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[Book] Thread 20XXAD

19495969799

Posts

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    The whole second person narration of a specific character is going to take a lot to get used to with Ravens Tower.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
    redx
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    I have only ever given up on a book a handful of times, absolutely less often than I should have. I find a reason to stick with even the most execrable novel: I slogged through Dan Simmons' Flashback solely because the setting is where I live so that was kinda neat despite everything else being awful.

    But I'm damn close to giving up on the second Expanse book. Cardboard cutout stereotypes of characters (with, like, one quirk that's played up to make them seem unique - swearing or PTSD or an accent or whatever), poorly-blocked action scenes straight out of a Tom Clancy paperback, and so much else is just bland.

    It has some neat ideas that I have only encountered a dozen or so times elsewhere, and it sticks as much as it can to "physics" while deviating just enough to be dramatic and make you suddenly wonder why the rules no longer apply (until they do again). A minor spoiler:
    This is the main trick of fiction: the principle of minimal departure is that the reader assumes a fictional world works like our own except where stated or implied. If you set up a world where space travel adheres strictly to the physics of acceleration and the speed of light matters for an entire volume, then suddenly in the third act something arrives which explicitly violates those rules as a plot point, you've made the entire thing hollow.

    Perhaps this gets explained in later volumes, but 400 pages after the deus ex shows up with no hint that an explanation lurks ahead, it all feels cheap and entirely too Hollywood straight-to-Netflix screenplay.

    That bit is what pulled me out in the first place, and then it all sort of falls apart once the characters start talking again. Perhaps the show is a better written sci-fi romp, but the books are so far uninspiring.

    I honestly have no idea what you are talking about with a thing making the entire work hollow. Are we talking about the:
    aliens?

    Cause they are the backbone of the catalyst of the series' story and I'm not sure how that ruins anything.

    Spoilers:
    I initially thought the alien protomolecule thing was pretty neat. A little bit Prometheus superweapon, a little bit Mass Effect hidden ancient technology, a little bit Gray Goo end of the universe scenario. Then it hijacks an asteroid, violates the carefully constructed laws of physics governing interplanetary travel for the following 400 pages. Then there's FTL communication from Venus to Jupiter which once more goes against everything set up to make this an interesting fictional world.

    This isn't "aliens with sufficiently advanced tech to be magic", it's just an unexplained loose end which isn't a compelling enough mystery for me to put up with the poorly fleshed out characters for however long it takes to find out why this happens.

    Perhaps this is a Xenomorph/Shivans/Covenant/Reapers/etc. deal but the interesting idea isn't backed up by sufficient writing. Which is my main point: there's a lot of "wouldn't it be cool if" going on around characters that feel like someone stole them from a screenplay left in the copy machine at Kinkos

    I just honestly don't get what the issue is.
    The alien stuff is introduced as a central element that is a big part of what drives the plot of the novels (and will continue to do so in most of them as the series continues). That it's outside human understanding of physics as it currently exists is part of the point and what makes it so alien. I just don't get what's wrong with that. Like, the contrast between the rather low-scifi-tech setting and the crazy alien shit is just part of what the series is.
    I just don't get why that's a problem really.

    chrono_traveller
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    The whole second person narration of a specific character is going to take a lot to get used to with Ravens Tower.

    There is a reason for it. Not sure if ultimately it is much more than a gimmick but I found I adapted to it quickly enough.

    jakobagger
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited May 28
    Brody wrote: »
    The whole second person narration of a specific character is going to take a lot to get used to with Ravens Tower.

    There is a reason for it. Not sure if ultimately it is much more than a gimmick but I found I adapted to it quickly enough.

    Reason as in the story is being told to the protagonist, and that's kinda a neat setup.

    or...

    reason so the protagonist's gender is directly referenced, like, 4 times in the whole book, which kinda serves to, i don't know, normalize his gender identity? By and large, he's treated just as a typical competent servant to the prince, and it's not the determining factor who he is.

    or something else?

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    The whole second person narration of a specific character is going to take a lot to get used to with Ravens Tower.

    There is a reason for it. Not sure if ultimately it is much more than a gimmick but I found I adapted to it quickly enough.

