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[Book]: Rhymes With

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    I did not enjoy A Deadly Education but I did it by audio book and a mediocre book dies on the vine in that format.

  • BogartBogart Gonna Be A Man In Motion Registered User, Moderator mod
    The Dragon Waiting, by John Ford. So far it’s well written, and his absolute command of the period is impressive. Good stuff.

    V1m
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    I finished Black Sun. It just kinda ends? It’s clearly “first book in a series” territory here. It was solidly okay, but I felt like there were just too many moving pieces elbowing for room with the world building. I dunno if I am compelled to read more of it with how the characters end up by the final chapter.

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    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudDevoutlyApatheticShadowhope
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I finished Black Sun. It just kinda ends? It’s clearly “first book in a series” territory here. It was solidly okay, but I felt like there were just too many moving pieces elbowing for room with the world building. I dunno if I am compelled to read more of it with how the characters end up by the final chapter.
    I'm still perplexed as to why it got a Hugo nom. It is supremely middle of the road.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I finished Black Sun. It just kinda ends? It’s clearly “first book in a series” territory here. It was solidly okay, but I felt like there were just too many moving pieces elbowing for room with the world building. I dunno if I am compelled to read more of it with how the characters end up by the final chapter.
    I'm still perplexed as to why it got a Hugo nom. It is supremely middle of the road.

    There is potential in the setting. I also think there is a lot of pent up desire for pre-columbus American culture inspired fantasy. It is firmly in the half of the Hugo list that is "Uh, sure" for me this year. Not bad, just it would have to be a pretty weak year for those to really take best novel.

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    I did not enjoy A Deadly Education but I did it by audio book and a mediocre book dies on the vine in that format.

    I just finished it up in book form and it is weird as shit. It was fun though, I liked it.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited September 25
    Continuing my Hugo 2021 reads, I finished “The City We Became” by N K Jemisen, and good lord, it is a fantastic book. I love the central conceit, the worldbuilding around it, the reveal of the mysterious Enemy (which was cleverly foreshadowed), a whole lot of the prose and humor, and the accurate (and unfortunate) modern look at online hate groups. I think my one complaint is that I was expecting more of a big knockdown, drag out fight at the end, but she gave us basically a kaiju fight at the beginning, so I’m not too disappointed. I am excited to see where this series is going to go next.

    EDIT: I guess I also wish Math Girl had more to do, because that would have been cool.

    One more book to go, and that’s the Lady Astronaut book (a series that I haven’t read yet).

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  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    I did it. I finished the Miles Cameron Red Knight series

    It's never bad, but there's no real resolution of anything which is a strange writing choice. It felt at times like the author might have been using D&D random event decks too. Big events occur off camera and then aren't really referred back to. Maybe there's some novellas that hold it together?

    That said, if you like very detailed descriptions about armour, big casts with very similar names that sometimes make it ambiguous if the subject is a horse or a knight, and some half explored concepts then you can do worse

    Actually, nobody should do what I did and stick with this for who knows how many thousand pages. I only did because I assumed something would pay off on one of the big mysteries.

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    htmSolomaxwell6Asthariel
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Continuing my Hugo 2021 reads, I finished “The City We Became” by N K Jemisen, and good lord, it is a fantastic book. I love the central conceit, the worldbuilding around it, the reveal of the mysterious Enemy (which was cleverly foreshadowed), a whole lot of the prose and humor, and the accurate (and unfortunate) modern look at online hate groups. I think my one complaint is that I was expecting more of a big knockdown, drag out fight at the end, but she gave us basically a kaiju fight at the beginning, so I’m not too disappointed. I am excited to see where this series is going to go next.

    EDIT: I guess I also wish Math Girl had more to do, because that would have been cool.

    One more book to go, and that’s the Lady Astronaut book (a series that I haven’t read yet).

    I'm real annoyed that "The City We Became" is so damn good since it bodes ill for my beloved Harrow's chances. Unfortunately it is so damn good that I can't really bring myself to be upset by this. Jemisen is a really good author.

