What are you reading?

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SadisticCynic
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SadisticCynic » 10 Aug 2016 13:14

Sandwurm88 wrote:I'm going to be starting Dan Simmons' Hyperion pretty soon, which I'm excited about. I've only read Ilium by him, but I was really impressed by his imagination and technical skill.


There was a sequel to Ilium as well called Olympos. But I much prefer the Hyperion Cantos.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SadisticCynic » 10 Aug 2016 13:25

Omphalos wrote:
SadisticCynic wrote:Read the first volume of a comic called Transmetropolitan. Fantastic. :)

I'll also start on Direct Descent by Herbert soon. Almost running out of new Herbert to read...


"Almost" running out of new Herbert to read?!?!

Whew!

I thought for a second you may have saved Direct Descent for last. Be very, very glad you didn't. You will still be able to wash the shitty taste out of your mouth after you finish this particular travesty.

IMO, that book is shit. Save a good Herbert to read for afterwards.

Spoilers: http://www.omphalosbookreviews.com/inde ... s/info/453


Harsh, but I guess pretty accurate. I probably didn't think too badly of it because I invested so little time in it, just two or three sittings.

I read it the way I've been reading most Herbert novels outside his main works: as testing grounds for his main ideas (e.g. The Dragon in the Sea and The Green Brain being prototypes for Destination Void). That said I never actually check to see whether or not they come out before or after the main work! :P

I think the librarians Code to always obey is a precursor of the Spacing Guild never rocking the boat, as an example.


I think the only one I have left is The White Plague. I'm not sure I'm interested in the ones that have been recently released/edited by our beloved New Guys.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Omphalos » 11 Aug 2016 15:26

SadisticCynic wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
SadisticCynic wrote:Read the first volume of a comic called Transmetropolitan. Fantastic. :)

I'll also start on Direct Descent by Herbert soon. Almost running out of new Herbert to read...


"Almost" running out of new Herbert to read?!?!

Whew!

I thought for a second you may have saved Direct Descent for last. Be very, very glad you didn't. You will still be able to wash the shitty taste out of your mouth after you finish this particular travesty.

IMO, that book is shit. Save a good Herbert to read for afterwards.

Spoilers: http://www.omphalosbookreviews.com/inde ... s/info/453


Harsh, but I guess pretty accurate. I probably didn't think too badly of it because I invested so little time in it, just two or three sittings.

I read it the way I've been reading most Herbert novels outside his main works: as testing grounds for his main ideas (e.g. The Dragon in the Sea and The Green Brain being prototypes for Destination Void). That said I never actually check to see whether or not they come out before or after the main work! :P

I think the librarians Code to always obey is a precursor of the Spacing Guild never rocking the boat, as an example.


I think the only one I have left is The White Plague. I'm not sure I'm interested in the ones that have been recently released/edited by our beloved New Guys.


The White Plague is a good one. Herbert is trying in that one to push his own boundaries, I think. I would love to have seen where he went as a writer after this one, but unfortunately he got sick, and let his conniving little shit-head of a son co-write a single book after this one before he died. I have a review of that one too on my site, but its an older one and kinda sucks. Curious what your thoughts are after finishing it.

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SadisticCynic » 12 Aug 2016 13:17

Omphalos wrote:
SadisticCynic wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
SadisticCynic wrote:Read the first volume of a comic called Transmetropolitan. Fantastic. :)

I'll also start on Direct Descent by Herbert soon. Almost running out of new Herbert to read...


"Almost" running out of new Herbert to read?!?!

Whew!

I thought for a second you may have saved Direct Descent for last. Be very, very glad you didn't. You will still be able to wash the shitty taste out of your mouth after you finish this particular travesty.

IMO, that book is shit. Save a good Herbert to read for afterwards.

Spoilers: http://www.omphalosbookreviews.com/inde ... s/info/453


Harsh, but I guess pretty accurate. I probably didn't think too badly of it because I invested so little time in it, just two or three sittings.

I read it the way I've been reading most Herbert novels outside his main works: as testing grounds for his main ideas (e.g. The Dragon in the Sea and The Green Brain being prototypes for Destination Void). That said I never actually check to see whether or not they come out before or after the main work! :P

I think the librarians Code to always obey is a precursor of the Spacing Guild never rocking the boat, as an example.


I think the only one I have left is The White Plague. I'm not sure I'm interested in the ones that have been recently released/edited by our beloved New Guys.


The White Plague is a good one. Herbert is trying in that one to push his own boundaries, I think. I would love to have seen where he went as a writer after this one, but unfortunately he got sick, and let his conniving little shit-head of a son co-write a single book after this one before he died. I have a review of that one too on my site, but its an older one and kinda sucks. Curious what your thoughts are after finishing it.


I'll let you know when I get to it. :P

Currently have a friend throwing every volume of Transmetropolitan at me, and also picked up A Seed To Harvest, which has all but one of Butler's Patternmaster novels.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Naib » 12 Aug 2016 13:31

Just finished Inish Carraig by Jo Zebedee. A post alien invasion book set in Belfast after the aliens have won. Very good read.

