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  1. - Top - End - #1051
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Well, you probably wont read all of Earth's Children, because almost everyone drops it at some point. The stopping point is different for everyone, but it is very much a "read it until you hate it" series.
    I've read through 4, I know. She hadn't come out with any more when I last touched the series (so, some time between 1990 and 2002).
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
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    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
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  2. - Top - End - #1052
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Oct 2013

    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    At the Mountains of Madness.

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    Good read. I was surprised he was so sympathetic to the Star barrel people, can't really picture what they look like.


  3. - Top - End - #1053
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Details vary, but more or less like a barrel with a starfish on top and some tentacles and wings:
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    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

  4. - Top - End - #1054
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Clertar's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    1793 (Natt och Dag). Gruesome as **** but interesting characters and a great historical setting for 18th centuty Stockholm.
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2020-11-05 at 10:59 AM.
    "Like the old proverb says, if one sees something not right, one must draw out his sword to intervene"

  5. - Top - End - #1055
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Jul 2019

    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Footfall by Larry Niven. Just got to the part where the aliens reach earth.

    I've been reading some older science fiction recently.

  6. - Top - End - #1056
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Currently rereading the Artemis Fowl books and the World of the Lupi series. Two very different takes on Urban Fantasy; both good in their own way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darths & Droids
    When you combine the two most devious, sneaky, manipulative, underhanded, cunning, and diabolical forces in the known universe, the consequences can be world-shattering. Those forces are, of course, players and GMs.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Realism, the natural predator of D&D mechanics.

  7. - Top - End - #1057
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Feb 2013

    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    I just started Giles Martin's book on the spice trade, titled Nathaniel's Nutmeg. I'm learning a new appreciation for trade delegations as espionage agents and realizing I've let my players off way too easily in their search for spell components and magical reagents.

  8. - Top - End - #1058
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Nov 2020

    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    I just finished "Unthinkable," by Helen Thomson, which looks at a number of people with unusual neurological conditions (a couple forms of synesthesia, including mirror-touch; Cotard's syndrome; clinical lycanthropy). Having a certain interest in the weird ways the world can behave, I was passingly familiar with most of the conditions she describes, but she presents an interesting combination of conversations with the people about how their conditions affect their lives and how they perceive them, examinations of the known or theorized neurological basis of each condition, and examinations of what they suggest, by exaggeration or context, about the processes by which typical brains operate.

    Next up is "A Distant Mirror," by Barbara Tuchman, which I hope will give me a better basis for medieval worldbuilding.

  9. - Top - End - #1059
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Finished Axiom's End a while back. I enjoyed it quite a bit, it did aliens in an appropriately alien and fairly thought provoking way. I wish it had spent a little bit more time leaning into the aliens, rather than the action beats, but that's just personal preference. It's not like the action beats were bad, they just weren't as engaging.

    Continuing the very un-me trend of reading books actually written this year, I'm currently most of the way through Christopher Paulini's To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. Yes, the guy who wrote Eregon. Unlike Eregon, TSiaSS is actually good though. There's something very careful about the writing that I find very enjoyable. Which is good, because plot elements occasionally annoy the snot out of me. Mostly the shameless Firefly cribbing. I am, at this point, entirely over Firefly, and mostly over Firefly-esque stories about ragamuffin tramp steamer crews in space. On those occasions I desire more Firefly, Firefly is a USDA-approved 100% pure source of Firefly. I don't see the need for dilute substitutes from third parties. Fortunately this is only painful for about 60 pages early on, and then in a sort of background just-don't-think-about-it way. After that, it's enough its own thing to stop rankling. Which leaves more time for the non-Firefly bits of interesting character interaction, and a number of quite good action set pieces. Paulini clearly put a lot of thought into the universe's systems, and does an excellent job of balancing what can be inferred by the reader, and what needs to be explained in detail. This lets the action scenes in particular flow very well. I can't say it's startlingly original or thought provoking, but it's very well put together, and definitely enjoyable.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  10. - Top - End - #1060
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Currently halfway through Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson; it came out 14 hours ago.
    i am going to make it through this year
    if it kills me
    i am going to make it though this year
    if it kills me

  11. - Top - End - #1061
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    So, I'm not technically reading it yet (still on Judas Unchained), but let me just squeal like a schoolgirl here:

    SUSANNA CLARKE HAS WRITTEN ANOTHER BOOK.

    It's been sixteen years. I never thought this day would come again. I'm so happy.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

  12. - Top - End - #1062
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Finished Rhythm of War. Book is good, Sanderson Avalanche is still in effect.

    He's including more queer characters these days, which is nice.
    i am going to make it through this year
    if it kills me
    i am going to make it though this year
    if it kills me

  13. - Top - End - #1063
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    I probably need to re-read at least Oathbringer first, possibly Words of Radiance too. Because I can't really remember anything that happened in Oathbringer in any detail beyond "there were monsters and also boss monsters, and the Heralds came back and also there was planar travel?"
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

  14. - Top - End - #1064
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Reread Digger, to my great satisfaction. Might get started on Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy next.

  15. - Top - End - #1065
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    I just finished Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. Now going back to my reread of Discworld with Interesting Times
    What did the monk say to his dinner?
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    Out of the frying pan and into the friar!


    How would you describe a knife?
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    Cutting-edge technology

  16. - Top - End - #1066
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    I'm currently reading the excessively long webnovel that is The Wandering Inn. I'm not proud...

  17. - Top - End - #1067
    Titan in the Playground
     
    tyckspoon's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by paddyfool View Post
    I'm currently reading the excessively long webnovel that is The Wandering Inn. I'm not proud...
    I got about.. I want to say halfway through that? And then gave up when they just. Kept. Adding. Characters. When I found myself skipping half the chapters because they were POV of somebody I didn't care about or even beginning a new thread for someone completely new I just quit.

