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The "What Are You Reading" Thread

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Posts

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    Also, just finishing up the third volume of HP Lovecraft's collected works. The Colour out of Space is probably his best short story, and he flubs the final reveal of the monster whenever one occurs (Cthulu seems very silly indeed wading after a boat), but as always, his terrible prose and over writing combine to somehow create something memorable. It's a weird alchemy of sorts.

    I think it is because horror is more conceptual, or at least for me it works this way. Because with Lovecraft, you're not only getting past the purple prose, but also the racism, etc.

    But it's his conceptual ideas for monsters that stick with you. What if there was this secret society...what if the backwoods hid more than just yokels...what if history hid more than we thought...etc.

    It's why I'll forgive a poorer made horror film if it brings up truly frightening ideas. What is scary is more important to me than how well it is executed, if that makes sense. Something my brain can chew over when I'm sitting there alone at night, something I can extrapolate on, works for me.

    I think Lovecraft's biggest contribution towards horror fiction was his realisation that you could move away from the old stories and their vampires, werewolves, ghosts, the living dead and deals with Satan and just go absolutely fucking apeshit and make your hideous evil utterly alien and unconnected with humanity. Terrible things from a dimension with skewed geometry and aspects so awful they drive you mad when you look at them. Fine ideas, and able to provide sustenance for far better writers over the years since.

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    Also, just finishing up the third volume of HP Lovecraft's collected works. The Colour out of Space is probably his best short story, and he flubs the final reveal of the monster whenever one occurs (Cthulu seems very silly indeed wading after a boat), but as always, his terrible prose and over writing combine to somehow create something memorable. It's a weird alchemy of sorts.

    I think it is because horror is more conceptual, or at least for me it works this way. Because with Lovecraft, you're not only getting past the purple prose, but also the racism, etc.

    But it's his conceptual ideas for monsters that stick with you. What if there was this secret society...what if the backwoods hid more than just yokels...what if history hid more than we thought...etc.

    It's why I'll forgive a poorer made horror film if it brings up truly frightening ideas. What is scary is more important to me than how well it is executed, if that makes sense. Something my brain can chew over when I'm sitting there alone at night, something I can extrapolate on, works for me.

    I think Lovecraft's biggest contribution towards horror fiction was his realisation that you could move away from the old stories and their vampires, werewolves, ghosts, the living dead and deals with Satan and just go absolutely fucking apeshit and make your hideous evil utterly alien and unconnected with humanity. Terrible things from a dimension with skewed geometry and aspects so awful they drive you mad when you look at them. Fine ideas, and able to provide sustenance for far better writers over the years since.

    Blacklight, the newest Stephanie Meyer book is about Chloe, a girl with interests in physics who enters a realm of romance with C'laxathaz, a soul-rending nether-beast from beyond space and time. Meyer's most explicit book yet, she even delves into what giving someone a "brown Jenkins" actually entails.

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    Also, just finishing up the third volume of HP Lovecraft's collected works. The Colour out of Space is probably his best short story, and he flubs the final reveal of the monster whenever one occurs (Cthulu seems very silly indeed wading after a boat), but as always, his terrible prose and over writing combine to somehow create something memorable. It's a weird alchemy of sorts.

    I think it is because horror is more conceptual, or at least for me it works this way. Because with Lovecraft, you're not only getting past the purple prose, but also the racism, etc.

    But it's his conceptual ideas for monsters that stick with you. What if there was this secret society...what if the backwoods hid more than just yokels...what if history hid more than we thought...etc.

    It's why I'll forgive a poorer made horror film if it brings up truly frightening ideas. What is scary is more important to me than how well it is executed, if that makes sense. Something my brain can chew over when I'm sitting there alone at night, something I can extrapolate on, works for me.

