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[Book]: Rhymes With

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Posts

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I figured that out fairly quickly wrt the Melding Plague timeline.

    "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
  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    edited October 15
    Brody wrote: »
    Yeah, I figured that out fairly quickly wrt the Melding Plague timeline.

    Sorry, been close to 10 years since I read it so I'm a bit fuzzy. :biggrin:

    (Plus the timeline gets more and more hard to remember with the sequels. And then you have The Prefect prequels!)

    dennis on
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    So I’m reading the latest Alastair Reynolds that came out this week: Inhibitor Phase. It’s a welcome return to his Revelation Space setting, and I re-read Revelation Space and a couple of its sequels to get me in the mood for it.

    It’s pretty good so far, but something about it was bothering me and I finally figured it out: it’s first person and not third person. The change in perspective isn’t exactly ruining the book, but it definitely detracts. Most of Reynold’s best characters are seriously weird and/or unlikeable and the extra FoV that third person provides is really helpful in capturing that.

    I just finished Chasm City, and I was going to look into reading the rest of it, but I'm having a hard time remembering how Revelation Space resolved. Iirc
    Dan and the other lady go into the shroud. Dan thinks the other lady dies, and also gets infected with a shrouder informational virus/entity "Sunstealer" bent on checking to see if the AI apocalypse is still running, and the other lady actually lives? and ends up with an informational virus/entity "Madamoiselle" that wants to stop the other one? Saving entity hitches a ride with a lady who intentionally gets shanghaied by some Ultras, who need to go pick up Dan so he can work on the Captain. Dan previously accidentally let "Sunstealer" into the Ultra's ship, which eventually takes over as Dan manages to convince everyone to fly out to a weird exotic matter thing. The exotic matter thing is a weird time travel type thing, Substealer tries to trigger the AI apocalypse calling card, Dan "suicides" to stop the call, and ends up stuck on/in the exotic matter thing so he can study the race he had been looking at, the Captain wakes up, and the Ultras leave with the Sky's Edge lady. Is the Captain still awake? Is Sky's Edge lady still part of the Ultras team?

    Probably the easiest way to catch up is the Revelation Space Fandom Wiki.

    Inhibitor Phase is definitely comprehensible without having read all of the RS books, but If you want maximum backstory understanding before reading it, you should probably be familiar with Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap, and Chasm City.

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited October 15
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I finished R F Kuang's "The Poppy War". I think there needs to be a trigger warning for the specificity used in the war atrocities that you read in the latter half of the book, because damn, that part was a tough read. Oof. As far as the rest of the novel:
    At first, I was like "Oh, this is just Harry Potter mixed with Ender's Game in so obviously NotChina, against NotJapan with the peripheral involvement of NotEngland in a 19th century tech level. It was hard not to think of the main character and her best friend as Harriet Potter and Herman Granger, except Hogwart's is a military academy in NotChina. When all the shaman stuff started popping (heh) up, I was like "Oh great. So the secrets of power (drugs) are held by the philosophy (and drugs) of a typical Berkeley Spiritual Cult leader?" Then it suddenly became, uh, X-Men?

    I can't decide if Speer is NotFiji or NotNewZealand.

    Also, when there was a brief aside about the story and mythology of Chuluu Korikh, I was all like "Wait... did this hunter literally go #NotAllMen?"

    The reconciliation with Nezha was a bit predictable (of COURSE, the bully and the protagonist eventually become friends, of course!), but I still liked the way it played out. And damn, I know war is hell and all that, but the author is just killing off characters left and right.
    I'll probably go ahead and read the rest of the trilogy (since I have the books waiting in my Kindle), but the last chapter very much was just "Hey, here is a list of all of the loose plot ends that will totally get explored in the next couple of books!"


    The bad thing is that while the shaman stuff is obviously made up none of the other atrocities are really that far off from real life things that happened in China.

    I would be a bit wary of trying to map things too much to real life history though. While there are straight up ersatz historical elements (Nikara is obviously China, Mugen Japan, Hesperia is kind of a European mashup, etc) its not a Guy Gavriel Kay book, its not trying to straight up retell WW2 and looking at it that way may lead to some false expectations.
    Rin is totally distaff wizard Mao Zedong though

    Jealous Deva on
    PailryderShadowhopeHahnsoo1
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    htm wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    So I’m reading the latest Alastair Reynolds that came out this week: Inhibitor Phase. It’s a welcome return to his Revelation Space setting, and I re-read Revelation Space and a couple of its sequels to get me in the mood for it.

    It’s pretty good so far, but something about it was bothering me and I finally figured it out: it’s first person and not third person. The change in perspective isn’t exactly ruining the book, but it definitely detracts. Most of Reynold’s best characters are seriously weird and/or unlikeable and the extra FoV that third person provides is really helpful in capturing that.

