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  1. #1061
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Anyone know what's up with the Baxter/Pratchett collaborative novel The Long Earth? Strikes me as an awkward combination to be honest...
    It's a sci-fi book with a comedy twist, and I believe it has a potato in it.


  2. #1062
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Anyone know what's up with the Baxter/Pratchett collaborative novel The Long Earth? Strikes me as an awkward pairing to be honest...
    All I know is the two first chapters I read at the end of Snuff.

    Basically Earth discovered parallel Earths that are devoid of life and now strives to populate them. It's really not my setting or managed to spark my interest, but I did get a very strong Phillip José Farmer vibe from it, which you may or may not find appealing and leaves me feeling very neutral.
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  3. #1063
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Parallel Earths seem to be A Thing of late. Which reminds me, I need to see Melancholia...

    Umm, so, The Long Earth: alas I'm not familiar with
    Phillip José Farmer. I guess I'll just have to keep my ear to the ground on this one. Or maybe I could find a library...

    More retail therapy:

    The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution by Faramerz Dabhoiwala
    Power Inc. by David Rothkopf
    Voyage by Stephen Baxter

    EDIT: STOP SCREWING WITH MY FORMATTING GRR.
    Last edited by Rii; 13-06-2012 at 01:23 PM.

  4. #1064
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    I went to bed at 11:30 and decided to unwind with Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Oops. I had to force myself to stop reading at 2am. Loving this series.

  5. #1065
    Activated Node CWalker's Avatar
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    Finished Feast for Crows. 'Twas quite good, though not a lot of "happening". Going to unwind with another fantasy series before pressing on with Dance With Dragons, perhaps Malazan Book of the Fallen or Riftwar. Decisions, decisions :D

  6. #1066
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWalker View Post
    Finished Feast for Crows. 'Twas quite good, though not a lot of "happening". Going to unwind with another fantasy series before pressing on with Dance With Dragons
    A Dance with Dragons is 650 pages of character exposition.

  7. #1067
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWalker View Post
    perhaps Malazan Book of the Fallen or Riftwar. Decisions, decisions :D
    Malazan Book of the Fallen! Malazan Book of the Fallen!!

    Ahem... Riftwar is terrible. Imagine a cheap Tolkien Middle Earth facsimile, with Dwarves living in their mines, and Elves living in tree cities, where everyone speaks what an idiot thinks people spoke in the middle ages, where dialogue is unbelievably unbelievable, and everyone is 'perfect' (except for that single flaw, introduced solely for plot reasons), heroes are heroes through and through, and villains are villains because... well, never really explained (some people just want to watch the world burn?). Now, imagine that Tolkien-esque world, innocent and twee and rammed full of every cliche at hand, but without the rich tapestry of myth and history that should exist everywhere, without humour, without insight, without anything convincing, intriguing, compelling or interesting... and introduce a feudal era Japanese like people. That is Riftwar. I made it through Magician and 100 pages of Silverthorn to see if it changed any. It didn't. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I just could not bring myself to read it, or to allow someone, of sound mind, to read it either.

    Malazan Book of the Fallen though... I don't think you could have picked something as polarised to Riftwar and its ilk if you'd tried. I've effused about it here before (and in the Steam chat), so I won't go on too much. Just read it... lose yourself in it... let the world seep into you, via osmosis. It can be confusing and compounding at times, it drops you into pretty deep water from page 1 and doesn't bother to spoon feed the story and backstory and history to you. It can leave you floundering a little (or a lot)... but that's not a bad thing, because it carries the reader along (think Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum") in the flow.

    It's huge, epic, ambitious, frightening in scope and scale and detail. It weaves myths, legends, histories (~250,000 years worth), a deep, compelling, believable and immersive world (the 2 authors are archaeologists and anthropologists, so they sort of know ancient cultures), with well realised characters and intriguing plots. It tells stories, not just of people (the characters), but of Peoples (cultures, societies, civilisations, Empires). It tells stories of events and things happening in the now, but at the same time it tells the histories and the legends and the myths that permeate every inch of the world.

    Give it a read, pick up Gardens of the Moon and dive in. Erikson himself has said that people either get lost in the deep water, and give up around 1/2 way through that 1st book, or they persevere, and make it through, and then stick with the series up until today. I'm on my 2nd read of the series now (incorporating Ian C Esslemont's Novels of the Malazan Empire into chronological/relevant order) and enjoying it more than I did the first read, in a lot of ways.

