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Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 496722 times)
lowky
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from http://lovecraftismissing.com/?page_id=3142


« Reply #2620 on: March 26, 2016, 01:35:38 AM »

Feed by Mira Grant
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Talia
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Muahahahaha


« Reply #2621 on: March 26, 2016, 01:41:55 AM »

Ready Player One.

It's crap

The writing's not all that great, granted, but I enjoyed the nostalgia of it. Kind of a gimmick, sure, but for a one-time deal I thought it worked.
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jrderego
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« Reply #2622 on: March 26, 2016, 08:23:04 AM »

Ready Player One.

It's crap

The writing's not all that great, granted, but I enjoyed the nostalgia of it. Kind of a gimmick, sure, but for a one-time deal I thought it worked.

Without a the 80s references the story would be 500 words long, and that a rip of literally any quest fantasy story ever written. The writing is awful. The one or two interesting ideas in the book are also throwbacks to stuff like William Gibson's imagery and ideas from the late 1970s. Which, in case anyone didn't get his references, he spelled them out, literally, right after using them as a metaphor - or even more terribly, as a footnote.

I hate every single page of Ready Player One.

That said, I was pleasantly surprised when it stopped being an insufferable, unreadable, sentence-fragment-filled, juvi-dystopia, to become a more mature story in "Level 2". I still remained virtually unreadable, but the subject matter was more complex.

Next time someone asks me, "Jeff, why don't you write science fiction anymore?" I'll hand them this book.
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Talia
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« Reply #2623 on: March 26, 2016, 10:46:06 AM »

Next time someone asks me, "Jeff, why don't you write science fiction anymore?" I'll hand them this book.

There's plenty of evidence for good science fiction becoming popular as well, if you consider, for example, "The Martian,"  or to a lesser degree James Corey's 'The Expanse' series, if its just the popularity of the book is what turned you off. Bad things being popular shouldn't spoil a whole genre Smiley
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jrderego
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« Reply #2624 on: March 26, 2016, 11:20:08 AM »

Next time someone asks me, "Jeff, why don't you write science fiction anymore?" I'll hand them this book.

There's plenty of evidence for good science fiction becoming popular as well, if you consider, for example, "The Martian,"  or to a lesser degree James Corey's 'The Expanse' series, if its just the popularity of the book is what turned you off. Bad things being popular shouldn't spoil a whole genre Smiley

I'll give you a Mulligan on the Martian. I have it on my nightstand and my son raved about it, so that is actually set to be read right after I grind through Ready Player One. The thing is, it's not that the book is bad that gets to me, there are a ton of awful books produced and that become popular every year, normally I can ignore them because normally I read through a whole mess of different genre at any given time some of it unbelievably good and very popular - the Help by Katherine Stokkett was absolutely awesome, except for the places where it was clear this was a first novel... but that's another story... I didn't expect to find myself sacrificing sleep to plow through that one but I did, Damned by Chuck Pahlaniuk, who I normally like quite a bit, was awful and dull and poorly paced and haphazardly written.

Maybe it's because I always feel that science fiction should always look forwards and not backwards and Ready Player One only looks backwards that it gets under my skin. The same way classic rock stations get under my skin, or actual rock and roll stations that still fill their playlists with Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots, and Aerosmith. The way politics seems to marvel at the distant past as some utopia to which we should aspire. And this stupid book with all of the glowing reviews and all of the awards focus ONLY on that he makes references to shit like Thompson Twins, and Better of Dead, and more obscure crap, and people love it because they remember being 6 years old when Transformers were on TV every afternoon... I keep thinking it's more of a critique of society, that we as a people can't look forward further than the next episode of Walking Dead or some other stupid pop culture moment and that's why we aren't on the Moon or Mars. That's why the futurism that drove me to science fiction when I was a kid died off and was replaced by fear and nihilism.

And the consumers of it, the enthusiasts for it, make me angry.

I don't know. I'm old now. 46. Died twice so far, once last year. My perspective is all skewed. Get off my lawn you kids!

