What have you been reading lately?

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AuthorTopic: What have you been reading lately?
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #300
I'm back to reading Cryptonomicon, which is one monster of a book. It's been a long time since I had a book I didn't finish within one week - let alone more than half a year.

Neal Stephenson's sci-fi is among the best I've seen so far, although in a different way than the other two (Asimov and Adams) that I like that much. Well, it's not actually sci-fi - it's so realistic. But the entire book is centered both on science and technology, and it manages to pull that off without being either a dull textbook or spewing nonsense about computers and aliens.

Also, Alorael, since you apparently read it already: Could you give me a spoiler and tell me if root@eruditorum.org is somehow related to Enoch Root? I got that idea after the former said he was "a man of the cloth", and frankly, a "root" pun is something I wouldn't put past Stephenson. :P

[ Friday, January 19, 2007 16:11: Message edited by: Arancaytar ]

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
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Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #301
quote:
Originally written by LAL Ore:

Jack Vance does this all the time, and it's perfectly okay because you can figure out what you need to know. In the Dying Earth, at least, everyone else is just getting by too anyway.
Tales of the Dying Earth was excellent... it stayed on the right side of knowing what the heck is going on.

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TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

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Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #302
Oh yeah. Vance doesn't get nearly enough love. His work feels much more like good modern fantasy than anything Tolkien wrote despite being published earlier. He's great as long you can get past the fact that many of his main characters are antiheroes in a big way.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #303
I just finished reading:

Natural Capitalism: Creating The Next Industrial Revolution by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins.

This was a very substantive book with a lot in it. It took a long time to read because there was literally no filler. It covered a wide area from the Rocky Mountain Institute to smart cars, green architecture, industrial ecology, natural water treatment (it talked about living machines-- John Todd's work), science and biomimicry, advanced organic farming, green economics, remanufacturing, molecular disassembly of products so they can be reused. A lot of very green technology. It is worth reading if you are interested in green industrialism.

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.

Add your one star vote to my tally.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #304
I just finished reading "Terug tot Ina Damman" (En, literally: Back untill Ina Damman), which is about a boy who falls in love with a girl called Ina Damman. She, eventually, doesn't want him, but he remains (unknowningly, if that's a word) in love her. It's only untill the end of the book that he wants her back, and in memory he goes back untill Ina Damman, and remembers all the sweet things he did with her.

I also finsihed readin "the catcher in the rye" a second time. I love that book.

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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 148
Profile #305
SAP R/3 Systems Administration.

I'm trying to bone up for my interview. It has been a year since I managed R/3. I definitely need to review my T-CODES.

Remember: Job overview = SM37

Recreation wise I just finished The Deeds of Paksenarrion. An eh book. Not to complex or deep. Reminds me of TSR's AD&D books, but better written.

Next? Maybe the Dorsai! or maybe the Retief books. I was browsing at a used bookstore and I found a graphic adaptation of the Retief stories. Wonderful condition!

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My ego is bigger than yours.
Posts: 480 | Registered: Thursday, October 11 2001 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #306
Hmm, Vance is indeed another expert at judicious crypticity. Is the effect similar to Gibson's, or quite different? I'm not sure.

Vance does a lot of name-dropping, where you never have much idea who or what or where the named things are or were. That works well for the Dying Earth, where the immensity of history leaves everyone resigned to not knowing most things. And he has lots of magical effects which are never explained in any comprehensible fashion. The crucial thing is that how these work never has any consequence for the plot.

For instance. At a couple of points Cugel the Clever wields, or faces, a weapon in the form of a 'tube that projects blue concentrate'. Vance tells us nothing of how this substance is 'projected', or how it affects its targets. He acts as though telling us its color counts as an explanation. This must break several separate rules for good writing, but to me it works very well for Vance. I get the rough idea that Cugel is blowing clouds of caustic blue stuff at people, and, more importantly, that neither he nor they have any clearer idea than I do of exactly how this works. And that's the distinct flavor of the Dying Earth, that everyone is inured to coping with stuff they don't understand.

Okay, I guess Vance is a lot like Gibson, just on downers instead of uppers.

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Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #307
Yes, root is Root. At least you saw it coming! I really want an explanation for that guy in one of Stephenson's books, though, because he's really the only sci-fi/fantasy around in the books that aren't obviously sci-fi.

