[Book] Thread Soon Will Be Making Another Run

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  • EddyEddy Gengar the Bittersweet Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    I burned through A Darker Shade of Magic in one rainy evening

    Honestly not bad but yeah... the world and characters were definitely a lot thinner than what I was led to believe. My local bookstore was pumping it up as the next Jonathan Strange and that was just an unfair comparison

    Eddy on
    “Even as a gengar she was lovely.” ― Ovid, Metamorphoses
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Book Thread! What books did you read last year (and which ones of them should I read :D) Best, worsts, favorites, unexpected cool shit, etc?

    My list below:
    Death's End, Cixin Liu
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Ranjaniemi
    Roadside Picnic, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
    The Slynx, Tatyana Tolstaya
    Shade's Children, Garth Nix
    Day of the Oprichnik, Vladimir Sorokin
    The Eye, Vladimir Nabokov
    The Stone Sky, N. K. Jemisin
    The Blizzard, Vladimir Sorokin
    Bro, Vladimir Sorokin
    Ice, Vladimir Sorokin
    23,000, Vladimir Sorokin
    Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susannah Clarke
    The Queue, Vladimir Sorokin
    The Fractal Prince, Hannu Ranjaniemi
    The Adolescent, Fyodor Dostoevsky
    The Causal Angel, Hannu Ranjaniemi
    Goodbye, Columbus, Philip Roth
    I Married A Communist, Philip Roth
    Wild Seed, Octavia Butler
    Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, Philip K Dick
    Borne, Jeff Vandermeer
    Outside Looking In, T.C. Boyle
    Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler
    Dawn, Octavia Butler
    Adulthood Rites, Octavia Butler
    Imago, Octavia Butler
    In Milton Lumky Territory, Philip K Dick
    The Divine Invasion, Philip K Dick
    No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy
    Dancing Girls (stories), Margaret Atwood
    Wilderness Tips (stories), Margaret Atwood
    Sabriel, Garth Nix
    Lirael, Garth Nix
    Abhorsen, Garth Nix
    Across the Wall (stories), Garth Nix
    Goldenhand, Garth Nix
    To Hold The Bridge (stories), Garth Nix
    The Killing Moon, NK Jemisin
    The Shadowed Sun, NK Jemisin

    Looking back, my major discovery this year is weird Russian author Vladimir Sorokin, who writes some incredible, absurd, surreal novels. Especially good drug aesthetic and people having strongly held bizarre worldviews, and also political/life satire.

    The worst book I read was the Dying Earth stories by Jack Vance. They're part of the canon so I thought I should, but ugh. They are not very interesting or interestingly written, and they have no characters, and the setting isn't too exciting either.

    The Quantum Thief books by Hannu Ranjaniemi are really fun far future action/heist books, and I found them super enjoyable. I'd only recommend them to people who already like scifi, but if you do like that kind of thing, they are engaging and fast paced and original.

    Probably the objectively best books I read were a whole slew of novels by Octavia Butler, whose writes exceedingly high quality, directly written, interesting, original, nuanced sci fi and fantasy.
    Ah yeah and No Country For Old men was also just objectively extremely well written and fun to read. Haven't seen the movie so I couldn't say how it compares, but if you like reading highly stylized stories about people murdering each other, it's really solid.

    Hmm 42 books; I assumed it would be less. I always try to aim for 52 and always fall kinda short cause I play too many video games. Well, also, looking at this list, I think only one of the books was long, so, that probably helped...

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    air-photos.tumblr.com
    Mahnmut
  • jakobaggerjakobagger LO THY DREAD EMPIRE CHAOS IS RESTORED Registered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    Book Thread! What books did you read last year (and which ones of them should I read :D) Best, worsts, favorites, unexpected cool shit, etc?

    My list below:
    Death's End, Cixin Liu
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Ranjaniemi
    Roadside Picnic, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
    The Slynx, Tatyana Tolstaya
    Shade's Children, Garth Nix
    Day of the Oprichnik, Vladimir Sorokin
    The Eye, Vladimir Nabokov
    The Stone Sky, N. K. Jemisin
    The Blizzard, Vladimir Sorokin
    Bro, Vladimir Sorokin
    Ice, Vladimir Sorokin
    23,000, Vladimir Sorokin
    Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susannah Clarke
    The Queue, Vladimir Sorokin
    The Fractal Prince, Hannu Ranjaniemi
    The Adolescent, Fyodor Dostoevsky
    The Causal Angel, Hannu Ranjaniemi
    Goodbye, Columbus, Philip Roth
    I Married A Communist, Philip Roth
    Wild Seed, Octavia Butler
    Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, Philip K Dick
    Borne, Jeff Vandermeer
    Outside Looking In, T.C. Boyle
    Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler
    Dawn, Octavia Butler
    Adulthood Rites, Octavia Butler
    Imago, Octavia Butler
    In Milton Lumky Territory, Philip K Dick
    The Divine Invasion, Philip K Dick
    No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy
    Dancing Girls (stories), Margaret Atwood
    Wilderness Tips (stories), Margaret Atwood
    Sabriel, Garth Nix
    Lirael, Garth Nix
    Abhorsen, Garth Nix
    Across the Wall (stories), Garth Nix
    Goldenhand, Garth Nix
    To Hold The Bridge (stories), Garth Nix
    The Killing Moon, NK Jemisin
    The Shadowed Sun, NK Jemisin

    Looking back, my major discovery this year is weird Russian author Vladimir Sorokin, who writes some incredible, absurd, surreal novels. Especially good drug aesthetic and people having strongly held bizarre worldviews, and also political/life satire.