    I just finished Chasm City, and I was going to look into reading the rest of it, but I'm having a hard time remembering how Revelation Space resolved. Iirc
    Dan and the other lady go into the shroud. Dan thinks the other lady dies, and also gets infected with a shrouder informational virus/entity "Sunstealer" bent on checking to see if the AI apocalypse is still running, and the other lady actually lives? and ends up with an informational virus/entity "Madamoiselle" that wants to stop the other one? Saving entity hitches a ride with a lady who intentionally gets shanghaied by some Ultras, who need to go pick up Dan so he can work on the Captain. Dan previously accidentally let "Sunstealer" into the Ultra's ship, which eventually takes over as Dan manages to convince everyone to fly out to a weird exotic matter thing. The exotic matter thing is a weird time travel type thing, Substealer tries to trigger the AI apocalypse calling card, Dan "suicides" to stop the call, and ends up stuck on/in the exotic matter thing so he can study the race he had been looking at, the Captain wakes up, and the Ultras leave with the Sky's Edge lady. Is the Captain still awake? Is Sky's Edge lady still part of the Ultras team?

    Probably the easiest way to catch up is the Revelation Space Fandom Wiki.

    Inhibitor Phase is definitely comprehensible without having read all of the RS books, but If you want maximum backstory understanding before reading it, you should probably be familiar with Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap, and Chasm City.

    Yeah, I had actually gone through and read that, which helped jog my memory, but I couldn't remember where everyone was as the first book (the is the only one I've read besides Chasm City) drew to a final close.

    "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
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Everyone already knows this but oh wowwwww Naomi Novik's A Deadly Education is phenomenal.
    It's directly targeted at me, with emotional themes that punch me in the heart plus, teenage drama and MAGIC SCHOOL, but even so, I think it's genuinely very very good. Magic school without teachers is bold, the imagery is cool, and the direct connection between themes of loneliness+social exclusion and the actual survival plot are just fantastic.


    Also on the plane this week (couple cross country flights) I read:

    Orange is the New Black: it was in one of those free library hutches so I took it. It's an easy and engaging read that's made more interesting by the existence of the TV show and the mental narrative of huh, I see why the writers changed that for the show. Without the context of the tv show, it's basically interesting but not exactly the most thrilling prison memoir you could read.

    The Stranger: this was also in a free library hutch. Ummmm...I feel like I don't have the academic context for this one, just not having read other books written around this time, or other books by french people, or something. It was a vivid read about a character with no superego (?), or some sort of pathologically incomplete psychology, anyway, with a lot of short and punchy sentences and a nihilist (or whatever) thing happening. I might need to read more stuff by Camus to see how he writes other books/how he conveys plot and psychology to see how much of this is about writing style and control of information, and how much of this is about conveying a particular character. It was definitely enjoyable to read.

    Then I also started reading (but have not finished) The Gift, by Nabokov, which is one of the only Nabokov novels I haven't read, because I know it's not good to read it in translation (but I'm not going to read it in Russian!) because it's so heavy on worldplay and allusions to/quotations from russian lit. It's pretty funny whiplash to go from the pared down prose in the stranger to the Nabokov shit you get in the gift, which, is just really nabokov, like we immediately start in on these magic lantern shows of shadow and perspective, inline poetry, not to mention the full complement of thoughts present in our protagonist's mind and maybe outside it too, not 100% sure what is going on with the narrative voice. Anyway it's enjoyable linguistically and of course seeing this 1920s emigre Berlin is interesting.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    Hahnsoo1Mahnmut
  • AntoshkaAntoshka Miauen Oil Change LazarusRegistered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    Everyone already knows this but oh wowwwww Naomi Novik's A Deadly Education is phenomenal.
    It's directly targeted at me, with emotional themes that punch me in the heart plus, teenage drama and MAGIC SCHOOL, but even so, I think it's genuinely very very good. Magic school without teachers is bold, the imagery is cool, and the direct connection between themes of loneliness+social exclusion and the actual survival plot are just fantastic.


    Also on the plane this week (couple cross country flights) I read:

    Orange is the New Black: it was in one of those free library hutches so I took it. It's an easy and engaging read that's made more interesting by the existence of the TV show and the mental narrative of huh, I see why the writers changed that for the show. Without the context of the tv show, it's basically interesting but not exactly the most thrilling prison memoir you could read.

    The Stranger: this was also in a free library hutch. Ummmm...I feel like I don't have the academic context for this one, just not having read other books written around this time, or other books by french people, or something. It was a vivid read about a character with no superego (?), or some sort of pathologically incomplete psychology, anyway, with a lot of short and punchy sentences and a nihilist (or whatever) thing happening. I might need to read more stuff by Camus to see how he writes other books/how he conveys plot and psychology to see how much of this is about writing style and control of information, and how much of this is about conveying a particular character. It was definitely enjoyable to read.

