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The D&D [Book] Thread

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Posts

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    @Poshniallo:: are you looking for older works? because I am a huge fan of early novels like "Moll Flanders" and "Tom Jones". Also, check out the Night Watch series (no not discworld). Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch. They're very good books a really unique world setting, and translated from Russian.

    Thanks, but I've read them. Anything older I've probably read, or tried and disliked. It's modern literatchoor that I never read.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Bahaha I am really liking Hydrogen Sonata now for doing all the things Star Trek never does.
    The ship is taking the character and a couple droids to a giant collection depot to find and get a special item. While this is happening they're under pursuit from another ship. So the first ship teleports the characters onto the depot and continues on its way trying to evade the other ship. But it also teleports a bunch of drones throughout the depot to help handle whatever the enemy puts on there rather than just hoping they get by on moxie and good luck.

  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    A couple decades ago I read a suggestion that a good way to decide if you want to read a novel was to take a look at the first and last lines. Sometimes that can be a bit spoilery ("He loved Big Brother"), but in general I've found it a fantastically useful policy.

    but then noone would ever read Dune!

  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    @Poshniallo:: are you looking for older works? because I am a huge fan of early novels like "Moll Flanders" and "Tom Jones". Also, check out the Night Watch series (no not discworld). Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch. They're very good books a really unique world setting, and translated from Russian.

    Thanks, but I've read them. Anything older I've probably read, or tried and disliked. It's modern literatchoor that I never read.

    hmmm

    can't much help there. I tried to stay away from modern things as much as possible at school. the on that crosses my mind id "The Secret Agent" by Joseph Conrad. Which is oddly enough free on kindle!

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    A couple decades ago I read a suggestion that a good way to decide if you want to read a novel was to take a look at the first and last lines. Sometimes that can be a bit spoilery ("He loved Big Brother"), but in general I've found it a fantastically useful policy.

    but then noone would ever read Dune!

    My God it's brilliant.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    poshniallo wrote: »
    @Poshniallo:: are you looking for older works? because I am a huge fan of early novels like "Moll Flanders" and "Tom Jones". Also, check out the Night Watch series (no not discworld). Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch. They're very good books a really unique world setting, and translated from Russian.

    Thanks, but I've read them. Anything older I've probably read, or tried and disliked. It's modern literatchoor that I never read.

    hmmm

    can't much help there. I tried to stay away from modern things as much as possible at school. the on that crosses my mind id "The Secret Agent" by Joseph Conrad. Which is oddly enough free on kindle!

    Thanks again - although that's Modernist, not modern. And, sadly, read it, coz old dead bloke. Read most of the old dead blokes, except for the truly classical period that BobCesca is an expert on. I should read more of that too, I think.

    Anyway, my friend recommended Waiting for the Barbarians (Coetzee), Everything Is Illuminated (Foer) and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Diaz).

    Anyone got any opinions on any of them?

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Now I'm reading Fevre Dream by GRRM.

    It's really good. Must check to see whether Ann Rice was ripping him off or vice versa.

    The thing to remember about Anne Rice is that the book that everyone says is the best thing she wrote was appalling, self-indulgent, whiny, homoerotic-envy trash that I literally, physically threw into the trash in disgust after forcing myself to get about a quarter way through it.

    Whereas GRRM writes stories that are actually good to read and has characters that I wouldn't rather kill myself than read one more word of their dialogue.

    I guess what I'm saying is, it doesn't matter.



    AresProphet
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Now I'm reading Fevre Dream by GRRM.

    It's really good. Must check to see whether Ann Rice was ripping him off or vice versa.

    The thing to remember about Anne Rice is that the book that everyone says is the best thing she wrote was appalling, self-indulgent, whiny, homoerotic-envy trash that I literally, physically threw into the trash in disgust after forcing myself to get about a quarter way through it.

    Whereas GRRM writes stories that are actually good to read and has characters that I wouldn't rather kill myself than read one more word of their dialogue.

    I guess what I'm saying is, it doesn't matter.



