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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    As far as I'm aware, there never was FTL? Conjoiner drives are fast and only get more so once they figure out how to lower inertia,

    Anyway, Absolution Gap is by far the weakest story set in that universe. Chasm City is up there as maybe my top SciFi story of all times. Get it. Get the Prefect too. The short stories are a bit up and down ,but some are excellent. Be aware that some go into quite a bit of body horror, though.
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    No there wasn't FTL, but the book specifically removes the possibility of it via the 'state four of inertia suppression removes people from the universe' stuff. Should have made it more clear that was what I was talking about, one of the things I like is the lack of FTL and no instant jumps to near light speeds.

    Also, the thing about conjoiner drives is their endurance rather than their speed. Yes they can hit 10g for brief spurts, but the big thing inertia suppression allows is maintaining accelerations over 1g for long periods. In-system vehicles are mentioned to have the potential to go from a conjoiner habitat in (at least) the kupier belt equivalent to a settled planet near the goldilocks zone at a constant 3g. It's pretty much a clear case of reaction drives allowing you to maintain higher accelerations, but (effectively) reactionless conjoiner drives can just keep going for centuries.


    I'm committed to Absolution Gap now, but I'll look up Chasm City once I've finished. Certainly sounds interesting.
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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?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  2. - Top - End - #272
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    I'm reading some more humorous young adult novels now for an upcoming book talk at the schools next week.

    I just finished Don't Get Caught by Kurt Dinan, which can best be summed up as "Ocean's Eleven meets The Breakfast Club."

    Five teens find invitations to join their school's infamous Chaos Club, a secret group of students who have played epic pranks over the course of several decades, ranging from stacking tires all the way up the school flagpole to spending months training an entire flock of birds over a period of months, just to make them poop on a crowd of people. For main character Max, joining this group sounds just like what he needs to shake out of his boring, friendless existence and actually start to enjoy life.

    Unfortunately for Max and the other four students, the invitations are a setup, and they end up framed for graffiti-ing the water tower. Max and the other members of the "Water Tower Five" hatch a plan to get back at the Chaos Club: pull some pranks of their own, frame the Chaos Club, lure them out of hiding, and expose them to put the club to rest forever. What follows is a series of ever-escalating funny pranks, some genital-based humor (they are high schoolers, after all), and a bit of genuine growing up and learning about themselves.

    I rated it 4/5 stars on Goodreads, because I'm not sure how I feel about the ending and I also think a couple of characters deserved more "screen time," but overall I quite enjoyed it.


    Today I started The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman, which is about a kid named Anthony (but everyone calls him Antsy) with a serious case of middle child syndrome, who befriends another kid (Calvin Schwa, known as "The Schwa" by those who remember him at all) whose problems of seeming invisible are significantly worse. The Schwa is what Antsy and his friends term "functionally invisible," meaning he's the kind of person you don't even notice is standing there, and forget about as soon as you look away for a moment. A few experiments to learn the full extent of "the Schwa Effect" give way to doing paid "stealth missions" for other students and trying increasingly bold dares, until inevitably getting Antsy and the Schwa into trouble. I'm still making my way through this one, but so far this one is hilarious and engaging, more so than I'm making it sound.
    Last edited by Velaryon; 2018-03-30 at 04:25 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #273
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    I realized I'd never read Hemingway before, and was dog/house sitting for some people with a bit of a collection, so I read Old Man and The Sea. It's an excellent book, and one that I could see enjoying even in the context of literary analysis on a class schedule.

  4. - Top - End - #274
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    I liked that book too. I was less enamored with other stuff I tried to read, like A Farewell to Arms or The Sun also Rises. That was before I was an adult, however. My tastes have changed somewhat over the years so I may like them better if I read them now.

  5. - Top - End - #275
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    I hated The Old Man and the Sea when I read it in school, but that may have something to do with being forced to read it when I was 13. I'm somewhat curious to know whether I would still feel that way, but so far not curious enough to actually try reading it again.

    I loathe The Great Gatsby and Lord of the Flies for similar reasons.
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  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    ....I loathe The Great Gatsby and Lord of the Flies for similar reasons.

