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Thread: What book are you reading?
14-06-2014, 08:10 AM #2161
"See, you are an anachornistic witcher who will soon be out of his job. The various monsters will soon be gone. But bastards will always remain."
But yeah, beyond that, he bombards the reader with way, way too much background info and exposition in a world I don't think calls for it (I simply don't find his fantasy medieval Europe that interesting); he tries to cut between like five or six narrative threads at once when again, several of them seem like they could be safely cut - and his peeks into the far future just smack of a writer going "Tee hee hee!" and come across as gratingly unfunny and utterly pointless.
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14-06-2014, 07:10 PM #2162
I actually really loved that extra background folkfore flavor. But I am Polish myself, so a lot of it reminded me of the stories, sayings and customs of my culture. I always wondered how well it would translate for non-Polaks and guess that's the answer.
EDIT just in case: And I'd argue it's not that I haven't read 2 and 3 yet. I'm pretty sure if you read the second book of The Sarantine Mosaic, to stick with Kay, you'd be a little lost, but you'd still pick up on all the important stuff.
I gotta agree, the middle books kinda drag. I did love the 4th (or maybe it was 5th) where Geralt travels in a band with a woman archer, vampire and the Nifilgard dude, but it does kinda drop the ball after that again.
14-06-2014, 11:31 PM #2163
I've only read the English translations, but I have to agree that it does seem the series goes downhill after the short stories. That being said, I do love the world itself, so I don't dislike the books, I just think the writer lost the thread.
In my own reading: just read Dauntless, the first book in Jack Campbell's "The Lost Fleet" series. It was okay. I liked the emphasis on how space combat would actually work (speed of light is a serious issue due to the range of weapons and what not), but it still felt like they were only ever engaging at point blank range. And the characters were rather one dimensional. I liked it well enough, but probably not gonna continue the series
16-06-2014, 12:41 PM #2164
16-06-2014, 01:01 PM #2165
Use of Weapons has a great one too. Lots of snarky robots in the series in general, you're in for some treats I think. :)
16-06-2014, 01:44 PM #2166
I think every Culture novel has a snarky robot in them, in fact I think they are the best snarky robots ever written.
Use of Weapons is still my fav book though.
16-06-2014, 02:48 PM #2167
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- Jun 2011
16-06-2014, 03:05 PM #2168
Well having just read Hydrogen Sonata I think Mistake Not... My Current State Of Joshing Gentle Peevishness For The Awesome And Terrible Majesty Of The Towering Seas Of Ire That Are Themselves The Milquetoast Shallows Fringing My Vast Oceans Of Wrath
Is up there if only for the name.
16-06-2014, 05:09 PM #2169
That's why I like Excession a lot; it deals mainly with the drones and ships and other intelligent machinery and their interactions with each other, as opposed to human-cyborg relations.
16-06-2014, 05:18 PM #2170
The good old Interesting Times Gang, they got mentions in the Hydrogen Sonata.
16-06-2014, 05:49 PM #2171
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- Jun 2011
16-06-2014, 07:55 PM #2172
Yeah. My main regret is that I would have liked to see a book or two dealing more with the internal splits and conflicts of the Culture. There was a hint of stuff like that in Excession, but well, I want more. :P Rest in peace.
17-06-2014, 09:51 AM #2173
The Zero Marginal Cost Society by Mr. Jeremy Rifkin
Mr. Rifkin that Capitalism, established based on pursuit for profit, will fade away in the near future with advance of technology that drives down marginal cost of producing every good and service to near or even exactly zero. Economic power, currently heavily under corporate control, will soon be released to all of us commoners by us turning ourselves into consumer and producer at the same time, "prosumer" as a term invented by Mr. Rifkin. He introduced a concept of driving the world by energy/communication matrix. That says, more efficient utilization and production of energy, combine with more free flow of information, everyone of us can produce goods and services formerly with high marginal costs only affordable by capitalists.
Not exactly a well-selling book as far as I know, but this is a very interesting read.
