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[Book]: Rhymes With

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  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    I have now finished all of Robin Hobbs' Elderling books.

    That final trilogy is actually really good and avoids trying to make everything line up too neatly. There's still a lot of mystery around the setting while some answers were provided. That said, I absolutely want to know more about
    The presence that holds Fitz, and possibly Dutiful together, in the third trilogy when they get lost in a standing stone. Was it Verity? I'm sure it was implied to be fairly alien though. Also Verity became a stone dragon so how is he also a big player in the weird magic livestream? Maybe everybody goes there but only skilled people retain a sense of self

    The relationship between Fitz and Bee is also really well done. The progression of Bee and how both of them view one another is rare to see in fiction at all and virtually unheard of in fantasy.

    A few of the plot triggers don't work amazingly well though
    The Fool sending messengers from Clerres feels like it really struggled to make any sense. The Servants use of parasitic worms to slowly kill traitors was also strange as both times we saw it it was being used on people who were in the process of escaping and used that slow death to achieve things

    I got curated book service for Christmas, so I'll get on the results of my extensive interrogation from that next

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    Reading the Welcome to Night Vale book. I think it’s aiming for spooky, charming and occasionally profound but instead just landing on twee whimsy every time.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    I'm a little bit more than halfway through a Desolation Called Peace and this book is pretty nervewracking!
    - Three Seagrass's pov chapters are extremely endearing. Her rushing off to go recruit Mahit for her mission feels both very blindly romantic, buuut also just kinda sad. Her best friend died in the last book, now she's got this new elevated position and responsibilities and she's otherwise completely alone and it kinda seems like she's just falling apart. Mahit's the only other person who she has a connection with and who understands her trauma and Seagrass is desperate to see her again.
    - Poor Mahit is getting torn apart, nobody in her station trusts her because she's too xenophilic, even though the reason she came back is to reclaim her own culture. And the Empire can't trust her, because she's the one who started this whole war in the first place. She loves both cultures and because of that both cultures are ready to destroy her... And if she comes down on one side or the other her own act of betrayal will kill her from the inside. I'm really not sure how Mahit gets herself out of this with her life and soul both intact...
    - They're trying to communicate with the aliens but there's a decent question of whether talking to the aliens will actually HELP anything? They are very ALIEN aliens and managing to talk to them doesn't really change that.
    - Just in general the whole vibe of this war is that someone has unleashed a very big, very simple solution to the whole "the empire is too powerful" problem. And now messy reality is taking these simple solutions and turning them into a whole bunch of inevitable unintended, unpredictable consequences.
    - if this book pulls any sort of Mahit or Seagrass having to betray the other one nonsense I am going to be very unhappy! It also feels quite plausible!

    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.
    htm
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Didn't realize that was out, thanks.

    This machine kills threads.
    credeiki
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    "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

    Steam: Korvalain
  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    edited March 3
    i just started Unconquerable Sun either because of this thread or the SE one but uh, this is delightful.

    also they said the name of the book in the first chapter and actually it was adorable and not what i expected

    initiatefailure on
    I Do Design | I PSN- Subtle_Ties | 3DS: 3840-5210-2008 (Subtle)
    Shadowhope
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    ok but what about a story told entirely in squid light patterns?

    I Do Design | I PSN- Subtle_Ties | 3DS: 3840-5210-2008 (Subtle)
    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    I'll have to make a note to add more of his books. And also maybe some more math books...

    "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

    Steam: Korvalain
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...
    Oh yeah that's a tough read. I actually remember nothing about the book which is a bad sign.

    pelcan Mouth perfect size for put poster in to n\ap! inside poster sleep soundly put poster in Pelicn Mouth no problems because good Support for poster neck weak of big poster head
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Finished it, and it definitely ends in an interesting way. I feel like its got a couple of really interesting premises that could have hit a lot harder, that didn't necessarily hit as hard as it felt like they wanted, if that makes sense? It reminded me a bit of Accelerando at first, with the time jumps, but then it goes so far off the scale that it becomes a little bit incomprehensible? Especially when you consider that they are experiencing time at an accelerated rate, it becomes so far outside of anything I can connect with.