    I distinctly remember that I loathed the characters in The Great Gatsby and I received a good grade for the High School essay I wrote detailing that.
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  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    I distinctly remember that I loathed the characters in The Great Gatsby and I received a good grade for the High School essay I wrote detailing that.
    What I remember most from reading it at age 16 is how little actually happens for the vast majority of the book.
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  8. - Top - End - #278
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    That's a good summation of a lot of interwar fiction, not just Fitzgerald. Which is why I think it's bordering on sadistic to make kids sit through that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    That's a good summation of a lot of interwar fiction, not just Fitzgerald. Which is why I think it's bordering on sadistic to make kids sit through that.
    You'll get no argument from me. I think making students read books like that has a lot to do with why many kids think reading is boring.
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  10. - Top - End - #280
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    When I was that age, we did Wells' War of the Worlds, Verne's Around The World In Eighty Days and Scott's Ivanhoe. I've been a dedicated reader ever since.

    Just not much with fiction.

  11. - Top - End - #281
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    Just finished Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart on the recommendation of a friend.

    It was entertaining enough, I'll probably pick up the sequels. Kinda felt like a more YA-ish retread of Mistborn in many ways though. Felt less engaging than much of his other work somehow.

  12. - Top - End - #282
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    I just finished Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and it was an enjoyable read and quick, but I can definitely see why my family and friends were not fans of the movie with that ending. It would not transfer well to the big screen I feel. Currently I am reading Clockers by Richard Price. It's interesting so far, if a bit overly descriptive at times. It's about urban lifestyle of cities in the late 80s early 90s, so lots of drugs, coke specifically, and overly jaded cops.

    And having read this thread, and the other one about books we regret reading I feel like I am in the minority liking The Great Gatsby and Cather in the Rye. Though I only started liking the latter on my second read through when I was nearly finished with college. And I would argue that Gatsby should at least be considered in the running for greatest novel ever written. Sure it is a bit light on the 'action' but technically and thematically I feel it is superb.
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  13. - Top - End - #283
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    I've been taking paperbacks to work, so I've just finished Neuromancer. It's good, but I understand how most of the IT is hilariously outdated (although the description of the Matrix isn't that bad). I do like how the ending subverts my expectations with regards to Molly, managing to change from what seems like a sure thing to a tense scene. I've also noticed that all of the team members are damaged, which is something I like.
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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.

  14. - Top - End - #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Just finished Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart on the recommendation of a friend.

    It was entertaining enough, I'll probably pick up the sequels. Kinda felt like a more YA-ish retread of Mistborn in many ways though. Felt less engaging than much of his other work somehow.
    I enjoyed Steelheart and its sequels, but it's not an all-time classic, that's for sure. I found the main character's "bad at analogies" quirk a bit forced at times, but I still felt like Sanderson's ability to write characters had improved a bit from his first Mistborn trilogy (not as good as the second Mistborn series or Stormlight Archive, though). I hadn't really thought of Steelheart as a retread of Mistborn, but now that you mention it I can see similarities in terms of plot, at least in the first book. Later books do head in a different direction though, and also the Reckoners series (as it's called) are not part of his Cosmere.


    Quote Originally Posted by Talar View Post
    And having read this thread, and the other one about books we regret reading I feel like I am in the minority liking The Great Gatsby and Cather in the Rye. Though I only started liking the latter on my second read through when I was nearly finished with college. And I would argue that Gatsby should at least be considered in the running for greatest novel ever written. Sure it is a bit light on the 'action' but technically and thematically I feel it is superb.
    Several people have told me that what age you are when you first read The Catcher in the Rye makes a big difference in how likely you are to enjoy it. I was about 22 when I read it, and it's probably the only book in the world I hate more than The Great Gatsby. Well, maybe The Elegance of the Hedgehog too, but I digress. It seems like people who first read Catcher when they're in high school or college often like it more than people who first read it as adults, though I'm sure that's not universal.

    As for Gatsby... you may be in the minority on this forum (I couldn't say for sure), but you're definitely in the majority when it comes to society as a whole. You're definitely not the only person who would rank it among the best novels ever. I, on the other hand, would put it on my short list of Most Overrated Books Ever. There isn't a right or wrong answer, no matter how many literary critics and English teachers might like to claim otherwise. It all comes down to "different strokes for different folks," I suppose.
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  15. - Top - End - #285
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    I started over with Three-Body Problem. May I have the focus to actually finish it this time.