    Then I also started reading (but have not finished) The Gift, by Nabokov, which is one of the only Nabokov novels I haven't read, because I know it's not good to read it in translation (but I'm not going to read it in Russian!) because it's so heavy on worldplay and allusions to/quotations from russian lit. It's pretty funny whiplash to go from the pared down prose in the stranger to the Nabokov shit you get in the gift, which, is just really nabokov, like we immediately start in on these magic lantern shows of shadow and perspective, inline poetry, not to mention the full complement of thoughts present in our protagonist's mind and maybe outside it too, not 100% sure what is going on with the narrative voice. Anyway it's enjoyable linguistically and of course seeing this 1920s emigre Berlin is interesting.

    I'm interested to see what you think of The Last Graduate

    n57PM0C.jpg
    Moridin889webguy20
  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Seconded on The Last Graduate and your feedback on that. I have... theories about how the third book is going to go.
    Personal bet is that Enclaves thesmelves are going to turn out ot be a deeply fucked up thing, and El having the golden sutra book is going to be a big key to figuring that out. Novik's just not the kind of writer to seed something like that early and not follow it up

    Also i recommended this over in the SE++ book thread, but everyone here should check out Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. it's pitch of Pacific Rim meets The Handmaiden's Tale is pretty on point, and it's real good.

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    oh I'd never considered how much of nabokov might not translate. I've only read invitation to a beheading and the despair. I wonder if i missed things in them

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Seconded on The Last Graduate and your feedback on that. I have... theories about how the third book is going to go.
    Personal bet is that Enclaves thesmelves are going to turn out ot be a deeply fucked up thing, and El having the golden sutra book is going to be a big key to figuring that out. Novik's just not the kind of writer to seed something like that early and not follow it up

    Also i recommended this over in the SE++ book thread, but everyone here should check out Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. it's pitch of Pacific Rim meets The Handmaiden's Tale is pretty on point, and it's real good.

    Last Graudate
    Their whole thing with wiping out a huge amount of the world mals and the Golden sutra is going to be a huge sea change for the setting.. The enclave's monopoly on safety is the main reason for them to exist.

    Moridin889
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    htm wrote: »
    So I’m reading the latest Alastair Reynolds that came out this week: Inhibitor Phase. It’s a welcome return to his Revelation Space setting, and I re-read Revelation Space and a couple of its sequels to get me in the mood for it.

    It’s pretty good so far, but something about it was bothering me and I finally figured it out: it’s first person and not third person. The change in perspective isn’t exactly ruining the book, but it definitely detracts. Most of Reynold’s best characters are seriously weird and/or unlikeable and the extra FoV that third person provides is really helpful in capturing that.

    I don't know if I like Volyova but I do know that I like her

    htmdennisPhant
  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Seconded on The Last Graduate and your feedback on that. I have... theories about how the third book is going to go.
    Personal bet is that Enclaves thesmelves are going to turn out ot be a deeply fucked up thing, and El having the golden sutra book is going to be a big key to figuring that out. Novik's just not the kind of writer to seed something like that early and not follow it up

    Also i recommended this over in the SE++ book thread, but everyone here should check out Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. it's pitch of Pacific Rim meets The Handmaiden's Tale is pretty on point, and it's real good.

    Last Graudate
    Their whole thing with wiping out a huge amount of the world mals and the Golden sutra is going to be a huge sea change for the setting.. The enclave's monopoly on safety is the main reason for them to exist.
    So my bet is that something is wrong with either Enclave creation in general, or modern enclave creation. Like we know the scholomance runs off the mana generated from well, mass student death. And it is, functionally, just an enclave when you dig into it - an Enclave with specific purpose, but an enclave nonetheless. There's also just a ton of mals that are reverenced as being the result of wizards doing stupid things. Like a whole, whole lot. Which is interesting given The Last Graduate also emphasies that in the magical eco system, Wizards sit at the top, they're the apex predator. That, and obviously, "We fixed things for a few years" is a crap endin.

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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  • PhantPhant Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    So I’m reading the latest Alastair Reynolds that came out this week: Inhibitor Phase. It’s a welcome return to his Revelation Space setting, and I re-read Revelation Space and a couple of its sequels to get me in the mood for it.

    It’s pretty good so far, but something about it was bothering me and I finally figured it out: it’s first person and not third person. The change in perspective isn’t exactly ruining the book, but it definitely detracts. Most of Reynold’s best characters are seriously weird and/or unlikeable and the extra FoV that third person provides is really helpful in capturing that.

    I don't know if I like Volyova but I do know that I like her

    Ilia is quite possibly my favorite fiction character of all time.

    V1m
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    Phant wrote: »
    V1m wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    So I’m reading the latest Alastair Reynolds that came out this week: Inhibitor Phase. It’s a welcome return to his Revelation Space setting, and I re-read Revelation Space and a couple of its sequels to get me in the mood for it.

    It’s pretty good so far, but something about it was bothering me and I finally figured it out: it’s first person and not third person. The change in perspective isn’t exactly ruining the book, but it definitely detracts. Most of Reynold’s best characters are seriously weird and/or unlikeable and the extra FoV that third person provides is really helpful in capturing that.

