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The "What Are You Reading" Thread

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Posts

  • necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    I realize this is D&D, but I can't believe we're having a serious discussion about Robert Jordan's ability to write women. It's not even up for discussion. The guy wrote shades of an archetypical female construct that is as unrealistic as it is painful to read. This retconning of possible character arcs for the women he's written is a nice conversational exercise, but come on....

    There's no point in you getting both of yourselves all worked up and ready to chart the undiscovered country, then having her flush crimson red, run to the bathroom, and spend twenty minutes straining and grunting and stressing out because you're all ready to deliver your package but there's a three inch thick Sunday paper clogging up the mail slot.
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    I'm reading Nortstrilla and man

    Cordwainer Smith is the weirdest and best. I love the late-60's future.

    He's amazing, and absolutely one of a kind.

    Finished James Ellroy's Blood's a Rover. Amazing. Reading it right after his book about the women in his life informed the experience nicely.

    She's amazing, actually. 60's pseudonym female author! They're always great. Particularly because like 90% of them were researchers or something and both needed a male name to get published and a pseudonym to not get laughed at for publishing SF.

    Also A Canticle for Leibowitz is one of the ones my dad recommended me when I was a kid. It's great art. It really is the one of the only things that has made me understand a Catholic viewpoint and appreciate it.

    Cordwainer Smith wasn't one of the 60's female pseudonym authors.

  • Form of Monkey!Form of Monkey! Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    HamHamJ wrote:

    Re: Quality of writing vs story

    I read a lot of Battletech and similarly pulpy fiction. Personally as long as the author can string together words in an intelligible fashion that's good enough. But actually clever writing is also a treat when you can get it.

    May I make a recommendation then? Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins is one of the most clever fiction books ever written in terms of narrative devices and figurative language. I won't spoil the book for you obviously, but many of its key characters are inanimate objects that have entire conversations with each other. It is a work of genius and arguably Robbins' greatest triumph, though I may be saying that only because it is my favorite Tom Robbins book.

    I haven't had the pleasure of reading anything of his as of late, because he hasn't written much lately outside of an ironic children's book and a non-fiction compilation. But please do check out Skinny Legs and All. Your pal Form of Monkey wouldn't steer you wrong. :^:

    Form of Monkey! on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    necroSYS wrote: »
    I realize this is D&D, but I can't believe we're having a serious discussion about Robert Jordan's ability to write women. It's not even up for discussion. The guy wrote shades of an archetypical female construct that is as unrealistic as it is painful to read. This retconning of possible character arcs for the women he's written is a nice conversational exercise, but come on....

    For something not up for discussion, your attempt at discussion is piss-poor.

  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    I've been reading Neuropath by R. Scott Bakker and enjoying it, although it has made for poor before-bed reading. There are things in that book which straight up horrify and leave me feeling nauseous, and I don't generally view myself as having a weak constitution.

    Gamecenter/Gamertag/Steam ID/PSN: Entriech
    Guild Wars 2: Entriech.3507 | Scythe Gearsnap, Phlork, Irenic
  • necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    shryke wrote: »
    necroSYS wrote: »
    I realize this is D&D, but I can't believe we're having a serious discussion about Robert Jordan's ability to write women. It's not even up for discussion. The guy wrote shades of an archetypical female construct that is as unrealistic as it is painful to read. This retconning of possible character arcs for the women he's written is a nice conversational exercise, but come on....

    For something not up for discussion, your attempt at discussion is piss-poor.

    Porquoi?

    There's no point in you getting both of yourselves all worked up and ready to chart the undiscovered country, then having her flush crimson red, run to the bathroom, and spend twenty minutes straining and grunting and stressing out because you're all ready to deliver your package but there's a three inch thick Sunday paper clogging up the mail slot.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    necroSYS wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    necroSYS wrote: »
    I realize this is D&D, but I can't believe we're having a serious discussion about Robert Jordan's ability to write women. It's not even up for discussion. The guy wrote shades of an archetypical female construct that is as unrealistic as it is painful to read. This retconning of possible character arcs for the women he's written is a nice conversational exercise, but come on....

