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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Scarlet Knight's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    I'm finishing up the Pickwick Papers by Dickens. Long book, but it gets easier as you go along. Tough to read if you're not into 19th century style.
    Venite adoremus,
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    RedWizardGuy

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    I studied Nineteenth Century history, but I can never get into the literature of the period, with the exception of Dumas's work.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    RedWizardGuy

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    I'm currently about 85% (reading it on a Kindle) of the way through Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton. It's good, there's only one storyline I'm not enjoying (the family who relocated to the green community), but when there's six major ones disliking a minor plotline isn't massive. It's Hamilton, so like The Reality Dysfunction (I should read the sequels, but the Commonwealth Saga is just better) it's a slog, but a highly enjoyable slog.

    I've also got about the second half of Skylark Three to read through between finishing Pandora's Star and reading Judas Unchained, which is highly enjoyable. However the sexism is incredibly cringe inducing, even compared to Lensman (where there's still sexism, especially by today's standards, but no 'oh I'm a woman, I can't understand science stuff'). It's a worthy sequel to The Skylark of Space, but lacks the quality that made me stay up the entire night reading the first two thirds.

    Then on hold there's Night Watch which I adore compared to the movie (I saw Anton as someone much nicer and less gruff than his film counterpart) and Second Foundation where I'm left in the unfortunate position of not particularly liking the storyline Foundation and Empire left on.
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  4. - Top - End - #94
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Then on hold there's Night Watch which I adore compared to the movie (I saw Anton as someone much nicer and less gruff than his film counterpart) .
    Something that struck me when I read this; Anton and Bob Howard from Charlie Stross' Laundry Files are basically the same guy who go through the same development over the course of their respective series.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Something that struck me when I read this; Anton and Bob Howard from Charlie Stross' Laundry Files are basically the same guy who go through the same development over the course of their respective series.
    Except for film Anton, who seems to be some sort of gruff action hero guy when it's almost the opposite of how he was in the first book (obviously I haven't read the sequels). Although I really didn't like the film, not only did they change Anton the Night Watch seemed much more stupid and less prepared then they did in the book (where Anton is able to use a bit of knowledge and mind magic to not be found out as he was in the film, and the Watch realised he'd be able to do so and might calm her down).

    Speaking of which, I need to read book 2 of the Laundry Files, I loved the first one.
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Except for film Anton, who seems to be some sort of gruff action hero guy when it's almost the opposite of how he was in the first book (obviously I haven't read the sequels). Although I really didn't like the film, not only did they change Anton the Night Watch seemed much more stupid and less prepared then they did in the book (where Anton is able to use a bit of knowledge and mind magic to not be found out as he was in the film, and the Watch realised he'd be able to do so and might calm her down).

    Speaking of which, I need to read book 2 of the Laundry Files, I loved the first one.
    Yeah, the books are a lot better than the movies. Aren't they always?

    The Jennifer Morgue is the best Laundry book. All of them are good, but JM is the best.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Yeah, the books are a lot better than the movies. Aren't they always?

    The Jennifer Morgue is the best Laundry book. All of them are good, but JM is the best.
    Not always, and the Night Watch film definitely went about it the right way (giving itself it's own identity and changing things slightly. It's just that they changed by far my favourite bit (the slightly out of his depth but can actually cope protagonist).

    I'll have to look it up when my list isn't so full, unfortunately a French friend recently got me a book and now I have to slip it in.
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Not always,
    I was about to say that I couldn't think of a case where the movie was better than the book, but I realized I could: Princess Bride. As for the Night Watch, I was disappointed that they reduced the more chess-color nature of the Watches to simple good vs evil.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    NinjaGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    I was about to say that I couldn't think of a case where the movie was better than the book, but I realized I could: Princess Bride.
    I definitely agree. Reading the Princess Bride is very strange, as many of the quips and quotes are in the book... but they're surrounded by malaise and clunky-ness.

    Strangely enough, unlike most movie adaptations, the Princess Bride movie was written by the original author, William Goldman... so the fact that the movie is better than the book seems to be more of that "less is more" elegance.


    Another case where the production is better than the book is actually the Dexter series. I will always suggest to watch the first season of Dexter before reading the book, because the book one's plot is the Season-arc for season 1, and the characters of the show make more sense, are more fleshed out and are less... shall we say, less stereotype-y.

    That series is interesting, as the books and shows don't have much in common, save the characters. The book focuses more on the inside of Dexter's head, while the show focuses more on the social aspect of Dexter's life. It's similar to the Jason Bourne Novels, which are much more inside Jason Bourne's head, figuring things out, than the movies punch-and-shoot-fest.
    Last edited by Vogie; 2017-08-14 at 12:04 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Back on topic, Alistair Reynold's Revelation Space. Took about 100 pages to get interesting, but chugging along nicely now.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Finished the Ancillary trilogy. Lots of cool ideas but the writing was just waaaaaaay too clunky to piece them all together. Or to make any of the characters likable.