    I don't know if I like Volyova but I do know that I like her

    Ilia is quite possibly my favorite fiction character of all time.

    I recall reading an interview with Reynolds in which he said that the most common reader criticism he received about Revelation Space was that the characters were too unlikeable. I've always thought it a shame that he seems to have taken that to heart. Volyova and Sylveste are such delightful assholes.

    dennisV1m
  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    htm wrote: »
    Phant wrote: »
    V1m wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    So I’m reading the latest Alastair Reynolds that came out this week: Inhibitor Phase. It’s a welcome return to his Revelation Space setting, and I re-read Revelation Space and a couple of its sequels to get me in the mood for it.

    It’s pretty good so far, but something about it was bothering me and I finally figured it out: it’s first person and not third person. The change in perspective isn’t exactly ruining the book, but it definitely detracts. Most of Reynold’s best characters are seriously weird and/or unlikeable and the extra FoV that third person provides is really helpful in capturing that.

    I don't know if I like Volyova but I do know that I like her

    Ilia is quite possibly my favorite fiction character of all time.

    I recall reading an interview with Reynolds in which he said that the most common reader criticism he received about Revelation Space was that the characters were too unlikeable.

    Have they met people?

    Moridin889Brodyhtm
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    oh I'd never considered how much of nabokov might not translate. I've only read invitation to a beheading and the despair. I wonder if i missed things in them

    some of the lyricism simply cannot translate because he deliberately is always doing nonsense with rhythm and deliberate echoes of words in other words (you can ofc see it in the books he wrote in english, too)

    That said, his son did a lot of his translations and I believe he personally read over and revised them--Nabokov has a lot of opinions about (everything including) translation. Certainly in The Gift he notes in the forward that he revised the translation and also translated all the poetry himself.

    ...also the last 1/4ish of the Gift is a (funny, mean) novelette about Chernyshevsky?? Like, a cruel little biography of him. It's to me the most compelling part of the book, which is otherwise nice linguistically but a bit of a diffuse story about a vaguely sad poet. The forward notes that the biography was considered too mean to be published in the original version heh--I mean I see why.

    (chernyshevsky as in What is to be Done, here translated What to Do (because Nabokov loves literal translations), no not that What is to Be Done but the one that's an insanely influential and also badly written (because Chernyshevsky believed that aesthetics were bad, thus all the meanness here) fiction novel from 1860)

    Antoshka wrote: »
    credeiki wrote: »
    Everyone already knows this but oh wowwwww Naomi Novik's A Deadly Education is phenomenal.
    It's directly targeted at me, with emotional themes that punch me in the heart plus, teenage drama and MAGIC SCHOOL, but even so, I think it's genuinely very very good. Magic school without teachers is bold, the imagery is cool, and the direct connection between themes of loneliness+social exclusion and the actual survival plot are just fantastic.


    Also on the plane this week (couple cross country flights) I read:

    Orange is the New Black: it was in one of those free library hutches so I took it. It's an easy and engaging read that's made more interesting by the existence of the TV show and the mental narrative of huh, I see why the writers changed that for the show. Without the context of the tv show, it's basically interesting but not exactly the most thrilling prison memoir you could read.

    The Stranger: this was also in a free library hutch. Ummmm...I feel like I don't have the academic context for this one, just not having read other books written around this time, or other books by french people, or something. It was a vivid read about a character with no superego (?), or some sort of pathologically incomplete psychology, anyway, with a lot of short and punchy sentences and a nihilist (or whatever) thing happening. I might need to read more stuff by Camus to see how he writes other books/how he conveys plot and psychology to see how much of this is about writing style and control of information, and how much of this is about conveying a particular character. It was definitely enjoyable to read.

    Then I also started reading (but have not finished) The Gift, by Nabokov, which is one of the only Nabokov novels I haven't read, because I know it's not good to read it in translation (but I'm not going to read it in Russian!) because it's so heavy on worldplay and allusions to/quotations from russian lit. It's pretty funny whiplash to go from the pared down prose in the stranger to the Nabokov shit you get in the gift, which, is just really nabokov, like we immediately start in on these magic lantern shows of shadow and perspective, inline poetry, not to mention the full complement of thoughts present in our protagonist's mind and maybe outside it too, not 100% sure what is going on with the narrative voice. Anyway it's enjoyable linguistically and of course seeing this 1920s emigre Berlin is interesting.

    I'm interested to see what you think of The Last Graduate

    I'm really looking forward to reading it but I'm waiting for it in paperback (that's why it took me so long to read A Deadly Education)

    Which, seriously, I think just immediately earned a place among my favorite books; I'm still thinking about it

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
  • BogartBogart Gonna Be A Man In Motion Registered User, Moderator mod
    William Hope Hodgson's The Nightlands. A weird mixture of honestly quite tedious repetition in an infuriating ye olde style of prose and some genuinely impressive invention packed into short spaces. There's an early scene where the protagonist just looks around the enormous pyramid humanity has retreated into at the end of Earth's history and ticks off the weird shit he sees and it's great, odd stuff.