    The Lady Astronaut series is pretty far along. While the one up for a Hugo this year has a different POV than the previous books it still has like twenty years of alternate history it is building off of. I'm not sure how accessible it will be cold. You might want to consult a quality wiki. (The story stands by itself and is among the most enjoyable of that series to me.)

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  • Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    I did it. I finished the Miles Cameron Red Knight series

    It's never bad, but there's no real resolution of anything which is a strange writing choice. It felt at times like the author might have been using D&D random event decks too. Big events occur off camera and then aren't really referred back to. Maybe there's some novellas that hold it together?

    That said, if you like very detailed descriptions about armour, big casts with very similar names that sometimes make it ambiguous if the subject is a horse or a knight, and some half explored concepts then you can do worse

    Actually, nobody should do what I did and stick with this for who knows how many thousand pages. I only did because I assumed something would pay off on one of the big mysteries.

    I've read it, too. Wasn't really a fan.

    I did think it was kind of funny how terribly edited the first few books were, and then those mistakes were kind of explained away in the later book. Like, one character is killed and then suddenly reappears later, but in the final book he makes an offhand comment "oh yeah I used to have a magic talisman that would heal all my injuries, but one time I died and it had to use up all its magic to bring me back to life".

    dennisMojo_Jojo
  • AutomautocratesAutomautocrates Registered User regular
    I'd be more than a little sad if Harrow loses out this time around. I think The City We Became has a lot of potential as a series and I look forward to the second book, but I'd really like to see Tamsyn Muir take that award home. I still wish they had gotten it for Gideon, which I think is a little stronger than Harrow(depending on the weather).

    Sadly I have been working my ass off all month and reading time has been zilch. I did manage to finish The Empress of Salt and Fortune. I thought it was rather delightful and, as often is the case with these things, I wish it were longer. Really enjoying the world/mythology that is being crafted in the background of the story. It doesnt waste a whole lot of time letting you in. I picked up When The Tiger Came Down The Mountain immediately after but I haven't had time to dig in yet.

    Also learned that Time Pressure by Spider Robinson, which I found, is technically a sequel to Mind Killer and so I have to get that first. Whoops.

    The dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of the pleasant falsehoods which men repeat after one another till they pass into commonplaces, but which all experience refutes.
    -John Stuart Mill
    Antoshka
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    A mere 3 1/2 years late to the party, I just finished ‘The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ and holy crap what a book! Time loop/Quantum Leap/Agatha Christie. How you plot something like that out is truly gob smacking. I spent the whole book wondering how a single human brain can pull this all together, and since finishing and reading some author interviews the answer seems to be a solid three years graft and turning your house into a Pepe Silvia board.

    A proper amazing book. Strong recommend to all.

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    dennisMahnmutLeumasWhite
  • AntoshkaAntoshka Miauen Oil Change LazarusRegistered User regular
    Well, I started & finished The Last Graduate tonight - it's fairly enjoyable, though it progresses along a fairly predictable path.

    Serious, real spoilers, though:
    Not Kidding
    Actually, not kidding
    I didn't actually think Novik could find a way to top the ending of the first, and yet here we are. I was actually impressed.

    n57PM0C.jpg
  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Antoshka wrote: »
    Well, I started & finished The Last Graduate tonight - it's fairly enjoyable, though it progresses along a fairly predictable path.

    Serious, real spoilers, though:
    Not Kidding
    Actually, not kidding
    I didn't actually think Novik could find a way to top the ending of the first, and yet here we are. I was actually impressed.
    the fact that Amazon is saying it's book 2 of 2 when I would swear there's a third one coming is giving me conniptions

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Currently reading A Lush and Seething Hell by John Jacobs. It's interesting but I don't know if it's good. It's two unrelated novellas but both use a framing device of telling the more interesting story as a journal/memoire being read by someone in a less interesting story. I'm only part way through the second one but the first one felt like the author had a lot of ideas and no clear way of stringing them together into a narrative so stuff happens and then more stuff happens and everyone seems more motivated by justifying the plot than anything internal.