  16. - Top - End - #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    Several people have told me that what age you are when you first read The Catcher in the Rye makes a big difference in how likely you are to enjoy it. I was about 22 when I read it, and it's probably the only book in the world I hate more than The Great Gatsby. Well, maybe The Elegance of the Hedgehog too, but I digress. It seems like people who first read Catcher when they're in high school or college often like it more than people who first read it as adults, though I'm sure that's not universal.

    As for Gatsby... you may be in the minority on this forum (I couldn't say for sure), but you're definitely in the majority when it comes to society as a whole. You're definitely not the only person who would rank it among the best novels ever. I, on the other hand, would put it on my short list of Most Overrated Books Ever. There isn't a right or wrong answer, no matter how many literary critics and English teachers might like to claim otherwise. It all comes down to "different strokes for different folks," I suppose.
    I agree that it all comes down to subjective taste like the whole debate between Star Wars and Star Trek. Elegance of the Hedgehog just sounds bad by the way with a title like that. I would probably put forth Hemingway as the most over rated writer that I have read. Every time I pick up one of his books I just end up going meh at the end. The other factor in any discussion of this sort is that you are limited by what you have actually read.
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  17. - Top - End - #287
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    Yeah, that's probably a good point. Most of the people I know who say Gatsby is the bestest novel ever stopped reading once they finished Junior English II. Most of those who've kept reading have found something they like better.

  18. - Top - End - #288
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    Don Quixote.

  19. - Top - End - #289
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    Almost finished Lord of the Flies of William Golding. Very impressive and cruel book showind reality that it is. I love it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.Vivec View Post
    Almost finished Lord of the Flies of William Golding. Very impressive and cruel book showind reality that it is. I love it.
    I hated it, but that's partially due to doing it for GCSE English Literature. Although I adored Frankenstein which I read for the same course (it's a commonly picked text).

    Strangely when I did A-level English Literature it was the other way around. I hated the older texts (Wuthering Heights and Tess of the D'Urbervilles), but loved The Great Gatsby some of the more recent ones (notably The Kite Runner). I hated Carol Anne Duffy's poems in both courses though, I can't get why people think she's good.


    I went to the library today hoping they had a copy of Chasm City, being sick of Absolution Gap. They didn't, but I managed to pick up Elysium Fire, which I gather is rather standalone despite bing a sequel to The Prefect.
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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.

  21. - Top - End - #291
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Yeah, that's probably a good point. Most of the people I know who say Gatsby is the bestest novel ever stopped reading once they finished Junior English II. Most of those who've kept reading have found something they like better.
    Oh there are plenty of books I enjoy more than Gatsby, but what I enjoy and what is objectively well written are can be two very different things. Perfect example is Ready Player One; it was a very fun read and I enjoyed all the references in spite that they weren't really done well more like this thing was so cool, remember? But the book is not well written and the plot is pretty basic in both concept and execution.

    If I had to choose one book as the best ever written I'd probably go with The Hobbit based on my gut and the fact I can continually reread it and still love it.

    EDIT Wuthering Heights might be the worst book ever written. When I was forced to read it for Brit Lit in high school I swear a large chunk of my brain cells committed suicide
    Last edited by Talar; 2018-04-05 at 02:22 PM.
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  22. - Top - End - #292
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talar View Post
    Oh there are plenty of books I enjoy more than Gatsby, but what I enjoy and what is objectively well written are can be two very different things. Perfect example is Ready Player One; it was a very fun read and I enjoyed all the references in spite that they weren't really done well more like this thing was so cool, remember? But the book is not well written and the plot is pretty basic in both concept and execution.

    If I had to choose one book as the best ever written I'd probably go with The Hobbit based on my gut and the fact I can continually reread it and still love it.
    Extremely this. I think the big example for me is Revelation Space, I've spent so much time trying to explain to people why it's brilliant and how it shows the ways in which most Space Opera fails (notably Revelation Space is the only time I've seen space feel vast instead of just being described as vast), but I'll admit that Renoylds had some problems plotting and the exposition can be very on the nose (on the other hand when he's explaining the Dawn War was captivating to me).