    Hodgson seems to be important as an inspiration to other writers but I'd have a tough time recommending anyone actually read it.

    I also played my way through Deathtrap Dungeon, maybe the finest FF gamebook they released. Christ, it's tough. Absolutely brutal combat and numerous, ummm, deathtraps. But it's also fun, and the set-up excuses all the silliness you encounter, as it's a deliberately horrible place you're trying to get through to win a prize, not a lair or a place where people actually live. And the art is superb, immersive stuff.

    dennis
  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    edited October 18
    Bogart wrote: »
    William Hope Hodgson's The Nightlands. A weird mixture of honestly quite tedious repetition in an infuriating ye olde style of prose and some genuinely impressive invention packed into short spaces. There's an early scene where the protagonist just looks around the enormous pyramid humanity has retreated into at the end of Earth's history and ticks off the weird shit he sees and it's great, odd stuff.

    Hodgson seems to be important as an inspiration to other writers but I'd have a tough time recommending anyone actually read it.

    (One small correction: it's The Night Land.)

    Fully agree with you on that one. It's like if you took Lovecraft and turned up the atmosphere and weirdness knobs, and turned down the absolute-sack-of-shit-author knob. Though maybe I just haven't learned enough about Hodgson and am not about to go searching it out...

    Okay, I did google it (trying to find something else), and there's a quote from Lovecraft basically (I paraphrase, because Lovecraft) saying, "He has some really good ideas but the writing is a bit clunky." Hoo boy.

    Do you know about James Stoddard's rewrite of The Night Land? He loved the book, but was frustrated that it was so inaccessible for new readers. So he set about the labor of love of rewriting it. I remember the first part being posted online somewhere around a decade or two ago. Apparently it received enough praise to get him to finish the whole novel, which can be found as "The Night Land: A Story Retold". It was reviewed really well. Unfortunately, it's not something popular enough to be found at my library, and I'm loathe to get it from amazon. Especially since I could have read it for free with the trial to Kindle Unlimited, during which I found nothing worthy of reading and then forgot to cancel in time and got charged goddammit.

    There's also a really good story by Greg Bear set in the "The Way" from Eon/Eternity called "The Way of All Ghosts". Sadly, it'd be hard to get since it's only available in collection. I remember reading it and thinking, "this seems really familiar." Wasn't until much later that I made the connection. They open a portal onto The Night Land and it "infects" the Way.

    dennis on
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    So I’m reading the latest Alastair Reynolds that came out this week: Inhibitor Phase. It’s a welcome return to his Revelation Space setting, and I re-read Revelation Space and a couple of its sequels to get me in the mood for it.

    It’s pretty good so far, but something about it was bothering me and I finally figured it out: it’s first person and not third person. The change in perspective isn’t exactly ruining the book, but it definitely detracts. Most of Reynold’s best characters are seriously weird and/or unlikeable and the extra FoV that third person provides is really helpful in capturing that.

    I just finished Chasm City, and I was going to look into reading the rest of it, but I'm having a hard time remembering how Revelation Space resolved. Iirc
    Dan and the other lady go into the shroud. Dan thinks the other lady dies, and also gets infected with a shrouder informational virus/entity "Sunstealer" bent on checking to see if the AI apocalypse is still running, and the other lady actually lives? and ends up with an informational virus/entity "Madamoiselle" that wants to stop the other one? Saving entity hitches a ride with a lady who intentionally gets shanghaied by some Ultras, who need to go pick up Dan so he can work on the Captain. Dan previously accidentally let "Sunstealer" into the Ultra's ship, which eventually takes over as Dan manages to convince everyone to fly out to a weird exotic matter thing. The exotic matter thing is a weird time travel type thing, Substealer tries to trigger the AI apocalypse calling card, Dan "suicides" to stop the call, and ends up stuck on/in the exotic matter thing so he can study the race he had been looking at, the Captain wakes up, and the Ultras leave with the Sky's Edge lady. Is the Captain still awake? Is Sky's Edge lady still part of the Ultras team?

    Probably the easiest way to catch up is the Revelation Space Fandom Wiki.

    Inhibitor Phase is definitely comprehensible without having read all of the RS books, but If you want maximum backstory understanding before reading it, you should probably be familiar with Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap, and Chasm City.

    Yeah, I had actually gone through and read that, which helped jog my memory, but I couldn't remember where everyone was as the first book (the is the only one I've read besides Chasm City) drew to a final close.

    Apparently Redemption Ark was available with no holds from the library, so once I finish cleaning my palate with Master and Commander, I'll dive into that I guess.

    Also, in and around everything else I've been reading, Gender Euphoria, which is a series of essays collated(? I don't read a lot of multi-author works, so I'm not sure the right term here) by Laura Kate Dale. Its a book that is trying to focus more on the positive, euphoric experiences of living life as a trans person, and I've got to be really careful reading them at work so that I'm not just sitting here balling sometimes.

