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  1. - Top - End - #241
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin.

    I'm enjoying it a lot so far. It's based on a world with heavy, continual tectonic movement, and every century or so there's massive earthquakes, volcanoes etc that kills people, halts plant growth, turns placid animals into desperate savagery.

    They've evolved into "Comms" which are basically walled towns, where people are surnamed by class, and that class is basically how expendable they are. When a "season" comes, all the extraneous people will be chucked out, so that supplies will last through the "season."

    There's also Orogenes or "Roggas" who can manipulate heat and rock to quell or cause quakes. They're despised because they are believed to be agents of the Fire Below (the uneasy planet) but needed to soothe quakes, clear harbours etc.

    Very interesting world building.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Just finished Rebel Rising. The first half was meh, but Saw was terrifying; really got a sense of why the Alliance didn't want to work with him. The second half was where it really shined. Gotta say, the YA books are knocking it out of the park so far. Rebel Rising and Ahsoka were both great, and I still think Lost Stars is my favorite new canon book. I did not expect this.

    And now, after a throughout enjoyable book, I suppose I'll have to get to the third Aftermath. On the bright side, I'll be done with the damn series after this!
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Cannot find Aftermath: Empire's End. Not too broken up about it, to be honest. Started reading one of my Christmas gifts, Outsider in the White House.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    I'm reading a handful of things at the moment.

    1. My second Dresden Files listen-through of the audiobooks has gotten up to Grave Peril. While I enjoyed the first two books the first time through the series (and still think they're alright), I definitely see the flaws a lot more clearly this time. I am really looking forward to when Harry finally stops trying to hide everything from Murphy and she stops trying to arrest him all the time. That plot device worked once, especially because IMO Murphy was entirely in the right when it happened in Storm Front, but it came across as a forced rehash and a huge step backward in character development when it happened again in Fool Moon.

    2. The first of two books that my book club picked last month was The Leavers by Lisa Ko. Not a big fan. The book is full of a bunch of mostly terrible people and a main character that just couldn't muster up much sympathy for. Sure, his Chinese mother abandoned him, his aunt gave him away to a foster family without a second thought, and his white foster parents were the epitome of trying too hard to be PC and prove they're not racially insensitive or whatever. But he's still a shiftless loser who stubbornly refuses to even try to make his life stop sucking. And when we finally see his mother's perspective and why she left, she still remains entirely unsympathetic IMO.

    3. The other one picked by my book club was Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, which is just weird and gimmicky. My main issue is that it wasn't the book I expected it to be. Given that his name is in the friggin' title, I wanted the book to be about Lincoln, not a bunch of random ghosts in the cemetery where his son Willie is interred. It's just barely interesting enough that I haven't put it down yet, but I'm more than a little tempted to DNF this one.

    And then both books they picked for next month (I've already forgotten the titles) looked terrible. As much as I desperately need some kind of social interaction in my new city, I'm starting to think this book club isn't the right place for me.

    4. For my monthly teen book talk at the junior highs, the theme is presidential biographies (not what I would have chosen, but the school library assistant was adamant). I ended up only skimming two of the three books I used because I was pressed for time, but I managed to read Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson all the way through. I found it really interesting because I never knew the extent of the conspiracy (other members of Booth's plot attempted to assassinate Vice President Johnson and Secretary of State Seward, but both failed), and the sheer number of people who helped Booth evade capture for nearly two weeks.

    I did discover one glaring inaccuracy in the book though. When Booth fled into Maryland after shooting the President, he went to the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd to get his broken leg treated. The book described Mudd as a Confederate sympathizer who had owned slaves until they were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. I'm no Civil War scholar, but even I know that the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in rebelling states, which did not include Maryland. Mudd's slaves would not have been freed until the state of Maryland abolished slavery in 1864. That's a pretty huge mistake to make in a book published about Lincoln's assassination, and it calls all of the author's research into question. Really makes me want to read some other books on the subject and find out what else he might have gotten wrong, but I don't know when I'll have the time.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Starting re-reading (from the beginning):

    The Buried Life by Carrie Patel,

    which I didn't finish before. It's a murder mystery in a steampunk-ish setting in a mostly underground city with 19th century-ish technology and Victorian-ish social class divide, but it isn't alternate history or fantasy, but seems to be set at least 1,100 years after a catastrophic war, and may be set in our future.