    "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

    Steam: Korvalain
    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • CroakerBCCroakerBC TorontoRegistered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Anyone here read John Gwynne’s stuff? Does it improve over time? Two books in and it’s fine but I feel like I could be spending my time reading something better.

    I’d say that his first series runs at basically the same level. The back half of the series ramps up a bit (because it’s setting up the big
    Conclusion), but if you’re not digging it now, you probably won’t like the remainder.

    The same may well be true of his second series (same world, centuries later); the writing style is very similar, though the world and characters are mostly very different.

    Still got his new one on my TBR, so can’t comment there.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Doggerland by Ben Smith is excellent. It's a small story of two men working on a windfarm maintenance station and I suppose the emphasis is on what they will leave behind after they die. I definitely want to read more stuff from the author. It's that slightly strange bleakness that was present in The Road but in a very different style.

    It was selected by a cool curated book service I got as a present that has a very detailed questionnaire as part of the activation. I'm hoping the others are as good

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
    Mojo_Jojo
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    And crucially it includes references to the papers on quantum graph theory it uses. It's basically the best example of hard sci fi

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular

    I finally finished Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire. Beyond the fact that it’s excellent, I think that my strongest overall impression is that it feels to me like a Guy Gavriel Kay novel set in space. A Memory Called Empire is strongly akin to The Sarantine Mosaic or Under Heaven or maybe The Last Light of the Sun, but with a little bit of technology rather than a little bit of magic. Even the writing style itself feels very similar by times.
    A competent but somewhat naive outsider arrives in a place with a culture foreign to them, and by arriving there they set in motion a chain of dominos that leads to an important passing of an old era and the start of a new one. The outsider largely acts as an observer to the great change, but they also do have a contribution late in the story that helps tip the scales in one direction or another. There is tragedy and sacrifice; people give up things and relationships that are important to them in order to move the world in a given direction, and the tragedy and sacrifice of the now less-naive outsider somewhat mirrors the larger tragedies and sacrifices being made.

    That’s basically the standard Kay novel’s plot, and that’s what we get in A Memory Called Empire. That may be a bit facile, but it’s the feeling and impression that I got.

    Stylistically, I thought that Martine and Kay both have a sort of a historian’s wry sense of self awareness in their prose. They differ somewhat in that Kay tends to bend that sense towards sympathy and to sharpen the edge of those moments, whereas Martine uses it to add levity and to take the edge off slightly. Like Kay’s books, the AMCE is ultimately about characters feeling and reacting to a shifting world that’s foreign to them, not about people setting out to do Great Things.

    I definitely recommend it to anyone, and I recommend giving Kay a try to anyone who liked A Memory Called Empire - I’d suggest starting with Under Heaven.


    Stay at home every morning from the health department warning, take the 8:15 in to the kitchen
    chrono_travellerKanaredxMahnmutknitdancredeikihtm
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    And crucially it includes references to the papers on quantum graph theory it uses. It's basically the best example of hard sci fi

    I dunno. Blindsight by Peter Watts also includes a reference bibliography and is basically comprehensible without a degree in physics (I assume, anyway... I have degrees in physics and feel like I'd have gotten a lot less out of Greg Egan without).

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
    Moridin889
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    And crucially it includes references to the papers on quantum graph theory it uses. It's basically the best example of hard sci fi

    I dunno. Blindsight by Peter Watts also includes a reference bibliography and is basically comprehensible without a degree in physics (I assume, anyway... I have degrees in physics and feel like I'd have gotten a lot less out of Greg Egan without).

    I do often wonder if my lack of degrees in anything not strictly based on Euclidean geometry helps or hurts my enjoyment of sci-fi. Like, when we veer into the "is this hard sci-fi" arguments, and whether or not something is realistic enough to be hard or not, I'm just like "lol idk, I draw rectangles for a living, this is all space magic to me".

    "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

    Steam: Korvalain
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited March 15
    Brody wrote: »
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    And crucially it includes references to the papers on quantum graph theory it uses. It's basically the best example of hard sci fi

    I dunno. Blindsight by Peter Watts also includes a reference bibliography and is basically comprehensible without a degree in physics (I assume, anyway... I have degrees in physics and feel like I'd have gotten a lot less out of Greg Egan without).

