess I'm caught up. It's nice to see some of the elephants in the story acknowledged... Maggy and Murphy, in particular.

Personally, I figure Dresden has a better chance for a long term relationship with Molly as they have more in common - Wizards, Winter court, potential for a long life, and the same sense of humor. 

Well, if I were in Harry's shoes I would have said to Marcone, "Oh, I found this beside the Holy Grail, and I can feel the power in it. I think it's the True Sacred Shroud. I thought you might like to borrow it for a while and run some tests on it, just keep it safe until we have need of it. "


Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on February 02, 2015, 06:05:13 PM
I don't own that one (only paper backs for me), so didn't re-read it, can't remember, did they specifically mention what else was picked up besides the grail?  Looking forward to seeing what chaos the grail unleashes. 

It never really did let us know what happened with the fake one, either.  While we can assume it didn't heal the girl, we don't KNOW.  I absolutely loved the whole concept that it doesn't matter whether the fake was real or not, the fact so many BELIEVED in it is what gave it power. 

I don't see Dresden trusting his feelings with Molly now she's the winter lady, to be honest.  How much is real vs the mantle influence?  This on top of all the reasons he already has to avoid that situation. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on February 03, 2015, 02:16:54 AM
Merovingen Nights #1: Festival Moon, edited by CJ Cherryh
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on February 03, 2015, 04:56:53 AM
I don't own that one (only paper backs for me), so didn't re-read it, can't remember, did they specifically mention what else was picked up besides the grail?  Looking forward to seeing what chaos the grail unleashes. 

It never really did let us know what happened with the fake one, either.  While we can assume it didn't heal the girl, we don't KNOW.  I absolutely loved the whole concept that it doesn't matter whether the fake was real or not, the fact so many BELIEVED in it is what gave it power. 

I don't see Dresden trusting his feelings with Molly now she's the winter lady, to be honest.  How much is real vs the mantle influence?  This on top of all the reasons he already has to avoid that situation.

Let's see, I think there were 4 or 5 items. The cup, the cloth, the crown/wreath of thorns, a knife of some kind... I'll get back to you on that one.

Yeah, the shroud stuff was great, just like all references to the magic of Faith.

As for Dresden's love life, I fear he's stuck on star crossed. 
They've introduced an interesting new concept- being pierced by iron or steel can de-activate the mantles. They can put in  some steel pins or earrings or something if they need a reality check, or if Harry doesn't want to be an asshat with whoever he's with.

I have no idea what they plan to do with the Grail. Presumably the shroud can raise the dead.
I assume the Crown is a physical and psychological torture device.

Here we go-
"And upon the marble sat five simple objects. An ancient wooden placard, its paint so faded that the symbols could not be recognized. A circlet woven from thorny branches. A clay cup. A folded cloth. A knife with a wooden handle and a leaf-shaped blade."

Butcher, Jim (2014-05-27). Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files (p. 339). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

I'm assuming the wooden placard was "The King of the Jews" from the crucifixion,
but I'm stumped by the knife.

Any ideas?

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on February 07, 2015, 05:51:22 PM
The Sea without a Shore (RCN #10), by David Drake
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on February 08, 2015, 08:42:20 PM
I haven't read this one - yet.

War History Online | News
The Strangest Battle of WWII: When Americans and Germans Fought the SS Together

on January 19, 2014 at 23:00

([url]http://www.warhistoryonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/M4-Sherman_tank-European_theatre.jpg[/url])

thedailybeast.com reports: Days after Hitler’s suicide a group of American soldiers, French prisoners, and, yes, German soldiers defended an Austrian castle against an SS division—the only time Germans and Allies fought together in World War II. Andrew Roberts on a story so wild that it has to be made into a movie.

The most extraordinary things about Stephen Harding’s The Last Battle, a truly incredible tale of World War II, are that it hasn’t been told before in English, and that it hasn’t already been made into a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Here are the basic facts: on 5 May 1945—five days after Hitler’s suicide—three Sherman tanks from the 23rd Tank Battalion of the U.S. 12th Armored Division under the command of Capt. John C. ‘Jack’ Lee Jr., liberated an Austrian castle called Schloss Itter in the Tyrol, a special prison that housed various French VIPs, including the ex-prime ministers Paul Reynaud and Eduard Daladier and former commanders-in-chief Generals Maxime Weygand and Paul Gamelin, amongst several others. Yet when the units of the veteran 17th Waffen-SS Panzer Grenadier Division arrived to recapture the castle and execute the prisoners, Lee’s beleaguered and outnumbered men were joined by anti-Nazi German soldiers of the Wehrmacht, as well as some of the extremely feisty wives and girlfriends of the (needless-to-say hitherto bickering) French VIPs, and together they fought off some of the best crack troops of the Third Reich. Steven Spielberg, how did you miss this story?

([url]http://www.warhistoryonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/1004663_1807685589370432_793174618_n-439x640.jpg[/url])
The very model of a Wehrmacht officer… In this photo, newly contributed by Sepp Gangl’s son, Norbert, the man who would later help Jack Lee defend Castle Itter is seen during a rare happy moment in 1944, probably just before the Allied landings at Normandy (Source: Facebook)

The battle for the fairytale, 13th century Castle Itter was the only time in WWII that American and German troops joined forces in combat, and it was also the only time in American history that U.S. troops defended a medieval castle against sustained attack by enemy forces. To make it even more film worthy, two of the women imprisoned at Schloss Itter—Augusta Bruchlen, who was the mistress of the labour leader Leon Jouhaux, and Madame Weygand, the wife General Maxime Weygand—were there because they chose to stand by their men. They, along with Paul Reynaud’s mistress Christiane Mabire, were incredibly strong, capable, and determined women made for portrayal on the silver screen.

([url]http://www.warhistoryonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/1368348328881.cached-640x426.jpg[/url])
‘The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe’ By Stephen Harding. 256 pages. Da Capo. $25.99.

There are two primary heroes of this—as I must reiterate, entirely factual—story, both of them straight out of central casting. Jack Lee was the quintessential warrior: smart, aggressive, innovative—and, of course, a cigar-chewing, hard-drinking man who watched out for his troops and was willing to think way, way outside the box when the tactical situation demanded it, as it certainly did once the Waffen-SS started to assault the castle. The other was the much-decorated Wehrmacht officer Major Josef ‘Sepp’ Gangl, who died helping the Americans protect the VIPs. This is the first time that Gangl’s story has been told in English, though he is rightly honored in present-day Austria and Germany as a hero of the anti-Nazi resistance.

[url]http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/wwiis-strangest-battle-americans-germans-fought-together.html[/url] ([url]http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/wwiis-strangest-battle-americans-germans-fought-together.html[/url])


Well, I finally got around to completing the book. It starts with the history of the castle and the biographies of the various people involved, and that can be a little dry at times, so it's not the kind of book I can read in one sitting. Also, the names of the French were meaningless to me, and I had a really hard time keeping them straight.

It would seem to me that normal people, when imprisoned by a common enemy,  could let the past stay in the past. Or, they could respect each other's intentions and patriotism , even when they didn't agree with their choices. I don't know if it was the nature of Frenchmen, as my wife insists ( she is biased by her decades in employ of a French company) , but they were particularly and consistently quarrelsome and vindictive towards one another. Sort of an "if you hadn't lost the war, we wouldn't be here!" attitude.

But beyond that, I can only endorse the above review. It should have been made into a movie.  It should be. You have the ultra villainous SS intent on committing war crimes. You have everybody else defying them.

Well, it's also a story of initiative vs. inertia. Heroism vs military bureaucracy. A lot of people understandably wanted to sit tight, and survive the war, while some wanted to save lives from the SS fanatics.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 15, 2015, 06:26:32 PM
I'm most of the way through another re-read of SF classic Tau Zero by Pohl Anderson.  -Has it ever occurred to anyone that the resolution of the ship's dilemma is impossible several times over?

a) They are traveling slower than light -the central idea of the book, after all- and would have been drawn into the monobloc with everything else.

b) The cosmic egg should have sucked up space-time along with all the matter and energy, leaving them nowhere to orbit.

c) The creation of a new universe would be an energetic event, to say the least, many orders of magnitude of orders of magnitude beyond surviving a ground zero nuclear explosion.


...Am I leaving anything out?  Any holes in my analysis?  Anyone think they can handwave these problems away?  Geo?  Anyone?...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on February 15, 2015, 06:51:14 PM
I merely read the Wiki synopsis, but to me it looks like they'd never even be able to reach this 'monobloc'. The synopsis says they have to keep the engine running for anti-radiation shielding reasons. But between galaxies there's appearantly not enough particles to fuel the engines. Ergo, the engines will quickly run out of (earlier collected, if any) fuel, so the shielding goes down at the worst possible moment, when the ship is already approaching speed of light, with all the increased energetic radiation that comes with that.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 15, 2015, 07:08:22 PM
Agreed - the first time they reached a new galactic cluster, the radiation should have killed them before the shielding kicked in.

You should read the book - it's still a classic, despite those problems and even though I don't think Anderson wrote women very well.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on February 15, 2015, 07:19:47 PM
Dark City, A Repairman Jack Novel, The Early Years Trilogy Book Two, by F. Paul Wilson
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 17, 2015, 07:00:35 PM
I'm most of the way through another re-read of SF classic Tau Zero by Poul Anderson.  -Has it ever occurred to anyone that the resolution of the ship's dilemma is impossible several times over?

a) They are traveling slower than light -the central idea of the book, after all- and would have been drawn into the monobloc with everything else.

b) The cosmic egg should have sucked up space-time along with all the matter and energy, leaving them nowhere to orbit.

c) The creation of a new universe would be an energetic event, to say the least, many orders of magnitude of orders of magnitude beyond surviving a ground zero nuclear explosion.


...Am I leaving anything out?  Any holes in my analysis?  Anyone think they can handwave these problems away?  Geo?  Anyone?...
I merely read the Wiki synopsis, but to me it looks like they'd never even be able to reach this 'monobloc'. The synopsis says they have to keep the engine running for anti-radiation shielding reasons. But between galaxies there's appearantly not enough particles to fuel the engines. Ergo, the engines will quickly run out of (earlier collected, if any) fuel, so the shielding goes down at the worst possible moment, when the ship is already approaching speed of light, with all the increased energetic radiation that comes with that.
Agreed - the first time they reached a new galactic cluster, the radiation should have killed them before the shielding kicked in.

You should read the book - it's still a classic, despite those problems and even though I don't think Anderson wrote women very well.
I should mention that Anderson gave the ship an impressive set of batteries or fuel reserve or something, and they had the magnetic shielding raised for a week (ship time) ahead of when they thought they'd need it leaving intergalactic space.  I don't believe for a second that that's possible -the field just has to consume more power in a day than all of Europe burns through in a year- but he did try to deal with that...

So I finished the book, and two more problems I find insurmountable:

1) I didn't take point b) above far enough.  There's a bit near the end where some astronomers show the captain a light showing in the far reaches of the burned-out universe.  It's the beginning of the new monoboc.   BBBBBBZZZ!  Wrong.  It would be impossible to view it forming at a distance.  The Universe has no center and the cosmic egg forms around you.

2) New universe, new physical laws.  If they'd found a way past the other problems I've pointed out -and there's no way they could-  the likelihood that the new universe would be so similar as to even have three spatial dimensions is so low as to make no difference from impossible, barring bringing in some quantum observer effect where the crew's minds unconsciously shaped the new conditions.

-Actually, that last handwave occurred to me as I was writing, and I hearby invoke it to avoid having to rechristen the book Probability Zero. ;nod

Now somebody read the darn book so you can discuss it with me, if I haven't ruined it by spoiling the ending.  It's still a really good yarn, and deservedly a classic.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on February 17, 2015, 07:08:03 PM
I'm loath to say it, but its unlikely a fifty year old novel can be found abroad? :)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 17, 2015, 07:09:16 PM
You tell me.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on February 17, 2015, 07:14:00 PM
Would you buy Outies (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/outies-jr-pournelle/1103177909?ean=2940012002884) then? :D
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 17, 2015, 07:38:24 PM
Isn't that Jerry Pournell's daughter's Mote fanfic?

You can buy that?

And it's actually good?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on February 17, 2015, 08:18:10 PM
Isn't that Jerry Pournell's daughter's Mote fanfic?

You can buy that?

And it's actually good?

Yes.
AFAIK, yes.
I have no idea. :dunno:
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 17, 2015, 08:39:22 PM
Are you familiar with Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom books?  -His son Jack ghost-wrote the first half of John Carter of Mars, the story about Pew Mogli and the giant hormad - and it sucked pretty hard.

I have a feeling Outies is like that.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on February 18, 2015, 11:30:18 AM
I read some allusions to it in one of Heinlein's novels. The 'universe' were other writers characters turn out to be 'real'.
So I gather the Dune novels written by Heinlein junior are fanfic in your view?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 18, 2015, 03:38:25 PM
They're bad, is what they are.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 19, 2015, 04:29:54 AM
The Breath of God, by Harry Turtledove. 

Turned up in a box with recent-ish reads, but it appears that I previously overlooked this one, so first new book since early last year.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 14, 2015, 06:25:31 PM
The Breath of God, by Harry Turtledove. 

Turned up in a box with recent-ish reads, but it appears that I previously overlooked this one, so first new book since early last year.
Sometimes Turtledove is freakin' brilliant (Guns of the South) - but sometimes -more frequently of late- he craps out 400+ pages of leaden, positively retarded, (In the Presence of Mine Enemies) dialogue.  This is one of the latter.

--

Currently struggling through a re-read of Liberating Atlantis, also one of the latter.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on April 13, 2015, 06:27:37 AM
I'm reading more nautical fiction, this time it's Victorian nautical fiction, at the height of the British Empire.
The Dawlish Chronicles by Antoine Valler
http://dawlishchronicles.com/ (http://dawlishchronicles.com/)

Our hero has embraced the age of steam ( even learning to use a metal lathe ), rather than denounce and resist it, like his contemporaries.  Dawlish is seeking career advancement in peacetime by taking leave of absence from the Royal Navy to take volunteer assignments on other continents to serve British political and commercial interests.

Unlike the Napoleonic Wars, which were a desperate global conflict, the great game is more like the Cold War, a discrete sort of us vs them, waged with proxies. You set things in motion without regard for future consequences and generations. In the Napoleonic Wars captured gentlemen officers could offer their parole ( give their word ) and be free to roam the streets of an enemy city while wearing their swords, absurd as that sounds,  until they are exchanged.

Dawlish is like a spy- if captured he might be tortured and killed by his enemies. Even if he succeeds he might be disavowed and made a scapegoat by his own country- he is on his own in  very risky ventures.  Why take such risks? He's a career naval officer of little influence during peacetime, and he's ambitious. Sure, he's brave and patriotic, but so is everybody else in the navy, so it's no advantage, and you can't exactly demonstrate your courage unless there's danger.

Machines and the world are becoming increasingly complicated. Now ships need fuel in their holds rather than fresh water. Masts are just for flags, signals and look-outs. Winches and hydraulics do the work of capstans. Flintlock pistols have been replaced by revolvers. Gatling guns have replaced squads of marines with muskets on the decks of ships during battle. Only the cutlass is unchanged.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on April 13, 2015, 05:27:17 PM
Only the cutlass is unchanged.