    For something not up for discussion, your attempt at discussion is piss-poor.

    Porquoi?

    Because you've done nothing other then claim you've already made your point, even though you've said nothing?
    Because you've posted the equivalent of drive-by trolling?
    Because even with your second post you still can't bring yourself to even make a single point?

    shryke on
  • necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    So, you have nothing to say about what I did actually post, other than to say that I didn't post anything?

    Okay, then.

    There's no point in you getting both of yourselves all worked up and ready to chart the undiscovered country, then having her flush crimson red, run to the bathroom, and spend twenty minutes straining and grunting and stressing out because you're all ready to deliver your package but there's a three inch thick Sunday paper clogging up the mail slot.
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    valgomir wrote: »
    valgomir wrote: »
    valgomir wrote: »
    Have you read Bounty Hunter Wars by K.W. Jeter? They're amazing.

    I think so, yeah. I mean, I read like 3 or 4 books with lots of bounty hunters in them and I think this was one of them, but I can't remember for sure...

    It was a trilogy that occurred half in the present and half in the past. It began right after Boba Fett escaped from the Sarlacc Pit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bounty_Hunter_Wars

    It was the reason I became a Boba Fett fan. Also it was a good guide for the Star Wars EU universe when I started reading the novels.

    Yep, I read that, and Boba Fett really is awesome.
    But I like really, REALLY snarky characters, hence my love for the X-Wing series and Han Solo ;)
    It makes me sad that whenever I go into a book store and see what Star Wars books they have to offer, the only books there are from the Yuuzhan Vong war era or after that.

    Need to read the X-Wing series. I'm in the minority but I enjoyed New Jedi Order. There are various books about the Clone Wars era now, too. Haven't got to them personally, they're there if you want to read from different eras. You might like Star Trek: New Frontier, it has snarky characters IIRC. It's written by Peter David. Dresden Files, as well.

    I've read several books from the Clone Wars era (and several from NJO too) but I just like the Rebellion / New Republic eras the most.
    I keep hearing about Dresden Files (and reading about it on TvTropes) so I guess that might be the next thing. Thanks :)

    You'll love Harry Dresden. Being a snarky bastard is 9/10th of his character, especially in the first few novels.

    edit: Felix Castor is a similar character. Never read his novels, though. They were originally based on a failed pitch for Hellblazer by Mike Carey.

    Harry Dresden on
  • Tiger BurningTiger Burning (poster is a bear)Registered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
    Entriech wrote: »
    I've been reading Neuropath by R. Scott Bakker and enjoying it, although it has made for poor before-bed reading. There are things in that book which straight up horrify and leave me feeling nauseous, and I don't generally view myself as having a weak constitution.

    Thanks for reminding me. I should read Neuropath and the other, non-fantasy thing he did. I'm a big, big fan of his fantasy series.

    “You could tell by the way he talked, though, that he had gone to school a long time. That was probably what was wrong with him.”
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    necroSYS wrote: »
    So, you have nothing to say about what I did actually post, other than to say that I didn't post anything?

    Okay, then.

    You didn't say anything other then "It's not worth discussing". And even that you didn't back up.

    There is nothing to discuss other then your trollish behavior.

  • necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Actually, I did, but I'm not likely to enjoy further discussion of it with someone that has such poor reading comprehension, so never mind.

    There's no point in you getting both of yourselves all worked up and ready to chart the undiscovered country, then having her flush crimson red, run to the bathroom, and spend twenty minutes straining and grunting and stressing out because you're all ready to deliver your package but there's a three inch thick Sunday paper clogging up the mail slot.
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    necroSYS wrote: »
    Actually, I did, but I'm not likely to enjoy further discussion of it with someone that has such poor reading comprehension, so never mind.

