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What are you reading?

Discussion of other authors and their works, including Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, Shawn Speakman and many other great writers.

Re: What are you reading?

Postby saucerhead » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:16 am

Strider wrote:
Atreyu wrote:But he pushed his luck and started feeding us sparkling chocolate cookies because he didn't know to quit when he was ahead and now his magnum opus is diluted with superfluous effluent.


I'd like to know what you consider superfluous effluent but I know better than to ask. It still boils down to adding to his universe more than what you consider the original characters/story and that is where I think you are completely wrong.

PS. You didn't use the semicolon correctly and you are too young for me to take to the prom.

Dolan wrote:Maaaybe he could've finished the pooks by now if he kept his awesome self together but you know what? He'd probably find a way to make love to it, that massive ego would not be content with "just" a trilogy.


It's funny you should mention his hypothetical inability to stop writing his story. I believe Martin has a style very similar to the old serialized novels published in the 19th century. I know everyone thinks this is a fantasy opera "trilogy" thingy that showed up when Tolkien wrote his, but truly, he didn't invent the wheel. Those authors also wrote in trilogies once they added together their serialized stories from the newspapers to put it in book forms. I've read quite a few of them to make a parallel with their weaknesses and strengths. It is the reason I made to comparison with Dumas pere and his ghost writer who outlined his stories to begin with. Though I have no doubt Martin doesn't have one of those.


cf Burroughs' Mars series, Burroughs' Tarzan series, Johns' Biggles series (the final, uncompleted volume was to be titled "Biggles Does his homework") etc, etc.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby saucerhead » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:31 am

reading Randall Garrett's "Lord Darcy" stories collected into a single volume. Good fun so far. A nice change from a pretty grim horror novel in Aycliffe's The Talisman. So grim I decided not to bother with a few other horror novels he had written (also, with hindsight, plot holes, but at the time of reading was more put off by the constant unpleasantness of the plot).
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby saucerhead » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:25 am

Three posts in a row...sigh.

Still, I have to recommend the "Lord Darcy" collection by Randall Garrett I'm reading. I see why Glen Cook named his "detective in a fantasy world" Garrett in homage.

Darcy is set in an alternate "present day" Earth where Richard the Lionheart survived the crossbow bolt that killed him, and the Angevin Empire he founded now runs not only Britain and much of France, but also the whole of new world. Magic was discovered rather than science in the renaissance, and as a result we have a very different world - but there is still forensics (magical) and secret societies, and locked room mysteries.

Best of all, its one of those stories just full of fun to read.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Ser Kenneth » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:49 pm

saucerhead wrote:Three posts in a row...sigh.

Still, I have to recommend the "Lord Darcy" collection by Randall Garrett I'm reading. I see why Glen Cook named his "detective in a fantasy world" Garrett in homage.

Darcy is set in an alternate "present day" Earth where Richard the Lionheart survived the crossbow bolt that killed him, and the Angevin Empire he founded now runs not only Britain and much of France, but also the whole of new world. Magic was discovered rather than science in the renaissance, and as a result we have a very different world - but there is still forensics (magical) and secret societies, and locked room mysteries.

Best of all, its one of those stories just full of fun to read.


Sounds great! Just added it to my shopping basket on Amazon. I am currently reading The Just City by Jo Walton. A kind of science fantasy novel where the gods Athena and Apollo try to build a city based on Plato's Republic as a social experiment. I've been in a bit of a rut reading wise lately and this got me right out of it. I devoured half the book in one day.
"It's only publishers and some journalists who believe that people want simple things. People are tired of simple things. They want to be challenged." - Umberto Eco

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby HaiYouGuise2 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:13 pm

UnmightyWhitey wrote:I was reading a feature online recently - only I didn't bookmark it and now I can't find it - but somebody mentioned a series of books (American I think) that was based in the Pacific north-west and where an abnormally long winter was taking place, but I can't think of the name of the writer or the book. Somebody reckoned that GRRM had "borrowed" the idea of an abnormally long winter in ASOIAF from that series. I hadn't heard that theory before - I suppose the scenario of a long, harsh winter has been used lots of times though I can't think of any story (besides ASOIAF) where it features offhand.


