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  1. #1101
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Up to book 4 of the Malazan: Book of the Fallen series and I'm enjoying it with some reservations. It's extremely epic in scale and has some great moments, the whole Chain of Dogs bit could have been a book in it's own right, but it's like a footnote in a grander story. But some of the characters seem woefully undeveloped and the magic level is through the roof, compared to other things I've read, it seems like every other character has the power to level cities single-handedly or challenge the gods. I think I'll probably give the Esslemont books a miss and just read the core series.

    Also this Karsa Orlong bloke from the start of book 4 seems like a thoroughly unpleasant chap.
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  2. #1102
    Activated Node DragonOfTime's Avatar
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    I'm nearing completion of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series, after that it's either The Silmarillion or my Lovecraft anthology.

  3. #1103
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    The Honor Harrington / Honorverse series is still keeping me mostly entertained when I'm not reading comics. Space naval warfare at its most sequential. Problems with the pacing of the series are outweighed by the fact that most of it can be read legally for free (which is what I did).

  4. #1104
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    I'm thinking of getting my own copy Dune, any particular edition I should prefer? The 40th Anniversary Edition by Ace seems meatier than the rest at 900 pages.

  5. #1105
    Lesser Hivemind Node noaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    I'm thinking of getting my own copy Dune, any particular edition I should prefer? The 40th Anniversary Edition by Ace seems meatier than the rest at 900 pages.
    I'm currently re-reading the series and got for myself this edition https://www.librarything.com/work/354274
    I've had it for a while now and held back because it is a monster of a book. The print quality is good, but it is big (think hardcover size) and thick and damned heavy (1.2 kg).

  6. #1106
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    I don't really like to get omnibuses because the tome gets ruined and torn up real quick, and they are hard to just pick up and read or carry around with you. What about this one? The details state that it has 896 pages, that's probably erroneous, right?

  7. #1107
    Lesser Hivemind Node noaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    I don't really like to get omnibuses because the tome gets ruined and torn up real quick, and they are hard to just pick up and read or carry around with you. What about this one? The details state that it has 896 pages, that's probably erroneous, right?
    I honestly didn't have any idea how big it was when I ordered it :D I don't like omnibuses either.

    It can't have 900 pages... the first book has 400ish in this big-boy format with a good size font and spacing, so I'd expect 500ish in a normal paperback size. Try checking the info on amazon or bookdepository, they have pretty accurate information.
    I kinda like my edition tho, because it's from Gollancz and I can get the rest in the series from them as well. The others are stand-alone volumes at least.

  8. #1108
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    Looks like that edition has big spacing, so seems to be wasting paper. My own edition has a smidgeon over 600 pages (including loose ones, its 25 years old), but I can see why you'd have an extra 300 pages with those paragraph gaps. Or maybe their preview thingy shows an ebook version or something.

  9. #1109
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    I'm thinking of getting this one. Hardcover and this is how it looks, that cover art really sealed the deal.

    Last edited by Shane; 11-07-2012 at 05:29 PM.

  10. #1110
    Network Hub Splynter's Avatar
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    Looking pretty badass with the thumper and maker hooks there, I can see why the cover art sold you.

  11. #1111
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tritagonist's Avatar
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    Excellent cover, those must be worms in the background?

    I recently re-read the original Dune, and while I didn't like it as much as when I first encountered it, it's still a classic.
    "He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to
    the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free". ~
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  12. #1112
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilometrik View Post
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, babeeeh. It's a funny and interesting book to say the least. BUt so far i haven't found the source of it's "Classic" status. Although i've just begun reading part II.
    It's a eulogy on the death of the 60s. Hunter S Thompson's entire career can be summed up in one passage.
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  13. #1113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tritagonist View Post
    Excellent cover, those must be worms in the background?

    I recently re-read the original Dune, and while I didn't like it as much as when I first encountered it, it's still a classic.
    Here's the original image. I came across the blog of the artist while image searching the cover. The artwork was meant to be just a piece of fan-art until the guy was contacted by the publisher, who wanted to use it.

    The kid me was just overwhelmed by all the themes and motifs that Herbert filled Dune with and that's how I remember it as, a work that has a lot more in it than just the story.

  14. #1114
    Lesser Hivemind Node noaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    I'm thinking of getting this one. Hardcover and this is how it looks, that cover art really sealed the deal.

    Bah, I hate you. Now I want to get this edition :(
    That cover is amazing and seeing it's also part of the SF Masterworks...