    No, see, what you're writing is just a conclusion. "Wheel of Time has shitty female characters"

    Which I personally think is true.

    But you shouldn't expect anyone to give a damn about your opinion when you're not providing any examples or reasons to think that, except for a single massive generalization.

    Being probably right doesn't excuse shoddy as hell argumentation.

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    I guess I don't get what the problem is with his female characters? I really don't have a big problem with them. I mean, they're not personalities that I would advocate young girls take after, but they're not all that bad.

    I just don't see them being described as 'harpies' or some of the other words you guys are using. But maybe I'm not reading that deeply into it. It's taken me this long and somebody else's comment here to realize that Mat is apparently Odin. Oh, and that got me thinking, Perrin is possibly Enkidu. Or Elyas is Enkidu.

    Anyways, maybe if this is that big of a topic, we should make our own thread for WoT? Since some of us seem to be reading/rereading them?

    My Little Corner of the World || I am ravelried! || My Steam!
    You have to fight through some bad days, to earn the best days of your life.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I guess I don't get what the problem is with his female characters? I really don't have a big problem with them. I mean, they're not personalities that I would advocate young girls take after, but they're not all that bad.

    I just don't see them being described as 'harpies' or some of the other words you guys are using. But maybe I'm not reading that deeply into it. It's taken me this long and somebody else's comment here to realize that Mat is apparently Odin. Oh, and that got me thinking, Perrin is possibly Enkidu. Or Elyas is Enkidu.

    Anyways, maybe if this is that big of a topic, we should make our own thread for WoT? Since some of us seem to be reading/rereading them?

    Perrin is Thor. The hammer and all.

    Rand is Tyr btw.

    shryke on
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    huh. I didn't.... see I was thinking with the wolves... But I guess that makes sense. But looking at it for similarities outside of one particular pantheon, Rand is Jesus. And perrin is Enkidu. so there. ppffffft.

    My Little Corner of the World || I am ravelried! || My Steam!
    You have to fight through some bad days, to earn the best days of your life.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    huh. I didn't.... see I was thinking with the wolves... But I guess that makes sense. But looking at it for similarities outside of one particular pantheon, Rand is Jesus. And perrin is Enkidu. so there. ppffffft.

    Oh yeah, they are totally supposed to be mashups of dozens of legends/myths/religions/etc.

  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    WOT question.
    Spoiler:

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Kana wrote: »
    necroSYS wrote: »
    Actually, I did, but I'm not likely to enjoy further discussion of it with someone that has such poor reading comprehension, so never mind.

    No, see, what you're writing is just a conclusion. "Wheel of Time has shitty female characters"

    Which I personally think is true.

    But you shouldn't expect anyone to give a damn about your opinion when you're not providing any examples or reasons to think that, except for a single massive generalization.

    Being probably right doesn't excuse shoddy as hell argumentation.

    Okay, that's a fair cop. I was assuming that everyone involved in the conversation had read enough of the books to have examples of my conclusion.

    There's no point in you getting both of yourselves all worked up and ready to chart the undiscovered country, then having her flush crimson red, run to the bathroom, and spend twenty minutes straining and grunting and stressing out because you're all ready to deliver your package but there's a three inch thick Sunday paper clogging up the mail slot.
  • Simon MoonSimon Moon Registered User regular
    So, just finished The Big Short (as mentioned last page). Next on tap for that class is another Lewis: Boomerang. I'm kinda tempted to pick up EConned by Yves Smith, just for another take on the whole subprime crisis; she seems to be of the opinion that Lewis is more or less exactly wrong about who the major players were and how and why it happened.

    On a more recreational front, an old college buddy just randomly mailed me a copy of book 1 of Usagi Yojimbo, for which I am totally stoked.