    I think Lovecraft's biggest contribution towards horror fiction was his realisation that you could move away from the old stories and their vampires, werewolves, ghosts, the living dead and deals with Satan and just go absolutely fucking apeshit and make your hideous evil utterly alien and unconnected with humanity. Terrible things from a dimension with skewed geometry and aspects so awful they drive you mad when you look at them. Fine ideas, and able to provide sustenance for far better writers over the years since.

    Blacklight, the newest Stephanie Meyer book is about Chloe, a girl with interests in physics who enters a realm of romance with C'laxathaz, a soul-rending nether-beast from beyond space and time. Meyer's most explicit book yet, she even delves into what giving someone a "brown Jenkins" actually entails.

    C'laxathaz was so beautiful that his perfect visage drove other girls to rip their eyes out with their bare fingers, lest visions of any lesser man-like entity sully their perfect memory of its many eyes, sparkling like gemstones in the sunlight. But not Chloe. She looked upon C'laxathaz and felt only the warmth of love--and a growing certainty that she could never be good enough for it to love her back.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • GrudgeGrudge Stockholm, SwedenRegistered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    Also, just finishing up the third volume of HP Lovecraft's collected works. The Colour out of Space is probably his best short story, and he flubs the final reveal of the monster whenever one occurs (Cthulu seems very silly indeed wading after a boat), but as always, his terrible prose and over writing combine to somehow create something memorable. It's a weird alchemy of sorts.

    I think it is because horror is more conceptual, or at least for me it works this way. Because with Lovecraft, you're not only getting past the purple prose, but also the racism, etc.

    But it's his conceptual ideas for monsters that stick with you. What if there was this secret society...what if the backwoods hid more than just yokels...what if history hid more than we thought...etc.

    It's why I'll forgive a poorer made horror film if it brings up truly frightening ideas. What is scary is more important to me than how well it is executed, if that makes sense. Something my brain can chew over when I'm sitting there alone at night, something I can extrapolate on, works for me.

    I think Lovecraft's biggest contribution towards horror fiction was his realisation that you could move away from the old stories and their vampires, werewolves, ghosts, the living dead and deals with Satan and just go absolutely fucking apeshit and make your hideous evil utterly alien and unconnected with humanity. Terrible things from a dimension with skewed geometry and aspects so awful they drive you mad when you look at them. Fine ideas, and able to provide sustenance for far better writers over the years since.

    Indeed. Horror had so far mostly been based on folklore and religious myths. Lovecraft invented this new totally alien threat which lay outside human history and myth, things which existed way before humanity itself even existed, making the "lesser" horrors of superstitious folklore and stuffy religion small and silly by comparison.

  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    It was also sort of timely; humanity had just gotten the triple-whammy of relativity, more widespread acceptance of evolution and new revelations in astronomy. Plus the nihilism that hit the West after WW1. Lovecraft's cosmicism is more tailored to the idea that humanity's place and understanding of the universe is basically meaningless or wrong in its entirety.

    It also happily works in every direction. Science is wrong because real knowledge of the universe is either inaccessible to the human mind or toxic to it. Old values like religion or philosophies are wrong because humanity is an insignificant ant in a universe of tentacled giants.

    Professor Phobos on
  • RaekreuRaekreu Registered User regular
    So I went on a mini binge of purchasing books. P.G. Wodehouse, Ray Bradbury, and Larry Niven all up ins.

    Started with Larry Niven's Ringworld and finished it in 2 sittings. Reading the followup, The Ringworld Engineers now.

    I seem to always forget how much I like Niven until I read about 5 pages of one of his books. Then I end up doing stupid things like staying up an extra 5 hours to read, despite having worked a 12 hour shift the night before and coming up on another 12 hour shift that same day.

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    Also, just finishing up the third volume of HP Lovecraft's collected works. The Colour out of Space is probably his best short story, and he flubs the final reveal of the monster whenever one occurs (Cthulu seems very silly indeed wading after a boat), but as always, his terrible prose and over writing combine to somehow create something memorable. It's a weird alchemy of sorts.

