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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    pita's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Lies of Locke Lamora... I'll look into this.
    It's by Scott Lynch. Sorry I didn't add that.
    Ceika is a beautiful, wonderful person. The avatar was made by his/her great talent, and depending on his/her sex and sexuality, I either have a giant crush or a totally appropriate liking for him/her.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Just popped in to say that I'm following avidly and that I'm impressed and somewhat frightened by your reading pace. I'll definitely be checking out the books you recommend. Oh, and to sieze the chance for a little Mistborn nerdery.

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    I just realized that Zane was pierced by a spike… so he wasn’t insane after all. I wonder how he was pierced. Was he Mistborn before or after the spike?
    According to Sanderson (he has really cool annotations online), he actually was somewhat crazy before being pierced. Ruin can influence the minds of the insane (like Vin's mother), and he got him to pierce himself. He was naturally Mistborn, the single spike just gave him unnaturally strong and precise steel allomancy.

    Are there sixteen different hemalurgical spikes? Or what about sixteen creatures created by Hemalurgy? I suppose the same question stands for Feruchemy.
    Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy all use the same set of sixteen metals. Well kind of, but that's a story for another book. Sazed says somewhere in the book that the Lord Ruler only managed to make three hemalurgic creations, although not for lack of trying.

    I suppose my only question… if Sazed is the Hero of Ages (is he?), who was the Announcer?
    According to Sanderson the whole position of the Announcer was fabricated by Ruin, to seduce Kwaan, and then Sazed.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Connington View Post
    Just popped in to say that I'm following avidly and that I'm impressed and somewhat frightened by your reading pace. I'll definitely be checking out the books you recommend. Oh, and to sieze the chance for a little Mistborn nerdery.

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    According to Sanderson (he has really cool annotations online), he actually was somewhat crazy before being pierced. Ruin can influence the minds of the insane (like Vin's mother), and he got him to pierce himself. He was naturally Mistborn, the single spike just gave him unnaturally strong and precise steel allomancy.



    Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy all use the same set of sixteen metals. Well kind of, but that's a story for another book. Sazed says somewhere in the book that the Lord Ruler only managed to make three hemalurgic creations, although not for lack of trying.

    According to Sanderson the whole position of the Announcer was fabricated by Ruin, to seduce Kwaan, and then Sazed.
    Oh, interesting. I just finished the Alloy of Law, which was a bit of a fun side-story. It would actually make a pretty good film I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by pita View Post
    It's by Scott Lynch. Sorry I didn't add that.
    Ah, thank you.




    For those of you wondering about my silence, I've actually been without electricity for the past week, thanks to the ferocious storms... so I'll be getting back up to speed over the next few days.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Not knowing anything about you, your tastes, or what you've read before posting the request for suggestions:

    Fiction:

    A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

    Bambi, by Felix Salten

    Galaxy 666, by Pel Torro

    Non-Fiction:

    The Politics of Glory, by Bill James

    Eat the Rich, by P.J. O'Rourke

    History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, by Samuel Elliot Morison

    That last one might keep even a fast reader busy for a bit.

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by thompur View Post
    I cannot reccommend highly enough, the works of Robert J. Sawyer. He's a brilliant writer who has won more awards for his novels than anyone else in the Science Fiction and Fantasy fields.
    My personal favorites:
    *The Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy
    Far-Seer
    Fossil Hunter
    Foreigner


    *The Neanderthal Paralax Trilogy
    Hominids(Hugo Award)
    Humans
    Hybrids

    *The WWW Trilogy
    Wake
    Watch(Hal Clement Award)
    Wonder

    *The Terminal Experiment(Nebula Award)

    *Mindscan(John W. Campbell Memorial Award)

    *Flashforward(Basis for the TV series)
    *Starplex
    *Calculating God
    *Illegal Alien
    and his latest novel - Triggers

    What I love about his writing is his very relatable characters,and his relatively hopeful view of science and the future.

    I also reccommend the works of Jasper Fforde. Especially the Thursday Next series, and the Nursery Crime series. They are a lot of fun!
    Okay, so the whole dinosaurs and neanderthals part doesn't really interest me too much. Any particular reason why they're good? Also could you go into detail about the WWW trilogy, and a bit more info on the last few books you listed as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feytalist View Post
    Yeah, Knights of Dark Renown is a great book. Gemmell's standalone books are unfortunately usually underrated. Dark Moon and Echoes of the Great Song are two other good books if you enjoy this one.
    I went ahead and added those two books to the list as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by pita View Post
    The Way Of Kings can't be called the beginning of a series, as it is the only book out. You can read it safely enough. While it ends on a cliffhanger, it manages to resolve most of the issues it brings up.
    Warbreaker is my favorite Brandon Sanderson novel, for a variety of reasons, which I will not state for spoiler reasons. Safe to say: Read carefully.
    EDIT- I can't believe I didn't mention The Lies of Locke Lamora. One of my favorite fantasy novels. The sequel doesn't quite match up, but then again, nothing really does. It's a mix between Ocean's 11 and A Game of Thrones with a twist of The Godfather. The main characters are a gang of con artists pretending to be a gang of thieves working for Capa Barsavi, a crime-lord, while actually conning nobles. The novel cuts between flashbacks of the main character's somewhat insane childhood and what happens as their current "game" begins to go wrong.
    Okay I finished The Way of Kings. Interesting book, though a bit long. I'll have a full review up later today.

