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What'cha Reading?

Well, that book just didn't work out for me, so I'm finally getting back to Terry Brooks' The Word and the Void trilogy with A Knight of the Word
 
Well, that was underwhelming. Not sure if I'm going to finish the trilogy or not. Going to take a bit of a fantasy break and instead read Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film by Mel Brooks[/B]
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I'm reading a lesser known Asimov novel - The Gods Themselves. It is a standalone, and of typical quality for the author, I think. It is also surprisingly queer, considering that it's by Asimov, and a sci-fi novel from 1972.

This spoiler is just about the setting, not really about the story:
In the second part of the book (I think there are four parts, being at the start of the third, which is right in the middle) plays in a parallel universe, which is connected ot ours. In that universe, there are Hard Ones (basically regular humans), but they are pretty irrelevent. At least for this post. The story focuses on the Soft Ones, who exist in three categories: The Parental, the Emotional and the Logical (forgot the real name of the last one, but that word works too). These three are basically a family unit, who have an analogue for sex (melting, where they basically fuse with each other - they are soft, because their form isn't "hard" like ours is, for example), and who create one of each type of Soft One by doing that.

The story focuses on one Triad, which is basically such a family unit, consisting of one of each chategory of Soft Ones. These three types have very specific characteristics. The Parental is mainly focused on creating and raising the children. For our Triad, it's a guy (Soft Ones can be, like humans, men or women). The Logical is also a guy, but he and the Parental have a stronger bond than they have with the Emotional, which I can't help but read as a gay relationship - even aside from the fact, that Asimov just created a sort of partnership, that has three instead of two partners. The Emotional (the protagonist of the second part) is a woman (well, I guess that one is cliched), but she is an exception. Emotionals are normally very empty-headed (the book doesn't go into detail, but I think they can be men or women). With the exception of the protagonist, who is very intelligent, and considers herself, as the book goes on, as a Logical, born into the body of an Emotional.

The book acknowledges, that each of the three is strange for his type of Soft One. But not in a bad way - they are the best of them all, for REASONS, that I will not go into.


Very queer, very surprising. I tend to have some blind spots for badly done stuff, when it comes to queer representation, but even so, this seems really impressive, coming from this author during that time. Not that I think that Asimov intended this to be a queer book. I'm sure he just thought about how he could make up a society, that is fundamentaly different from ours.
 
I ultimately DNF'd the Andy Weir. Too much science for my taste. I ended up reading a Gene Wilder bio called Gene Wilder: Funny and Sad by Brian Scott Mednick. I(My 100th read of the year) It was an enjoyable, short read (little over 200 pages, and if you discount the photo insert, it's probably less). Anyway, going to read Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Jason Schreier's Press Reset , a book about crunch and churn in the video game industry. Just finished the first chapter about Warren Spector's storied career and the endless chain of companies he's worked for (some juicy details about Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2 in there). This next chapter is about Bioshock Infinite and Irrational Games.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Jason Schreier's Press Reset , a book about crunch and churn in the video game industry. Just finished the first chapter about Warren Spector's storied career and the endless chain of companies he's worked for (some juicy details about Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2 in there). This next chapter is about Bioshock Infinite and Irrational Games.
This is next on my list, I think -- currently halfway through The Hidden Palace and really enjoying it.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
This is next on my list, I think -- currently halfway through The Hidden Palace and really enjoying it.
It's good! A Chapter on the 2k Marin and how a game they didnt want to make and no one wanted to play sunk them and of course a chapter on 38 Studies.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Took a while, but I finished Rhythms of War. Which makes the fourth 1000+ Page book in this series I’ve read and absolutely loved.

Now all I have to do is remember what happened in it for several years until the next one is published! Easy-peasy!
 

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
Took a while, but I finished Rhythms of War. Which makes the fourth 1000+ Page book in this series I’ve read and absolutely loved.

Now all I have to do is remember what happened in it for several years until the next one is published! Easy-peasy!
I also just finished this book, I think I bought it the day it came out.