    Ain't nothin' wrong with reading a story and going, "I bet I could do this, but better"

    Well, as long as you do. If you don't then you're just ripping them off.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • LibrarianLibrarian The face of liberal fascism Registered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Anyway, my friend recommended Waiting for the Barbarians (Coetzee), Everything Is Illuminated (Foer) and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Diaz).

    Anyone got any opinions on any of them?

    Haven't read "Waiting for the Barbarians", but "Everything is Illuminated" is a really good book that left a strong impression, and I say that as someone who has sworn not to read/watch any stories about the holocaust anymore, since the topic is so prevalent in German culture and it is too depressing to read about it again and again.

    "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" is absolutely fantastic. It is also very dark in places, but it deserves all the praise it got, including the Pulitzer.
    It's one of my favorite books I read in the last couple of years.

    Brad R. Torgersen says:

    Librarian,

    Go read what I said about not arguing with third graders.
    Geth
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Now I'm reading Fevre Dream by GRRM.

    It's really good. Must check to see whether Ann Rice was ripping him off or vice versa.

    The thing to remember about Anne Rice is that the book that everyone says is the best thing she wrote was appalling, self-indulgent, whiny, homoerotic-envy trash that I literally, physically threw into the trash in disgust after forcing myself to get about a quarter way through it.

    Whereas GRRM writes stories that are actually good to read and has characters that I wouldn't rather kill myself than read one more word of their dialogue.

    I guess what I'm saying is, it doesn't matter.

    Are you talking about Cry to Heaven?

    I enjoyed it a lot. Or you're talking about Interview With A Vampire?

    Either way, enjoyable reads, homoeroticism yay.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • LibrarianLibrarian The face of liberal fascism Registered User regular
    Or maybe he is talking about "The Vampire Lestat"? I read Interview in the early 90s when I was in my teenage vampires are so kewl phase and liked it, but Lestat I just thought sucked big time(heh) and a lot of people back then seemed to think it was the better book.

    Brad R. Torgersen says:

    Librarian,

    Go read what I said about not arguing with third graders.
  • BogartBogart I Will Cure You Registered User, Moderator mod
    I think Fevre Dream is better than Rice's stuff, but the first couple of her books are perfectly acceptable vampire fare.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    I read "Interview".

    By about page 120, I just wanted him to be properly dead. Not undead. Just dead. I've never read a protagonist that I despised more.

  • BogartBogart I Will Cure You Registered User, Moderator mod
    I dunno if you've read it recently, but I imagine reading it for the first time after a million terrible vampire novels and the Twilight phenomenon is a very different experience to reading it twenty years ago before they became as played out as zombies.

  • BogartBogart I Will Cure You Registered User, Moderator mod
    I remember the third one being kinda silly and the fourth one relying on the main character behaving like a moron (voluntarily swap bodies with some guy and oh no sure he won't betray you and run off wait he did) that meant the rest of the book just couldn't claw back any suspension of disbelief.

  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best On MarsRegistered User regular
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet is also great, and is a more straightforward story.

    George Saunders is getting a lot more press than usual for his latest short stories. Civilwarland In Bad Decline is great, and will probably still appeal to someone who likes SF but wants something more "literary."


    I picked up Jacob De Zoet for exactly that reason and loved it. Read it twice in the span of a few months and then passed it on to my parents who also enjoyed it. I really need to get around to checking out Cloud Atlas sometime soon.

    I'm currently about halfway through Winter in Madrid by C. J. Sansom which mom loaned me at Christmas. It's competently written and I'm finding the plot interesting but I can't help but be a bit disappointed because a stupid review blurb inside the front cover compared it to Carlos Ruiz Zafon's stuff. The only similarity I see is the setting (Spain, after the civil war). This guy writes well but he's no Zafon.

    steam_sig.png
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Bahaha I am really liking Hydrogen Sonata now for doing all the things Star Trek never does.
    The ship is taking the character and a couple droids to a giant collection depot to find and get a special item. While this is happening they're under pursuit from another ship. So the first ship teleports the characters onto the depot and continues on its way trying to evade the other ship. But it also teleports a bunch of drones throughout the depot to help handle whatever the enemy puts on there rather than just hoping they get by on moxie and good luck.