    This was always my complaint. Of the three stories I enjoyed in the half of his collected work I read, The Colour Out of Space was one of them.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    I'm reading "The Story of the Stone" and "Angelmaker." I'm enjoying both quite a bit.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Raekreu wrote: »
    So I went on a mini binge of purchasing books. P.G. Wodehouse, Ray Bradbury, and Larry Niven all up ins.

    Started with Larry Niven's Ringworld and finished it in 2 sittings. Reading the followup, The Ringworld Engineers now.

    I seem to always forget how much I like Niven until I read about 5 pages of one of his books. Then I end up doing stupid things like staying up an extra 5 hours to read, despite having worked a 12 hour shift the night before and coming up on another 12 hour shift that same day.

    Ringworld and Engineers are two of my favorite books. They got me into hard sci-fi. Niven did a fine job of introducing awe to the reader. You get awe at the technology of the future. Then the people of that future meet with aliens, who have awe-inspiring technology even to them. Then the humans and aliens go exploring to a place that is awe-inspiring to the whole bunch of them. He does it very simply, basically just by introducing bigger and bigger stuff. But then he describes in detail what it looks like to the characters, how the humans are standing on a structure so big they get all dizzy and confused because they can't hold it in their heads. Cool stuff, and filled with interesting ideas.

    [Tycho?] on
    ragesig.jpg

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    I finished Drive (it was super short, but I've just not had time to read lately).

    It was pretty good. Kind of hard to follow given that it jumped about a lot. I'm eyeing the sequel, but decided to take a John Wyndham break for The Midwitch Cuckoos, which I think I read when I was very small, but don't really remember. Good times. Wyndham is the best.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • RaekreuRaekreu Registered User regular
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Raekreu wrote: »
    So I went on a mini binge of purchasing books. P.G. Wodehouse, Ray Bradbury, and Larry Niven all up ins.

    Started with Larry Niven's Ringworld and finished it in 2 sittings. Reading the followup, The Ringworld Engineers now.

    I seem to always forget how much I like Niven until I read about 5 pages of one of his books. Then I end up doing stupid things like staying up an extra 5 hours to read, despite having worked a 12 hour shift the night before and coming up on another 12 hour shift that same day.

    Ringworld and Engineers are two of my favorite books. They got me into hard sci-fi. Niven did a fine job of introducing awe to the reader. You get awe at the technology of the future. Then the people of that future meet with aliens, who have awe-inspiring technology even to them. Then the humans and aliens go exploring to a place that is awe-inspiring to the whole bunch of them. He does it very simply, basically just by introducing bigger and bigger stuff. But then he describes in detail what it looks like to the characters, how the humans are standing on a structure so big they get all dizzy and confused because they can't hold it in their heads. Cool stuff, and filled with interesting ideas.

    Finished Engineers. Fucking awesome.

    Though I will say this: despite the fairly detailed description of how the puppeteers sound, I still found myself imagining them with Dr. Zoidberg's voice. But, y'know, less stupid and incompetent.

  • Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Raekreu wrote: »
    So I went on a mini binge of purchasing books. P.G. Wodehouse, Ray Bradbury, and Larry Niven all up ins.

    Started with Larry Niven's Ringworld and finished it in 2 sittings. Reading the followup, The Ringworld Engineers now.

    I seem to always forget how much I like Niven until I read about 5 pages of one of his books. Then I end up doing stupid things like staying up an extra 5 hours to read, despite having worked a 12 hour shift the night before and coming up on another 12 hour shift that same day.

    Ringworld and Engineers are two of my favorite books. They got me into hard sci-fi. Niven did a fine job of introducing awe to the reader. You get awe at the technology of the future. Then the people of that future meet with aliens, who have awe-inspiring technology even to them. Then the humans and aliens go exploring to a place that is awe-inspiring to the whole bunch of them. He does it very simply, basically just by introducing bigger and bigger stuff. But then he describes in detail what it looks like to the characters, how the humans are standing on a structure so big they get all dizzy and confused because they can't hold it in their heads. Cool stuff, and filled with interesting ideas.