    I do often wonder if my lack of degrees in anything not strictly based on Euclidean geometry helps or hurts my enjoyment of sci-fi. Like, when we veer into the "is this hard sci-fi" arguments, and whether or not something is realistic enough to be hard or not, I'm just like "lol idk, I draw rectangles for a living, this is all space magic to me".

    I had that internal debate while reading Schild's Ladder. I believe it qualifies as hard sci-fi in that it extrapolates from a single, not-totally-nutso modification to known physics... but it's such a fundamental modification that all of the results are basically space magic.

    I eventually came to the conclusion that determining whether something was "Technically Hard Sci-Fi" was something I cared way more about like twenty years ago and that at this point in my reading career the label is more valuable to me when the author self-selects as 'hard sci-fi' because probably their approach to making convincing space magic is more to my taste than someone who self-selects as 'science fantasy' or something.

    CptHamilton on
    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
    Kreutz
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    I finally finished Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire. Beyond the fact that it’s excellent, I think that my strongest overall impression is that it feels to me like a Guy Gavriel Kay novel set in space. A Memory Called Empire is strongly akin to The Sarantine Mosaic or Under Heaven or maybe The Last Light of the Sun, but with a little bit of technology rather than a little bit of magic. Even the writing style itself feels very similar by times.
    A competent but somewhat naive outsider arrives in a place with a culture foreign to them, and by arriving there they set in motion a chain of dominos that leads to an important passing of an old era and the start of a new one. The outsider largely acts as an observer to the great change, but they also do have a contribution late in the story that helps tip the scales in one direction or another. There is tragedy and sacrifice; people give up things and relationships that are important to them in order to move the world in a given direction, and the tragedy and sacrifice of the now less-naive outsider somewhat mirrors the larger tragedies and sacrifices being made.

    That’s basically the standard Kay novel’s plot, and that’s what we get in A Memory Called Empire. That may be a bit facile, but it’s the feeling and impression that I got.

    Stylistically, I thought that Martine and Kay both have a sort of a historian’s wry sense of self awareness in their prose. They differ somewhat in that Kay tends to bend that sense towards sympathy and to sharpen the edge of those moments, whereas Martine uses it to add levity and to take the edge off slightly. Like Kay’s books, the AMCE is ultimately about characters feeling and reacting to a shifting world that’s foreign to them, not about people setting out to do Great Things.

    I definitely recommend it to anyone, and I recommend giving Kay a try to anyone who liked A Memory Called Empire - I’d suggest starting with Under Heaven.


    The sequel book came out recently too

    reading it now!

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    And crucially it includes references to the papers on quantum graph theory it uses. It's basically the best example of hard sci fi

    I dunno. Blindsight by Peter Watts also includes a reference bibliography and is basically comprehensible without a degree in physics (I assume, anyway... I have degrees in physics and feel like I'd have gotten a lot less out of Greg Egan without).

    I don't remember much physics in that one. Wasn't it just cool biological and psychology ideas?

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
    credeiki
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    I finally finished Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire. Beyond the fact that it’s excellent, I think that my strongest overall impression is that it feels to me like a Guy Gavriel Kay novel set in space. A Memory Called Empire is strongly akin to The Sarantine Mosaic or Under Heaven or maybe The Last Light of the Sun, but with a little bit of technology rather than a little bit of magic. Even the writing style itself feels very similar by times.
    A competent but somewhat naive outsider arrives in a place with a culture foreign to them, and by arriving there they set in motion a chain of dominos that leads to an important passing of an old era and the start of a new one. The outsider largely acts as an observer to the great change, but they also do have a contribution late in the story that helps tip the scales in one direction or another. There is tragedy and sacrifice; people give up things and relationships that are important to them in order to move the world in a given direction, and the tragedy and sacrifice of the now less-naive outsider somewhat mirrors the larger tragedies and sacrifices being made.

    That’s basically the standard Kay novel’s plot, and that’s what we get in A Memory Called Empire. That may be a bit facile, but it’s the feeling and impression that I got.

