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  1. #801
    Lesser Hivemind Node Jockie's Avatar
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    I read the first Hunger Games yesterday, to see what the fuss is all about and yeah, it's tautly told and engaged my primary story nodes and any book that gets finished in one sitting is doing something right.

    But it kind of annoyed me as well because it didn't have much to say. The 'reality tv' aspect of it seemed to be there more because it can facilitate some melodrama than because he author wanted to say anything about human nature, or technology and violence. Same with the setting overall, 'people who are privledged and have money can be callous and overly concerned with fashion' is hardly revelatory stuff. But maybe I went in expecting too much - I like a degree of allegory and rumination with my sci-fi, no matter how pulpy it is, everything felt a bit black and white and a bit straightforward in Hunger Games.

    Plus the ending was a big pile of shit, presumably the cliffhanger is supposed to make us buy the next book, it just left me a bit cold. From what I hear, it goes downhill from hereon in, so think I'll give the rest of the series a miss.

    Finished The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie last week as well, looking forward to his next.
    Last edited by Jockie; 04-04-2012 at 11:51 AM.
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  2. #802
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    I'm in the middle of book four of the Song of Ice and Fire books. This one's a bit on the boring side, especially measured against the goings-on in book three. I'm getting a bit bored with it, to be honest.

  3. #803
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    You might want to look up Churchill's Secret War, it talks about how much of a role Churchill may have played in the Indian famine.
    Already have it. Mostly this is just a re-read 'cause of all the revisionist authors I've ingested of late.
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  4. #804
    Network Hub Rakysh's Avatar
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    I've just finished the first Song of Ice and Fire. Really really enjoyed it, I love the "anyone can die" feel of things and I'm looking forward to the three separate storylines converging (I believe this happens somewhere around book six :(.)

  5. #805
    Lesser Hivemind Node Winged Nazgul's Avatar
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    Just starting Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Saw the trailer for the upcoming movie on IGN and was pretty impressed. A little wiki-wacking turned up that the movie is based on a novel and now here I am.

  6. #806
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    But it kind of annoyed me as well because it didn't have much to say. The 'reality tv' aspect of it seemed to be there more because it can facilitate some melodrama than because he author wanted to say anything about human nature, or technology and violence. Same with the setting overall, 'people who are privledged and have money can be callous and overly concerned with fashion' is hardly revelatory stuff. But maybe I went in expecting too much - I like a degree of allegory and rumination with my sci-fi, no matter how pulpy it is, everything felt a bit black and white and a bit straightforward in Hunger Games.
    I always thought that the 'everyone's a big decadent fop and that's why they're bad' in the capitol was a fakeout. Because there's precisely one person there she doesn't like - president snow. She likes her stylist team like lovable, enthusiastic puppies, has an actual, meaningful friendship with Cinna, and even acknowledges that Effie is a capable organiser who's just prone to obliviously foot-in-mouthing. The whole point is that they're built up to be hated and she can't really do it because they're all nice people - which goes to a: make the games even more fucked up, and b: undermine the capitol-hate that she had previously held - she's starting to see how everyone's played against each other, and for that to work, both sides have to be dupes, but one set of dupes is luckier than the other. The reality TV angle only really served one purpose for me, which was that I thought the idea of dragging people up from the slums, parading them on TV, and then essentially cajoling them to extol how excited they are to be there, was particularly cruel. But, it also serves the purpose of helping convince the people of the capitol that actually those in the slums LOVE the games, so what's the problem? Considering that even the districts are isolated from one another, there's not any sort of information flow to contradict the constant propaganda-bombing the inhabitants of the whole nation have been experiencing for the past 74 years.

  7. #807
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    I'm in the middle of book four of the Song of Ice and Fire books. This one's a bit on the boring side, especially measured against the goings-on in book three. I'm getting a bit bored with it, to be honest.
    It sure goes downhill. Introduced to a bunch of uninteresting characters I couldn't give a toss about, and half the characters from the first three books aren't there (saved for the next book A Dance With Dragons). One redeeming quality is Jamie's perspective though.

  8. #808
    Lesser Hivemind Node Keep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    I like a degree of allegory and rumination with my sci-fi, no matter how pulpy it is
    Hear hear.