    The protaganists are compelling and could be inspirational for someone's RPG PC's, but I find that I'm less intetested in the plot and more interested in the World-building, and I kinda wish I could read a history/travel guide-like "setting book" of the author's world instead.

    The othet book I picked up from the library yesterday was

    Orgins of the British
    A Genetic Detective Story:
    The Surprising Roots of the English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh
    by Stephen Oppenheimer,

    which is on the genetic history of the British Isles.

    I had read a similar book Saxons, Vikings and Celts (published as Blood of the Isles in the U.K.) by Bryan Sykes some years ago, and I'm finding that while they do have some similar conclusions, they also differ, and I don't know how to judge which one is likelier to be correct.


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  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Just reread The Princess Bride for book club. Itís even better than I remembered. And a bit more cynical.
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    What this guy said.

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    After a le Guin spree I'm now on Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" and Charles Sheffield's "Convergent series"
    I haven't read the Martian Chronicles in quite some time so it's a welcome return, since Bradbury is always worth a read.
    Sheffield is one of those writers you don't here about a lot but is pretty damn good. He manages to write interesting and vivid characters as well as play with the big, weird ideas in a good way. I really need to find more of his stuff.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Just started Child of a Mad God, R.A. Salvatore's latest. I had expected yer standard Salvatore hack'n'slash action fest, and while it's got action, it's definitely not that. I'm honestly not sure what it's like, to be honest. The setting is unique, and not in a 'our elves are racists' sort of tedious way, but in that it's taking place in an unusual corner of the world. So you get tribes who bind their infants' heads to take on weird shapes, and magical crystal spears, and really quite nasty slavery and permanent tribal warfare. And nobody's a goddamn duke or prince of anything, which is a tremendous relief. I'm a hundred pages in, and have very little idea where the story is going, which is awesome.

    Next up, a fresh stack of Tanith Lee weirdness.
    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.

  9. - Top - End - #249
    Troll in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post

    Next up, a fresh stack of Tanith Lee weirdness.
    I recently finished 'Kill the Dead' and really enjoyed it. Would you care to recommend another of hers ?

    Having heard on the radio a play based on George MacDonald Fraser's
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  10. - Top - End - #250
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Next up, a fresh stack of Tanith Lee weirdness.
    *is jealous*

    I'll probably read some more leGuin in a little bit, but now I'm going to read E.R. Eddision's "Mistress of Mistresses". I tried reading it once before back when I bought it (some 17 years ago) but for some reason couldn't get into it.


    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    I recently finished 'Kill the Dead' and really enjoyed it. Would you care to recommend another of hers ?
    I consider her Flat Earth stories to be some of her best, possibly the best. The series starts with "Night's Master" but other than a few references to characters previously introduced and a few prior events gently touched upon, they are entirely stand-alone.
    I also really like The Secret Books of Paradys, a quartet of books containing short stories set in the city of Paradys, in various times in various realities based on earth. Consists of the Book of the Damned, the Book of the Beast, The Book of the Dead and the Book of the Mad. Story order isn't particularly important.
    Last edited by BWR; 2018-02-13 at 12:20 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    I recently finished 'Kill the Dead' and really enjoyed it. Would you care to recommend another of hers ?
    My knowledge of Lee's work is not encyclopedic; since she wrote like a hundred novels (and about a zillion short stories) I'm not honestly sure anybody's is.

    If you liked Kill the Dead, I would suggest Tales of the Flat Earth, which is somewhat similar in feel. A little more Arabian Nights in atmosphere, and a bit more detached in the tone of the narration, but generally somewhat similar in the somewhat pitch black and slightly amused tone. Start with Night's Master.

    The Secret Books of Paradys are another contender. I don't like them quite as well as Tales of the Flat Earth, but they're tonally probably closer to Kill the Dead. They're concept novels about a somewhat fantasy version of Paris, each focused on a single color. Some of them reference others, some don't. The first is technically The Book of the Damned, but I'm not sure it matters all that much where you start.

    I rather like the duology of Don't Bit the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine, often collected in a single volume as Biting the Sun. This is tonally very different from Kill the Dead, and is a bit closer to her YA stuff. It's set in a very distant future, possibly on a different planet, where life is utterly meaningless in an odd sort of way. Very strange books.