    "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
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    Phant wrote: »
    V1m wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    So I’m reading the latest Alastair Reynolds that came out this week: Inhibitor Phase. It’s a welcome return to his Revelation Space setting, and I re-read Revelation Space and a couple of its sequels to get me in the mood for it.

    It’s pretty good so far, but something about it was bothering me and I finally figured it out: it’s first person and not third person. The change in perspective isn’t exactly ruining the book, but it definitely detracts. Most of Reynold’s best characters are seriously weird and/or unlikeable and the extra FoV that third person provides is really helpful in capturing that.

    I don't know if I like Volyova but I do know that I like her

    Ilia is quite possibly my favorite fiction character of all time.

    I recall reading an interview with Reynolds in which he said that the most common reader criticism he received about Revelation Space was that the characters were too unlikeable.

    Have they met people?

    Isn't a pretty big part Ultras subculture is people who do interstellar space travel are really fuckin weird.

    htmV1m
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    Phant wrote: »
    V1m wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    So I’m reading the latest Alastair Reynolds that came out this week: Inhibitor Phase. It’s a welcome return to his Revelation Space setting, and I re-read Revelation Space and a couple of its sequels to get me in the mood for it.

    It’s pretty good so far, but something about it was bothering me and I finally figured it out: it’s first person and not third person. The change in perspective isn’t exactly ruining the book, but it definitely detracts. Most of Reynold’s best characters are seriously weird and/or unlikeable and the extra FoV that third person provides is really helpful in capturing that.

    I don't know if I like Volyova but I do know that I like her

    Ilia is quite possibly my favorite fiction character of all time.

    I recall reading an interview with Reynolds in which he said that the most common reader criticism he received about Revelation Space was that the characters were too unlikeable.

    Have they met people?

    Isn't a pretty big part Ultras subculture is people who do interstellar space travel are really fuckin weird.

    Yeah, I think the idea is that its a collection of people so unbelievably removed from anyone outside the ship they are almost basically aliens.

    "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
  • PhantPhant Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    Phant wrote: »
    V1m wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    So I’m reading the latest Alastair Reynolds that came out this week: Inhibitor Phase. It’s a welcome return to his Revelation Space setting, and I re-read Revelation Space and a couple of its sequels to get me in the mood for it.

    It’s pretty good so far, but something about it was bothering me and I finally figured it out: it’s first person and not third person. The change in perspective isn’t exactly ruining the book, but it definitely detracts. Most of Reynold’s best characters are seriously weird and/or unlikeable and the extra FoV that third person provides is really helpful in capturing that.

    I don't know if I like Volyova but I do know that I like her

    Ilia is quite possibly my favorite fiction character of all time.

    I recall reading an interview with Reynolds in which he said that the most common reader criticism he received about Revelation Space was that the characters were too unlikeable.

    Have they met people?

    Isn't a pretty big part Ultras subculture is people who do interstellar space travel are really fuckin weird.

    Yeah, I think the idea is that its a collection of people so unbelievably removed from anyone outside the ship they are almost basically aliens.

    It doesn't help that the two Ultra crews we get in the mainline novels, the crew of the Nostalgia for Infinity and whatever ship is in Absolution Gap are pretty extreme examples of fucked up. You only get brief glimpses of less radically messed up Ultra crews in a short story or two and in the Panopoly novellas, and they are very brief.

    Part of what I like about Alistair's writing is his characters seem very appropriately people-y for the setting and events. It would be hard to believe Sylveste(either of them) as misguided good people. The dichotomy of Volyova's
    satisfaction with the performance of the Bridgehead she designs even while she is uneasy about the possibility that utilizing it at all is a massive fuck up
    really speaks to how much she feels like a real person.

  • exisexis Registered User regular
    Listened to the first Murderbot novella and really enjoyed it. Weird thing about listening to audiobooks is that I don't generally pay attention to the length or how far through I am. It wasn't until it ended fairly suddenly that I learned that this was a novella rather than a full-length novel, which was bittersweet. Looking forward to the sequel once it's available at my local library.

    Pailryderchrono_travellerMahnmut
  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    exis wrote: »
    Listened to the first Murderbot novella and really enjoyed it. Weird thing about listening to audiobooks is that I don't generally pay attention to the length or how far through I am. It wasn't until it ended fairly suddenly that I learned that this was a novella rather than a full-length novel, which was bittersweet. Looking forward to the sequel once it's available at my local library.

    I've been reading them, but on e-book. So it's kind of the same effect, even when I have the % in the bottom right. Oh shit it's over?? It's also a helluva pace for any writing, so it runs out even quicker due to keeping you super interested.

    Pailryderchrono_travellerMahnmut
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Redemption Ark complete, about to spin up Absolution Gap.