18-06-2014, 10:02 AM #2174
Read Player of Games not too long ago. Really liked the first half but did not much care for the second. Mildly disappointing as the story setup was the most interesting I've seen in a Banks novel. Generally don't care for his heavy-handed themes and this one indulged way to much in them. Also the primary alien race were just revolting and not in the good way.
19-06-2014, 02:13 AM #2175
Finished Simon R Green's "Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth". I liked it a lot. The series is your usual urban fantasy (admittedly, with a very interesting setting) and the protagonist is far too overpowered and unstoppable, but I loved the theme of causality and not being able to escape fate as well as the events itself.
In a nutshell, the Nightside (the series) is set in the titular world which is basically a really shitty version of London where monsters exist and reality is very confusing. Think of it as Mos Eisley meets Sigil (Planescape), and you won't be far off. The protagonits, John Taylor, is fated to destroy the Nightside (likely while trying to save it), and this is the book where it happens. A big theme of the book, as mentioned, is causality. The future is mutable, but it seems that everything Taylor does continues to fit along the path to the Really Bad Future.
Green's real strength though, is his supporting cast. Characters like Suzie Shooter (aka "Oh Christ, it's her. Run!"), a bounty hunter who is kind of obsessed with blowing shit up. Razor Eddie, Punk God of the Straight Razor, who is a really filthy guy in a trenchcoat with a switchblade who just so happens to be a god and just so happens to want to murder all the gods who are "bad". Or Dead Boy, a zombie crime fighter. Or Merlin Satanspawn, who is Merlin if he were the son of Satan. And, since this is a book about waging a war, they all pop up and get plenty of page time.
And I think that's why I liked this installment so much. Green has a world where most of the "good guys" are ridiculously powerful and nigh unstoppable. And he made a foe who was so far beyond all of them that it didn't matter. Similarly, he has a world (The Nightside) where pretty much everything wants to murder everything (or worse). And he puts it into a situation where even the living cars who eat people (that get mentioned in every book...) are scared shitless and just trying to survive.
Now, on to Cibola Burn, the latest book in The Expanse
22-06-2014, 10:54 AM #2176
Factory Girls: Voices from the Heart of Modern China by Ms. Leslie T. Chang, herself a Chinese migrant to the USA.
This book described the life of the so-called "factory girls", the major labor force for China's manufacturing industries. Here Ms. Chang focused the discussions on those migrant workers in Dongguan, a southern Chinese city in Guangdong, where most foreign invested manufacturing factories locate and therefore they are major employers for those "factory girls". As a migrant herself, Ms. Chang showed us how those migrant girls who left their home and parents to seek opportunities to prosper economically in an alien land, even though they actually didn't left the country.
23-06-2014, 07:50 AM #2177
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- Mar 2013
- New Delhi
Close to finishing American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I expected more out of the book, but it left me pretty underwhelmed. But Neil himself said that the book is pretty polarizing. So I guess I am in the "meh" camp.
23-06-2014, 08:40 AM #2178
I'm reading Shift a prequel of sorts to Wool by Hugh Howey. Just started with it but I liked Wool wll enough.
27-06-2014, 08:33 AM #2179
Kraken by China Mieville - This book is kind of a bit hard to read it does the wolf hall thing of not much description but perfectly formed words most of them I have no idea what they mean. What it does have though is a very barmy interesting mystery, basically a big squid gets stolen from the natural history musuem and the guy who works on it gets sucked into trying to find who did it. Cue crazy cults, underground london full of people with magic, a gang war between rivals, and just every concept under the sun done in a very entertaining way. The ending is really confusing though don't really get what the concept is but ehat I do get is interesting.
I think I like his non new cromazan books a little bit more. Just goes with an intefesting idea and runs with it.
30-06-2014, 02:01 PM #2180
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- Jul 2011
So, I tried the free preview of the first few dozen pages of The Last Wish on amazon. It seemed to be a mildly interesting setup, while at the same time being a totally generic fantasy opening. And the writing/English seemed a bit off. The full version is only 1.99 on kindle, so I can't decide if i shoould pick it up.
Is the first chapter a good indication of what the rest is like? Does it go anywhere original, or is it just reasonably generic fantasy?