And the lance. ;)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on May 12, 2015, 07:41:47 AM
Fever Season (Merovingen Nights #2) - CJ Cherryh
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on June 06, 2015, 04:42:47 AM
I've been reading The Otto Prohaska Novels, by John Biggins
It has a slow, pretentious start, reminding me of Alan Quartemain / King Solomon's Mines.

It's a 101 year old man dictating his memoirs.

Once you get past the first chapter or so, it turns into an interesting series of tales about the early days of flight and submarine warfare. It had some laugh out loud moments for me, too.

As maps of Europe go, I was always kind of partial to the ones with the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Something big enough to have diverse resources.  This series is showing me unwieldiness of the aging empire, with all it's languages, religions, and ethnic divisions. The bureaucracy, the royal family, the classes. The strains put upon it by the war were enough to fracture it, even if it was on the winning side.

The author is English, but in the voice of his Austrian protagonist, he shares this observation-

"One of the least endearing traits of the English, I have often had cause to observe-- now quite as much as in those early post-imperial days-- is their total inability to take any nationality but themselves seriously; as if Englishness were some God-ordained ideal state of humanity of which all the other peoples of the earth fall short to a greater or lesser degree. And in my case, of course, being an  Austro-Czech by birth placed me in a sort of third-class compartment of risibility some way below Belgians and only just above the Portuguese and the Greeks: remote, quaint and absurd, probably untrustworthy but basically harmless:"

That seemed to be a popular section to highlight in the e-book. Anyway, he has a sort of Forrest Gump experience.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 06, 2015, 05:19:57 AM
The Name of the Wind, The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One, by Patrick Rothfuss. And I'm almost done with The Wise Man's Fear (Day Two). Excellent stuff.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on June 07, 2015, 05:29:52 AM
Quote from: BUncle
Now somebody read the darn book so you can discuss it with me, if I haven't ruined it by spoiling the ending.  It's still a really good yarn, and deservedly a classic.
I'm loath to say it, but its unlikely a fifty year old novel can be found abroad? :)
I have this in my library, and would be willing to discuss it... after I've read it. I've actually got quite a few Poul Anderson books I haven't read.

The ones I have read, were read to the point of falling apart and having to be replaced (he wrote terrific time travel stories).

As for finding his books... that's what eBay is for (among other sites where you can find second-hand books in decent condition for not too outrageous an amount).  ;)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on June 07, 2015, 05:31:09 AM
Fever Season (Merovingen Nights #2) - CJ Cherryh
Okay, now here's a series I'd love to have a discussion about! Have you read the other Merovingen Nights books?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on June 07, 2015, 06:51:36 AM
I'm loath to say it, but its unlikely a fifty year old novel can be found abroad? :)
As for finding his books... that's what eBay is for (among other sites where you can find second-hand books in decent condition for not too outrageous an amount).  ;)

The book itself may cost next to nothing, but shipping costs to Europe are outrageous.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on June 07, 2015, 07:18:35 AM
I'm loath to say it, but its unlikely a fifty year old novel can be found abroad? :)
As for finding his books... that's what eBay is for (among other sites where you can find second-hand books in decent condition for not too outrageous an amount).  ;)
The book itself may cost next to nothing, but shipping costs to Europe are outrageous.
There are European-based eBay sites, as well as booksellers based in the UK. Also, there's a UK-based Amazon site, and if I remember correctly, there's one based in France. I wouldn't know about Germany; I don't read German, so I never had any reason to check that out.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on June 07, 2015, 08:20:14 AM
Well, yay for google and all that. I found it as a pdf.

Only 113 pages? Came as far as chapter 2, but nothing to be impressed at sofar.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 07, 2015, 04:38:56 PM
Fever Season (Merovingen Nights #2) - CJ Cherryh
Okay, now here's a series I'd love to have a discussion about! Have you read the other Merovingen Nights books?
I have just started Troubled Waters (#3). So I've only read Cherryh's intro novel (book 0) and 1-2.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on June 07, 2015, 05:25:22 PM
What do you think of them so far?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 07, 2015, 06:50:54 PM
What do you think of them so far?
I like them. Wasn't sure I would, because it's in her sci-fi Alliance/Union universe, but it's off to the side, and at a kind of medieval-plus tech level in a Venice-ish city. So it's really more of a political series (and things are starting to heat up). I do like her feisty canaler protagonist Altair Jones.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on June 07, 2015, 07:02:23 PM
What do you think of them so far?
I like them. Wasn't sure I would, because it's in her sci-fi Alliance/Union universe, but it's off to the side, and at a kind of medieval-plus tech level in a Venice-ish city. So it's really more of a political series (and things are starting to heat up). I do like her feisty canaler protagonist Altair Jones.
I like Altair Jones, too. And ever since I read this series, I've wanted to visit Venice. Every time I see pictures or see that city in a movie or TV show, I keep imagining Altair poling her boat down the canal, while Moghi waits for her to complete the freight run she's on, and the other denizens of Merovingen-Above and Below go about their daily affairs...  :)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 07, 2015, 11:11:52 PM
Lori, you need to root up a copy of Tau Zero too - I don't think Anderson is too far outside the tastes of an 'Asimov kid', and I'd like to hear from someone with your mastery of cosmology on the science objections I raised.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on June 07, 2015, 11:41:00 PM
I'm currently reading Gödel, Escher, Bach because I have an enormous amount of free time. I may want some light reading after that...

Also, I don't know if a guy a year away from getting a BS in astronomy can be said to have any kind of mastery of cosmology.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 08, 2015, 12:34:38 AM
You can swing this - it's pretty basic.
I'm most of the way through another re-read of SF classic Tau Zero by Poul Anderson.  -Has it ever occurred to anyone that the resolution of the ship's dilemma is impossible several times over?

a) They are traveling slower than light -the central idea of the book, after all- and would have been drawn into the monobloc with everything else.

b) The cosmic egg should have sucked up space-time along with all the matter and energy, leaving them nowhere to orbit.

c) The creation of a new universe would be an energetic event, to say the least, many orders of magnitude of orders of magnitude beyond surviving a ground zero nuclear explosion.


...Am I leaving anything out?  Any holes in my analysis?  Anyone think they can handwave these problems away?  Geo?  Anyone?...
I merely read the Wiki synopsis, but to me it looks like they'd never even be able to reach this 'monobloc'. The synopsis says they have to keep the engine running for anti-radiation shielding reasons. But between galaxies there's appearantly not enough particles to fuel the engines. Ergo, the engines will quickly run out of (earlier collected, if any) fuel, so the shielding goes down at the worst possible moment, when the ship is already approaching speed of light, with all the increased energetic radiation that comes with that.
Agreed - the first time they reached a new galactic cluster, the radiation should have killed them before the shielding kicked in.

You should read the book - it's still a classic, despite those problems and even though I don't think Anderson wrote women very well.
I should mention that Anderson gave the ship an impressive set of batteries or fuel reserve or something, and they had the magnetic shielding raised for a week (ship time) ahead of when they thought they'd need it leaving intergalactic space.  I don't believe for a second that that's possible -the field just has to consume more power in a day than all of Europe burns through in a year- but he did try to deal with that...

So I finished the book, and two more problems I find insurmountable:

1) I didn't take point b) above far enough.  There's a bit near the end where some astronomers show the captain a light showing in the far reaches of the burned-out universe.  It's the beginning of the new monoboc.   BBBBBBZZZ!  Wrong.  It would be impossible to view it forming at a distance.  The Universe has no center and the cosmic egg forms around you.

2) New universe, new physical laws.  If they'd found a way past the other problems I've pointed out -and there's no way they could-  the likelihood that the new universe would be so similar as to even have three spatial dimensions is so low as to make no difference from impossible, barring bringing in some quantum observer effect where the crew's minds unconsciously shaped the new conditions.

-Actually, that last handwave occurred to me as I was writing, and I hearby invoke it to avoid having to rechristen the book Probability Zero. ;nod

Now somebody read the darn book so you can discuss it with me, if I haven't ruined it by spoiling the ending.  It's still a really good yarn, and deservedly a classic.
Track down a copy and get back to me...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Metaliturtle on June 15, 2015, 09:37:12 PM
The Name of the Wind, The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One, by Patrick Rothfuss. And I'm almost done with The Wise Man's Fear (Day Two). Excellent stuff.

Pat lives where I live, I'm his banker, Book 3 will be worth the wait.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 15, 2015, 09:40:51 PM
Small world.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Metaliturtle on June 15, 2015, 09:49:25 PM
Have you read his stuff Buncle?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 16, 2015, 01:05:44 AM
'Fraid none of it even sounds familiar.

I did score some new comics today, so when I finish my re read of Forever Man, by Gordon R. Dickson (not good at all - reads like it was written by innerwebs nerdz arguing), I'll have a Nightwing collection to report on.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Metaliturtle on June 16, 2015, 01:19:02 AM
Read Pat Rothfuss, he's the Tolkien of our time.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 16, 2015, 01:26:40 AM
I'll have a look if I see him.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Metaliturtle on June 16, 2015, 01:37:08 AM
;b;
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 07, 2015, 06:45:30 AM
Finished The Otto Prohaska Novels, by John Biggins

More history and irony. The main character is somebody I can care about. Just a young officer trying to do his best for himself and his men under increasingly impossible conditions.

**********************************************

I'm going to re-read my father's favorite author, Stephen W. Meader. The reason is that I was looking at other books at Amazon and noticed that these have really few reviews. I figure I can help with that.

He was a social worker who wrote stories for boys. He wrote over 40 books. I bought re-prints. Read them all and enjoyed most of them, then leant them to my parents and uncle with similar results. They were set in different decades and states, teaching lessons in character ( stand by your friends ), history, geography, and entrepreneurship. They used to be common in American school libraries.

He didn't modernize with the times. Not much about the environment or psychology as was increasingly common theme material in the 60s and 70s. The books were much alike, the main character was normally a boy, but sometimes a dog. He was frequently lost or kidnapped. Sometimes he made an important discovery. Sometimes he meets an historical figure. In the end everything works out, he gets the girl, or money for college, or  a start in business, or helps his country.

Kind of a sentimental series for me, some of the first historical fiction sailing stories I ever read, ties to my Dad, my youth, etc.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 07, 2015, 06:50:03 AM
...Did he write those books about the cocker spaniels?  I liked those as a kid...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 07, 2015, 07:06:43 AM
One was about a bull terrier.

Another was about the author's family dog, a mixed breed.

He wrote a book about a Rebel blockade runner operating from the outer banks during the war between the states, I'll see if I can find that one to start. Goodnight.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 07, 2015, 11:44:23 AM
I intended to write up Battle Circle by Piers Anthony when I reread it a month or so ago, but somehow didn't.  It's a collection of three fairly short novels, Sos the Rope, Var the Stick and Neq the Sword.  It's amazing how the quality and worth falls off with each new novel.

Sos the Rope is why I wanted to talk about the collection - it is Camelot with barbarians, the story of an Arthur, a Lancelot and a Guinevere, in a unambitious milieu, a tragedy of three people who should have been happy if not for being forced up against one insurmountable sticking point at every crux.  The protagonist, really the better man in all the ways that matter except the one that matters most in their society, finds himself locked into an insoluble dilemma to eventually find another way only to find himself locked again into another, faced with no good choices.  People forced into paths they don't want to walk, forced to do things they don't want.  Greatness with the seeds of its own destruction in its beginning.

It's crap science fiction, but a beautifully-crafted story of people.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 07, 2015, 07:43:50 PM
Has anyone else read Sos the Rope?  Anthony never sucks, for all that he's always formulaic and mostly pedestrian as SF/Fantasy, but this one is my favorite of his works I've read over a long life of reading stuff.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 08, 2015, 11:51:49 PM
"Phantom of the Blockade" by Stephen W. Meader   Southern Skies Publishing

Forward by the author-

"The American Civil War, fought a hundred years ago, still stirs the memories and feelings of millions. Some say the war was an unnecessary war, others that it was inevitable. But it demonstrated one thing- the courage of Americans rich and poor, North and South. It proved for all time the fact that we are one nation, indivisible. And it put an end to the institution of slavery.

This story takes place in the final year of the long struggle. The inexperienced youngsters  who marched out so gaily in '61, smart in their new uniforms, with bands playing and pretty girls cheering, were long gone. Thousands had been killed or wounded or taken prisoner. Other thousands had turned into hard-bitten veterans, able to march all night, ragged and hungry, and fight a battle at dawn.

Half a dozen times in those years, the tides of fortune for both sides has risen high - the war almost won. Then by some mischance victory had slipped through their fingers. The Confederate armies were nearly always outmanned. But fine generalship and stubborn determination had kept them in the fight.

The superiority of the North in manpower, supplies, and food grew greater every day after the slaughter at Gettysburg. Yet the men in gray had a spirit that wouldn't give up. They tightened their belts and fought on, trusting in such great commanders as their beloved Lee.

One of the things that kept the Confederate cause alive far longer than might have been expected was the daring of the blockade runners. With most Southern ports sealed tight or in enemy hands, the little gray steamers dashed in and out of Wilmington, North Carolina, through cordons of Federal gun boats.

Unarmed and depending wholly on speed and deception, they carried cotton to Bermuda or Nassau to maintain Southern credit. And they brought back guns, ammunition, food, and medicine for the troops. The dangers were great, but the pay was high, and plenty of fine seamen were willing to take the risk.

The feats of the blockade runners described in this book were duplicated many times by actual ships. Their exploits and escapes form one of the least known, but most thrilling chapters in the War Between the States. "


The hero is a 17 year-old boy from Ocracoke island. He had sailed a little coastal trading sloop, but the USN destroyed his livelihood. When an old neighbor invited him aboard a blockade runner, he joined.  Because he didn't drink, he was able to amass $2500 in British gold by the end of the war.

Another excerpt, referring to Bermuda -
 "It sure is a beautiful kind o' place", said Anse,"Dunno's as I'd want to live here always, though."
"Why?" Lucy asked him, curious.
"Reckon it's just too old an too settled down", he tried to explain."Maybe it's too British. Our country isn't kept as nice- leastways my part of it. But there's a chance for young folks to do things- to grow as big as it's in 'em to grow. In North Carolina there's no limit to how far a boy can go if he's got the right stuff." (http://"It sure is a beautiful kind o' place", said Anse,"Dunno's as I'd want to live here always, though."
"Why?" Lucy asked him, curious.
"Reckon it's just too old an too settled down", he tried to explain."Maybe it's too British. Our country isn't kept as nice- leastways my part of it. But there's a chance for young folks to do things- to grow as big as it's in 'em to grow. In North Carolina there's no limit to how far a boy can go if he's got the right stuff.")


Does he survive the war? Get the girl? Forge a future? This is Americanism at it's best!

The books also usually go into detail about how they used to do something, in this case coastal community whaling.





Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 10, 2015, 06:17:33 PM
"Boy With a Pack" by Stephen W. Meader

This one is one of my favorites, but I didn't read it until I was an adult.

It takes place circa 1840. Our 17 year old hero, Bill Crawford makes a bold decision. Rather than taking a job sweeping up in a woolen mill for 2$/week, he stakes everything he has on a peddler's outfit, planning to hike to Ohio and sell notions where stores are few and far between. He works and trades for his food along the way.

His adventures take him include a brick yard in New Hampshire, a horse thief in Vermont, the Erie Canal in New York, a horse race in Pennsylvania, and the "underground railroad" in Ohio.
He encounters criminals, villains, fair folks, and saints. Lessons learned are along the lines of Golden Rule/ karma , and "discretion is the better part of valor".