    I've added the Lies of Locke Lamora.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helanna View Post
    I was actually about to check if you had Warbreaker on your list. The plot is that two countries whose values are diametrically opposed are on the brink of war. The king of the smaller country sends one of his daughters to marry the large country's God-Emperor, who's an evil monster. Only instead of sending his oldest, who has prepared her whole life for this, he ends up sending his youngest, who never bothered to actually learn anything about the other country. She has to learn to live in the High Court, while her older sister tries to rescue her. Plus it features Lightsong, one of the Gods of the court, who's trying to figure out why he became a god.

    It's a mix of action and political intrigue, and it features one of Sanderson's trademark awesome magic systems. It's probably my favorite book of his.
    Added Warbreaker. Sanderson has proved to be pretty good so far (though I did find The Way of Kings a bit dry at first). Actually this is maybe a problem with all his works I've read so far. His beginnings are a bit lacking, but the endings all make up for it. Correct me if I'm wrong...

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMac307 View Post
    I hope I don't repeat anybody, but this is a fairly long post and I didn't have a chance to read through all the suggestions:

    Did anyone suggestion The Magicians and The Magician King by Lev Grossman? Very cynical, but fun. Bashes the heck out of Narnia, and is like a grittier, more sexualized Harry Potter.
    Hmm, I thought somebody else suggested this... evidently not. Which one of those should I start with?

    How about Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr? It is about a super-genius who starts hearing a disembodied voice in the womb, before he's even born that tells him the exact date and time of the end of the world.

    Also, if you are into fantasy / horror / sci-fi with a bit of noir and counter-culture / alternative-sexuality thrown in, check out anything by Caitlin R Kiernan.
    Hmm, I'll give Everything Matters a shot. As for Caitlin Kiernan, any particular books you enjoyed?

    Also, a personal favorite of mine is The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. Awesome counter-culture / sci-fi / conspiracy theory / anarchistic mash-up from the 70s. It will help you see the Fnords! As they say, Holy Cow, and Wholly Chao.

    If you want to read something outside of sci-fi / fantasy, try Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco... it's a bit of a difficult read, but awesome. The best conspiracy theory book I've ever read (although it deconstructions them).
    Err... Fnords?

    Quote Originally Posted by dps View Post
    Not knowing anything about you, your tastes, or what you've read before posting the request for suggestions:

    Fiction:

    A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

    Bambi, by Felix Salten

    Galaxy 666, by Pel Torro

    Non-Fiction:

    The Politics of Glory, by Bill James

    Eat the Rich, by P.J. O'Rourke

    History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, by Samuel Elliot Morison

    That last one might keep even a fast reader busy for a bit.
    I've read "A Wrinkle in Time".

    Is Bambi the book any different from Bambi the Disney Animated Feature?






    Reviews will be up later today. Finishing up the last few and trying not to be distracted by League of Legends.

  6. - Top - End - #96
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    I just started reading the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I’ve finished the first book, A Princess of Mars, and am about to dive into the next in the series. So far it’s been fantastic, I strongly recommend everyone should read it. It’s nice to go back to some of the foundation of science fiction and fantasy.

    I also strongly recommend the X-wing series by Michael A Stackpole and Aaron Allston. They are amazingly fun books to read. They are star wars books so if you’re a fan of the series these are sort of “must reads”. The best part is that you don’t have to have a ton of knowledge of the star wars universe to enjoy them either.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheThan View Post
    I just started reading the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I’ve finished the first book, A Princess of Mars, and am about to dive into the next in the series. So far it’s been fantastic, I strongly recommend everyone should read it. It’s nice to go back to some of the foundation of science fiction and fantasy.

    I also strongly recommend the X-wing series by Michael A Stackpole and Aaron Allston. They are amazingly fun books to read. They are star wars books so if you’re a fan of the series these are sort of “must reads”. The best part is that you don’t have to have a ton of knowledge of the star wars universe to enjoy them either.
    I've read both series. I really enjoyed the first few of the X-Wing series. I felt like it strayed off path though with the whole Wraith Squadron bit, though Piggy and Squeaky were two awesome characters. Yub Yub Commander!

    Okay, review time!


    1


    The Alloy of Law (Mistborn)
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    Okay so this book wasn’t quite what I was expecting. You know that phrase “sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” or however it goes? Yeah that seems to have taken a backseat in this novel. Actually it seems like a bit of a fun setting to live in actually. From the cover, I figure it’s a bit of a Victorian-esque mid-19th century timeframe (if you can even compare this place to Earth). I was a bit confused by the beginning though. A lot of effort was put into describing Lassie and this criminal mastermind Tan, and they’re mostly forgotten in the rest of the book. That, and the book didn’t really explain how there are new Feruchemists if Sazed was the last one… anyways, plot holes aside…

    I really liked the setting. I don’t know why, but I just keep going back to this. Maybe it’s just the whole revolvers and fancy hats and such. I feel like there’s a lot of potential here for another story. Actually come to think of it, this would make a pretty good film I think. The only problem would be in somehow presenting the history of the world and the magic system to people who haven’t read the books. I think the word here would be… accessibility? Yeah. Anyways…

    Wax is a bit of a weird character. I mean, yeah he’s a House Lord, but he’s such a wimpy house lord. That, and there’s clearly this love triangle and he’s totally blind to it. Actually I’d probably be just as clueless, but he figures it out in the end, and still chooses to marry a person he’ll probably be annoyed with for the rest of his life. Maybe he’s just nuts I think.

    Now, Wayne on the other hand is a much more interesting character. I would love to meet somebody like that in real life. I mean, he’s got a signature touch… everything revolves around having the right hat! Being able to change disguises again and again, and also change your accent completely. He also seems to be the brains of the outfit. Despite all the scenes with Wax drawing stuff on paper, it’s always Wayne that seems to intuitively recognize the bigger picture. Wax just walks into crazy situations. I’d like to learn more about where he came from. There wasn’t much detail about Wayne’s character. Just enough to pique my interest, but then there wasn’t any delivery or follow-through, so I suppose that was a little bit of a letdown there.

