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[Book] Thread 20XXAD

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Posts

  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    I can recommend Singularity Sky and the sequel Iron Sunrise.

    Even though he never wrote a third book in that setting because he realized it wasn't causally consistent. :rotate:

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
    credeiki
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Are R. Scott Bakker's books any good?

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
  • chrono_travellerchrono_traveller Registered User regular
    edited November 8
    Man, I just started listening to The Monster Baru Cormorant on Friday, and (through maybe chapter 3 or 4? spoilers)
    He is not pulling any punches. I at least thought we'd put some time between Tain Hu's death and the start of the book, but damn he's not letting us off easy. When the cook/servant asked if she should remove the third setting at the table, *I* almost started bawling.

    Edit: Fixed for typo that made that last sentence mean exactly the opposite of what I wanted. Curse you English and your homophones!

    chrono_traveller on
    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. ~ Terry Pratchett

    George R. R. Martin is not your bitch. ~ Neil Gaiman
    So It Goes
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Uprooted is a good book so far.

    chrono_travellerwanderingMahnmutAntoshka
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited November 8
    Brody wrote: »
    Are R. Scott Bakker's books any good?

    Yes. But the best way I can think to describe it is that they aren't necessarily for everyone. There's a decent amount of philosophical introspection (he's a philosophy prof and if you know what too look for, it shows). Especially the second series. And his vision of a fantasy world is ... not exactly pleasant. There's some nasty stuff that happens and there's a definite bent towards graphical sexual content. A lot of that is based in specific things about some factions/characters in the story that would be a spoiler to talk about to much. And in general his take on a fantasy world is a lot of "What if the world and gods of the Old Testament were actually real".

    That said, it's a great series with a lot of awesome stuff in it and a fun story. The first is like a pseudo-retelling of one of the Crusades (can't remember which one off the top of my head). And it's got some great sequences where he gets this, like, Homeric voice going and it's really good.

    So yeah, good, interesting, thoughtful, but a bit slow occasional and dark, disturbing and graphic.

    shryke on
    CroakerBCMahnmut
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    I'd note that the Homeric stuff is...a bit off-putting if you're not expecting it. Usually you hear battle descriptions from the perspective of characters in the trenches, and the voice is more an over-arcing description of factions wheeling and meeting and whatnot. It's not bad, but it's quite different from most stuff you'll read (and also from the voice of the rest of his books).

    Also, when giving recommendations, particularly in a forum that's as generally liberal as here, it's important to note that Bakker's writing has some not-unfair criticisms from the feminist community. There's a number of back-and-forth on various blogs (Bakker's himself has addressed this criticism in the past), but the tl;dr without getting into spoilers is that his world is a very patriarchal one (and the PoVs reinforce this, where even female characters internally think of themselves as "lesser"). His explanation is that it's intentional in order to evoke a reaction in the reader, but...well, not all people get that, and you can argue that doing so that way is self-reinforcing in OUR society, so.....yeah.

    CroakerBCMahnmut
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Thanks. Those are both super helpful. I'll see if I can't figure out whether my library actually has the books.

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Kreutz wrote: »
    I finished Deadhouse Gates last night. I don't know if I've read about that much graphic violence in one book outside of a Warhammer 40K novel. I don't know if it's because I'm reading the chapter summaries from the wiki as I go, but I didn't have nearly as much difficulty following the story and keeping the characters straight as I did with Gardens of the Moon.

    Following the recommended reading order I downloaded the first set of Bauchelain & Korbal Broach novels after work. I might end up plowing through the series in one go like I did with ASoIaF. I hear the story momentum slows down a bit after the fourth mainline book, though, so no promises.

    Deadhouse Gates is more coherent, for the most part, then Gardens of the Moon so that helps alot. Memories of Ice is probably the best of the series in that respect.

    Man, the Chain of Dogs. Hell of a trip. Man....

    A Dabble Of TheloniusKreutzBlackDragon480
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    Also, re: Bakker. His twitter is kinda insane.

    It consists simply of, once per day, every day, giving a philosophical definition of a term, sometimes in a biting or ironic manner.