Does he escape with his life?  Turn a profit? Get a good dog or a fine horse? Get the girl? Find a future? This is Americanism at it's best!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on July 11, 2015, 07:40:35 AM
Smuggler's Gold, Merovingen Nights #4, ed by CJ Cherryh
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 12, 2015, 01:12:13 AM
"The Lumberjack" by Stephen W. Meader

The setting is New Hampshire about the 1910s. This is another favorite, unread until I was an adult, and among the best of his books. The reason is that the author's father was a foreman in a lumber camp, so the main character, Dan Garland, is semi-autobiographical. It goes into all kinds of interesting details about moving and setting up a steam-powered sawmill, and logging with horse teams, axes, cant hooks and crosscut saws.

This is also the tale of two boys.  Dan, an orphan living with his 80 year old story-telling grandpa, during the year following high school graduation. The other an 11 year-old named 'Lysses Grant. He was a tenant  on the farm with the 300 acres of prime pine. No girls, but plenty of horses, and a collie. There are episodes with fire, frostbite, a horse race, a horse pull, making maple sugar and syrup.

Do they all survive the elements? Catch a criminal? Find a century-old treasure? Go to college  or become a lumber camp foreman? Americanism at it's best!

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 12, 2015, 01:18:20 AM
:D you are burning through a lot in a hurry, aren't you?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 12, 2015, 02:48:52 AM
Yeah. They are meant for boys about 10 or 12 and up. So they aren't that difficult, except for a few period words thrown in for authenticity,  like "ague" for fever sickness, as an example.
Usually 250 to 300 some pages (iirc). I had some down time in waiting rooms yesterday.

I want some practice writing reviews for these books before I submit anything to Amazon, so feedback is appreciated. The books are often alike, sort of like different episodes of a popular tv series. The challenge is to figure out how to express each book to make it appealing.

My wife asked me if my Dad used to read these to me, and if that's what got me to love reading. No, I wanted to read before I could start school. That honor goes to "If I ran the Zoo" by Dr. Seuss.

 I explained that I remembered that his favorite authors were Howard Pease, who wrote stories about the merchant marine ( my dad joined the navy ), and Stephen Meader , who wrote his favorite book, "Bulldozer". I found "Bulldozer" in the Jr-Sr high school library in  7th grade, when school  began a week or so after his funeral. It was a way to bond with him.
There were a few more books on the shelf, and I was able to order in a couple of others through the county library system over the summer.


The guy who publishes them now read them as a boy and they inspired him to become successful. He was looking for a copy of one to give to his grandson, but they were hard to find once they were purged from the school and public libraries. His search led him to the author's son, and he wound up buying the rights and photocopying one of the famous stories page by page in order to re-publish. It was costly.

As it happens, that particular book, "T-Model Tommy" was about a kid who turned a lawn mowing business into a trucking company during the Great Depression. The publisher has heard from a reader who said the book inspired him to do the same thing. Some of the other books have had a similar affect on people, so I guess it's a small cult following now, although Meader  was very popular in his lifetime, and was often asked to speak.

As for the library purges, well, the books were worn. Also, some of the portrayals of minorities are considered stereotypes now. I think that's to be expected since he published his books between 1920-1969, and he was sometimes writing about times before he was born, all the way back to colonial America . What I think is more important, is that the main characters treated them respectfully.



Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 12, 2015, 03:11:20 AM
Okay; you need to find ten or more different ways to say "Americanism at it's best!" if you don't want that to be a signature line - also, minority readers may (mistakenly) find it to be another code for 'Whites only'.  Excellent reviews otherwise, that give me an idea of that the book's about, sorta the tone, and an idea whether I might like it (I loved this kind of thing as a boy, so yes, if they're actually still good at my age.)

Is there any way to make money on those Amazon reviews?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 12, 2015, 04:43:31 AM
I haven't decided the review format yet, whether I'll use a tag line for example.

I don't know if there's a way to make money from Amazon reviews, unless you're selling something. If you are selling something, there's certainly money to be made writing ad copy, wherever.

I'm reading "Bulldozer" now. This was a contemporary story in it's day.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on July 12, 2015, 05:38:55 AM
Okay; you need to find ten or more different ways to say "Americanism at it's best!" if you don't want that to be a signature line - also, minority readers may (mistakenly) find it to be another code for 'Whites only'.  Excellent reviews otherwise, that give me an idea of that the book's about, sorta the tone, and an idea whether I might like it (I loved this kind of thing as a boy, so yes, if they're actually still good at my age.)

Is there any way to make money on those Amazon reviews?
Yeah, anything that smacks of "USA#1" is an instant turnoff for me. Canada has its own pioneering history, and my grandfather used to have a sawmill in British Columbia before he settled in Alberta. I've run across far too many obnoxious people online who think we have no history or culture - there's a really old thread from sometime in 2005 in the Civ IV section of CFC where I got into an argument with some people about that.

As for making money (or anything else)... if you sign up with Library Thing, you can sometimes get free books to review (you get to keep the book). It's basically a lottery, though, as every month there's an Early Reviewers List that's sent out to everyone and you can request a copy of any or all of the books available for your country. After that, it's just a matter of waiting to see if you're chosen.

I'd sure be fascinated to know just how many people are writing under the name "Harriet Klausner" on Amazon. I doubt there really is such a person, as the sheer number of reviews published under that name would require more reading each and every day of the year than any one person could possibly do (if you subscribe to the belief that a reviewer should actually have read at least part of what they're reviewing).

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 12, 2015, 07:09:57 AM
Thanks for the input, Valka.

Actually, he wrote one non-fiction book about a Canadian family that trapped from dogsleds, traveled by canoe, kept a fisher as a pet, and made moose hide moccasins.  Basically a diary transformed into a novel. I think that was in the 1930s.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 12, 2015, 12:53:10 PM
Canadianism at its beast!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 12, 2015, 08:52:03 PM
Stephen W. Meader was a social worker who wrote books for boys, 6th grade and up, in order to broaden their horizons. He wanted them to have a sense of the scale and variety of the country, from sea to sea. He wanted them to learn about the past and see progress, and be able to look to the future and see opportunity. His books are mostly fun and inspirational.

Bulldozer was a contemporary story set in Maine and 1st published in 1951, and my Dad's favorite book. The main character  Bill Crane, recently graduated from high school, and his former neighbor, "Ducky" Davis ( based upon the author's son, Steve Jr. ), a mechanic recently discharged from the Army, go on a fishing trip together to celebrate. Luckily, they discover a small bulldozer which fell through the ice into the lake a few months ago. They  manage to get ownership, recover it, and get it running with Bill's savings and Ducky's know-how. Not easily, but affordably.

As the only son of a deceased father and a feeble mother, college is out of the question for Bill. He finds work for his Bulldozer, and gains experience and reputation pulling stumps and other odd jobs for farmers. He learns, or is forced to learn about estimates, records, and budgets. He and Ducky find an opportunity, a housing development, and a used attachment that would allow him to dig basements. Bill arranges to buy the equipment, get a loan, and bid on the project.

At this point he faces adversity from the big competition. The banker leaks Bill's bid intentions from his loan proposal to the region's primary construction contractor,  one of the bank's biggest customers.  An operator from that company tries to intimidate Bill, and then sabotage his dozer by removing a nut. The guy was caught trying to plant dynamite on it, but the local constable was the operator's buddy, and let him slide.

Bill's luck turns worse- rain delays, rock ledges undetected by test holes, and that rival operator getting the guy drunk Bill hired to blast out the rock. Bill perseveres and prevails.

He uses profits to buy a war surplus bomb carrier to haul the dozer with his Plymouth, thanks to a 2nd transmission installed by Ducky. He gets a shed for hauling it away. He buys a farm plow he'd been renting. He does a variety of other interesting work with the dozer - fighting fires, logging, building a pond.

Lessons learned are that if you always try to do the right things, you can use your friends and reputation to get through bad luck and adversity when you're willing to stick it out.

Does he capture a wanted arsonist? Rescue his girlfriend? Prove himself? Get the big contract? Buy another dozer and take Ducky on as a partner? Well, mostly.

And my Dad? He never went into  construction, but when he got out of the Navy he used what he learned as a paymaster to go into banking. There he advanced rapidly by helping people make their money work for them, becoming the youngest bank president in the history of the county, and making my hometown the place with the highest deposits per person in the state.

It's a great book for reading, sharing, or gifting.

What do you think about this one, Buncle? Is it too long?

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 12, 2015, 09:13:43 PM
No, depending on the venue.  -That's not terribly long for a good Amazon review or anything.

What I think you mean to say with "Americanism at it's best!" is old-fashioned bildungsroman boys adventure like they don't make anymore - sorta.  Find a catchy way to put that in your own words if you want a catchphrase/signature line.  Find ten different short ways to phrase it if you don't.  Nothing wrong with either approach. ;b;
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on July 15, 2015, 01:58:36 AM
You should keep any discussion of plot points vague, as some people really don't like spoilers. Reviews are not the place to tell the story, just whether or not you liked the story and why.

Somebody reviewed Harper Lee's sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird the other day on CBC.ca... and promptly revealed a couple of things that should have been left for the reader to find out on his/her own. As a result, I for one am not going to buy the book, at least not retail. Maybe in a library sale years from now. I'd have to think on it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 17, 2015, 04:49:22 AM
Stephen W. Meader was a social worker who wrote books for boys, 6th grade and up, in order to broaden their horizons. He wanted them to have a sense of the scale and variety of the country, from sea to sea. He wanted them to learn about the past and see progress, and be able to look to the future and see opportunity. His books are easy to read, fun and inspirational. Great for reading, sharing, and gifting. This is one I enjoyed as a boy and again as an adult.

"T-Model Tommy" was a contemporary story set in western New Jersey, Philadelphia and the Poconos, and the city of New York.   1st published in 1938 during the depths of the Great Depression, it was very likely Meader's most inspirational book. The main character  Tommy Ballard, recently graduated from high school, was inspired by Steve Jr., the author's mechanically gifted son ( who really did scrounge together a model T  during the depression so he'd have something to drive ) and a chum of his who really did start up a trucking business in those difficult days.

Tommy is the only child of a widowed, sickly, nervous mother. He's a feisty red-head. Now it's up to him to support her, and he tries many things to make ends meet. Coaching football, moving a family to a new home, pumping gas, hauling coal, mushroom soil, gravel, and produce. Horse-trading trucks and even mowing lawns, too.  Some of these ventures were more educational than profitable.

It isn't easy. Illness and break-downs have to be dealt with. There are strikers, hijackers, and the time-wasting weigh stations of the highway patrol to be avoided, if possible. Not only that, his old football teammate, now playing for Yale, is after his girlfriend. To make matters worse, the guy has social status, is handsome, rich , and very condescending. 

My favorite episode in this book involves an antique hauling job. The road dust and a thunderstorm combine to cover the furniture with spots, in spite of the tarp. The antique dealer takes advantage of Tommy, and insists he polish all of the furniture on the load before he will pay him, because it's not in the same condition as when the dealer bought it.

 Tommy was counting on getting good recommendations from this job. He got mad, knowing he couldn't get any more jobs  hauling if this main street businessman bad mouthed him.  So he polished the furniture HARD. It shined back at him, and he decided that anything worth doing is worth doing well. He used elbow grease on the whole load, and it shined so much it made the rest of the furniture in the shop look shabby.
It made the dealer feel guilty, and not only did he pay Tommy , he hired him to polish the rest of the furniture in the store.

Good old fashioned Can Do spirit!

( How's that for a format, a review, and a tag line? )
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 17, 2015, 09:46:34 AM
Not bad at all. ;b;
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 17, 2015, 06:39:36 PM
Thanks, Buncle!

Valka, what do you think?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 19, 2015, 05:42:00 PM
 Stephen W. Meader was a social worker who wrote books for boys, 6th grade and up, in order to broaden their horizons. He wanted them to have a sense of the scale and variety of the country, from sea to sea. He wanted them to learn about the past and see progress, and be able to look to the future and see opportunity. His books are easy to read, fun and inspirational. Great for reading, sharing, and gifting. This one I didn't find until I was an adult.

"The Long Trains Roll" was a contemporary story set in central Pennsylvania, 1st published in 1944 during World War II. While the place names have been changed, railroaders and locals will likely recognize the Horseshoe Curve, Cresson Mountain, Juniata River, Hollidaysburg, etc.  The main character  Randy MacDougal, is a teenager from a railroading family, working on a track repair crew assigned to the Curve as a summer job. At this point in the war, the track crew is mostly boys, women, and old men. For that matter, the railroad has been stripped of healthy young men, and uses mostly older and unfit ones.

The book gives you an inside look at railroading in that era- the web of acquaintance among railroaders, their jargon, their jokes, and various work- on the track, in the office, control tower, roundhouse, caboose, and steam locomotive cabs. It also gives you a sense of the strategic importance of the four parallel tracks of Horseshoe Curve crossing the mountain. It connected Chicago, the national rail hub, with Philadelphia, New York, and all of the cities of the east coast from there. Trainloads of coal to supply the power plants and industrial production, oil for the war effort, food, weapons, supplies, and troops traversed the curve several times each day.

Since Randy is young and fit he is often sent to run along the track to flag down an approaching train if there is trouble ahead. He also gets involved in a sort of Hardy Boys style mystery with possible enemy spies and saboteurs. I won't spoil it.  It's not far-fetched. My grandfather was a fireman on that section of the Pennsylvania Rail Road during the war, and he told a story about a saboteur who'd cut a chain and turned a track switch. It would have crashed the train into a warehouse, but my grandfather spotted it in time, the engineer "dynamited it" ( threw the drive wheels  into reverse ) and they were able to stop short, although some of the wheels jumped the tracks in the middle of the train, causing a delay, but not a wreck. This got the railroad detectives involved.

My favorite episode in this book involves a speech by an army general who praises the short-handed railroaders of America for their  accomplishments of keeping the country running,  and getting the massive war production from the factories to the docks, moving the 10 million men from home to training camps to port, along with 8 tons of supplies each and a ton per month thereafter.

Good old fashioned Can Do spirit!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 19, 2015, 09:02:33 PM
Okay. Using the T-Model Tommy approach I had 5 reviews go live today- Tommy, Bulldozer, Lumberjack, The Long Trains Roll, and Boy With a Pack.

Thanks, Buncle and Valka.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 19, 2015, 09:07:04 PM
Gonna be a star on Amazon, eh?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on July 19, 2015, 09:14:42 PM
Divine Right, Merovingen Nights #5, ed. by CJ Cherryh
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 20, 2015, 03:29:59 AM
Perhaps by the time I've reviewed all 44 of them. I was the first person to review one of them. Many don't have more than a couple of reviews.