Picked up steam at the end as they usually do but I found it a bit of a slog for quite a bit of it. Especially those flashbacks, every time I saw “## years earlier” I’d put the book down for a month.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Especially given that we already knew everything about that time.

You don’t need to fill a full 1200 pages, Brandon. You… you can leave some out
 

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
Especially given that we already knew everything about that time.

You don’t need to fill a full 1200 pages, Brandon. You… you can leave some out
Reminded me a bit of the dreamers series by David Eddings where, as I remember it, he managed to include the entirety of the first book within the second as flashbacks.

Wikipedia exists now, guys, i’ll get caught up before I dive in.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Broke: Books that put stuff in
Woke: Books that leave stuff out
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I finished The Price of Spring, the last book of the Long Price Quartet. I really liked the series. It reminded me of Earthsea, being a fantasy series that mostly deemphasized violence and didn't take place in fake Europe, and how the characters age over the course of the story as mortality and the passage of time becomes a dominant theme. The ending could have cut deeper, but I'm glad it didn't, considering how hard the entire tale is on the cast.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
I'm reading a lesser known Asimov novel - The Gods Themselves. It is a standalone, and of typical quality for the author, I think. It is also surprisingly queer, considering that it's by Asimov, and a sci-fi novel from 1972.

Very queer, very surprising. I tend to have some blind spots for badly done stuff, when it comes to queer representation, but even so, this seems really impressive, coming from this author during that time. Not that I think that Asimov intended this to be a queer book. I'm sure he just thought about how he could make up a society, that is fundamentaly different from ours.
Yes. The second act of The Gods Themselves is Asimov at his finest. He actually wrote that part to challenge some of the criticism of his work (specifically that he never wrote aliens) - and he never would tackle something like that again because it didn't interest him that much.

He would take another stab at it from another angle in Foundation and Earth. Results were not as good (these were "aliens" as in societies that started human but had been warped so much they were not human anymore. One was not fully explored since they still acted human and we didn't spend much time looking at their society, the other was the generic "bwahahahahaha" kind of alien)
 
If you're a fan of historical fiction, I definitely advise you give Kane and Abel a try. Will be giving the next book a try in the near future for sure.

On to my next read Secrets of the Force, the newest oral history from Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman
 
The Iliad (Caroline Alexander translation) is a much easier read and more entertaining than I expected. I had always heard it was the boring one compared to The Odyssey, and I'd read a lot of later Greek tragedies before but never any of the epics, so I had no idea what it might be like formally. I thought it might be more narrative with long lists of lineages that I'd have to trudge through. That stuff is in there to an extent, but a large proportion of it is people (and gods) proclaiming dramatic monologues at each other, which honestly makes it a real page turner as far as texts from thousands of years ago are concerned. (In retrospect, I guess it's not super surprising that something rooted in an oral tradition would be very monologue focused...)
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
He would take another stab at it from another angle in Foundation and Earth. Results were not as good (these were "aliens" as in societies that started human but had been warped so much they were not human anymore. One was not fully explored since they still acted human and we didn't spend much time looking at their society, the other was the generic "bwahahahahaha" kind of alien)

I read that one, one of the stronger ones of the later novels, that connected the Robot stories to the Foundation stories. My favourite of those was probably the one about Seldons life. But I digress.

Spoilers for other people, considering that we are in the general book thread: I did like, that we found out what happened to the Spacer worlds, even if I found the answers a bit boring (they are nearly all dead). I did like what happened to the Solarians, though. It felt like a fitting...evolution (of their species, and of their society). I mean, they just can't stand other people, and think of themselves as superior to all other live. Not that far removed, from the Solarians of Elia Bailey, I think.

The other ones didn't have much of a society, if I remember correctly? But I don't remember much about them.


Did you read all of Asimovs novels? Probably not all the short stories, there are tons of them, but the bigger ones? I read Nightfall two years ago, and enjoyed that one too, with a few nitpicks.
 