    I wouldn't say that not liking these sorts of tweets would make you not like his writing, but it does kinda give an idea of the sort of headspace you might want to be capable of getting into (albeit wrapped in what's typically pretty good prose).

    knitdan
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited November 8
    Jragghen wrote: »
    I'd note that the Homeric stuff is...a bit off-putting if you're not expecting it. Usually you hear battle descriptions from the perspective of characters in the trenches, and the voice is more an over-arcing description of factions wheeling and meeting and whatnot. It's not bad, but it's quite different from most stuff you'll read (and also from the voice of the rest of his books).

    Also, when giving recommendations, particularly in a forum that's as generally liberal as here, it's important to note that Bakker's writing has some not-unfair criticisms from the feminist community. There's a number of back-and-forth on various blogs (Bakker's himself has addressed this criticism in the past), but the tl;dr without getting into spoilers is that his world is a very patriarchal one (and the PoVs reinforce this, where even female characters internally think of themselves as "lesser"). His explanation is that it's intentional in order to evoke a reaction in the reader, but...well, not all people get that, and you can argue that doing so that way is self-reinforcing in OUR society, so.....yeah.

    I've read his works, I don't think this is really a problem given the context of the setting and the patriarchal nature of the world is definitely not presented in a positive light. It's a bit like saying Warhammer 40K is supporting a theocratic point of view. YMMV though, I can see the reasoning behind some of the criticisms, even though I might not consider them as big of a deal as others.

    I will give a warning, the first series is better than the second. Though there was some good stuff in the second, especially in individual setpiece stories, I felt it was considerably weaker, and though I want to avoid spoilers, I did feel like there was a bit of a BSG/lost style mystery box/shaggy dog story element that really didn't pan out as well as it could have.

    Also there's a big Neitchean superman/messainic element in the books, though it is a deconstruction and isn't played positively. I know those kind of characters bother some people though, so be warned there is a "this guy/these guys can't possibly be this good at what they do" element.

    Not to be too negative, I definitely like the Second Apocalypse books and would recommend them, they just have some caveats.

    Jealous Deva on
    Jragghen
  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    I don't know if I quite liked the R Scott Baker series, but wow it's certainly memorable!

    Steam/LoL: Jericho89
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited November 8
    Jragghen wrote: »
    Also, re: Bakker. His twitter is kinda insane.

    It consists simply of, once per day, every day, giving a philosophical definition of a term, sometimes in a biting or ironic manner.







    I wouldn't say that not liking these sorts of tweets would make you not like his writing, but it does kinda give an idea of the sort of headspace you might want to be capable of getting into (albeit wrapped in what's typically pretty good prose).

    Eh, I'd say this is just silly and is a lot of what undergirds the complaints you were talking about earlier. The author and the work are separate. Bakker spends too much time talking to people online and always has. He can't stop himself from responding to his critics, whether they are being silly or not. It's best to just ignore that shit. It doesn't matter.

    shryke on
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Not just one but two new Tinglers out, with asexual representation.





    Chuck Tingle is a treasure.

    wanderingJragghenEchoN1tSt4lkerDizzy DMahnmutQuidshrykewebguy20AntoshkaMr FuzzbuttRchanenEddyHarry Dresden
  • SelnerSelner Registered User regular
    Selner wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Man, now I'm thinking back to his novella with the crazy birds. I would love to see him expand on those birds.

    I believe the birds are part of the Cosmere.
    Spoiler about the bird:
    People suspect that a particular "chicken" in Oathbringer is one.

    I also just popped over the The 17th Shard forum, and there's some discussion about which novella Skyward takes place in.
    The novella they think it's from is publicly available. I just read it, so if it's true, I just massively spoiled myself for Skyward. Oh well :) .

    To follow up on this post, Skyward was released back on the 6th. I totally missed that.

    But my Dad, who I share an Audible acct with, purchased the book today and let me know about it. Woo!

    I've read the pre-release chapters online, and I was looking forward to the book.

    It may be called a YA book, but I enjoyed the Reckoners (also a YA series), so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one :) .

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    i think its now finished(not new eps in months) but they did a podcast of people reading Chuck Tingle Stories

    Hearing James Urbaniak read Living Inside My Own Butt For Eight Years, Starting A Business And Turning A Profit Through Common Sense Reinvestment And Strategic Targeted Marketing is something

    shrykeDrovekEchowanderingMayabirdRchanenHarry Dresden
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    I just finished All The Birds In the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders.

