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Books (not Boobs)

Feb. 8, 2016, 6 a.m.
Posts: 13016
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Am enjoying this one at the moment. If you like running and testing yourself against the odds, and like to do so in a more or less happy and cherishing spirit, it might be worth checking out.

The historical details of sports politics are a little dull at times, though.

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

Feb. 15, 2016, 1:24 p.m.
Posts: 2009
Joined: July 19, 2003

I just finished this. it's an interesting look at making decisions in Avalanche terrain. some of it should be review, some of it might be new. worth reading a few times I would think.

that being said there is a little too much "the world according to Bruce Kay" in it. one could easily cut 1/3 of the book out and have a more concise study of the topic. not that I disagree with his world view. there is just a better forum for that sort of thing then what could be a must read book for people traveling in the mountains.

still worth a read.

Just a speculative fiction. No cause for alarm.

March 9, 2016, 6:40 p.m.
Posts: 11883
Joined: June 4, 2008

On Ann Leckie's second book now.

I fucking struggled getting through the first, but I'm Audible'ing it, so part of it could be the narrator.

I'm a stubborn cunt so I will read all of them, but I can't recco them to anyone. Parts have been pretty neat, but overall I've been angry/bored.

March 13, 2016, 10:41 a.m.
Posts: 368
Joined: March 2, 2010

Here's a recap/review of what I've been reading over the last month.

Powder Mage Series by Brian McClellan

This is sword 'n' sorcery with a twist - flintlock guns instead of sharpened steel. It's a novel concept, and McClellan does a good job with it. Throw in vengeful deities and some political intrigue, and it's an involving read. That said, it's still "reluctant hero who saves the day" stuff, so if you're looking for something truly radical, this ain't it. The three books are a good read overall, and I'm glad I took the time.

Ancillary Series by Ann Leckie

Okay, this is different. Told entirely in the 1st person, and with heavy reliance on flashbacks in the first book, the Ancillary series is distant-future speculative fiction that looks at the relationship between AIs and humans. The dialogue is tough to wade through. Is it a good read? Yes and no. Yes because it presents a very interesting perspective on AIs and some good character development, no because the stilted dialogue is relentless and takes away from the narrative [IMHO]. That said, the first two books won a slew of awards [Hugo, Nebula, Clarke, Dick, etc.], so it appealed to somebody.

Not sure what to read next.

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March 13, 2016, 1:42 p.m.
Posts: 1922
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

I finished Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora a while back and enjoyed its look at artificial intelligence, space travel // exploration, and humanity in general. Standard sci-fi fare, really, but it was well-written and well-received with lots of cool old school elements (Tau Ceti, Starchild, a self aware ship, etc etc).

I'm currently reading Ernest Cline's Armada, which I'm not all that impressed with, partly because it's a little too wink-wink-nudge-nudge for my liking. To me, it's almost like Cline feels the need to make up for his borrowing // co-opting of past sci-fi works (novels, comics, video games, film, tv, etc) by referencing every single one that he can think of. I liked Ready Player One, but this one is kind of a chore, so approach it with that in mind. It's an easy read though, and almost feels like a YA novel, which is weird because most kids would never get all of the stuff mentioned in passing (whether it's old Atari video games, lines from crappy 80s films, or re-purposing movie origins).

"It's, like, so much fun."

June 22, 2016, 7:52 p.m.
Posts: 11883
Joined: June 4, 2008

Aurora was very well written, but Damocles Sword hanging over me for the entire book was too much to bear for me.

Read Old Mans War from Scalzi and while more pulp than the above, I couldn't put most of the books in the series down. Great fun.

I really enjoyed Ann Leckie's last book.

July 16, 2016, 5:45 p.m.
Posts: 368
Joined: March 2, 2010

I slowed down a bit on the reading during the warm and dry spring we had, but I got back on it soon enough.

Rachel Bach - Paradox Trilogy

Fun and light, could be made into a movie trilogy with little effort. Kind of a sci-fi-action-romance-comedy that won't make you think too hard. Great summer read.

Neal Stephenson - Cryptonomicon

Absolute page-turner. Wow. The way the story unfolds, the characters… all just amazing. Some of the switches between time periods are a little jarring, but it still reads really well. I have read a few of Stephenson's other books and this makes me want to read more. Stellar stuff.