    The worst book I read was the Dying Earth stories by Jack Vance. They're part of the canon so I thought I should, but ugh. They are not very interesting or interestingly written, and they have no characters, and the setting isn't too exciting either.

    The Quantum Thief books by Hannu Ranjaniemi are really fun far future action/heist books, and I found them super enjoyable. I'd only recommend them to people who already like scifi, but if you do like that kind of thing, they are engaging and fast paced and original.

    Probably the objectively best books I read were a whole slew of novels by Octavia Butler, whose writes exceedingly high quality, directly written, interesting, original, nuanced sci fi and fantasy.
    Ah yeah and No Country For Old men was also just objectively extremely well written and fun to read. Haven't seen the movie so I couldn't say how it compares, but if you like reading highly stylized stories about people murdering each other, it's really solid.

    Hmm 42 books; I assumed it would be less. I always try to aim for 52 and always fall kinda short cause I play too many video games. Well, also, looking at this list, I think only one of the books was long, so, that probably helped...

    Well, like half the books I read were stuff I saw you talking about here in this very thread, so I don't really have any recommendations I guess but thanks?

    Seems I might be reading some Octavia Butler next ;)

    Well, actually two books from this thread that I'm not sure you've read but might like are Uprooted and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. Both really, really good, both set in Gavriel Kay-style fantasy-history settings, and draw a lot of inspiration from folk fairy tales, though they're more remix than retelling.

    Uprooted takes place in fantasy Poland and is about a scary magic forest that feels like a hybrid between Tolkien and Annihilation kind of. Spinning Silver takes place in fantasy Lithuania and has very alien frost elves and a Jewish apprentice moneylender as one of its main characters in a story very concerned with deals, transactions, debt etc.

    credeiki
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    I think my favourite books last year were the Apollo Quartet, about which I raved enthusiastically in this thread.

    credeiki
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    jakobagger wrote: »
    credeiki wrote: »
    Book Thread! What books did you read last year (and which ones of them should I read :D) Best, worsts, favorites, unexpected cool shit, etc?

    My list below:
    Death's End, Cixin Liu
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Ranjaniemi
    Roadside Picnic, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
    The Slynx, Tatyana Tolstaya
    Shade's Children, Garth Nix
    Day of the Oprichnik, Vladimir Sorokin
    The Eye, Vladimir Nabokov
    The Stone Sky, N. K. Jemisin
    The Blizzard, Vladimir Sorokin
    Bro, Vladimir Sorokin
    Ice, Vladimir Sorokin
    23,000, Vladimir Sorokin
    Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susannah Clarke
    The Queue, Vladimir Sorokin
    The Fractal Prince, Hannu Ranjaniemi
    The Adolescent, Fyodor Dostoevsky
    The Causal Angel, Hannu Ranjaniemi
    Goodbye, Columbus, Philip Roth
    I Married A Communist, Philip Roth
    Wild Seed, Octavia Butler
    Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, Philip K Dick
    Borne, Jeff Vandermeer
    Outside Looking In, T.C. Boyle
    Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler
    Dawn, Octavia Butler
    Adulthood Rites, Octavia Butler
    Imago, Octavia Butler
    In Milton Lumky Territory, Philip K Dick
    The Divine Invasion, Philip K Dick
    No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy
    Dancing Girls (stories), Margaret Atwood
    Wilderness Tips (stories), Margaret Atwood
    Sabriel, Garth Nix
    Lirael, Garth Nix
    Abhorsen, Garth Nix
    Across the Wall (stories), Garth Nix
    Goldenhand, Garth Nix
    To Hold The Bridge (stories), Garth Nix
    The Killing Moon, NK Jemisin
    The Shadowed Sun, NK Jemisin

    Looking back, my major discovery this year is weird Russian author Vladimir Sorokin, who writes some incredible, absurd, surreal novels. Especially good drug aesthetic and people having strongly held bizarre worldviews, and also political/life satire.

    The worst book I read was the Dying Earth stories by Jack Vance. They're part of the canon so I thought I should, but ugh. They are not very interesting or interestingly written, and they have no characters, and the setting isn't too exciting either.

    The Quantum Thief books by Hannu Ranjaniemi are really fun far future action/heist books, and I found them super enjoyable. I'd only recommend them to people who already like scifi, but if you do like that kind of thing, they are engaging and fast paced and original.

    Probably the objectively best books I read were a whole slew of novels by Octavia Butler, whose writes exceedingly high quality, directly written, interesting, original, nuanced sci fi and fantasy.
    Ah yeah and No Country For Old men was also just objectively extremely well written and fun to read. Haven't seen the movie so I couldn't say how it compares, but if you like reading highly stylized stories about people murdering each other, it's really solid.

    Hmm 42 books; I assumed it would be less. I always try to aim for 52 and always fall kinda short cause I play too many video games. Well, also, looking at this list, I think only one of the books was long, so, that probably helped...

    Well, like half the books I read were stuff I saw you talking about here in this very thread, so I don't really have any recommendations I guess but thanks?

    Seems I might be reading some Octavia Butler next ;)

    Well, actually two books from this thread that I'm not sure you've read but might like are Uprooted and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. Both really, really good, both set in Gavriel Kay-style fantasy-history settings, and draw a lot of inspiration from folk fairy tales, though they're more remix than retelling.

    Uprooted takes place in fantasy Poland and is about a scary magic forest that feels like a hybrid between Tolkien and Annihilation kind of. Spinning Silver takes place in fantasy Lithuania and has very alien frost elves and a Jewish apprentice moneylender as one of its main characters in a story very concerned with deals, transactions, debt etc.

    oh yeah! I keep completely forgetting Spinning Silver is on my list, so that is a very useful recommendation. I will basically automatically try to read any decent-seeming genre books with jews in it :D I am going to place a request at the library today!