    If you're feeling a bit more like romance, The Silver Metal Lover is excellent. It's about falling in love with a perfect robot, but is way better than that description makes it sound. The sequel, Metallic Love, is tonally much darker, and does some of the most interesting things with its status as sequel that I've ever encountered in a novel. (edit: title is Sung in Shadow)

    On a slightly different romantic note, she has a fantasy/alternative universe version of Romeo and Juliet, which is interesting if nothing else. I wouldn't say it's my favorite of her works, but I'm certainly glad I've read it.

    Probably my favorite of the Lee short story collections I've read is Dancing Through The Fire, mostly because it contains After I Killed Her which is not at all what you think and also completely fabulous.

    Quite a few of these are either only available used, or are way cheaper used. Just don't count on finding them in a used book store, like ever. I have found exactly one Tanith Lee novel in a used book store, and I check every single one I visit.
    Last edited by warty goblin; 2018-02-13 at 04:45 PM.
    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.

  12. - Top - End - #252
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    I'm on page 324 of

    The Lost Plot



    by Genevieve Cogman which is #4 in The Invisible Library series, a series the books of which I've
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    I'm on page 200 of The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, which I'm finding very page-turning.

    Some hints of Doctor Who, Poul Anderson's struggle of Law vs. Chaos, the old "Avengers" TV show (with both the Emma Peel and John Steed type characters gender reversed), various literary "Easter eggs", and a lot of hints of the old gaslamp fantasy/steampunk Castle Falkenstein RPG (since the author's bio says "previously worked as a freelance role-playing game writer", and a mention is made of "I see little reason why the Iron Brotherhood would be interested in book of fairy tales. They tend more towards technological paradigms. Now, has it been one of the lost notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci....", I'm sure that deliberate).

    Realistic and gritty?

    Hardly.

    Over the top?

    Wonderfully so!

    Just amazingly geared to "push my buttons", and get me to keep reading.

    Recommended if you like this sort of thing (and I do).
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Just started Chapter 13 of The Burning Page, the third novel in the series after The Invisible Library, and
    The Masked City.

    The main off-notes are occasional "re-caps", which are there to fill in some details for those who hadn't read the earlier two books.

    I like it!


    #3 in the series (The Burning Page) seemed to end on such a note of finality, that I really didn't expect this book, but It's been a fun read and a "page turner".

    It starts (briefly) in a gaslamp fantasy/steampunk-ish England with Vampires and Zeppelins, before moving to an "alternate world" of the U.S.A. during prohibition with Mobsters, scheming Dragons, and one of the "Fair Folk".

    Lots of daring escapes and action.

    Flaws?

    Well, as with the other books in the series, the lead protaganist may be a "Mary Sue", but I find her exploits much more fun to read about than the infinity of "Gary Stu's" in fiction.

    Another flaw is that an encounter with a character starts the heroes on the trail, and the heroes discuss the clues they had been told, a few pages earlier, except they weren't!

    Still fun and recommended.

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Just finished Assassin's Fate, finally. I waited for the paperback release, then refused to finish the last few chapters for a couple of weeks. Next up will either be Arkwright or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Just finished Outsider in the White House. Really enjoyed it. Onto the last Aftermath novel, Empire's End. I already know I hate the author's work, but the reviews on Amazon give me hope that it'll be better than his other two.
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Just started Winter Tide.

    A while ago, I read the short story The Litany of Earth, which by itself was good enough to make Ruthanna Emrys possibly one of my favourite authors.

    It's a re-imagining, sort of, of Lovecraft written from the perspective of the deep ones of Innsmouth. After the FBI arrests them all at the end of the story and puts them in a concentration camp in ghe desert. It's quite beautiful.

    This is a sequel in novel lenght. I hope it holds up.
    I solemnly swear,
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    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.

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Finished Child of a Mad God, which was good but didn't 100% come together for me. Still much better and more ambitious than I would have credited Salvatore for.

    Now on with the promised Tanith Lee weirdness. First up, Vivia.

    I'm about a hundred pages in, and Vivia reads like a nightmare. I mean that literally, the book follows the surreal cause and effect of a very bad dream, overrun with violence and deeply unpleasant sex and horrible mad people following horrible mad dream logic. Being a Tanith Lee novel, the prose are beautiful, and capture the atmosphere of insane horror perfectly, whether that's everybody dying of plague or getting eaten alive by giant sabertoothed wolves or going insane and becoming convinced that the sun is god who is the devil who speaks through carrion flies. It's the most viscerally unsettling thing I've read since George RR Martin's Meathouse Man; I'm honestly not sure if that counts as praise or condemnation.