Well, I don't know anything about a Pacific NW series, but that long winter was definitely a thing in Narnia.

I just read The Loney today. CREEPY. It gets a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads (where people seem to be awfully in love with their own words). One person wrote that it was 'dark but not disturbing', and I'm like, yeah
Spoiler:
sacrificing babies

definitely isn't disturbing.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby louisev » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:24 am

Ser Kenneth wrote:
Sounds great! Just added it to my shopping basket on Amazon. I am currently reading The Just City by Jo Walton. A kind of science fantasy novel where the gods Athena and Apollo try to build a city based on Plato's Republic as a social experiment. I've been in a bit of a rut reading wise lately and this got me right out of it. I devoured half the book in one day.


huh - in other words she just ripped off Solon via Plato's "Timaeus" and "Critias". Nothing new under the sun. Since I have read the primary source I'm wondering how much I would really like Walton's take.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby louisev » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:40 am

saucerhead wrote:Three posts in a row...sigh.

Still, I have to recommend the "Lord Darcy" collection by Randall Garrett I'm reading. I see why Glen Cook named his "detective in a fantasy world" Garrett in homage.

Darcy is set in an alternate "present day" Earth where Richard the Lionheart survived the crossbow bolt that killed him, and the Angevin Empire he founded now runs not only Britain and much of France, but also the whole of new world. Magic was discovered rather than science in the renaissance, and as a result we have a very different world - but there is still forensics (magical) and secret societies, and locked room mysteries.

Best of all, its one of those stories just full of fun to read.


ok this sounds like something i would like! Anything that smacks of Garrett!
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby UnmightyWhitey » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:43 am

louisev wrote:
Ser Kenneth wrote:
Sounds great! Just added it to my shopping basket on Amazon. I am currently reading The Just City by Jo Walton. A kind of science fantasy novel where the gods Athena and Apollo try to build a city based on Plato's Republic as a social experiment. I've been in a bit of a rut reading wise lately and this got me right out of it. I devoured half the book in one day.


huh - in other words she just ripped off Solon via Plato's "Timaeus" and "Critias". Nothing new under the sun. Since I have read the primary source I'm wondering how much I would really like Walton's take.


Maybe you should get it on library loan - that way if it's not to your taste you aren't out of pocket and you never know you might just like it. So many stories are treatments of existing plot line though. In the last few years there was a revival of "Miss Saigon" in London and I had never realised previously it is a treatment of the Madam Butterfly story though set in Vietnam rather than Japan. I remember back in the day (well circa 1981) I read the John Steinbeck novel "East of Eden" because I saw a TV miniseries of the story though Steinbeck was open that it was sort of based on the Cain and Able story from the Bible. That series included some of the parts of the book that the 1955 book left out - though Jo van Fleet and James Dean were rare gems. Apparently some outfit is considering remaking a film of the story - starring Jennifer Lawrence (I don't really see her in the Jo van Fleet role if that's want they've pencilled her in for but perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised when and if the film is made.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby saucerhead » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:57 am

Just finished Simon R Green's Very Important Corpses, a series of supernatural country house murder mysteries. Its more cheeseburger than Big Mac, but equally literary fast food. Painless to read is the best way to describe it. The perfect book to borrow from a library (or, to be honest, just go to the library for a few hours and read it there).

Now reading Horror Hunters, an Elwood anthology from the 70's that seems to be largely reprints rather than commissioned stuff. Still, its an all-star line up of Blackwood, WH Hodgson, RE Howard, HPL, Leiber, Sturgeon, Bloch, so it should be good. Next up is the final Drizzt volume 33, Hero. Probably one of the last D&D novels I will ever read, since WOTC is ceasing the Forgotten Realms novels I started reading and collecting about 30 years ago. On balance, that is probably a good thing.

Then its back into classic Poul Anderson and other vintage stuff (and I have not forgotten you louisev, just have not gotten to it yet!).
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Ser Kenneth » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:19 pm

louisev wrote:
Ser Kenneth wrote:
Sounds great! Just added it to my shopping basket on Amazon. I am currently reading The Just City by Jo Walton. A kind of science fantasy novel where the gods Athena and Apollo try to build a city based on Plato's Republic as a social experiment. I've been in a bit of a rut reading wise lately and this got me right out of it. I devoured half the book in one day.


huh - in other words she just ripped off Solon via Plato's "Timaeus" and "Critias". Nothing new under the sun. Since I have read the primary source I'm wondering how much I would really like Walton's take.


