The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #781
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    Wookieetank's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    The Neutromium Alchemist is where the best and worst plotlines of Night's Sawn begin. In general the stuff that continues from The Reality Dysfunction is excellent, but one of the new ones ais by far my least favourite of the series.

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    In short, I liked the Kavanagh plotline but disliked Al Capone's Space Adventure. The latter just drags on far, far too long and exists only to cause trouble and set something up right at the end of the series.
    So far I'm not terribly sold on the Kavanagh plot, and greatly enjoying Al's bits. But then I'm a sucker for fantastic Noir, and Al feels very much like Noir IN SPACE! so far. I'm sure Mzu will also be important down the line, but so far her bits have just kinda been there. When there's so little known and shown about her, its pretty obvious she's a walking spoiler. Something something, her Alchemist weapon is gonna be vital to things, big surprise, oh wait its in the title of the book, something something.
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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.

  2. - Top - End - #782
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    Just finished Hyperion (Dan Simmons), which was interesting and creative but felt like the author stopped rather than finishing. There is a sequel, which I'm undecided whether to go for.

    Also just finishing, Chase the Morning (Michael Scott Rohan) which is fantastic. I've read it several times, and I still get chills when Santiago arrives.

    Starting Witchy Winter (DJ Butler) for the second time. Sequel to Witchy Eye.

    Plus a couple of books on Venetian history, one on interrogation techniques, one on novel writing. I have five stacks of "to be read next". :-\
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  3. - Top - End - #783
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Hidden Figures Saw the movie, figured1 I'd read the book. Especially since you could tell the movie was straying pretty far from the facts.

    Book is good! One thing that really shines through, and which got cut from the movie, is how much their families & communities mattered to the women. They weren't lone heroes, they were doing what they did as part of a large network of upper-class blacks (or African-Americans, we would say now). They were always acutely aware that their mistakes could reflect badly on the entire community, but at the same time, they drew strength from that community. And they weren't doing it just for themselves, they were doing it for their families. Much like some immigrants I've known, they supported their kids by almost never seeing them, working as hard as they could to make sure the children had the money to attend the good schools, the good colleges. They were always very aware of the spectre of poverty right behind them and were running as hard as they could to keep their kids away from it. The people in the book just felt more grounded and connected than the characters in the movie.

    Also, there's a great scene where Mary Jackson is entering her son Levi Jr in a soap box derby. Of course, this is near Langley, the hub of aeronautical and then space engineering. Of course, half the parents (mostly fathers, other than Mary) are engineering their kids' soap box racers down to the millimeter -- eliminating every last trace of wind resistance or wheel friction, because that's what they do. And Mary is right there with them. Typical engineers


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  4. - Top - End - #784
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookieetank View Post
    So far I'm not terribly sold on the Kavanagh plot, and greatly enjoying Al's bits. But then I'm a sucker for fantastic Noir, and Al feels very much like Noir IN SPACE! so far.
    Give it time, especially once you hit The Naked God Al's bit's start to just be more of the same, while the Kavanaghs are continually moving forward. IIRC not a whole lot happens with the Al storyline until near the end.
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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.

  5. - Top - End - #785
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Give it time, especially once you hit The Naked God Al's bit's start to just be more of the same, while the Kavanaghs are continually moving forward. IIRC not a whole lot happens with the Al storyline until near the end.
    Fair enough. Just about to page 400 now, and I'm impressed with how well the break neck pace is still holding up. Much as I want to read through and see how everything ends, I'm definitely going to be sad when there's no more book on this series.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    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.

  6. - Top - End - #786
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    Well, I just finished the 2019 Reading Challenge I mentioned in an earlier post with two months to spare, despite some digressions along the way. This leaves me in the rather strange position of being able to read whatever I want to read, without being bound by arbitrary restrictions.

    For the moment that means wrapping up Ravnenes Hvisken (= 'Whisper(s) of the Ravens'), a relatively recent Danish fantasy series heavily inspired by Norse mythology. They're pretty enjoyable, though it sometimes shows that the author is relatively new at her game, and they do occasionally drift a bit too much into teen romance territory for my liking.