    I really liked Ringworld, but felt the series kind of declined after that. It was less dealing with the mystery of this giant structure, more wandering around having sex with aliens. I liked the hard scifi, there wasn't enough later on.

  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Finally got around to starting the Wheel of Time series the other week, I'm in book 3. Enjoying the plot so far, but it's starting to grate on how how Jordan feels the need to repeat certain phrases and metaphors, and this whole "describing every character and giving their short biography again in every book" thing is gonna get old fast.

    Also, I found this which seemed really cool. But then I read the entry for book 2 after I finished it, and it just spoiled out of hand with no warnings or anything that (Spoilers for later books, no idea how far. Don't click unless you're all caught up I guess)
    Spoiler:

    I mean, it said "click here to see spoiler content", but I figured that meant spoilers for book 2, not for the whole goddamn series. Anyway, nobody spoil for me when it gets revealed, I want THAT to be a surprise at least.

    Raiden333 on
    camo_sig2.png
  • RaekreuRaekreu Registered User regular
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Raekreu wrote: »
    So I went on a mini binge of purchasing books. P.G. Wodehouse, Ray Bradbury, and Larry Niven all up ins.

    Started with Larry Niven's Ringworld and finished it in 2 sittings. Reading the followup, The Ringworld Engineers now.

    I seem to always forget how much I like Niven until I read about 5 pages of one of his books. Then I end up doing stupid things like staying up an extra 5 hours to read, despite having worked a 12 hour shift the night before and coming up on another 12 hour shift that same day.

    Ringworld and Engineers are two of my favorite books. They got me into hard sci-fi. Niven did a fine job of introducing awe to the reader. You get awe at the technology of the future. Then the people of that future meet with aliens, who have awe-inspiring technology even to them. Then the humans and aliens go exploring to a place that is awe-inspiring to the whole bunch of them. He does it very simply, basically just by introducing bigger and bigger stuff. But then he describes in detail what it looks like to the characters, how the humans are standing on a structure so big they get all dizzy and confused because they can't hold it in their heads. Cool stuff, and filled with interesting ideas.

    I really liked Ringworld, but felt the series kind of declined after that. It was less dealing with the mystery of this giant structure, more wandering around having sex with aliens. I liked the hard scifi, there wasn't enough later on.

    Yeah, I'll admit that I was a tad concerned about the amount of random sexy times that were crammed into Engineers.

    Thankfully, Niven didn't go to the incredibly pervy/creepy levels that Frank Herbert did in his later years. But it's definitely an aspect of the book that didn't mesh well with the concepts, characters, and tone that had been established in Ringworld.






  • AresProphetAresProphet stop trying to keep your composure I'm only having a laughRegistered User regular
    Things I love about my current job, #12: hundreds of dollars in gift cards to Barnes & Noble. In the last two months:

    -Finally caught up with William Gibson's latest and Neal Stephenson's latest, as well as China Mieville's Kraken.

    -Glen Cook's Chronicles of the Black Company is the finest fantasy trilogy I've ever read. How did I pass this one up on bookshelves for so long? For me what most sets it apart from other fantasy works is that is has very, very few missteps. Nothing marred it, even as it got stranger and stranger and it lost that sense of the mundane everymen making their mark on a much more arcane world I never once lost faith in what I was reading. I have no idea how more authors haven't succeeded in this kind of character-focused high fantasy. Sure, you can't swing a stick without hitting a wizard or an ancient evil/ancient good or a magical artifact or whatever, but somehow you buy into it. I really can't believe I overlooked it this long.

    -The Scar is the most engaging of China Mieville's books I've read, though perhaps not the best-written. But I'm way more drawn into it than Perdido Street Station (I hated almost everyone in that book), way more impressed by the world than The City & The City (as intriguing as it was it was too intentionally abstract, too deliberately close to reality to really break from it), and it's miles more compelling than Kraken (which was fun but felt like brain junk food).