    It was really nice seeing Marsh at the end though. That was a bit of a pleasant surprise. It didn’t really have any tie-in to the novel, but I thing it was throwing a bone to the readers. Maybe there’s something more here in the future?
    The Way of Kings
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    This was a very long and rather confusing book. Maybe my brain just isn’t advanced enough to comprehend everything, but there were so many characters, and the frame of reference kept jumping back and forth. For instance, Shallan might be introduced, and then the story immediately shifts to Kaladin. Speaking of which… with so many characters, I found it difficult to like any particular one, except for Kaladin. Oh and I suppose Dalinor is likeable enough, because who doesn’t like the resident raving madman in charge of everything?

    This book really lacks a focus, at least, in my mind. I think it would have been a better book if there were fewer characters, with more in-depth perspectives and chapters in their lives. Or perhaps this could be split into several books. A series doesn’t necessarily have to start with a single book. That’d be kind of a cool concept actually. Pick up any one of the starter books and then that could feed into an overall larger narrative.

    I think I mentioned this before, but I feel that of Sanderson’s works that I’ve read so far, all of them have weak openings. Opening with a murder, and then immediately switching elsewhere, and then not coming back to the murder scene? I’m just confused at this point.

    I don’t want to harp on this book too much though. While not as interesting or elegant as the Mistborn series style Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy, I did enjoy the magic system in this world. The Shardblades and Lashing are vaguely reminiscent of d20-style Psionics. What wasn’t really explained was why wearing Shardplate would prevent someone from performing Lashings…? Are Shardplates powered by Stormlight-infused crystals? If that’s the case, is it the same for Shardblades? Oh, and Soulcasting. I find it intriguing that there is an entire caste of magic-users that can basically transmute one substance into another. As demonstrated by Shallan, one doesn’t necessarily require the physical soulcaster trinket to convert substances… is that the case for all practitioners? The Ardents once tried to take control and failed, but they’re the institution controlling the Soulcasters I think, right? I wonder if they’re like the Templars in Assassin’s Creed… nominally “disbanded” or in this case, “without power” yet are really pulling the strings in the background…

    I also found it interesting that the common weapon was a spear, not a sword. I wonder if there’s something deeper behind that. Why are swords reserved for more important people? After all, centuries of human warfare has led to the sword as the superior weapon… why the spear?
    Altered Carbon
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    I will confess. I felt a little dirty reading this. I wasn’t really sure how the prologue fit into the whole book. It made Kovacs out to be some sort of criminal, when he really was part of some sort of interstellar commando police unit. I probably mangled his job description there. Probably. Anyways, the basic premise is that this guy blows his head off, and the police wrote it off as a suicide. As is aptly noted, this guy had absolutely no reason to blow his head off, and even if he were trying to commit suicide, even he knows that frying his brains won’t do the job, thanks to the whole technology developed where people can move their minds around between bodies. Okay that’s the cool part.

    The ability to copy your brain, and then download it into another body? That’s just some serious cool. I’m not sure I’d go for it myself. As described, only the super rich can afford to keep cloning their bodies to stay young. Growing old over and over again would probably get old… hah. That, and to wake up in somebody else’s body every eighty years? That would just creep me out to no end. Still, it’s a pretty awesome direction to move towards. I think I recall reading something similar in a Star Trek novel, with people downloading themselves into android bodies, but this seems better thought out.

    I think the one detractor in this book is how dirty it gets. Genetic manipulation to make your body secrete a telepathy-stimulant (read: narcotic, drug, etc.) when you’re aroused (and hopefully I don’t trip any red flags here)? Then cloning yourself multiple times, copying your mind into each of those bodies, and then seducing the main character? I’m not sure what to think at this point. If you’ve lived for three centuries, I’m sure you get bored of life at some point, but if this is what you’re turning to… I think I’ll stop pursuing this train of thought. I’m not sure I want to think about this anymore.

    As for the mystery, there was a pretty awesome conclusion to the book. The first theory is totally plausible, with a lethal computer virus, but then we find out an even more devilish plan, and then everything slams into place. Envoy intuition I think it’s called in the book. I suppose that’s a bit of a Deus Ex Machina there, but everything has been setup properly, so it just clicks, and turns into a good ending.

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Well there could be several reasons why spears are the weapon of choice mostly speculation though on my part ^^

    Most important I think is that swords are pretty much something akin to holy symbols in this world (Honorblades carried by the Heralds, Shardblades etc) and you don´t let anyone just carry such a symbol (even if its just an imitation of the symbol).

    Maybe metal production/purification is just not good enough, a technology which is extremely important to create swords but rather no so to create a working spear.

    As far as I remember the enemy consisted mostly of large brutish creatures and fighting against such an enemy spears are the superior weapon compared to the short sword (which is the sword that is superior to any other weapon in formation fighting).

    Or maybe he just wanted something different from sword fights all the time who knows
    Last edited by Emmerask; 2012-07-07 at 04:23 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Spears aren't the weapon of choice - it's specifically stated that all lighteyes are allowed to and do use the sword. It's a rank thing, because spears are cheap and nobody really cares enough about darkeyes to allow them anything better.

    I read Way of Kings recently too, and really wasn't a fan. In a thousand pages, practically nothing happened, and there are going to be nine more books.
    Last edited by Flickerdart; 2012-07-07 at 04:26 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Hm what was the ratio of light eyes vs others is that stated in the book?