  15. #1115
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    Up to book 4 of the Malazan: Book of the Fallen series and I'm enjoying it with some reservations. It's extremely epic in scale and has some great moments, the whole Chain of Dogs bit could have been a book in it's own right, but it's like a footnote in a grander story. But some of the characters seem woefully undeveloped and the magic level is through the roof, compared to other things I've read, it seems like every other character has the power to level cities single-handedly or challenge the gods. I think I'll probably give the Esslemont books a miss and just read the core series.
    The Chain of Dogs still brings a tear or two to my eyes... it was one of the events that really cemented my appreciation for the series though. I think it says something about the scale/scope of the books that something like the Chain (or the trip to Tremorlor, the Siege of Capustan, Brukhalian, the Bridgeburners at Coral etc) can be just a part of this greater, grandiose whole. Also... if you're interested, there is a band that took their name from the Chain of Dogs, and have done some Malazan inspired music, including this number about Coltaine himself.

    I can definitely understand the reservations, as I had quite a few when I first started the series... The magic level definitely being one. I had come from reading ASoIaF and Joe Abercrombie's stuff, which, if you know them, are very, very light on the magical/fantastical/supernatural sort of stuff. Starting 'Gardens of the Moon' and getting hit with the Siege of Pale straight away (not to mention a half dozen species/races at least, the Warrens, the Empire, their enemies etc.) can be a bit overwhelming. But, I think it does serve a purpose, and there is definitely a reason to it being the way it is.

    Firstly, it's about the difference between mortals and gods/Ascendants, and that there isn't a clear, definite line between the two... rather, it's a continuum, a spectrum. Along with that there're things about the power that mortals can have (they're not helpless), and the vulnerability of Ascendants. Also, don't forget about the idea of convergence, not explicitly described in the books, but always present nonetheless... the idea that power draws power... An Ascendant/god shows themselves, shows their hand, other 'powers' see this and get involved... that conflagration of power is seen by other 'powers' and they get involved, and so on. Each book is, mostly, about a 'convergence', one of these events, so there will be great, fearful, immense powers present. The second thing with all of that magic, is the part that it and 'technology' (alchemy etc) play in warfare. It's something that is explored in books 5 and 7 (so I won't say too much about it), but magic can be a double edged sword at times, or allow for overwhelming victory, or be completely useless. Some later events will give an appreciation of that, I think.

    It might feel that some of the characters are poorly developed as well... and some of them are, in a way. Some are very aloof, like Coltaine for example. That's not a bad thing though necessarily, I don't think. Some characters are 'unexplained', their motivations only hinted at, but that allows us as readers to interpret them in many different ways, and give us an opportunity to work them out, rather than have them explicitly described. Also, some of those characters you might think are poorly developed are just biding their time... some of the characters that you might think are absent will come back again, and be explored a bit further in later books. And, you should also remember the context for the whole Book of the Fallen saga... it's one part of this huge world that SE and ICE have been creating for 30 years now. Some of the characters and their stories might not have a their place in the Book of the Fallen... they might be meant for other sagas, other stories, and are only introduced in these books (for example, SE is currently writing a trilogy exploring the very, very early period of the Tiste Andii and the whole deal with Anomander Rake and Mother Dark, from 200,000 years before the current books).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    Also this Karsa Orlong bloke from the start of book 4 seems like a thoroughly unpleasant chap.
    Don't be too quick to judge Karsa... or at least keep your mind open to him, somewhat. Remember where he is in his life, and where he's come from in those first 200 or so pages... he's just left his village/people for the first time, as the equivalent of an 18 year old, going out into the world, thinking he's all that, that he knows everything etc. Think of the major influences on him, his grandfather and the Faces in the Rock. He's definitely a character that is developed a great deal in the later books.

    Edit: I just remembered, Erikson wrote something of an essay discussing Karsa, which can give some context/explanation for him as a character, and his place in the World.

    Anyway... I've gone and written far too much about this series again. Good luck with the rest of the reading.
    Last edited by Unaco; 11-07-2012 at 07:05 PM.
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  16. #1116
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tritagonist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Here's the original image. I came across the blog of the artist while image searching the cover. The artwork was meant to be just a piece of fan-art until the guy was contacted by the publisher, who wanted to use it.
    Thanks for the link. Great story about the artist, talk about a nice surprise in your mailbox!
    "He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to
    the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free". ~
    Luke 4:18

  17. #1117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilometrik View Post
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, babeeeh. It's a funny and interesting book to say the least. BUt so far i haven't found the source of it's "Classic" status. Although i've just begun reading part II.
    I loved this book.

