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  #11551  
Old 02-15-2017, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by keele864 View Post
Have you read Tim Powers at all? I suspect his mashup of real-life history with the ludicrously occult might appeal to you. I haven't read much, but what I have seen seems up your alley.

Might also be worth looking into Charles Stross's Laundry books. One of the novellas in the series is free online.
I've read and loved On Strange Tides, but I think that's it. Maybe a short story collection, but I honestly don't recall.
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  #11552  
Old 02-16-2017, 08:37 AM
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It's not fair of The Lies of Locke Lamora to introduce so many likeable, rounded characters just to kill them off >_<. Also, I'm sure Nazca technically counts as a fridging.

Half a book to go.
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  #11553  
Old 02-16-2017, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Positronic Brain View Post
It's not fair of The Lies of Locke Lamora to introduce so many likeable, rounded characters just to kill them off >_<. Also, I'm sure Nazca technically counts as a fridging.

Half a book to go.
BOY would a fridge have been better...
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  #11554  
Old 02-16-2017, 10:18 AM
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Started reading Jane Steele for my book club. It's Jane Eyre but what if a Serial Killer. Which is, to be honest, much better than the original Jane Jane Eyre which was Jane Eyre, but what if extra mopey and wordy.
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  #11555  
Old 02-16-2017, 12:17 PM
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I've read and loved On Strange Tides, but I think that's it. Maybe a short story collection, but I honestly don't recall.
I'm going to second the recommendation of further Tim Powers then. If you enjoy alternate history and/or secret history, I'd particularly recommend The Anubis Gates (19th century London and magic), The Stress of Her Regard (The Romantic poets and magic), or Declare (WWII and Cold War espionage, and magic).

I mean, okay, most of his books feature historical events viewed through a weird magical lens, but a lot of his work focuses on California and movie history (often with a side order of ghosts), which I don't find as inherently interesting. Though if that kind of thing is your cup of tea, and you're interested in learning about the secret history of Las Vegas, Last Call is a good (if slightly dated) starting point.
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  #11556  
Old 02-16-2017, 04:47 PM
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It should be a crime to put someone's name on the cover of a book they didn't write, especially not in big letters while obfuscating the real writer.

I've recently read Black Coffee, an adaptation of an Agatha Christie play starring Poirot. The book was not written by her. It is her plotting, but that is certainly not her prose. If I couldn't tell already, it became all the more clear when I read The Body in the Library, a real Agatha Christie mystery.

Also:

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Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
Started reading Jane Steele for my book club. It's Jane Eyre but what if a Serial Killer. Which is, to be honest, much better than the original Jane Jane Eyre which was Jane Eyre, but what if extra mopey and wordy.
Booo! Booooo!
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  #11557  
Old 02-16-2017, 07:38 PM
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It's not fair of The Lies of Locke Lamora to [do thing].
I remember feeling that book had issues with tonal shifts - at times it felt like a lighthearted Donald Westlake caper novel in a fantasy setting, but then it would switch to a brutal GRRM-style parade of corpses. There's also a bit near the end where we get a lighthearted con for a whole chapter before the final confrontation.

I will admit my opinion of the book suffered because I read it on the same vacation that I discovered a) Patrick O'Brian and b) Evelyn Waugh, both of whom I place among my very favorite authors.

Just finished:
Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology - Very enjoyable summary of the Norse legends. I thought I'd read it slowly, but I went through most of it in two sittings.

Currently reading:
J.B. Priestley's The Thirty-First of June - A lighthearted fantasy from the sixties I'm probably writing a blog post on. Utterly frivolous, but enjoyable.

Dorothy Dunnett's Pawn in Frankincense - The fourth of the Lymond books. I would hesitate to recommend these books, as they can be very tough-going and unwelcoming, but I really love them. This book has the reputation of being one of the darkest in the series; I'm only a hundred pages in, but we've already had one truly nightmarish scene. I'm really looking forward to the end of the book: I've heard that the final scene, which a chess match played with real people, is Dunnett at her most suspenseful.

Next up: If I have time this weekend, I really want to get started on George Saunders's Lincoln in the Bardo. I've heard great things about this book for months from lucky people with advance copies; now that I finally have the book, I really want a few days to settle down with it.