    EDIT Wuthering Heights might be the worst book ever written. When I was forced to read it for Brit Lit in high school I swear a large chunk of my brain cells committed suicide
    I would probably agree. The only enjoyment I got from it was pointing out some of the more unsettling readings of some scenes. I've done it many times over the years. Everybody in the class tried to argue against me but my teacher pointed out that it is a legitimate reading of the text, if one she was hoping nobody would have.

    Just Heathcliff digging up Catherine's body.
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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.

  23. - Top - End - #293
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    Finally finished slogging my way through Aftermath: Empire's End. Very sad that the main characters had such a low death count, as I hated them all. Although I will admit, others were right; it was definitely the best book in the trilogy. And if I never have to read another book by Chuck Wendig, it'll be too soon.

    Anyway. Probably going to start in on Fire and Fury next.
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    I'm kinda spoiled for choice right now. My to-be-read pile just keeps growing. Trying to decide between Anansi Boys, Small Gods, Perdido Street Station, The Alienist, or Wraith Squadron.

    At the moment I'm leaning towards Wraith Squadron. Small Gods, Anansi Boys, and Perdido are a bit heavy for my mood right now and The Alienist's TV series only ended a few weeks ago. I'd rather not read that with the show still so fresh.

    I suppose I could crack open book five of the Alex Verus series: Hidden. But it's been so long I'm afraid I'd have to re-read 1-4 to make sure everything I remember is even accurate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristo Meyers View Post
    I'm kinda spoiled for choice right now. My to-be-read pile just keeps growing. Trying to decide between Anansi Boys, Small Gods, Perdido Street Station, The Alienist, or Wraith Squadron.

    At the moment I'm leaning towards Wraith Squadron. Small Gods, Anansi Boys, and Perdido are a bit heavy for my mood right now and The Alienist's TV series only ended a few weeks ago. I'd rather not read that with the show still so fresh.

    I suppose I could crack open book five of the Alex Verus series: Hidden. But it's been so long I'm afraid I'd have to re-read 1-4 to make sure everything I remember is even accurate.
    Wraith Squadron series is pretty great. The plot wasn't the best, but it had great characterization and interactions, some FANTASTIC subplots, and
    Spoiler: i kept it vague intentionally, but just in case. Its basically, "{a definite event} happens."
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    my favorite character death in the SW Universe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Wraith Squadron series is pretty great. The plot wasn't the best, but it had great characterization and interactions, some FANTASTIC subplots, and
    Spoiler: i kept it vague intentionally, but just in case. Its basically, "{a definite event} happens."
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    my favorite character death in the SW Universe.
    Yeah, I've got the whole series sitting on the pile. I've always been a Star Wars fan, I read Rogue Squadron and Wedge's Gamble when I was a kid some *coughcough* years ago, just fell out of it when the rest came along. From what I've read about them, the whole thing has kind of an A-Team vibe in Star Wars, which I'm all for.

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    Since Stackpole and Allston's X-Wing books are some of the best written Star Wars novels for my money, I also encourage you to read Wraith Squadron. And then follow up with Iron Fist and Solo Command.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Since Stackpole and Allston's X-Wing books are some of the best written Star Wars novels for my money, I also encourage you to read Wraith Squadron. And then follow up with Iron Fist and Solo Command.
    Imean, I always figured those three go hand in hand.

    Now Starfighters of Adumar, that's a diamond that can easily go overlooked. Don't overlook it. It's delightful. Dueling space rednecks with blasterswords and a missile-based economy.... What about that is NOT awesome?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Imean, I always figured those three go hand in hand.

    Now Starfighters of Adumar, that's a diamond that can easily go overlooked. Don't overlook it. It's delightful. Dueling space rednecks with blasterswords and a missile-based economy.... What about that is NOT awesome?
    I...*checks pile*...actually don't have that one. Huh.

    Well it looks like I'm heading to Half Price Books sometime soon...

  30. - Top - End - #300
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Check to see if you have Isard's Revenge before you go. That's book 8 in the series, and ties off some plots from the comic series.

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