Bulldozer is the exception. If you look at the reviews for it, you'll get a sense of why
 Jerry Atchley took some of the money he made and started a publishing company, just to put one of these books in his grandson's hands.

http://www.amazon.com/Bulldozer-Stephen-Meader/dp/1931177023/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437357121&sr=1-1&keywords=Bulldozer+Meader (http://www.amazon.com/Bulldozer-Stephen-Meader/dp/1931177023/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437357121&sr=1-1&keywords=Bulldozer+Meader)

I'm moving on to his sea stories for a while. Don't worry, I won't review them all here.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 20, 2015, 04:22:22 AM
Do, if they're good.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on July 22, 2015, 11:19:58 AM
Divine Right, Merovingen Nights #5, ed. by CJ Cherryh
Okay, I've been waiting to ask: What do you think of the cat-whales?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on July 22, 2015, 09:22:52 PM
Flood Tide, Merovingen Nights #6, ed by CJ Cherryh


Cat-whales: an interesting species. Tool-using young, large aquatic adults? Or at least the females. What's their relationship with the sharrh? Are they a reason for the Scouring? With only one book to go, it may remain a mystery.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on July 27, 2015, 04:23:58 AM
Endgame, last book of Merovingen Nights, ed by CJ Cherryh

As I suspected, too much stuff going on to pay attention to another species.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on July 27, 2015, 05:28:03 AM
Endgame, last book of Merovingen Nights, ed by CJ Cherryh

As I suspected, too much stuff going on to pay attention to another species.
According to CJ Cherryh, things got too complicated to continue the series - you've seen how some stories either used the characters but not according to their established traits (ie. Altair being described as "arrogant"? Come on!) or didn't fit the setting at all and had absolutely nothing to do with the overall story arc. This series was done before instant communication was so easy, and some authors were just hell-bent on having their own way anyway.

So they did a slap-dash job of "finishing" it, although it could - and should - have gone at least 3 more books. And the problem with CJ Cherryh doing a final novel to wrap up the loose ends (ie. what happened to Raj and the Kamat family who stayed behind to defend their home? Did everyone going to the Chatallen get there safely? Which of the Kalugins were left standing, if any? What became of Black Cal and Rif? And yes, what about the cat-whales and the old spaceport they found?) is that too many characters are under other peoples' copyrights.

Hence, fanfiction. I've been searching online to see if anyone ever wrote any - found some really good stories set in the Cyteen universe - but no luck yet with Merovingen Nights.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on July 27, 2015, 08:40:36 AM

According to CJ Cherryh, things got too complicated to continue the series ...

Ah. Thanks for the info. It's a shame the series couldn't continue.

Quote
...found some really good stories set in the Cyteen universe - but no luck yet with Merovingen Nights.

It's all the same universe - it was the Union that colonized Merovin, although 600-700 years prior. It seems like a different universe, because things are so primitive for a far-future setting.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on July 27, 2015, 09:40:22 AM

According to CJ Cherryh, things got too complicated to continue the series ...
Ah. Thanks for the info. It's a shame the series couldn't continue.

Quote
...found some really good stories set in the Cyteen universe - but no luck yet with Merovingen Nights.
It's all the same universe - it was the Union that colonized Merovin, although 600-700 years prior. It seems like a different universe, because things are so primitive for a far-future setting.
Yeah, my sloppy way of expressing it, sorry. There really doesn't seem to be any kind of connection at all between the two. I have had fleeting thoughts of doing a fanfic in which Ariane Emory XII (or whatever version she'd be up to by then, assuming they keep cloning her) meets Altair Jones - two very feisty, determined, intelligent young women, both very skilled in surviving in their respective settings and societies, and they could teach each other some valuable life lessons.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 29, 2015, 06:33:48 AM
Magno Girl by Joe Canzano
A wild world of humor, action, and romance

You know how in the Pixar movie "The Incredibles", the premise is that liability lawsuits drove the super heroes out of business?

Well, this is another funny story with an original array of super-heroes, only this time the premise is that super heroes fight crime in order to get publicity, which gets the heroes commercial endorsements, movie deals, and merchandising. Of course this corporate sponsorship leads to conflicts of interest.

The story is set in New York City, and seen through the eyes of Ron, Magno Girl's ninja biker boyfriend.   Ninja biker is a little misleading , because it makes you think of power rangers or something. Ron is an ordinary guy from an Italian family that makes pizzas and hijacks trucks for a living, and he rides an American chopper. Magno girl is a T-shirt and yoga pants-wearing martial arts instructor who can fly. She can also use a super "gaze of guilt" to make criminals confess and apologize. She's afflicted with a drunken mother who pressures her to get married and have kids, and a ne'er do well brother.

My favorite laugh aloud came when Ron said something like - That was the worst defeat I'd experienced since that drunken night in Atlantic City when I lost $4,000 playing the parking meters.

I got it off Amazon for 99 cents. I'll read the short story next.

Note- as the story progresses and passions rise, sex and cursing become less of an allusion and more explicit, so not something for younger readers.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on July 31, 2015, 10:50:44 PM
Well, the short story Magno Girl and the Beast of Brooklyn is a prequel. It tells how Ron and Magno Girl met. I liked it, too.

So, chronologically, it should be read first.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on August 02, 2015, 10:53:46 AM
I'm re-reading Peter F Hamiltons epic (~3500 pages) space opera "Nights Dawn", one of my favourite authors. It is a bit hard to get into, which is why I put it down after a 100 pages the first time I read it. As this review explains
Quote
Nominally, the Night’s Dawn trilogy is about a mysterious disaster originating on Lalaonde and threatening the entire Confederation. In reality, though, Hamilton’s goal is to create a believable society and then show every effect of that disaster, both physical and moral, on his creation. As a result, this is a very decentralized story, where the number of point of views spreads throughout the entire Confederation, staying just half a step ahead of the waves of change and destruction. The best way to understand these books is to imagine a massive glass creation, gigantic but every inch carefully devised and filled with details, and then to imagine the inexorable destruction of the sculpture, inch by inch, the cracks spreading so slowly as to be visual but so quickly as to be unstoppable. It’s an effect that would only be meaningful if the reader first understands every intricacy of Hamilton’s creation, and so Hamilton shows us exactly that.

Imagine, for a second, that there are three layers to every story. The first layer is the present time, the plot, if you will. Just about every author will explicitly show this, because it is, presumably, why we’ve come. The second layer is the backstory, how the characters got where they are, who the characters are, etc. This is generally implied, though the degree to which it is shown depends on the author. Finally, we’ve got the layer behind even the backstory, what’s simply the background. This is stuff like the minutia of the justice system, or how planet X was settled, why coalition Y makes this product, etc. it’s the kind of thing that’s important for an author know, but it’s rare for the readers to ever learn – or care – about much of it.


However, once you get past this it's a rollercoaster of a book impossible to put down. Once I got into this I bought everything PFH has ever written (but you can skip "Misspent Youth", reading that is like having an angry libertarian shouting in your face...).

Quote
The Night’s Dawn trilogy has quite a few problems, not the least of which is the sheer number of sub plots, many of which are either extraneous or just plain not as good, that clog it up. None of that changes what it is at its core, however, and that is one of the most explosive and wide screen science fiction stories ever conceived of. Hamilton’s creation is both majestic and impossible to put down. If you’re a fan of the genre, you need to pick this up without question.


http://evilhat.blogspot.se/2010/07/peter-f-hamilton-nights-dawn-trilogy.html (http://evilhat.blogspot.se/2010/07/peter-f-hamilton-nights-dawn-trilogy.html) (spoilers halfway down the page)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on August 02, 2015, 01:31:40 PM
The Deadknights subplot comes to mind as being way extraneous and rather unnecessary.
And Gerald should have dissappeared from the story as well once his 'role' was played out on Lalonde.

What do you think of the 'Escape Route' short story in the 'A second chance at Eden' bundle?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Zoid on August 02, 2015, 04:50:46 PM
The Deadknights subplot comes to mind as being way extraneous and rather unnecessary.
And Gerald should have dissappeared from the story as well once his 'role' was played out on Lalonde.

I agree, PFH has a tendency to overload his storys with extraneous characters, but he's reined that in in later novels imo.

Quote
What do you think of the 'Escape Route' short story in the 'A second chance at Eden' bundle?

I can't exactly recall it, been a while since I read it. But I love his short fiction, he should write more of it. It gets more condensed and to the point. It's harder to write good short fiction than epic volumes...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on August 02, 2015, 05:59:39 PM
I just Bought Jim Butcher's e-book, "Working for Bigfoot", but I won't discuss it until Uno's had a chance to read it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 19, 2015, 11:21:27 PM
Surface Detail, A Culture Novel (#9) by Iain M. Banks
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 27, 2015, 05:52:46 PM
I've been re-reading Infinity's Shore be David Brin for about a month, and I'm only halfway through.  That says less about the book -I don't believe in Brin's Uplift Universe, but he spins a good yarn anyway- and more about my sleep cycles lately.  I ain't been getting enough, and I'm passing out before I get more than ten pages into my bedtime reading, usually about two.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Dio on August 28, 2015, 12:00:03 AM
The Sea-Wolf by Jack London.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on September 05, 2015, 12:12:01 PM
Star Wars: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: vonbach on September 06, 2015, 03:41:12 PM
The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail is nice.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on September 09, 2015, 03:26:24 AM
I just read two books by "Wolfgang Faust", that are supposedly memoirs of WWII, although the one on the Eastern Front ( "Tiger Tracks- The Classic Panzer Memoir" ) lacks the names of  locations, the battle, and military units, detracting from it's credibility. The one at the end of the war ( "The Last Panther-Slaughter of the Reich- The Breakout from the Halbe Kessel April-May 1945" ) doesn't use names, possibly to protect those involved from retribution for war crimes, and the accidental running down of civilians with tanks. But the lack of names and conversation that was present in Tiger Tracks detracts from the feeling that you are there, inside the tank.

If I thought that these books were strictly factual, I would have put them in my military history thread. Or I might have done the same if they were historical fiction based upon the collective experiences of the author and other panzer crews as discussed during their internment in prisoner camps post-war. But it doesn't assert that. It is supposed to be an eye-witness account. How he saw everything he described while looking through a thick glass block in a slit in the armor while busy driving a tank, considering the distances asserted and the snow and smoke alleged, is beyond me, for example.

And another thing... the subtitles could have been "100 grissly ways to die in a tank battle" and "another 101 grissly tank battle deaths" . The author seems intent on describing immolations, decapitations, and bodies exploding. It's not so much that I refute that tanker crews die in those ways, just that it's better determined in the leisure of an aftermath than in a running battle when you're busy killing and avoiding being killed. It seems like a sort of carnage porn.

All of that said, the stories might have made interesting action movies. In Tiger Tracks, they are the flanking force in a big battle. They succeed in  their objective, only to learn that the main attack was a failure, the German Army has been routed, and Faust and the surviving Tigers are left hanging out on a limb with no air or logistical support. They are forced to flee west for their lives.

In "The Last Panther" Faust is now the commander of a Panther tank. They are encircled in a forest by Russian forces closing on Berlin. They decide to punch through to the 12th Army and surrender to the American Army sitting across the Elbe river, rather than surrender to the Russians and be executed or deported to Siberia. They will stop for nothing. It's either break through, or be broken. There are tanks, foot soldiers, and civilians involved, and a variety of other machines as the story unfolds.

Both stories are page-turners filled with death and destruction, and the message in both is that the war was a wasteful exercise in futility for both Russians and Germans. I wish I knew which parts were authentic. If that's not going to interfere with your sense of immersion, you might well enjoy these books.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on September 10, 2015, 11:29:42 PM
Star Wars: Allegiance by Timothy Zahn
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 10, 2015, 11:48:58 PM
Any of that the Thrawn stuff?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on September 11, 2015, 04:39:18 AM
Any of that the Thrawn stuff?
No, the Thrawn Trilogy is Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising & The Last Command.  Although he is listed in the Dramatis Personae of Choices of One, the sequel to Allegiance.

Scoundrels takes place a couple months after the Battle of Yavin. It's sort of a futuristic Ocean's Eleven with Han, Chewie & Lando. Allegiance takes place a little after that, with Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Mara Jade & Vader - the last to a lesser extent.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 11, 2015, 04:55:48 AM
Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster is the only SW novel besides the novelization of Star Wars (Foster allegedly ghosted that for Lucas, BTW) I ever read.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on September 11, 2015, 07:10:07 AM
Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster is the only SW novel besides the novelization of Star Wars (Foster allegedly ghosted that for Lucas, BTW) I ever read.

I think I read that one long ago in bedroom, far, far away.

Did Luke befriend some hairy scarey monsters called Yuzzum, or something of the sort? Did he get into a fight with a miner who had knives attached to his boots?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 11, 2015, 01:38:16 PM
Gosh, it was 1978 when I read that.  There was an oldish woman with completely non-jedi force powers and there was a crystal that amplified force powers considerably for a mcguffin.  The cover had Darth Vader looming and rather anticipated the vision/fight on Dagobah in Empire - this was out way before that.  That's seriously all I recall, so you know I neither hated it, nor was deeply moved.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on September 12, 2015, 12:37:32 AM
Gosh, it was 1978 when I read that.  There was an oldish woman with completely non-jedi force powers and there was a crystal that amplified force powers considerably for a mcguffin.  The cover had Darth Vader looming and rather anticipated the vision/fight on Dagobah in Empire - this was out way before that.  That's seriously all I recall, so you know I neither hated it, nor was deeply moved.

Don't remember a woman. Yes, a red crystal Force amplifier. '78 sounds about right.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 12, 2015, 12:45:23 AM
I didn't mention that it was red, did I?  We definitely read the same book. -Hardly a shock; it was all there was for a few years, I think.  I had about six of the first twelve dolls, too.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on September 12, 2015, 01:44:17 AM
The "Darth Vader looming" phrase jogged my memory.

Yes, if there were more books, before Empire, I probably would have bought them.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 12, 2015, 01:57:15 AM
It was a really dark background, but I recall it as trees and not incompatible with swamp - Luke in the foreground, like he was standing back up after bending over to pick something up when he spotted Vader.

-Who was still scary way back then.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Dio on September 12, 2015, 05:42:39 PM
The Life of Pi by Yuan Martel
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Dio on September 12, 2015, 05:43:59 PM
Dionysiaca by Nonnus of Panopolis
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on September 13, 2015, 11:56:00 AM
The Renegades by Tom Young
http://tomyoungbooks.com/ (http://tomyoungbooks.com/)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Mart on September 16, 2015, 12:14:01 AM
Ringworld series, by Larry Niven.

The series has 5 books from which, as they say, the fifth is also a sequel to another series by Larry Niven, so combining both plots.

I must admit, that I was able to read the series only to some point in book 3.
The first book was a blast, the whole idea of such a construction in space was somehow much more interesting than Dyson sphere. Ringworld lets the inhabitants to admire starfield sky, although having smaller area. But with certain size, it is no longer that important, kinda.

The second book was not that interesting any more, though pleasant to read, and third, somehow I could not go through it.

Anyone read the whole series? And can share his/her impressions?

and wiki link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringworld_series
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 16, 2015, 12:36:20 AM
Excellent series on the strength of the first and second books.  The Ringworld Throne isn't good - not bad, either, but I can't believe in all those Protectors running around without Armageddon happening.  Ringworld's Children is better, but same problem.  Too many mysteries solved, and the Ringworld in general has gotten infinitely smaller in the mind with each book.  Haven't read the ***(Betrayer?) of Worlds that takes place partly after yet.

Protectors stop working as stories that make sense used more than, roughly, once.  One Protector makes for a heck of a story - more than one not closely related runs into too many logical problems.  -I LOVED Destroyer of Worlds, but I really REALLY didn't believe it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Mart on September 16, 2015, 12:44:47 AM
You have read both series, I guess?
Is Fleet of Worlds series better than Ringworld?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 16, 2015, 01:30:16 AM
Absolutely not.