LOL Angry Roll Eyes Tongue
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 11:27:28 AM by jrderego » Logged

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stePH
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« Reply #2625 on: March 29, 2016, 06:28:38 PM »

I'm your age, Mr. DeRego, and I loved Ready Player One.

I'm probably a much less critical reader than you are, and while I admit the whole story's a huge nerd jerkoff fantasy, I'm basically a huge nerd jerkoff so it's actually quite well-suited to me.  Tongue
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Tango Alpha Delta
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« Reply #2626 on: March 31, 2016, 07:20:54 AM »



I don't know. I'm old now. 46. Died twice so far, once last year. My perspective is all skewed. Get off my lawn you kids!

LOL Angry Roll Eyes Tongue

I hope you're not making a habit of dying - I remember the first time, and that was bad enough!

And since you make such an elegant case for looking forward, I won't plug my novelized memoir (available now on Amazon, coming later this week to Kindle...) unless you really want me to.  Wink

But the next book will be science fiction. (Unless I finish the family history first...)
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jrderego
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« Reply #2627 on: March 31, 2016, 07:54:39 PM »



I don't know. I'm old now. 46. Died twice so far, once last year. My perspective is all skewed. Get off my lawn you kids!

LOL Angry Roll Eyes Tongue

I hope you're not making a habit of dying - I remember the first time, and that was bad enough!

And since you make such an elegant case for looking forward, I won't plug my novelized memoir (available now on Amazon, coming later this week to Kindle...) unless you really want me to.  Wink

But the next book will be science fiction. (Unless I finish the family history first...)

Believe me it was less fun the second time! Exercise Induced Arrhythmia leading to cardiac arrest - Short version: I went into cardiac arrest at the gym while lifting weights.

So, damned if I do, damned if I don't...

Good luck with your memoir! I don't have a life interesting enough to fill a note card. Write what you want! Be awesome with it. Family histories can be fun, I thought We Are the Mulvaneys (Joyce Carol Oates) was pretty good, albeit as upbeat as a funeral, but it was still very readable. I don't have much other experience with that type of storytelling that isn't woven into some sort of science fiction story.
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"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
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Tango Alpha Delta
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« Reply #2628 on: March 31, 2016, 08:32:49 PM »

I think my morbid sense of humor makes the family history more fun for me than it probably was for the cousins I end up writing about.

That, and I love names.  My current favorite is probably a lady who was briefly named Willadean Thunder (until she divorced Mr. Thunder). I also have a Thor Day in my tree (son of Glyde... and no, they were not in the petroleum business), and a Leo Homer Callin.

Most of them sound like they'd be at home in a Union Dues story than a genealogy.
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This Wiki Won't Wrangle Itself!

I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!
jrderego
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« Reply #2629 on: March 31, 2016, 08:41:03 PM »


Most of them sound like they'd be at home in a Union Dues story than a genealogy.

They sure do! LOL! Smiley
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"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html
jrderego
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« Reply #2630 on: May 08, 2016, 01:34:08 AM »

Player Piano - Kurt Vonnegut
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"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
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Fenrix
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« Reply #2631 on: May 08, 2016, 08:13:09 AM »

Halfway through the Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. So far We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a better book, but Hill House is more fun.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #2632 on: May 11, 2016, 06:25:59 PM »

Finished a re-read of The Man in the High Castle (P K Dick) yesterday, and started a short story collection by Walter Mosley called Futureland; supposedly the nine stories are all set in the same world, and interconnected. I'm only two stories in but I'm interested to see where it goes; the two so far appear to have no points of connection with each other.
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wintermute
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« Reply #2633 on: May 20, 2016, 10:14:59 AM »

Just finished Thorn by Inisar Khanani. A really good pseudo-fairytale, which resolves itself in a way I wasn't expecting.
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Science means that not all dreams can come true
jrderego
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« Reply #2634 on: May 20, 2016, 11:05:06 PM »

Finished a re-read of The Man in the High Castle (P K Dick) yesterday, and started a short story collection by Walter Mosley called Futureland; supposedly the nine stories are all set in the same world, and interconnected. I'm only two stories in but I'm interested to see where it goes; the two so far appear to have no points of connection with each other.