The Iliad (Caroline Alexander translation) is a much easier read and more entertaining than I expected. I had always heard it was the boring one compared to The Odyssey, and I'd read a lot of later Greek tragedies before but never any of the epics, so I had no idea what it might be like formally. I thought it might be more narrative with long lists of lineages that I'd have to trudge through. That stuff is in there to an extent, but a large proportion of it is people (and gods) proclaiming dramatic monologues at each other, which honestly makes it a real page turner as far as texts from thousands of years ago are concerned. (In retrospect, I guess it's not super surprising that something rooted in an oral tradition would be very monologue focused...)

Man, I need to re-read that. I remember liking it more, but I also read it in Latin in a supposedly easier to translate/abridged version, while I read the Odyssey in a very dry English translation.

I actually have Emily Wilson's Odyssey translation on hold at the library so hopefully that happens soon.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
Wilson's translation is good as far as making a readable text. I should look for something similar for the Iliad.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
She's currently working on one, but I don't think a publication date has been announced.
 
I can't meaningfully evaluate Caroline Alexander's translation as a translation because I can't read the source material, but I can say that it takes a line for line approach that at times does feel like it's straining at the bounds of English grammar. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, especially for a work with many existing translations. I picked Alexander's after skimming through samples from and reading about the merits and demerits of the major translations because on balance her approach came closest to what I wanted. But if you're looking for an existing translation of the Iliad that prioritizes readability the most, this is probably not the one. Of the other existing translations, the ones I saw recommended the most were Fagles for readability, or Lattimore for having the most strict fidelity to the original text.

She's currently working on one, but I don't think a publication date has been announced.

 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
a fantasy series that mostly deemphasized violence and didn't take place in fake Europe, and how the characters age over the course of the story as mortality and the passage of time becomes a dominant theme.
Well now you have my attention.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
As mentioned upthread, I moved on to Jason Schreier's Press Reset. I'm a couple of chapters in and it's as good as I expected from him, though on a personal level -- as someone who's about to hit his five year anniversary at a AAA company next month -- I'm finding it extremely sobering and a little anxiety-provoking. Even though my company has an extremely high retention rate and I've never seen layoffs, it's entirely possible that in the next few years I could become one of the people he's writing about. I don't feel like I need to keep one eye on the door, but, y'know. It's a healthy reminder that everything can change in an instant.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
Did you read all of Asimovs novels? Probably not all the short stories, there are tons of them, but the bigger ones? I read Nightfall two years ago, and enjoyed that one too, with a few nitpicks.
My nickname is there for a reason ;) I'm fairly sure I've read all of Asimov's short stories published in Spanish, and all the major novels and major compilations in English. I'm only including the solo ones, though, as I haven't read the extended NIghtfall novel he co-wrote. But I read both NIghtfall (short story) and The Last Question when I was young, and I think they shaped my tastes for literature a lot.
 
Ninth House got my seal of approval. Will definitely continue on with the series. Now, finally getting the chance to read Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, see if she can go three for three
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I put Press Reset down for the moment, because it was stressing me out. Moving on to P. Djeli Clark's new one, A Master of Djinn.
 
Now, finally getting the chance to read Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, see if she can go three for three
I'm afraid it was a bit of a miss for me. Nowhere near as good as her last two. Next, expanding my nonfiction horizons and reading some baseball history with The Last Real Season by Mike Shropshire
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
I moved on to Arm of the Sphinx, the second book in the Books of Babel (sequel to Senlin Ascends). The beginning feels a bit adrift, but so do the characters within the plot, so I guess that fits? We finally seem to be moving things forward though and I do want to know more, so no complaints from me yet. Plus, the airships, the pirate port on the side of the tower, and other stuff has been fun. I just got to them knocking on the door of what is essentially the house from Up, which is kinda delightful.
Moving on to P. Djeli Clark's new one, A Master of Djinn.
I just saw this in a bookstore, not having heard of the author at all before. How is it?
 
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