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The D&D [Book] Thread

JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp.I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
edited April 2013 in Debate and/or Discourse

TAKE A LOOK, IT'S IN A BOOK!

Books! They're like a neverending game of Dr. Mario, except instead of pills, the goal is to scroll past as many words as you can before you die.

The (Semi)Official D&D Recommended Reading List

nabokov.jpgGENERAL FICTION
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
The Master and Margarita by Mikail Bulgakov
If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
Dubliners by James Joyce
Ulysses by James Joyce
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Harauki Murakami
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Harauki Murakami
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
The Quincunx by Charles Palliser
Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
Life with Jeeves by PG Wodehouse

scifi.jpgSCIENCE FICTION
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Dune by Frank Herbert
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Left Hand Of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
1984 by George Orwell
Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Ilium by Dan Simmons
Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick
The Dying Earth by Jack Vance
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
Dread Empire’s Fall by Walter Jon Williams
The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson
The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe
The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe

elfparrot.jpgFANTASY
The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander
Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher
The Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Little, Big by John Crowley
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson
The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Ash by Mary Gentle
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
The Dark Tower by Stephen King
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
The Scar by China Mieville
The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Once and Future King by TH White
Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams
Latro in the Mist by Gene Wolfe
The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny

bogie.jpgMYSTERY/CRIME
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
The Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy
American Tabloid by James Ellroy
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
The Continental Op by Dashiell Hammett
The Ripley novels by Patricia Highsmith
Fletch by Gregory Macdonald
The Wallander novels by Henning Mankell
The Inspector Rebus novels by Ian Rankin
Keeper by Greg Rucka
The Lord Peter Wimsey novels by Dorothy L. Sayers
Hardcase by Dan Simmons
Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith

4589534743_516d360904_o.jpgESPIONAGE/THRILLERS
Complicity by Iain Banks
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carré
The Constant Gardener by John Le Carré
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
The James Bond novels by Ian Fleming
Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Harlot's Ghost by Norman Mailer
Keeper by Greg Rucka
A Gentleman's Game by Greg Rucka
The Crook Factory by Dan Simmons

price.jpgHORROR
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
World War Z by Max Brooks
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
It by Stephen King
The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
Demons by John Shirley
Song of Kali by Dan Simmons
Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons
John Dies at the End by David Wong

hitler.jpgNONFICTION
Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein
D-Day by Anthony Beevor
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind
The Centennial History of the Civil War - Bruce Catton
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
The Iranian Labyrinth by Dilip Hiro
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter
The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia by Peter Hopkirk
In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan by Seth Jones
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by Pauline Kael
I Lost It at the Movies by Pauline Kael
On Writing by Stephen King
Battle Cry of Freedom by James MacPherson
Fear of Music: The 261 Greatest Albums Since Punk and Disco by Gary Mulholland
This is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk and Disco by Gary Mulholland
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
My Turf: Horses, Boxers, Blood Money and the Sporting Life by William Nack
You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again by Julia Phillips
Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes by John Pierson
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan
Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon
The Corner by David Simon and Edward Burns
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Reading Comics by Douglas Wolk

Those of you with a few hundred spare dollars should check out Centipede Press, a small-press dealer specializing in lavishly deluxe reprints of rare and hard-to-find books of all genres, from horror to sci-fi to early-20th-century European surrealism. And they're gorgeous. Anyone who wants to buy me one, feel free. :P

So what's on your bedside table these days?

IcyLiquid on
«13456799

Posts

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    So what's on your bedside table these days?

    Why am I reading this line in the voice of a very literate phone sex operator?

    Oooh, you're reading Dante's Inferno? Yeah, Dante gets me hot... And then later freezing cold.

    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.
    JacobkoshAresProphet
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Well, I just finished the first "volume" of The Human Division, which made me happy with the realistic "find a needle in a needlestack" scenario. (Science: It Works.)

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    The Signal and The Noise, which reads like a very long, broad 538 blog post slightly dumbed down.

