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Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 653934 times)

Russell Nash

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Reply #25 on: January 17, 2007, 08:48:06 PM
A friend forced the first two on me and they've been sitting there for a year now. She has the full series and seems to expect me to read it. I was just wondering if I should start the fight or run.

1.) Do you deeply enjoy fantasy?

2.) Are your reading sensibilities such that an entertaining style and humor will get you through sections (or entire books) of weak plot, until the plot picks back up again and becomes strong?

3.) Is she cute?


(One has to weigh all the factors.)


I enjoy any entertaining story. I prefer a good plot that doesn't insult my intelligence.(hence why I hate Jerry Bruckheimer movies) However if the book is extremely intelligent and amusing it can cover for a weaker plot. She is easy on the eyes, but is an absolute Psycho.



madjo

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Reply #26 on: January 17, 2007, 10:48:10 PM
For the PTerry fans (Pratchett's online handle), his book Mort is dramatized for the English radio (BBC7), and everyone can listen to it on the web.
You have till Saturday. (then comes the next episode)

And this is the link to the page with the 'listen now' button.
Warning it's a realplayer link. :)



Brian Reilly

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Reply #27 on: January 20, 2007, 11:07:09 AM

Since then he's been all over the map.  Some books are still silly satire, and there are some that just plain aren't good (Jingo and Thief of Time did nothing for me), but sometimes he gets deep.  Really deep.  And the jokes are always there, but sometimes the jokes are serious.  I'd put Night Watch up against just about any other fantasy novel for complexity, character depth, and capacity to astonish.  And Wee Free Men is one of the best YA novels I'd read in a very long time.


Night Watch may be my favourite Discworld book. There's an incredible depth to it, and my Pratchett-fatigued friends are really missing out.

My first discworld book was Reaper Man, which I see as one of the lesse ones. I'm glad I stuck with the series though.

Wee Free Men was fantastic. I am Scottish after all.

Russell- I wouldn't start with the first two. It's not that they aren't funny books, but perhaps you should start with one of the better early ones- try Small Gods.

 
Quote
3.) Is she cute?

On a tangent- this gives me an idea for a thread topic.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2007, 06:47:22 PM by Russell Nash »

The 21st Century is when it all changes, and you’ve gotta be ready- Captain Jack, Torchwood.


bekemeyer

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Reply #28 on: January 22, 2007, 10:22:06 PM
I am sort of new to reading any kind of SF/fantasy and there's so much out there, I'm not sure where to start.  By that I mean, what's worth reading and what's not.  So my question is, what are your selective top 3-5 must read "books"?  the ones that are already in my que to read are The Foundation Series, some Orson Scott Card books, The Lord of the Rings series and a book called "The Traveler" by John Twelve Hawks. 

i'm sure people have books that made them want to come back for more. 

thanks. 

-B   

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madjo

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Reply #29 on: January 23, 2007, 10:38:52 AM
> "The Traveller" by John Twelve Hawks. 
I have this book on the night stand at the moment. It is a book that evokes a lot of different emotion for me :)
Mostly anger because of the picture of the future that it paints. (A very 1984-esque picture)
Anger because I can see it happening in real life too (well the intrusion of privacy described in the book at least)



bekemeyer

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Reply #30 on: January 23, 2007, 10:43:36 AM
do you like the book, or is it making you miserable? 

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Russell Nash

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Reply #31 on: January 23, 2007, 11:55:36 AM
I am sort of new to reading any kind of SF/fantasy and there's so much out there, I'm not sure where to start.  By that I mean, what's worth reading and what's not.  So my question is, what are your selective top 3-5 must read "books"? 

My advice is always read a series from the beginning. If someone gives you part 2, don't read it until you read part 1. Even if it isn't a continuation of the storyline, it has necessary information about the world the story is in.

1) Dune by Frank Herbert (sf)
2) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (sf)
3) The Belgariad by David (& Leigh) Eddings (f)

There is a discussion about Dune going on right now. The emphasis is really on how much of it you should read. Everyone seems to agree that the first is essential reading and form there it kind of slows down and gets dense. How much further you want to go seems to be a personal thing.

Ender's Game is the book that broke Card onto the scene.

The Belgariad is my favorite fantasy series. It's got a good epic story and they ended the epic. This is important. Steve was commenting in one of the intro on how many epic series now just never end. they get the readers hooked in and just keep going long past the point of interest. The Belgariad also has a really good sense of humor. I think this helps readers who are new to the fantasy genre.



bekemeyer

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Reply #32 on: January 23, 2007, 12:04:17 PM
definitely read Ender's Game.  i just started Children of the Mind.  then i will take a break from OSC for a bit.  Dune keeps coming up on the list.  so, i'll make sure and read that one.  but the third one on you list, is one i don't think i had heard of.

thanks.