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    air-photos.tumblr.com
    jakobagger
  • ContentContextContentContext Registered User regular
    edited January 3
    My 2019 list:

    Fevre Dream, George R. R. Martin
    First Law trilogy, Joe Abercrombie
    A Little Hatred, Joe Abercrombie
    Stormlight Archive 1-3, Brandon Sanderson
    Book of the Ancestor trilogy, Mark Lawrence

    Not the most extensive selection, but my reading was largely relegated to commutes, as there were a lot of things competing for my free time. In addition to the overwhelming number shows to watch and games to play, I made a sincere attempt at writing(and illustrating) my own book, mostly as a means to force myself to improve as a visual artist. With an embarrassing amount of effort, I managed to cobble together a draft of an entire chapter, chock full of notes, that I've been sitting on for as long as it took me to write(too long).

    The books I read were largely research into the genre, to gain an understanding of what good modern fantasy looks like. They were helpful on that front, but the more important thing they did was help rekindle the love for reading I had in my youth. Despite how little I read last year, it's still more than I read in the previous five. This year promises even more improvement, especially since I recently quit Rocket League. It was a huge time sink(with a community that often made me lose hope for humanity), so its absence can be filled with more productive pursuits.

    Just started on The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin. Still early on, so not much to say, but I'm enjoying it.

    Edit: Almost forgot about the DNFs.

    Fire and Blood, George R. R. Martin. I've read almost everything in the ASoIaF universe, but this felt too much like a history book. I think my lack of enthusiasm was due to it just being an extended version of what was in the world book.

    Rage of Dragons, Evan Winter. I had too many problems with this, too early. Characters tried too hard to sound badass, the expository dialogue was clunky, and it tried to make me care about a place burning, without establishing why I should. This was just in the prologue and first couple of chapters, which is probably too soon to write it off. I initially stopped The First Law early on, because I hated the narration from Logen's perspective. Giving it another shot was well worth it. I'll try this one again, most likely when reviews for the next book in the series show up.

    ContentContext on
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    Co-worker recommened me Ninth House, which I briefly thought he had mixed up with Gideon the Ninth, but no, it's an urban fantasy book about how all the secret societies of Yale are actually occult practices and the protagonist is a traumatized high school dropout who can see ghosts and thus gets a free ride to said college and the administration of said secret societies because of her unique talent.

    I liked it up until I didn't, which is the most I can say without spoilers, which I'll go into here:
    I get that all mystery books feel the need to have a twist ending and want to not have the audience see the twist coming, but in this case I was like "Wait a second, was this audiobook I got abridged? I literally don't even remember this character showing up"

    Also, I think the book spent way too much time and words on Darlington to just use him as a sequel hook.

    That being said, I thought it was good for the most part, and I'll probably end up biting for the sequel.

    steam_sig.png
    Eddy
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    Finally finished Gideon the Ninth a few days ago, which was fun and fluffy but not nearly as metal as I was hoping. It felt like reading a fantasy reality show for a lot of the book, which was an odd tone.

    I'm rereading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which I read a decade ago, and I'm a little surprised by how stilted and formal the dialogue is. I remembered Dick's writing being more naturalistic than this. There is definitely some intentional alienation, especially considering the opening scene and its subject (manually controlling your emotions and mood), but there are some real clunkers in the opening pages. Still driven by some brilliant ideas, though.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • PailryderPailryder Registered User regular
    the most fun yet flawed book(s) i read last year were Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. Definitely enjoyed the setting even with the pulpy YA Romance Fiction stuff.

    Doodmann
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Finally finished Gideon the Ninth a few days ago, which was fun and fluffy but not nearly as metal as I was hoping. It felt like reading a fantasy reality show for a lot of the book, which was an odd tone.

    I'm rereading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which I read a decade ago, and I'm a little surprised by how stilted and formal the dialogue is. I remembered Dick's writing being more naturalistic than this. There is definitely some intentional alienation, especially considering the opening scene and its subject (manually controlling your emotions and mood), but there are some real clunkers in the opening pages. Still driven by some brilliant ideas, though.

    Some of his writing definitely is naturalistic; however his tone and style can vary hugely from book to book.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    air-photos.tumblr.com
  • EddyEddy Gengar the Bittersweet Registered User regular
    Ok ninth house sounds absurd and also I want it

    “Even as a gengar she was lovely.” ― Ovid, Metamorphoses
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    Just finished Do Androids Dream. I had forgotten how good Dick is at making consensus reality dissolve and reform and feel unstable. The level of abstraction and confusion and ambiguity in the last quarter of the novel is fascinating and disorienting.

    It's kind of a shame that Bladerunner decided to almost entirely invert the book and its most interesting ideas. But I can see why people might have thought the book would be impossible to adapt directly

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
    credeiki
  • KasynKasyn Registered User regular
    My 2019 list:

    Fevre Dream, George R. R. Martin
    First Law trilogy, Joe Abercrombie
    A Little Hatred, Joe Abercrombie
    Stormlight Archive 1-3, Brandon Sanderson
    Book of the Ancestor trilogy, Mark Lawrence

    Not the most extensive selection, but my reading was largely relegated to commutes, as there were a lot of things competing for my free time. In addition to the overwhelming number shows to watch and games to play, I made a sincere attempt at writing(and illustrating) my own book, mostly as a means to force myself to improve as a visual artist. With an embarrassing amount of effort, I managed to cobble together a draft of an entire chapter, chock full of notes, that I've been sitting on for as long as it took me to write(too long).