    Recently finished The Breach by Nick Cutter, which was definitely not good. Unless you're just super into body horror and jonesing for something to read I wouldn't recommend it. Weirdly, though, a bunch of the non-body-horror elements seemed incredibly familiar, like I'd read a condensed version of the story or a very similar short story or something before but I can't place the source of that familiarity.

    Listened to Nicholas Sainsbury Smith's Helldivers 8: King of the Wastes. I had very low expectations going in. The first 7 were dumb, cheesy pulp but I like RC Bray's audiobook narration and I can put up with a lot of stupid and bad writing in an audiobook as long as it's fun. This one was not up to that low bar. I guess it's not surprising, 8 books into a series that felt like it should have ended at least three times already, but it felt like the author ran out of ideas and was just trying to fill up pages.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    I loved Lush and Seething Hell.

    It was all about tone the plot is pretty ambiguous

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    I loved Lush and Seething Hell.

    It was all about tone the plot is pretty ambiguous

    Yeah, I can see it being enjoyable for that. I'm just not capable of enjoying reading purely for the prose or the tone. If the story doesn't actually drive the car I'm not going to enjoy the ride.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    I mean its Lovecraftian. Plot was never the genre's strong suit

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    I mean its Lovecraftian. Plot was never the genre's strong suit

    Eh. Lovecraft wasn't a good writer so really the only strong suites of his work were ideas and racism. There's plenty of post-Lovecraft cosmic horror that's got solid characters, a strong plot, or both. Lovecraft Country, for example.

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    V1m
  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    I mean its Lovecraftian. Plot was never the genre's strong suit

    Eh. Lovecraft wasn't a good writer so really the only strong suites of his work were ideas and racism. There's plenty of post-Lovecraft cosmic horror that's got solid characters, a strong plot, or both. Lovecraft Country, for example.

    Can you give an idea of some of your favorite plots, without too much spoilers? I kind of agree with nexuscrawler in that the Lovecraftian genre is all about unknowable gods that would make you go crazy coming anywhere close to understanding them. At least, as it was established by Lovecraft (who are all those things you said). It's kind of a dead-end, plot wise. But I can see modifying the genre into something else so you could have stronger plots. But it would seem more of a move away from the original genre. Not that this is a problem but I'm just curious. I assume a lot of it is by taking the focus off the big elder gods/races and focusing it more on the smaller scale, human (for some value of human) players.

    Or I suppose just using the mythos as somewhat of a set dressing, like in the first Hellboy movie.

  • BogartBogart Gonna Be A Man In Motion Registered User, Moderator mod
    Alan Moore's Providence series is maybe the biggest swing at encompassing the Lovecraftian mythos I've read. It draws in threads from all over and is reaching towards some kind of apotheosis for the whole cycle.

    At The Mountains Of Madness is probably the most coherent longer Lovecraft story in terms of plot.

    Honestly I think most of my favourite Lovecraft stuff (by him or anyone else) is at short story length: a single idea covered well, not much plot required.

    KaputaShadowhope
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    I mean its Lovecraftian. Plot was never the genre's strong suit

    Eh. Lovecraft wasn't a good writer so really the only strong suites of his work were ideas and racism. There's plenty of post-Lovecraft cosmic horror that's got solid characters, a strong plot, or both. Lovecraft Country, for example.

    Can you give an idea of some of your favorite plots, without too much spoilers? I kind of agree with nexuscrawler in that the Lovecraftian genre is all about unknowable gods that would make you go crazy coming anywhere close to understanding them. At least, as it was established by Lovecraft (who are all those things you said). It's kind of a dead-end, plot wise. But I can see modifying the genre into something else so you could have stronger plots. But it would seem more of a move away from the original genre. Not that this is a problem but I'm just curious. I assume a lot of it is by taking the focus off the big elder gods/races and focusing it more on the smaller scale, human (for some value of human) players.

    Or I suppose just using the mythos as somewhat of a set dressing, like in the first Hellboy movie.