I have all the Ringworld books, and have read each a minimum of twice.  I've read Juggler of Worlds and Destroyer of Worlds - both twice.  Haven't laid hands on Fleet of Worlds or Betrayer of Worlds.  Yet.  They're good, but as good?  Nah.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on September 16, 2015, 02:14:28 AM
My Niven reading was haphazard. When my brother or I came across one of his paperbacks in a book store we'd probably buy it.  I read Engineers before Ringworld. It's an awesome idea. But the devolved humans? Not as much. I read another, possibly Throne.

I didn't know there so many books now. Did Niven write them on his own, or with a collaborator? Maybe someday I'll get on a Niven reading project.

I preferred the Beowulf Schaeffer stories myself.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 16, 2015, 02:29:57 AM
The of Worlds series was mostly written by Edward Lerner doing a fair Niven imitation, though Niven would, no doubt, deny it.

Have you read the Crashlander collection of Schaeffer stories?  Two new ones to it - hints at why Louis Wu didn't think of his dad when he saw the Longshot in Ringworld...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on September 16, 2015, 03:42:00 AM
The of Worlds series was mostly written by Edward Lerner doing a fair Niven imitation, though Niven would, no doubt, deny it.

Have you read the Crashlander collection of Schaeffer stories?  Two new ones to it - hints at why Louis Wu didn't think of his dad when he saw the Longshot in Ringworld...

Some of the repackaged collections run together in my memory. I haven't owned any of them for years- the collection was given to my sister, and the ones I've purchased since have been forwarded to her.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 16, 2015, 03:46:07 AM
....A woman who likes Niven?  That's a new one by me.  What does your sister look like?  Is she single?...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on September 16, 2015, 06:40:31 AM
Star Wars: Choices of One by Timothy Zahn

I read Ringworld & Ringworld Engineers so long ago, I barely remember. Don't know if I read #3. Niven was one of my favorite authors at the time.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on September 16, 2015, 07:20:37 AM
....A woman who likes Niven?  That's a new one by me.  What does your sister look like?  Is she single?...

She married her college boyfriend after graduation, and they lived happily ever after.

 Actually, you would like her. She was a Psychology and Theater major, with a minor in French (that with honors). She earned a living stage managing and directing for a few years, but now she does human/user interface and programmer/manager interface for a tech company in Seattle. She lives in an apartment lined with books.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 27, 2015, 04:37:15 PM
I've been re-reading Infinity's Shore be David Brin for about a month, and I'm only halfway through.  That says less about the book -I don't believe in Brin's Uplift Universe, but he spins a good yarn anyway- and more about my sleep cycles lately.  I ain't been getting enough, and I'm passing out before I get more than ten pages into my bedtime reading, usually about two.
I finally wrapped this one up Monday night -suddenly, I'm getting enough sleep, so getting a lot more bedtime reading done before I drift off.  I tried to find the next book, which seems to wrap up the series, for a reread while this was still relatively fresh in my head, but haven't turned it up yet.

Fronterra by Lewis Shiner.  Already halfway through, and pretty sure I'd somehow missed reading this in the years-old cache' it turned up in.  Shiner never disappoints, and it's a Mars novel, though predating the flood of them in the 90s by almost ten years.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 30, 2015, 05:06:19 PM
I've been re-reading Infinity's Shore be David Brin for about a month, and I'm only halfway through.  That says less about the book -I don't believe in Brin's Uplift Universe, but he spins a good yarn anyway- and more about my sleep cycles lately.  I ain't been getting enough, and I'm passing out before I get more than ten pages into my bedtime reading, usually about two.
I finally wrapped this one up Monday night -suddenly, I'm getting enough sleep, so getting a lot more bedtime reading done before I drift off.  I tried to find the next book, which seems to wrap up the series, for a reread while this was still relatively fresh in my head, but haven't turned it up yet.

Fronterra by Lewis Shiner.  Already halfway through, and pretty sure I'd somehow missed reading this in the years-old cache' it turned up in.  Shiner never disappoints, and it's a Mars novel, though predating the flood of them in the 90s by almost ten years.
...I wouldn't rupture myself trying to track down a copy of that last - not terrible, but not the sort of story that sticks with you.

Brightness Reef by David Brin; it's the book before, that I don't recall reading yet, not the one after that I do...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 04, 2015, 08:34:23 PM
It turns out that all the stories from The Worlds of H. Beam Piper by H. Beam Piper are on Project Gutenberg, and I'm reading that online today.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: gwillybj on October 04, 2015, 09:27:43 PM
It turns out that all the stories from The Worlds of H. Beam Piper by H. Beam Piper are on Project Gutenberg, and I'm reading that online today.
I've found Project Gutenberg an excellent resource, both for ancient texts and for newer documents.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 04, 2015, 09:41:42 PM
Yeah; I wish I liked reading long stuff online better.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on October 05, 2015, 05:49:08 PM
....A woman who likes Niven?  That's a new one by me.  What does your sister look like?  Is she single?...
Why the surprise that Larry Niven has female readers? I've got over a dozen of his books.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 05, 2015, 05:55:10 PM
Niven is not at his strongest with characterization and character interaction like teh wimminz tend to gravitate to, is all.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on October 05, 2015, 06:04:20 PM
Ben Bova can't write a credible romantic relationship to save his life, but I still enjoy his books. So I don't see the problem with Niven.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 05, 2015, 06:21:53 PM
It's like you're a unique individual of something...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on October 05, 2015, 06:39:54 PM
It's like you're a unique individual of something...

I know other women who like the kind of space opera that takes an interesting scientific idea and builds a good story around it.

True story... I once went to the theatre to see Snow White (the Disney animated one) with a friend and her niece. When the scene came where Snow White is telling the dwarves about the handsome prince she imagines will some day come and Grumpy mutters "ahh, mush!" my friend laughed and said to me, "That's you!".  ;lol
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: vonbach on October 07, 2015, 09:10:41 PM
Larry Niven? I've met him. Nice little man.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on October 08, 2015, 12:20:03 AM
Larry Niven? I've met him. Nice little man.

My sister met him at a con. Where did you meet him?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 08, 2015, 12:59:55 AM
I met him at a con, too.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: vonbach on October 08, 2015, 02:24:32 AM
Quote
My sister met him at a con. Where did you meet him?

A tiny literary con in Buffalo I think it was. I've also met the original bridge cast
of star trek.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 08, 2015, 08:57:41 PM
It turns out that all the stories from The Worlds of H. Beam Piper by H. Beam Piper are on Project Gutenberg, and I'm reading that online today.
Read The Cosmic Computer by H. Beam Piper same place yesterday.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on October 08, 2015, 09:33:13 PM
I've got a few of his books.

I'm on a C.J. Cherryh binge now, though. Currently reading Downbelow Station, with Rimrunners, Tripoint, and Finity's End next in line.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on October 14, 2015, 01:11:28 AM
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke


Took me forever to finish this book. I began it many, many moons ago, and put it down in favor of many other books. At 1006 pages it's just too wordy with not enough going on. This is one Hugo Award winner I don't get. I guess a Georgian English fantasy novel is not my cup of tea.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on October 14, 2015, 03:37:04 PM
The Halloween Tree Reading to Talia. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 21, 2015, 08:47:15 PM
Brightness Reef by David Brin; it's the book before, that I don't recall reading yet, not the one after that I do...
...Which I still haven't found...

Destiny's Road by Larry Niven
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on October 21, 2015, 08:50:55 PM
Brightness Reef by David Brin; it's the book before, that I don't recall reading yet, not the one after that I do...
...Which I still haven't found...

Destiny's Road by Larry Niven

That Niven title sounds familiar. What was it about?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 21, 2015, 09:01:33 PM
Many generations in the past on a new planet, a lander craft had left the settlement on an exploration mission and never come back.  It had traveled like a hovercraft, leaving a lava trail with its fusion drive.  A young man in the present day takes to the road, exploring the world of Destiny...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on October 21, 2015, 11:14:24 PM
Not unlike the quest to reach the base of the arch on the Ringworld.

No, I don't recall reading that one.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on October 21, 2015, 11:26:13 PM
I just finished Downbelow Station and started on my umpteenth re-read of Rimrunners (both part of the Alliance/Union series by C.J. Cherryh).
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on October 24, 2015, 10:10:13 PM
The Sam Gunn Omnibus by Ben Bova
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on October 25, 2015, 01:36:34 AM
The Sam Gunn Omnibus by Ben Bova

Does that have any connection with the Grand Tour series or the Asteroid Wars books (a sub-series of the Grand Tour)?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on October 25, 2015, 02:16:01 AM
No, Sam is a fast-talking rogue who is an independent astronaut/space entrepreneur trying to a make a go of various schemes when the big guys like Rockledge Industries seemingly have all the advantages - and lawyers. He makes a fortune, loses it, and moves on to the next grandiose idea.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 27, 2015, 03:04:38 PM
The Time Ships by Steven Baxter.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on November 18, 2015, 12:52:11 PM
Fear City: A Repairman Jack Novel - The Early Years Trilogy Book 3, by F. Paul Wilson
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 19, 2015, 02:39:04 AM
I got a few behind lately; catching up:

The Peshwar Lancers by S.M. Stirling.  -If you've head of this one, it IS that good.

The Man Who Pulled Down The Sky by John Barnes.  -I don't know why Barnes isn't a really big name; he's always good and he's always different.

Now, Small Gods by Terry Pratchet.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Mart on November 24, 2015, 12:16:41 AM
For a short time, I was wondering, if this is the right thread for this post, but this is The Reading Corner, and this post is about a book.

STAR WARS
Book One of the Corellian Trilogy
by Roger MacBride Allen
Ambush at Corellia

Star Wars novels are numerous and some of them are not so good, or maybe they are just not for me. There are many authors now, who write SW stories.
This one though appears from reading the first chapter only as quite interesting story.
Written in 1994, and as the author says in locations and while traveling: Lisbon, London, Washington D.C., Canada, Virginia, Oregon...
In Star Wars timeline the story is 18 years after SW IV A New Hope.
Han Solo is now "family man" :)

There is something in those worlds, that are created by so many people, are so rich in details about them, people create maps, write history timelines, etc.
If I were asked, which I like more: Star Trek or Star Wars? Both! They are 50:50.

... is this the trilogy in which Wookiee Chewbacca dies?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on November 25, 2015, 11:03:12 PM
I am reading the best-selling  Demon Slayer/ Biker Witch series by Angie Fox. It was recommended to me by Amazon. Part Romance novel, part horror/mystery. Light reading.

The premise is that a preschool teacher inherits demon slayer powers on her 30th birthday. This enabled her grandmother, who is the leader of a coven of witches to find her. The witches are on the run from a demon & ride Harleys and have spells & potions in repurposed jam and pickle jars witch they hurl like grenades when needed.

  The demon slayer powers also enable her to converse with her Jack Russell Terrier, who complains about the Healthy Lite dog food she feeds him. The dog provides comic relief, and the romance sections tend to be more explicit as the series develops. Not for kids, although I'd probably prefer to double up on the dog talks and drop the descriptions of her desire.

It's no Jim Butcher novels, or Iron Druid series, but it makes the time pass pleasantly when traveling, but not so immersive that you get annoyed when you're interrupted.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on December 01, 2015, 12:30:30 AM
Weaponsmith Chronicles by Mike Crenshaw

This is historical fiction about an English mercenary in The 30 Year's War, presented as a memoir. It speaks to me. The main character is a master blacksmith, and I've studied and practiced the smiting of the black metal myself. It also ties into other books I've read, and for that matter, computer games.

One of the characters advances the theory that since Germany was never subjugated by the Romans, they never learned to appreciate what a central government could build and accomplish the way that France and Spain did. This kept the Germans divided and backwards and weak compared to the other two Empires.

I'll probably re-read this again once I complete it. Whether fictional or historical, military stories tend to have a confusing wealth of characters, and I'm not good with names.

ADDENDUM- I've just completed the 3rd book. I now know that the 3rd book was written first, which explains why it was a worse read- the author lacked experience. It was an omniscient view point featuring lots of characters and few descriptions. It read more like a play or movie script than a novel. It still had a plot and dialogue, but it was more like news than a story.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 01, 2015, 01:01:33 AM
A World out of Time by Larry Niven.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 07, 2015, 04:13:09 AM
The Wicked Day by Mary Stewart.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 09, 2015, 06:57:40 PM
Orbital Resonance by John Barnes.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 14, 2015, 04:16:04 PM
The Armies of Memory by John Barnes.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 20, 2015, 11:53:56 PM
Cities in Flight by James Blish.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on December 23, 2015, 05:20:00 AM
Cities in Flight by James Blish.
I read that more years ago than I recall, but I did enjoy it. Maybe it's time for a re-read.

But I'm currently reading Merchanter's Luck, by C.J. Cherryh.

I got an email from LibraryThing awhile back - I won one of the books I requested, so I've been waiting for it to show up. I've no idea which one it is, but the idea is that I get the book for free, in return for posting a review on LibraryThing.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on January 03, 2016, 11:43:06 PM
Blood Bowl: The Omnibus by Matt Forbeck
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 04, 2016, 12:55:29 AM
Cities in Flight by James Blish.
We interupt our re-read of this SF classic for first-time reads of The Last Dark by Steven R. Donaldson -which was a bit disappointing- and Star Trek - Seekers 2: Point of Divergence by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore -which isn't all that great so far...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on January 04, 2016, 01:23:44 AM
Next semester I'm taking a course on the Literature of Science and Technology. The required "textbooks" for the class are as follows:

Tropic of Orange
House of Leaves
Dracula
Lathe of Heaven
Star Maker
Frankenstein
Amnesia Moon


Not quite sure I get the connection to science and technology for all of those, but it should be an interesting semester reading-wise!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on January 04, 2016, 01:30:21 AM
I haven't yet read the last book of The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, but the first two were disappointing. Especially since I really enjoyed the first triology, and the second wasn't so bad.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on January 04, 2016, 01:38:13 AM
Next semester I'm taking a course on the Literature of Science and Technology. The required "textbooks" for the class are as follows:

Tropic of Orange
House of Leaves
Dracula
Lathe of Heaven
Star Maker
Frankenstein
Amnesia Moon


Not quite sure I get the connection to science and technology for all of those, but it should be an interesting semester reading-wise!

Well, the Winchester repeaters they carried on the way to the final showdown in Dracula  were high tech weapons. I'm guessing that blood transfusions were cutting edge medicine, too.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 04, 2016, 04:30:23 AM
Lathe of Heaven
Recommended.

I haven't yet read the last book of The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, but the first two were disappointing. Especially since I really enjoyed the first triology, and the second wasn't so bad.
Donaldson is challenging for more than the obscurantist/archaic vocabulary - and The Last Chronicles lacks a Mhorham or a Pitchwife; the locals aren't nearly so charming, y'know?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: vonbach on January 04, 2016, 12:00:59 PM
When Angels wept. Eric G. Swedin. A what if story of the Cuban missile crisis.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on January 06, 2016, 08:19:52 PM
The Hydrogen Sonata: A Culture Novel, by Iain M. Banks
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on January 25, 2016, 09:47:03 PM
Lord Foul's Bane by Steven R. Donaldson.