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Is Bambi the book any different from Bambi the Disney Animated Feature?
    The movie is an adaptation of the book. There are some significant differences. Some plot differences, but mostly it's that the book is much more serious in tone.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    I've read both series. I really enjoyed the first few of the X-Wing series. I felt like it strayed off path though with the whole Wraith Squadron bit, though Piggy and Squeaky were two awesome characters. Yub Yub Commander!
    yeah I see your point, Wrath squadron was the reverse of Rogue squadron. The rogues were the best of the Rebels, the wraiths, not really, the rogues were pilots first, covert ops second, the wraiths were covert ops first, pilots second. So really, it depends on which side of the coin you liked better.

    The Wraiths came off as a cross between Hogan's heroes, and the dirty dozen. they were a bit silly and fun, but at the same time, very dangerous. They also had a touch of the underdog in them.

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmerask View Post
    Most important I think is that swords are pretty much something akin to holy symbols in this world (Honorblades carried by the Heralds, Shardblades etc) and you don´t let anyone just carry such a symbol (even if its just an imitation of the symbol).
    Okay this I think makes the most sense of all the potential arguments. Even within swords though, there are tons of variations, and you can always make more ornate weapons... Shardblades seem to exist in a class all by themselves really. I digress though. This is probably the reason why, though I don't think it was very well explained in the book.

    [Quote]Maybe metal production/purification is just not good enough, a technology which is extremely important to create swords but rather no so to create a working spear.[/Qupte]

    Okay, but metal production can be set aside for the moment. Soulcasting can transmute from any substance to another (presumably of perfect purity). Remember the marble railing, carved out of wood, then soulcast? Even assuming soulcasting is a limited and expensive process, metallurgy is hardly a difficult industry to build and manage. I figure if you can make an iron or a steel spearhead, it's not that more difficult to extend that to making a sword... the only indication at this point would be a scarcity of metal, but then again, aren't they all wearing metal armor?

    As far as I remember the enemy consisted mostly of large brutish creatures and fighting against such an enemy spears are the superior weapon compared to the short sword (which is the sword that is superior to any other weapon in formation fighting).
    So far the only creatures they've been fighting are each other, and chasmfiends. Oh and I suppose if you consider the Parshendi as "not-human" then yeah, the Parshendi, who fight with hammers, if I remember correctly.

    A spear makes for a terrible weapon once the enemy is in your face, unless it's a shortspear, at which point it's no better than a longsword. If you're fighting a chasmfiend, the one that we've seen so far has been too big for spears to be of any use, and if you're running a large military, why would you equip your soldiers to fight one exceptionally rare, behemoth, when your everyday combat is against other humanoids?

    To me, spears are mostly useful only against cavalry charges... and aren't horses relatively rare? Or am I mixing this up with another book...

    Maybe you're right too, I dunno. Spears are a refreshing change from swords.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Spears aren't the weapon of choice - it's specifically stated that all lighteyes are allowed to and do use the sword. It's a rank thing, because spears are cheap and nobody really cares enough about darkeyes to allow them anything better.

    I read Way of Kings recently too, and really wasn't a fan. In a thousand pages, practically nothing happened, and there are going to be nine more books.
    I suppose you're also right. Well, I'm more of the opinion that it's a status symbol, as Emmerask pointed out. Still, this is a culture based on competition and victory. If you wanted to secure a lot of gemhearts, ideally you would do so by preserving the lives of your troops, so as to maintain the strength of your army. Better weapons means your soldiers kill the enemy first. The lighteyes at the top of the food chain are clearly adept at battlefield strategy. Equipping everyone with a sword would seem to be the expedient option...

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmerask View Post
    Hm what was the ratio of light eyes vs others is that stated in the book?
    Well, if we judge by the bridge crew alone... that's what, 30 men to one lighteye supervisor. Roughly eight bridge crews, so around 120 men assuming every crew is at average or better strength. Dalinor has roughly eight thousand soldiers in his army, and doesn't use bridge crews, so that'd be 66 lighteyes for 8000 troops, which is clearly not the case considering the number of nobles, so I think maybe a realistic number would be 10:1? Maybe in that ballpark anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by dps View Post
    The movie is an adaptation of the book. There are some significant differences. Some plot differences, but mostly it's that the book is much more serious in tone.
    Hmm, okay. I'll think about this then. So, sort of the reverse of what happened with say, Starship Troopers?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheThan View Post
    yeah I see your point, Wrath squadron was the reverse of Rogue squadron. The rogues were the best of the Rebels, the wraiths, not really, the rogues were pilots first, covert ops second, the wraiths were covert ops first, pilots second. So really, it depends on which side of the coin you liked better.

    The Wraiths came off as a cross between Hogan's heroes, and the dirty dozen. they were a bit silly and fun, but at the same time, very dangerous. They also had a touch of the underdog in them.
    Yeah. I suppose the idea was kind of cool. Take all the bottom of the barrel people and shove them all together, but I get the feeling that would only happen in a book. I suppose to make interesting characters, yeah we need interesting people, so I can let that slide. I just felt like the story shifted away from characters I liked. I really wanted to learn more about Corran Horn, and so on (and yes, I've read I, Jedi). Barring that, it would have been fun to learn more about Wedge, Wes, Hob, etc. and all the original members of Red/Rogue squadron.

    That, and the last book just didn't seem to fit at all. Oh, and, they captured a Super Star Destroyer and didn't really get to use it. That was a bit of a disappointment.