    Reason as in the story is being told to the protagonist, and that's kinda a neat setup.

    or...

    reason so the protagonist's gender is directly referenced, like, 4 times in the whole book, which kinda serves to, i don't know, normalize his gender identity? By and large, he's treated just as a typical competent servant to the prince, and it's not the determining factor who he is.

    or something else?

    Spoilers for Raven Tower, like seriously:
    The Rock tells the story in the second person because that way they're not making any statements that they might have to spend power to make true. They report what they directly witnessed and what they believed at the time. No direct reports of thoughts or motivations but what the rock thought at the time. If they said "They were angry because of the rain" then a portion of his power would go towards making them angry because of the rain. If they say instead "I thought they were angry because of the rain" then there is no way that statement can trap them into spending their godly power. Given their position during the storytelling it is clear why they are working hard to not inadvertently spend any of their power.

    I don't think the gender thing is it but I agree that it being no big deal helped normalize it.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    I want to click that so bad, but I'll wait the 4 or 5 days it will take me to finish the book.

    However, I'm pretty sure
    Eolo is a god.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Falling Free finished. It was interesting. I hadn't really read a lot about the actual content, just knew that it was a fairly popular space opera. It felt really short.

    About to start Raven Tower.

    @Brody have you already read shards of honor and barrayar?

    sig.gif
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Falling Free finished. It was interesting. I hadn't really read a lot about the actual content, just knew that it was a fairly popular space opera. It felt really short.

    About to start Raven Tower.

    @Brody have you already read shards of honor and barrayar?

    No. I assume those are Volkosigan (sp?) novels? I looked up a reading order because I couldn't remember what someone on here had suggested, so I went with that one.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I have only ever given up on a book a handful of times, absolutely less often than I should have. I find a reason to stick with even the most execrable novel: I slogged through Dan Simmons' Flashback solely because the setting is where I live so that was kinda neat despite everything else being awful.

    But I'm damn close to giving up on the second Expanse book. Cardboard cutout stereotypes of characters (with, like, one quirk that's played up to make them seem unique - swearing or PTSD or an accent or whatever), poorly-blocked action scenes straight out of a Tom Clancy paperback, and so much else is just bland.

    It has some neat ideas that I have only encountered a dozen or so times elsewhere, and it sticks as much as it can to "physics" while deviating just enough to be dramatic and make you suddenly wonder why the rules no longer apply (until they do again). A minor spoiler:
    This is the main trick of fiction: the principle of minimal departure is that the reader assumes a fictional world works like our own except where stated or implied. If you set up a world where space travel adheres strictly to the physics of acceleration and the speed of light matters for an entire volume, then suddenly in the third act something arrives which explicitly violates those rules as a plot point, you've made the entire thing hollow.

    Perhaps this gets explained in later volumes, but 400 pages after the deus ex shows up with no hint that an explanation lurks ahead, it all feels cheap and entirely too Hollywood straight-to-Netflix screenplay.

    That bit is what pulled me out in the first place, and then it all sort of falls apart once the characters start talking again. Perhaps the show is a better written sci-fi romp, but the books are so far uninspiring.

    I honestly have no idea what you are talking about with a thing making the entire work hollow. Are we talking about the:
    aliens?

    Cause they are the backbone of the catalyst of the series' story and I'm not sure how that ruins anything.

    Spoilers:
    I initially thought the alien protomolecule thing was pretty neat. A little bit Prometheus superweapon, a little bit Mass Effect hidden ancient technology, a little bit Gray Goo end of the universe scenario. Then it hijacks an asteroid, violates the carefully constructed laws of physics governing interplanetary travel for the following 400 pages. Then there's FTL communication from Venus to Jupiter which once more goes against everything set up to make this an interesting fictional world.

    This isn't "aliens with sufficiently advanced tech to be magic", it's just an unexplained loose end which isn't a compelling enough mystery for me to put up with the poorly fleshed out characters for however long it takes to find out why this happens.