    The books I read were largely research into the genre, to gain an understanding of what good modern fantasy looks like. They were helpful on that front, but the more important thing they did was help rekindle the love for reading I had in my youth. Despite how little I read last year, it's still more than I read in the previous five. This year promises even more improvement, especially since I recently quit Rocket League. It was a huge time sink(with a community that often made me lose hope for humanity), so its absence can be filled with more productive pursuits.

    Just started on The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin. Still early on, so not much to say, but I'm enjoying it.

    Edit: Almost forgot about the DNFs.

    Fire and Blood, George R. R. Martin. I've read almost everything in the ASoIaF universe, but this felt too much like a history book. I think my lack of enthusiasm was due to it just being an extended version of what was in the world book.

    Rage of Dragons, Evan Winter. I had too many problems with this, too early. Characters tried too hard to sound badass, the expository dialogue was clunky, and it tried to make me care about a place burning, without establishing why I should. This was just in the prologue and first couple of chapters, which is probably too soon to write it off. I initially stopped The First Law early on, because I hated the narration from Logen's perspective. Giving it another shot was well worth it. I'll try this one again, most likely when reviews for the next book in the series show up.

    First Law trilogy is so good. First book in the sequel trilogy hasn't grabbed me yet, though.

    Just incredibly well done character work, though, I would put it against just about anything in fantasy. Also ridiculously consistent - I think I like each book slightly more than the last.

    Redcoat-13MegaMan001
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Remembered that a new The Expanse novel came out last year, finally getting around to reading. I get that people make dumb decisions all the time, and I feel like this decision is likely in character, but the stupidity of the decision is still very aggravating.

    "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
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Remembered that a new The Expanse novel came out last year, finally getting around to reading. I get that people make dumb decisions all the time, and I feel like this decision is likely in character, but the stupidity of the decision is still very aggravating.

    Which one? There were a couple of poor choices made in that book. I'm guessing you mean (Expanse spoilers for whatever the title of the last book was):
    Duarte deciding it's a great plan to play a game of brinksmanship/puppy-scolding with entities of unknown nature and intelligence about whom your only solid knowledge is that they:
    1) can break the laws of known physics apparently at-will
    2) already wiped out a species who were incomprehensibly more advanced than your own

    It did seem in keeping with his attitude as Space Dictator Supreme but was pretty fucking stupid any way you look at it.

    Unrelatedly: I just finished Fluency by Jennifer Wells. It was not great. The premise was strong (an early NASA discovered an alien ship lying dormant in the outer system and the whole space program was basically a cover for developing the tech necessary to go visit it) but then it devolves into people acting stupidly at length. I picked up the sequel hoping that maybe things would improve but so far no dice. May give up on it and go read This is How You Lose a Time War instead.

    People keep recommending The Three-Body Problem to me. It won a Hugo but then so did All the Birds in the Sky and I think that was one of the worst books I've read in recent memory. The amazon reviews lead me to suspect I won't like it but I'm still maybe willing to give it a go. Anybody read it to comment on whether the writing really is of middling quality and/or the central conceit is infuriatingly silly?

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • KamiroKamiro Registered User regular
    I'm back to reading books regularly. Instead of messing around with my phone during my work commute, I've been reading instead. As well as going to bed a little earlier and reading there as well.

    I had a big flurry of reading new books, but I quickly ran out of those and don't know what to read next so I've been reading my older books.

    New books I recently read that I've loved and want more:


    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
    The Wise Man's Fear, Patrick Rothfuss - I devoured these two in about a week and a half and was REALLY bummed that there weren't more. So much that I was really disappointed in the next book that I read. Not that it was bad, just that it wasn't as good
    The Consuming Fire, John Scalzi
    The Broken Earth Trilogy, NK Jemisin

    New books I read recently that I'm not sure how I feel about:

    The City of Brass, S. A. Chakraborty - I loved being exposed to a totally different mythology that I hadn't had much exposure to, but the book came out a bit flat to me

    Old books that I reread to pass the time:

    Forever War, Joe Haldeman
    Mindbridge, Joe Haldeman
    Falling Free, Lois McMaster Bujold

    Currently rereading:
    Wool Omnibus, Hugh Howey

    Definitely looking for some recommendations as it's becoming harder to pick a book in my current collection to reread as a lot of them are still pretty fresh in my mind.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Remembered that a new The Expanse novel came out last year, finally getting around to reading. I get that people make dumb decisions all the time, and I feel like this decision is likely in character, but the stupidity of the decision is still very aggravating.

    Which one? There were a couple of poor choices made in that book. I'm guessing you mean (Expanse spoilers for whatever the title of the last book was):
    Duarte deciding it's a great plan to play a game of brinksmanship/puppy-scolding with entities of unknown nature and intelligence about whom your only solid knowledge is that they:
    1) can break the laws of known physics apparently at-will
    2) already wiped out a species who were incomprehensibly more advanced than your own

    It did seem in keeping with his attitude as Space Dictator Supreme but was pretty fucking stupid any way you look at it.

    Unrelatedly: I just finished Fluency by Jennifer Wells. It was not great. The premise was strong (an early NASA discovered an alien ship lying dormant in the outer system and the whole space program was basically a cover for developing the tech necessary to go visit it) but then it devolves into people acting stupidly at length. I picked up the sequel hoping that maybe things would improve but so far no dice. May give up on it and go read This is How You Lose a Time War instead.

