Page 93 of 120 FirstFirst ... 43839192939495103 ... LastLast
Results 1,841 to 1,860 of 2388
  1. #1841
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    879
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    I really love his books till the last two hundred pages of last book... then him trying to conclude the story feels a bit forced. like he spent 3 years on the book but last few chapters were done a month before sending it to publisher.

    what bride you are talking about in Void btw?
    (General spoiler alert ahoy. Though that's probably implicit in a thread like this, I hope?)

    Both of the main ones. (Kristabel and Kanseen.) My primary annoyance was Kanseen, who was wedded in an improvised fashion, with no close family present, so some semi-random guy had to "give" her away because that's the done thing, apparently.

    However, I get the feeling that Hamilton is actually trying, and in the chapter I just read (returning from the circumnavigation), there was more open criticism of those kinds of structures, so I should probably reserve further judgement until I've finished the book.

    Tangent: Today I watched an episode of spoiler warning where a joke was made in passing about the main character having died and retried a section several times and how the npc:s might react knowing that. Being in the process of reading these books, I immediately made some connections, especially to pop: the sands of time. I like the human approach to the time-rewind power in the void books; how using it to make big changes to the world really makes the user a bitter old cynic with twice or thrice the experienced lifetime of their contemporaries. I feel like there is some sort of opportunity here to continue what pop started with regards to folding the repeated attempts of a game into the actual canon. It also makes me think of anathem, which had similar themes. I guess majora's mask is something like this, but imagine an RPG where you had this power. Your character would still gain experience/skills/plot progression of some sort but the world itself is a butterfly effect sandbox that you try to shape to your will. A game version of butterfly effect?

    I'll end that train of thought there becase I don't really know where I'm going with this, I just feel there is plenty of untapped potential in this concept.

    EDIT: It would also be interesting to read/watch/play a story from the point of view of a friend of the time-rewinder, but not actually taking part of their specific experiences. We would experience this character's sudden jumps in mood and knowledge, but not know exactly what future they've just come back from or how long they just lived these past minutes.
    Last edited by postinternetsyndrome; 05-12-2013 at 11:38 PM.

  2. #1842
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,789
    Quote Originally Posted by postinternetsyndrome View Post
    Both of the main ones. (Kristabel and Kanseen.) My primary annoyance was Kanseen, who was wedded in an improvised fashion, with no close family present, so some semi-random guy had to "give" her away because that's the done thing, apparently.

    However, I get the feeling that Hamilton is actually trying, and in the chapter I just read (returning from the circumnavigation), there was more open criticism of those kinds of structures, so I should probably reserve further judgement until I've finished the book.
    didn't remember that part and had to find it on some russian website which has the book available to read online.

    Isn't it common in our society too tough? a father walks the gal to the alter? A man asks the parent before asking the lady?
    Tradition. That's why I didn't remember it. It was just part of their customs without any deeper meaning.

  3. #1843
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    879
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    didn't remember that part and had to find it on some russian website which has the book available to read online.

    Isn't it common in our society too tough? a father walks the gal to the alter? A man asks the parent before asking the lady?
    Tradition. That's why I didn't remember it. It was just part of their customs without any deeper meaning.
    It certainly is, in a lot of places, but at least in Sweden it's considered by many to be archaic and practiced by few.

    This is a book though, that takes place several thousand years into the future, that explores various alternate societies. To me it felt jarring just throw those things in without critical comment.

    I know I'm probably overreacting, and mainly I guess the problem is that this sort of things is just all over the place in general - not just in this particular story - and I'm getting more and more sensitive to it.

  4. #1844
    Obscure Node
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    New Delhi
    Posts
    12
    Finished The Lord of the rings. Currently reading "Why Me" Dortmunder#5. The Dortmunder books have some excellent characters and some of the most hilarious heists / crime attempts. And once in a while you get gems like "Is the ransom paid for a kidnapped child tax deductible ?".

  5. #1845
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,734
    Thankfully the man asking the parent before asking the person he intends to marry is dying out more and more. Heck, not that I could ever be in that position myself, but if my SO ever asked my parents before asking me I'd refuse on those grounds alone.

    Post, I don't think it's an overreaction. That is to say, an overreaction might've been throwing the book out of the window. Having that odd moment where you notice something and it feels strange because you've become more and more aware of how archaic and common it is would be perfectly appropriate? If I recall, I think I felt exactly the same thing at the time.

    As for what I'm reading, I recently finished The Trader's War and now I'm onto the last of the merchant Princes Omnibussers, The Revolution Trade. Trader's war was quite a saggy middle - I enjoyed it, but it was entirely buildup to this. That being said, this one seems to have kicked off at quite a pace, so we'll see if it can sustain that throughout.