    Steam: simon moon
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    WOT question.
    Spoiler:

    I'm very confused by this question. What part of what book are you on again?

    necroSYS wrote: »
    Okay, that's a fair cop. I was assuming that everyone involved in the conversation had read enough of the books to have examples of my conclusion.

    No, you assumed everyone had come to the same conclusions as you. Big difference.

  • SyphyreSyphyre A Dangerous Pastime Registered User regular
    In the past couple of days I have finally jumped into the 3rd Malazan book. (took me a while to get over the ending of Chain of Dogs.) So far...really freaking interesting. I love this series. The best part, it's completely unpredictable.

    Some authors, after you read the first couple of books of a series, you think "ok, I know which characters they'll save, or how they'll make the plot" or other things. No. All I know is A) people are going to die and B) at least some of them will be someone you really like.

    Steam ID - Syphyreal --- 3DS Friend Code: 2723-9387-1002
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    I have finished Book 4! Onto Book 5! yes, I'm a masochist, shut up.

    My Little Corner of the World || I am ravelried! || My Steam!
    You have to fight through some bad days, to earn the best days of your life.
  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    I have finished Book 4! Onto Book 5! yes, I'm a masochist, shut up.

    I'm in the epilogue of Towers of Midnight. This one was really a good time, and I'm looking forward to Tarmon Gaidon. :^:

    Steam/LoL: Jericho89
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    I made it to page 400 of Path of Daggers (book 8 Wheel of Time) and then my subscription expired and I'm on a waiting list to reup. I may actually have to physically go down to the library. In the meantime I'm listening to American Prometheus: the Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. So far so good. 11-22-63 is in the hopper.

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • OcksOcks Registered User
    Simon Moon wrote: »
    So, just finished The Big Short (as mentioned last page). Next on tap for that class is another Lewis: Boomerang. I'm kinda tempted to pick up EConned by Yves Smith, just for another take on the whole subprime crisis; she seems to be of the opinion that Lewis is more or less exactly wrong about who the major players were and how and why it happened.

    On a more recreational front, an old college buddy just randomly mailed me a copy of book 1 of Usagi Yojimbo, for which I am totally stoked.

    Yeah. I don't think there's any consensus on what the significance of many events was. For example, This American Life has a whole episode that portrays guys(Magnataur hedge fund) doing almost exactly the same as Michael Lewis's hedge fund guys and they're talked about as evil scum of the earth motherfuckers. It's hard to assess a lot of the groups. The most agreed upon that I've seen were, stupid ratings agencies who blindly trusted the giant banks packaging the CDOs and the banks who lied about the contents of the CDOs. Now, I haven't read EConned but I'm guessing it's going to argue that the CDOs existed because of a policymaker initiative that decided everyone should be able to own a house and this incentivized banks to create subprime mortgages which allowed for the creation of CDOs, which I think is accurate cause-and-effect. I would however think that it was unintentional cause-and-effect born from ignorance rather than malice. The massive CDOs and subsequent collapse I would like to subscribe wholly to malice, but it seems fairly obvious that even a good chunk of the people packaging and managing the CDOs didn't have a clue what they were doing. There seems to be reasonable evidence the key drivers for them were acting out of self-interest/greed though.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Ocks wrote: »
    Simon Moon wrote: »
    So, just finished The Big Short (as mentioned last page). Next on tap for that class is another Lewis: Boomerang. I'm kinda tempted to pick up EConned by Yves Smith, just for another take on the whole subprime crisis; she seems to be of the opinion that Lewis is more or less exactly wrong about who the major players were and how and why it happened.

    On a more recreational front, an old college buddy just randomly mailed me a copy of book 1 of Usagi Yojimbo, for which I am totally stoked.