    On to Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor. So far reads like "tribal Africa, but with occasional mention of computers." But I like the characters and am appropriately appalled at what happens to them, so we're heading in the right direction.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Back on topic, Alistair Reynold's Revelation Space. Took about 100 pages to get interesting, but chugging along nicely now.
    Yeah, I need to get my copy out of storage and finish it, I've got a hundred and something pages left and it becomes rather interesting. I was once thinking about how to do a film version, and came to the conclusion that you'd remove the Ressurgem storyline and move it's information into dialogue, focusing on the Nostalgia.
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Wraith's Avatar

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    I'm reading Hot Lead, Cold Iron by Ari Marell. It's the sort of book that I can't believe isn't more well known among communities such as the Playground - it's about a Shakespearean Fae who, exasperated by the intrigues of the Fairy Court, chose to leave Fairyland for good and become a gumshoe detective in 1920's Chicago. The use of setting and contemporary language is very impressive, with some amusing nods to historical events that have just happened, or are in the near horizon - definitely a recommendation.

    I've recently finished the audiobook to Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn trilogy. I have the book and I've read it three or four times, but it's still one of my favourite sci-fi stories and I had to get it again when the audio version came out. Toby Longworth is exquisite as always as the narrator - it could only be better if he went on to record the Ravenor trilogy, Abnett's sequels to Eisenhorn and actually my favourite sci-fi series ever.

    I'm also some way into Thrawn by Timothy Zahn, but to be honest I'm not impressed with it; while I'm told it's really good and gets much, much better, I'm currently up to the part where the 40-year old prodigious war veteran has gone back to "high school" and is undergoing a bunch of practical jokes from his co-students and disapproving attitudes from snobby staff. It reads more like Star Wars: The Anime and I'm actually considering skipping a few chapters until we get back to the more interesting space opera stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Back on topic, Alistair Reynold's Revelation Space. Took about 100 pages to get interesting, but chugging along nicely now.
    I'm not sure if I liked Revelation Space or not. There's a ton of great world building and it's very well written, but the ending (without spoiling it) comes across as very rushed, with the actual antagonist being an oft-used cliche that felt like a petty let-down to such a big build-up. I'm told that Chasm City is better though, so I might yet give Reynolds another chance.
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Well I' now on Judas Unchained, I'm not quite sure if I like this beginning. Weirdly it's because I find that it's because the police are being pushed into the background, whereas I spent most of the last book annoyed at how they were taking time away from Kime.

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    I am interested to see if Kime gets his thousands strong fleet able to cross the Commonwealth in a day, but I can tell that's not coming for at least several chapters. I'm happy that it's focusing on investigations into the Starflyer, as the (other) Navy subplot right now would be 'ships are being built and we're getting ready for attack', which while interesting makes me wish Hamilton would provide more technical specs (how fast can these plasma rockets accelerate, they don't seem to have been used at more than a fraction of g), while the investigations still have a few twists and turns right now/
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Chimera

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    I recently picked up The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey and am finding it to be an enjoyable set of sci-fi short stories with an engaging premise. While I technically finished these a couple months ago, the last book series I read was Spice and Wolf by Isuna Hasekura which I enjoyed immensely despite generally not being much for romance or the light novel format.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    I'm halfway through the Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind manga by Miyazaki Hayao. Having only seen the film, it's fascinating to dive more deeply into the world and the plot. The manga really shows the depth and breadth of the man's vision. It's a strikingly well-realized setting, part feudal fantasy (knights and castles), part steampunk (guns and airships), part sci-fi (alien flora and fauna). A real treat, I look forward to the second volume.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Chimera

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lector87 View Post
    I'm halfway through the Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind manga by Miyazaki Hayao. Having only seen the film, it's fascinating to dive more deeply into the world and the plot. The manga really shows the depth and breadth of the man's vision. It's a strikingly well-realized setting, part feudal fantasy (knights and castles), part steampunk (guns and airships), part sci-fi (alien flora and fauna). A real treat, I look forward to the second volume.
    I'm afraid I've never seen the film or even glanced at the manga. Which would you recommend I start with if I wanted to give it a try?

  18. - Top - End - #108
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Finishing my umpty-zillionth re-read of the Dresden Files, and wishing I had the first chapter of Peace Talks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by IcarusWulfe View Post
    I'm afraid I've never seen the film or even glanced at the manga. Which would you recommend I start with if I wanted to give it a try?
    I would say start with the film. If it intrigues you and you want more of it, dive into the manga.