  6. #1846
    Network Hub Stense's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    London
    Posts
    222
    I've been reading The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. Fascinating account of such cheery subjects as Marburg and Ebola viruses and how bad their outbreaks get. I really wish I hadn't started reading it whilst in bed with stomach cramps though.
    I have a new book out. Fancy some cynical fantasy comedy? Check it out:
    http://amzn.to/1oVrKlx

    Read my other stuff: http://tessstenson.blogspot.co.uk/
    I also contribute to http://www.coffeebreakgaming.co.uk/

  7. #1847
    Madame Bovary by Flaubert

    Reading it because I thought I ought to.
    "Oh, evolution. It wasn't meant for everyone."

  8. #1848
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    586
    The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark. A detailed account of the run-up to WWI. Highly recommended if you like history (of course you do!).

  9. #1849
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    São Paulo
    Posts
    1,384
    Quote Originally Posted by glimpse fade yelp View Post
    Madame Bovary by Flaubert

    Reading it because I thought I ought to.
    Everyone ought to, it's an amazing book.

    As for me, partly it's been a Discworld binge - reading the series in order, now in the middle of Sourcery. While I've enjoyed them all, they really have been getting better as the series progresses. Mort was very entertaining, the previous two less so.

    I do have a question about chronology, though, and perhaps one of you fans can help. I'm going to mark the question as spoiler:

    In the end of Light Fantastic, Rincewind seems poised to occupy a better place in the wizardry hierarchy, or at least to learn magic properly. But when we see him in Sourcery, he's still inept and working as the librarian's assistant. Oh, I guess I have two questions: in Equal Rites Granny Weatherwax is invited to the University, and it was supposedly going to accept women from now on, but there's also no trace of this in Sourcery. Is this explained at all later in the series?

    I'm also reading Italo Calvino's three "historical fables", for want of a better label (The Cloven Viscount, The Baron in the Trees and The Inexistent Knight). Such an amazing writer, Calvino. Clever, clever books.
    Last edited by Faldrath; 14-12-2013 at 03:54 AM.

  10. #1850
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,734
    Rincewind can't learn magic properly. So even if it was his plan, it ain't gonna happen. As four sourcery and equal rites... discworld has a chronology insofar as it might make for more interesting stories. That is to say, it's author-optional and only comes up sometimes.

  11. #1851
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    879
    In addition to what Serenegoose said, the first couple of books in the series are quite different from the rest. It wasn't really meant to become a huge franchise-thing from the beginning and it shows. Later on, things become much more nailed down and connected, for good or bad. I'd go so far as to say the later books get bogged down in their own tropes, and Pratchett seems to feel the same way.

    ---

    So I finallly finished up the void books and I guess the ending was ok? Or at least reasonable. It can't be easy to finish something like that when you've built it up and built it up and built it up over three books. Some spoilers:

    They never bothered to explain why the galaxy didn't disperse into the intergalactic vacuum when the gravitational force in the middle just disappeared. I guess things like that is what makes this space opera rather than science fiction.

    I rather appreciated that they had no big "boss fight" at the end. They simply informed the firstlife of the situation and the firstlife made a rational decision. And the villian sucked it up and just transcended on her own, I guess? Refreshing, in a way.

    The vaguely sexist stuff I complained about above didn't really get adressed after the last dream chapters, which reinforces my notion that the author really wasn't going anywhere with it and it was just something that happened by chance. At least Kristabel commented on it at one point, saying something like traditions can change, so that's something. Overall it was a very small part of the story so in the end it didn't ruin anything, so well.


    On a general note regarding the whole series (including the preceding commonwealth books), it really bugged me that the philosophical ramifications of the re-life technology was never properly discussed. The only foray into that territory is when Paula Myo (I think) at one point says that she isn't reassured by the fact that she will be cloned back to life if she dies, since it won't be her for real, and her current me will still die and stay dead. That's only a one-sentence thing though, mentioned in passing.

    Also rarely touched on is the fact that there can now exist several equal copies of the same person. It is mentioned - again in passing - that this is a bit of a taboo, but that's really interesting! Why not go further? There is The Cat in the void books, and that is used to some effect at one point, but it's never explored fully.

    To me, the whole conceit is deeply disturbing. Basically, every single human character in the story is living lives like Rupert's in The Prestige. Their personality might live on, but they still die. That particular continous consciousness will end, and another will start.

    I guess hamilton just wanted epic thousand-year adventures and an excuse to bring back characters thought killed off, which is fine, but he uses a very blunt tool to do it, philosophically speaking.
    Last edited by postinternetsyndrome; 14-12-2013 at 10:35 AM.