There's a lot of the Republic in it and not really any Critias or Timaeus. It's more of a human story than any of Plato's dialogues though. About what happens when Plato's theories are implemented on real live humans. Especially when those humans have not actually chosen to be part of Plato's Republic. I thoroughly recommend it!

Just finished To Kill a Mockingbird and now I am reading The Ides of March by Thornton Wilder.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Strider » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:10 pm

saucerhead wrote:reading Randall Garrett's "Lord Darcy" stories collected into a single volume. Good fun so far. A nice change from a pretty grim horror novel in Aycliffe's The Talisman. So grim I decided not to bother with a few other horror novels he had written (also, with hindsight, plot holes, but at the time of reading was more put off by the constant unpleasantness of the plot).


lol I every time I've read Lord Darcy here, I'd think of Jane Austen (YESSSS! See Louise, i have learnt my lesson ;) )

I'm reading Out Stealing Horses. By some Norwegian author. I like his style so far.

Finished The Kite Runner (which to my shame I've never touched in the years since I've bought it) and I loved it! So I was surprised in retrospect when the author said last year in an interview that if he took a red pen now, he'd take that thing apart. I don't care about Hollywood style coincidences and cliche redemption. I care about the main character finding peace and helping out his half brother's son.

lol I laughed out loud at Amir's funny way of looking at spoilerphobic America! I felt the same way. Turns out it's a culture thing and now has become a generational thing too. I always wanted to know if Blondie dies or not in the end and if Charles Bronson's character is alive by the end of Magnificent Seven... I still think Once Upon a Time in The West is the best of them followed by the Stagecoach and then the Spaghetti westerns.

Anyway, excellent book and I highly recommend it. Even though I clearly spoiled the ending for every poster here. Whatever, it's about the story not about the ending.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Strider » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:38 pm

HaiYouGuise2 wrote:It gets a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads (where people seem to be awfully in love with their own words).


I'm sure I thought the same thing many times :laugh: but every once in a while I find some amazing reviews from people that write whatever I feel about a book or another, so eloquently and so much better than I ever could.

I do have mixed feelings with the Goodreads reviews /rating there, simply because you'd have for example a 5 star given to good and enjoyable books however the same it's given to classics that 100 years from now will still be read for their literary value. I'm ambivalent about such a system. I root for book genre equality however I think not all books are created equal there are the ones that endure in time. And others that do not. Those should have a different system. I think. I'm digging myself into a hole here no doubt. Maybe I should stop digging.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Ser Kenneth » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:33 pm

Reading Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin. Historical novel about a Russian monk in 15th century Moscovy.
"It's only publishers and some journalists who believe that people want simple things. People are tired of simple things. They want to be challenged." - Umberto Eco

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Atreyu » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:37 pm

Strider wrote:Finished The Kite Runner (which to my shame I've never touched in the years since I've bought it) and I loved it! So I was surprised in retrospect when the author said last year in an interview that if he took a red pen now, he'd take that thing apart.


Great fucking story poorly written. The author has a few more years of English under his belt so I am not surprised he feels this way and the fault really lies in the editor. Still, sorry buddy, wouldn't change a thing. Not your fault some C-list subsidiary picked it up because the big players passed. Good enough as is.
No, I am not a best-selling fantasy author whose series HBO picked up. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn. Go fuck yourself.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Strider » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:47 am

It wasn't a poorly written book! Jesus, what on earth are you talking about?!?! I think he said that beaucause of some of the " Hollywood coincidences " he was so attached to. He employed them to get the "right" characters into the "right" situations in order for the hero to get closure and redemption for his childhood "cowardice" though he was only a child at the time. He reacted with shame and badly at hiding his knowledge of his half brother's **** that he saw, he pushed him away because of the stigma associated with the act and the guilt he felt. What was the probability that 30 yrs later that traumatic event would be reenacted with the same villain in a way to get Amir to act right?! I personally loved that though. There's no poor writing!
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