    People keep recommending The Three-Body Problem to me. It won a Hugo but then so did All the Birds in the Sky and I think that was one of the worst books I've read in recent memory. The amazon reviews lead me to suspect I won't like it but I'm still maybe willing to give it a go. Anybody read it to comment on whether the writing really is of middling quality and/or the central conceit is infuriatingly silly?

    Yeah.
    Like, Duarte is just assuming that the Dutchman effect is a result of someone intentionally snatching ships. How does he know its not just an aspect of the gates technology. Maybe the system just has a fucking limit?

    I mean, it does make sense that maybe there is something watching the gates and snatching anything over a certain energy level in an attempt to kill off the Protomolecule Creators, but there isn't really any evidence for it.

    Three Body Problem was written in Chinese, and I feel like the writing suffers a little from that. It also has some cultural differences in overall theme, intent, characterization. It wasn't my favorite, but I also really enjoyed reading something that was clearly written from a different perspective than anything else I had read.

    "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
    Kasyn
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Remembered that a new The Expanse novel came out last year, finally getting around to reading. I get that people make dumb decisions all the time, and I feel like this decision is likely in character, but the stupidity of the decision is still very aggravating.

    Which one? There were a couple of poor choices made in that book. I'm guessing you mean (Expanse spoilers for whatever the title of the last book was):
    Duarte deciding it's a great plan to play a game of brinksmanship/puppy-scolding with entities of unknown nature and intelligence about whom your only solid knowledge is that they:
    1) can break the laws of known physics apparently at-will
    2) already wiped out a species who were incomprehensibly more advanced than your own

    It did seem in keeping with his attitude as Space Dictator Supreme but was pretty fucking stupid any way you look at it.

    Unrelatedly: I just finished Fluency by Jennifer Wells. It was not great. The premise was strong (an early NASA discovered an alien ship lying dormant in the outer system and the whole space program was basically a cover for developing the tech necessary to go visit it) but then it devolves into people acting stupidly at length. I picked up the sequel hoping that maybe things would improve but so far no dice. May give up on it and go read This is How You Lose a Time War instead.

    People keep recommending The Three-Body Problem to me. It won a Hugo but then so did All the Birds in the Sky and I think that was one of the worst books I've read in recent memory. The amazon reviews lead me to suspect I won't like it but I'm still maybe willing to give it a go. Anybody read it to comment on whether the writing really is of middling quality and/or the central conceit is infuriatingly silly?

    Yeah.
    Like, Duarte is just assuming that the Dutchman effect is a result of someone intentionally snatching ships. How does he know its not just an aspect of the gates technology. Maybe the system just has a fucking limit?

    I mean, it does make sense that maybe there is something watching the gates and snatching anything over a certain energy level in an attempt to kill off the Protomolecule Creators, but there isn't really any evidence for it.

    Three Body Problem was written in Chinese, and I feel like the writing suffers a little from that. It also has some cultural differences in overall theme, intent, characterization. It wasn't my favorite, but I also really enjoyed reading something that was clearly written from a different perspective than anything else I had read.

    (More Expanse spoilers)
    Investigating whether the effect was a purposeful act on the part of the mysterious adversary makes sense to me. Assuming that Dutchman-vanishing a nuke will have a positive effect on the situation makes almost none. Like, I can see a line of reasoning which leads to that endpoint but it makes so many obviously-flawed assumptions that I think it would take the sort of person who sets themselves up as Eternal God Emperor of Humanity to follow them. In that way it worked for me while also annoying me but I'd have liked to see more than the one or two characters at least try to push back on the order.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • chrono_travellerchrono_traveller Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Remembered that a new The Expanse novel came out last year, finally getting around to reading. I get that people make dumb decisions all the time, and I feel like this decision is likely in character, but the stupidity of the decision is still very aggravating.

    Which one? There were a couple of poor choices made in that book. I'm guessing you mean (Expanse spoilers for whatever the title of the last book was):
    Duarte deciding it's a great plan to play a game of brinksmanship/puppy-scolding with entities of unknown nature and intelligence about whom your only solid knowledge is that they:
    1) can break the laws of known physics apparently at-will
    2) already wiped out a species who were incomprehensibly more advanced than your own

    It did seem in keeping with his attitude as Space Dictator Supreme but was pretty fucking stupid any way you look at it.

    Unrelatedly: I just finished Fluency by Jennifer Wells. It was not great. The premise was strong (an early NASA discovered an alien ship lying dormant in the outer system and the whole space program was basically a cover for developing the tech necessary to go visit it) but then it devolves into people acting stupidly at length. I picked up the sequel hoping that maybe things would improve but so far no dice. May give up on it and go read This is How You Lose a Time War instead.

    People keep recommending The Three-Body Problem to me. It won a Hugo but then so did All the Birds in the Sky and I think that was one of the worst books I've read in recent memory. The amazon reviews lead me to suspect I won't like it but I'm still maybe willing to give it a go. Anybody read it to comment on whether the writing really is of middling quality and/or the central conceit is infuriatingly silly?

    Yeah.
    Like, Duarte is just assuming that the Dutchman effect is a result of someone intentionally snatching ships. How does he know its not just an aspect of the gates technology. Maybe the system just has a fucking limit?

    I mean, it does make sense that maybe there is something watching the gates and snatching anything over a certain energy level in an attempt to kill off the Protomolecule Creators, but there isn't really any evidence for it.

    Three Body Problem was written in Chinese, and I feel like the writing suffers a little from that. It also has some cultural differences in overall theme, intent, characterization. It wasn't my favorite, but I also really enjoyed reading something that was clearly written from a different perspective than anything else I had read.