    It's darker than any Lee I've read previously, but not surprisingly so; Lee novels are very seldom structured around morality of any sort. Instead, as with a lot of Lee, Vivia seems to be a study in tone and aesthetics. Except instead of Arabian Nights or sword and sorcery, the dominant tone here is medieval Europe through the lens of nightmare. I'm glad I picked the book up, but I'm not sure I can recommend it, simply because of how madly unpleasant it is. If this description sounds interesting, consider reading. If not, stay very far away. Don't let this turn you off of Lee though, as I said, this is much darker than anything else of hers I've seen.
    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.

  17. - Top - End - #257
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    I'm now happily rereading The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud. I remembered the basics, but a lot of the details are fresh for me again. And this time I'm really appreciating how well-written and crafted the world, the story, and the characters are. I can see how both Bartimaeus and Nathaniel might be difficult for some readers to sympathize with, but it refreshingly avoids a lot of standard fantasy and young adult tropes. For a book that came out during the fantasy boom created by Harry Potter, it manages to start with a couple basic similarities (set in London, one main character is a magic apprentice) and yet not feel at all like it's cashing in on a fad or ripping off a more well-known work.

    I forgot just how much I liked this book, and look forward to rereading the rest as well.


    My audiobook re-listen of the Dresden Files is moving along nicely, as I finished Grave Peril a couple days ago and am about to start Summer Knight. It was definitely a marked improvement over the first two books, and now that I know all the various plot threads that are first introduced in this book it's quite a lot of fun to recognize all the seeds that were planted.

    My one complaint is that Butcher kicked the can on Murphy. In the first two books she's absolutely insufferable, as the person who's supposed to be one of Harry's most trusted friends and allies but keeps mistrusting and trying to arrest him. It made sense to me in Storm Front, but retreading that whole thing in Fool Moon was pretty obnoxious. In this book, he avoided dealing with the situation by having her just quickly get removed from the story and basically forgotten about. That's better than yet another episode of "Harry won't confide in Murphy, so she decides he's hiding something and tries to arrest him at the worst possible time," but doesn't solve the problem. I can't remember but I think they finally put that behind them in the next book. At least, I hope they do. It's been a couple years and I can't remember exactly when some of these things happen.
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  18. - Top - End - #258
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    A random thread that's a part of the Giant in the Playground forums...oh wait that wasn't the point...
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  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Well, it's finally happened. 15 years after the fact, I've finally gotten over my anger and utter disgust at the worst book I've ever had the misfortune to read.

    Reading right now: "Knife of Dreams" by Robert Jordan.

  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Finished Vivia the other day. Like most Tanith Lee, it's rather hard for me to describe the experience of reading it, since her books are so entirely aesthetically and tonally driven. I can't really talk about the plot, because the plot wasn't the focus at all, and I can't say much about the characters because in some sense they weren't even the point. The point was the concept and feel of the story.

    And it was very, um, unusual. After the utterly nightmarish first 80 pages, it settles into a sort of constant but increasingly detached sort of unpleasantness, eventually giving way to a marvelously written search for something to actually latch onto, before slipping into the quietly beautiful and depressing final few pages. Throughout the prose was splendid, painting the important details of a scene in a sort of hyper-real dreamlike way. It's not a book I'm in a hurry to reread, but I'm absolutely glad I read it.

    Also it should come with trigger warnings. All of them. This might just be the most disturbing book I have read in a very long time, in terms of the imagery it delivers. There were a few times I nearly stopped reading, though I'm glad I did not.
    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.

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    I took home an ARC of Manfried the Man from my library on Friday and zipped through it today. It's a fun little comic in which the central premise is that cats are people and humans are pets. It's cute and a bit silly. I liked it but didn't love it - it's amusing but rarely laugh-out-loud funny. The biggest thing about it that didn't work for me is that a huge portion of the book is taken up by a plot line in which Manfried (the titular man pet) escapes his home by jumping out the window and gets lost, while owner Steve (a cat who works in a call center and has a pretty mediocre and lonely life in which his pet man is the best only thing he really has going for him. So Manfried wanders around out in town while Steve spends forever looking for him. It's a fine story that I think resonates with any pet owner because it's a very reasonable fear, but that story arc just goes on for way too long for my liking.