    11793-1.png
    day9gosu.png
    QEDMF xbl: PantsB G+
  • Squid56Squid56 Registered User regular
    Just ordered The Raw Shark Texts as it was spiritually linked via a House of Leaves review. Since I finished up HoL a few weeks ago, this sounded promising. I also need to dig out my copy of the GEB and re-read it, since there seems to be some resonance there with HoL as well.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Is it wrong that these illustrations make me laugh?

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Lemingway-e1357942364755.jpg

    I may need an avatar overhaul

    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.
    Kalkino
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Finishing up "Hood" by Stephen R. Lawhead. Then I'll either continue that series (they're stupidly easy to read), or I'll switch to Mistborn. Or maybe I'll get into 1491. Or the Nicholas and Alexandra Biography.

  • TurksonTurkson Near the mountains of ColoradoRegistered User regular
    In the past few days I've read a Star Wars book which wasn't half bad (X-Wing: Mercy Kill), Sheepfarmer's Daughter (also not bad, first book of The Deeds of Paksenarion), and will probably finish the third book of The Wayfarer Redemption (which is just awful, but I'm determined to finish it).

    I have the first book of Malazen series, but I'm a little intimidated by it. And I still haven't started the last book in The Wheel of Time series. I don't know why.

    I also found a copy of Sled Driver (memoirs of an SR71 pilot) at a nearby library district. Really excited about that, it's an incredibly hard to find book! Hopefully I'll have that in a few weeks.

    We missed a few places...
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    51T6GRVJZ8L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg
    You may have read the hype. Irishman Jamie O'Neill was working as a London hospital porter when his 10-year labor of love, the 200,000-word manuscript of At Swim, Two Boys, written on a laptop during quiet patches at work, was suddenly snapped up for a hefty six-figure advance. For once, the book fully deserves the hype.
    In the spring of 1915, Jim Mack and "the Doyler," two Dublin boys, make a pact to swim to an island in Dublin Bay the following Easter. By the time they do, Dublin has been consumed by the Easter Uprising, and the boys' friendship has blossomed into love--a love that will in time be overtaken by tragedy. O'Neill's prose, playing merrily with vocabulary, syntax, and idiom, has unsurprisingly drawn comparisons to James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, but in his creation of comic characters (such as Jim's pathetic but irrepressible father) and in the sheer scale of his work, Charles Dickens springs to mind first. But Dickens never wrote a love story between young men as achingly beautiful as this.

    Queer James Joyce. One of the best books I have ever read. The prose is really hard to get used to but it is just an amazing book.

  • fshavlakfshavlak Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Finished Gibson's Blue Ant trilogy. I liked them, but after three books I'm not sure how convincing (not sure if this is quite the right word) they are.

    It doesn't help that I'm a Ph. D. candidate doing work closely related to GPS, and understand that his locative art stuff (as described in Spook Country) is impossible without additional infrastructure, no matter how smart your hacker is.

    fshavlak on
  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Hmm, so, The Red Knight turned out to be extremely good. Shades of the Arthurian legend (The Green Knight is namechecked in the acknowledgments). An interesting seeming, partially familiar world. It has some of Kay's skill at generating a setting, but switches his evocative, elaborate linguistics for something more punchy, with a style more reminiscent of GRRM. THat said, it's not a rehash of Game of Thrones, by any means. If you're in the market for a bit more low fantasy, with some swearing, murder, scheming, etc, then you could definitely do worse.

    Followed that up by catching up on Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, which continues to not be as awful as I was expecting. Realistically, it's Sharpe with dragons, and a bit of a travelogue thrown in, but it's curiously compulsive. Popcorn reading, but it's good with it. And the latest (Crucible of Gold) was surprisingly good - some of the mid-series volumes were a bit blah, but she seems to have got some enthusiasm back.