-Time to reread from the beginning, I think.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 07, 2016, 03:51:55 PM
The Illearth War by Stephen R. Donaldson.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on February 08, 2016, 02:12:39 AM
I'm alternating between Voyager fanfic online (found a decent story about Tom and B'Elanna, post-Endgame) and Philippa Gregory's Tudor novels offline. I've read from Katherine of Aragon through to the death of Amy Dudley (and waiting for the novel she wrote about Catherine Parr).
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 08, 2016, 02:19:42 AM
Oh, the print books I list in this thread are my bedtime reading.

-In the daytime online for over a month, to my intense shame and shock, I've been on Fanfiction.net reading Dragon Ball fanfic...  I can't believe there are that many Dragon Ball Z fans who can even read on high school level - and even some of the ones with shaky command of written English can spin a decent yarn...

-A lot more of it's unreadable crap of course...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on February 08, 2016, 02:58:32 AM
It's interesting how so many people rag on Voyager... yet it's the Star Trek series with the most fanfic stories on that site. Not all of them are good, of course. Some are utter crap. Some of them would be readable if they were edited for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 08, 2016, 03:17:48 AM
Well, the show was a mess, from one end to the other - but it was a GREAT idea for a show.  I think I've talked about all my ideas for fixing it.  It had a lot of promise.

And incompetent execution.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on February 21, 2016, 03:39:47 AM
The Wounded Land by Stephen R. Donaldson.  -I haven't found my copy of The Power That Preserves so far...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on February 21, 2016, 04:47:17 AM
I just re-read ( too numerous to mention ) / read ( a recent novella and book 8, "Staked" ) The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearn.

It's an urban fantasy about the world's last Druid. He's mortal, but he has 21 centuries experience with magic, and he's figured out a few things in the course of surviving, like how to keep his body at age 21, and how to defend himself against the magic of others, etc.

The Irish gods used him as a pawn, and in the process of survival he managed to kill a couple of them with the help of trading favors with witches, werewolves, and a vampire. That destroyed the balance of things, and his favors put him debt to others, and event chains had him recruited into conflicts among other gods.

Beyond these sorts of adventures, the author is very funny. The Druid's magic is binding and unbinding things, and he has bound his mind to that of his pet Irish Wolfhound. The Wolfhound is good about warning him of approaching danger. < I smell dead guys > normally means approaching vampires. The best part of the books are his dog's comments about food, French poodles, cats, squirrels, Chihuahuas, etc. and general observations.

Whenever I laugh aloud, my wife asks "what did the dog say?", and I read those parts to her.

I guess the best description is Harry Dresden for dog lovers.

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on February 21, 2016, 06:07:11 AM
Along with the fiction for my lit class (Dracula right now), I'm also reading Thinking about Mathematics by Stewart Shapiro, which is the text for my philosophy of math course. Interesting stuff, if you are not bored to tears by questions about whether mathematics arises from logic or if numbers really exist, etc.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on February 21, 2016, 08:01:01 AM
The Conquering Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard, ed. by Patrice Louinet
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Valka on February 21, 2016, 10:45:45 AM
I've been sorting and shelving books. And every time I think I'm done with an author, another Andre Norton, Arthur C. Clarke, MZB, or Robert Silverberg turns up. I have no idea how I ended up with THREE copies of Lord of Thunder.

I've just put in about 10 orders via Amazon Marketplace for books that are missing from series or damaged beyond reading (never trust anyone else to pack your books). When this is over I'm going to be seriously thinking about what to weed out.

But to stay on-topic, I'm partway through The Other Queen, by Philippa Gregory (a novel about Mary, Queen of Scots).
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on February 21, 2016, 03:02:22 PM
American Islam by Paul Barrett.  It looks at seven different Muslims in their communities to try and illustrate the tensions at work today.  A reasonably good read.  I started it after finishing Lords of the Horizons, a profoundly pulpy but basically readable history of the Ottomans.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 22, 2016, 06:28:04 PM
The Wounded Land by Stephen R. Donaldson.  -I haven't found my copy of The Power That Preserves so far...
The One Tree by Stephen R. Donaldson.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on March 22, 2016, 11:33:21 PM
Just recently read Star Maker and The Lathe of Heaven in my lit class. Star Maker is a pretty accurate account of the plan for my life. The Lathe of Heaven, however, has undone everything and I'm no longer sure what's real. About to start Amnesia Moon.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 25, 2016, 12:00:41 AM
Lord Foul's Bane by Steven R. Donaldson.

-Time to reread from the beginning, I think.
The Illearth War by Stephen R. Donaldson.
The Wounded Land by Stephen R. Donaldson.  -I haven't found my copy of The Power That Preserves so far...
The One Tree by Stephen R. Donaldson.
It's interesting, the improvement in fluency (if such even applies to Donaldson's obscurantist writing) between the first book and the second.

Most of The Wounded Land is a bummer, with all the wading of a typical Donaldson effort, but lacking the charm of the first trilogy - still, the bit at the very end, giving camorra to the spirits of the slaughtered Unhomed, was VERY effective, akmost enough so to justify the book alone.

None of this is even my third reading -something like sixth or more; I read LFB in hardback in 1977 age 13- and while it's good that I can forget enough to enjoy re-readings, I do know that The One Tree is a favorite.  What's not to love, touring exotic new places with a bunch of good-natured giants?  What's not to love?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on April 07, 2016, 07:18:25 PM
as per discussion in another thread-

Books by Linda Ellerbe
https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/21682.Linda_Ellerbee (https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/21682.Linda_Ellerbee)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Dio on April 08, 2016, 03:50:22 PM
The Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 15, 2016, 04:25:05 AM
The One Tree by Stephen R. Donaldson.
White Gold Wielder by Stephen R. Donaldson.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Dio on April 20, 2016, 02:52:09 AM
"Where are you going, Where have you been?" by Joyce Carol Oates
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Dio on April 20, 2016, 02:52:50 AM
"Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Dio on April 20, 2016, 02:53:38 AM
The Struggle for Democracy by Edward S. Greenberg
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 23, 2016, 07:38:25 PM
White Gold Wielder by Stephen R. Donaldson.
The Power That Preserves by Stephen R. Donaldson.  Three nights in a row going to bed late, and some of it's me, but I/he still hasn't gotten to the snakebit little girl yet, let alone the second summons. ;clenchedteeth  I read really fast, even if I do go to sleep in under 20 minutes, so a lot of it's an author who always spends two months on the boring part in the real world before it gets faintly interesting.

-Found it while I was looking for World of Ptaavs and Neutron Star instead of what I was looking for.  I need to sort my books...

If anyone's interested, I could say a lot more than I have about Donaldson and the Thomas Covenant books...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 05, 2016, 08:10:52 PM
Tracker, Foreigner #16, by CJ Cherryh

I read the first two Chronicles of Thomas Covenant trilogies so many moons ago. I liked the second, but not as much as the first.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 05, 2016, 08:49:25 PM
The step down the second set took is not near so large as to the third - which has some fine moments, but Donaldson needs an editor who edits - bad...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 05, 2016, 09:13:57 PM
Yeah, I've read the first two of the last chronicles and have been pretty disappointed.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 05, 2016, 09:17:30 PM
You missed the crowning bit of writerly wankery of the entire series then - it took 150 pages for them to move from the very spot the second book ended on, and nothing happened the whole time.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 05, 2016, 10:44:18 PM
Well, I did read most of Wheel of Time, so I've got some experience with going nowhere.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 05, 2016, 11:01:38 PM
Robert Jordan was proof that book editing is dead.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 05, 2016, 11:57:14 PM
With Samurai Editor it could have been finished in six books.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 06, 2016, 12:11:44 AM
He says it needs cuts.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 12, 2016, 10:27:52 PM
Patton: A Genius for War, by Carlo D'Este
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on June 13, 2016, 02:55:20 AM
Patton: A Genius for War, by Carlo D'Este

So what struck you in particular about him as a person?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 13, 2016, 04:42:30 AM
It seems Patton was at times very insecure.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on July 04, 2016, 09:00:10 PM
Diamonds are Forever, by Ian Fleming
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on July 14, 2016, 01:14:47 AM
The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 14, 2016, 07:26:34 PM
White Gold Wielder by Stephen R. Donaldson.
The Power That Preserves by Stephen R. Donaldson.
Finally done after a LONG string of knocking off for the night already sleepy - and the bits from the siege of Revelstone and Mhorham's POV still make the book, while Covenant himself is as much of a waste of time as ever, despite some Foamfollower - still probably hands-down the strongest installment in the entire series.

---

The Runes of the Earth by Stephen R. Donaldson.  -I didn't make it through the summary of the previous two trilogies before I fell asleep; barring a spot of insomnia, I'm going to hate reading about Linden in the real world for two months before she finally gets to the Land...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on July 23, 2016, 10:39:50 PM
Grave Peril

Book 3 of the dresden files.  I've come to really like this series.  Much better than the 'scifi' show.  Book 2 actually managed to keep me up at night with nightmares. 
Though it was evil dogs, so, ya know...

The series is getting better as it goes so far, which is unusual.

I am currently waiting for the next one in the series.

The first three books were written before any of them were published.  The series really starts to take off with  'Summer Knight', you can tell that the writing is much more polished in many ways...

Oh, and beware of that random slap by Rubber Chicken... most of the books have one really good one in them...  I think the best is in 'Proven Guilty', IMHO... laughed for 20 plus minutes...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on July 28, 2016, 12:01:57 AM
The Runes of the Earth by Stephen R. Donaldson.  -I didn't make it through the summary of the previous two trilogies before I fell asleep; barring a spot of insomnia, I'm going to hate reading about Linden in the real world for two months before she finally gets to the Land...
Well, not two months, but it was boring and unpleasant as the other two times.  I'm only up to where they're fleeing Mithil Stonedown before Stave catches up with them - and an advantage of something being forgettable is that you don't remember a lot of details spoiling re-reads.  I'm just reminded that this series isn't well-served by taking in in small doses; the style is hard to wade through, and that makes it easy to miss details as you go that will prove important; and it's a lot harder to keep the big picture falling asleep five pages along each night.  The Covenant books are best read in at least 50-100 page gulps, keeping the thread and maintaining the swept-up in the passion of the writing you can get best taking it in in marathon readings, so that strongly affects my enjoyment of this attenuated post mortem re-read of the series.

That said, the Last Chronicles sucks, just sucks except the parts in mostly the next book, but also the third, where more of the Land's past is revealed, which is genuinely interesting; that's the entire redeeming quality of this cycle, none of which is to be found in the first or last books.  This series ended with a whimper...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 02, 2016, 10:04:30 PM
From Russia with Love, by Ian Fleming


For the first third of the book, James Bond doesn't make an appearance, though he is discussed. First mention is p. 45. I found that kind of curious.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 05, 2016, 08:24:24 PM
Doctor No was the first James Bond film, but is the sixth book, following From Russia with Love. In both movie & book, M orders Bond to give up his Beretta .25 to be replaced by the Walther PPK, because he almost got killed in his last mission. That was in the book FRWL, where the Beretta with suppressor attached got stuck in his waistband as he met with Rosa Klebb, who actually did end up sticking him with the poisoned blade in her shoe, though that came after trying to stick him with poisoned knitting needles.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 05, 2016, 08:38:50 PM
I read somewhere that Flemming intended Bond to have the low-power Beretta as a tell that the man was just. that. good. - but it was considered a 'woman's gun' and didn't play well to the audience, so...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 05, 2016, 09:51:35 PM
Geoffrey Boothroyd, a firearms expert, advised Fleming that it was the wrong gun for Bond: "It's really a lady's gun - and not a very nice lady at that!" Fleming named the service's Armourer "Major Boothroyd."
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 08, 2016, 11:14:54 PM
... In both movie & book, M orders Bond to give up his Beretta .25 to be replaced by the Walther PPK....
I was a bit wrong about the book: after the Armourer recommends the PPK, M asks for another recommendation in something bigger, so the Armourer suggests the Smith & Wesson Centennial Airweight revolver in .38 Special. M orders both guns sent to Bond & practice time set up, so he can be an expert in a week. Later in the book, Bond takes the revolver to Crab Key, due to its greater range.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on August 09, 2016, 01:57:23 AM
Currently reading 'Monster Hunter: Grunge', part of the Monster Hunter International series...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on August 18, 2016, 12:49:41 AM
The Peripheral, by William Gibson
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Bearu on August 23, 2016, 03:26:15 PM
Arguments and Arguing: The Products and Process of Human Decision Making, third edition by Thomas A. Hollihan and Kevin T. Baaske.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on August 23, 2016, 04:08:56 PM
The Runes of the Earth by Stephen R. Donaldson.
Fatal Revenant by Stephen R. Donaldson.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on August 23, 2016, 04:43:50 PM
The Invention of Science by David Wootton, which makes the case that the Scientific Revolution was (a) real and (b) fueled at least in part by unambiguous discoveries (and the concomitant realization that such a thing was possible), such as Columbus finding America and Brahe carefully observing a nova.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on August 25, 2016, 05:05:45 PM
The Invention of Science by David Wootton, which makes the case that the Scientific Revolution was (a) real and (b) fueled at least in part by unambiguous discoveries (and the concomitant realization that such a thing was possible), such as Columbus finding America and Brahe carefully observing a nova.

James Burke's Connections (1), 2, 3 & The Day the Universe Changed all have shown the same thing...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on August 30, 2016, 01:46:39 PM
Uno, I'd say Iron Druid is right up your alley. While the characters and settings are different, the deeper I get into it, the more parallels I find.


So, I picked up the first book....

I'm about 10 chapters in, and I can't stand the protagonist.  All we've had for 10 chapters is how utterly great the guy is.  Blocks swords with his arms, one punches bad guys to death, beds every woman he has a passing interest in, including at least one goddess, whilst bragging to the reader about other conquests, smarter than anyone because he figured out how to use iron and magic at the same time, and his care about whether people live or die is solely centered on how inconvenient it might make HIS life. 

There hasn't been a single thing to like about him yet. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on August 30, 2016, 03:05:34 PM
The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer.  She takes a somewhat eccentric view of historical scholarship, but it's all distinctly readable, which is a big advantage over a lot of history books.  It took me fifteen minutes to get through three pages of a history of the French Revolution I checked out recently.  No doubt it was all meticulously checked against historical records, but . . . uuuuggggghhhh.

I tend to read mostly history books these days, not because I dislike fiction but because fiction is so utterly hit-and-miss.  Even a rather incompetent historian will have some interesting tidbits I can use for writing inspiration.  I slogged through a few pages of the French Revolution book, learned a lot about the state of France in 1785 or so, and decided I didn't need to know more badly enough to dig through the remaining four hundred pages.  Bad fiction, well, you get ten pages in, throw it in the back-to-library heap and you're none the better off for the experience.  You're just stuck with one more clunky chunk of dead tree to keep the kids from scribbling in.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on September 01, 2016, 02:24:48 PM
Uno, I'd say Iron Druid is right up your alley. While the characters and settings are different, the deeper I get into it, the more parallels I find.


So, I picked up the first book....

I'm about 10 chapters in, and I can't stand the protagonist.  All we've had for 10 chapters is how utterly great the guy is.  Blocks swords with his arms, one punches bad guys to death, beds every woman he has a passing interest in, including at least one goddess, whilst bragging to the reader about other conquests, smarter than anyone because he figured out how to use iron and magic at the same time, and his care about whether people live or die is solely centered on how inconvenient it might make HIS life. 

There hasn't been a single thing to like about him yet. 