    Stylistically, I thought that Martine and Kay both have a sort of a historian’s wry sense of self awareness in their prose. They differ somewhat in that Kay tends to bend that sense towards sympathy and to sharpen the edge of those moments, whereas Martine uses it to add levity and to take the edge off slightly. Like Kay’s books, the AMCE is ultimately about characters feeling and reacting to a shifting world that’s foreign to them, not about people setting out to do Great Things.

    I definitely recommend it to anyone, and I recommend giving Kay a try to anyone who liked A Memory Called Empire - I’d suggest starting with Under Heaven.


    The sequel book came out recently too

    reading it now!

    Yeah, seeing the sequel was out was what gave me the kick in the butt to finally read AMCE all the way through. I’d previous made it a few chapters in a few times and enjoyed it, but each time Stuff Happened IRL and I moved off and didn’t get back to it.

    Stay at home every morning from the health department warning, take the 8:15 in to the kitchen
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    And crucially it includes references to the papers on quantum graph theory it uses. It's basically the best example of hard sci fi

    I dunno. Blindsight by Peter Watts also includes a reference bibliography and is basically comprehensible without a degree in physics (I assume, anyway... I have degrees in physics and feel like I'd have gotten a lot less out of Greg Egan without).

    I don't remember much physics in that one. Wasn't it just cool biological and psychology ideas?

    Yeah, mostly biology. I more meant the physics bit about Egan. Maybe I'd have liked Blindsight less if I had a biology degree? Or more? Either way, Watts' science still felt pretty hard. And well-sourced.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    And crucially it includes references to the papers on quantum graph theory it uses. It's basically the best example of hard sci fi

    I dunno. Blindsight by Peter Watts also includes a reference bibliography and is basically comprehensible without a degree in physics (I assume, anyway... I have degrees in physics and feel like I'd have gotten a lot less out of Greg Egan without).

    I don't remember much physics in that one. Wasn't it just cool biological and psychology ideas?

    Yeah, mostly biology. I more meant the physics bit about Egan. Maybe I'd have liked Blindsight less if I had a biology degree? Or more? Either way, Watts' science still felt pretty hard. And well-sourced.

    Blindsight thoroughly altered the way I look at a lot of things, especially after looking through the bibliography.

    "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

    Steam: Korvalain
    CptHamiltonAntoshkaSeptus
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    And crucially it includes references to the papers on quantum graph theory it uses. It's basically the best example of hard sci fi

    I dunno. Blindsight by Peter Watts also includes a reference bibliography and is basically comprehensible without a degree in physics (I assume, anyway... I have degrees in physics and feel like I'd have gotten a lot less out of Greg Egan without).

    I don't remember much physics in that one. Wasn't it just cool biological and psychology ideas?

    Yeah, mostly biology. I more meant the physics bit about Egan. Maybe I'd have liked Blindsight less if I had a biology degree? Or more? Either way, Watts' science still felt pretty hard. And well-sourced.

    Blindsight thoroughly altered the way I look at a lot of things, especially after looking through the bibliography.

    I don't think it was a particularly well-written book and I couldn't tell you more than a very vague outline of the plot but I thought it was an absolutely brilliant sci-fi novel. The sheer density of ideas I hadn't seen done anywhere else was amazing.

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  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    Unconquerable Sun has not slowed down help I am going so fast

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    Shadowhope
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    Any recommendations for a good spy thriller?

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  • chrono_travellerchrono_traveller Registered User regular
    I don't know if this is old news or not, but I just found out that there is a new Wayfarer series book coming out next month! The Galaxy and the Ground within.

    The last Chambers book, To Be Taught, was good, but I read the whole thing kinda waiting for some kind of tie in to the Wayfarer world, and didn't find out till after I read it (that is how fast I read it) that it wasn't an "official" Wayfarer novel. Super, stoked!

    And back to the current topic, but I did really like Memory of Empire too. In particular:
    It was nice how the main character didn't somehow miraculously become a chosen one, or some kind of supernatural ability. She did play a part in the events, and from the outside you might have thought that she played a much bigger role than she did. It was, as shadowhope said, a very historian view of history. Big changes aren't the result of one "great person" but bigger cultural shifts that happen and there is a "lucky" few that are in power (or seem to be in power) at the time.