    Overall, I liked it a lot. More genre books taking place in the present moment, please!
    I wrote out some scattered thoughts that touch on the plot and structure. Let's see, some are spoilery and some aren't, so let's put the non spoilers first:

    The themes in the book were really really modern/apropos/appropriate to our demographic. The fear of climate change, and of social isolation, and of devices that warp how we relate to one another were super on point, as was the concept (also in The Magicians) of how you might have achieved magic school or becoming elon musk's apprentice, but that really doesn't actually lead to a fulfilling life, does it, or it's not enough, anyway.

    Laurence is...hm. Relatable? He felt pretty real and I liked him a lot.

    Overall the style the book is written in is almost good but somehow just a bit rough or amateur, and I'm not sure why I feel that way about it. But it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book very much.
    While I do like the structure in that it starts out chill and then the stakes get higher and everything gets more intense until there's a bunch of explosive violence and apocalypse, I think it maybe starts out too slow. Do we need 90 pages of Patricia and Lawrence as kids/teenagers? I feel like the book really hit its stride only once they were young adults in the bay area. Like I think we definitely needed a bit of when they were teens in order to set up their connection, but...I don't know. Not that much.

    I liked the way science magic and witch magic were done. Obviously I dig the concept of the magic witch school and the magical bookshop and all that shit. But I also enjoy the whole tech thing, and I thought it was nice that all of the kooky engineers were women, not that anyone in the book was really a character apart from Lawrence and Patricia.

    I liked the romance plot, although I think it was dumb that as soon as they decided to start dating, they were separated by PLOT. I buy the fact that these childhood friends would fuck+date as adults. The one thing missing was that the author needed to zoom in on their relationship after Laurence breaks up with Serafina; she writes about how they get close and hang out all the time but it's like 3 summary paragraphs instead of any scenes, and a scene or two seems called for. In general I like plots where ~love~ gives people meaning or saves the world or whatever; it's such a facile solution but I still like it.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    air-photos.tumblr.com
    CroakerBCDevoutlyApatheticMahnmut
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Also, @Apocalyptus, thanks for the rec ^
    tbh I started reading it because my friend texted me about it, but the idea had been planted in my mind when I asked for trans writers of good sf/f and you gave me great recommendations, so thanks!

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    air-photos.tumblr.com
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Uprooted is excellent and I would recommend it. I'm especially fond of the end which more or less describes my wife and I.

    Now, finally, Cormorant.

    knitdanAbsalonDevoutlyApatheticV1mMahnmutchrono_travellerDronus86
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo Registered User regular
    I assume it must have been cheap or free but I found something called Traitor's Blade on my ereader. It's a love letter to Joe Abercrombie with a style that reminds you of a high school creative writing assignment.

    It's good to read this kind of thing to recalibrate your expectations from time to time but nobody should buy this if they can help it

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    I assume it must have been cheap or free but I found something called Traitor's Blade on my ereader. It's a love letter to Joe Abercrombie with a style that reminds you of a high school creative writing assignment.

    It's good to read this kind of thing to recalibrate your expectations from time to time but nobody should buy this if they can help it

    That’s De Castell’s isn’t it? Didn’t really get an Abercrombie vibe from that as much as Three Musketeers with a decent fantasy overlay. There’s a lot of swashbuckling duelling banter, IIRC. Plot’s a bit thin, though it worked moment-to-moment but the character work was good, solid dialogue, decent world.

    I quite liked it - YMMV I guess.

    BlackDragon480A Dabble Of Thelonius
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Joe Abercrombie sounds familiar, but I don't think I've ever read anything of his? Is it worth looking into?

    Also, finished the first Prince of Nothing novel, and it wasn't bad. Every once in a while I wasn't sure if I was reading fantasy, or alt history with everything renamed. Definitely interested to figure out what's going on will all of the magic stuff.

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Joe Abercrombie sounds familiar, but I don't think I've ever read anything of his? Is it worth looking into?

    Yes. Abercrombie is really good. Read in publication order and try to go in blind, as the first trilogy has some really great stuff in it you don't want spoiled.