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    I see that you have The Gunslinger but haven't read it. Read it. Right now, this instant. The Dark Tower is the best thing that Stephen King has ever written, and you are doing yourself a disservice by putting it off for so long.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Added Warbreaker. Sanderson has proved to be pretty good so far (though I did find The Way of Kings a bit dry at first). Actually this is maybe a problem with all his works I've read so far. His beginnings are a bit lacking, but the endings all make up for it. Correct me if I'm wrong...
    I can see what you mean, but I've always liked his openings. He tends to use the cold open that is only tangentially related to the story, but provides a pretty good (to me) entrance to the setting. I've always liked the "show, don't tell" method of storytelling. It's only really lacking if you expect to be told everything right from the word go. But your point is also valid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Okay, review time!

    Altered Carbon
    Heh. I did mention this book is really dark, but I suppose I should have warned you that it gets very... er, sleazy, as well. Morgan has a very low opinion of human nature, as you'll see in pretty much all of his other books.

    Also, regarding the book's prologue, refer to my previous point. Morgan also uses the "show, don't tell" method here, and I think he does it very well. In fact, the whole novel assumes you know more of the setting than you rightly should, and just goes from there. Like the different techs' descriptions. (Like What the hell is a Sunjet, anyway?) It allows for a very visceral immediacy. But I'll allow that that's not everyone's cup of tea.

    Also yeah, how exactly do you describe an Envoy? They're essentially brainwashed to be preternaturally aware, have total recall, and a supreme mental balance. But they all turn out psychotic anyway.

    I hope this book hasn't put you off from reading the other ones. The next one, Broken Angels, is actually my favourite. It uncovers a bit of the mystery of the Martians.
    Awesome fremetar by wxdruid.

    From the discomfort of truth there is only one refuge and that is ignorance. I do not need to be comfortable, and I will not take refuge. I demand to *know*.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zale View Post
    Also, this is the internet. We're all borderline insane for simply being here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtS View Post
    I see that you have The Gunslinger but haven't read it. Read it. Right now, this instant. The Dark Tower is the best thing that Stephen King has ever written, and you are doing yourself a disservice by putting it off for so long.
    I'll read this next then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feytalist View Post
    I can see what you mean, but I've always liked his openings. He tends to use the cold open that is only tangentially related to the story, but provides a pretty good (to me) entrance to the setting. I've always liked the "show, don't tell" method of storytelling. It's only really lacking if you expect to be told everything right from the word go. But your point is also valid.



    Heh. I did mention this book is really dark, but I suppose I should have warned you that it gets very... er, sleazy, as well. Morgan has a very low opinion of human nature, as you'll see in pretty much all of his other books.

    Also, regarding the book's prologue, refer to my previous point. Morgan also uses the "show, don't tell" method here, and I think he does it very well. In fact, the whole novel assumes you know more of the setting than you rightly should, and just goes from there. Like the different techs' descriptions. (Like What the hell is a Sunjet, anyway?) It allows for a very visceral immediacy. But I'll allow that that's not everyone's cup of tea.

    Also yeah, how exactly do you describe an Envoy? They're essentially brainwashed to be preternaturally aware, have total recall, and a supreme mental balance. But they all turn out psychotic anyway.

    I hope this book hasn't put you off from reading the other ones. The next one, Broken Angels, is actually my favourite. It uncovers a bit of the mystery of the Martians.
    Oh no, not at all. Is this a series? I'll look into Broken Angels. Or rather, I should go put it on the list.


    As for sleazy novels, The Wise Man's Fear got really... graphic at one point. I just finished that last night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Oh no, not at all. Is this a series? I'll look into Broken Angels. Or rather, I should go put it on the list.
    There's three novels in the Kovacs series. Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies. They're not direct sequels but they all kinda follow from each other.


    There's also a couple of stand-alone novels, and his fantasy series, A Land Fit For Heroes. Two books so far, The Steel Remains and The Cold Commands. He just started writing the third book. Also very good, but lots of gay sex, which some people have been very vocal about for some reason.
    Awesome fremetar by wxdruid.

    From the discomfort of truth there is only one refuge and that is ignorance. I do not need to be comfortable, and I will not take refuge. I demand to *know*.
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    Also, this is the internet. We're all borderline insane for simply being here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtS View Post
    I see that you have The Gunslinger but haven't read it. Read it. Right now, this instant. The Dark Tower is the best thing that Stephen King has ever written, and you are doing yourself a disservice by putting it off for so long.
    Okay, so I'm about halfway through The Gunslinger, and I'm so far not enthused. He's met a guy so far, ate some beans, slept with a bartender aaaand that's about it. Oh, listened to a rather strange sermon.

    Am I missing something here? I'm just having a hard time getting into the book. Does it improve? If not, I'll at least finish the book since it's pretty short, but I'm not particularly going to go out of my way to read the rest of the series unless it picks up soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feytalist View Post
    There's three novels in the Kovacs series. Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies. They're not direct sequels but they all kinda follow from each other.


    There's also a couple of stand-alone novels, and his fantasy series, A Land Fit For Heroes. Two books so far, The Steel Remains and The Cold Commands. He just started writing the third book. Also very good, but lots of gay sex, which some people have been very vocal about for some reason.
    Ah hah! Yes I'll definitely look into getting these. I'm almost done with my small stack of books here. I should put some more books on hold at the library. I'm down to three books. I'll probably get to that tomorrow.


    I might start posting my reviews on my own site, rather than the forums. I haven't thought too much about it yet, but if the books I'm reading continue to be rather graphic or mildly NSFW in nature, I'd rather not push my luck with the forum rules and such. I'll keep posting my reviews here for now though... I suppose until somebody complains.

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Okay, so I'm about halfway through The Gunslinger, and I'm so far not enthused. He's met a guy so far, ate some beans, slept with a bartender aaaand that's about it. Oh, listened to a rather strange sermon.