    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
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    I love Guy Gavriel Kay and while I didn’t compare A Memory Called Empire with his work while I was reading it, I agree that there are some similarities.

    He writes a lot about empire, especially his fictionalized version of Byzantium, and Arkady Martine is a student of Byzantium as well.

    A lot of his work is bittersweet and he likes to tie each book into his larger alt-history* in a very oblique way. He’s one of my favorites.

    *I say alt-history but really it hews pretty close to what we know of history, just with names of things like religion snd nation-states changed but still recognizable as having a real-world analogue.

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
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    Shadowhope
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    And crucially it includes references to the papers on quantum graph theory it uses. It's basically the best example of hard sci fi

    I dunno. Blindsight by Peter Watts also includes a reference bibliography and is basically comprehensible without a degree in physics (I assume, anyway... I have degrees in physics and feel like I'd have gotten a lot less out of Greg Egan without).

    I do often wonder if my lack of degrees in anything not strictly based on Euclidean geometry helps or hurts my enjoyment of sci-fi. Like, when we veer into the "is this hard sci-fi" arguments, and whether or not something is realistic enough to be hard or not, I'm just like "lol idk, I draw rectangles for a living, this is all space magic to me".

    Eh I have a physics degree and I super do not care about hard vs soft scifi distinctions and generally get annoyed when people want to make a big deal about it or talk about which 'concept' seems more or less sciencey

    It instead makes me more sensitive to verisimilitude in the portrayal of a scientist's motivations and emotional landscape; sci-fi often wants to be about scientists, but too often the scientists just don't come off as particularly well-done characters--you can't imagine them going to the same conferences you went to

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
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  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    So just got done reading the standalone trilogy by Joe Abercrombie - is it just me or are these all better than the First Law books? I don’t know if it was just that the stories were tighter and more focused or what, but I was very meh on the first law books and enjoyed the hell out of the standalones.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading Diaspora, by Greg Egan, and holy shit trying to track this bit is making my head hurt...

    heh, I've read a few of his and that one is probably one of the more accessible reads

    he wrote a book where there are two dimensions of time

    Oh, Greg Egan. Yeah, try reading the Orthogonal books:
    Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally identical dimensions.[1] While the characters in the novels always perceive three of the dimensions as space and one as time, this classification depends entirely on their state of motion, and the dimension that one observer considers to be time can be seen as a purely spatial dimension by another observer.

    Pfft. Try Schild's Ladder. Spoilers for the latter half of the book to explain why it's a notch past that level of instanity:
    The second half of the book takes place in a new universe expanding inside ours which has physical laws entirely unrelated to our own, but unlike his other books even the characters in the book don't understand how physics functions. There's no matter or energy, just geometric...things made of the raw substrate of reality.

    And crucially it includes references to the papers on quantum graph theory it uses. It's basically the best example of hard sci fi

    I dunno. Blindsight by Peter Watts also includes a reference bibliography and is basically comprehensible without a degree in physics (I assume, anyway... I have degrees in physics and feel like I'd have gotten a lot less out of Greg Egan without).

    I do often wonder if my lack of degrees in anything not strictly based on Euclidean geometry helps or hurts my enjoyment of sci-fi. Like, when we veer into the "is this hard sci-fi" arguments, and whether or not something is realistic enough to be hard or not, I'm just like "lol idk, I draw rectangles for a living, this is all space magic to me".

    Eh I have a physics degree and I super do not care about hard vs soft scifi distinctions and generally get annoyed when people want to make a big deal about it or talk about which 'concept' seems more or less sciencey

    It instead makes me more sensitive to verisimilitude in the portrayal of a scientist's motivations and emotional landscape; sci-fi often wants to be about scientists, but too often the scientists just don't come off as particularly well-done characters--you can't imagine them going to the same conferences you went to
    Also true Hard SciFi books would begin with "The universe is unoccupied" and end with "We don't have a way to transcend the speed of light and if we go too fast everyone squishes into jello."

    pelcan Mouth perfect size for put poster in to n\ap! inside poster sleep soundly put poster in Pelicn Mouth no problems because good Support for poster neck weak of big poster head
    credeiki
  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius It has been a doozy of a dayRegistered User regular
    So just got done reading the standalone trilogy by Joe Abercrombie - is it just me or are these all better than the First Law books? I don’t know if it was just that the stories were tighter and more focused or what, but I was very meh on the first law books and enjoyed the hell out of the standalones.