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bekemeyer

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Reply #33 on: January 23, 2007, 12:16:36 PM
sorry, but i keep wondering what it is about the rest of the Dune series that seems to irritate everyone so much?  is it one of those things that i will get once i read the first book, or what?

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Russell Nash

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Reply #34 on: January 23, 2007, 01:39:27 PM
sorry, but i keep wondering what it is about the rest of the Dune series that seems to irritate everyone so much?  is it one of those things that i will get once i read the first book, or what?

The thread on Dune really covers it. Basically as you go through the books, the complexity of the politics emerges more and the action evaporates. Check out the thread for more detail.



bekemeyer

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Reply #35 on: January 23, 2007, 01:51:02 PM
i will, but, i'll wait until i've read the book.  thanks.

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Russell Nash

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Reply #36 on: January 23, 2007, 05:02:18 PM
i will, but, i'll wait until i've read the book.  thanks.

The thread doesn't give away any plot elements yet. It just argues the value of the later books.



bekemeyer

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Reply #37 on: January 23, 2007, 05:04:58 PM
okay.  cool, thanks. 

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Startrekwiki

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Reply #38 on: February 22, 2007, 04:38:05 AM
I've actually just finished Garth Nix's Sabriel. It's pretty interesting, and though heavily based on our real world's past history, which Nix takes and twists into an Earthsea [Ursula Le Guin] typed world. This is especially so when... Actually, I'll just leave it as "This is a pretty good book".

I'm also reading what is supposedly SF, a book called "Echelon", by Josh Conviser. It's a very... Action-packed, future James Bond kind of book.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2007, 01:22:03 AM by Startrekwiki »



Alasdair5000

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Reply #39 on: February 22, 2007, 11:43:44 AM
   A couple of things at the moment:

DEEP STORM by Lincoln Childs-An oil rig burrows through to Atlantis, except...it might not be.  Really well done adventure fiction from one half of the team behind The Relic.

ENIGMA by Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo-One of the most under rated, and arguably best, graphic novels of the '90s.  A young man discovers that the comic he loved as a child is coming to life and its all his fault...  Funny, horrific and incredibly smart, its one of those books that deserves more attention than its got.

MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS by Kelly Link-Some of my friends love her stories, others think they're irritating and twee.  I fall somewhere between the two.  I'm four stories in and the vast majority of what I've read, especially 'The Hortlak' has been pretty good.



madjo

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Reply #40 on: February 23, 2007, 02:16:36 PM
do you like the book, or is it making you miserable? 
I like the way it's written, but the picture it paints is making me a little bit depressed.
Mind you I'm only halfway, and I know that it's fiction, but it seems sooo close to reality at times. :)



Startrekwiki

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Reply #41 on: February 23, 2007, 02:27:19 PM
I've actually completed Sabriel... I recommend it. But, what is the name of the writer who dismissed Global Warming?



SFEley

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Reply #42 on: February 23, 2007, 03:17:05 PM
I've actually completed Sabriel... I recommend it. But, what is the name of the writer who dismissed Global Warming?

That would be Michael Crichton.  I am told that he argues against global warming in State of Fear, claiming that scientific evidence is weak (it isn't) and that the current concern over it is just another Hollywood fad.  He also gave a lecture at CalTech titled "Aliens Cause Global Warming," equating 'consensus science' with belief in UFOs.

This annoys the crap out of me -- not so much that he expressed his opinion, but that he's being treated as an expert by so many people, testifying before committees, etc.  Crichton is not a scientist.  He is a doctor, and in my opinion he wrote one damn good medical SF thriller (The Andromeda Strain) before he realized he could make up anything he ever needed.

And that's fine.  I don't mind science fiction writers making things up.  The field would be pretty damn boring if they didn't.  But treating science fiction writers as scientists, with real-world expertise, on the virtue of stuff they've made up, is dangerous.

ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine


Startrekwiki

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Reply #43 on: February 23, 2007, 08:48:00 PM
Yes. Actually, I think he was sued by people like the CBC. I hear, from word of mouth, that is. But, I believe that people like him have only the right of free speech protecting them from being jailed. I mean, what is he talking about? I don't quite know. Allegedly, his book is a real drag, too.



Reap3r

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Reply #44 on: February 23, 2007, 11:33:31 PM
That would be Michael Crichton.  I am told that he argues against global warming in State of Fear, claiming that scientific evidence is weak (it isn't) and that the current concern over it is just another Hollywood fad.

I don't think it should be a discussion about whether or not global warming is happening, but whether or not it's actually a problem. Is it a bad thing, are we just coming out of an ice age, or is it something else? At the moment, I don't think it's a bad thing; but that's because of some of the talks I've had with my dad, not my personal knowledge on the subject. I may do some reading about the facts, but I never know if I'll actually remember to.