    Have you read other Banks/Culture stuff? I'm wondering how this book compares to others he's done. I'm a big fan of Banks, but his past several books I haven't like very much.

    mvaYcgc.jpg
  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    HyphyKezzy wrote: »
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet is also great, and is a more straightforward story.

    George Saunders is getting a lot more press than usual for his latest short stories. Civilwarland In Bad Decline is great, and will probably still appeal to someone who likes SF but wants something more "literary."


    I picked up Jacob De Zoet for exactly that reason and loved it. Read it twice in the span of a few months and then passed it on to my parents who also enjoyed it. I really need to get around to checking out Cloud Atlas sometime soon.

    I'm currently about halfway through Winter in Madrid by C. J. Sansom which mom loaned me at Christmas. It's competently written and I'm finding the plot interesting but I can't help but be a bit disappointed because a stupid review blurb inside the front cover compared it to Carlos Ruiz Zafon's stuff. The only similarity I see is the setting (Spain, after the civil war). This guy writes well but he's no Zafon.

    Sansom does, on the other hand, do an excellent range of well researched mystery novels set during the reformation (see his Dissolution as a starting point). 'Winter in Madrid' was a bit of a departure for him...

  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best On MarsRegistered User regular
    What I've read so far feels well researched in this book too. I went on a bit of a tear learning about the Spanish civil war after reading the Zafon stuff and Sansom keeps dropping in little details that I recognize from it. It's just a sort of unfair comparison I probably wouldn't have made without reading the blurb. Even in translation Zafon's one of those rare authors who frequently has me immediately rereading a sentence just because it's beautifully constructed. I'm certainly willing to check out more of Sansom's stuff though, Winter in Madrid has been plenty enjoyable so far.

    steam_sig.png
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Bahaha I am really liking Hydrogen Sonata now for doing all the things Star Trek never does.
    The ship is taking the character and a couple droids to a giant collection depot to find and get a special item. While this is happening they're under pursuit from another ship. So the first ship teleports the characters onto the depot and continues on its way trying to evade the other ship. But it also teleports a bunch of drones throughout the depot to help handle whatever the enemy puts on there rather than just hoping they get by on moxie and good luck.

    Have you read other Banks/Culture stuff? I'm wondering how this book compares to others he's done. I'm a big fan of Banks, but his past several books I haven't like very much.

    I enjoyed his other recent stuff well enough but I do agree Matter and Surface Detail weren't great. But this recent one reminds me a lot more of Excession and Look to Windward so I hope it's indicative of future stuff.

  • CalixtusCalixtus Registered User regular
    Has one of the best oneliners of the entire Culture-verse
    "Not even a nice try shipfucker".

    Rapidly followed by "Now watch this". That entire conversation/related scene is awesome.

    Thought the ending was a bit of a downer though, too obvious.

    -This message was deviously brought to you by:
  • Silas BrownSilas Brown Registered User regular
    I just started reading the Culture novels myself. I had been meaning to for a long time, the setting sounds really interesting. Though hilariously enough, the main character of the first book rolls his eyes at the typical "fanboy" attitude towards Culture debauchery. That was a great moment for me.

    I'm really enjoying the book so far. The pace is right where I'm at right now, since I haven't been doing a lot of reading lately, and the setting and technology is really fun to learn about.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    I've been feeling the need for some good ol' fashioned sci-fi, and realized I don't have anything in my to read pile. I need people in spaceships, preferably covered in grease. Any suggestions?

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    I've been feeling the need for some good ol' fashioned sci-fi, and realized I don't have anything in my to read pile. I need people in spaceships, preferably covered in grease. Any suggestions?

    CJ Cherryh's Alliance/Union books are great.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._J._Cherryh_bibliography#The_Alliance-Union_universe

    Rimrunners and Heavy Time are my favourites.

    Stephen Donaldson's Gap Series have some of the grittiest, greasiest, shittiest spaceship action ever, and I love them, but they have some weird scenes of sex and/or violence (not exploitative, just dark).

    The Forever War.

    I need to think to remember more gritty ones.