    Yeah, generally the "mythos as set dressing" is my preference. Which is a lot of what Lovecraft and his peers wrote as well. Most of the mythos stories aren't about elder gods and unknowably alien entities. They're about normal people running up against the weird and ineffable and about half the time it ends with someone getting shot. Hell, Call of Cthulhu has an appearance by the big, mind-rending, tentacley one itself and he gets rammed in the face by a boat and goes back to sleep.

    I prefer stuff like Lovecraft Country, or Stross' Laundry Files (the early books, at least) or Hellboy or The Rook by O'Malley. A lot of Stephen King stories are also about humans encountering otherworldly, incomprehensible things - IT, for example, or Insomnia. Stories where someone brushes up against horror and either has to deal with the fallout or find a way to stop it, rather than stories where someone brushes up against horror and then the plot just dissolves into psychedelic imagery and dream logic.

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    dennis
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Its the Catch-22 of the genre really. Once you tell too much it's no longer cosmic horror.

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited September 30
    I'm about halfway through "The Relentless Moon". I haven't read the rest of the series, but I've read an outline of what the series is about and the main timeline events. It's a very brisk read. The chapters are short, and the scenes are punchy. Clearly, it is meant to tie into events and characters from the other novels, but it's not hard to follow and so far it's working well as a standalone. It's more along a "mystery thriller" vein currently, set in an alt history that is more of window dressing than anything (probably more important in the other novels, I'm guessing). Still, it's pretty enjoyable so far... I'm not bored, and I like the rapid pacing of the chapters.

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  • BogartBogart Gonna Be A Man In Motion Registered User, Moderator mod
    The Dragon Waiting was excellent. Smart, well written stuff. I can see why it won the World Fantasy Award way back when.

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    I finished "The Relentless Moon". Yay! That finishes up my novel reading for the 2021 Hugo Awards. I still think "The City We Became" or "Harrow the Ninth" would be my pick, but I found the novel to be brisk and fun reading. The short chapters help (good lord, there are 52 of them?), and the prose is economical instead of weighty, with just enough jargon to give you the feel of a 1960s space program. There were some nice parallels in the post-epilogue text talking about the author's research into polio and how that reflected forward in how she treated COVID-19 IRL.

    Now I've read through all of the novels, novellas, novelettes, and short stories. I guess now I can start on the best series nominees? Of the current nominees, I've only read the entirety of Murderbot Diaries. This is the first book I've read in the Lady Astronaut series, and I'll probably read more of them. The other ones (S. A. Chakraborty "The Daevabad Trilogy", John Scalzi "The Interdependency", Seanan McGuire "The October Daye Series", R. F. Kuang "The Poppy War") are now on my reading list (especially since most of them are in the Hugo packet this year).

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  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    edited October 5
    Hey the free Tor ebook this month is Gideon the Ninth

    (Available till oct 9 I think)

    https://ebookclub.tor.com/

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    The Stone Man by Luke Smitherd is a terrible sci-fi novel but a pretty good thriller. There aren't a ton of books I read where I think, "This would make a really good movie" but I think this one would. The story is straight-forward enough and paced fast enough that I think you could do it in 90 minutes. I'm not really sure if that speaks well for the book or poorly? I guess as a thriller it's a good thing. My only big gripe with it is that the narrator is a huge asshole but I guess not every narrator needs to be a good person.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited October 7
    I'm reading another collection Ted Chiang short stories while waiting for stuff at work to deploy, and it's real good. Like, everything that I love about science fiction is just distilled in his writing. I read Exhalation, which is a story written from the perspective of a robot writer in a civilization that exists entirely in a pressurized argon bubble, written for an audience of a future civilization as a plea to remember them and celebrate their existence when they are long gone. There's another story about a steampunk robot nanny, written like a brief history article or wikipedia article about an inventor trying to raise a child with a robot nanny, with many fun details and prose that makes it seem like a PBS special or Smithsonian exhibit. Another is probably a story that they ripped off for Black Mirror, talking about technology that can record your entire life and search for specific events quickly, so that you have instant (if artificial) recall, but it's interspersed with a story about a colonizing missionary in the mid-20th century (I thought it was 19th, but there's a portion of the story that says 1940s?) who is teaching an indigenous child how to read and write, and the parallels between the two stories are excellent.