    Am I missing something here? I'm just having a hard time getting into the book. Does it improve? If not, I'll at least finish the book since it's pretty short, but I'm not particularly going to go out of my way to read the rest of the series unless it picks up soon.
    I'm not a big fan of the Dark Tower, either. I read the Gunslinger and the Drawing of the Three and then kinda gave up on the series. Maybe I will go back to it one day, since so many people swear by it (including my mother), but I much prefer Steven King's the Stand, the Shining and even the Eyes of the Dragon to the first two books of the Dark Tower.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Hmm, I thought somebody else suggested this... evidently not. Which one of those should I start with?



    Hmm, I'll give Everything Matters a shot. As for Caitlin Kiernan, any particular books you enjoyed?



    Err... Fnords?
    Sorry, I hadn't noticed that you responded to me until just now.

    Question 1 - Start with The Magicians

    Question 2 - I enjoyed Kiernan's Silk, as well as Threshold and Murder of Angels.

    Question 3 - According to Wikipedia, "Fnord is the typographic representation of disinformation or irrelevant information intending to misdirect, with the implication of a worldwide conspiracy." IIRC, in the Illuminatus! Trilogy, one of the POV characters starts to see the word Fnord inserted into portions of the body of articles in the New York Times... The parts "they" don't want you to remember... It is a type of subliminal brainwashing of sorts
    Last edited by JoeMac307; 2012-07-12 at 12:32 PM.

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Okay, so I'm about halfway through The Gunslinger, and I'm so far not enthused. He's met a guy so far, ate some beans, slept with a bartender aaaand that's about it. Oh, listened to a rather strange sermon.

    Am I missing something here? I'm just having a hard time getting into the book. Does it improve? If not, I'll at least finish the book since it's pretty short, but I'm not particularly going to go out of my way to read the rest of the series unless it picks up soon.
    The Gunslinger is more the first act of the story than a book in and of itself. To compare it with Lord Of The Rings, it's the part between the beginning and The Council of Elrond. It picks up in the second half, but it's not really a whole. Also, what's the copyright on your copy? There are two versions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMac307 View Post
    I'm not a big fan of the Dark Tower, either. I read the Gunslinger and the Drawing of the Three and then kinda gave up on the series. Maybe I will go back to it one day, since so many people swear by it (including my mother), but I much prefer Steven King's the Stand, the Shining and even the Eyes of the Dragon to the first two books of the Dark Tower.
    I've just been pretty disappointed with Stephen King so far. He writes so much, but I feel like there's little ... content? Maybe I'm just not in the right mindset or something, but he's just not hooking me as a reader.

    Sorry, I hadn't noticed that you responded to me until just now.

    Question 1 - Start with The Magicians

    Question 2 - I enjoyed Kiernan's Silk, as well as Threshold and Murder of Angels.

    Question 3 - According to Wikipedia, "Fnord is the typographic representation of disinformation or irrelevant information intending to misdirect, with the implication of a worldwide conspiracy." IIRC, in the Illuminatus! Trilogy, one of the POV characters starts to see the word Fnord inserted into portions of the body of articles in the New York Times... The parts "they" don't want you to remember... It is a type of subliminal brainwashing of sorts
    Yeah I typically don't have much time to post during weekdays, so I catch up in big waves. I'll try to track down those books. I'll get around to adding them to my list at some point too.

    Okay that Fnords thing is rather amusing. Err, which book is about that again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    The Gunslinger is more the first act of the story than a book in and of itself. To compare it with Lord Of The Rings, it's the part between the beginning and The Council of Elrond. It picks up in the second half, but it's not really a whole. Also, what's the copyright on your copy? There are two versions.
    Hmmm. To be quite honest, I didn't actually like the Lord of the Rings. It's a great piece of work, but only because of grandness and scale of the epic setting. The Hobbit was a much better piece, in my opinion anyways.

    I'll have my review up later today, but after reading the Gunslinger, I just didn't really feel invested in any of the characters. The only part I enjoyed was in the train tunnels, and that's basically it. Maybe I'm just impatient.
    Last edited by Neftren; 2012-07-14 at 09:21 AM.

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    Another important thing is that normal people can not see Fnord. It's a nonsense word that is only connected to the information you are not supposed to see. If you can see Fnord *they* know that you have broken through the conditioning.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
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    Yeah I didn´t really "like" Gunslinger and dark tower too, I don´t think its because of the long stretches of nothing happens. I read Wheel of time and that series is clearly the king of nothing happens and still mildly enjoyed each book.

    I think it has more to do with the main character(s) in stephen kings books, I just can´t like them enough to be interested in what they are doing.
    Actually quite similar to song of ice and fire now that all* of the characters I rooted for are pretty much dead it really is hard to read on.
    On the other hand wheel of time while there are 100page+ passages where NOTHING happens I still could read it pretty good because there are some characters I rather like and want to succeed.

    *except the Onion Knight GOGO onion knight!
    (haven´t read the last book completely yet because of the issue I have with it so hopefully he doesn´t die a horrible death too)
    Last edited by Emmerask; 2012-07-14 at 09:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Another important thing is that normal people can not see Fnord. It's a nonsense word that is only connected to the information you are not supposed to see. If you can see Fnord *they* know that you have broken through the conditioning.
    Hmm. Hey isn't there a movie about this? I vaguely remember seeing a movie about a taxi-cab driver making up conspiracy theories and then blindly stumbling upon a real one...

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmerask View Post
    Yeah I didn´t really "like" Gunslinger and dark tower too, I don´t think its because of the long stretches of nothing happens. I read Wheel of time and that series is clearly the king of nothing happens and still mildly enjoyed each book.