    I figure I could take a bear.
    Captain Marcus
  • Old Red InkOld Red Ink Registered User regular
    If you mean "old fashioned" literally, I'm a big fan of Doc Smith's Lensman series, which is a true classic that doesn't seem to get mentioned much these days. I don't remember if there's much grease, but there are definitely epic space battles.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    If you mean "old fashioned" literally, I'm a big fan of Doc Smith's Lensman series, which is a true classic that doesn't seem to get mentioned much these days. I don't remember if there's much grease, but there are definitely epic space battles.

    Yeah, I thought of those too, but decided they had too many field projectors and black hole generators, and not enough 'grease'.

    Modern writers like Vernor Vinge or Iain M Banks went off my list for the same reason.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Well, I guess I shouldn't say greasy per se, but interesting, lived-in universes. So while the characters themselves may not be greasy, there is at least the verifiable existence of grease in the universe.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    I've been feeling the need for some good ol' fashioned sci-fi, and realized I don't have anything in my to read pile. I need people in spaceships, preferably covered in grease. Any suggestions?

    CJ Cherryh's Alliance/Union books are great.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._J._Cherryh_bibliography#The_Alliance-Union_universe

    Rimrunners and Heavy Time are my favourites.

    Stephen Donaldson's Gap Series have some of the grittiest, greasiest, shittiest spaceship action ever, and I love them, but they have some weird scenes of sex and/or violence (not exploitative, just dark).

    The Forever War.

    I need to think to remember more gritty ones.

    David Drake's Lt. Leary series is basically Space Aubrey/Maturin including crew doing space sail rigging and grimy jobs.

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Kana wrote: »
    Well, I guess I shouldn't say greasy per se, but interesting, lived-in universes. So while the characters themselves may not be greasy, there is at least the verifiable existence of grease in the universe.

    The Miles Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold. I recommend those a lot because people keep living and dying all over the world without having read them and it is unacceptable. They're not quite gritty in a Star Wars sense - they're closer to something like Babylon 5 if it didn't have aliens - but they take place on a much more personal scale than most space SF.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Yeah, Bujold is great. (And the newest one is from Ivan's PoV, which automatically makes it The Best)

    I'm actually kind of curious though, does anyone else find her female characters pretty meh? I mean Miles may always win, but his personality also causes him problems, and there's a big wide swath of memorable male supporting characters. But then like his mom in everything but Barrayar has never been wrong about a single thing once, ever, and Ekaterin started out OK but has pretty much just devolved into the same thing. It's been at least a few years since I've read most of her stuff, so maybe my memories aren't accurate, but I really can't remember any really interesting complex female characters that she's done.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • BogartBogart I Will Cure You Registered User, Moderator mod
    Elli Quinn, Taura, his Aunt Vorpatril, his cousin (whose name escapes me).

    And I've always loved Cordelia as well.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Elli Quinn was definitely one where I was trying to remember how interesting she was. I mean I definitely liked her, she was cool, I just don't really remember how much she actually had going on. I've still got Ethan of Athos lying around here somewhere.

    I dunno, maybe it's just more generally that Bujold tends to let her characters work their way through their issues and end up as mostly well-balanced, healthy individuals. Which tends to mean the older any given character in her universe gets, the less interesting they tend to become (and is, again, why Ivan was so great in the last book, his main issue is that he just wants everyone else to leave him alone)

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • SmoogySmoogy Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Currently reading the below:

    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
    Paul of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
    Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (manga) by Hayao Miyazaki
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

    I'm really not sure why Guy Gavriel Kay doesn't get more play/recognition among fantasy fans. A friend of mine has been telling me to read Tigana for a few years and I finally got around to it. It's brilliant! Granted I'm only halfway through, but I'm really loving the setting, characters, plot...even the names are refreshing (based on Italian naming conventions, so seems new and different compared to Tolkien/British names which dominate the genre). Although I have a ways to go, I'd recommend it to any fantasy buffs. There's even a group of supernatural beings known as Others that a small group of men and women called the Night Walkers must fight off so that they don't sweep over the land and destroy humanity. Sounds like George R. R. Martin read Tigana before coming up with the Others and the Night Watch to me ;)

    Anyway, Tigana is fantastic so far! Unpredictable characters and beautifully written prose that really paints a picture of what's happening.