  7. - Top - End - #787
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    I've just finished The Well of Ascension, the second in the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. This book had me pretty hooked, with the political intrigue and the fighting and the race against time to save the city. The last few chapters blew my mind. Everything has changed. I can't wait to start the next one.

    That said I did just purchase a new book and a trilogy from Amazon for my kindle. But 4 books for under 2 dollars? I couldn't say no. So I'm not sure what I'll read next.
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  8. - Top - End - #788
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis97 View Post
    I've just finished The Well of Ascension, the second in the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. This book had me pretty hooked, with the political intrigue and the fighting and the race against time to save the city. The last few chapters blew my mind. Everything has changed. I can't wait to start the next one.

    That said I did just purchase a new book and a trilogy from Amazon for my kindle. But 4 books for under 2 dollars? I couldn't say no. So I'm not sure what I'll read next.
    Welcome to the Cosmere. Enjoy your stay.
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  9. - Top - End - #789
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun View Post
    Welcome to the Cosmere. Enjoy your stay.
    And then flee once you realise that The Stormlight Archive is going to be ten books long*. My brother still refuses to admit there can be more than a couple in that one.

    I'm mainly just reading the new Mistborn books as they come out and holding out for the sequel to Warbreaker. The sheer length and increasing interconnectivity just makes it that much harder to keep up, although not to the extent of the MCU (which I gave up on completely).

    Anyway, Salvation Lost came out today, it should have downloaded to my Kindle.

    * admittedly it seems like that's going to be two tightly linked pentologies, but considering how long these books are.
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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.

  10. - Top - End - #790
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    So as excited as I was to start The Hero of Ages, I ended up reading one of the books I bought for my kindle for 99c. It's called No Man Can Tame and it's about a human princess and a dark elf prince marrying to forge an alliance between the two peoples. It's pretty neat so far. The human civilization is vaguely Italian, and while the dark elf civilization does live underground and is matriarchal, they aren't outright evil like our favorite D&D dark elves. They have claws and fangs though which is cool. At first I thought the princess was exaggerating having never seen a dark elf before, but no, totally got claws!

    There's lots of scheming going on about getting into and out of marriage pacts, the princess is determined to strike a friendship, but lose the marriage, while the prince is hellbent on following his mother's, the queen's, orders, for the sake of his people.
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  11. - Top - End - #791
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    I am in the middle of King of Scars, The Third Nero, and Firestorm currently. I like all three so far, but due to workloads from my courses and work, I've had to put everything on the backburner. I cannot wait to get back to The Third Nero and Firestrom. Both are mystery novels, but the first one is set during the Roman Empire and the second one is part of a series of National Parks mystery novels.
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  12. - Top - End - #792
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    Flumph

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    Now onto Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen for the absurdist humour and Insane Clown President by Matt Tiabbi for the absurdist humour ... wait a second that shouldn't be right....*shrug* oh well

  13. - Top - End - #793
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    I recently read The Green Island by Karin Michaelis, an obscure Danish writer that I had never heard about before stumbling upon a documentary about her and her work.

    It's basically Lord of the Flies in reverse. Instead of someone being stranded on a deserted island, it's an island community that is left isolated when the entire rest of the world apparently disappears underwater due to a mysterious disaster. And instead of a group of children devolving into anarchy and hatred, it's a group of children leading the efforts to turn the island into a utopian society. Really enjoyed the book, quite unlike anything else I've ever read.
    Last edited by Corlindale; 2019-11-13 at 02:31 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #794
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    Sounds like it has at least some similarities to the Dr. Stone manga/anime.

  15. - Top - End - #795
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Sounds like it has at least some similarities to the Dr. Stone manga/anime.
    I have never watched it, but reading about it it does sound like there are a couple of similarities (and also as something I should watch!). The Green Island also has some emphasis on science and engineering, as the main character's father is an inventor with all kinds of more or less successful plans for improving life on the island.