    Yeah, I feel that Three Body Problem had good ideas in it, but, and it is probably a mix of translation and the author's style, the prose just didn't work well for me. I liked it despite its short comings, but felt the sequel just was worse all around and couldn't get through the second book.

    And about Tiamat's Wrath
    Yeah, the whole section read kind of like "I just read about the prisoner's dilemma and thought tit-for-tat was a neat idea and want to explain it to you", but there is a lot of assumptions there that seem like they are really big red flags how bad of an idea that was. But I could figure that maybe its part of the protomolecule tech thats taking over Duarte's brain and maybe that's how they thought? Its a stretch, but I don't know. It could be that the protomolecule makers had felt like they were "masters of the universe" for so long that when they encountered this new threat, they approached it very much like a game before they realized it had the power to kill them.

    I would say that in general, no matter how technologically advanced a civilization is, it doesn't necessarily mean that their thinking or approach to new problems is necessarily better.

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

    George R. R. Martin is not your bitch. ~ Neil Gaiman
  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Remembered that a new The Expanse novel came out last year, finally getting around to reading. I get that people make dumb decisions all the time, and I feel like this decision is likely in character, but the stupidity of the decision is still very aggravating.

    Which one? There were a couple of poor choices made in that book. I'm guessing you mean (Expanse spoilers for whatever the title of the last book was):
    Duarte deciding it's a great plan to play a game of brinksmanship/puppy-scolding with entities of unknown nature and intelligence about whom your only solid knowledge is that they:
    1) can break the laws of known physics apparently at-will
    2) already wiped out a species who were incomprehensibly more advanced than your own

    It did seem in keeping with his attitude as Space Dictator Supreme but was pretty fucking stupid any way you look at it.

    Unrelatedly: I just finished Fluency by Jennifer Wells. It was not great. The premise was strong (an early NASA discovered an alien ship lying dormant in the outer system and the whole space program was basically a cover for developing the tech necessary to go visit it) but then it devolves into people acting stupidly at length. I picked up the sequel hoping that maybe things would improve but so far no dice. May give up on it and go read This is How You Lose a Time War instead.

    People keep recommending The Three-Body Problem to me. It won a Hugo but then so did All the Birds in the Sky and I think that was one of the worst books I've read in recent memory. The amazon reviews lead me to suspect I won't like it but I'm still maybe willing to give it a go. Anybody read it to comment on whether the writing really is of middling quality and/or the central conceit is infuriatingly silly?
    I honestly understand the "puppy scolding" but dear god you have not had this tech for even a century yet build up your resources and stockpile and learn as much as you can before just kicking the hornets nest. He was like okay I have a small fleet and a handful of big super ships yup this is clearly sufficient to defeat any response from whatever killed the protomolecule culture that spanned thousands of worlds. That said there is something to be said for now that people are going through the gates rapid fire and some ships are already being eaten sooner rather than later you are going to get fully noticed anyway so do it on your own terms.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    I'm about halfway through, and I love the line "This was the problem with thousand-year Reichs. They came and went like fireflies."

    "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
  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Remembered that a new The Expanse novel came out last year, finally getting around to reading. I get that people make dumb decisions all the time, and I feel like this decision is likely in character, but the stupidity of the decision is still very aggravating.

    Which one? There were a couple of poor choices made in that book. I'm guessing you mean (Expanse spoilers for whatever the title of the last book was):
    Duarte deciding it's a great plan to play a game of brinksmanship/puppy-scolding with entities of unknown nature and intelligence about whom your only solid knowledge is that they:
    1) can break the laws of known physics apparently at-will
    2) already wiped out a species who were incomprehensibly more advanced than your own

    It did seem in keeping with his attitude as Space Dictator Supreme but was pretty fucking stupid any way you look at it.

    Unrelatedly: I just finished Fluency by Jennifer Wells. It was not great. The premise was strong (an early NASA discovered an alien ship lying dormant in the outer system and the whole space program was basically a cover for developing the tech necessary to go visit it) but then it devolves into people acting stupidly at length. I picked up the sequel hoping that maybe things would improve but so far no dice. May give up on it and go read This is How You Lose a Time War instead.

    People keep recommending The Three-Body Problem to me. It won a Hugo but then so did All the Birds in the Sky and I think that was one of the worst books I've read in recent memory. The amazon reviews lead me to suspect I won't like it but I'm still maybe willing to give it a go. Anybody read it to comment on whether the writing really is of middling quality and/or the central conceit is infuriatingly silly?

    Yeah.
    Like, Duarte is just assuming that the Dutchman effect is a result of someone intentionally snatching ships. How does he know its not just an aspect of the gates technology. Maybe the system just has a fucking limit?

    I mean, it does make sense that maybe there is something watching the gates and snatching anything over a certain energy level in an attempt to kill off the Protomolecule Creators, but there isn't really any evidence for it.

    Three Body Problem was written in Chinese, and I feel like the writing suffers a little from that. It also has some cultural differences in overall theme, intent, characterization. It wasn't my favorite, but I also really enjoyed reading something that was clearly written from a different perspective than anything else I had read.
    he didn't know that was the whole point of the tests. He wanted to test if it was just some phenomenon of the gate tech or if there was some actual intent in the grabbing of ships. The problem is the way he did it means you have to do something that if there is intent you need to do something big to prove it. And in proving it you just slapped god knows what in the face a force already proven capable of wiping out a civilization way more advanced than earth.

  • DrovekDrovek Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Remembered that a new The Expanse novel came out last year, finally getting around to reading. I get that people make dumb decisions all the time, and I feel like this decision is likely in character, but the stupidity of the decision is still very aggravating.