    Smoogy on
    Smoogy-1689
    3DS Friend Code: 1821-8991-4141
    PAD ID: 376,540,262

    CroakerBC
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    The Lost Fleet is the top "space ship porn" series I know. Because it's all spaceship combat all time.

    Lensmen is the mother of all space age Sci-fi.

    HyphyKezzy wrote: »
    What I've read so far feels well researched in this book too. I went on a bit of a tear learning about the Spanish civil war after reading the Zafon stuff and Sansom keeps dropping in little details that I recognize from it. It's just a sort of unfair comparison I probably wouldn't have made without reading the blurb. Even in translation Zafon's one of those rare authors who frequently has me immediately rereading a sentence just because it's beautifully constructed. I'm certainly willing to check out more of Sansom's stuff though, Winter in Madrid has been plenty enjoyable so far.

    How did you like Zafón?

    EDIT: Holy Reaper, the Geth loves Space Opera!

    Stormwatcher on
    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
    camo_sig2.png
    Geth
  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best On MarsRegistered User regular
    I've only read two of Zafon's books so far, "The Shadow of the Wind" and "The Angels Game" but both were fantastic. They're pretty much mysteries as far as the plots with a Gothic atmosphere and what feels like some magical realism mixed in. I really liked the Cemetery of Forgotten Books concept in both. I've been holding off reading more of his stuff while I'm working on my Spanish because I'd like to try out his YA novels in a few years once it's stronger but the translations are really well done and I highly recommended them.

    steam_sig.png
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Yeah, the Shadow of the Wind is his masterpiece, unanimously. There is a third book on that "series". I've just published his first book, The Prince of the Mists (I think) in Portuguese. It's very dark, and not as good, and clearly meant for YA. But it's very refreshing.

    His prose in Spanish is full of, hum, "high brow" vocabulary, lots of less trivial nouns and adjectives, so I do agree it's best to wait a bit before plunging in the original. But it's very worthwhile too.

    Stormwatcher on
    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
    camo_sig2.png
  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best On MarsRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I figured even his YA stuff would be plenty challenging. I'll have to track down a translation of that third book, I' m sure the adult oriented ones are going to be beyond me for a long time.

    steam_sig.png
  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    I read John Dies at the End in one sitting today. A fantastic book.

    I'll also second the Alliance-Union setting for grease space opera. Hellburner, Heavy Time, and any of her Merchanter books are fairly gritty.

    ISIS delenda est
    Geth
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    @poshniallo

    I read the Faded Sun trilogy (in the single volume reprint) by C. J. Cherryh a while back. I thought the first book had promise. I mean it was a pretty extreme case of that thing where a sci-fi or fantasy author will throw tons and tons of unpronouncable names at the reader in order to make their setting seem exotic. But she did it better than most who try to go that way.

    The second and third books were a pretty big disappointment though. They certainly weren't bad but really did not live up to the promise of the first book. Very much reminded me of my reaction to reading some L.E. Modesitt: not bad but I really don't feel a desire to buy more by the author.

    Are her other books or series better?

  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    @poshniallo

    I read the Faded Sun trilogy (in the single volume reprint) by C. J. Cherryh a while back. I thought the first book had promise. I mean it was a pretty extreme case of that thing where a sci-fi or fantasy author will throw tons and tons of unpronouncable names at the reader in order to make their setting seem exotic. But she did it better than most who try to go that way.

    The second and third books were a pretty big disappointment though. They certainly weren't bad but really did not live up to the promise of the first book. Very much reminded me of my reaction to reading some L.E. Modesitt: not bad but I really don't feel a desire to buy more by the author.

    Are her other books or series better?

    Yes. Faded Sun isn't that good.

    Heavy Time is about an asteroid-mining crew. Downbelow Station's about a war and a space station, Cyteen is about genetic engineering, and Pride of Chanur is about a merchant captain that finds an alien (human) stowaway. I'd say those are her best books.

    ISIS delenda est
    Geth
This discussion has been closed.