    "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
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Wait, so questions about the end of Redemption Ark, maybe spoiling stuff about Absolution Gap with any real answers
    So, at the end of RA, Clavain, Scorp, and the population of Resurgam leave Resurgam space. In the process, they cross the Conjoiner fleet, and have a small fight. They both continue on, knowing eventually they will pick up the fight again? But then Clavain and co stop at Ararat to wait for Zodiacal Light with Remontaire and Kouhri to catch up? What happened to the Conjoiners? Or is it just that the Conjoiners will take so long to turn around that stopping at Ararat ultimately doesn't matter?

    "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
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    I just finished Piranesi, which was fantastic
    I was skeptical during the first 80 pages, where the main forward drive is the reader's vague question of 'what is going on here? (with this book, with this setting)' and but then a connection is established and the rest of the book pushes forward very strongly (still, largely, by changing the amount of information the reader has, rather than with any particular action in the book, although there is some).
    The writing is very, very good; the perspective is unique for a book like this, and is what makes it interesting.

    It is strongly reminiscent of a beloved piece of media, which I'll put in spoilers
    the outstanding video game Cultist Simulator--what we have here is someone trapped in the mansus or similar
    Cultist Simulator works by tapping into the same flavor of occultism that Piranesi does, which everyone I think sort of has a feeling for at base but I at least tend to favor more fantastical stuff so I don't see it often--but The Other World, and this unprincipled cult leader, and the disappearances, and the glimpse into the other world that changes someone's life

    The little beginning quote from The Magician's Nephew is very apt as well; the world between aesthetic feels like those ponds in CS Lewis (and then of course as an echo of that there's a world between in The Magicians that's similar)

    Anyway, I very much enjoyed it

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    redxV1mMahnmutAiouashrykeSurfpossum
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    edited November 17
    I read Becky Chambers' The Galaxy and the Ground Within. It was a nice read, but it had a bit of a slow start, with maybe ~70 pages of material at the beginning that all felt rather retread from previous books. Did You Know That Different People Come From Different Cultures and Have Different Physiological Requirements and Need To Make Significant Efforts Towards Communication and Accommodation--yes, we've actually gotten that specific message in this particular setting before, we don't super need to go over it as the only content for many many pages. (I certainly understood why she's done with this series--it would become a bit repetitive).

    That said: once the book starts getting into the individual personal drama of the characters--without dropping any of the cultural context--and gets down to describing cluttered interiors of alien spaceships, multispecies saunas, etc, and focuses on particular encounters and events (aliens get drunk and argue; aliens have a dance party; aliens have breakfast; aliens have a medical emergency), it's great. I absolutely loved Roveg, the bourgeois crab aesthete and game designer in exile, and I thought that the personal problems that Pei was experiencing were extremely resonant.
    the discussion of what it's like to be a military contractor who isn't interested in rocking the boat with her somewhat taboo lifestyle choice, but also feels like being closeted sucks, but also seriously doesn't want to blow up her life, and wait but other people do this with no issue, yes but they're bohemians and that's not my deal actually--fucking gold, one of the best/only treatments I've seen of this.
    Also: 'my people demand that I have kids because of generational trauma but I don't actually want to' -- is one of those bits where you're like hm yes once again this does seem like it was written by a jew, feels familiar
    Anyway, obviously anyone who read and liked the other ones will read this one, so no need to recommend it or not.

    credeiki on
    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    dennisN1tSt4lkerSummaryJudgmentMahnmutDevoutlyApatheticknitdan
  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    I've been meaning to mention a couple of reads for a while. One of them was Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, which I read on the recommendation of a friend. I'm glad I read it, but I really do not know what I think of this book. It's like trying to solve an equation for x, y and watermelon. I don't know how much I attribute to different cultures (as it's in translation from Japanese), and how much is just the particular author. There were definitely parts of the Three Body Problem series where I got the distinct feeling I was getting a glimpse into the mindset of someone with a whole different set of cultural touchstones from mine. But Kafka is just so darn weird.

    The other book I read was Babel-17 by Samuel Delany. It's one of those "classics of scifi" that was probably way better when it was written. It had some interesting stuff to say about language and cognition, but I learned those things decades ago. And you could argue that Nineteen Eight-Four did a much better job with it.

    It's funny, because in theory my reading tastes would have had me enjoying Bable-17 more than Kafka on the Shore. It's more up my alley. And maybe I would have if I'd read it before the age of, say, 20. But as it stands, I just got tired of the "look at the wowee zowee crazy science fiction world and all its strange happenings!" It very much feels rooted in that style of scifi.

  • SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment The purity of angry tambourine. Registered User regular
    Also, Tupo :biggrin:

    Because survival is insufficient.
    DevoutlyApathetic
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    I just finished Piranesi, which was fantastic
    I was skeptical during the first 80 pages, where the main forward drive is the reader's vague question of 'what is going on here? (with this book, with this setting)' and but then a connection is established and the rest of the book pushes forward very strongly (still, largely, by changing the amount of information the reader has, rather than with any particular action in the book, although there is some).
    The writing is very, very good; the perspective is unique for a book like this, and is what makes it interesting.