IOUN stones, deodands, and forlorn encystments don't need to be explained. In a short foreward to Nightfall Asimov wrote that he could have filled the book with alienspeak, but he didn't because it doesn't help. Miles can be miles and computers can be computers. Vance works that alienness for all it's worth, and it's worth a lot.

—Alorael, who likes The Deed of Paksenarrion. It's not quality literature, but the first book does well with military fantasy. All of it has two distinctions as well: it's one of the best, believable adaptations of D&D fantasy (not Tolkien fantasy) and the story is really never driven by sex, lust, or romance that serves as a thin disguise for them. That's sadly unusual in its genre.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #308
Well, I finished it this morning between 6 and 7 am (after staying up all night...). Some loose ends, though, which I will have to read the book again for.

[for anyone who *hasn't* read the book yet, massive spoilers follow. You have been warned.]

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For example, I'm pretty sure that Enoch Root dies during surgery somewhere in Northern Europe (Finland or Sweden) after a chestwound, moments after marrying Julieta (for passport reasons).

So who's the Enoch Root who's dogging Randy? He insinuates several times that he was personally around at the time when Goto Dengo (the only other person who is in both the WW2 and the modern setting) buried his treasure. And his son (or his son with 33% likelihood) doesn't share his name.

Or is "Enoch Root" a code name for someone with a certain position in S.E.?

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(By the way, I have to say it's the first book that I've noticed that contained the words "Polaris", "weather balloon", "conspiracy" and "New World Order". Kudos.)

Edit: Oh wait. Wizard. The only sci-fi/fantasy guy in the book, you called him.

IMAGE(http://www.warofthering.net/quintessential/movieshots_ttt/wotr_gandalfreturning1_tn.jpg)

[ Sunday, January 21, 2007 05:12: Message edited by: Arancaytar ]

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
EncyclopediaBlades ForgeArchivesStatsRSS (This Topic / Forum) • BlogNaNoWriMo
Did-chat thentagoespyet jumund fori is jus, hat onlime gly nertan ne gethen Firyoubbit 'obio.'
Decorum deserves a whole line of my signature, and an entry in your bookmarks.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #309
If you've read the Baroque Cycle, you'll notice that Enoch Root was also around in the mid 17th century. Although he's technically an alchemist, not a wizard. Apparently he did indeed find the elixir vitae.

—Alorael, who supposes that means he has root access to reality. Har har har.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #310
I just finished a novel by Tyler Knox called Kockroach. It is about a cockroach that turns into a man then through a combination of greed, violence, fear, and lust rises first through the criminal underworld, then through business, and finally becomes a US senator in the end. It starts out in Times Square of the 1950s I think. I rather liked it, in a sort of grim way.

The other novel I am just starting is Ines of My Soul by Elizabeth Allende, a writer who I like very much. It is a novel set in the world of Pizarro. So far it has been quite interesting.

I finished it, it covers the conquest of Chile, especially the fight between the Mapoche and the Conquistadors.

[ Thursday, January 25, 2007 10:24: Message edited by: I'll Steal Your Toast ]

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.

Add your one star vote to my tally.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #311
I am reading The Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o. The literary quality and readability of this book is excellent. It is on par with Borges or Italo Calvino, entertaining and extremely well written. It is set in the mythical African dictatorship of Aburiria, a mythical place controlled by the crazed Ruler, who has different ministers, I rather like that one of the ministers has giant ears, and the other has giant eyes and they hate each other. The book is full of absurdist and often comical ideas about politics. For example people stand in huge lines to give bribes to get contracts for Marching to Heaven a national program sponsored by the Ruler and the Global Bank. Most people can't get a job unless they pay huge bribes, even the educated wander around begging. Some of the action occurs in the Mars Cafe where the propietor is completely obsessed with space travel. The book is huge 768 pages long, but so far it is enjoyable.

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.

Add your one star vote to my tally.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5754
Profile #312
I'm reading the Furies of Calderon, Academ's Fury and Cursor's Fury. It's a great series in my opinion, and I recomend it to any avid fantasy readers. The author has created an excellent world for his story to take place in, and an excellent story to go with it.

[ Friday, January 26, 2007 18:35: Message edited by: Kyrek ]
Posts: 626 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #313
I am reading a cross between a hard boiled crime novel and a vampire novel. Charlie Huston, No Dominion. I read his earlier novel Already Dead. Nothing like a really solid mix of crime and detective novel where the main character is a hard boiled vampire named Joe Pitt. This novel is set in New York city with fairly accurate descriptions of the locales. Also it has different vampire territories the Hood, the Enclave, The Society, the Coalition, and some No Man's land territory. The writing style is clean, and the dialogue style is different but very well done. Lots of one liners and plenty of action.