    Moved on to N.J. Jemisin's The Kingdom of Gods, which is almost the antithesis of The Red Knight, stylistically. A lot less battling, a lot more talking, a lot less scheming, and its replacement with a solid cast of characters who all act truly to their own integral natures. Very impressive. One of the more "literature" bits of fantasy I've picked up this year. Probably makes more sense if you've read the preceding volumes in the series first, so I'd suggest doing that - not least because they're very good.

    Taking a bit of a break, mostly because I can't remember what's on my kindle, and started Naked Heat, one of those tie in novels for Castle. Realistically, it's trashy commute reading, but very accessible, and succeeds at making me want to watch the show again. Quite a fun mystery piece so far, tongue-in-cheek, but very appreciative of the genre.

    Probably on with Catch Me if You Can tomorrow...

    ETA: Oh, I forgot that Kraken was, as expected, quite good, if a bit dense - but Mieiville's like that. Not my favourite of his pieces - that probably goes to The City & The City - but remarkably accessible for him, and actually quite a lot of fun to read; that said, I think othe rpeople have played with the same tropes as effectively, if not in quite the same way.

    Also, Osiris - about murder and conspiracy in the last city in the world, floating in an ocean over what may once have been Alaska - was decent. The setting is solid, though it has a few logistical loopholes and a few stereotypes (city divided between the haves and have-nots, disintegration of utopia/dystopia). Characters were a little thinner than I'd like, but still decently readable.

    CroakerBC on
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    i'm curious about your opinion on Crucible of Gold.

    It seriously just fell flat for me. Especially compared to the first three books. for me it felt as though she was just plain bored.

  • BogartBogart Because I hate you Registered User, Moderator mod
    Just started Dashiell Hammett's, The Dain Curse. Sudden urge to call women dames.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    I reread The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. I enjoyed it a lot, although Heinlein's obsessions with bootstraps, libertarianism and sexism do show through. Still, I do like anyone who thinks about language change in their SF, even when it's as unsophisticated as his abbreviated speech here.

    Read a bit of Lyonesse but I'm finding it hard to get into. It reminds me a little of Romance of The Three Kingdoms - a cast of thousands without enough distinguishing features, and I just get lost. Contrast that with AGOT, where even potboys seem to stand out. I am about 100 pages in - does an overarching plot or even a protagonist emerge?

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • BogartBogart Because I hate you Registered User, Moderator mod
    I think with most of Vance's stuff the plot is pretty weak. Some stuff, like Emphyrio, works on pretty much every level, but for a lot of his stuff it's the beautiful prose and baroque detail that make it worthwhile. He's one of the very, very few writers I think deserves to be read for his 'world-building' skills. Normally 'great world-building' seems to be a thing people say about a fantasy book because the magic system has been flowcharted or the book Has Been Invaded By Capital Letters At The Start Of Made Up Words, but with Vance everything is strange and weird and original and never like the novelisation of an RPG sourcebook. Haven't read Lyonesse, though.

    Also, flourishes of wit like the still hilarious scene in the Dying Earth books where Cugel and a rival try to convince someone to give them a job by dissing the other candidate viciously but politely. This is not the first time I've quoted this passage here, and it won't be the last.
    Cugel gave Bunderwal a careful inspection. "He seems to be a modest, decent and unassuming person, but definitely not a sound choice for the position of supercargo."

    "And why do you say that?"

    "If you will notice," said Cugel, "Bunderwal shows the drooping nostrils which indicate an infallible tendency toward sea-sickness."

    "Cugel is a man of discernment!" declared Bunderwal. "I would rate him an applicant of fair to good quality, and I urge you to ignore his long spatulate fingers which I last noticed on Larkin the baby-stealer. There is a significant difference between the two: Larkin has been hanged and Cugel has not been hanged."

    .....<break>....

    "Cugel's qualifications are impressive," Bunderwal admitted.

    "Against them I can counterpose only honesty, skill, dedication, and tireless industry. Further, I am a dignified citizen of the area, not a fox-faced vagabond in an over-fancy hat."