I haven't gone back to Man in the High Castle yet. How do you see it with subsequent reads? I enjoyed it last summer. I may read it again this summer but I am worried it will be less enthralling as a second go and me understanding the subtext and all, already. I tried and failed to watch the Amazon Prime series.
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"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html
stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #2635 on: May 24, 2016, 01:20:59 PM »

TMitHC was still good; it's just... well, it's Dick. What more can I say?
It's more a piece of worldbuilding than it is storytelling, and the ending is typical Dickian WTF, so I have a higher opinion of the series than I do of the book.

Interestingly I misremembered the nature of the book-within-a-book The Grasshopper Lies Heavy which purports to be a novel about a world wherein the Allies won the war. I remembered it being an account of history as it happened in our world, but no - it's another level of alt-history wherein FDR did not continue as President in 1940; a different president not from our history succeeded him; furthermore when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor the loss was minimal as most-or-all of the ships were out on maneuvers. And there was a lot about the post-war reconstruction wherein the USA raised the standard of living for poor people in China - I bookmarked all the pages that described passages of the book, but before I could return to the text and take notes, the library loan expired and the book deleted itself from my devices.  Sad
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stePH
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« Reply #2636 on: May 24, 2016, 01:23:31 PM »

Also I finished the Moseley book (Futureland) and enjoyed the way the stories all tied together, though where they went to was very dark and grim.
I still recommend it; it was an interesting and compelling read. Also apparently Mosley is known for writing mysteries or crime fiction; this was only his second SF work (the first called Blue Light and now I will have to seek it out.)
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"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
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jrderego
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« Reply #2637 on: May 24, 2016, 08:12:23 PM »

TMitHC was still good; it's just... well, it's Dick. What more can I say?
It's more a piece of worldbuilding than it is storytelling, and the ending is typical Dickian WTF, so I have a higher opinion of the series than I do of the book.

Interestingly I misremembered the nature of the book-within-a-book The Grasshopper Lies Heavy which purports to be a novel about a world wherein the Allies won the war. I remembered it being an account of history as it happened in our world, but no - it's another level of alt-history wherein FDR did not continue as President in 1940; a different president not from our history succeeded him; furthermore when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor the loss was minimal as most-or-all of the ships were out on maneuvers. And there was a lot about the post-war reconstruction wherein the USA raised the standard of living for poor people in China - I bookmarked all the pages that described passages of the book, but before I could return to the text and take notes, the library loan expired and the book deleted itself from my devices.  Sad

I liked the WTF ending, that (SPOILERS...)


















purported that the i-ching was either God or a cross-dimensional force that held at least two parallel universes together, and effectively authored the book, suggesting that in the parallel world where the Axis didn't win their version of The Grasshopper Lies Sleeping was about the world where the Axis won. With the universe operating like a weird infinity symbol.

I had a hard time with the show because it was much less plausible for someone to create newsreel footage than it was to write. I didn't manage to stay involved with it to the end because that was too much of a suspension of disbelief even for me. Cary Tagawa was awesome though.

Still prefer Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and a whole mess of his shorts to TMiTHC, but it's still one of the better thought provoking reads ever. Did you ever read much Vonnegut? I would recommend Mother Night as a companion piece to TMiTHC
.
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"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html
jrderego
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« Reply #2638 on: June 06, 2016, 09:19:14 PM »

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut. Unbelievably good.
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"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
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Not-a-Robot
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« Reply #2639 on: June 07, 2016, 02:39:44 AM »

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut. Unbelievably good.

That's his first novel right? I have read 4 novels (Mr. Rosewater, Cat's Cradle, Slaugherhous and Breakfast) and 2 books of short stories, but never Player Piano. I'll have to check it out.

I just finished 11/22/63. It was okay. King can be long-winded. My personal opinion is that it would have been much better if it were 400 pages thinner. Also, I'm getting tired of time travelers killing people. If you can time travel there are better ways... But no book is without flaws and as King books go, I'd put it in the better half.
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