    Yeah. I don't think there's any consensus on what the significance of many events was. For example, This American Life has a whole episode that portrays guys(Magnataur hedge fund) doing almost exactly the same as Michael Lewis's hedge fund guys and they're talked about as evil scum of the earth motherfuckers. It's hard to assess a lot of the groups. The most agreed upon that I've seen were, stupid ratings agencies who blindly trusted the giant banks packaging the CDOs and the banks who lied about the contents of the CDOs. Now, I haven't read EConned but I'm guessing it's going to argue that the CDOs existed because of a policymaker initiative that decided everyone should be able to own a house and this incentivized banks to create subprime mortgages which allowed for the creation of CDOs, which I think is accurate cause-and-effect. I would however think that it was unintentional cause-and-effect born from ignorance rather than malice. The massive CDOs and subsequent collapse I would like to subscribe wholly to malice, but it seems fairly obvious that even a good chunk of the people packaging and managing the CDOs didn't have a clue what they were doing. There seems to be reasonable evidence the key drivers for them were acting out of self-interest/greed though.

    It's not. It's really quite wrong.

    Subprime mortgages and their various derivatives are basically entirely private sector and driven by the desire for new investment opportunities.

    The policy you can basically trace it back to is low interest rates being used to encourage investment. Then all you have to do is not regulate that market and this shit happens naturally.

    Of course, self-centred ignorance and/or lack of caring in order to line your own pocket is essentially indistinguishable from malice.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Ocks wrote: »
    Simon Moon wrote: »
    So, just finished The Big Short (as mentioned last page). Next on tap for that class is another Lewis: Boomerang. I'm kinda tempted to pick up EConned by Yves Smith, just for another take on the whole subprime crisis; she seems to be of the opinion that Lewis is more or less exactly wrong about who the major players were and how and why it happened.

    On a more recreational front, an old college buddy just randomly mailed me a copy of book 1 of Usagi Yojimbo, for which I am totally stoked.

    Yeah. I don't think there's any consensus on what the significance of many events was. For example, This American Life has a whole episode that portrays guys(Magnataur hedge fund) doing almost exactly the same as Michael Lewis's hedge fund guys and they're talked about as evil scum of the earth motherfuckers. It's hard to assess a lot of the groups. The most agreed upon that I've seen were, stupid ratings agencies who blindly trusted the giant banks packaging the CDOs and the banks who lied about the contents of the CDOs. Now, I haven't read EConned but I'm guessing it's going to argue that the CDOs existed because of a policymaker initiative that decided everyone should be able to own a house and this incentivized banks to create subprime mortgages which allowed for the creation of CDOs, which I think is accurate cause-and-effect. I would however think that it was unintentional cause-and-effect born from ignorance rather than malice. The massive CDOs and subsequent collapse I would like to subscribe wholly to malice, but it seems fairly obvious that even a good chunk of the people packaging and managing the CDOs didn't have a clue what they were doing. There seems to be reasonable evidence the key drivers for them were acting out of self-interest/greed though.

    It's not. It's really quite wrong.

    Subprime mortgages and their various derivatives are basically entirely private sector and driven by the desire for new investment opportunities.

    The policy you can basically trace it back to is low interest rates being used to encourage investment. Then all you have to do is not regulate that market and this shit happens naturally.

    Of course, self-centred ignorance and/or lack of caring in order to line your own pocket is essentially indistinguishable from malice.

    Also, it's not really just subprime home loans that created the crisis. That was a bubble, but what turned it into a disaster was the deregulations (mostly from Clinton, although Bush certainly helped) that allowed banks and pseudo-banks to create opaque bundles, get the ratings agency to give them triple-A's, trade them, and then leveraging even more on the phony worth of those bundles. It turned a fairly moderate bubble into a HUGE one, and just as bad, thanks to the way they were packaged nobody even knew who was holding the toxic loans and who was financially healthy, so suddenly EVERYONE was getting denied any credit.

    Banks and financial institutions are very, very good at money. They knew exactly what they were doing, and lawmakers were most definitely not holding a gun to their head to force them to make subprime loans. It was the banks that lobbied to allow it in the first place. And then they got bailed out! The finance industry most definitely understands public risk and private profits, and they make their decisions accordingly.