    Cugel turned to Soldinck: "At last - and we are lucky in this - Bunderwal's style, which consists of slander and vituperation, can be contrasted with my own dignity and restraint. I still must point out his oily skin and over-large buttocks; they indicate a bent for high-living and even a tendency toward peculation. If indeed you hired Bunderwal as under-clerk, I suggest that all locks be reinforced, for the better protection of your valuables."

    JacobkoshV1mEcho
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    After finishing The Fault in Our Stars the other day, I started Brent Weeks' Night Angel trilogy. Seems pretty good so far.

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Set aside the non fiction for a while to read Hydrogen Sonata. I like the concept of the story a lot and especially like Banks finally expanding on the concept of subliming and the effects it has on the worlds that are abandoned. Definitely does a great job of creating a genuinely diverse universe in terms of not only different species but also tech levels.

  • Uncle_BalsamicUncle_Balsamic Registered User regular
    Still reading Infinite Jest. Planning to move onto Gravity's Rainbow when I'm done.

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  • VanguardVanguard Just float along and fill your lungs Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Currently in Progress:

    -Titus Groan
    -A Feast for Crows
    -The Odyssey

  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Reading Anna Karenina, again.

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    JacobkoshSmrtnik
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited January 2013
    I popped The Hobbit onto the Kindle in preparation for actually getting around to seeing the movie this weekend.

    I love Tolkien's grandfatherly authorial voice. It's funny and kind but never condescending. Two pages in and he's talking about how Bilbo's father spent a bunch of Bilbo's mother's money, and just assumes that you, the child reading the book, will have the patience to follow where he's leading.

    None of the various movies, paintings, cartoons, etc I've seen has ever remembered to give Gandalf the "truly massive boots" he wears in the book.

    Jacobkosh on
    Mahnmut
  • Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    I'm reading iWoz right now. It's really fun! I was already familiar with the story of Apple, and a lot of Wozniak anecdotes, but he's got such a great sense of humor I'm flying through this book.

  • descdesc slight cough / rhyming through phones Registered User regular
    I got distracted halfway through, but now I'm back at Anthony Everett's Rise of Rome.

    All the skirmishes, all the togas.

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I reread The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. I enjoyed it a lot, although Heinlein's obsessions with bootstraps, libertarianism and sexism do show through. Still, I do like anyone who thinks about language change in their SF, even when it's as unsophisticated as his abbreviated speech here.

    I'm curious as to what sexism you're referring to. Some of it will just be courtesy of the era. And in Mistress women are certainly objectified as sex objects. But there is play on that as well;
    lunar society is matriarchal, for one thing. And from what I remember this is based heavily around the desireability of women. That a woman can and often will have multiple husbands, and if the men don't like it, they can fuck off (maybe there are more men than women? I don't recall).
    Is that what you're talking about when you mention sexism, or some other aspect of the book?

    mvaYcgc.jpg
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I reread The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. I enjoyed it a lot, although Heinlein's obsessions with bootstraps, libertarianism and sexism do show through. Still, I do like anyone who thinks about language change in their SF, even when it's as unsophisticated as his abbreviated speech here.

    I'm curious as to what sexism you're referring to. Some of it will just be courtesy of the era. And in Mistress women are certainly objectified as sex objects. But there is play on that as well;
    lunar society is matriarchal, for one thing. And from what I remember this is based heavily around the desireability of women. That a woman can and often will have multiple husbands, and if the men don't like it, they can fuck off (maybe there are more men than women? I don't recall).
    Is that what you're talking about when you mention sexism, or some other aspect of the book?

    There's a lot of talk about how special women are, how different, how other. 'Wonderful mysterious creatures'. Plus yes lots of objectification. And he says women are powerful in the home, but only the home, but actually they aren't really, and it's the men who do everything in the story. Women mostly get scared by violence or technology. And the society isn't actually matriarchal, although he thinks it is. Sure a lot of that is of the time, which I don't judge it for, but not all.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Finished, forcibly, Little's The House. It was fucking awful. Nothing about it was scary or creepy, the 'horror' was mostly composed of purposefully-inexplicable events and a sexually aggressive 10 year old, and the two actually approachable characters get the least development. So I am done with Bentley Little.