    It's definitely rough at the start but he improves his writing a good deal over time. The first book especially can be a bit ropey in some ways. Some of it is just prose and writing and such. Some of it is necessary for the structure of the overall story though.

    Also, finished the first Prince of Nothing novel, and it wasn't bad. Every once in a while I wasn't sure if I was reading fantasy, or alt history with everything renamed. Definitely interested to figure out what's going on will all of the magic stuff.

    It's both!

    The next series less so.

    CroakerBCPailryder
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo Registered User regular
    CroakerBC wrote: »
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    I assume it must have been cheap or free but I found something called Traitor's Blade on my ereader. It's a love letter to Joe Abercrombie with a style that reminds you of a high school creative writing assignment.

    It's good to read this kind of thing to recalibrate your expectations from time to time but nobody should buy this if they can help it

    That’s De Castell’s isn’t it? Didn’t really get an Abercrombie vibe from that as much as Three Musketeers with a decent fantasy overlay. There’s a lot of swashbuckling duelling banter, IIRC. Plot’s a bit thin, though it worked moment-to-moment but the character work was good, solid dialogue, decent world.

    I quite liked it - YMMV I guess.

    I suppose I can see how it wants to be like the Three Muskateers in retrospect but that did not come across at all during my read.

    I think the main issue is the utter lack of a sense of peril. It's most just that a main character obviously won't die, it's also that they will probably get out of the sticky situation by virtue of being the bestest warrior there ever was. There are even a couple of times the author couldn't be arsed finishing the fight/conflict scenes and just skips to the win.

    For me it seemed like it tried to ape Abercrombie's low magic "gritty" setting where there were various invisible factions manipulating it and lots of people getting murdered but without the finese or understanding

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Up to chapter five in The Monster Cormorant and was not prepared for it to get even more ethically complicated.

    DevoutlyApatheticchrono_travellerSo It GoesDronus86Frozenzen
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Up to chapter five in The Monster Cormorant and was not prepared for it to get even more ethically complicated.

    I finished it last night and I'm still all brain crazy about it.

    Which reminds me there is a thread for that book I can go into now.

  • chrono_travellerchrono_traveller Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Up to chapter five in The Monster Cormorant and was not prepared for it to get even more ethically complicated.

    I finished it last night and I'm still all brain crazy about it.

    Which reminds me there is a thread for that book I can go into now.

    I'm slowly listening to it on audiobook, but I'm about 2/3rds of the way through I think (chapter 21?). but yeah, Baru is in quite a pickle.

    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. ~ Terry Pratchett

    George R. R. Martin is not your bitch. ~ Neil Gaiman
  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    Waiting for the paperback on Monster Baru, but I'm excited. Traitor was such a surprising treat.

    I'm about to finish Ninefox Gambit and I'm not sure how I feel about it. On one hand I enjoy the characters and want to see what happens and figure out more about what's going on, but on the other hand I find the whole thing about Calendars, Exotics, Formations, etc. to be really weird and a bit off-putting. Like I would feel better about the whole thing if they just said 'it's magic'. I don't know why it's a hurdle for me.

    Doodmann
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    I understood it as being an extension of a Mage:the Ascension style belief makes true setting and the calender and formation stuff was their way of weaponizing it. It was really bizzarre though.

    jakobagger
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Waiting for the paperback on Monster Baru, but I'm excited. Traitor was such a surprising treat.

    I'm about to finish Ninefox Gambit and I'm not sure how I feel about it. On one hand I enjoy the characters and want to see what happens and figure out more about what's going on, but on the other hand I find the whole thing about Calendars, Exotics, Formations, etc. to be really weird and a bit off-putting. Like I would feel better about the whole thing if they just said 'it's magic'. I don't know why it's a hurdle for me.

    I mean, it is magic to us. At least in that traditional fantasy book sense that some folks know about it and can manipulate it like it is just another kind of physics. I actually get annoyed when magic is simultaneously presented like that and still claimed to be magic. Ninefox dodged that entirely for me by making it clear that there are firm rules for that stuff and it really is just another kind of knowledge with predictable effects.

    CroakerBC
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Waiting for the paperback on Monster Baru, but I'm excited. Traitor was such a surprising treat.