    Reading Puckoon at the moment. "Hilarious" is too cheap a word to describe something so funny, but it really is hilarious.

  9. #809
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    One redeeming quality is Jamie's perspective though.
    Yup. In books 3a, 3b, and 4, Jaime pretty much swapped places with Tyrion on my list of characters I like. Tyrion was cool in the first two, Jaime was a jerk. Somehow they exchanged roles.

  10. #810
    Lesser Hivemind Node Jockie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    I always thought that the 'everyone's a big decadent fop and that's why they're bad' in the capitol was a fakeout. Because there's precisely one person there she doesn't like - president snow. She likes her stylist team like lovable, enthusiastic puppies, has an actual, meaningful friendship with Cinna, and even acknowledges that Effie is a capable organiser who's just prone to obliviously foot-in-mouthing. The whole point is that they're built up to be hated and she can't really do it because they're all nice people - which goes to a: make the games even more fucked up, and b: undermine the capitol-hate that she had previously held - she's starting to see how everyone's played against each other, and for that to work, both sides have to be dupes, but one set of dupes is luckier than the other. The reality TV angle only really served one purpose for me, which was that I thought the idea of dragging people up from the slums, parading them on TV, and then essentially cajoling them to extol how excited they are to be there, was particularly cruel. But, it also serves the purpose of helping convince the people of the capitol that actually those in the slums LOVE the games, so what's the problem? Considering that even the districts are isolated from one another, there's not any sort of information flow to contradict the constant propaganda-bombing the inhabitants of the whole nation have been experiencing for the past 74 years.
    I prefer your reading of the text to mine in all honesty, It suggests there's a bit more going on.
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  11. #811
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    I'm reading Lisey's Story by Steven King. I'm reading it for the first time and like it so far.
    It's rather creepy and awfully interesting:)

  12. #812
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    The Brass Verdict by Micheal Connelly

    Bought it months ago with some other novels like The Fifth Witness by the same author, during a "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" promotion from the book store I visited. Thought it could be boring so I haven't touched it after purchase, till now because there have been not many games around to play. Waiting for Binary Domain, man.

    I guess the Part 1 is just the introduction part, so I guess not much spoiler.

    It revisited the 1992 racial riot in Los Angeles. I recalled that it was a riot broken out by the black population after 4 white cops beaten a black guy who drove erratically. The incident happened to be video tapped by a TV crew, who were not journalists themselves, were filming for a TV shows. The cops were prosecuted but ruled not guilty. This outraged the African-American population in the city and started a riot that I recalled lasted for some weeks, but less than a month if I dont recall wrongly. LA was left in anarchy and Bush administration (I remembered Bill Clinton had been elected the next term President but he didnt comment much on this incident under Bush administration) intervened with federal military. Hypocritically, those 4 cops were charged again after the riot. (Actually I think it should be the prosecutor appealed to higher courts, otherwise it would constitute a double jeopardy. "Charged again" was what the Chinese media reported at the time) Two of them finally received guilty verdict, lost their job in LAPD and were put to jail.

    In the first part of the novel, Micky Haller, working for the public defender, defended a black charged of murdering two white college boys who tried to buy drug from the defendant. The defendant cheated and killed the two poor boys to rob their money in stead. The scene was set right after this historic riot. Micky managed to turn the table by exploiting the dishonest yet careless mistake by the prosecutor (what mistake? you can read to find out) to force him to offer a no-capital-punishment deal.

    For mates who have read The Fifth Witness, you may wonder, what the hell man Micky took a time machine to travel back to 1992 like John Titor? He was using i-Pad in The Fifth Witness. Dont worry, the time will be set back to 2007 in Part 2. Part 1 is just offering some background for the story.

  13. #813
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    (Actually I think it should be the prosecutor appealed to higher courts, otherwise it would constitute a double jeopardy. "Charged again" was what the Chinese media reported at the time)
    The Feds intervened and they were tried in a federal case. But otherwise, yeah, exactly. Tho I find it kinda funny because you're explaining it like it's new. :P
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  14. #814
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    I'm reading John dies at the end at the moment. Only a few dozen pages in but i like the cut of its crazy, horrific jib so far.

  15. #815
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    The Feds intervened and they were tried in a federal case. But otherwise, yeah, exactly. Tho I find it kinda funny because you're explaining it like it's new. :P
    Well this info you provided is new to me. So the Chinese media reports at that time were not entirely wrong then.

  16. #816
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Already have it. Mostly this is just a re-read 'cause of all the revisionist authors I've ingested of late.
    I on the other hand have not read it. Thanks for the tip Shane.

    Deluged with non-fiction as I am, on the fiction side I'm done with The End of Eternity and moved on to Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian.

  17. #817
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    Well this info you provided is new to me. So the Chinese media reports at that time were not entirely wrong then.
    Well, it kinda hints at their glossing over of the divide between local and federal authorities. :p
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  18. #818
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    Over the last 2-3 weeks I've been reading The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight (books 12 and 13 of the Wheel of Time series), in advance of the final part, which I thought was early Autumn this year, but has now been put back to January 2013. The series certainly has its flaws, but telling a story that's remained quite compelling and consistent over 14 books isn't one. Neither is the progression of the 3 main characters, which has been pretty damn good. And damn me if Matrim Cauthon isn't a definite nod to Wotan/Wodan/Odin.

    I've just started Glen Cook's Dread Empire series, with the 3 main sequence books (A Shadow of All Night Falling, October's Baby, All Darkness Met) in the A Cruel Wind omnibus collection. After that, I should have the 2 prequels (The Fire in His Hands, With Mercy Toward None), in the A Fortress in Shadow omnibus, delivered and ready to read. I don't know if I'll get into the 3 sequels just yet... I heard some bad things about them, and Cook isn't the best, from my own experience, at finishing things up satisfactorily.

    I'm 60 pages in though, and thoroughly enjoying it so far. For those not familiar, these are what Glen Cook wrote before the Black Company novels (which were pretty groundbreaking in the fantasy genre). The Dread Empire wasn't as influential and well recognised as the Black Company, but you can definitely see the seeds of Cook's later books in them... as well as the influence and inspiration for quite a lot of modern, darker fantasy (Joe Abercrombie, the Malazan series... one of the main characters, Mocker/Saltimbanco, is clearly the inspiration for Kruppe, the Eel of Daruhjistan).

    After that... I don't know. I think I'm going to be at a loss for non-typical Fantasy series to occupy my time. I'm thinking about the Gentleman Bastards series, but there are only 2 of them out currently, so they wouldn't be occupying me for long. Thankfully, Unholy Consult (last part of the Aspect Emperor trilogy, the 2nd Anasurimbor trilogy by R Scott Bakker) and A Red Country (Abercrombie's new book) should be out in the next couple months.
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  19. #819
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    I'm in the middle of book four of the Song of Ice and Fire books. This one's a bit on the boring side, especially measured against the goings-on in book three. I'm getting a bit bored with it, to be honest.
    You could probably of bought the 5th book and read them side to side as they effectively follow the same time line in terms of events, although DWD advances the narrative of all the characters forwards in the final third. No doubt if or when the TV show gets that far they will invariably combine the two. Although given the sprawling narrative threads I expect that the shows producers and writers will invariably reduce/condense certain sections down considerably to avoid their budget spirally horribly.


    Personally just finished off reading Jack Vances Lyonesse trilogy (again) which I enjoyed a lot although I can't help but feel he dropped some interesting character leads along the way, and the ending felt a little rushed in terms of wrapping up events and delivering a conclusion. Still the writing is exemplary and the characters are delightfully painted.

    It's put me in the mood to revisit his dying earth novels which I've read several times (and highly recommend). So I've been busy buying them for the old Kindle (although book 3 seems to have been omitted from conversion).

    If you're not familiar with Vances work I recommend you check out this (very) short story: -

    http://www.datapacrat.com/Art/Fictio...498747__26.htm

    Which is one of the shorter tales from the first book.

    However before I jump back into those I'm reading 'The devil in the forest' by Gene Wolfe. Always been a big fan of the dying earth series (which were by Wolfe's own admission inspired by Vances Dying Sun tales), but not read many of his other works.
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  20. #820
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    Just finished His Dark Materials for the third time, which remains a great series. Now starting the seventh(?) part of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Dust of Dreams. It starts out rather boring, but I've had that feeling with nearly all his books. Hoping the middle will get more interesting. Also reading some Dutch books, but that's irrelevant for this forum.

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