    Trying to make up my mind between Moon Over Soho and The Poisoner's Handbooks (the latter picked up after seeing the suggestion of someone in the last thread) for my next read.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Don't despair. Not even over the fact that you don't despair.Registered User regular
    51T6GRVJZ8L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg
    You may have read the hype. Irishman Jamie O'Neill was working as a London hospital porter when his 10-year labor of love, the 200,000-word manuscript of At Swim, Two Boys, written on a laptop during quiet patches at work, was suddenly snapped up for a hefty six-figure advance. For once, the book fully deserves the hype.
    In the spring of 1915, Jim Mack and "the Doyler," two Dublin boys, make a pact to swim to an island in Dublin Bay the following Easter. By the time they do, Dublin has been consumed by the Easter Uprising, and the boys' friendship has blossomed into love--a love that will in time be overtaken by tragedy. O'Neill's prose, playing merrily with vocabulary, syntax, and idiom, has unsurprisingly drawn comparisons to James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, but in his creation of comic characters (such as Jim's pathetic but irrepressible father) and in the sheer scale of his work, Charles Dickens springs to mind first. But Dickens never wrote a love story between young men as achingly beautiful as this.

    Queer James Joyce. One of the best books I have ever read. The prose is really hard to get used to but it is just an amazing book.

    oh wow. so glad it got a big advance that's awesome. I'll have to pick it up when... I have time to read a 200,000 word book that has difficult prose

    Elki wrote: »

    Casual Eddy: best poster 2014.
    tyrannus wrote: »
    Casual Eddy: best poster of 2015

    gotta update that stuff man
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I reread The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. I enjoyed it a lot, although Heinlein's obsessions with bootstraps, libertarianism and sexism do show through. Still, I do like anyone who thinks about language change in their SF, even when it's as unsophisticated as his abbreviated speech here.

    I'm curious as to what sexism you're referring to. Some of it will just be courtesy of the era. And in Mistress women are certainly objectified as sex objects. But there is play on that as well;
    lunar society is matriarchal, for one thing. And from what I remember this is based heavily around the desireability of women. That a woman can and often will have multiple husbands, and if the men don't like it, they can fuck off (maybe there are more men than women? I don't recall).
    Is that what you're talking about when you mention sexism, or some other aspect of the book?

    There's a lot of talk about how special women are, how different, how other. 'Wonderful mysterious creatures'. Plus yes lots of objectification. And he says women are powerful in the home, but only the home, but actually they aren't really, and it's the men who do everything in the story. Women mostly get scared by violence or technology. And the society isn't actually matriarchal, although he thinks it is. Sure a lot of that is of the time, which I don't judge it for, but not all.

    Yeah, I don't give authors much leniency for coming from a misogynistic / sexist / whatever other 'ism culture. A good writer is going to be empathetic and find the common humanity in all of their creations, whether male or female.

    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.
  • CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Kana wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I reread The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. I enjoyed it a lot, although Heinlein's obsessions with bootstraps, libertarianism and sexism do show through. Still, I do like anyone who thinks about language change in their SF, even when it's as unsophisticated as his abbreviated speech here.

    I'm curious as to what sexism you're referring to. Some of it will just be courtesy of the era. And in Mistress women are certainly objectified as sex objects. But there is play on that as well;
    lunar society is matriarchal, for one thing. And from what I remember this is based heavily around the desireability of women. That a woman can and often will have multiple husbands, and if the men don't like it, they can fuck off (maybe there are more men than women? I don't recall).
    Is that what you're talking about when you mention sexism, or some other aspect of the book?