    Perhaps this is a Xenomorph/Shivans/Covenant/Reapers/etc. deal but the interesting idea isn't backed up by sufficient writing. Which is my main point: there's a lot of "wouldn't it be cool if" going on around characters that feel like someone stole them from a screenplay left in the copy machine at Kinkos

    I just honestly don't get what the issue is.
    The alien stuff is introduced as a central element that is a big part of what drives the plot of the novels (and will continue to do so in most of them as the series continues). That it's outside human understanding of physics as it currently exists is part of the point and what makes it so alien. I just don't get what's wrong with that. Like, the contrast between the rather low-scifi-tech setting and the crazy alien shit is just part of what the series is.
    I just don't get why that's a problem really.

    It takes more than a single neat idea to get me invested in a book series and if by the second book I haven't found anything else in the writing, characters, etc. compelling I'm going to start noticing when the central conceit itself lacks narrative consistency. If that's explained away in a later book, give me a reason to get to those later books.

    Maybe I've just been spoiled by reading a half dozen Culture books in the last year or so.

    oh, gimme some time
    show me the foothold from which I can climb
    yeah, when I feel low
    you show me a signpost for where I should go
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I have only ever given up on a book a handful of times, absolutely less often than I should have. I find a reason to stick with even the most execrable novel: I slogged through Dan Simmons' Flashback solely because the setting is where I live so that was kinda neat despite everything else being awful.

    But I'm damn close to giving up on the second Expanse book. Cardboard cutout stereotypes of characters (with, like, one quirk that's played up to make them seem unique - swearing or PTSD or an accent or whatever), poorly-blocked action scenes straight out of a Tom Clancy paperback, and so much else is just bland.

    It has some neat ideas that I have only encountered a dozen or so times elsewhere, and it sticks as much as it can to "physics" while deviating just enough to be dramatic and make you suddenly wonder why the rules no longer apply (until they do again). A minor spoiler:
    This is the main trick of fiction: the principle of minimal departure is that the reader assumes a fictional world works like our own except where stated or implied. If you set up a world where space travel adheres strictly to the physics of acceleration and the speed of light matters for an entire volume, then suddenly in the third act something arrives which explicitly violates those rules as a plot point, you've made the entire thing hollow.

    Perhaps this gets explained in later volumes, but 400 pages after the deus ex shows up with no hint that an explanation lurks ahead, it all feels cheap and entirely too Hollywood straight-to-Netflix screenplay.

    That bit is what pulled me out in the first place, and then it all sort of falls apart once the characters start talking again. Perhaps the show is a better written sci-fi romp, but the books are so far uninspiring.

    I honestly have no idea what you are talking about with a thing making the entire work hollow. Are we talking about the:
    aliens?

    Cause they are the backbone of the catalyst of the series' story and I'm not sure how that ruins anything.

    Spoilers:
    I initially thought the alien protomolecule thing was pretty neat. A little bit Prometheus superweapon, a little bit Mass Effect hidden ancient technology, a little bit Gray Goo end of the universe scenario. Then it hijacks an asteroid, violates the carefully constructed laws of physics governing interplanetary travel for the following 400 pages. Then there's FTL communication from Venus to Jupiter which once more goes against everything set up to make this an interesting fictional world.

    This isn't "aliens with sufficiently advanced tech to be magic", it's just an unexplained loose end which isn't a compelling enough mystery for me to put up with the poorly fleshed out characters for however long it takes to find out why this happens.

    Perhaps this is a Xenomorph/Shivans/Covenant/Reapers/etc. deal but the interesting idea isn't backed up by sufficient writing. Which is my main point: there's a lot of "wouldn't it be cool if" going on around characters that feel like someone stole them from a screenplay left in the copy machine at Kinkos

    I just honestly don't get what the issue is.
    The alien stuff is introduced as a central element that is a big part of what drives the plot of the novels (and will continue to do so in most of them as the series continues). That it's outside human understanding of physics as it currently exists is part of the point and what makes it so alien. I just don't get what's wrong with that. Like, the contrast between the rather low-scifi-tech setting and the crazy alien shit is just part of what the series is.
    I just don't get why that's a problem really.

    It takes more than a single neat idea to get me invested in a book series and if by the second book I haven't found anything else in the writing, characters, etc. compelling I'm going to start noticing when the central conceit itself lacks narrative consistency. If that's explained away in a later book, give me a reason to get to those later books.