    I think it has more to do with the main character(s) in stephen kings books, I just can´t like them enough to be interested in what they are doing.
    Actually quite similar to song of ice and fire now that all of the characters I rooted for are pretty much dead it really is hard to read on.
    On the other hand wheel of time while there are 100page+ passages where NOTHING happens I still could read it pretty good because there are some characters I rather like and want to succeed.
    Hahaha alrighty then. Yeah it's hard to keep going when you don't care about anybody. Was kind of like the Way of Kings. I was tempted to just keep skipping ahead.



    Anyways, I've gone and put a bunch more books on hold. Or tried at least. Half the list is unavailable, though I did manage to get one David Gemmell book (Dark Moon). I'm also skipping all the Jim Butcher books for now. Apparently my friend has every single book by Jim Butcher, so it'll be easier for me to just borrow the entire collection from him.

    Blah. On a Pale Horse is only available in Sound Recording... !!!

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    I must admit, I never got through the Illuminatus! trilogy. Or ever far into it. It's too... weird for me. Not just hte premise, the writing style. The authors probably didn't really think much of small things like working grammar, linear time or coherent narrative,.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I must admit, I never got through the Illuminatus! trilogy. Or ever far into it. It's too... weird for me. Not just hte premise, the writing style. The authors probably didn't really think much of small things like working grammar, linear time or coherent narrative,.
    Interesting. Linear time and coherent narrative are two of my complaints about The Gunslinger...

    Anyways, reviews!

    The Wise Man's Fear
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    This was a rather… raunchy sequel to The Name of the Wind. I mean, the whole idea of a faerie that seduces you and then causes you to die of exertion while … erm… sleeping with her. Of course, since Kvothe is our main character, and main characters cannot die, he survives the ordeal of course. Then he takes his newfound “skills” and uses them on all sorts of other women. There’s a maid in a tavern… a warrior-lady who repeatedly beats him up while “training” him… wait make that two crazy warrior ladies. Yet with all his experience with women, he still somehow manages to bungle it with Denna. Okay I’m going to set this part aside now.

    I had a harder time liking Kvothe in this part of his narrative. His quest for the Amyr seems to have taken a backseat to his current plans. He only gets as far as to ask the Maer about them, but doesn’t learn anything especially interesting. Oh the Cthaeh also told him a bit, but that’s basically it for the book. On a side note, I thought the Ctaeth was rather interesting, as it presents probably the best interpretation of future sight. After all, the future is never “certain” (or is it?). However, if given the ability to see every possible future, you could effectively cherrypick your words and actions in such a way to guarantee the future you seek. Much more intelligent than the “oh I can see the future, but the future isn’t always set in stone!” mumbo jumbo of other fantasy stories. I suppose the Ctaeth is rather twisted and sadistic in his own way.

    Stepping outside the bounds of the “story” for the moment … it would seem that most people seek to be greater than life. This is reflected mostly throughout real life. Most everyone wants to be popular, or promoted at work, or be the authority on something. Recognition is a sort of positive feedback loop that many people strive for. Yet here we have Kvothe, who is basically doing everything he can to do the exact opposite. He seems to just want to disappear, but why? He can’t be much older than what, twenty-six? His narrative places him around age sixteen or eighteen maybe? Maybe to pull this back to the “present” in the book, now that Kvothe’s history is mostly made clear (except for where he ends up getting expelled from the university for good…), how does all this tie into the current reappearance of scrael and other creatures?

    Before I finish this off, I just want to present my theory that Bredon is Denna’s mysterious patron. He goes off on mysterious trips every so often, and nobody knows where he goes. He’s a member of the Maer’s court, but without any official status or rank as far as I am aware… he clearly loves to play games, both with tiles, and more importantly, with people. Maybe I’m just connecting lines between nonexistent dots here. If there is somebody that would fit though…
    The Gunslinger
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    I’d heard lots of good things about this book, but I’m rather disappointed. That’s probably an understatement. I had a really hard time getting invested in any of the characters. Roland (err, the Gunslinger, right? This wasn’t exactly made explicitly clear until the very end) felt rather bland. He tells all these stories, but they’re mostly just him taking advantage of people or beating them up for some reason or another. Does he make any sort of profound revelation or discover some important fact about himself? No… unless I missed something.

    I’ll stop harping on Roland for a second. The book’s organization just didn’t really make that much sense either. So we’ve got Roland chasing this guy across the desert, and then we’re all of a sudden back in the town he was just in, where he sleeps with the bartender (okaaaay?) several times (ummm…) and then goes to a sermon. Afterwards, he murders everybody in the town and walks away as if nothing happened. Then the story shifts… again. Okay seriously, I’m not even sure where the current timeline is going, and then another one is introduced. Confused reader = bad. Maybe I’m just unsophisticated or insufficiently advanced to read this book. Somebody tell me if this is the case…

    I think the one bright spot about the book though is Jake. You know, that boy he picks up in the abandoned gas station. Speaking of gas stations, I found the whole Amoco, Land of the Free scene with the gas hose in between an old guy’s legs while preaching, to be rather amusing, considering Amoco went out of business ages ago (or I should say, bought out by British Petroleum). Anyways, where was I… oh, right, Jake. So, Jake comes from New York, probably of a similar time. Clearly we’re on “Earth” or some similar version of it, where some sort of apocalypse has occurred. Jake seems to be from our Earth, or a similar Earth, as he makes references to many things that we’d be familiar with. His dad works for “The Network” which is probably a television station of some sorts. Anyways, we’ve got Jake stranded in an abandoned hovel (why is he here again…?) and rescued by Roland. It’s nice to know Roland has a soul. Err sorry, I’ll stop fixating on Roland.