    There's a lot of talk about how special women are, how different, how other. 'Wonderful mysterious creatures'. Plus yes lots of objectification. And he says women are powerful in the home, but only the home, but actually they aren't really, and it's the men who do everything in the story. Women mostly get scared by violence or technology. And the society isn't actually matriarchal, although he thinks it is. Sure a lot of that is of the time, which I don't judge it for, but not all.

    Yeah, I don't give authors much leniency for coming from a misogynistic / sexist / whatever other 'ism culture. A good writer is going to be empathetic and find the common humanity in all of their creations, whether male or female.

    If you live in a society where your gender is more valuable or more desirable, you are going to be less inclined to develop valuable skills or characteristics that are not associated with, or serve the purpose of accentuating your gender. I think that's a point that people should try to recognize and understand, I don't think that depicting that as a feature of reality is inherently misogynistic.


    Also, Heinlein is writing from a man's perspective, and he got to see a lot of the world. There are a lot of places where low income men (and don't kid yourself, there are a lot of low income men in the world) don't have any chance of being in a long term relationship with a woman outside of the kind of social dynamic he believed would become prominent, polyandry.

    Cantelope on
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Speaking of, the casual sexism of the 50s and 60s really turns me off a lot of sci if from then. Even the buts from Clarke irked me.

    I understand that they're simply a product of their time and I don't fault them for it, but it definitely keeps me from reading a lot of stuff from then.

  • TurksonTurkson Near the mountains of ColoradoRegistered User regular
    I'm not condoning it, but as you said it is a product of their time. I won't toss a book because the author wrote it when social contexts were different. I will read it, maybe enjoy it, and note that it was made in a different time, with different concepts.

    This very much happens when you really dig into historical pieces.

    As an aside, a first edition copy of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is halfway to becoming an antique.

    We missed a few places...
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    Turkson wrote: »
    I'm not condoning it, but as you said it is a product of their time. I won't toss a book because the author wrote it when social contexts were different. I will read it, maybe enjoy it, and note that it was made in a different time, with different concepts.

    This very much happens when you really dig into historical pieces.

    As an aside, a first edition copy of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is halfway to becoming an antique.

    That's fine, but I was trying to say that I thought TMIAHM was especially odd, even for it's time.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    Can anyone recommend any sites for reading reviews or finding new releases? Living where I do, I don't hear about new books or new authors. I don't even hear about new books by my favourite authors. So sometimes I find myself trawling Amazon for ideas, which can't be the best way to do this.

    I mostly read classics and F/SF, so of course it's the latter I find myself hunting for info on.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Can anyone recommend any sites for reading reviews or finding new releases? Living where I do, I don't hear about new books or new authors. I don't even hear about new books by my favourite authors. So sometimes I find myself trawling Amazon for ideas, which can't be the best way to do this.

    I mostly read classics and F/SF, so of course it's the latter I find myself hunting for info on.

    I dunno about new releases per se, but tor.com actually has some surprisingly good reviewers and retrospectives for sci-fi.

    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.
  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    I am still making my way through Little, Big. I am referring to the family tree at the front of the book with great regularity.

    Steam: Mike Danger | PSN/NNID: remadeking | 3DS: 2079-9204-4075
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    JacobkoshMahnmut
  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    Im almost done with the His Dark Materials series. I dont think I like it; some of it is good, most of it is okay, some of it is down right terrible.

    Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I read it when I was 12.


    Looking forward to getting back to A Storm of Swords though, gotta finish it before the next season starts.

    After that I dont know where I'll go.

    camo_sig2.png
  • GrudgeGrudge Far Beyond DrivenRegistered User regular
    Finished Abercombie's Best Served Cold, which was excellent. You can clearly tell how he has developed as a writer after the First Law trilogy. He manages to make it delightfully bleak, and tortures his characters endlessly, but they are never put down by their misery, I guess mostly because of the wit and sense of humor that never seem to abandon them.