  12. #1852
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,789
    Quote Originally Posted by postinternetsyndrome View Post
    relife...
    If something is so common and practice for so long people won't really question it. Have you read previous books (Pandora's star and Judas Unchained)? One of the characters had a big problem by being reborn as clone. It was treated as something unusual and as more of psychological disease which must be treated.

    The tech is simply too old and too common for characters to be bothered discussing it. There has to be separate story set in 21st century (when the tech was developed) if you want to have a philosophical discussing regarding relife. Neither books were really fitted to do that.

  13. #1853
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    879
    You are probably right. I seem to remember there being some sort of prequel-ish book in the same setting, maybe it's worth checking out.

  14. #1854
    Network Hub DeekyFun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    London
    Posts
    232
    Nearly finished reading World War Z. The consistent level of detail across such a broad concept has impressed me a lot, but its been quite a harrowing read.

  15. #1855
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,068
    I'm currently making a point of reading a variety of classic fiction. As a child I largely dismissed anything in a real world setting in favour of sci-fi and fantasy adventures. Trying to catch up now.

    In the last couple of weeks I've read The Picture of Dorian Gray (thought provoking but kind of dull reading) and The Great Gatsby (was dubious due to the subject matter but it fully deserves its reputation). I've just started The Sound and the Fury. I went into it with no idea what it was about, and it's certainly not easy reading, but I'm enjoying it.

    Now I could just work my way down any of a number of lists of popular books, but asking for recommendations is more fun. So I'm doing that here.

  16. #1856
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    586
    ^ The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger. I read it recently and quite enjoyed it. It's also quite short.

  17. #1857
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    São Paulo
    Posts
    1,384
    So much stuff to recommend when it comes to classic fiction. I'd say try something Russian, German or French, if you haven't already. Can't go wrong with Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Mann, Kafka, Flaubert, Balzac... (well, you *can* go wrong, but in those cases even going wrong would probably turn out to be all right!)

  18. #1858
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,734
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    I'm currently making a point of reading a variety of classic fiction. As a child I largely dismissed anything in a real world setting in favour of sci-fi and fantasy adventures. Trying to catch up now.
    I've thought a few times that I really should read some classic fiction, because I mostly do the same sticking to sci-fi and fantasy. I found I genuinely could not read anything by austen when I was but a young lass, and school insisted I read it. I mean, I actually tried. I can recall sitting there, getting to the end of the page, and realising, for the third time that evening, I hadn't actually read any of it and had no recollection of what might've happened. And I know it wasn't just school because we also had to do shakespeare, which schools are infamous for ruining, and I actually enjoyed that.

    So I've never managed it, because I just can't shake the feeling of it being a chore. Even the classics I have read usually have a vein of sci-fi or alt-history running through them, like 1984. No matter how I try I can't work up any enthusiasm for the idea. I do think I must be missing out on something though, and obviously expanding your horizons is a good thing, so congratulations for managing something I know I couldn't.

  19. #1859
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    People's Republic of Germany
    Posts
    2,787
    Currently struggling through Umberto Eco's The Prague Cemetery. I'm not seeing how this is as good as The Name of the Rose or Focault's Pendulum but I'm still only 150 pages in. At least the excessive arcane historical references are still there.
    Old hat! A Steam curator page focusing on Immersive Sims WIP
    Antique! The Fall of Infinite Games 2014 - A handy release schedule for the dark season.
    Recently updated! Thrust Issues: A Marvelous Guide to Fencing in Dark Souls 2

    to wound the autumnal city.

  20. #1860
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    2,097
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    I'm currently making a point of reading a variety of classic fiction. As a child I largely dismissed anything in a real world setting in favour of sci-fi and fantasy adventures. Trying to catch up now.

    In the last couple of weeks I've read The Picture of Dorian Gray (thought provoking but kind of dull reading) and The Great Gatsby (was dubious due to the subject matter but it fully deserves its reputation). I've just started The Sound and the Fury. I went into it with no idea what it was about, and it's certainly not easy reading, but I'm enjoying it.

    Now I could just work my way down any of a number of lists of popular books, but asking for recommendations is more fun. So I'm doing that here.
    Try more of the American classics, Hemingway is an absolute must. Also try Tender is the Night by Fitzgerald, in many ways it's actually better than Gatsby though the subject matter is kind of different. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates should also be a good one if you're into Fitzgerald, different period and Mad Men does seem to have riffed on it. Or if you've never read Catch-22 by Joseph Heller give that a shot.

    Maybe also the Bloomsbury set, so Virginia Wolfe or EM Forester, though Wolfe can be incredibly trying at times Orlando is probably the more accessible one.

    I've found I can't read much before the 20th Century except Dostoyevsky. Austen and Dickens are just painful to read.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •