Started 'The Heroes' after finishing the first law trilogy. Fuck but I hate Bayaz - in a good way.
I'll update briefly (or not so briefly, as it turns out) with what I've been reading recently, but might elaborate on these later... Glen Cook deserves a lot of exposure especially.
I read "A Fortress in Shadow" and "A Cruel Wind", the prequel and main sequence novels of Glen Cook's Dread Empire series. Very good indeed. Great characters, setting, world/lore etc. Eminently readable. Shows where Cook was coming from, turning fantasy on its head somewhat, and how he's been such an inspiration for a lot of modern 'dark' fantasy writers (Malazan, Abercrombie). Although on as epic a scale (almost) as the Black Company, not as epic in scope, and perhaps more endearing because of that. Smaller cast of characters as might be expected from Fantasy as well.
I then read the first 2 Gentleman Bastard novels by Scott Lynch ("The Lies of Locke Lamora" & "Red Seas Under Red Skies"). I thoroughly enjoyed them, and raced through them (finished the 2 in a about 10 days). They are that sort of swashbuckling, rip-roaring adventure type of books, with a lot less of the philosophising and the like I've been used to in the fantasy I've been reading (Bakker, Malazan, Abercrombie), but great reads none the less. They're about a group of con-artists/elaborate thieves, in a Renaissance era Italy analogue, with a Venetian/Florentine/Warring states style of setting. The 2nd one even has Pirates!
I have the first two complete Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever (the first 6 books) sitting on my shelf currently, which arrived today, and are currently waiting for me to jump into. Unfortunately, due to the pace I got through the Gentleman Bastards' books, and the recent bank Holiday in the UK, they didn't arrive before I had finished "Red Seas Under Red Skies". And so, I was left on Sunday evening with nothing new to read (I could have gone back to Feist's Riftwar series, but I would have rather masturbated with a cheese grater... at least that would have been mildly amusing).
I decided instead to start a re-read of the Malazan books, a series that I started about a year ago exactly, and of which I've read everything currently published (by Erikson and Esselmont). There's something about these books, and the world they create, that endears them to me so much... Yes, they're sprawling, sometimes confusing, sometimes contradictory, sometimes bewildering novels... Yes, they can leave plot threads (and entire garments) hanging, dangling in the wind at times. They're not "easy" books to read, and they can leave a reader (especially one new to the series) floundering at points. But the scope, the depth, the thought that's gone into the world, and the way it comes across (almost like osmosis, you absorb the world and the peoples and the characters with each new book) is, to me, quite staggering. The two architects of the world, Erikson and Esslemont (who created the world and a lot of the characters not for literature, but for tabletop RPGs back in the '80s), are (or were) both archaeologists, students of ancient cultures and peoples... and it really shows with the books. I think I got this line from a review, about how, with each new book, or chapter, or paragraph even, they strip away another strata or layer of the history of the world, to reveal something new. Every ruin, every barrow, every character introduces some new thread to the world, and altogether they produce this amazingly deep, rich, epic, fantastic world. Brilliant characters and personalities as well... the comaraderie, kinship provided by the Bridgeburners or the Bonehunters is great... the treatment of the ascendants and gods and Gods and all the others on the spectrum of power that seems to exist is wonderful aswell, bringing the greatest and the least together... and the dialogue is a joy at times, Kruppe is fantastic, as are Shadowthrone and Cotillion (who were originally Erikson and Esslemont's pnp RPG characters), and Tehol Beddict and Bug had me actually laughing out loud at times.
I'm almost tempted to put off Thomas Covenant and just plough right on through with the Malazan books...
Last edited by Unaco; 09-05-2012 at 06:13 PM.
ARPS unofficial motto - And then we leave. No heroic stands.
Finally finished Storm of Swords part the first, and commenced part 2. Got to that chapter, and now I hate the series and everything to do with it :'(
I have been reading the first book in the Ranger's Apprentice series (because I skipped Young Adult books when I was a Young Adult, they are practically all I read at present). I'm about 60% finished and from the first page I have been experiencing the same strange sensation in practically every chapter. It goes like this:
Ohnoooo so clicheeee--Whew! Averted!
Ohnoooo characters acting indefensibly stupid and heading towards unnecessary pain--Oh...they actually learned from their previous mistakes!
and so forth
I am not sure if John Flanagan does this on purpose -- introducing tropes which I have long ago tired of, waiting for me to lose faith in him, and then tossing the disappointment aside by the simple expedient of giving most of the characters at least an average amount of common sense -- but it's been fun for me. =P
It helps also that there is an appreciable number of Funny Things that occur.
Wot I Think: The Game : an ongoing collaborative game-design experiment / comedic disaster here on the RPS Forums!
Kata vs. Kata : a game of simultaneous round-based predictive martial arts (like frozen synapse, but with punches)
My Games on Kongregate : "computainments" for your world wide web experience
Slowly working my way through The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne. Yes, that A.A. Milne.
Its a very pleasant read. I bought it as a Christmas present for my mum last year, she enjoyed it and said I should read it, and now I've finally got round to doing so.
I'm not far enough into it yet to have formed my own hypothesis, but from what I've heard and where it seems to be going, it should be possible to figure out whodunnit before the main character does.
In the introduction, Milne writes: "For this is really what we come to: that the detective must have no more special knowledge than the average reader. The reader must be made to feel that, if he too had used the light of cool inductive reasoning and the logic of stern remorseless facts (as, Heaven bless us, we are quite capable of doing) then he too would have fixed the guilt. ... Death to the author who keeps his unravelling for the last chapter, making all the other chapters but prologue to a five-minute drama. This is no way to write a story."
So far, so recommended. Will report back once I've finished it.
I finished "Le grand vaisseau" (Marrow) last week.
I started "The pillars of the earth" but stopped at 150 pages or so... will probably continue another time.
I am reading "A dance with Dragons" on my Kindle in English...
I am not patient enough to wait for the French translation. Besides it would cost me 5 times as much for the same content.
Last edited by Drayk; 16-05-2012 at 07:25 AM.
Part 1. Undergraduate arguments as to why God doesn't exist.
Part 2. Religion is bad on a societal scale so let's hate it. Hate! Haaate.
But then again the thrill for me of a good whodunnit is "Of course! I shoulda seen it coming!" Not "Right. I saw that coming." And it's a tough spot to find for the author without pulling a few tricks along the way.
Free speech don't mean unchallengeable speech.
Sometimes I want to read about a detective solving a case, and sometimes I want to solve it myself from the comfort of my sofa.
(Enough ranting now, I have a laboratory report to write and only seven hours in which to write it.)