    It's actually quite progressive for a book written in 1937. For example, there is a lot in there about how the island population need to deal with their limited sources of stuff such as food and fossil fuels, which actually echo some debates in modern society to an almost uncanny extent.
    Last edited by Corlindale; 2019-11-14 at 01:57 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #796
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis97 View Post
    So as excited as I was to start The Hero of Ages, I ended up reading one of the books I bought for my kindle for 99c. It's called No Man Can Tame and it's about a human princess and a dark elf prince marrying to forge an alliance between the two peoples. It's pretty neat so far. The human civilization is vaguely Italian, and while the dark elf civilization does live underground and is matriarchal, they aren't outright evil like our favorite D&D dark elves. They have claws and fangs though which is cool. At first I thought the princess was exaggerating having never seen a dark elf before, but no, totally got claws!

    There's lots of scheming going on about getting into and out of marriage pacts, the princess is determined to strike a friendship, but lose the marriage, while the prince is hellbent on following his mother's, the queen's, orders, for the sake of his people.
    I have always wondered how an arranged marriage between a woman from a patriarchal and a man from a matriarchal culture might work out.

    Is that a topic in the novel?

    All the reviews I found online just complained that the princess wants to build a library, not how the marriage works out.

  17. - Top - End - #797
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    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Now onto Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen for the absurdist humour and Insane Clown President by Matt Tiabbi for the absurdist humour ... wait a second that shouldn't be right....*shrug* oh well
    As a lifelong Floridian, I love me some Carl Hiaasen...only way to make sense of this wacky state.
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  18. - Top - End - #798
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    And then flee once you realise that The Stormlight Archive is going to be ten books long*. My brother still refuses to admit there can be more than a couple in that one.
    My own current reading is Oathbringer, book three of the Stormlight Archive series. I haven't touched the rest of the Cosmere at this time, though I've heard plenty about it.

    It's a very good read so far, with well written emotional trauma and amazing characters.
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  19. - Top - End - #799
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    Getting close to wrapping up my semiannual Lord of the Rings reread. I'm struck, every time I return to Tolkien, just how rich and varied his prose could be, and how marvelously it reads aloud. One of the reasons LoTR always takes me a while is that I have to read large portions of it aloud to myself; I don't honestly think one really gets the emotional rollercoaster of Pelennor Fields until reading it aloud. It's sort of the inverse of a lot of what's considered good prose now; looks fine at a glance, but the metaphors disintegrate on a moment's inspection, and it has absolutely no rhythm or pulse or sweep to it when read out loud.

    The other reason for this reread taking longer than usual is that I took a break between Two Towers and Return of the King to read my sister's new book, which was excellent, and Becky Chamber's The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, which was fine. Would have maybe been better if it had included a plot, or potentially a slightly smaller cast of characters, so people got more than just a single chapter in the limelight. And speaking for the cranky misanthropes, I found the genuinely brutal treatment of the cranky misanthrope character somewhat offputting. It wasn't necessary to the plot - since there really wasn't a plot for it to be necessary to - and came completely out of nowhere with about zero buildup, so it sort of came off like the author just wanted to make him suffer for reasons. I also find this an odd reaction on my part, since I don't usually parse books in such terms.
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  20. - Top - End - #800
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    I just read Quartered Safe out Here, and Season of Storms.

    The latter is alleged to be The Witcher 8, but actually it's a standalone book, and pretty much a prequel.

    The former is a military autobiography by the author of Flashman, written long after Flashman, there are some fascinating war bits, but most of it seems to be "Blooming kids: get orf my lawn". I'm pretty sure that people haven't changed that much since WW2, but I certainly wasn't there.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

  21. - Top - End - #801
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    I just read Quartered Safe out Here...

    The former is a military autobiography by the author of Flashman, written long after Flashman, there are some fascinating war bits, but most of it seems to be "Blooming kids: get orf my lawn". I'm pretty sure that people haven't changed that much since WW2, but I certainly wasn't there.
    George Frasier? I liked his collection of stories from "A General Danced at Dawn".