    Maybe I've just been spoiled by reading a half dozen Culture books in the last year or so.

    I just don't get where you think the lack of consistency is.
    Human tech does this, alien tech does that because it's way more advanced.
    There's nothing inconsistent about that.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I have only ever given up on a book a handful of times, absolutely less often than I should have. I find a reason to stick with even the most execrable novel: I slogged through Dan Simmons' Flashback solely because the setting is where I live so that was kinda neat despite everything else being awful.

    But I'm damn close to giving up on the second Expanse book. Cardboard cutout stereotypes of characters (with, like, one quirk that's played up to make them seem unique - swearing or PTSD or an accent or whatever), poorly-blocked action scenes straight out of a Tom Clancy paperback, and so much else is just bland.

    It has some neat ideas that I have only encountered a dozen or so times elsewhere, and it sticks as much as it can to "physics" while deviating just enough to be dramatic and make you suddenly wonder why the rules no longer apply (until they do again). A minor spoiler:
    This is the main trick of fiction: the principle of minimal departure is that the reader assumes a fictional world works like our own except where stated or implied. If you set up a world where space travel adheres strictly to the physics of acceleration and the speed of light matters for an entire volume, then suddenly in the third act something arrives which explicitly violates those rules as a plot point, you've made the entire thing hollow.

    Perhaps this gets explained in later volumes, but 400 pages after the deus ex shows up with no hint that an explanation lurks ahead, it all feels cheap and entirely too Hollywood straight-to-Netflix screenplay.

    That bit is what pulled me out in the first place, and then it all sort of falls apart once the characters start talking again. Perhaps the show is a better written sci-fi romp, but the books are so far uninspiring.

    I honestly have no idea what you are talking about with a thing making the entire work hollow. Are we talking about the:
    aliens?

    Cause they are the backbone of the catalyst of the series' story and I'm not sure how that ruins anything.

    Spoilers:
    I initially thought the alien protomolecule thing was pretty neat. A little bit Prometheus superweapon, a little bit Mass Effect hidden ancient technology, a little bit Gray Goo end of the universe scenario. Then it hijacks an asteroid, violates the carefully constructed laws of physics governing interplanetary travel for the following 400 pages. Then there's FTL communication from Venus to Jupiter which once more goes against everything set up to make this an interesting fictional world.

    This isn't "aliens with sufficiently advanced tech to be magic", it's just an unexplained loose end which isn't a compelling enough mystery for me to put up with the poorly fleshed out characters for however long it takes to find out why this happens.

    Perhaps this is a Xenomorph/Shivans/Covenant/Reapers/etc. deal but the interesting idea isn't backed up by sufficient writing. Which is my main point: there's a lot of "wouldn't it be cool if" going on around characters that feel like someone stole them from a screenplay left in the copy machine at Kinkos

    I just honestly don't get what the issue is.
    The alien stuff is introduced as a central element that is a big part of what drives the plot of the novels (and will continue to do so in most of them as the series continues). That it's outside human understanding of physics as it currently exists is part of the point and what makes it so alien. I just don't get what's wrong with that. Like, the contrast between the rather low-scifi-tech setting and the crazy alien shit is just part of what the series is.
    I just don't get why that's a problem really.

    It takes more than a single neat idea to get me invested in a book series and if by the second book I haven't found anything else in the writing, characters, etc. compelling I'm going to start noticing when the central conceit itself lacks narrative consistency. If that's explained away in a later book, give me a reason to get to those later books.

    Maybe I've just been spoiled by reading a half dozen Culture books in the last year or so.

    About that last sentence there: Can you explain exactly what the Excession was and why it was there and behaved why it did? Does this inability make Excession a bad book?

    Mixture of Culture and Expanse stuff:
    The protomolecule is an outside context problem. It, in itself, isn't the point of the books. The point of the books are the people's reactions to this outside context problem that very few of them ever realize the immense degree of danger it poses. That and the fact that people being people will continue even in the face of this world shattering problem.

    Now if you don't find the character work in The Expanse entertaining, then yeah, probably just shelve it. The series isn't about big sci-fi ideas. Really rather the opposite really.

    chrono_traveller
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Falling Free finished. It was interesting. I hadn't really read a lot about the actual content, just knew that it was a fairly popular space opera. It felt really short.