Thinking? I've never heard of that. Is it some kind of food? Please tell me it tastes better than those sick pop tarts filled with meat. You know, Hot Pockets. What, thinking isn't a food? Well then, what is it? Does it have to be built. I hate building things. JUST TELL ME NOW! O look, a bird.


Startrekwiki

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Reply #45 on: February 23, 2007, 11:36:52 PM
It's a bad thing, but I think that it's not yet completely imminent yet. We're getting there, but slowly. This could also be a story. The days before complete destruction of the Ozone layer.



SFEley

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Reply #46 on: February 24, 2007, 12:14:47 AM
I don't think it should be a discussion about whether or not global warming is happening, but whether or not it's actually a problem. Is it a bad thing, are we just coming out of an ice age, or is it something else? At the moment, I don't think it's a bad thing; but that's because of some of the talks I've had with my dad, not my personal knowledge on the subject. I may do some reading about the facts, but I never know if I'll actually remember to.

It's Pascal's Wager with more evidence.  There can never be absolute certainty about the future, but there are enough signs that the rational course is to assume we're bound for Hell and do whatever we feasibly can to stop it.

Worst case if it isn't a problem and we treat it like it is?  We spend a shitload of money, and make a number of sacrifices in personal lifestyle, to clean up the environment and extend our fossil fuel supply.

Worst case if it is a problem and we treat it like it isn't?  Sea level rises 10 to 20 feet, the failure of the Gulf Stream freezes Western Europe, ecosystems are disrupted globally, hundreds of millions may die.  That is an extreme case, but a scientifically plausible one.

The reason it's Pascal's Wager is because we have to choose now.  By the time we get to find out whether we were right or not, it's far too late to choose.

ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine


Startrekwiki

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Reply #47 on: February 24, 2007, 12:21:20 AM
I don't think it should be a discussion about whether or not global warming is happening, but whether or not it's actually a problem. Is it a bad thing, are we just coming out of an ice age, or is it something else? At the moment, I don't think it's a bad thing; but that's because of some of the talks I've had with my dad, not my personal knowledge on the subject. I may do some reading about the facts, but I never know if I'll actually remember to.

It's Pascal's Wager with more evidence.  There can never be absolute certainty about the future, but there are enough signs that the rational course is to assume we're bound for Hell and do whatever we feasibly can to stop it.

Worst case if it isn't a problem and we treat it like it is?  We spend a shitload of money, and make a number of sacrifices in personal lifestyle, to clean up the environment and extend our fossil fuel supply.

Worst case if it is a problem and we treat it like it isn't?  Sea level rises 10 to 20 feet, the failure of the Gulf Stream freezes Western Europe, ecosystems are disrupted globally, hundreds of millions may die.  That is an extreme case, but a scientifically plausible one.

The reason it's Pascal's Wager is because we have to choose now.  By the time we get to find out whether we were right or not, it's far too late to choose.

This isn't new news: Al Gore said it, and many other "Save the Earth" pilgrims. They have good ideas, and we should follow them. It's too bad that no-one actually has the self-control to do anything about this.



Reap3r

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Reply #48 on: February 24, 2007, 01:17:57 AM
I've done a little searching and everything I saw was about negative effects, and none of them talking about what the actual possibilities are.
It's a bad thing, but I think that it's not yet completely imminent yet. We're getting there, but slowly. This could also be a story. The days before complete destruction of the Ozone layer.
What if the extra water molecules due to a warmer planet are able to replace the ozone layer? I'm not saying I have any proof of this being even possible. It is simply one of many possiblity that should be discussed. There is no way anyone will ever figure out what will actually happen unless they discuss all the possiblities and look at it without the bias of "The world will be destroyed if we don't stop global warming"(I know that most people aren't saying that). I think we should be warming up. The last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago.
It's Pascal's Wager with more evidence.  There can never be absolute certainty about the future, but there are enough signs that the rational course is to assume we're bound for Hell and do whatever we feasibly can to stop it.
I agree that we should assume the worst, but we could be missing something that could be found if we stopped assuming our assumptions are right, and try to discover if our assumptions are right.

Thinking? I've never heard of that. Is it some kind of food? Please tell me it tastes better than those sick pop tarts filled with meat. You know, Hot Pockets. What, thinking isn't a food? Well then, what is it? Does it have to be built. I hate building things. JUST TELL ME NOW! O look, a bird.


Startrekwiki

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Reply #49 on: February 24, 2007, 01:21:27 AM
I think that we should assume the worst. But not just the worst, we should also assume that we need to stop or slow the global warming.