    -William Gibson's anthology of his nonfiction (Distrust That Particular Flavor) is mildly interesting. I don't usually buy anthologies (of fiction or non) and then fail to read through them cover to cover without picking up another book, but this one I keep reading or or two entries then looking for something else. It doesn't seem boring, but it fails to capture my undivided attention.

    -Somewhere around here I have two Chuck Palahniuk books that need to get read. He's best in small doses with a hefty accompaniment of salt, but damn if the man can't grab your attention by the short and curlies.

    I have a bunch more gift cards to blow; after picking up Iron Council I feel a sci-fi itch coming on, and may finally commit to a true space opera by picking up the Culture novels. I also should really check out the Hyperion books, Simmons is a fantastic author but I've somehow avoided his best-known works. After that who knows?

    the latest attempt at closure
    failed after twenty-five drafts
  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    Things I love about my current job, #12: hundreds of dollars in gift cards to Barnes & Noble. In the last two months:

    -Finally caught up with William Gibson's latest and Neal Stephenson's latest, as well as China Mieville's Kraken.

    -Glen Cook's Chronicles of the Black Company is the finest fantasy trilogy I've ever read. How did I pass this one up on bookshelves for so long? For me what most sets it apart from other fantasy works is that is has very, very few missteps. Nothing marred it, even as it got stranger and stranger and it lost that sense of the mundane everymen making their mark on a much more arcane world I never once lost faith in what I was reading. I have no idea how more authors haven't succeeded in this kind of character-focused high fantasy. Sure, you can't swing a stick without hitting a wizard or an ancient evil/ancient good or a magical artifact or whatever, but somehow you buy into it. I really can't believe I overlooked it this long.

    As a massive fan of Glen Cook's, I don't know how to tell you this, but The Black Company isn't a trilogy. its a quartet (ish) of semi-trilogies.
    Chronicles is the first omnibus edition, with the first three books. There's also:
    The Books of the South
    The Return of the Black Company
    The Many Deaths of the Black Company

    Cook is also startlingly prolific; his other work is just as good, though possibly not quite as accessible. You might want to try Sweet Silver Blues, his take on a fantasy world crossed with The Big Sleep...

    steam_sig.png
  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Finished up Dauntless by Jack Campbell. It wasn't what I'd call exceptional, and it's pretty workmanlike in how rapidly it throws itself into its core conceit. A war hero presumed dead is discovered simply frozen a hundred years later and must cope with the idealized version of himself everyone expects while attempting to save a war fleet of starships fleeing the enemy. One thing that I did appreciate was added attention paid to the complication of warfare at sub-light speeds and over long distances. There's a surprising tactical complexity when you know the things you're seeing have actually happened hours in the past due to transmission time, the orders you give take time to actually reach their targets, and the faster you go, the more relativity screws up your perception of what's actually going on. I wouldn't cite it as being scientifically accurate (I don't know enough about the physics involved to guess at it), but it was pretty entertaining. A fun read if you like a light, quick, space opera story.

    About halfway through Hammered by Elizabeth Bear. So far I have a lot of questions and not a lot of answers, but hopefully over the other half of the book the disparate plot threads and characters start to come together.

    Entriech on
    Gamecenter/Gamertag/Steam ID/PSN: Entriech
    Guild Wars 2: Entriech.3507 | Scythe Gearsnap, Phlork, Irenic
  • pirateluigipirateluigi Registered User regular
    So I'm about halfway through Alloy of Law. It's fun, but strangely...amateur. It reads more like Elantris-era Sanderson than post-Mistborn Sanderson. The foreward says that he wanted to write a trilogy-of-trilogies set in the same fantasy world but at different historical eras to show the world's social and technological progress, which seems like a cool idea, but then goes on to say that Alloy of Law is not the start of a 'modern-era' trilogy for the world, but rather a divergence somewhere along the way. Maybe I'm tainted by knowledge, but it really reads like that. It's like he sat down with the world he'd created for Mistborn and started charting a future history for it, got to the equivalent of the 1800's, and said "Dude! Trains and 6-Shooters!" and had to stop to write a book. The characters are reasonably fun and the plot isn't uninteresting, but it keeps smacking me in the face with "Look at this thing! Remember that from Mistborn? Look at how it changed a little with the times!" in a way that's annoying. The book also seems to repeat itself a lot more than I recall him doing in his more recent works that I've read.

