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What'cha Reading?

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Finished a collection of Robert E. Howard's Conan stuff and I knew he was racist but DAMN is he racist.
 
The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker. The Golem and the Jinni was one of my favorite books of 2013, so let's see how the sequel is
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I just finished Hallie Rubenhold's The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. I'm not a big fan of true crime literature but this book isn't about the murderer but about the Women who he killed and how much a disservice history and pop culture has done to them and how it all continues to prop up an ugly and reductive way that our culture, and we, treat women.

Oh, and how horrific the lives of the lower and middle classes were in Victorian England.
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
what's mean Proper Name Syndrome??

I thought that was a term from fantasy/sci-fi criticism, but I tried to look it up and I think I actually just read it from someone on here. It's genre fiction where the writing buries you in world-building terminology to the point where it's tough to grapple on to the story or themes. I'm very much not a fan.
 
i like it as long as the proper names are Very Cool and as long as the book doesn't seem to expect you to 100% follow along

but it can definitely be misused
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
Understood. IIRC it does take a bit of time to sort through everything at the start of AJ, but it smooths out and starts working well pretty soon.
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
I didn't have trouble understanding the story or setting, it just doesn't feel like there's very much weight to the world, imo. I respect a lot about the book, and I certainly didn't hate it, but I've concluded that the series isn't really my thing.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Finished Michael Shae's follow up to Eyes of the Overworld: A Quest for Simbilis. Really fun stuff and a fascinating parallel to Cugel the Clever. It wasn't written as a sliding doors type sequel but completely works in a "what if Cugel had turned left instead of right" sort of way. Plus it features a journey through the underworld, Shae's specialty and always worth the price of admission. I wouldn't dream of comparing it to Cugel the Clever. For one, it would be a big disservice to compare anyone to Vance, especially the premiere effort of a first time author. For another, I don't think even Vance would think to write an anvil tree into his swords and sorcery.

 

karzac

(he/him)
i like it as long as the proper names are Very Cool and as long as the book doesn't seem to expect you to 100% follow along

but it can definitely be misused

I feel the same way, and think Ancillary Justice falls on the right side of this equation, but I understand why somebody would bounce off. For me, the central plot of AJ had me completely hooked, so that gave me the motivation to learn the proper names

I feel like Dune and LotR are examples of books where like 50% of the enjoyment is the proper names.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Made up fantasy names is like the difference between literal translations and localized ones. I'm of the opinion that you should only really use them when necessary (people/places/things that have no direct real analogue) and anything else is just purple prose.
 
Reading Ministry for the Future on days where there's news stories about how the water in Sacramento tastes like dirt now because the reservoirs are too low is extremely depressing. (I like the book so far, but... Sometimes I can't bring myself to pick it up.)
 
Reading Ministry for the Future on days where there's news stories about how the water in Sacramento tastes like dirt now because the reservoirs are too low is extremely depressing. (I like the book so far, but... Sometimes I can't bring myself to pick it up.)
You made me panic that I had the wrong book club book! I had to confirm this is October not July. Glad to have the heads up though.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Hellboy Omnibus Volume 1: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola
I actually picked up the two first volume omnibus volumes last month. I read the first could arcs ages ago but I've been meaning to read the entire saga. They also had volume for but no volume three. Sad face.
 
Guns of the Dawn was one of my favorite books last month, so I'd thought I'd give another book by Adrian Tchaikovsky a go with Spiderlight
 
Seriously, really need to know what happens next.

Just finished Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker. Hell of a read. It's about a family where six of the twelve children are diagnosed with schizophrenia at some point in their lives. Due to the range of ages it's also a look at what treatment (or lack of it) has been for mental illness since essentially the 1950s. There's a lot of the history of the research, terminology and understanding of the disease and it's all covered extremely well. Highly recommended as the personal dynamics of the family are riveting even if you aren't interested in the science of it. Some very dark scenes of course.

And definitely nodded my head in solidarity with one of the final research perspectives as the book caught up to present day: A potentially very effective drug was developed... but the pills needed to be taken four times a day. They couldn't improve that so they scraped it. The general rule in industry is that if you have a medicine that needs to be taken twice a day 20% of your patients won't take that second dose and it's so sad. I wonder if this book might get that biotech noticed again and someone will give it a look at reformulating.
 
I'm sorry I slept on it so long. I immediately bought the first book after reading the first issue. Will definitely go on to book two sometime in the near future
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
A while back I finished Waste Tide, by Chen Quifan. This is a near-future kinda cyberpunk-feeling novel about a peninsula in China where the whole economy is built around cleaning up e-waste. It's both arresting and depressing, and I absolutely could not put it down for about the first half of the novel. I felt like it started to come apart at the seams a bit as it went along - it has an omniscient narrator who is fond of telling us many things that I feel should be shown - but some of my reservations about the storytelling style might just be cultural difference. The book is translated from Chinese, and I wouldn't be surprised if it loses a lot of its nuance in the translation. This is even outright stated in the forward.
 
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