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • BullioBullio Registered User regular
    All of the Infinity Engine DnD game sales and my desire to play BG 1/2 and then IWD 1/2 has put me in the mood to finally crack open the Icewind Dale Trilogy that I bought over a year ago. My hopes aren't high regarding quality, but I'm hoping I'll get hooked enough on them to finish them quickly.

    steam_sig.png
  • TurksonTurkson Near the mountains of ColoradoRegistered User regular
    Finished Wise Man's Fear a week or so ago. Loved it except for two parts:
    Spoiler:

    Decided to reread the WoT series, as I haven't read any of Sanderson's books. About halfway through the first one.

    "You. Poet. Be sure to write this down."
  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    Just downloaded Surface Detail: a Culture Novel.

    My fever dreams as I was drifting off to sleep while finishing Towers of Midnight gave me the most awful and convoluted cliffhanger version of Tarmon Gaidon. Crisis on Infinite Worlds shit, convoluted and tedious like fever dreams always are. :(

    Steam/LoL: Jericho89
  • Medium DaveMedium Dave Registered User regular
    I need some books! Anyone have some good recommendations for some sci-fi, cyberpunk, mystery/crime, fantasy or just all around great books from the past 7 years or so, stuff I might’ve missed? Smaller, more obscure books are welcome.

    steam_sig.png
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I need some books! Anyone have some good recommendations for some sci-fi, cyberpunk, mystery/crime, fantasy or just all around great books from the past 7 years or so, stuff I might’ve missed? Smaller, more obscure books are welcome.
    I like to recommend the Tony Ballyntyne books - both the Penrose (Twisted Metal and Blood and Iron) and The Watcher series (Recursion, Capacity and Divergence)/

    They aren't necessarily well liked, but they are very interesting. Lots of great ideas. Penrose is currently unfinished - it concerns a world of Robots and a war waged by a conquering robot nation, The Watcher is finished and is definitely my favorite, I love the series (though other do not) - it's a meditation on simulation vs reality, Von Neumann machines, AI/human interaction and self-determination. The second book, Capacity is quite chilling.

    Blindsight by Peter Watts cannot be recommended enough. The Rifters trilogy, not so much. There are two really interesting themes throughout Rifters (again, AI/Human interaction and self-determination) but it is hampered by being long and pointless and having an exceptionally unlikable and inscrutable protagonist.

    The Brent Weeks books are definitely worth a read.

    Jack Womack (for example Ambient) is really grim cyberpunk, though is definitely more punk than cyber. He's listed as one of Gibson's favourite authors.

    Flotsam and Placebo are books 1 and 2 of Jaiden Glenndenning's A Tangled Knotwork which are really good, but hard to find - I think they were somewhat self-published or something. They're a really complicated retelling of various Celtic mythologies.

    I mentioned Godplayers and K-Machines earlier in the thread, and we proceeded to dig up some really embarrassing responses to Amazon reviews from the author. Despite this, they're chock full of interesting ideas (but the occasional terrible dialogue). It's multi-universe, high concept, philosophy/high level physics/mysticism mashup with a number of mysteries throughout. Those who have liked it have compared it with the Chronicles of Amber.

    Christopher Farnsworth's Nathaniel Cade books - The President's Vampire and Blood Oath are contemporary fantasy/action/mystery/thrillers which quite strongly reminds me of Hellboy.

    Apothe0sis on
    What I see sees me.
    SODOMISE INTOLERANCE
    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
  • GrudgeGrudge Registered User regular
    I can second Blindsight, it's truly excellent in my book (pun intended). Other recent quirky SF that I've enjoyed is Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought books and (perhaps to a lesser degree) The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi.

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  • necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Thirding Peter Watts, but I recommend starting with Starfish.