    I just finished Alloy of Law this morning. It's fun but you're right, it feels very much like a diversion. Unless there are sequels that significantly expand on the wild west & wizards theme, it just seems a little light. The Mistborn trilogy was so good at setting up a real world that it's dissappointing that Alloy really didn't explore any of it. It's also extremely short (I read it in about a week of half hour lunch breaks), which can be good or bad, depending on your perspective.

    All that said, the characters are really fun; I just wish we had more time with them.

    http://www.danreviewstheworld.com
    Nintendo Network ID - PirateLuigi 3DS: 3136-6586-7691
    G&T Grass Type Pokemon Gym Leader, In-Game Name: Dan
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    IIRC, Alloy of Law started out as a personal writing project in his spare time to just have fun with the Mistborn world, and he ended up liking it so much he decided to publish it so others could read it. I personally loved the shit out of it, but mostly because I went in expecting a fun little jaunt and not one of Sanderson's usual epics.

    camo_sig2.png
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    I recently finished A Deepness in the Sky, by Vernor Vinge.

    It was quite good! It was interesting throughout. The pacing seemed a bit slow, and I kept on thinking I would lose interest, but it never happened. The characters aren't especially good, but its the sort of sci-fi book where I wouldn't expect that. The aliens were interesting, but I found that they were given too many human characteristics. This stopped bothering me when characters in the book made similar comments and started to doubt their translations of the alien language because they seemed too "cute", which I thought was a neat touch. This book is apparently a prequel to A Fire Upon the Deep which I've heard many good things about. I'll have to read it, but I've got to say I have absolutely no idea what to expect, despite the prequel giving me all sorts of back story.

    ragesig.jpg

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    After not using it for ages I bought a few things for my Kindle. Tina Fey's Bossypants, Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened and a book of modern Cthulu stories by cool dudes such as Michael Marshall Smith.

  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    IIRC, Alloy of Law started out as a personal writing project in his spare time to just have fun with the Mistborn world, and he ended up liking it so much he decided to publish it so others could read it. I personally loved the shit out of it, but mostly because I went in expecting a fun little jaunt and not one of Sanderson's usual epics.

    I enjoy the hell out of Sanderson's works. It's a lot of fun trying to visualize his action scenes with the different magic systems he devises. My father enjoys him, too, but describes him like a little kid showing each one of his cool new toys.

    steam_sig.png
  • 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'm still struggling through "the Family" mainly because I just haven't had time for reading lately. Been crocheting like crazy and busier than a bee. But I'm still enjoying it!

  • AresProphetAresProphet stop trying to keep your composure I'm only having a laughRegistered User regular
    CroakerBC wrote: »
    Things I love about my current job, #12: hundreds of dollars in gift cards to Barnes & Noble. In the last two months:

    -Finally caught up with William Gibson's latest and Neal Stephenson's latest, as well as China Mieville's Kraken.

    -Glen Cook's Chronicles of the Black Company is the finest fantasy trilogy I've ever read. How did I pass this one up on bookshelves for so long? For me what most sets it apart from other fantasy works is that is has very, very few missteps. Nothing marred it, even as it got stranger and stranger and it lost that sense of the mundane everymen making their mark on a much more arcane world I never once lost faith in what I was reading. I have no idea how more authors haven't succeeded in this kind of character-focused high fantasy. Sure, you can't swing a stick without hitting a wizard or an ancient evil/ancient good or a magical artifact or whatever, but somehow you buy into it. I really can't believe I overlooked it this long.