Also on the horizon:
C.S. Forester's Beat to Quarters - Classic nautical fiction I've been meaning to read for years.

Steve Erickson's Shadowbahn - Surrealist Americana with a strong musical bent.


If anyone's interested, I wrote about small presses in science fiction and fantasy.
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  #11558  
Old 02-17-2017, 05:31 AM
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Those tonal shifts make me wonder if there's other books about fantasy con artists where things aren't always terrible, forever.
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  #11559  
Old 02-17-2017, 06:47 AM
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I just finished Locke Lamora and, yeah, total tonal whiplash. I spent half the book in denial of the body count, including 50% of the female cast up to that point in the book. I liked it, but it was more, um, grim that I had expected. I'm not in a rush to read the sequels, frankly.

Particularly not since I just went into what surely wasn't a wise shopping spree, what with Amazon and Story Bundle and Humble Bundle having excellent sales lately. Damn my poor impulse control. Douglas Adams or Scalzi next? Decisions, decisions...
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  #11560  
Old 02-17-2017, 09:05 AM
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Live By Night by Dennis Lehane
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  #11561  
Old 02-17-2017, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by keele864 View Post
If anyone's interested, I wrote about small presses in science fiction and fantasy.
Thanks for the link! I have a couple of books from Subterranean and Small Beer, but had never heard of Tartarus--perhaps unsurprising, since I live in the U.S.
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  #11562  
Old 02-17-2017, 12:34 PM
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Still on Babylon's Ashes. Michio Pa is a loathsome and infuriating character, but the authors want you to like her. I'm baffled! This won't stand. Co-sign this appalled goodreads review. (Don't mind the main villain, though) Who would have thought a series about what if Umbrella Corporation discovered the mass effect relays could have such implausible and mystifying characterization?
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  #11563  
Old 02-17-2017, 07:19 PM
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Revisiting Split Infinity by Piers Anthony for the first time since I was 12 because I got sick and I think the parasites got into my brain. There's no outright pedophila (yet) but P. Anth more than makes up for it with a constant fixation on gross gender stereotypes, constant fixation on sexy sex all the damn time sex sex sex, an awful Mary Sue of a protagonist, and just terrible terrible prose.

It's been a fun time.
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  #11564  
Old 02-17-2017, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Loki View Post
Revisiting Split Infinity by Piers Anthony for the first time since I was 12 because I got sick and I think the parasites got into my brain. There's no outright pedophila (yet) but P. Anth more than makes up for it with a constant fixation on gross gender stereotypes, constant fixation on sexy sex all the damn time sex sex sex, an awful Mary Sue of a protagonist, and just terrible terrible prose.

It's been a fun time.
My nephew found my small collection of xanth books that were still at my parents' house and has been reading them when he visits. I feel like I should double check to make sure none of them were the really gross ones but I really don't want to reread any of them.

I'm pretty sure I never owned the one where they spend the entire book trying to figure out the color of some girl's panties.
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  #11565  
Old 02-17-2017, 08:30 PM
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Bad news! The grossness starts at book 1. Its weird because there's super adult stuff in the books even without all the horrible gender shit l, but they're written in a style very much for young readers. I missed all the horrible sex stuff as a teen tho so maybe they're self-defeating.
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  #11566  
Old 02-17-2017, 08:52 PM
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Just finished Math Girls and it is an amazing book. On the one hand it has good and fun math, on the other it talks about some of the emotional problems math students usually deal with (like working with someone that has different skills in math than you). I can't praise it enough.
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  #11567  
Old 02-18-2017, 07:46 PM
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Everything I've read about Xanth makes me glad I wasn't a heavy reader as a kid.