  18. - Top - End - #1068
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I probably need to re-read at least Oathbringer first, possibly Words of Radiance too. Because I can't really remember anything that happened in Oathbringer in any detail beyond "there were monsters and also boss monsters, and the Heralds came back and also there was planar travel?"
    To be honest reading the Stormlight Archive novels if you're not at least familiar with all of Sanderson's other Cosmere novels is a recipe for frustration. There are so many references/plot lines which directly reference other Sanderson IPs that without the context you'll be lost.
    i am going to make it through this year
    if it kills me
    i am going to make it though this year
    if it kills me

  19. - Top - End - #1069
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Rynjin's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    I got about.. I want to say halfway through that? And then gave up when they just. Kept. Adding. Characters. When I found myself skipping half the chapters because they were POV of somebody I didn't care about or even beginning a new thread for someone completely new I just quit.
    I've never understood that complaint, honestly. While some characters start off as unlikeable (eg Ryoka) and others stay that way (Laken, Flos), they all serve a valid narrative or worldbuilding purpose.

  20. - Top - End - #1070
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    I've never understood that complaint, honestly. While some characters start off as unlikeable (eg Ryoka) and others stay that way (Laken, Flos), they all serve a valid narrative or worldbuilding purpose.
    The more characters you show perspective of and have character-building arcs for, the slower plots tend to develop OTOH. There is such a thing as an overly bloated cast.

  21. - Top - End - #1071
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Finished To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, which started good, continued to be good, then declined sharply in the back half before kinda rallying at the end. In particular, there's an entire big action setpiece that did just nothing to advance the story, took forever, and just got deeply, deeply tedious. And then there's another, which actually does advance the story, but uses like 95% of the same tactics and beats, it just drug on. And because it's the big boss fight at the end, the outcome is utterly inevitable so there isn't really any suspense. Fortunately once that ends, things get weirder, and the story returns to slower, more engaging character stuff. This is also when the story went from being the "What if Firefly, but in Halo?" template of the middle of the book, back to something more original and thought provoking*. I really wish we'd gotten more of that, and less of the fight scenes. It's not that they're bad fight scenes, but they're just not strong and diverse enough to justify the slab of book they occupy.


    *Very unfair but partially accurate take: What if Firefly but in Halo causes Babylon 5?


    Next up: Lycanthia or Children of Wolves, by Tanith Lee. Yep, it's werewolf time.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  22. - Top - End - #1072
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Rynjin's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by paddyfool View Post
    The more characters you show perspective of and have character-building arcs for, the slower plots tend to develop OTOH. There is such a thing as an overly bloated cast.
    Fair, but The Wandering Inn isn't really a plot-based series for the most part, it's a character driven series. Erin's entire "power scaling" (for lack of a better term) is based on how many friends she makes, and the primary theme of the series is connections between seemingly unrelated people and events.

    It's best viewed as an anthology set in the same setting than a book with a singular plot, IMO. Kind of like Discworld. While Erin might be the "main character" overall (as you could argue Vimes/The Watch or perhaps Granny Weatherwax/The Witches are for Discworld) and Liscor the primary setting (see: Ankh Morpork), the series doesn't suffer for going to other places and characters for a while, particularly when those places/characters end up directly or indirectly affecting the main plot/setting.

    I genuinely don't think the series would be even a fraction as strong narratively without those asides, even ones I feel might drag on a bit too long without a break (the Flos segments, particularly).

    Thankfully pireateaba seems to be a bit better about making sure to kind of show up front how things are connected to the "main plot" as time goes on, and most chapters now at least have some kind of cameo of the inn instead of leaving it entirely for chapters at a time.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2020-11-21 at 11:59 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #1073
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGirl

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Finished reading The Left Hand of Darkness. Someone else mentioned this upthread, but Ursula K. Le Guin deserves her credit. Planning to read her other works as well.

    Started reading Speed of Dark. It's interesting, but I haven't read far enough to have a strong opinion.

  24. - Top - End - #1074
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Fair, but The Wandering Inn isn't really a plot-based series for the most part, it's a character driven series.
    That kind of makes the loads and loads of characters issue worse. If it was fully plot based, then the shifts in POV would be more connected. Instead, you keep getting shunted from character to character and have a lot less chance to bond with any single one. I've bogged down a bit, but a lot of times I'm more interested in what the Emperor is doing than in Erin, or really want to get back to Ryoka, or...

  25. - Top - End - #1075
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun View Post
    To be honest reading the Stormlight Archive novels if you're not at least familiar with all of Sanderson's other Cosmere novels is a recipe for frustration. There are so many references/plot lines which directly reference other Sanderson IPs that without the context you'll be lost.
    I did read at least most of them. It's just that it's been more than a few years since I read Warbreaker and apparently, I don't remember half the characters from that.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

  26. - Top - End - #1076
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Been slowly working my way through The Institute by Stephen King. Haven't made it to any of the horror bits yet, but I am once again impressed by his detailed portrayal of life in a small town. If it wasn't for being in a horror novel, I'd kinda want to visit. The foreshadowing of future badness is blunt as a sledge hammer, but its expected at this point in a King novel.
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    Dwarf Fortress would like to have a word with you. The word is decorated with bands of microcline and meanaces with spikes of rose gold. On the word is an image of the word in cinnabar.
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    This is an image of Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses engraved in sandstone. Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses is leaving Trotknives. Trotknives is on fire and full of goblins. This image refers to the destruction of Trotknives in late winter of 109 by Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses.

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