    Which one? There were a couple of poor choices made in that book. I'm guessing you mean (Expanse spoilers for whatever the title of the last book was):
    Duarte deciding it's a great plan to play a game of brinksmanship/puppy-scolding with entities of unknown nature and intelligence about whom your only solid knowledge is that they:
    1) can break the laws of known physics apparently at-will
    2) already wiped out a species who were incomprehensibly more advanced than your own

    It did seem in keeping with his attitude as Space Dictator Supreme but was pretty fucking stupid any way you look at it.

    Unrelatedly: I just finished Fluency by Jennifer Wells. It was not great. The premise was strong (an early NASA discovered an alien ship lying dormant in the outer system and the whole space program was basically a cover for developing the tech necessary to go visit it) but then it devolves into people acting stupidly at length. I picked up the sequel hoping that maybe things would improve but so far no dice. May give up on it and go read This is How You Lose a Time War instead.

    People keep recommending The Three-Body Problem to me. It won a Hugo but then so did All the Birds in the Sky and I think that was one of the worst books I've read in recent memory. The amazon reviews lead me to suspect I won't like it but I'm still maybe willing to give it a go. Anybody read it to comment on whether the writing really is of middling quality and/or the central conceit is infuriatingly silly?

    Yeah.
    Like, Duarte is just assuming that the Dutchman effect is a result of someone intentionally snatching ships. How does he know its not just an aspect of the gates technology. Maybe the system just has a fucking limit?

    I mean, it does make sense that maybe there is something watching the gates and snatching anything over a certain energy level in an attempt to kill off the Protomolecule Creators, but there isn't really any evidence for it.

    Three Body Problem was written in Chinese, and I feel like the writing suffers a little from that. It also has some cultural differences in overall theme, intent, characterization. It wasn't my favorite, but I also really enjoyed reading something that was clearly written from a different perspective than anything else I had read.

    Yeah, I feel that Three Body Problem had good ideas in it, but, and it is probably a mix of translation and the author's style, the prose just didn't work well for me. I liked it despite its short comings, but felt the sequel just was worse all around and couldn't get through the second book.

    And about Tiamat's Wrath
    Yeah, the whole section read kind of like "I just read about the prisoner's dilemma and thought tit-for-tat was a neat idea and want to explain it to you", but there is a lot of assumptions there that seem like they are really big red flags how bad of an idea that was. But I could figure that maybe its part of the protomolecule tech thats taking over Duarte's brain and maybe that's how they thought? Its a stretch, but I don't know. It could be that the protomolecule makers had felt like they were "masters of the universe" for so long that when they encountered this new threat, they approached it very much like a game before they realized it had the power to kill them.

    I would say that in general, no matter how technologically advanced a civilization is, it doesn't necessarily mean that their thinking or approach to new problems is necessarily better.

    I enjoyed Three-Body and even Ball Lightning. This year I started reading The Dark Forest but I kind of got tired of it. I am looking forward to coming back to it with a bit fresher eyes later this year, but for now I just got started on Caliban's War and that grabbed me pretty quickly in comparison.

    steam_sig.png
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Finished Tiamat's Wrath. I enjoyed it, wish the next one was available to read.
    I don't feel like it was too much the authors trying to be "Hey, I just read about the prisoner's dilemma", as Elvi did a pretty good job arguing against it from the beginning. Like I said, the behavior matched Duarte's past behavior pretty much perfectly, it was just a really bad idea, and he was too full of himself to accept criticism.

    "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
  • knitdanknitdan Oh no Too much hornyRegistered User regular
    edited January 11
    @Kamiro if you liked the Rothfuss books, there’s a novella he wrote called The Slow Regard of Silent Things

    The protagonist is Auri and it’s set sometime during Kvothe’s time at the University

    If you like Hugh Howey he also wrote a good little novel called Beacon 23.

    knitdan on
    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
    A Dabble Of TheloniusKamiro
  • PailryderPailryder Registered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    @Kamiro if you liked the Rothfuss books, there’s a novella he wrote called The Slow Regard of Silent Things

    The protagonist is Auri and it’s set sometime during Kvothe’s time at the University

    If you like Hugh Howey he also wrote a good little novel called Beacon 23.

    i really really liked wool, the follow ups, not quite as much. i will definitely have to give Beacon 23 a shot.

    A Dabble Of Thelonius
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo Like a bad lobster in a dark cellar Registered User regular
    edited January 15
    Because I hate myself I read all of Seven Eves.

    I suspect Neal Stephenson somehow convinced his publisher he didn't need an editor because that 1100 page beast probably had 700 pages of fat to be cut out.

    There is probably a good novel in there based on the last section if you used the second as some kind of flashbacks throughout. The first could have just been replaced with "OH NO, THE MOON DONE EXPLODED!"

    Mojo_Jojo on
    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
    PailryderCptHamilton
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    There are definitely bits that should have been chopped. I think at the time they wanted to make an MMO sequel, a tv show of the book, all sorts of things, and that supported the bloat. Also, Stephenson can't end a novel to save his life.

    "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
    LeumasWhite
  • SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment Today we will paint a mountain that owes us nothing. Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Because I hate myself I read all of Seven Eves.

    I suspect Neal Stephenson somehow convinced his publisher he didn't need an editor because that 1100 page beast probably had 700 pages of fat to be cut out.

    There is probably a good novel in there based on the last section of you used the second as some kind of flashbacks throughout. The first could have just been replaced with "OH NO, THE MOON DONE EXPLODED!"