    I'm about to finish Ninefox Gambit and I'm not sure how I feel about it. On one hand I enjoy the characters and want to see what happens and figure out more about what's going on, but on the other hand I find the whole thing about Calendars, Exotics, Formations, etc. to be really weird and a bit off-putting. Like I would feel better about the whole thing if they just said 'it's magic'. I don't know why it's a hurdle for me.

    I mean, it is magic to us. At least in that traditional fantasy book sense that some folks know about it and can manipulate it like it is just another kind of physics. I actually get annoyed when magic is simultaneously presented like that and still claimed to be magic. Ninefox dodged that entirely for me by making it clear that there are firm rules for that stuff and it really is just another kind of knowledge with predictable effects.

    Its no more magical than any other sci-fi series. Culture ship Minds existing on higher dimensional planes, gripping the underlying fabric of reality to move themselves or w/e. Its just weirder in Ninefox because its based on human mindstates in a way that isn't commonly explored in sci-fi. But I explained it internally as a sort of "if observation does itself affect existence on a small level, then making sure everyone observes everything the same way should be able to affect existence on a large level".

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User, Moderator mod
    It's just super advanced maths! Plus a lil religion

  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    I actually started pretending it was a Warhammer 40k spin off, and that it was all just chaos magic. It became more fun and zany for me after that.

    Doodmann
  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    I just finished Library at Mount Char

    Man that was a book. Everyone should read it asap.

    It's WEIRD but that good kind of Neil Gaimen weird.

    PhillishereknitdanPowerpuppiesSeptusjakobaggerSo It Goeswandering
  • BogartBogart Because I hate you Registered User, Moderator mod
    Graham Greene's The Quiet American. He really was an absurdly fine writer.

    V1m
  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    Anyone have any recommendations for a 'slice of life' bit of fiction? I want to get a book for my wife for the holidays. Generally she likes stories that tend to drop you into someone's life during a turbulent time and then watch as they try and figure it out. She stays away from sci-fi/fantasy so anything that crosses into those worlds might be a turn off.

    She also enjoys romance in her fiction but it doesn't have to be a straight up romance book.

    Recent books she's enjoyed have been the Room by Emma Donoghue, and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. (I recognize that neither of those books really fit the 'slice of life' I'm looking for). While she hasn't read the book, she loved the film adaptation of Palm Trees in the Snow.

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »
    It's just super advanced maths! Plus a lil religion

    What people believe impacts the physical effects. That's normally magic. Or, as you say, religion, which is super natural, aka magic.

    but in universe it's definitely treated as science.

    This machine kills threads.
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    It seems more like belief affecting physics, allowing them to make a weapon that creates a zone of reality where people's limbs fall off.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
    So It Goes
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    In the context of the universe a proper physics has like a whole extra dimension based on the calendar in force at the time in that location. It is apparently predictable and even testable so it really just comes across as weird science rather than magic. At least to me.

    When you start having magic that is just applied knowledge I really question why you're using that word instead of technology.

  • chrono_travellerchrono_traveller Registered User regular
    In the context of the universe a proper physics has like a whole extra dimension based on the calendar in force at the time in that location. It is apparently predictable and even testable so it really just comes across as weird science rather than magic. At least to me.

    When you start having magic that is just applied knowledge I really question why you're using that word instead of technology.

    So, what would you call what Harry Potter does in his books? It is also the applied knowledge of the spells he has learned, so would you also call what he does technology? I mean Asimov's famous quote really comes into play here.

    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. ~ Terry Pratchett

    George R. R. Martin is not your bitch. ~ Neil Gaiman
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited December 4
    In the context of the universe a proper physics has like a whole extra dimension based on the calendar in force at the time in that location. It is apparently predictable and even testable so it really just comes across as weird science rather than magic. At least to me.

    When you start having magic that is just applied knowledge I really question why you're using that word instead of technology.

    So, what would you call what Harry Potter does in his books? It is also the applied knowledge of the spells he has learned, so would you also call what he does technology? I mean Asimov's famous quote really comes into play here.

    Do you mean Asimov or Clarke?

    I'm fine with Clarke's famous quote but I would say that the reverse isn't true without making magic and technology mean exactly the same thing.

    Edit: Oh, and I never read any of the Harry Potter books so can't really answer the question. From the movies it sure looks like exactly what I take issue with.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
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