    Were I reading it in webcomic form (I think the strip is published online somewhere, though I haven't gone looking for it) I'm not sure this would bother me, but as a single storyline in a printed volume, it takes up a really big chunk of the book and it didn't really work for me because of that.


    I also recently read Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones in preparation for a book talk later this month. It's a weird mix of genres, a young adult Regency spy thriller with just a little fantasy mixed in. Main character Annis lives with her aunt Cassia while her father travels the Continent on "business" (he's a spy for the British government, which Annis figured out years ago), until one day she is brought word that her father died on the road in France.

    When her father's effects are returned to her, Annis discovers a hidden message sewn into his handkerchiefs and decides that she will follow her father's footsteps and become a spy. She takes the handkerchiefs and her new maid Millie (who kind of just shows up out of nowhere to enter her service), and marches right in the front door of the War Office to offer her services as a spy... and is bluntly rejected. Even when Annis discovers she possesses the ability to sew Glamors (that is, to change the appearance and even the material of a garment by imbuing it with illusion magic while sewing it), she is not accepted as a spy.

    In order to escape her worst fear of having to become a governess, Annis moves to a small town in the countryside and becomes a "modiste," which is apparently a fancy word for a dressmaker. Only, this is for some reason not considered respectable work for a lady (because standards of decency in the Regency era were apparently completely arbitrary, I guess?), so she uses a Glamor to disguise herself as a French woman.

    The whole thing is a bit complicated and silly. The plot is kind of interesting, but the main character is completely frivolous (apparently her one true joy in life is telling people what they should and should not wear) and fairly dense, while her maid is hyper-competent at almost everything. It's a clever idea but the characters just don't really gel for me, so if there is ever a sequel I think I'm going to skip it.


    Last but certainly not least, in my Dresden Files re-listen I'm most of the way through Summer Knight. I'll save my thoughts on that for my next post when I've finished the book.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
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  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Just finished 1632, and am about to start reading 1633. I avoided this for awhile because the premise has the potential to go badly wrong, but so far it has been handled quite well.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Just finished 1632, and am about to start reading 1633. I avoided this for awhile because the premise has the potential to go badly wrong, but so far it has been handled quite well.
    It's an excellent series all the way through, IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "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.

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Currently going through the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan with my wife. We are currently on The Dragon Reborn. I've been meaning to read through this series for years and so far, so good. It is also nice to be able to discuss it with the wife along the way.

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    It's an excellent series all the way through, IMO.
    Prior to this, the only thing I've read of Flint is the Torch books he worked on in the Honorverse. These were enough to cause me to expect quality, but I was concerned that he'd get too full of himself in his own playground. Characters like Chachat and du Havel are not exactly compromising, and I feared that that was a characteristic of the author as well as the characters.

    So far, this fear seems unjustified. There are certainly characters with that sort of attitude, but there are also plenty of fully realized characters who do not.

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Absolution Gap, one of the two slightly disappointing sequels to Revelation Space.

    Now it might be because I haven't read Galactic North yet, I plan to go back and pick it up after AG, but the problem I'm having isn't really the fact the characters aren't introduced properly. The only one where we're not given enough of an explanation of is H, and he works as an enigma.

    Spoiler: Okay, actual spoilers discussed her instead of just character names
    Show
    It's disappointing because in some ways Revelation Space was a small story set across a large area. It had a handful of characters over two plot threads, but once Nostalgia for Infinity left Chasm City we had four or five main characters in two groups who interacted with a relatively small secondary caste. This was best on the Nostalgia scenes because the writing really got across the idea that this vast, city-sized ship was crewed by about six people. The ship was obviously underused but not falling apart, and each additional area revealed more.

    The whole universe seemed vast, and the story helped it by only gradually revealing just how much was at stake as it went on.

    In Redemption Ark we suddenly have a space war at the very beginning, which while interesting is much larger scale then we're used to. The bits in the conjoiner nest are good, as are the sections about trying to evacuate Ressurgam before the Inhibitors destroy it, but the larger scale aspects such as the actual arrival of the inhibitors and the war around Yellowstone were boring. It all fits together well, but it feels much more messy than Revelation Space did.