    Anyways, I think the most interesting part of the book was when they were travelling through the abandoned subway tunnels, and Roland has to save Jake from the creepy mutants, while pushing the cart. Roland almost leaves Jake behind too, but Jake eventually figures out he doesn’t really have anywhere else to go, which was probably the only enlightening phrase in the book (that I enjoyed anyways). I feel like sometimes you just need to point out the obvious… for impact. Anyways, I’m probably not going to read the rest of the series, unless somebody comes up with an exceptionally convincing argument otherwise.

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    The parts you seemed to like are pretty much the entirety of Drawing of the Three (book two.) You may find it worthwhile to read at least that far in the series. Plot synopsis:


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    Roland is on a beach where there is a series of doors. Each door leads to another where and another when. When he goes through each, he finds himselg sharing a body with another person. He eventually draws two of them into his where and when, and trains them as gunslingers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    The Wise Man's Fear
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    Before I finish this off, I just want to present my theory that Bredon is Denna’s mysterious patron. He goes off on mysterious trips every so often, and nobody knows where he goes. He’s a member of the Maer’s court, but without any official status or rank as far as I am aware… he clearly loves to play games, both with tiles, and more importantly, with people. Maybe I’m just connecting lines between nonexistent dots here. If there is somebody that would fit though…
    Spoiler
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    It's either him or Cinder, is the general consensus. Both are very viable, though I think Cinder is more awesome, dramatically speaking. Dunno how to explain the Cinder connection, but it has to do with the interest he has in Lanre, all of the help with the research, and the brutality he enjoys.

    I recently read Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, and Rise of Endymion, and I have to say how much I love the first two. Actually, I really love Hyperion, but after reading it you kind of have to find out what's going on, so you should read Fall of Hyperion. And then get annoyed because that book only raises more questions. The Endymion books kind of almost help solve the mysteries, but only kind of almost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    The parts you seemed to like are pretty much the entirety of Drawing of the Three (book two.) You may find it worthwhile to read at least that far in the series. Plot synopsis:


    Spoiler
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    Roland is on a beach where there is a series of doors. Each door leads to another where and another when. When he goes through each, he finds himselg sharing a body with another person. He eventually draws two of them into his where and when, and trains them as gunslingers.

    Hmm, I'll consider it. At my current pace, I'll be finished with what's on my current list within one or two weeks. Then maybe I'll revisit the series.

    I just find Stephen King's writing a bit hard to follow. It's not really engaging. He spends too much time telling me things that don't really matter, and it's just distracting.

    Quote Originally Posted by pita View Post
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    It's either him or Cinder, is the general consensus. Both are very viable, though I think Cinder is more awesome, dramatically speaking. Dunno how to explain the Cinder connection, but it has to do with the interest he has in Lanre, all of the help with the research, and the brutality he enjoys.

    I recently read Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, and Rise of Endymion, and I have to say how much I love the first two. Actually, I really love Hyperion, but after reading it you kind of have to find out what's going on, so you should read Fall of Hyperion. And then get annoyed because that book only raises more questions. The Endymion books kind of almost help solve the mysteries, but only kind of almost.
    Spoiler
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    Huh, I hadn't considered the Cinder angle. That would also fit I think, but then the question is whether this is pure coincidence or not. On the one hand, it fits much more nicely into the mysterious figure image. Has Denna described her patron at all? Hmm...


    I wasn't able to get Hyperion I think. Let me go check...

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I must admit, I never got through the Illuminatus! trilogy. Or ever far into it. It's too... weird for me. Not just hte premise, the writing style. The authors probably didn't really think much of small things like working grammar, linear time or coherent narrative,.
    Yeah, the Illuminatus! Trilogy is more exuberant and chaotic than professional, I'll admit that. I just really fell in love with it when I was an undergrad, because I never read anything like it before. I was about 150 pages in before I even had half an idea what the heck it was even about. I'd never encountered a book that switched between POV characters, verb tense AND 1st/2nd/3rd person narrative before, sometimes within the space of a page or two. It melted my brain.

    Admittedly, I really dig Discordianism, which is what brought me into the Illuminatus! Trilogy. And certainly neither Discordianism or the Illuminatus Trilogy! are for everyone, I can agree with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by pita View Post
    I recently read Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, and Rise of Endymion, and I have to say how much I love the first two. Actually, I really love Hyperion, but after reading it you kind of have to find out what's going on, so you should read Fall of Hyperion. And then get annoyed because that book only raises more questions. The Endymion books kind of almost help solve the mysteries, but only kind of almost.
    I've become a fan of Simmons' through his Hyperion Cantos. I really enjoyed the series. I enjoyed its multitude of literary allusions, its deep themes including morality, mortality, temporal identity, and cultural norms, and even it's crazy throw-away ideas, like Martin Silenius' mansion which consists of a series of rooms scattered across the cosmos, all connected by sci-fi versions of Teleportation Circles. Admittedly, each book in the series was a little weaker than the book preceeding it, but still a great read overall.

    I also really enjoyed Simmons' Ilium and Olympos, probably because I dig on Greek mythology and the Iliad, plus concepts like the noosphere and transhumanism (such as the concept of the "posthuman god"). And Mars! Mars is cool.

    Some of Simmons' horror books are pretty good. I've read Carrion Comfort, which was pretty standard horror fare, but disturbing as it featured immortal nazi psychic vampires, and The Terror, which I enjoyed because of it's setting (a mid-19th century ship trapped in ice in the arctic), although it was a bit slow and gigantic. Stay away from Drood, though... one of the few books I've ever given up on in my entire life.
    Last edited by JoeMac307; 2012-07-16 at 12:47 PM.

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