    About to start Raven Tower.

    Brody have you already read shards of honor and barrayar?

    No. I assume those are Volkosigan (sp?) novels? I looked up a reading order because I couldn't remember what someone on here had suggested, so I went with that one.

    Yeah Falling Free is the first, chronologically. I love the chronological order myself, but I wanted to advise you that Falling Free is my least favorite of them all, so if you like it at all you might want to keep going

    sig.gif
    CroakerBCKana
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Falling Free finished. It was interesting. I hadn't really read a lot about the actual content, just knew that it was a fairly popular space opera. It felt really short.

    About to start Raven Tower.

    Brody have you already read shards of honor and barrayar?

    No. I assume those are Volkosigan (sp?) novels? I looked up a reading order because I couldn't remember what someone on here had suggested, so I went with that one.

    Yeah Falling Free is the first, chronologically. I love the chronological order myself, but I wanted to advise you that Falling Free is my least favorite of them all, so if you like it at all you might want to keep going

    I will eventually. In the middle of Ravens Tower, and Semiosis just popped for me, so that will be next.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Falling Free finished. It was interesting. I hadn't really read a lot about the actual content, just knew that it was a fairly popular space opera. It felt really short.

    About to start Raven Tower.

    Brody have you already read shards of honor and barrayar?

    No. I assume those are Volkosigan (sp?) novels? I looked up a reading order because I couldn't remember what someone on here had suggested, so I went with that one.

    Yeah Falling Free is the first, chronologically. I love the chronological order myself, but I wanted to advise you that Falling Free is my least favorite of them all, so if you like it at all you might want to keep going

    This is interesting. I read Falling Free last year and it was...fine. Some interesting idea stuff, classic sci-fi characterization (not a whole lot), alright story. Didn't feel real motivated to find another book but wasn't sad I read it. Now I'm thinking I may want to find another to give a try.

  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    You should! Shards of Honor is a contender for her best work

    sig.gif
    tapeslinger
  • jakobaggerjakobagger LO THY DREAD EMPIRE CHAOS IS RESTORED Registered User regular
    I haven't read Falling Free, but AFAIK it's only tangentially related to the rest of the series and not really that representative of the general experience.

    Shards of Honour is quite good but also a little different than the rest in not having Miles in it.

    bgg / steam / goodreads / Bnet: Bygasto#2537
  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    jakobagger wrote: »
    I haven't read Falling Free, but AFAIK it's only tangentially related to the rest of the series and not really that representative of the general experience.

    Shards of Honour is quite good but also a little different than the rest in not having Miles in it.

    Barrayar, the sequel to Shards is a lot better, I think, than either it’s predecessor or Warriors Apprentice, which starts the adventures of Miles properly. OTOH it was published after both of those. Bujold has matured a lot as a writer over the the long arc of the series, and it shows.

    tapeslinger
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    jakobagger wrote: »
    I haven't read Falling Free, but AFAIK it's only tangentially related to the rest of the series and not really that representative of the general experience.

    Shards of Honour is quite good but also a little different than the rest in not having Miles in it.

    Falling Free
    is okay, but the hook of that series is Miles and crew/family and not the setting itself. The novels (Shards and Barrayar) with his parents are better, but they are still side stories that work best if you already know Miles and family's situation from the main novels.

  • pyromaniac221pyromaniac221 this just might be an interestin YTRegistered User regular
    Finished Foundryside, which I picked up because it had a similar pitch to the Locke Lamora books (thief does heists in an renaissance Italian-ish fantasy merchant city) but someone said that it’s basically just a cyberpunk novel and I think that’s right. The characters can be likable but they’re all fairly thin, and there are times the book kinda just feels like a primer on the magic system to ready you for the sequels.

    To be fair, the magic is really neat; it’s all based on this half-recovered language of an extinct forerunner race that has the ability to redefine the reality of objects, to change their physical properties and imbue them with limited functionality, and it’s cyberpunky in the sense that even the most gifted practitioners still have only a very limited knowledge of how everything works, the main merchant houses jealously guard their trade secrets, and the poor unaffiliated citizens make do with slapdash backed-together solutions.