    That's the general consensus, yeah. He definitely got much better as a writer after he finished First Law.

    I love First Law but the 3 stand alone are head and shoulders above.

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    EchoMoridin889
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    So just got done reading the standalone trilogy by Joe Abercrombie - is it just me or are these all better than the First Law books? I don’t know if it was just that the stories were tighter and more focused or what, but I was very meh on the first law books and enjoyed the hell out of the standalones.

    They're absolutely better. He was pretty new to the whole "write a full length book" thing when he did First Law, and it showed.

  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    Since I don't remember which book thread turned me on to this I'm sharing it to both...
    I finished unconquerable Sun and it was a blast. I described it as a runaway train and you can't jump off and a friend's response was "ya know, yeah"

    In the end I had one issue with it as a standalone book but then found out it's the first in a planned trilogy because obviously, this is speculative fiction. how silly of me.
    just the Apama chapters are so few and don't really connect to anything else going on until the last one; it being a setup for "now something is going to happen with her stay tuned next episode."

    The thing is I liked her chapters on their own. They did cool character bits. The worldbuilding additions were nice. They clued me in on the impending actions of the phene while we were still in the "mystery unfolding" stages of Sun's POV. But they didn't add anything really once the battle was joined by both sides.

    Unfortunately by nature of the story told, she feels like the one most getting dragged along by plot and we just don't see enough of her to get a better handle on her own agency. I'd even accept that as an intentional character set opposite of Sun now that I know this is more than 1 book. Guess we'll see what's next with her being saved from the battle?

    I Do Design | I PSN- Subtle_Ties | 3DS: 3840-5210-2008 (Subtle)
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    Is a space opera really speculative fiction?

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  • pezgenpezgen Registered User regular
    Is a space opera really speculative fiction?

    Speculative fiction is anything that deviates from "the world as we know it" - it's supposed to be a catch-all for science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.

    Technically *all* fiction is speculative, in that it posits a world that does not currently exist... but that's the problem with trying to label things as a certain genre - the lines are very blurred.

    CptHamiltoninitiatefailureN1tSt4lkercredeikiSleepQuid
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    The Midnight Library is absolutely awful and I have no idea how it generated so much positive press.

    It's a simplistic and glib look at depression that conflates it with "being a bit sad". Just total shit and both the author and publisher should be ashamed.

    At least it's short

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  • TenzytileTenzytile Registered User regular
    edited March 22
    I read Cousin Bette by Balzac recently. I hadn't read any of his work before this one, and since it's the only one of his books I own I decided to give it a shot because I haven't read many of those 19th century French authors. It's about a high-class Parisian family who's on the brink of ruin because of a fickle patriarch and a bitter cousin bent on revenge.

    First off, Balzac has a gift for dialogue and observation. His prose is often very funny, and since this is a kind of dark situational comedy, it moves really well when it sticks to action and conversation. The problem with his writing, which I think plagues a number of authors from his time, is an almost compulsive need to explain everything. From broader political contexts, to Parisian geography, to restating character motivations---there are a lot of segues and side-bars in the writing that get in the way of forward momentum or in-the-moment atmosphere. Balzac is also a real materialistic dandy, and can't seem to stop commenting on things like furniture and dress, which while important, it sometimes takes precedence over things like gesture, environment, and even dialogue.

    And the story sort of loses its impact about halfway through. Characters who were main focuses sort of drift off and are replaced by less interesting side characters. Years pass rather abruptly. The conclusion feels rushed. Parts of it feel like they were written quickly, which maybe shouldn't be surprising because he was an extremely prolific author, but the scope of the novel and its narrative focus don't feel as well considered as they could have been. It's not a great novel in my opinion, but I am curious about reading one of his shorter works in the Human Comedy sometime.

    Tenzytile on
    Currently watching: 1961/unseen Criterions
    credeiki
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