    Edit: If you don't want to take my word for it, this 8 year article on the Malazan series is pretty good. http://www.salon.com/2004/06/21/erikson/singleton/
    Last edited by Unaco; 15-06-2012 at 01:20 PM.
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  8. #1068
    Network Hub Salix's Avatar
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    I wouldn't agree that Riftwar is terrible, it's a nice light read that doesn't really take much effort so if that's what you're after it's fine. However, I would agree that Malazan should definitely be read instead of Riftwar as it is pure awesome (even if I did lose interest a bit in Dust of Dreams and still haven't picked up the final book by Erikson).

  9. #1069
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westyfield View Post
    Slowly working my way through The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne. Yes, that A.A. Milne.
    Finished it over breakfast this morning. Lovely book. I worked out who and how dunnit, but not why. It was really great coming up with solutions, and watching the protagonist (who gave himself and his friend the nicknames Sherlock and Watson) discover more clues to either reinforce or debunk the possible theories. It wasn't perfect (there was one moment near the end where Watson - the character who represents the reader - is put at an unfair advantage for no good reason), but it was a damned good read nonetheless.

  10. #1070
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unaco View Post
    *snip*
    Well I'm convinced. Malazan goes on The List™.

  11. #1071
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    Heh, me too. The last time I gave the Malazan series a go was a few years back, the first book had felt a bit too random and disjointed to me. I'll give it another go once I'm done re-reading the Asoiaf books.

  12. #1072
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    I haven't read any fantasy in a long while now. A couple years ago I delved back into my childhood with Lloyd Alexander's 'Chronicles of Prydain' (at the age of first reading I was pronouncing the 'w' in 'sword') which was a delightful exercise in nostalgia, but my last real contact with the genre was the Riftwar-derived 'Empire Trilogy' close to a decade back. So this'll be an interesting change of pace.

  13. #1073
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    I haven't read any fantasy in a long while now. A couple years ago I delved back into my childhood with Lloyd Alexander's 'Chronicles of Prydain' (at the age of first reading I was pronouncing the 'w' in 'sword') which was a delightful exercise in nostalgia, but my last real contact with the genre was the Riftwar-derived 'Empire Trilogy' close to a decade back. So this'll be an interesting change of pace.
    I loved the first two Raymond E. Feist Riftwar books as a kid. I ought to read Magician: Apprentice again.

  14. #1074
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djbriandamage View Post
    I loved the first two Raymond E. Feist Riftwar books as a kid. I ought to read Magician: Apprentice again.
    That's only one half of the first book ;)


  15. #1075
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    That's only one half of the first book ;)
    I own Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master as two physically separate books. Did he combine them in later years? I got my copies in the mid-90s or so.

  16. #1076
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djbriandamage View Post
    I own Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master as two physically separate books. Did he combine them in later years? I got my copies in the mid-90s or so.
    No. It's one book split into two. For some reason the US market has them split, whereas in the UK (and most other markets, IIRC) it's a single volume.


  17. #1077
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    No. It's one book split into two. For some reason the US market has them split, whereas in the UK (and most other markets, IIRC) it's a single volume.
    Book publishers are weirdos. I was assigned the first Harry Potter book to read for a children's literature class in college and I found a first edition American version called "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (it was called "Philosopher's Stone" in England which has become the prevalent name in North America since the movie).

  18. #1078
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djbriandamage View Post
    Book publishers are weirdos. I was assigned the first Harry Potter book to read for a children's literature class in college and I found a first edition American version called "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (it was called "Philosopher's Stone" in England which has become the prevalent name in North America since the movie).
    What's even weirder is the UK is usually the country with the split books - Martin's had two of his split; three if you count Dreamsongs, Williams' third Memory, Sorrow & Thorn book was split, Sanderson's Way of Kings was too.

    Usually it's because of size, but Magician isn't a big book so the only reason I've heard that made any sense was it was split in order to attract younger readers.


  19. #1079
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    I consider getting into the Malazan series every time I spot it in the book shop. And then the cover resolutely refuses to tell me which bloody order they come in, so I buy something else - and then forget to look it up until... the same thing happens again next time.

    Speaking of which, onto Un Lun Dun, by China Mieville.

  20. #1080
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    In anticipation of the movie I'm reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Meh. I'm doing my best to visualise it in Bekmambetov-vision. The movie's going to be fun and look awesome, no doubt about that. Halfway through the book I can't recommend it unless you're very bored and don't have anything better to do.

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