    It is strongly reminiscent of a beloved piece of media, which I'll put in spoilers
    the outstanding video game Cultist Simulator--what we have here is someone trapped in the mansus or similar
    Cultist Simulator works by tapping into the same flavor of occultism that Piranesi does, which everyone I think sort of has a feeling for at base but I at least tend to favor more fantastical stuff so I don't see it often--but The Other World, and this unprincipled cult leader, and the disappearances, and the glimpse into the other world that changes someone's life

    The little beginning quote from The Magician's Nephew is very apt as well; the world between aesthetic feels like those ponds in CS Lewis (and then of course as an echo of that there's a world between in The Magicians that's similar)

    Anyway, I very much enjoyed it

    I loved it too. Complete 180 from Jonathon Strange so I'm not surprised lots of people didn't. It's a great little fable.

    I look at it as
    a literal interpretation of Plato's cave. The narrator only understands things as reflections of the statues in the other world. I guess Cultist Simulator draws from a similar place

  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Also, Tupo :biggrin:

    ...I didn't really care one way or the other about Tupo, although of course I like seeing the adult characters' personality elucidated by how they bounce off a child character

    possibly this makes me a monster. I just don't like kids though.
    credeiki wrote: »
    I just finished Piranesi, which was fantastic
    I was skeptical during the first 80 pages, where the main forward drive is the reader's vague question of 'what is going on here? (with this book, with this setting)' and but then a connection is established and the rest of the book pushes forward very strongly (still, largely, by changing the amount of information the reader has, rather than with any particular action in the book, although there is some).
    The writing is very, very good; the perspective is unique for a book like this, and is what makes it interesting.

    It is strongly reminiscent of a beloved piece of media, which I'll put in spoilers
    the outstanding video game Cultist Simulator--what we have here is someone trapped in the mansus or similar
    Cultist Simulator works by tapping into the same flavor of occultism that Piranesi does, which everyone I think sort of has a feeling for at base but I at least tend to favor more fantastical stuff so I don't see it often--but The Other World, and this unprincipled cult leader, and the disappearances, and the glimpse into the other world that changes someone's life

    The little beginning quote from The Magician's Nephew is very apt as well; the world between aesthetic feels like those ponds in CS Lewis (and then of course as an echo of that there's a world between in The Magicians that's similar)

    Anyway, I very much enjoyed it

    I loved it too. Complete 180 from Jonathon Strange so I'm not surprised lots of people didn't. It's a great little fable.

    I look at it as
    a literal interpretation of Plato's cave. The narrator only understands things as reflections of the statues in the other world. I guess Cultist Simulator draws from a similar place
    Yeah, there's something about the relationship between this other world and our world that really hits me--yes I agree there is something of the 'this is the place where we store the fundamental concepts' about it, but it's not quite so literal as that, and it has its own compelling physicality (tides, seaweed, vast masonry). It's also very Classical/culturally specific.

    Endless buildings (see also: "the Mansus has no walls", in Cultist simulator) -- really just strikes my sense of aesthetics. I think given significant time and effort I could probably come up with an unbelievably pretentious and jargony essay about why, but off the top of my head it's just a feeling.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
  • exisexis Registered User regular
    I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It was... tough, emotionally. Not the type of book that I enjoy reading so much as I feel like it's worthwhile to read. I had a hard time picking it back up at points because it just felt endlessly hopeless, which I think is a success. The ending
    was particularly tough in the context of the recent retaking of Kabul by the Taliban, given how optimistic Laila and her family are about the future, despite their experiences. The events of the real world after this was published just feel like another absolutely heart-wrenching chapter in the same story.

  • el_vicioel_vicio Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    I've been meaning to mention a couple of reads for a while. One of them was Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, which I read on the recommendation of a friend. I'm glad I read it, but I really do not know what I think of this book. It's like trying to solve an equation for x, y and watermelon. I don't know how much I attribute to different cultures (as it's in translation from Japanese), and how much is just the particular author. There were definitely parts of the Three Body Problem series where I got the distinct feeling I was getting a glimpse into the mindset of someone with a whole different set of cultural touchstones from mine. But Kafka is just so darn weird.

    I've had a similar experience with the few Murakami books I've read ages ago. I failed to connect to most of it. While I think some of it is just lost in translation probably (and some is just Murakami being Murakami), there are very specific cultural references that I did not understand at all at the time, especially the whole Manchuria history

    ouxsemmi8rm9.png

  • BogartBogart Gonna Be A Man In Motion Registered User, Moderator mod
    After slogging through The Night Land, which is as thankless a task as I've ever completed, I needed a palate cleanser.

    Sharpe's Fury, which I picked up for 10p from a secondhand shop. Very much the same mixture as always, though I think the ones Cornwall retrospectively added into the series later (like this one) are a little less engaging by virtue of their needing to not impinge on existing continuity.

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