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  • BogartBogart Gonna Be A Man In Motion Registered User, Moderator mod
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    I prefer stuff like Lovecraft Country, or Stross' Laundry Files (the early books, at least) or Hellboy or The Rook by O'Malley. A lot of Stephen King stories are also about humans encountering otherworldly, incomprehensible things - IT, for example, or Insomnia. Stories where someone brushes up against horror and either has to deal with the fallout or find a way to stop it, rather than stories where someone brushes up against horror and then the plot just dissolves into psychedelic imagery and dream logic.

    You should read Declare by Tim Powers. It’s like John Le Carré (or maybe Len Deighton) had an eldritch horror nightmare and integrated that into the plot of a perfectly crafted historically accurate Cold War spy novel he had already mostly written.

    jakobagger
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    htm wrote: »
    I prefer stuff like Lovecraft Country, or Stross' Laundry Files (the early books, at least) or Hellboy or The Rook by O'Malley. A lot of Stephen King stories are also about humans encountering otherworldly, incomprehensible things - IT, for example, or Insomnia. Stories where someone brushes up against horror and either has to deal with the fallout or find a way to stop it, rather than stories where someone brushes up against horror and then the plot just dissolves into psychedelic imagery and dream logic.

    You should read Declare by Tim Powers. It’s like John Le Carré (or maybe Len Deighton) had an eldritch horror nightmare and integrated that into the plot of a perfectly crafted historically accurate Cold War spy novel he had already mostly written.

    I have! It was good! That and The Drawing of the Dark are my favorite Powers novels, I think.

    Just finished Ron Ripley's Moving In. It was...not as good. The writing is just weak all-around, technically, It's a fairly short horror novel that I really only picked up because it's part of a 6-part audiobook series and 40 hours of even not-great listening for 1 audible credit isn't bad. It was bad enough, though, that I had to listen to something else instead of book 2. I think I'll go back to it eventually but it was just... I dunno. Too much of characters being caricatures, I guess. People being headstrong dialed up to 11, the guy who's bad at social situations unable to carry on a basic conversation. People dying left, right, and center without it seeming to have any real impact on the characters. The whole thing felt a lot like a bad episode of Supernatural, especially with the methodologies of dealing with the undead seemingly lifted directly from that show.

    Anyway, moved on to The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling. I think somebody in one of these threads recommended it long and long ago. It's pretty good! I don't think I've ever actually read the book equivalent of the "claustrophobic, underground horror" movie genre (Descent, the Cave, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, etc). The main character/narrator is a bit unrealistically dense at times but overall would definitely recommend.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited October 12
    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!"

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  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    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.

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    I may have mild PTSD from reading the rest of The Poppy War trilogy. Like, damn. There's just a lot of misery in it. Everything resolves in a somewhat satisfactory manner by the end, but it's definitely an Asian Lit ending, not a Western Fantasy one.

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  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    I finished reading Where the Red Fern Grows to my son. I'm not going to spoiler this, because, c'mon, it's a 1961 kid's book.

    I remembered the tearjerker ending where both of the dogs die at the end. I was braced for reading that ending and having to choke down the tears. For you see, I am a big softie, and I cry whenever someone in a movie or a book is really happy, or really sad. Tragedy and heartful joy turn on the waterworks.

    As such, it came as a bit of a surprise when I got to where the dogs died and thought to myself, "About damn time."

    By the end, I'd just had it with those dogs. Old Dan died because he insisted on getting into a fight with a mountain lion. That the dogs had chased into a tree multiple times. His death was framed as a "noble sacrifice", because of how he was saving the boy from the mountain lion. But the dog started the whole thing! Not to even mention how the author framed the mountain lion as some horrible devil cat beast that could not be suffered to live. Sure, this probably accurately depicted people's attitudes to it (I did grow up in the country, so I recognize the attitude), but it was just a bit rich that the human and his two dogs that he took all over the country killing every racoon he could get his hands on were supposed to be the "good guys."