Finished.

Really don't care for Atticus. 

He's an ass.  Even the (anti)climactic battle was an arrogant retelling of how much better than everyone else he is. 

Outside of this, the book is inconsistent in it's approach to mythology.  Rules that apply to one set of mythology, don't apply to the next.  Nothing wrong with that, necessarily, it's his world, it's just clearly very biased. 

Speaking of mythology, it's clear the author is trying to make a modern retelling or connection that Atticus ~ Lugh. 

Thus when Aenghus comes for Atticus, he's horrendously equipped by irish folklore standards.  Oh sure, he has a lesser magic sword.  Why is Atticus given one of the four treasures, and we're led to believe Aenghus goes after him without acquiring one of the others?  Really?  Where was the Spear?  Either Gae Assail or Aeredbhar would have sufficed as a much better counter.  Heck, the cauldron of Dagda would have even been interesting (through which he could have literally eaten the strength of the demons, witches, werewolves, or pretty much whoever else he wanted), especially if teamed with the club (which can both kill and resurrect).  I clearly have too much knowledge on the subset of mythos for this book, however. 

I get that it's the first book and maybe some of these other treasures come into play later in the series. 

Bottom line:  I found the mythos interesting, if flawed.  Most every character outside of Atticus was enjoyable. 

Too much Atticus is uber awesome and nigh invincible whilst being a sex god with a middle school humor level. 

Now, a series about the Viking vampire lawyer trying to become powerful enough to kill Thor, and having this [jerk, sphincter] druid client keep making awful situations for him.  THAT I want to read. 

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on September 01, 2016, 06:47:37 PM
Uno, I'd say Iron Druid is right up your alley. While the characters and settings are different, the deeper I get into it, the more parallels I find.


So, I picked up the first book....

I'm about 10 chapters in, and I can't stand the protagonist.  All we've had for 10 chapters is how utterly great the guy is.  Blocks swords with his arms, one punches bad guys to death, beds every woman he has a passing interest in, including at least one goddess, whilst bragging to the reader about other conquests, smarter than anyone because he figured out how to use iron and magic at the same time, and his care about whether people live or die is solely centered on how inconvenient it might make HIS life. 

There hasn't been a single thing to like about him yet.
Sorry. I would have said to stop after the first 10 chapters if you didn't like the protagonist. I love his dog, so that keeps me reading. I also sympathized with him for being pawned by the devious Irish gods.

In the course of the series, every problem he solves has consequences... that require him seeking more favors and creating more consequences until he's risking the world. Much as you might enjoy him being punked by Coyote, or chastised by Jesus, or pawned by the vampire... if you don't like him he's too much of a presence in the series.

In later books he takes on a female apprentice, and recovers his teacher from an island of time so slow it's practically frozen. The teacher constantly berates him for being a fool/idiot/ ass. When the other two characters are established it becomes a 3 story chapter rotation.

So I don't think it's worth any more of your time. Sorry.

Maybe if there's a movie and some fan does a Phantom Menace edit on it... the plot to kill Thor was kind of interesting , because there was no shortage of recruits. But Thor's family being warrior-gods made it a bad idea.

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Spacy on September 02, 2016, 10:57:14 PM
Guns Germs & Steel - rereading.  Read about 15 odd years ago when it first game out and thought at the time it was good, as it took new perspectives.  Now as I go through it again I find some basic assumptions that are flawed and it is driving me crazy.  Still, a good read I would recommend to anybody with a history bend. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on September 03, 2016, 12:41:13 AM
Guns Germs & Steel - rereading.  Read about 15 odd years ago when it first game out and thought at the time it was good, as it took new perspectives.  Now as I go through it again I find some basic assumptions that are flawed and it is driving me crazy.  Still, a good read I would recommend to anybody with a history bend.

My sense of it was that it explains advantages / handicaps of various civilizations, but that he takes it a little too far.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Spacy on September 27, 2016, 12:42:14 AM
Been a fan of the Honor Harrington stories for a long time.

I am sick and tired of David Webber, however.  Of the last 4 books he has written and gotten published, I think that there is only 2-3 chapters of story plot advancement.  The rest is just rehashing the same old story plots from different perspectives.  Fine, I get it.  Everybody sees things slightly differently, and everybody has a different point of view.  Big whoop de do da doo.  Can I just get to the story, and see what happens?!?  If he cannot come up with new plot, than just kill everybody off and give us all some closure already!

His latest, Shadow of Victory, I have an Advance Reader Copy.  There are, I think (going off kindle counting here) 12 pages out of 600 that advance the plot.  The rest is just dross.  2%.  That works out to 2% new material, and 98% old stuff just from different views.  It is all from tertiary characters as well.  I have investment in the main characters in the HH Universe, not these throw offs.  It is also about all sorts of places never heard of before in his universe - and done in such a way as to make you wonder "am I on the czech world, or the polish world" due to his constant forcing of clunky (to english readers eyes) naming. 

This book reminds me of an old man trying to relive his glory days while suffering through alzheimer's.  Sad.

I am about to give up on him as an author, as it is just so frustrating instead of enjoyable. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on September 27, 2016, 03:20:27 AM
Curious. I just reread On Basilisk Station as a free ebook from Baen Books. Now rereading The Honor of the Queen.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on September 27, 2016, 02:25:07 PM
My son brought home the Michael Vey books, guess they are all the rage with the teen crowd right now.  He's read most of them.  Halfway through the first book, I sat him down and correctly guessed the plot points for the rest of this book, and through book 3.  Incredibly obvious foreshadowing, that series.  Nearly comic book ease of reading, too. 



Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 03, 2016, 04:09:06 PM
The Runes of the Earth by Stephen R. Donaldson.  -I didn't make it through the summary of the previous two trilogies before I fell asleep; barring a spot of insomnia, I'm going to hate reading about Linden in the real world for two months before she finally gets to the Land...
Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson.  -This is the one that made it 103 pages before anyone left the spot the previous book ended and the plot commenced...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on October 04, 2016, 01:54:53 AM
And Donaldson's writing is as if he randomly tossed a dictionary in the air and picked a word out of the page that fell open at random at times.  You would get a gist of what he was saying, but durn it, if I wanted to read a dictionary, I'd go and read it....
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 04, 2016, 02:06:17 AM
He writes like a grad student in writing is what he does.  That style is largely about showing off...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 19, 2016, 03:48:00 AM
Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson.  -This is the one that made it 103 pages before anyone left the spot the previous book ended and the plot commenced...
The Last Dark by Stephen R. Donaldson.  -So far, it hasn't gotten any better since I read it in January.  It does have the virtue of my re-read not having gotten back to Linden yet; all the passages about her in the last chronicles read like fanfic.  Pretty sad when you're a less likeable character than Thomas Covenant...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on October 19, 2016, 04:18:42 AM
Oath of Swords, by David Weber.
The Tank Lords, by David Drake.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, and Eastern Standard Tribe, by Cory Doctorow.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Bearu on November 27, 2016, 04:57:17 AM
The Cooperative Commonwealth by Lauerence Grunlound remains a treatise on the proper position of the capitalist, or bourgeoisie, with the proletariat in society. The book discusses how the capitalists produce wealth in the 1880's. The premise remains pertinent today since the majority of the bourgeois investments remain in the stock markets.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on November 29, 2016, 03:01:46 AM
Bodyguard and four other short science fiction novels from Galaxy edited by H. L. Gold.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on November 29, 2016, 03:21:46 AM
Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town; Little Brother; Makers; For the Win, by Cory Doctorow
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 12, 2016, 07:29:42 PM
Moving Mars by Greg Bear.

Really, it's about a young woman who doesn't know what she wants, and the men she gets involved with, none of whom the author manages to sell for a second.  -Also, about politics being a hopeless quagmire.

-Not so much about Mars and Bell Continuum physics, though one gets the idea that that was the idea...

No idea why I burned through it so quickly, aside from being desperately bored, lately...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on December 14, 2016, 03:27:33 AM
The War God's Own, by David Weber
The Rapture of the Nerds, by Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 16, 2016, 03:25:49 PM
The Year's Best Fantasy 4 edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer.

-Pretty good.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on January 17, 2017, 09:32:16 PM
Wind Rider's Oath, War Maid's Choice (War God 3 & 4), by David Weber
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on January 21, 2017, 09:39:50 PM
The Collected Short Fiction of C.J. Cherryh
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on January 31, 2017, 06:59:42 PM
The Unforgving Minute, A Soldier's Education by Craig M. Mullaney
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on June 27, 2017, 04:41:37 PM
Dao of the Evil God.

I can't say I recommend this series to anyone.  But I also can't seem to put them down. 

If these books were translated, they must have used google translate.  If they were written in english first, someone has serious problems with the language.  Language/grammar is ROUGH.  It also somehow adds to the charm. 

If I wanted to describe it, best allegory I can come up with is I'd say take Harry Potter, and instead of being taken to Hogwarts and having every little need conveniently find it's way to shaping him into the good hero, shove him into a Daoist version of hogwarts, where he flunks out and is relegated to being a squib, which makes him angry and depressed...just what is needed to start building a demonic power. 

Presently in book 2 of the series where he is in a treasure filled crypt more interested with frankensteining the corpses into daoist zombies (not exactly but basic concept in the traditional zombie meaning) than acquiring the magical treasures.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on June 27, 2017, 05:38:42 PM
Reading a lot of history of astronomy right now, especially the transition from astronomy to astrophysics that occurred in the 19th century with the introduction of photography, spectroscopy, and (improved) reflecting telescopes. Would highly recommend Starlight Detectives by Alan Hirshfeld. Currently in the middle of The Glass Universe, which is about the women of the Harvard Observatory, but I'm not really liking Dava Sobel's style, despite the acclaim she has received for science writing.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on June 30, 2017, 01:39:58 AM
Revisited a bunch of old Star Wars books I read as a teenager to see how they read now.  That Yevetha book is . . . really, really hard-right.  Tom Clancy goes to Coruscant.  I checked out Hyperion from the library because it seems to be one of those sci-fi books everybody's read, haven't gotten to it yet.  Now I'm going through a history of Byzantium in prep for my next project (kid's history of the Byzantine Empire, since we know there's a desperate market for it).
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on June 30, 2017, 03:23:22 AM
A Hymn Before Battle, Gust Front, When the Devil Dances, Hell's Faire, by John Ringo

Stonewielder, Malazan Empire #3, by Ian Esslemont


Visitor, Foreigner #17, by CJ Cherryh

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 05, 2017, 07:11:42 PM
I've recently read Orion and Voyager, both by Ben Bova - the former had a lot of promise, but ultimately lacked heart, and the later is a limp attempt to write a best-seller, with no real redeeming qualities.  I am reminded that I recall some lame Bova in a lifetime of reading SF - and nothing truly awful, but not a single book I actually liked.

How did such a mediocre hack win six Hugos?  Were they all for editing?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lord Avalon on September 14, 2017, 10:07:27 AM
Blood and Bone, 5th Novel of the Malazan Empire, by Ian C. Esslemont
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 21, 2017, 08:03:15 PM
Non-Stop by Brian W. Aldiss.  I'm not sure if this was written/published before Universe by Robert Heinlein or after, but those two books really used up the 'generation starship fallen to barbarism and they don't know it's a ship anymore" premise pretty much forever.  This is a book I read very young and long conflated with Universe when it was mentioned, apparently being a lot better regarded and remember by many than Non-Stop...

Not sure whether I've ever actually read Universe - it could have been 44 years ago if I have, and who can recall thousands and thousands of books later?  Now I have to go have a look at the Wikipedia article and see if that shakes anything loose from the back of my haid...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 21, 2017, 10:10:20 PM
...Much struck me as familiar about the Wikipedia Universe summary, but I'm pretty sure I'd read the article before, and that's most likely all there is to it...  Both halves of it were published in 1941 as novellas, but the whole didn't come out as a novel until 1962, so it's a little complicated.

I see that Aldiss died just the 17th of last month.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on September 22, 2017, 04:02:43 PM
And Pournelle 8 days before that...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 22, 2017, 04:05:35 PM
-And in a complete coincidence, Oath of Fealty is my current bedtime read...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 22, 2017, 12:55:47 AM
I just saw the funniest thing, reading fanfic somewhere.  A story began with several quotes, the last going:
Quote
Have Faith, for the endgame has already been written...

-Muad'Dib

"Dune"

By Robert Heinlein

It's not the misattribution that's funny; it's imagining Dune as written by Heinlein

-Like Paul kills Jamis, not in self defense, but for advocating Universal Basic Income...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on October 27, 2017, 07:17:24 AM
Lessee, I re-read Zahn's Quadrail series, then read my first Bujold novel, The Spirit Ring.  I would describe it as "inconsequential but fun."  Gave Discworld another try in the form of Small Gods, gave it up a few dozen pages in when I realized it was basically going to be the same "ha ha, medieval Catholicism cliches" joke over and over for the whole thing.  Will try again with books my wife recommends.  Now I'm starting on something by Neal Asher, also a first for me.  It's okay so far, not wildly exciting.

Oh, and I tried a couple of Kameron Hurley books.  Apparently she's an up-and-coming voice in SFF.  Don't see what all the fuss is about.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 27, 2017, 07:26:21 PM
...That's mighty early on to give up on Small Gods; the plot hasn't commenced yet...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on October 27, 2017, 07:33:56 PM
It was soon enough for me to get tired of the humor.  It was occasionally amusing even then, but not enough to warrant slogging through the cliches.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on October 27, 2017, 10:19:40 PM
Huh.  You recently waded through a Bujold novel, though. [shrugs]
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on October 28, 2017, 07:20:19 AM
Yeah, and it wasn't exactly life-changing.  My wife says Bujold writes "airplane books," and I think that's about right to judge by the one specimen I've encountered.  And that's okay.  Sometimes I feel like reading complex, multifaceted stories set in ingeniously created worlds.  Other times I have a thirty minute lunch break and my brain needs to relax as much as my body.  And, to be fair, nothing struck me as particularly cliche about the Bujold novel.  Unless there's a whole genre out there of novels about necromancy in Renaissance Italy, and she's just mining the tropes.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on October 28, 2017, 04:59:35 PM
Perhaps I should say "stereotypes" rather than "cliches."  If you identify strongly with an organized religion, ancient (and largely inaccurate and unfair) memes about organized religion quickly become more annoying than funny.  Maybe if I were an atheist I'd find Small Gods hysterical.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on November 08, 2017, 02:44:47 AM
However, I am presently enjoying Hogfather immensely.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on April 28, 2018, 10:07:35 PM
I'm currently reading "A Higher Loyalty" by James Comey.

He's very introspective. One of the themes is leadership, and what he learned from the examples of his bosses.