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.

Add your one star vote to my tally.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #314
David Weber has a new book, Off Armageddon Reef. This book is published by Tor so it has a different style than the earlier Baen Honor Harrington series. I think the writing is better with more thought in it. Earth has been destroyed by the Gbaba, a secret colony world has been established with low technology and a medieval religious mind set so they can avoid Gbaba detection. A hero arises from the first colonists, an android who is there to bring back technology. A good read so far. I think the writing has improved considerably.

Yay, two stars, only one more star to go. :D

[ Saturday, February 03, 2007 12:06: Message edited by: I'll Steal Your Toast ]

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.

Add your one star vote to my tally.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 148
Profile #315
1634: The Baltic War.

Yay! I have an ARC copy and this book is certainly changing the 163x world.

While I would love to add spoilers, I am very afraid that the Baen snerk collar would find me even here.

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My ego is bigger than yours.
Posts: 480 | Registered: Thursday, October 11 2001 07:00
La Canaliste
Member # 5563
Profile #316
Topics in Calamity Physics.
Chick lit meets conspiracy theory: seriously disconcerting mixture.

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But it's the unsquandered youth that is truly wasted.

Deep down, you know you should have voted for Alcritas!
Posts: 387 | Registered: Tuesday, March 1 2005 08:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #317
Hey, I thought this was going to die. Hmm, I was seeing how long it would stay down.

Anyways, here goes.

Worldchanging: A Users Guide to the 21st Century. A huge book with the latest in clean technology, and environmental politics. This contains a lot of material from the website http://www.worldchanging.com , which is chock full of stuff n clean tech.

Big & Green-- a book about green skyscrapers and very large green buildings. Diagrams and photographs of green buildings abound.

Neal Asher-- Brass Man. Very good action oriented science fiction.

Christopher Moore-- You Suck. Humorous vampire novel. He is a bestselling fantasy humor writer.

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.

Add your one star vote to my tally.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Canned
Member # 8014
Profile #318
When there is a new chapter, I read Dikiyoba's story, otherwise I am reading something else, considering the fact that I am usualy a bookworm.
Edit- I am still wondering why Imban locked my last two topics. There was still a conversation going.

[ Sunday, February 18, 2007 06:08: Message edited by: Infernal Flamming Muffin ]

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Don't judge a sentence until you know all the words.
Muffins n' Hell|Muffins n' Hell: The Muffins Are Back Again
Muffins n' Hell: The End is Near
Not in your shed -We are sort of done. Helpful criticism is welcome.
Everyone, just call me Iffy. Please.

Be grateful you have your unsellabe trowels -Goldenking

Just so you know, I am working on Muffins n' Hell the scenario.
Posts: 1799 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #319
They were both spam, and they both consisted entirely of making negative (often insulting) comments about other people and things.

What exactly is there to be confused about?

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
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Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #320
When you clearly don't understand the rules, it's easy to be confused when the rules are implemented.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Canned
Member # 8014
Profile #321
I meant for them to not be insulting to people, plants, and fungi. I even said it.

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Don't judge a sentence until you know all the words.
Muffins n' Hell|Muffins n' Hell: The Muffins Are Back Again
Muffins n' Hell: The End is Near
Not in your shed -We are sort of done. Helpful criticism is welcome.
Everyone, just call me Iffy. Please.

Be grateful you have your unsellabe trowels -Goldenking

Just so you know, I am working on Muffins n' Hell the scenario.
Posts: 1799 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5410
Profile #322
Infernal Flamming Muffin = dirty spammer ;)

Once read that name as Internal Flaming Muffin and wondered what that felt like??

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #323
Hey, no locking of my beautiful thread. I am very possessive of it. Say bye bye spammers, or please talk about wonderful Dikiyoba's story, your favorite book on Prince Charles, or Princess Di, you're favorite web site to read the most important news of all time, snopes or any other wonderful reading matter.

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.

Add your one star vote to my tally.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5410
Profile #324
Apologies extended for offtopicness.

Read the latest issue of Climbing magazine. Good article on the mental cost of falling, having fallen two years ago and break bones reminded me of the cost of our hobbies.

[ Sunday, February 18, 2007 07:10: Message edited by: moonear ]

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00

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