    Most of the action sequences involve some kind of reverse-engineering of a problem presented by a particular construction of the magical language and improvising a backdoor solution, which is novel and gratifying, and I like where it ends and the setup for future installments, but ultimately as a book it feels like more than half of it could have been left out and the remaining bits incorporated to the eventual sequel.

    psn tooaware, friend code SW-4760-0062-3248 it me
    MahnmutknitdanMaguano
  • jakobaggerjakobagger LO THY DREAD EMPIRE CHAOS IS RESTORED Registered User regular
    jakobagger wrote: »
    I haven't read Falling Free, but AFAIK it's only tangentially related to the rest of the series and not really that representative of the general experience.

    Shards of Honour is quite good but also a little different than the rest in not having Miles in it.

    Falling Free
    is okay, but the hook of that series is Miles and crew/family and not the setting itself. The novels (Shards and Barrayar) with his parents are better, but they are still side stories that work best if you already know Miles and family's situation from the main novels.

    I read them in in-universe chronological order (instead of eg. publishing order) and I don't remember noticing any big discrepancy, but it's been a while

    bgg / steam / goodreads / Bnet: Bygasto#2537
    CroakerBC
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    An Angel At My Table, the second part of Janet Frame's autobiography. At the bit where she sort of unintentionally slips into being institutionalised. For eight years.

  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    I mean I already own two editions of all these books but hngnngh.

    wanderingBlackDragon480Antoshka
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo But do you really believe him? Registered User regular
    I finished The strange case of the alchemist's daughter because somebody mentioned it being good

    It's inoffensive YA at best that would probably appeal to a 12-14 year old who has come across a few of the novels it borrows characters from.

    Best ignored really.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    I mean I already own two editions of all these books but hngnngh.


    oh this looks neat how expens-

    haha nope

    wanderingDizzy D
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    Vanguard wrote: »
    oh this looks neat how expens-

    haha nope

    Yeah it's absurd. I'd be mad to buy it. Certifiable.

    hnnghnghh

    Mojo_Jojochrono_travellerBrodycredeikiwandering
  • VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    Vanguard wrote: »
    oh this looks neat how expens-

    haha nope

    Yeah it's absurd. I'd be mad to buy it. Certifiable.

    hnnghnghh

    Post pictures when it arrives

    chrono_travellerA Dabble Of TheloniusBrodywanderingKrieghundKanajakobaggerBlackDragon480tapeslingerAntoshka
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    The one thing thats really bothering me about The Raven Tower so far is that the narrator keeps referring to the Shoulder Sea as being southeast of Vastai, but when you look at the map, its more due east/north east. The channel into it is basically the southern most part of the Shoulder Sea.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I mean I already own two editions of all these books but hngnngh.


    oh this looks neat how expens-

    haha nope

    My same reaction.

    Can we just get a nice normal hardcover re-issue please?

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Finished The Raven Tower. It was a decent enough book. I like stuff that deals with the nature of godhood, and this book definitely discussed it.
    I thought the first twist was interesting if a little strange. I didn't really understand how it was relevant to the story, but it was nice having a trans character who otherwise just was a normal person.

    The second twist was interesting, and I didn't quite understand what was going on until just about the end, which was refreshing.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Finished Foundryside, which I picked up because it had a similar pitch to the Locke Lamora books (thief does heists in an renaissance Italian-ish fantasy merchant city) but someone said that it’s basically just a cyberpunk novel and I think that’s right. The characters can be likable but they’re all fairly thin, and there are times the book kinda just feels like a primer on the magic system to ready you for the sequels.

    To be fair, the magic is really neat; it’s all based on this half-recovered language of an extinct forerunner race that has the ability to redefine the reality of objects, to change their physical properties and imbue them with limited functionality, and it’s cyberpunky in the sense that even the most gifted practitioners still have only a very limited knowledge of how everything works, the main merchant houses jealously guard their trade secrets, and the poor unaffiliated citizens make do with slapdash backed-together solutions.

    Most of the action sequences involve some kind of reverse-engineering of a problem presented by a particular construction of the magical language and improvising a backdoor solution, which is novel and gratifying, and I like where it ends and the setup for future installments, but ultimately as a book it feels like more than half of it could have been left out and the remaining bits incorporated to the eventual sequel.