  22. - Top - End - #802
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    George Frasier? I liked his collection of stories from "A General Danced at Dawn".
    There were two boxers: George Foreman and Joe Frazier. The author was George MacDonald Fraser.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

  23. - Top - End - #803
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    Quote Originally Posted by cardrian View Post
    My own current reading is Oathbringer, book three of the Stormlight Archive series. I haven't touched the rest of the Cosmere at this time, though I've heard plenty about it.

    It's a very good read so far, with well written emotional trauma and amazing characters.
    I was a bit disappointed by book three there. One big part is that it suddenly dived into the Cosmere stuff, which I thought worked against the book in a lot of ways.
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  24. - Top - End - #804
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I was a bit disappointed by book three there. One big part is that it suddenly dived into the Cosmere stuff, which I thought worked against the book in a lot of ways.
    I bounced pretty hard off book three, too. Haven't even felt the urge to go back and reread to figure out what put me off it, even. I think part of it is what you said; it felt like a pretty abrupt jump up in scale. Part of it is that I don't think much of Sanderson as a character writer; Dalinar's inner conflict just rang kind of hollow to me.
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    The scale was a separate issue for me, but yeah, that too. My favourite part was Kaladin organizing his squad in part one. As soon as more and more monsters and supernatural threats began to be involved, I got less interested. Especially with the supermonsters and returning almost-divine heroes in part 3.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

  26. - Top - End - #806
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    Sanderson has a bad habit of his focus vanishing into his cosmology and/or magic system, with the narrative suffering as focus is drawn away from plot/characters.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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  27. - Top - End - #807
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    Finally back to The Neutronium Alchemist after having taken a break from it after reached the halfway bit (I have the 2 vol edition of it). For my break reading I read the entirety of the Neon Genesis Evangelion Manga. I greatly enjoyed how in depth it got on things, and seeing the characters' inner monologs helped immensely in fleshing out their characterizations. Definitely worth a look if you enjoyed the anime.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    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.

  28. - Top - End - #808
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    Just finished Salvation Lost. It was fairly disappointing, enjoyable but it didn't really add any new ideas until the very end.

    I've started rereading Foundation. It is still amazing, and a reminder that epic doesn't have to mean over a thousand pages, but the lack of female characters does stand out.
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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.

  29. - Top - End - #809
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    Started Tanith Lee's Faces under Water, the first of the Secret Books of Venus. These seem to be very much in the spirit of her Secret Books of Paradys, except set in pseudo-Venice instead of a skewed version of Paris. It's very Tanith Lee, which is to say it's all about the mood, and the mood is sort of poetically misanthropic in ways both visually stunning and disturbing; Lee remains the only author I've read who can make a spontaneous and utterly consensual orgy not just unsexy, but downright repellent. Her prose is in fine form, and the visuals really are haunting; faint pink lanterns, shadowed canals, masks sparkling blue.
    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.

  30. - Top - End - #810
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    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    I have always wondered how an arranged marriage between a woman from a patriarchal and a man from a matriarchal culture might work out.

    Is that a topic in the novel?

    All the reviews I found online just complained that the princess wants to build a library, not how the marriage works out.
    Their cultures definitely reflect in how they interact with one another. For example, the princess takes a vow of silence before the marriage to the dark elf prince, and this infuriates him! It's common for her people, but for him it's madness. She does want to build a library and it's one of her driving traits,but she has good reason and thinks it might get her out of the marriage in a way too. It all ends well,though. I plan to pick up the next book, see how things turn out for them, since there's something of a twist in the epilogue.

    It's not the greatest literature, I admit, but it was enjoyable, and had a slightly different take on dark elves than the usual. I want more, but first I've got to read the third Mistborn novel.
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    I have a Youtube Channel
    I write and draw occasionally: Have a look.
    Avatar by HappyTurtle.

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