    Then I continued on to The Heroes, which unfortunately wasn't quite as solid as Best Served Cold, but still enjoyable. A big kick in the fruits of traditional heroric fantasy. War is shit for everyone involved, heroes or not.

    Before moving on to Red Country, I'm taking a breather and reading John Scalzi's Old Man's War. Lots of infodumping so far, but the premise seems promising.

    Oh, also I'm about 2/3 through Alastair Reynold's Blue Remembered Earth, but it doesn't really grip me and I'm having trouble to keep reading it. Other books keep getting in the way and being prioritized. His ideas are nice and all, but it's lacking in... I dunno... nerve?

    A Dabble Of TheloniusEcho
  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    i'm curious about your opinion on Crucible of Gold.

    It seriously just fell flat for me. Especially compared to the first three books. for me it felt as though she was just plain bored.

    As I say, I thought Crucible of Gold was a bit of a return to form, after a few rather rocky releases. I must admit, I enjoy the series more when it adds in some politics, and ties in with the ongoing Napoloenic wars. Empire of Ivory was decent enough, but suffered, I think, for being more of a travelogue, a journey novel, than a period-heroics piece. The same was even more true of Tongues of Serpents, which seemed like one giant travelogue/setup story to me.

    While I agree that Crucible isn't on the same sort of par as Temeraire or Throne of Jade, I think it does swing the balance more toward the period-action that is the series' stock in trade, and helps reassure me that I'm not just reading a historical nature video.

    But then, I enjoyed Victory of Eagles for exactly that return to pulp-action, so what do I know.

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    Cantelope wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I reread The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. I enjoyed it a lot, although Heinlein's obsessions with bootstraps, libertarianism and sexism do show through. Still, I do like anyone who thinks about language change in their SF, even when it's as unsophisticated as his abbreviated speech here.

    I'm curious as to what sexism you're referring to. Some of it will just be courtesy of the era. And in Mistress women are certainly objectified as sex objects. But there is play on that as well;
    lunar society is matriarchal, for one thing. And from what I remember this is based heavily around the desireability of women. That a woman can and often will have multiple husbands, and if the men don't like it, they can fuck off (maybe there are more men than women? I don't recall).
    Is that what you're talking about when you mention sexism, or some other aspect of the book?

    There's a lot of talk about how special women are, how different, how other. 'Wonderful mysterious creatures'. Plus yes lots of objectification. And he says women are powerful in the home, but only the home, but actually they aren't really, and it's the men who do everything in the story. Women mostly get scared by violence or technology. And the society isn't actually matriarchal, although he thinks it is. Sure a lot of that is of the time, which I don't judge it for, but not all.

    Yeah, I don't give authors much leniency for coming from a misogynistic / sexist / whatever other 'ism culture. A good writer is going to be empathetic and find the common humanity in all of their creations, whether male or female.

    If you live in a society where your gender is more valuable or more desirable, you are going to be less inclined to develop valuable skills or characteristics that are not associated with, or serve the purpose of accentuating your gender. I think that's a point that people should try to recognize and understand, I don't think that depicting that as a feature of reality is inherently misogynistic.


    Also, Heinlein is writing from a man's perspective, and he got to see a lot of the world. There are a lot of places where low income men (and don't kid yourself, there are a lot of low income men in the world) don't have any chance of being in a long term relationship with a woman outside of the kind of social dynamic he believed would become prominent, polyandry.

    Indeed. I find Heinlein's depiction of the moon colony to be super-interesting. I'd never heard of a society like that before. The women were overtly sexual, and yet there was no attitude in the men of "look how she's dressed, she wants it". It was quite the opposite, where the women were almost worshiped, and the men were not controlling or violent out of fear of exclusion. However clumsily Heinlein may have described it, this still has some lessons for today's world, and I suspect it was an especially unusual perspective when it was published in '66.

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  • iowaiowa Registered User regular
    You guys probably won't add graphic novels to the recommended reading list huh?

    if i'm wrong:
    The Invisibles by Grant Morrison

    you man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/iowa
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