    I will give credit where it's due, the lighthugger battles in the book are very engaging. Both times Clavain can't destroy the other ship because it has something he wants in it, so we get one weeks to months long battle where Skade lays traps and Clavain attempts to get around them before Skade takes a risk that doesn't pay off, and another where Clavain's attacks are aimed to disable or inconvenience so he can land boarding parties.

    Absolution Gap seems to have one plot thread too many. In Revelation Space the stories began seperated by years, but time dilation made everything catch up and they were laid out in a similar subjective time frame. Here the discovery of Hela is narrated at the same time as the later story on it, causing it to feel more patchwork. Maybe it gets better, still only about a quarter of the way in.

    I love the universe though, and this is probably my favourite version of inertia-suppression in fiction.
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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I love the universe though, and this is probably my favourite version of inertia-suppression in fiction.
    Chasm City is my favourite story in that 'verse. It swaps the big impressive space battles for hardboiled detective noir to dig into the history and consequences of the Melding Plague.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Chasm City is my favourite story in that 'verse. It swaps the big impressive space battles for hardboiled detective noir to dig into the history and consequences of the Melding Plague.
    Yeah, I'm planning to pick it up as well, the lore is very interesting and it wasn't until I got to the big epic sections that I realised that I enjoyed the smaller plots. It's one of the few times where everything I've learnt about the setting has made me want to consume more.

    I'm starting to think revealing what the big villains of the galaxy are was a mistake. We got some details in RS but there was still a lot of mystery, which is mostly explained away or reveal as just unimportant in the second novel. I could certainly have done without their PoV chapters.

    Spoiler
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    Oh, another thing I remembered, I'm finding the time travel elements relatively hard to swallow. I could stand it in RS where it was a case of 'everything happens outside the rest of the universe anyway' and there was a vague implication of minimal changes, but Redemption Ark seems to specifically remove not only FTL travel but also causality from the setting, as the origin for conjoiner drives and other technology never happens.

    Still much better than most examples, as it's stated to effectively be a case of 'this specific stuff you're researching will reveal more if you focus on X', but still a bit weird with the rest of the setting
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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 - #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Prior to this, the only thing I've read of Flint is the Torch books he worked on in the Honorverse. These were enough to cause me to expect quality, but I was concerned that he'd get too full of himself in his own playground. Characters like Chachat and du Havel are not exactly compromising, and I feared that that was a characteristic of the author as well as the characters.

    So far, this fear seems unjustified. There are certainly characters with that sort of attitude, but there are also plenty of fully realized characters who do not.
    I think his best work is when he's writing by himself. A lot of the 1632-verse is cooperative, including most of the side-plots that start branching out after 1634 (which is co-authored by none other than David Weber, because of the importance of naval combat to the story). Most of them are also good, but the mainline novels are by Eric alone.

    The real intimidating thing about 1632verse is just how freaking BIG it is by now. 20 full novels, seven original anthologies, and 76 issues of the online companion magazine with anywhere from 3-5 short stories apiece. Luckily, you don't need to read it all to understand what's going on, only those stories featuring the characters you're interested in. This can result in the occasional 'wait what?' moment, though - for example, there is one character who you will see undergoing a fairly major change over the arc from 1632 to 1634; the initial catalyst for this bit of character growth comes from a short story in one of the anthologies.
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2018-03-22 at 10:59 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "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.

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Yeah, I'm planning to pick it up as well, the lore is very interesting and it wasn't until I got to the big epic sections that I realised that I enjoyed the smaller plots. It's one of the few times where everything I've learnt about the setting has made me want to consume more.

    I'm starting to think revealing what the big villains of the galaxy are was a mistake. We got some details in RS but there was still a lot of mystery, which is mostly explained away or reveal as just unimportant in the second novel. I could certainly have done without their PoV chapters.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Oh, another thing I remembered, I'm finding the time travel elements relatively hard to swallow. I could stand it in RS where it was a case of 'everything happens outside the rest of the universe anyway' and there was a vague implication of minimal changes, but Redemption Ark seems to specifically remove not only FTL travel but also causality from the setting, as the origin for conjoiner drives and other technology never happens.

    Still much better than most examples, as it's stated to effectively be a case of 'this specific stuff you're researching will reveal more if you focus on X', but still a bit weird with the rest of the setting
    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.
    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.

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