I finished Shusaku Endo's Silence today, and I'm really hoping I can find some people at church who've read it (or at least seen the movie) and want to talk about it.
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  #11568  
Old 02-19-2017, 09:30 AM
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Just finished Math Girls and it is an amazing book. On the one hand it has good and fun math, on the other it talks about some of the emotional problems math students usually deal with (like working with someone that has different skills in math than you). I can't praise it enough.
Thanks for this recommendation; I've added this to my wishlist. I see there are more books in the series, as well.
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  #11569  
Old 02-19-2017, 10:36 AM
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Still reading this Kim Newman collection, it's still amazing. The story I just finished had a classic movie buff discover Channel Frankenstein, a channel with nothing but unproduced Frankenstein remakes. Choice quotes;

"My mind is the screen on which these Frankensteins perform"

"'We belong dead', intones Don Knotts"

"'To a new world of Gods and Monsters!', toasts Daffy Duck"

This... is the greatest book ever written.
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  #11570  
Old 02-19-2017, 10:39 AM
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Just finished Math Girls and it is an amazing book. On the one hand it has good and fun math, on the other it talks about some of the emotional problems math students usually deal with (like working with someone that has different skills in math than you). I can't praise it enough.
Dammit, no Kindle version
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  #11571  
Old 02-19-2017, 01:24 PM
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Everything I've read about Xanth makes me glad I wasn't a heavy reader as a kid.
The first, and only, Xanth book I ever got through was the very first one, and well, as a gurl, let's just say I noticed the sexism with no problem. I tried one other whose title I can't even remember, but it kept leering at its below-adult-consent-aged female character right out the starting gate and I got grossed out and never tried his stuff again.

On to nicer things! Villette by Charlotte Bronte. My first Bronte, of any sibling's, since I read Jane Eyre in HS. I've read a few reviews on GoodReads and this seems like it's going to be an interesting one. Just a few chapters in, it's already made some pointed, if oblique, observations about women's choices.
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  #11572  
Old 02-19-2017, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Loki View Post
Revisiting Split Infinity by Piers Anthony for the first time since I was 12 because I got sick and I think the parasites got into my brain. There's no outright pedophila (yet) but P. Anth more than makes up for it with a constant fixation on gross gender stereotypes, constant fixation on sexy sex all the damn time sex sex sex, an awful Mary Sue of a protagonist, and just terrible terrible prose.

It's been a fun time.
I had that experience last year with one of his called Killobyte, which was his book about fully immersive VR games. I read it because I remember reading parts of it at a very young age, and a few things had really stuck in my mind (mostly sexy stuff, because, again, young age). It was bad! Kind of a fun read. Not quite as bad as some things I've heard about P.A., but still, pretty bad.
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  #11573  
Old 02-19-2017, 05:00 PM
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Piers Anthony's thing is carrying on the questionable tradition of 60's-70's SF and Sci-Fantasy novels, all of which were packed to the gills with sex, more sex, and various oddball things that had to be the result of a drug trip.

I will never forget the summer (I was...fifteen?) when I was visiting my paternal grandparents, and my grandmother gave me a box of books she'd gotten from some random family member. Every book was from around the 70s, including the complete Flux & Anchor series by Jack L. Chalker. Piers Anthony doesn't have shit on that.
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  #11574  
Old 02-19-2017, 05:19 PM
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I'm fairly certain that sex in most non-Piers Anthony fantasy books doesn't involve pubescent children.
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  #11575  
Old 02-19-2017, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivers View Post
Thanks for this recommendation; I've added this to my wishlist. I see there are more books in the series, as well.
You're welcome!

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Originally Posted by Positronic Brain View Post
Dammit, no Kindle version
For math books i kinda prefer physical books anyway, since it's easier to go back to previous pages. But i dunno.
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  #11576  
Old 02-19-2017, 05:32 PM
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I'm fairly certain that sex in most non-Piers Anthony fantasy books doesn't involve pubescent children.
*smiles, looks off into the distance forlornly*
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  #11577  
Old 02-19-2017, 06:01 PM
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I was telling Jess about Split Inifinity and she told me I had to stop reading it.


Lots of horse fucking in this book.
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  #11578  
Old 02-20-2017, 08:40 AM
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I was telling Jess about Split Inifinity and she told me I had to stop reading it.


Lots of horse fucking in this book.
Oh Christ, I remember those books. He fucks the shit out of that horse.
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  #11579  
Old 02-20-2017, 08:56 AM
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And now I'm remembering that all the part human magical creatures in Xanth are the result of magic water that makes you want to fuck the next thing you see (of the opposite sex, of course, these are children's books after all).

Yep, time to put those books away, Loki, dredging up too much stuff right now.
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  #11580  
Old 02-20-2017, 09:31 AM
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I vaguely recall somebody recommending Piers Anthony to me as a kid.

I am so glad I did not take their advice.
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