    There's no point in you getting both of yourselves all worked up and ready to chart the undiscovered country, then having her flush crimson red, run to the bathroom, and spend twenty minutes straining and grunting and stressing out because you're all ready to deliver your package but there's a three inch thick Sunday paper clogging up the mail slot.
  • SarcasmoBlasterSarcasmoBlaster Registered User regular
    Ocks wrote: »
    Simon Moon wrote: »
    So, just finished The Big Short (as mentioned last page). Next on tap for that class is another Lewis: Boomerang. I'm kinda tempted to pick up EConned by Yves Smith, just for another take on the whole subprime crisis; she seems to be of the opinion that Lewis is more or less exactly wrong about who the major players were and how and why it happened.

    On a more recreational front, an old college buddy just randomly mailed me a copy of book 1 of Usagi Yojimbo, for which I am totally stoked.

    Yeah. I don't think there's any consensus on what the significance of many events was. For example, This American Life has a whole episode that portrays guys(Magnataur hedge fund) doing almost exactly the same as Michael Lewis's hedge fund guys and they're talked about as evil scum of the earth motherfuckers. It's hard to assess a lot of the groups. The most agreed upon that I've seen were, stupid ratings agencies who blindly trusted the giant banks packaging the CDOs and the banks who lied about the contents of the CDOs. Now, I haven't read EConned but I'm guessing it's going to argue that the CDOs existed because of a policymaker initiative that decided everyone should be able to own a house and this incentivized banks to create subprime mortgages which allowed for the creation of CDOs, which I think is accurate cause-and-effect. I would however think that it was unintentional cause-and-effect born from ignorance rather than malice. The massive CDOs and subsequent collapse I would like to subscribe wholly to malice, but it seems fairly obvious that even a good chunk of the people packaging and managing the CDOs didn't have a clue what they were doing. There seems to be reasonable evidence the key drivers for them were acting out of self-interest/greed though.

    The situation with Magnataur was actually different than anything presented in The Big Short, in that, IIRC, Magnataur was tasked with selecting the mortgages that would go into their CDO. They then selected the riskiest ones, sold it, shorted it, and made a ton of money when it inveitably blew up. That requires considerably more malice than just shorting, which is what all the main players in Big Short were doing (again, that's just going by memory). As far as the book itself is concerned, I never felt like it's intent was to lay blame anywhere, but just to give the layman an idea of the role credit default swaps played.

  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I need some books! Anyone have some good recommendations for some sci-fi, cyberpunk, mystery/crime, fantasy or just all around great books from the past 7 years or so, stuff I might’ve missed? Smaller, more obscure books are welcome.

    Dresden Files, Gaunt's Ghosts, Codex Alera, Gotrek & Felix, Night Angel Trilogy.

    Harry Dresden on
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Registered User regular
    necroSYS wrote: »
    Thirding Peter Watts, but I recommend starting with Starfish.

    The first in the Rifters trilogy, fyi. Clearly necroSYS enjoyed it better than I.

    @Medium Dave

    What I see sees me.
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  • Simon R Green's stuff if you haven't read him. The nightside series is a detective type similar to the dresden files but set in a dark realm inside london. It's darker, pretty much every mythical and evil thing that ever existed has a home or store there. The characters are interesting and the author makes good use of myths and legends, weaving them into the plotlines. I read the "unnatural inquirer" a year before that whole tabloid phone hacking/corruption thing happened, seems a little less far fetched now.
    He writes a bunch of other series too, but the only one I've read is kind of a james bond rip off with magic and elves and stuff. It's not bad and it's not like the author tries to hide what he got his source material from. the book tiles are things like " the spy who haunted me" or "Daemons are forever." The first line I read was "The names Bond, Shaman Bond.", Which I'll admit was kinda off-putting but if you get past that it is not so bad.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    I've been pimping Walter Jon Williams on this thread over the last 6 months and nobody's cared yet, but he really is delightful and y'all should read him.

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
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