    I felt even more so about FALL (or Dodge in Hell)

    Or maybe that's not the right way to describe it; he just didn't write the book I wanted

    I wanted another 2/3rds of the first 1/3rd

    tERiPJd.jpg
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Seveneves had two interesting possible stories connected with SOME MAGIC BULLSHIT HAPPENS. You get most of the first story and just a peek at the second.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    Just finished Ted Chiang's Exhalation. That is a really fine collection of stories. His writing is so clean and direct. I also really appreciate that, although his philosophy seems pretty squarely classic humanist stuff, he plays around a lot with other ideas and approaches similar concepts from multiple angles.

    I've been doing some short story writing with a group lately and this is exactly the kind of stuff I've been aiming for. It's really inspiring to see it executed so ideally.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
    Aioua
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited January 15
    I had a hard time with suspension of disbelief in Seveneves, that the situation as set up by the end of the second part was actually in any way survivable. It just reached indy getting nuked in a fridge levels to me.

    Especially since none of the hard parts were really explained or shown. It was basically
    A series of disasters eliminates all of humanity but a handful of women trapped in a space station held together by duct tape and bubblegum —-> ???? (Some handwavey bullshit involving genetics and robots) —-> Future Space People

    Jealous Deva on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 15
    Currently reading Chuck Wendig's Wanderers. Its good, really close to a modern re-imagining of The Stand though. The political stuff is a little on the nose. He barely bothers to shave the serial numbers off some of the stuff there.

    Still fun breezy reading for such a massive tome.

    nexuscrawler on
    Maguano
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    I had a hard time with suspension of disbelief in Seveneves, that the situation as set up by the end of the second part was actually in any way survivable. It just reached indy getting nuked in a fridge levels to me.

    Especially since none of the hard parts were really explained or shown. It was basically
    A series of disasters eliminates all of humanity but a handful of women trapped in a space station held together by duct tape and bubblegum —-> ???? (Some handwavey bullshit involving genetics and robots) —-> Future Space People

    So it is Sci-Fi so I'm more willing to let some of the silly science bullshit go but the human elements kill it for me.
    The crazy cannibal revolutionary murderess lady being around and having a fuck ton of children? Yeah, no. She gets fucking spaced. There is no way they can ever trust her, they only have six people! Do they devote 17% of their labor resources to constantly watching this murderer? She doesn't repent or even acknowledge that maybe she was wrong to lead a no-nothing revolution and murder like some double digit percentage of the human population.

    CptHamilton
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    I'm way behind on reading the bi-monthly magazine of SF short stories I get, and have just started the issues that came out in 2016. Oh what an innocent world!

    Well, not that innocent, as issue 262 has a story about poor people selling memories for the rich to enjoy and copyright, meaning any re-occurrence of the seized memory (usually in dreams) alerts the company that a copyright violation has taken place. Also a fine Ian Sales short about an unknowable alien artifact.

    I will finally get around to reading David Mitchell's Ghostwritten next. I think.

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited January 15
    I had a hard time with suspension of disbelief in Seveneves, that the situation as set up by the end of the second part was actually in any way survivable. It just reached indy getting nuked in a fridge levels to me.

    Especially since none of the hard parts were really explained or shown. It was basically
    A series of disasters eliminates all of humanity but a handful of women trapped in a space station held together by duct tape and bubblegum —-> ???? (Some handwavey bullshit involving genetics and robots) —-> Future Space People

    So it is Sci-Fi so I'm more willing to let some of the silly science bullshit go but the human elements kill it for me.
    The crazy cannibal revolutionary murderess lady being around and having a fuck ton of children? Yeah, no. She gets fucking spaced. There is no way they can ever trust her, they only have six people! Do they devote 17% of their labor resources to constantly watching this murderer? She doesn't repent or even acknowledge that maybe she was wrong to lead a no-nothing revolution and murder like some double digit percentage of the human population.
    I don’t know I can see keeping her genetics, at that small a population it would be pretty significant to have an extra set of genes to work with... but I think they would have probably taken her eggs/stem cells/etc and spaced her, yeah. The whole seven races thing is crazy anyway, you’d want as much sexual reproduction for diversity as possible, segregating everyone into castes based on ancestry is about the worst thing you could do genetically even if you have the technology to eliminate harmful recessives (which at least for the first years the technology to eliminate mutant or disabled babies resulting from inbreeding or failed genetic experiments would probably involve an airlock).

    Jealous Deva on
    DevoutlyApatheticBlackDragon480
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo Like a bad lobster in a dark cellar Registered User regular
    Somebody here recommended The Migration. I'm going to say it was Bogart.

    I'm only a few chapters in but it's excellent so far. It's like a lost John Wyndham novel

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
    Bogart
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Somebody here recommended The Migration. I'm going to say it was Bogart.

    I'm only a few chapters in but it's excellent so far. It's like a lost John Wyndham novel

    It was me, and yes it feels exactly like the sort of thing Wyndham would have written if he'd maybe experimented with LSD a little more.

    I have a book of her short stories around here somewhere as well that I need to get around to.

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    I've been a Stephenson fan forever but I feel like he's really gone downhill over the years. He used to get caught up in an idea and cram it into a decent story and the ideas used to be fairly broad ('nanotechnology', for example, in Diamond Age, or 'cryptography' in Cryptonomicon). Since Anathem every book has felt like the ideas are much smaller and more obvious while the supporting story is weaker and thinner. And you can clearly see where, in the process of writing some of his more recent novels, he either lost interest in one topic and moved on to another or else ran out of ideas about the first one. You could chop up Seveneves, Reamde, or Fall into distinct chunks according to "thing characters talk about for pages at a time" and anything from the previous chunk is largely forgotten.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
    Mojo_JojoDoodmann
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