    In my opinion, what makes it a classic is not the occurrences but the prose itself. HST is fearless in his self deprecation and lays himself bare to his audience. He invites you into his mind and has you watch helplessly through his eyes as he describes his horrors and travails in real time. All the reader can do is hang on and scream to the heedless author "What are you doing? Any reasonable person would have turned left but you turned right!"

    There's one particular scene where they go to a hotel room and Dr. Gonzo falls asleep after a violent episode, leaving Raul Duke in a reflective mood. There's a very beautiful passage about the state of the world and the USA juxtaposing the endurance of the human spirit versus a savage world.

    I ought to read this again. I highly recommend his book about living with the Hell's Angels too.

  18. #1118
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    Going off on a tangent here:
    "I had come from reading ASoIaF and Joe Abercrombie's stuff, which, if you know them, are very, very light on the magical/fantastical/supernatural sort of stuff."

    Isn't magic one of ASOIAF's major themes. I mean, if you ignore the characters' personal quests and development, the one major thing that involves everyone is the return of magic into the world. Magic may not appear often in the plot-lines but I feel it to be a significant part of the story.

  19. #1119
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Magic may not appear often in the plot-lines but I feel it to be a significant part of the story.
    Oh yeah... It's certainly a part of the overall plot line/themes, and its return is definitely a major part of the story. I wasn't clear, and I was meaning more that it doesn't appear on the page that much, as you say it doesn't appear in the plot-lines themselves. Similar to Joe Abercrombie's stuff (yes, the breaking of the First Law, the ancient Magi, the 'Seed' and all that stuff are major driving themes and elements, but magic is very rarely seen on the page).

    I think, with them, it goes back to a philosophy espoused by Tolkien (and somewhat dismissed/ignored/handled by Erikson), with major magic only really happening off stage as it were... If a Wizard can click his fingers and that Army is blown to dust, then the next time an Army appears, it's not going to be a threat, it loses its impact, because the Wizard can just clap his hands this time or whatever. If we're shown this terrifically powerful magic, then it becomes a get-out-clause for any sort of threat... unless the author goes in-depth with how that was just a one-off, or explanations why the Wizard can't do it this time or whatever. So, with say Dany and her Dragons, they are born small and vulnerable, they're uncontrollable, don't have their power yet... otherwise, why would Dany need an army? Why would Dany need to engage in any sort of politics, when she could just use these terrifically powerful Dragons? Instead, their impact, their power develops. We don't see these fantastic, fantastically powerful, magical 'things' on the page... otherwise, we'd be expecting to see them every time there's a threat or problem, if the story is being consistent. (I think, actually, this is discussed by GRR Martin in an interview by Joe Abercrombie, that was done just before the first series of GoT aired).

    In short... I agree, and just wasn't clear in my wording. Magic and the fantasy elements are significant and important, but they don't appear on the page that much.

    Erikson (and ICE) on the other hand, just throws that out of the window. But, I think that's OK, because in the context, there is such a proliferation of power, and its use draws so much attention, that it becomes this double edged sword... and so there are consistent reasons why, in some situations, it isn't over used as a fix-it for EVERYTHING (some things, but not all things). It also goes in with what I was saying above about the vulnerability of the gods/Ascendants... Yes, a god can come down and use their powers to try and do this or that. But in doing so, they draw the attention of others with power, and they know that their power is a fragile, vulnerable thing... those others could easily get involved to put an end to the powerplay, step up and slap them down. There are great risks in use of the power present in the Malazan world, which balances out its appearance on the page.
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  20. #1120
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Got back from a few weeks in Canada yesterday. Finished The Cat's Table (meh), and the original Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov (I'm currently near the end of Second Foundation, actually the third book). Despite being several hundred pages of people talking about politics, it's a very enjoyable trilogy. My biggest gripe is that so far there has been precisely one female main character, and her job is mostly to be the level-headed, motherly, compassionate one. Other minor female characters (I can remember two) have been subservient wives or shrill harridans. One character does express surprise that on the Foundation (a community of scientists), women are treated as equals to men, so perhaps the lack of non-Foundation female characters was to make more of a point of the Foundation's superiority over the Empire.

    Would definitely recommend Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation though.

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