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Omphalos » 12 Aug 2016 16:17

SadisticCynic wrote:Currently have a friend throwing every volume of Transmetropolitan at me,


Meh. I prefer Vice Media's style. :D

SadisticCynic wrote:and also picked up A Seed To Harvest, which has all but one of Butler's Patternmaster novels.


Goooooooood books. Early Butler, and very interesting. That missing book is called Survivor. For some reason Butler disowned it after it's first print run and never authorized further publishings. If you are reading the Omnibus Survivor is not in there. Suggest you track it down and read it. I found it and got it through inter-library loan once. Not only was I impressed that a young author (at that time) could maintain such firm control of her published work, but I still cannot figure out what her issue with it was.

Clay's Ark and the first one are my two favorites. I think the first was actually called Patternmaster.

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SadisticCynic » 12 Aug 2016 17:43

Omphalos wrote:
SadisticCynic wrote:Currently have a friend throwing every volume of Transmetropolitan at me,


Meh. I prefer Vice Media's style. :D

SadisticCynic wrote:and also picked up A Seed To Harvest, which has all but one of Butler's Patternmaster novels.


Goooooooood books. Early Butler, and very interesting. That missing book is called Survivor. For some reason Butler disowned it after it's first print run and never authorized further publishings. If you are reading the Omnibus Survivor is not in there. Suggest you track it down and read it. I found it and got it through inter-library loan once. Not only was I impressed that a young author (at that time) could maintain such firm control of her published work, but I still cannot figure out what her issue with it was.

Clay's Ark and the first one are my two favorites. I think the first was actually called Patternmaster.


I'm not a comic book guy, the only other things I've read are the manga Berserk and Watchmen. But I really like this one. Might have to expand my tastes to include comics... and I already spend so much time consuming media...

Yeah, Seed To Harvest is missing Survivor, and also presents the novels via their internal chronological order rather than publication order. I might ignore that though and go for publication order. Makes a bit more sense to me.

I did take a glimpse to see if Survivor was available second hand on Amazon or eBay, but the prices are insane. I'll have a look at the library as well.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SadisticCynic » 12 Aug 2016 17:46

Naib wrote:Just finished Inish Carraig by Jo Zebedee. A post alien invasion book set in Belfast after the aliens have won. Very good read.


Oh! That sounds really interesting, particularly being set in Belfast.

The White Plague I mentioned above is also set in Ireland as I recall, although I can't remember whether it was North or South...
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Eyes High » 27 Aug 2016 04:02

The President's Vampire by Christopher Farnsworth
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Mandy » 30 Aug 2016 11:16

I'm about halfway through Consider Phlebas (Iain M. Banks). It's pretty good, not one of my favorites by him.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SadisticCynic » 12 Sep 2016 12:07

Been reading a few non-fiction books.

Freakonomics was a bit meh for me, but it seems to be really popular.

Now I'm reading Popper by Bryan Magee. Very short but concise introduction to Popper's main ideas. I think I'll try and springboard off this into more philosophy again. It's been a while...

I've spent the last week rewatching old Hitchens videos and in the process came across Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Immediately fell in love, and I'll be reading her book Infidel next. :)


Omph, I've finished Patternmaster and Mind of My Mind, and now I'm reading Wild Seed. These are wonderful, and I can see a lot of parallels with Dune in them. I'm going to be so upset when I exhaust Butler's bibliography.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Omphalos » 12 Sep 2016 14:14

SadisticCynic wrote:Omph, I've finished Patternmaster and Mind of My Mind, and now I'm reading Wild Seed. These are wonderful, and I can see a lot of parallels with Dune in them. I'm going to be so upset when I exhaust Butler's bibliography.


I felt the same way when I finished all of her works.

You know, if I recall correctly Harlan Ellison bought a story of hers once. He was supposed to put it into Again, Dangerous Visions, which he never got around to publishing. I don't think it has been published elsewhere, and Ellison is somewhat notorious for (well, many things, but) refusing to relinquish his rights on the stories that were supposed to go into that anthology. If all of that is true, then you will never truly be out of Butler to read. True, you wont have access to the last story, but at least its out there. :D

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Freakzilla » 14 Sep 2016 13:13

I read Dan Simmons' The Terror a few years back, a historical fiction about a doomed arctic expedition. Well, they found it: http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/13/12902 ... yptr=yahoo
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Eyes High » 21 Sep 2016 00:50

The President's Vampire by Christopher Farnsworth

The title grabbed my attention admit that I hadn't heard of the author before. Not too bad so far. Spiff is also reading it.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SadisticCynic » 02 Oct 2016 12:48

I finished Seed to Harvest and I guess I'd rank them this way:

Wild Seed
Mind of my Mind
Patternmaster
Clay's Ark

Wild Seed was just so wonderful. Loved it. Now after having read them I'm glad I started in release order rather than chronological. I think it really does work better that way.

