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  1. #241
    Network Hub Megagun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westyfield View Post
    I just finished Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds - absolutely amazing.
    Just finished it myself, too. It was, indeed, quite a good book.

    That said, I felt that the last 80 pages or so were rushed. It felt a lot like the author was on a deadline and had to end the story quickly so that he could start writing on the next book in the series (Absolution Gap). A shame, because Reynolds works best when he writes 10 pages where an ordinary Sci-Fi author would write 1.

    Now reading Absolution Gap. Better read that now that my memory of the universe and characters is still fresh. :)

  2. #242
    Network Hub Cable's Avatar
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    My opinion on Artemis Fowl is what Xercies said. I haven't read them since I was a teenager but i found their ideas original and an it was an intriguing world with clever and funny writing but they're probably a bit kiddy maybe not even as grown up as harry potter (in the later books at least).

  3. #243
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megagun View Post
    Just finished it myself, too. It was, indeed, quite a good book.

    That said, I felt that the last 80 pages or so were rushed. It felt a lot like the author was on a deadline and had to end the story quickly so that he could start writing on the next book in the series (Absolution Gap). A shame, because Reynolds works best when he writes 10 pages where an ordinary Sci-Fi author would write 1.

    Now reading Absolution Gap. Better read that now that my memory of the universe and characters is still fresh. :)
    Yeah, I agree that it felt a bit rushed towards the end.
    (Spoilers below, highlight to see)
    Much of the second half of the book felt like it was leading up to the epic confrontation between Clavain and Skade (backed up by the other Conjoiners). Then the next chapter begins with 'Then Clavain woke up and the battle was over'. I was quite disappointed, but not enough to sour the experience of reading an otherwise great book.

    I was two pages into A Feast For Crows, then bought Terminal World and started that instead. It's an enjoyable read so far - the setting is lovely; a tower-city where each level is at a different stage of industrial development, all the way up to the Celestial Levels which are inhabited by transhuman angels.

  4. #244
    Obscure Node TaBuNiW's Avatar
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    Genki

    Highly recommended, very informative and entertaining.
    (Though, only if you want to learn japanese)

  5. #245
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    Yeah it makes sense, something must have happened to him as well because lets just say the whole book is pretty bleak and depressing.
    Maybe it had something to do with Adams conversion by Richard Dawkins to "radical atheism." Adams spent much of the last decade of his life focused on environmental concerns such as protecting endangered animals. Unlike him, I know I'll play with the dodos again someday in heaven.

  6. #246
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColOfNature View Post
    What? Life without faith is a cold, harsh place? Really? Or was environmentalism the depressing thing?
    Wasn't entirely serious but I do think they're related. When you're so sure there's no life after this one that you look around and try to fight a battle against the slippage of time and entropy, it's gotta be pretty depressing. There, another species gone forever. There, another. Everything drifting away and lost. You want to just freeze everything and preserve it, but you can't.

    It's noble to try to make that difference, but how do you think it feels to be the little boy with his tenth finger in the dam when you see another leak pop up out of reach?

    Certainly atheists find joy in their lives. I know quite a few. But in Adams' case I can at least suspect a connection between his growing conviction that there is no deity and his growing passion for environmental conservatism that maybe introduced some bleakness in his later writings.

  7. #247
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus ColOfNature's Avatar
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    Oops. I just deleted that post as on reflection I think my instant, hackles-up defensiveness was off topic and unproductive. That's a discussion which quickly derails every thread it rears its ugly head in, and this is still quite a focussed and useful one. I'd be appalled if I was responsible for its implosion. I take your point though.

    (As an aside, although I appreciate his insight and academic accomplishments, I can't help but feel that extended proximity to Dawkins might have a deleterious effect on ones outlook. He just rubs me the wrong way.)


  8. #248
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icupnimpn2 View Post
    Maybe it had something to do with Adams conversion by Richard Dawkins to "radical atheism.
    'Radical' in what sense?

  9. #249
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    It didn't come across as too defensive to me :) I know some people that are very prickly. Just felt you were raising a legitimate question/criticism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    'Radical' in what sense?
    By his own description:

    AMERICAN ATHEISTS: Mr. Adams, you have been described as a “radical Atheist.” Is this accurate?

    DNA: Yes. I think I use the term radical rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as “Atheist,” some people will say, “Don’t you mean ‘Agnostic’?” I have to reply that I really do mean Atheist. I really do not believe that there is a god - in fact I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one. It’s easier to say that I am a radical Atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously. It’s funny how many people are genuinely surprised to hear a view expressed so strongly. In England we seem to have drifted from vague wishy-washy Anglicanism to vague wishy-washy Agnosticism - both of which I think betoken a desire not to have to think about things too much.

  10. #250
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Ok; I was wondering if you were perhaps using the term synonymously with 'militant', 'fundamentalist' or similar, where those are appellations I could see fit for Dawkins but was unaware of any such applicability to Mr. Adams' atheism.

  11. #251
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    I don't know, something about the 4th book made me think that it was made by someone who had just fallen in love so maybe the 5th book is after they broke up or she died or something

  12. #252
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    I don't know, something about the 4th book made me think that it was made by someone who had just fallen in love so maybe the 5th book is after they broke up or she died or something
    I dunno. Adams had a rocky personal life but was finally married in 1991 to a long-time on-again off-again. They had a daughter in 1994. The fifth book was released in 1992. I'd think that if anything his outlook would have been looking up around that time, but I don't have a window into his life :(

  13. #253
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    Currently reading "I shall wear midnight" by Terry Pratchett. About 180 pages in and very much enjoying it. Could be accused of having a few scenes that don't necessarily read easily, but they're very much the minority, and his ability to turn a phrase is just phenomenal.

  14. #254
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Going through Olivia Manning's Levant trilogy. Something about watching empires crumble appeals to me.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  15. #255
    Network Hub imirk's Avatar
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    Reading: Gunslinger (and have the next 3 books of the dark tower)
    Why are you wearing that stupid human suit?

  16. #256
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lambchops's Avatar
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    Blonde Bombshell by Tom Holt

    I've always like Holt and put him up there with the likes of Adams and Pratchett in having an eye for the absurd scenario and a gift for the comic turn of phrase.

  17. #257
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus ColOfNature's Avatar
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    If you like Holt, Pretchett et al you should also try Robert Rankin.


  18. #258
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Finished Matter, um well I wasn't expecting that ending unfortunately I kind of didn't like it. It came out of know where in the narrative, it didn't really have anything to do with either characters narrative. Also it kind of jumps around a bit at the end and characters that we were following all throughout the book get deaths very quickly which don't really amount to anything. Hmm.

  19. #259
    Network Hub Gerbick's Avatar
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    Still reading the Complete Short Stories of J.G. Ballard. Some of the best I've ever read.

  20. #260
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus ColOfNature's Avatar
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    I thought Matter missed the target a bit too. It's not terrible, it just felt like it needed a ruthless editor to underline vast sections and say "oi! Banks! Fix this bollocks!" But fear not! Surface Detail is a return to form. Much better.

    I've just read "Death from the Skies" by Phil Plait. Eschatology is fun!


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