    Robert Jackson Bennett has been on a very strong like, seize the means of production-y thing on social media for a while now so I guess that this has cyberpunky politics probably makes sense, it's a very specific model of dystopia that tends to be in conversation with Gilded Age baronies

  • VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Finished The Shadow of the Torturer. Not sure what to make of it, which is maybe good? The writing it excellent and it does interesting things with time where years pass in the early chapters and then the bulk of the book is a handful of days.

    I also see why they are selling the books in collections of two, since it just kind of ends.

    Will definitely keep going, though maybe not next.

  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    You may now turn over your test paper and begin answering questions on the text. You have two hours.

    VanguardBlackDragon480shrykeKana
  • VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    You may now turn over your test paper and begin answering questions on the text. You have two hours.

    okay teach

    gimme the first question

  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    Vanguard wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    You may now turn over your test paper and begin answering questions on the text. You have two hours.

    okay teach

    gimme the first question

    What was the original purpose of the Matachin Tower?

    Actually I'm not sure there are many answers to be had at the end of the first book, and the real delight is in realising the answers on your own. Wolfe often doesn't even hint there is a mystery.

    A heads up if you didn't already know: the four books tell a complete story, but a fifth book was written later. It's at least as good as the others, and sheds light on some of the mysteries the other four create. I'd very much recommend it, but it was written later, and wasn't planned as part of the story Wolfe was originally telling.

    There's also a great book Wolfe wrote on the writing of the book, which I think is now only available in a collected edition with a book of short stories and essays: The Castle Of The Otter (the title is based on a mishearing of the fourth volume's title, The Citadel of the Autarch). He writes little essays on things like the names he uses and various aspects of Urth while infuriatingly refusing to simply explain everything. I think in one chapter the characters take turns telling jokes, but it's been a while since I read it.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited June 4
    question 2 what is the Necropolis really

    nexuscrawler on
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    One thing I didn't puzzle out myself (and which is entirely incidental and not vital to the plot) is where Nessus is in relation to current geography.
    It's apparently in Argentina and most of the book takes place across South America, which makes the northern invading Ascians (North Americans) pretty funny considering their society. Wolfe was apparently taken aback when people thought Ascians was just a cunning way of saying Asians.

  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    One thing I didn't puzzle out myself (and which is entirely incidental and not vital to the plot) is where Nessus is in relation to current geography.
    It's apparently in Argentina and most of the book takes place across South America, which makes the northern invading Ascians (North Americans) pretty funny considering their society. Wolfe was apparently taken aback when people thought Ascians was just a cunning way of saying Asians.
    Im not great at close readings so I'm proud I picked up in that. I can't remember the clues other than I think he says a location is in the pampas, which is explicitly a South American clime.

    PSN: Kurahoshi1
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    Hmmm according to a dude who posted on The Urth reading group Wolfe finished the sequel to A Borrowed Man before his death and Tor will be publishing it at some point. Good news, but the prospect of an editor changing stuff without Wolfe's feedback doesn't fill me with confidence considering how carefully he wrote.

  • DrovekDrovek Registered User regular
    So I finally got myself a Kindle Paperwhite about a week ago and I can say I'm loving every bit of it. I usually prefer digital books, with some exceptions, so that pretty much means I end up reading a lot on my phone or on my computer. While I still manage to read a bunch like that, it's just not optimal.

    This thing is game-changing for me. I have read quite a bunch in this past week, and it feels just so much better.

    As far as current readings, not counting esoteric history of martial arts stuff, I am in the middle of Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse book 1) and I'm really liking it. It finally managed to grab me after a false start where I stopped after 2 chapters because I just didn't like it (I love the series and wanted to read the books afterwards), but right now it's chugging along nicely.

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  • AntoshkaAntoshka Miauen Oil Change LazarusRegistered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    Vanguard wrote: »
    oh this looks neat how expens-

    haha nope

    Yeah it's absurd. I'd be mad to buy it. Certifiable.

    hnnghnghh

    Folio Society do good editions.

    I should know, I have *mind breaks*

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    wandering
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