    And it wasn't the first time the dog had caused trouble. He had insisted on fighting another dog, playing a part in the Pritchard kid accidentally getting a fatal axe blow to the stomach. Plus he had almost caused the boy and his relatives to get killed on multiple occasions (almost freezing in the blizzard the most recent one).

    I just could not sympathize with them at all. Plus I skimmed over a ton of stuff about how God was looking over this kid and his hounds. Even if I was religious, this would probably be evidence against him rather than for. After all, His first intervention was in blowing down a tree so they could kill their first racoon!

    Now I'm second guessing the plan to read him Summer of the Monkeys by the same author. The funny thing was that I misremembered the monkeys bit as having happened in this book.

    Yeah, I know, old books, times have changed, the culture shifted, etc. But I have read him quite a few old books - some even much older than my childhood - and many were still good.

    Now I'm reading "Savvy" to him.

    Shadowhope
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular

    Back in high school, my English teacher was absolutely horrified that I didn’t like WTRFG, for reasons similar to what you say. I was like “a poorly trained dog that killed/help kill lot of other animals picked a fight with a bigger predator and got killed itself.” Today, I probably would have said that it fucked around and eventually found out.

    This might not speak positively towards my sense of empathy.

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  • N1tSt4lkerN1tSt4lker Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    I finished reading Where the Red Fern Grows to my son. I'm not going to spoiler this, because, c'mon, it's a 1961 kid's book.

    I remembered the tearjerker ending where both of the dogs die at the end. I was braced for reading that ending and having to choke down the tears. For you see, I am a big softie, and I cry whenever someone in a movie or a book is really happy, or really sad. Tragedy and heartful joy turn on the waterworks.

    As such, it came as a bit of a surprise when I got to where the dogs died and thought to myself, "About damn time."

    By the end, I'd just had it with those dogs. Old Dan died because he insisted on getting into a fight with a mountain lion. That the dogs had chased into a tree multiple times. His death was framed as a "noble sacrifice", because of how he was saving the boy from the mountain lion. But the dog started the whole thing! Not to even mention how the author framed the mountain lion as some horrible devil cat beast that could not be suffered to live. Sure, this probably accurately depicted people's attitudes to it (I did grow up in the country, so I recognize the attitude), but it was just a bit rich that the human and his two dogs that he took all over the country killing every racoon he could get his hands on were supposed to be the "good guys."

    And it wasn't the first time the dog had caused trouble. He had insisted on fighting another dog, playing a part in the Pritchard kid accidentally getting a fatal axe blow to the stomach. Plus he had almost caused the boy and his relatives to get killed on multiple occasions (almost freezing in the blizzard the most recent one).

    I just could not sympathize with them at all. Plus I skimmed over a ton of stuff about how God was looking over this kid and his hounds. Even if I was religious, this would probably be evidence against him rather than for. After all, His first intervention was in blowing down a tree so they could kill their first racoon!

    Now I'm second guessing the plan to read him Summer of the Monkeys by the same author. The funny thing was that I misremembered the monkeys bit as having happened in this book.

    Yeah, I know, old books, times have changed, the culture shifted, etc. But I have read him quite a few old books - some even much older than my childhood - and many were still good.

    Now I'm reading "Savvy" to him.

    Honestly I was always more upset that Billy moved away forever from his childhood home and his dogs' grave than the fact that the dogs died in the first place.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered 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 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?

    "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: »
    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?

    One non-spoiler thing to point out: the events of Chasm City precede Revelation Space. Just something to know.
    The Captain stays awake. Sun Stealer is defeated by the released Melding Plague. The Sky's Edge lady (Ana Khouri) is crushed by the neutron star and downloaded, but then "released" to go back to the Ultra ship, where (if I remember right) only Volyvya and the Captain remain alive.

    dennis on
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