General Discussion

What books are you reading?
bravo1102 at 10:03PM, March 22, 2012
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joined: 1-21-2008
ozoneocean wrote:
 they find they can't handle their fame and postilion any more.
That's quite unfortunate when one can no longer handle those that handle one's carriage horses. ;)

Just started Murder in the White City which is about the prototype of the modern urban serial killer who thrived in Chicago during the Columbian Exposition of 1893.  Seems I keep getting drawn back to history.
ozoneocean at 2:41AM, March 23, 2012
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I thought that was Jack the Ripper (the prototype) :)
My fingers are far more literate than I'll ever be… I'm continually surprised by their automatic typing. Generally my typing or spelling mistakes turn out to be proper words that would be rather difficult to type by mistake because the letters are often on keys that weren't near the where they could have been hit by accident and it's not a logical spelling mistake.
…though that one clearly is! … but why an “L”?
bravo1102 at 3:49AM, March 23, 2012
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Not quite.  Jack was never captured and we have no idea of motive or psychology.  This guy was captured and fits all the profiles. He was the nice guy next door who hid horrible goings on in his house all the while young ladies were disappearing in the neighborhood as opposed to the typical slasher.

People vanished, this guy was doing it and no one knew anything and he worked for years and the disappearances only became murders when his house was searched.

That is the classic urban serial killer like Hannibal Lechter. There is no crime scene, just a series of missing persons whose bodies aren't discovered until much later.
ozoneocean at 11:36PM, March 24, 2012
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I do despise serial killers.
They remind me of Pokemon. The serial killer is the ultimate end form of the useless dork who fails to evolve and transcend his pathetic origins.
Speaking of pathos, I decided to finish Dorian Grey. It wasn't a very long book afterall… I just had a lay in this fine Sunday morning and read through the final pages.
What a GREAT book! Wilde really was a genius. Lord Henry has some of the best epigrams I have ever read. Genius.
Now to begin my cyberpunk odyssey, starting with William Gibson's seminal Nuromancer. ^_^
I've never read Gibson before but I've head two of his works adapted on BBC radio4: Pattern Recognition and Burning Chrome.
Both were excellent, so I'm looking forward to this.
gullas at 3:59AM, April 2, 2012
posts: 2,308
joined: 11-14-2007
Just started reading a series of short stories by R.A. Salvatore from the “Legend of the Drizzt” series. Although the series is quiet sterotypical for a fantasy setting, Salvatore  is trying to expand the world around the drow. Just started reading it but I don't think it's going to take me long to finish it.

Also I finished few papers by Lenin. Almost scary how things haven't changed much for the last 100 years… 
kyupol at 6:30AM, April 2, 2012
posts: 3,712
joined: 1-12-2006
Behold a Pale Horse - William Cooper
ozoneocean at 8:37AM, April 5, 2012
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joined: 1-2-2006
I finished Neuromancer the other day.
It was pretty decent, pretty well written, fairly clever too.
So that was the godfather of the cyberpunk genre…?
Very 80s. Hehe. People think SciFi is all about the future and predictions, but that's just shit. SciFi is a projection from a person's given point in time, not a prediction but an extrapolation.
In Neuromencer, brands are a huge thing and it was a real nostalgic step back in time to be reminded of brands like Sanyo, Akai, Braun etc, of back when they really meant something.
 …But the idea that the character was fencing 4 meg of super expensive ram in the start was a bit cringeworthy… and the fact that he always needed to hook up his heavy powerful computer deck to get online, people playing video games in arcades…. Those are just unavoidable artefacts of extrapolated 80s scifi but it makes it a bit hard to get into initially. Very retro.
 The of course there's the banal irony of having downloaded the book wirelessly and having read it entirely off of a phone and tablet (which the comps in the book couldn't do), with far more power than the imagined portable computers in the book had… But then of course that's not really relevant because the rules and props of any given fictional world (contemporary, historical, fantasy, scifi, whatever) are specific to it so if you want to enjoy the story you have to “suspend disbelief” and just accept that's how things work in that world.
Another interesting thing is you see that's where they got most of their ideas for “the Matrix” movie.
Maybe all that was a hommage to Nueromancer rather than stealing? Even the inclusion of Zion etc, not just the fact that the net is called The Matrix. Also where Shadowrun came from and more… So the book is one of those pop-culture landmarks that inspired a lot of other things, like Lord of the Rings , Star Wars, stuff like that.
last edited on April 5, 2012 10:26AM
Genejoke at 3:05PM, April 5, 2012
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joined: 4-9-2010
that;s so very true, even when authors fudge the details even language can betray the era it was written in.  i love cyberpunk stuff but it is a very 80s genre.
As for my reading… it's coming very slowly but I'm gradually getting through a feast for crows.
ayesinback at 4:41PM, April 5, 2012
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joined: 8-23-2010
Finished GAME OF THRONES (misspelled in the moan and groan thread).  
Absorbing, pop reading - kept thinking of bravo when it came to the tourneys, melees, armor descriptions of lobster this and scaled that, helms with antlers and (OK - so this is fiction, not historical), gem encrusted armor.
Most of the battle stuff was skimmed, I confess.  But the characters are very well-written – rivals WAR & PEACE in the number thereof, but author Martin (I think) does extraordinarily well in 3D sketching.  The last chapter, with “Dany” had me wondering if he modeled that character after any one in particular.
All set to start CLASH OF THRONES.
under new management
bravo1102 at 11:08PM, April 5, 2012
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joined: 1-21-2008
You do know that Game of Thrown would be a great title for a parody of Martin based on baseball maybe.