Next fiction is The Baroque Cycle by Stephenson. This is going to take a while. First one is Quicksilver and is 1000 pages of small print.

I said I was going to read Infidel by Hirsi Ali, actually it was Heretic. Very nice. I like her bold style.

Now Conjectures and Refutations by Popper. Another tome. Good times.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Omphalos » 03 Oct 2016 11:04

I got interested in some Stephen King recently. I have a bunch of his early books sitting on my table.

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Sardaukar Capt » 12 Oct 2016 16:03

Reading Heretics of Dune again for the first time in years, maybe a decade. I re-read GEoD again around the first of the year. I like to re-read Frank's Dune books a few times a decade. I find myself forgetting a good bit of the subtext and details because they are so dense and it feels almost new again each time.

Last non-Dune, non-Frank book I read recently was I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. It's a great modern day thriller.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby WolfgangMercury » 12 Oct 2016 22:18

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Only about 70 pages in, and surprised by how light the reading is. Don Quixote is very unlikable, and nothing like his 60's sentimental musical representation. A common thing, I guess with book to theatrical adaptions.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Freakzilla » 13 Oct 2016 10:13

I'm reading HoD too, part of my annual reread of the series.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Sardaukar Capt » 13 Oct 2016 12:12

I'm also started John Scalzi's The End of All Things, the latest in his Old Man's War series. Since I read the others, I feel like I need to complete the series even though it's not that great anymore. 17% through it. Not terribly impressed with it so far. But then again, I haven't been impressed with his Old Man's War series since Ghost Brigades. He admitted on his blog that this latest one isn't the last, he's under contract to do one more. Reading that and the way the series has gone tells me he probably only had one book in him and while Ghost Brigades was really good, I think he's only written more than the first one because he's under obligation because its the book that launched him and got him his publishing contract, not because he has a burning desire to tell more OMW stories.

Either that or he's just not that great a writer :) although Red Shirts was a fun read for being a Star Trek spoof/ripoff. I know it was intentional but still not very original.
The name Atreides was also consciously chosen. It is the family name of Agamemnon. Says Herbert, "I wanted a sense of monumental aristocracy, but with tragedy hanging over them--and in our culture, Agamemnon personifies that."
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http://tim.oreilly.com/herbert/

Ghanima said. "We Atreides go back to Agamemnon..."
Distracted, Irulan asked: "Who's Agamemnon?"

Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

WTF? A BG forgets the Titans?! :)

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Omphalos » 14 Oct 2016 12:50

Sardaukar Capt wrote:Either that or he's just not that great a writer :) although Red Shirts was a fun read for being a Star Trek spoof/ripoff. I know it was intentional but still not very original.


This is how I feel. The guy has some chops when it's absolutely necessary, like when his family is starving; but at any other time? Nope.

I will say that I also enjoyed You Hate Mail Will Be Graded, but really seems to spread himself too thin. If he'd just ignore that fucking blog maybe he'd have some time to concentrate and write another good goddam book.

1/20 of his stuff is inspired, the rest is by-the-numbers. Though I will give him credit for following his muse. A ST-type book in the oughts? A rewrite of a forgotten Piper book? All of that was really out of left field, but, alas, bad in the end anyway.

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Naib » 25 Nov 2016 06:32

Just finished The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks. I've held onto the book for three years, but I couldn't wait any longer. The fact that it's over now makes me sad about Banks' untimely death all over again.

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SadisticCynic » 19 Dec 2016 19:23

Whew, it's been months but I finally got through The Baroque Cycle. What an awesome piece of work. I know it's always illusory (at least for me) but I have the feeling at the end of that that I won't experience something like that again.

Until the next Stephenson book I suppose...

Next on my list are a collection of Le Guin novels called Worlds of Exile and Illusion, containing Rocannon's World, Planet of Exile and City of Illusions, and The Anthropic Cosmological Principle by Barrow and Tipler. I haven't read any Le Guin since The Left Hand of Darkness so I needed to fix that.

...Principle contains the physics behind on of the main ideas in the Hyperion Cantos. It was recommended (somewhat cautiously) by Deutsch in his book, so I've decided to give it a try. It's another serious tome though.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Robspierre » 30 Dec 2016 18:34

Pirate Utopia Bruce Sterling I spent most of the time going wtf???? at this over the top novella, fun stuff.
The Flame Bearer Bernard Cornwell latest in The Saxon Series
Appetites Anthony Bourdain his latest cookbook
Hillbilly Elegy J.D. Vance a memoir about his life coming from Appalachia, not what most expect, gives insight into rural poor attitudes and why they think and act as they do, recommended reading for all those who are urban dwellers to understand rural context.


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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Omphalos » 02 Jan 2017 12:25

I am about 1/2 way through a book I started a few weeks ago, called Prisoners of Geography. Its about my favorite topic for discussion, geopolitics.

I also have a copy of Roadside Picnic sitting on my bedside table, but haven't really started it yet.


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