    As a massive fan of Glen Cook's, I don't know how to tell you this, but The Black Company isn't a trilogy. its a quartet (ish) of semi-trilogies.
    Chronicles is the first omnibus edition, with the first three books. There's also:
    The Books of the South
    The Return of the Black Company
    The Many Deaths of the Black Company

    Cook is also startlingly prolific; his other work is just as good, though possibly not quite as accessible. You might want to try Sweet Silver Blues, his take on a fantasy world crossed with The Big Sleep...

    You have made me very, very happy

    the latest attempt at closure
    failed after twenty-five drafts
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    CroakerBC wrote: »
    Things I love about my current job, #12: hundreds of dollars in gift cards to Barnes & Noble. In the last two months:

    -Finally caught up with William Gibson's latest and Neal Stephenson's latest, as well as China Mieville's Kraken.

    -Glen Cook's Chronicles of the Black Company is the finest fantasy trilogy I've ever read. How did I pass this one up on bookshelves for so long? For me what most sets it apart from other fantasy works is that is has very, very few missteps. Nothing marred it, even as it got stranger and stranger and it lost that sense of the mundane everymen making their mark on a much more arcane world I never once lost faith in what I was reading. I have no idea how more authors haven't succeeded in this kind of character-focused high fantasy. Sure, you can't swing a stick without hitting a wizard or an ancient evil/ancient good or a magical artifact or whatever, but somehow you buy into it. I really can't believe I overlooked it this long.

    As a massive fan of Glen Cook's, I don't know how to tell you this, but The Black Company isn't a trilogy. its a quartet (ish) of semi-trilogies.
    Chronicles is the first omnibus edition, with the first three books. There's also:
    The Books of the South
    The Return of the Black Company
    The Many Deaths of the Black Company

    Cook is also startlingly prolific; his other work is just as good, though possibly not quite as accessible. You might want to try Sweet Silver Blues, his take on a fantasy world crossed with The Big Sleep...

    You have made me very, very happy

    It's probably best to just think of it as a trilogy. The Black Company books go steadily downhill as they go on and on and on.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    Robin Hobb has finished her new trilogy, so that gives me the all clear to start on the first one. Hurray.

    Although, I'll first read The Left Hand of God, because it had one of those little recommendation tags on it and it tickled my fancy.

    (Midwich Cuckoos was obviously very good. A slightly more abrupt ending than I remember though. )

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • EchoEcho staring is caring Super Moderator, Moderator mod
  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    Gabe's reading matter is usually Star Wars fan fiction. He will not be throwing those punches from atop a particularly high horse.

    Tina Fey's book was ok in an ok way, but Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened is amazing so far.

  • Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User
    ...do Gabe and Tycho think authors write the blurbs for their own books?

    I mean, I'm sure "moldywarpe" (which from what I can tell is an archaic term for a mole) is in the book, but it's not like China Mieville typed up that description.

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  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    ...do Gabe and Tycho think authors write the blurbs for their own books?

    I mean, I'm sure "moldywarpe" (which from what I can tell is an archaic term for a mole) is in the book, but it's not like China Mieville typed up that description.

    To be fair, it's very much the kind of noun (or possibly verb) that he uses in his New Crobuzon books. The super alien Nemesis in The Scar are called
    Spoiler:

  • JHunzJHunz Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Robin Hobb has finished her new trilogy, so that gives me the all clear to start on the first one. Hurray.

    Although, I'll first read The Left Hand of God, because it had one of those little recommendation tags on it and it tickled my fancy.

    (Midwich Cuckoos was obviously very good. A slightly more abrupt ending than I remember though. )
    You know, the Rain Wilds Chronicles are actually going to be a quadrilogy. The fourth one is going to be another year yet. Sorry to break it to you.

    I'm a huge sucker for most of what Robin Hobb writes, though. I may have to purchase City of Dragons even before the e-book drops to a reasonable price.