Just started Disclosure by Michael Crichton.  It takes place in the tech business and it's funny reading about the problems they have with platforms that have already been superceded several times since.  But that's really incidental to the sexual harrassment plot. A writer could substitute any business.  
However, it is a bit obvious at times how Crichton was consciously writing the novel with the screenplay and movie production in mind.
ozoneocean at 12:53AM, April 13, 2012
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Genejoke wrote:
i love cyberpunk stuff but it is a very 80s genre.
Especially Gibson.
Continuing my cyberpunk odyssey, next of the rank was…
Dome City Blues.
This was highly recommended on Amazon…It wasn't very good though. Truthfull, I only got it because it was decently long and very cheap.
-Lot's of homage/influnce from Gibson's Necromancer. Brands are mentioned a bit and the book's name is an obvious homage- the first chapter of Necromancer is “Chiba City Blues”.
The main problem with this book is that it's a very obvious formula detective story (in the old noire style), bolted onto cyberpunk.You might think that'd make a good story but bolting is a horrible way to mix genres or settings. It's clunky. And because it's formula you can accurately guess 10 steps ahead past what the author intends.
The other issue was that this was a first time novel. The writer, Jeff Edwards, is much acclaimed for his naval based military fiction apparently (big thriller stuff I think, you know, “dad” books). This cyberpunk novel was something he had lying around and released almost 20 years after he'd written it with almost no changes. The inexperience is palpable. He obviously wrote it when he'd left the navy and was just starting out as a novelist, but could never get a publisher to take it up back then, so now he has some name recognition he's giving this old thing another go…
But it wasn't alllll bad. Amidst the dodgy predictable stuff he writes some entertaining action sequences, he really DOES know enough about weapons to make the mechanics of them work well and believably in the story, even though they'd fictional they “work”. And the final denouement, even though you knew exactly what was going to happen and there was no mystery at all to it, was engagingly written enough (because of the action), that I read straight through and enjoyed it.
OK, next book is…
Snow Crash.
This cyberpunk novel is even more highly rated than Necromancer. Certainly a lot more than Dome City Blues.
So far it's started off VERY much like a scifi alternative comic from the pages of Heavy Metal magazine, so it was very cartoonish and because of that pretty hard to get into… But that's seemed to have faded a bit and it gets a nicely hyped up vivid funkiness as you go on.
This one looks extremely promising!
ERasER at 2:24PM, April 14, 2012
posts: 292
joined: 10-9-2009
The hunger games series, just completed it…Bit of a hobby of mine, whenever a film comes out and there's a book for it, I usually read the book first.
But yeah, that's what I've been reading
BackSeat Gamers
ozoneocean at 9:41PM, May 14, 2012
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joined: 1-2-2006
Snowcrash was pretty good. I learned that it had indeed started life as an alternative comic. Then it tried to make it all literary by shoving a bunch of junk about languages and early religions etc… It worked ok, even if it was a bit silly at times, but it managed to get him published by penguin at least.
Love that the main character was called “Hiro Protagonist” :)
Started reading "Norse tales“ which is some 19th century collection with a great big introduction treatise on how most northern European cultures and east Asian ones are all part of the same ”race“ because of the connected language roots…
So basically: Aryans.
Which includes Scandinavians, all the Teutonic people, Celtic people etc and Indians.
But not Basques, Finns, Hungarians and so on.
All because of the famous ”indo-European" language roots, and the stories were evidence of that.
The race stuff was mostly nonsense really, but it's a good insight into where a lot of that Nazi stuff that every nation believed and still believes today in a lot of ways, came from. The connected aspects of different stories across different cultures was really cool though, especially how it proved there was far more to European culture than just a bunch of copying from the Greeks and Romans.
But I got a little board after a while/
So now I'm going through Arraminta Station by Jack Vance (who's about 95 or something now).
Scifi from an OLD master who focusses on human relationships. He's a delicious writer for tone and interaction, his dialogue is a real pleasure to read! It's so wonderfully polite, correct, charming and old fashioned, even when full of the vilest threat and menace.
Reading between the lines you can tell that the tale is based on experiences with outposts and personalities in South Africa and maybe some British colony or company outposts in South East Asia.
last edited on May 14, 2012 9:43PM
PIT_FACE at 9:02AM, May 16, 2012
posts: 2,574
joined: 4-21-2007
been “reading” alot've recorded books lately actually. mostly the Modern Scholar series. alot've subjects mainly about anthropology, but i also have  Sea of Glory. i havent started it yet but im really lookingforward to it. it's about the finding of Antarctica if im not mistakin and Antarctica's a place that really intruiges me. it seems so desolate, but mysterious too, alot've imagination fuel there.
Niccea at 9:10AM, May 16, 2012
posts: 5,514
joined: 8-10-2007
I've been sick for a weerk, so I'm trying to get back reading again. I'm trying to read a book called Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. I've read some of her books before, but I really don't know what I feel about them. I've read six of her books before and while I was engaged, I felt like they were always missing something. I am debating on whether I should just drop the book and go on to something a little more appitizing to me.
Gunwallace at 7:08PM, May 16, 2012
posts: 236
joined: 10-13-2010
Grimm's Fairy Tales: as there's a local writing compettion in NZ for a ‘modern’ take on them, and they are fun to read.
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch,
bravo1102 at 6:17AM, May 18, 2012
posts: 3,224
joined: 1-21-2008
Just finished a biography of Sam Houston, next is a Phillipa Gregory historical romance about Mary, Queen of Scots and a biography of Bette Davis.

Ever since reading Maureen O'Hara's memoir bios of classic Hollywood stars interest me.  And just love those Tudor romances.

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