----------

I also finished The Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne. The ending was okay.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on April 28, 2018, 10:19:14 PM
Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris, by Ian Kershaw.  Six hundred pages, sometimes gets sidetracked into impenetrable German politics loaded with acronyms, generally good if a bit dry.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on April 29, 2018, 02:52:19 PM
Currently reading The Big Picture, by Sean Carroll (a very thoughtful, philosophy friendly physicist), in which he develops an elaborate system called "poetic naturalism" for understanding the world. It's all wrong, of course, because there's no mention of an all-consuming telepathic techno-blob, but it's interesting.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 29, 2018, 03:27:52 PM
The Sunborn by Gregory Benford.  No very good, frankly, Benford being capable of hacking - but as bedtime reading, it's been putting me to sleep just fine.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on April 30, 2018, 06:01:53 PM
Now re-reading The Mote in God's Eye, because I loved it the first time.  Still liking it, even if it is dated and loaded with stereotypes.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 30, 2018, 06:14:15 PM
I re-read that just a few months ago; I think the stereotypes were mostly on purpose.  Can't say I believe in Moties, though.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on April 30, 2018, 06:18:31 PM
Well, Pournelle was pretty bloody racist.  Can't help thinking that it'd be an incredible book if you gave it actually believable characters, brushed out the Codominium ...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 30, 2018, 07:09:19 PM
Pournelle was --- easy to underestimate - but easy to overestimate, too.  I think he was pretty blind to his own limitations.  Thought Footfall deserved a Hugo.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on April 30, 2018, 08:16:16 PM
Well, Footfall had elephant-themed creatures who relied on advanced military technology, had a fundamentally conservative and hierarchical culture, overran Kansas and ultimately declared a war of domination because they were outraged by a bit of pornography.  I'd say that's a pretty clever satire, if only he'd meant it that way.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on April 30, 2018, 10:45:18 PM
One hand, other hand... Gripping Hand...

I liked Lucifer's Hammer better than Footfall, although the Orion was cool....
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 30, 2018, 11:45:12 PM
Footfall was trying too hard, somehow.  Lucifer's Hammer, they hit their groove better on the first try at that story.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on May 01, 2018, 02:59:02 AM
I guess I liked them all, but my lasting impression was that I enjoyed/recall Lucifer's Hammer the most.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on May 02, 2018, 02:51:46 PM
While we're on the subject, does anybody else "get" the scriptural theme in TMIGE?  I'm squinting at it from every angle, and I'm not seeing how the plot involves hypocrisy, or seeing something in others while being blind to it in one's own self, or anything like that.  Yet they go out of their way to integrate that verse about motes and planks, to the point of having some crewmen arguing about it in the beginning.  In addition to the title, the epigraph, and the star system.  But it appears to be a JJ Abrams style allusion, where they take an idea and drop it at your feet like a cat dropping off a dead mouse, then look at you for approval without ever being clear about what, precisely, you're supposed to do with it.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 02, 2018, 03:00:16 PM
It's just a mention of mote in the eye -that would have to be Pournelle, as Niven doesn't seem all that well read outside science and a lot of nerd genre stuff- no need to dig for meaning...

-Niven, BTW, swears up and down it wasn't Star Trek - I can only conclude that Pournell didn't tell him where some of his part of the contributions came from...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on May 02, 2018, 06:01:47 PM
While we're on the subject, does anybody else "get" the scriptural theme in TMIGE?  I'm squinting at it from every angle, and I'm not seeing how the plot involves hypocrisy, or seeing something in others while being blind to it in one's own self, or anything like that.  Yet they go out of their way to integrate that verse about motes and planks, to the point of having some crewmen arguing about it in the beginning.  In addition to the title, the epigraph, and the star system.  But it appears to be a JJ Abrams style allusion, where they take an idea and drop it at your feet like a cat dropping off a dead mouse, then look at you for approval without ever being clear about what, precisely, you're supposed to do with it.

Uh, It's been too long since I read the thing. I may be confusing it with another work. I have a hunch, but I will need to put it on my re-reading agenda. Then maybe I'll get back to you.

At present I just want to say I thoroughly enjoy your dead mouse metaphor!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on May 03, 2018, 12:41:45 AM
Part of it deals with the Universe that Pournelle had created and had Niven join him on a few occasions...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on May 03, 2018, 12:44:06 AM
I love the character of Kevin Reiner, by the way...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 03, 2018, 12:58:30 AM
Which sounds an awful lot like Kevin Riley, BTW...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on May 05, 2018, 02:28:25 AM
Incidentally, I keep wanting to say Their Eyes Were Watching God instead of The Mote in God's Eye.  That would make an ... interesting mashup.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 05, 2018, 03:47:20 AM
I guess Sally's part would be a lot bigger...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on May 05, 2018, 10:05:46 PM
The sad part was when Tea Cake went Crazy Eddie.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 05, 2018, 10:08:58 PM
Hey!  This implies that at the end, they be blockading Florida!  I'm sold.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on May 06, 2018, 02:36:34 PM
I'm in Florida...
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on May 28, 2018, 07:52:45 PM
Besides diet and cookbook stuff I've been reading some world war two nautical fiction. I can't say I recommend any of it.

Harm's Way by James Bassett. As an avid reader of historical nautical fiction, I get that fictitious ships and battles are par for the course. That's not the issue. It has immersion breaking historical inaccuracies. Like corsairs at the beginning of the war, and a Civil War allusion that was incorrect. That sort of thing. I guess they were going for more of a "Here to Eternity" sort of Pearl Harbor romance. Several characters had depth, and there was an observation about war being a way for leaders to consolidate power, but it didn't work for me as historical fiction.

Duncan Harding's Flotilla Attack, Operation ( both about destroyers ) and Sink the Scharnhorst. Here there was more historical accuracy. He jumps around between high commands, ships, Germans, English, and the odd French and American. Sometimes they spoke in German or French without translation. The trouble for me is that when they weren't speaking foreign languages or English slang, the sailors didn't seem to have different voices to me. They blurred together. So did the officers, sometimes regardless of nationality. The exceptions being historical figures, and a womanizing Brit intelligence lt. commander named Ian Fleming.

Scharnhorst uses the pretentious story within a story technique, as in The Canterburry Tales and The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. But not nearly as competently. The Brit chief petty officer couldn't possibly have known what was going on with Churchill's bunker, Hitler's mountain retreat, or occupied French gay brothels, to name a few. Maybe the technique was simply a way to end the historical drama half way through.

Next I intend to read some actual WWII history.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on May 28, 2018, 11:21:29 PM
Scathing Reveiws, but sounds very accurate.  I read Red Storm Rising long ago and found that it was very good (and Clancy is one for doing his research).  Most of the Military style fiction that I have recently read (within the last few years) has been mostly Military SF (Ringo and others) and they have also been good.  That and a few Alternate History Military books, but they have to be fairly realistic or they lose my attention (once the belief factor is removed if not good).

Anyways, Happy Memorial Day!!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on November 12, 2018, 04:13:36 PM
Been burning through a bunch of series entries from a list of 'if you like Dresden files, you'll like this'. 

October Daye series: I'm a couple books in.  Ok.  Not great.  Dresden files for a teenage girl crowd almost.  Best thing is the cat/fairy. 
Felix Castor series:  VERY VERY BRITISH.  Nearly oppressively British, so not an easy read for me. Otherwise interesting setup for the supernatural. 
Sandman Slim series:  This is like a Satire on the genre almost.  First person format, but more like a drunken teenager giving play by play than a thoughtful retrospective most these books do. 

Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on November 13, 2018, 05:39:04 PM
Try the "Halflife Chronicles " Series by William Mark Simmons.  1) "One Foot in the Grave", 2) "Dead on my Feet", 3) "Habeus Corpses" and 4) "Dead Easy".  There is a 5th book that is due to be published in April 2019, "A Witch in Time".

I'm actually re-reading the e-book versions now (Years ago, I had the dead tree versions, but don't have them now).
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on November 13, 2018, 08:04:51 PM
Yikes...that is some horrible cover art on that series... 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on November 13, 2018, 09:02:29 PM
Don't judge a book by it's cover...  :p
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Unorthodox on November 13, 2018, 09:47:28 PM
I know...but were you not recommending, I wouldn't have gotten past THAT.   Might explain how they've escaped my attention. 
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Mart on November 15, 2018, 07:45:42 PM
Reading the second book of Star Wars: Clone Wars, Gambit. by Karen Miller.
These books are in the star Wars timeline between the second and third movie: The Clone Wars. Anakin and Obi-Wan on a spy mission. It's easy reading, for someone who likes the Clone Wars it would be interesting story.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on November 16, 2018, 01:10:39 PM
You mean between the fourth and fifth movies.  ;)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on November 16, 2018, 06:23:24 PM
You mean between the fourth and fifth movies.  ;)

I'm assuming he meant the second and third episodes.  :D
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on November 16, 2018, 06:41:12 PM
Ack. Fifth and sixth!  :-[
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on November 16, 2018, 06:58:02 PM
 ;lol ;b;
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Mart on November 16, 2018, 08:20:40 PM
You mean between the fourth and fifth movies.  ;)
Yeah, that's what happens when you make a/the fourth movie first.
But yes, considering their release dates, that was between 5th and 6th.
And considering, now, octology order, it is between 2nd and 3rd.
Next year we will have ennealogy ???. nine-ology... :)
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Rusty Edge on December 28, 2018, 10:28:30 PM
GENIUS FOODS
Becoming Smarter, Happier, and More Productive
While Protecting your Brain For Life


by Max Lugavre with Paul Grewal, MD


The author was a tv journalist when his mother was stricken with Alzheimer's disease at 58. This was particularly frustrating because his mother had always been kind of a health nut. She ate whole grains and avoided oils. He spent his time supporting her and trying to find effective treatments. As a journalist he had access to doctors and scientists. Without getting into the explanations and statistics, I'll try to simply share his recommendations.


* Get enough sleep ( better yet keep your bedroom cool and dark, take a warm bath or shower first, and don't read or use your cell phone there. Stop drinking alcohol and caffeine well before. Stop eating at least an hour before.) Get direct sunlight within 20 minutes of waking.


* Try intemittent fasting.


* Use a sauna. ( for a variety of reasons including it serves the purpose of exercise. ) Also, exposing yourself to 60 degree F temps for six hours a day is beneficial as well.


*Reduce stress in your life.


*Have a purpose.


* Meditate, don't medicate.


*Spend time outdoors.


*Get a massage.


* Practice deep breathing.


DIET- Good Foods-
Wild Salmon, other sea foods aren't bad, either. 
Avacados
Almonds and other tree nuts.
Dark chocolate 80% or more
Brocolli
Eggs
Grass fed Beef
Dark Leafy Greens
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Blueberries

Bad Foods-
Processed
Grain derived oils
Carbs for breakfast
Wheat and wheat gluten
Sugar and other concentrated sweeteners
Anything with polysorbate 80 or carboxymethylcellulose in it. ( salad dressings , creamers, nut milks, and ice creams are most likely.)
Aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, acesulfame-K
Fruit juices and sodas

You probably read this and thought "BUT saunas and exercise and fasting are stressful, etc. AND you said stress was BAD."   Well, yeah. Some of this stuff works because it is stressful, and causes the body to prioritize. Apparently brain health is high on the list. So blood flow gets improved and plaques get scavenged. Sustained stress is bad. Sometimes and some kinds of stress events are a net good.


You probably also thought that this sounds like my current diet, or Keto diets, or diabetic diets. Some Alzheimer's researchers call it Type III diabetes. So, avoiding grains, starches and sweets dovetails with those goals.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on December 29, 2018, 12:32:57 AM
My elder son's godparents got him The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind for Christmas.  It's about a kid from Malawi who builds a windmill to power his village.  My boy was quite unenthusiastic at first, because the initial chapters are about life in Malawi and people believing in magic, etc.  But now the boy in the story is thirteen, and learning to fix radios.  My son is captivated.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on December 29, 2018, 02:41:55 PM
I'm finally reading The Martian. All the extremely technical science/engineering stuff is fun, but you can definitely tell this is a debut novel.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on December 29, 2018, 05:22:09 PM
You really can't.  His followup novel Artemis is written in basically the same voice, only pretending to be a woman.  It's just Weir's style.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Bearu on December 29, 2018, 06:49:00 PM
(http://store.pslweb.org/assets/images/Women%20Fight%20Back%20Cover.jpg)
.
The article discusses the importance and challenges of women across the centuries of existence in the world; the women of society exist in a state of disadvantage, and the disadvantage results from the persecution of women under the misogyny and patriarchal attitudes, both implicit and explicit. The book discusses the importance of women in a struggle for liberation.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on December 29, 2018, 11:33:43 PM
You really can't.  His followup novel Artemis is written in basically the same voice, only pretending to be a woman.  It's just Weir's style.

Oof. I mean, it's not terrible writing, but it's very prosaic, and some of the dialogue is clunky, and his sense for how to create dramatic scenes is not as well honed as, say, Ridley Scott's is.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Elok on December 31, 2018, 01:07:36 AM
If it makes you feel better, just use Amazon's "look inside" feature to scan the first few pages of Ready Player One.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Syn on January 10, 2019, 03:04:35 AM
Finally decided to give Ilona Andrews a try with the Innkeeper series. First book was okay with a rough beginning. Second was decent. Third is, thus far, quite good.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 05, 2019, 01:10:39 AM
-Just finished A Dance with Dragons, having read the whole A Song of Ice and Fire series in the last couple weeks, and now I need a bath.

I'm seriously taking a bath tonight, fer realz.

You know, because of the HBO softcore series catching on the way it has, this stuff has turned into required reading for nerdz, like Dune and Lord of the Rings and Star Trek and Star Wars - you don't really speak the language and get left out of entirely too many geek conversations if you're not familiar.  So between that, and loving the Dunc and Egg stories, I gave it a try.

First thing I'll mention is that it a series by a fat man in love with food. 

More importantly, it's vile, it's 75% padding (a significant portion which is about meals eaten), and I doubt it's going anywhere satisfying even more than I doubt it'll ever get finished.  It was a good enough yarn that I made it all the thousands of pages of way through, mostly not skimming the padding, but, like trying to watch Twin Peaks and giving up, concluding Lynch was just screwing around, I feel cheated and dirty.

When they're not eating everyone suffers - *everyone*, for five very long books.  It's ugly and it's mean-spirited, and it's way short of any good guys worth anything.  Dolorous Edd is one of the very best people of hundreds of characters.  I'm ashamed to want to know how it turns out.  I loved it, but I hated it, too - and would volunteer to contribute to a Reader's Digest version one quarter as long for free (which is totally doable).

Food and sadism, little else.  No wonder Oerdin is such a big fan.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Geo on May 05, 2019, 10:29:28 AM
Food and sadism, little else.  No wonder Oerdin is such a big fan.

You know nothing, Uncle! :P
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 05, 2019, 08:36:34 PM
You're illiterate, Ygritte!
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Lorizael on May 06, 2019, 01:55:00 PM
...it's 75% padding (a significant portion which is about meals eaten)...

You forgot descriptions of heraldry.

Anyway, how does 75% food compare to Tolkien's 75% hills/valleys/rivers/etc.?
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 06, 2019, 02:29:17 PM
Similar.  I've said so before, if you care to search.
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: E_T on May 06, 2019, 09:31:34 PM
...it's 75% padding (a significant portion which is about meals eaten)...

You forgot descriptions of heraldry.

Anyway, how does 75% food compare to Tolkien's 75% hills/valleys/rivers/etc.?
or all of his songs
Title: Re: The Reading Corner.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 13, 2019, 01:15:57 AM
I began a re-read of Little Fuzzy, by H. Beam Piper this afternoon...

...And there's one heck of a movie in that, given sufficiently good CGI and someone like Sam Elliot as Jack Holloway.  Open with grizzled prospector during opening credits, working alone, shooting a damnthing, eating alone, ect - generally looking thoroughly grizzled and tough and alone…

Gadzillions in box office, done well enough, and hella toyetic…  Geo?  Anyone else familiar?  Thoughts?