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  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    "Crobuzon" is the worst made-up word ever

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • JHunzJHunz Registered User regular
    Why? Making up names that don't sound stupid is incredibly hard.

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    ...do Gabe and Tycho think authors write the blurbs for their own books?

    I mean, I'm sure "moldywarpe" (which from what I can tell is an archaic term for a mole) is in the book, but it's not like China Mieville typed up that description.

    To be fair, it's very much the kind of noun (or possibly verb) that he uses in his New Crobuzon books. The super alien Nemesis in The Scar are called
    Spoiler:

    I love that name. It has a really nice, old world fairy tale sound to it.

    Also this comic reminds me that I read The City and the City and it is easily my favorite book from Mieville. Though to cut down on confusion early on I'd strongly recommend reading a quick description of the book's setting.

    PSN: allenquid
  • EchoEcho staring is caring Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Yeah, I liked that they weren't called the X'Grnwrth or something. But for all we know, they were just called the Grindylow by the land-dwellers of Bas-Lag. Can't remember if they actually communicated in The Scar, but they're still completely alien.

    The phrase "limb farm" in the description of their city still weirds me out.

  • shadowaneshadowane Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    V1m wrote: »
    ...do Gabe and Tycho think authors write the blurbs for their own books?

    I mean, I'm sure "moldywarpe" (which from what I can tell is an archaic term for a mole) is in the book, but it's not like China Mieville typed up that description.

    To be fair, it's very much the kind of noun (or possibly verb) that he uses in his New Crobuzon books. The super alien Nemesis in The Scar are called
    Spoiler:

    I love that name. It has a really nice, old world fairy tale sound to it.

    Also this comic reminds me that I read The City and the City and it is easily my favorite book from Mieville. Though to cut down on confusion early on I'd strongly recommend reading a quick description of the book's setting.
    It has an old world fairy tale sound to it because it's a real folklore term already. Unless you meant that and I missed that. Link to wikipedia under spoiler.

    Rich on Beer - I talk about drinking beer. You read about it.
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    I did mean it.

    And reading the description I now love it more.

    PSN: allenquid
  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    "Crobuzon" is the worst made-up word ever

    Mace Windu.

    Or an early atrocity committed by someone you wouldn't expect to make such a howler in the shape of an elf named Tinfang Warble.
    Spoiler:

  • EchoEcho staring is caring Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2012
    At least Lucas scrapped the original name: Luke Starkiller.

    Echo on
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    CroakerBC wrote: »
    Things I love about my current job, #12: hundreds of dollars in gift cards to Barnes & Noble. In the last two months:

    -Finally caught up with William Gibson's latest and Neal Stephenson's latest, as well as China Mieville's Kraken.

    -Glen Cook's Chronicles of the Black Company is the finest fantasy trilogy I've ever read. How did I pass this one up on bookshelves for so long? For me what most sets it apart from other fantasy works is that is has very, very few missteps. Nothing marred it, even as it got stranger and stranger and it lost that sense of the mundane everymen making their mark on a much more arcane world I never once lost faith in what I was reading. I have no idea how more authors haven't succeeded in this kind of character-focused high fantasy. Sure, you can't swing a stick without hitting a wizard or an ancient evil/ancient good or a magical artifact or whatever, but somehow you buy into it. I really can't believe I overlooked it this long.

    As a massive fan of Glen Cook's, I don't know how to tell you this, but The Black Company isn't a trilogy. its a quartet (ish) of semi-trilogies.
    Chronicles is the first omnibus edition, with the first three books. There's also:
    The Books of the South
    The Return of the Black Company
    The Many Deaths of the Black Company

    Cook is also startlingly prolific; his other work is just as good, though possibly not quite as accessible. You might want to try Sweet Silver Blues, his take on a fantasy world crossed with The Big Sleep...

    You have made me very, very happy

    We should make a Fanclub or something. Call it the Gray Bunch of Nerds.

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