Cherie Priest - Boneshaker, Clementine

Steampunk fiction set in 1880s Seattle. Interesting, but not compelling. It reads like the script of an adventure FPS. If you like the genre it will hold your interest, but otherwise I can't recommend it.

Alastair Reynolds - Revelation Space series

If you like your space opera grim and somewhat depressing, this is your series. That said, Reynolds is a very good writer, and the characters are interesting and well-developed. Everything takes a long time [no FTL], but the journey is definitely worth taking.

Alastair Reynolds - Poseidon's Children series

Positively chipper compared to the Revelation Space books. Nanotech, elephants, asteroids, galactic civilizations, that sort of stuff. In hindsight, I should have read this series before his other stuff, just to prepare me for his writing style.

MLN Hanover - Black Sun's Daughter series

MLN Hanover is actually Daniel Abraham, but is quite the diversion from his sci-fi and fantasy books. Told from the first person, it's occult present-day subject matter starts out kind of interesting but fizzles over time, with a total lack of character development. His other stuff is far better.

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July 19, 2016, 8:34 a.m.
Posts: 663
Joined: April 8, 2004

Shes back! So far its excellent…

A complex interaction between sterics and electronics…

July 22, 2016, 12:03 p.m.
Posts: 13016
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

A very good friend gave me this one, a great little book. Other than that there has not been that much reading. As some of the older ones probably know, there are times when reading just does not work - too much going on.

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

July 22, 2016, 2:18 p.m.
Posts: 3100
Joined: Oct. 24, 2004

Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop

Discusses hip hop from the perspective of literary poetry…

"If asked to list the greatest innovators of modern American poetry, few of us would think to include Jay-Z or Eminem in their number. And yet hip hop is the source of some of the most exciting developments in verse today. The media uproar in response to its controversial lyrical content has obscured hip hop’s revolution of poetic craft and experience: Only in rap music can the beat of a song render poetic meter audible, allowing an MC’s wordplay to move a club-full of eager listeners.
Examining rap history’s most memorable lyricists and their inimitable techniques, literary scholar Adam Bradley argues that we must understand rap as poetry or miss the vanguard of poetry today. Book of Rhymes explores America’s least understood poets, unpacking their surprisingly complex craft, and according rap poetry the respect it deserves."

viperfunk.com

July 22, 2016, 4:20 p.m.
Posts: 3
Joined: July 4, 2003

Anyone into mid century sci-fi books?

Been consumed by pocket size mid century reads. Picking them up at used book stores all over.

Interesting to have perspectives, themes, and undertones from words written half a century ago.

July 22, 2016, 9:01 p.m.
Posts: 368
Joined: March 2, 2010

Anyone into mid century sci-fi books?

Been consumed by pocket size mid century reads. Picking them up at used book stores all over.

Interesting to have perspectives, themes, and undertones from words written half a century ago.

Like Asimov, or earlier than that?

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July 22, 2016, 9:30 p.m.
Posts: 33647
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Like Asimov, or earlier than that?

Asimov and Heinlein have done some very good sci-fi books.

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

Oct. 20, 2016, 6:58 a.m.
Posts: 6449
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Started re-reading this again for the second time. not many books I can do that with but this is one of my all time favourites and it's been a few years so it's not hard to get back into it:

Also read this a while ago, I thought it was a good read and would recommend it but most reviewers are not so fond of his writing:

Oct. 20, 2016, 1:55 p.m.
Posts: 368
Joined: March 2, 2010

I read Ernest Cline's books, Ready Player One and Armada. They were entertaining, but they were like reading screenplays for Netflix-produced series. With the success of Stranger Things, I can see it happen.

Read Kim Stanley Robinson's Red/Green/Blue Mars series, as well as 2312 and Aurora. The Mars series is occasionally held up as a potential model for how we should actually get people to Mars and make it a viable place to live. Fascinating stuff, especially if you like hard science / speculative fiction.

Currently reading Brian Staveley's Unhewn Throne series. It's the usual medieval fantasy king without a throne stuff, with a bit of murder mystery and special ops thrown in for good measure. It's well-paced and a light read.

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