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Right now I'm reading this thread.

    So far it has been disappointing.








  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Velaryon's Avatar

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    I've just recently started Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding, which I'm reading for my library's sci-fi/fantasy book club this Friday (meaning I don't have a lot of time to get through it).

    I'm only a few chapters in, but I can already see that it's trying so hard to be Steampunk Firefly. So far though, I've seen little of the witty banter or character depth that made that show work. I'm not exactly disliking it yet, but I haven't really bought in to the characters or story yet. Jury's still out on this one.

  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lector87 View Post
    I would say start with the film. If it intrigues you and you want more of it, dive into the manga.
    Weird, I would have said start with the manga and watch the movie to see how the story might have gone!
    Last edited by kraftcheese; 2017-08-21 at 08:20 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraftcheese View Post
    Weird, I would have said start with the manga and watch the movie to see how the story might have gone!
    But the movie is just volume 1 of the manga, with a slightly different ending to detach the hooks tying volume 1 to the rest of the manga. Not much distinct "might have gone there" material in the movie. It's not like Fullmetal Alchemist.

  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    But the movie is just volume 1 of the manga, with a slightly different ending to detach the hooks tying volume 1 to the rest of the manga. Not much distinct "might have gone there" material in the movie. It's not like Fullmetal Alchemist.
    I must be remembering the movie wrong; I last watched it ages ago but I've read the manga again recently.
    Tales from the Trashcan

  25. - Top - End - #115
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    "Pan Lodowego Ogrodu" (The Lord of the Ice Garden) by Jaroslaw Grzedowicz

    It's a SF/Fantasy story - an FTL travel age humanity explores the universe, and at some point discovers a planet that is basically a fantasy world with human-like aliens, and an energy field that messes with electronics.

    When a group of antropologists goes missing, the orbital research station sends a rescue mission - but because the leadership on Earth is getting increasingly concerned about possible prime directive violations, they only send one man - an ex-mercenary fitted with some super-soldier bioengineering to get around the problem of technology breaking down on the surface.

    Finished book one of the series, and looking for the next one.

  26. - Top - End - #116
    Ettin in the Playground
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    "The Stories of English" by David Crystal. A collection of short essays about various aspects of the development of English dialects. So far it's nothing I didn't already know, but it's decent for a layman's introduction that emphasizes that there is more than one English.

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Jay R's Avatar

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    Memoirs of Monsieur D'Artagnan, by Courtilz De Sandras. This book was Dumas's inspiration for The Three Musketeers.

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Recently found "Monster Hunters International" series by Larry Correia
    I'm currently on book 5 out of 6 that currently exist

    It's a fun series about a group of bounty hunters fighting monsters in a world where the government does everything it can to deny the existence of the supernatural.

    Light reading, but not shallow. Characters are developed and often you truly understand them only in later books in the series where their motivation or past is revealed.

    I found it unique that out of the five books I read so far, three center around the main character, but two take different side characters and dedicate an entire book to them.
    I also liked how unlike other urban fantasy books, this one explains both how and why most people are unaware of the supernatural around them.

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    I just finished Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding. If you aren't familiar, I can easily describe it to you in just two words: Steampunk Firefly.

    It's so incredibly obvious who this series is marketed to. It's not bad (though it takes awhile to find its footing), but the author is not even trying to hide what he's doing.

    For the cast, we have...
    -Darian Frey, a captain who lost his entire crew during The War and is now a freebooter,
    -Malvery, the alcoholic doctor,
    -Silo, the engineer, a former slave who rarely talks,
    -Pinn, basically Jayne Cobb but dumber, more bloodthirsty, and less likeable,
    -Harkins, former war pilot who is so neurotic that he is basically useless at anything other than flying the ship's escort fighter,
    -Crake, the former aristocrat who trucks in Forbidden Magic (known as daemonism)
    -Bess, a golem controlled by Crake
    -Jez, the new navigator, only woman, and hyper-competent-at-everything character with a few supernatural abilities and a lot of secrets, and...
    -Slag, the ship's cat who seems to take particular delight in tormenting Harkins.

    Frey takes on a too-good-to-be-true job that sounds easy and pays incredibly well, but when things go south and his ship the Ketty Jay becomes the most wanted ship in the skies, he has to figure out who set them up and why.

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    RangerGuy

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    Near the end of "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells.

    It's short and well with reading.

    It's been decades since I last read it, and this time, I'm struck by little the language has changed in the 122 years since it was first published.

    I'm also thinking of items to steal for a role-playing adventure.
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