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  #12391  
Old 06-12-2018, 08:18 AM
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I like that series as well. It has a different setting and is less vulgar than First Law, but definitely feels like his kind of story.
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  #12392  
Old 06-12-2018, 11:55 AM
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Finished off Last Argument of Kings, and with it, the entire First Law trilogy. The series never strayed from its premise of “What if Game of Thrones had less sex, more violence and everyone was a bigger asshole?”, and also had the critical distinction of... not being paced well, but so, so much better. Throughout the whole series, whenever it looked like a bad character had something redemptive in their heart, they quickly go about obliterating your sympathy for them by doing something awful (Glokta swings both ways like a pendulum, fast enough to give you whiplash). And, again, despite it being a checklist of Things I Hate In Books, I loved the whole series.
this is exactly my conclusion as well. I *hate* grimdark, and there wasn't a redeemable person in the lot, but holy shit did it all come together in an incredible and satisfying package. what an amazing trilogy.
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  #12393  
Old 06-13-2018, 04:43 AM
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Started reading Springfield Confidential, a memoir/behind the scenes book by Simpson’s head-writer Mike Reiss. It’s informative and zippy.

Also; you may not be surprised to learn that one of the head writers for The Simpsons is a funny dude.
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  #12394  
Old 06-13-2018, 07:46 AM
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Going back to the world of musicals (don't judge me lol) with Showstoppers!: The Surprising Backstage Stories of Broadway's Most Remarkable Songs by Gerald Nachman
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  #12395  
Old 06-16-2018, 10:47 AM
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Angels in America by Tony Kushner
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  #12396  
Old 06-16-2018, 03:12 PM
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Read some epics. Finished Pharsalia, a very gory and surreal epic based on the conflict between Pompey and Cesar.

Argonautica: Appolodorus version. I actually have the newest translation of the Flaccus version, excited to read that. This hits a lot of the notes from the Odyssey and also has some quirks exclusive to the Alexandrian age that I won't go into at the moment. Very cool to see the Greek Avengers. I kind of want to see the 1963 movie now.

Most of the themes and subtext go completely over my head, I'm sure, but they were good reads.
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  #12397  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:15 PM
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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Time for a story. I first read this almost twenty three years ago, but I never shelved it on Goodreads, because I never really read the whole thing. I skipped all the historical stuff not concerned with the Jean Valjean odyssey. It wasn't until a few months after finishing (it took me almost two months to finish, by the way) that I missed the whole point of the book, and I vowed that one day, I would read every last page. Today is finally that day.
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  #12398  
Old 06-17-2018, 07:15 AM
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Finished Springfield Confidential, which I quite liked on the whole. Could have come across a bit more graceful on the whole Apu thing, but otherwise I enjoyed it.

And now on to Neal Stephenson’s most recent collaboration; The Rise and Fall of DODO. A scant dozen pages in and I can safely say “yep, Neal Stephenson’s hand wrote these passages.”
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  #12399  
Old 06-17-2018, 10:06 AM
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Just read through Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. I saw a production of it a couple months ago, but my attention span doesn't do very well with plays, so I had a lot of trouble following what was going on. Reading it is more my speed, and holy shit this play is such a ballet of gigantic ideas! Now I want to actually see it again.
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  #12400  
Old 06-24-2018, 01:43 PM
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About a third of the way through Bridge of Birds. Quite a bit of fun, so far.
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  #12401  
Old 06-24-2018, 06:52 PM
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Reading the Invisible Bridge has me thinking that we never get past anything in this country.

Same ol' shit again and again.
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  #12402  
Old 06-25-2018, 04:53 AM
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Taking a break from Les Mis and reading the new Robin Williams biography by Dave Itzkoff
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  #12403  
Old 06-26-2018, 04:43 AM
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I’m about midway through The Rise and Fall of DODO, and, man, Neal Stephenson’s just going through a checklist at this point isn’t he? Midway through the book we’re inteoduced to a character who is both A) an MIT grad computer programmer in charge of an absurdly complicated computer network and B) a HEMA Sword Fighter, who has Half a chapter explaining how fencing and sword fighting are different things.

Fortunately, since this book is a collaborated effort, all of his more... wearisome habits are kept in check, which helps a lot. I doubt it’s going to wind up replacing Snow Crash as being my favorite of his books, but it’s up there.
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  #12404  
Old 06-26-2018, 05:51 AM
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It's really good. was one of my favorites from last year
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  #12405  
Old 06-27-2018, 05:43 PM
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After finishing Dragon Road, I went back and read the other two novellas in Fifth Head of Cerberus. They were really good, and wove together in a really cool way! I listened to Loki's podcast episodes on the first novella and plan to go back for the other two later.

I picked TT favorite (I think?) City of Stairs off my shelf. I'm about 100 pages in so far. The setting and history are more interesting than the characters or plot so far, but I think it's starting to pick up?
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  #12406  
Old 06-28-2018, 07:09 AM
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Read Frankenstein yesterday and wow, not only did Mary Shelley single-handedly invent science fiction but she also totally called the Incel movement 200 years in advance.
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  #12407  
Old 06-28-2018, 11:26 AM
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Staying with biographies, with The Life of Mark Twain: The Early Years 1835-1871 by Gary Scharnhorst
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  #12408  
Old 06-28-2018, 11:36 AM
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Finally reading Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. Been waiting for some free time and that time is now.
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  #12409  
Old 07-01-2018, 03:34 PM
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The Twain thing didn't go as expected. Next time, will find something a little less meticulous. Now, going back to fiction with The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses) by Terri-Lynne DeFino
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  #12410  
Old 07-02-2018, 01:51 PM
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Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton. I was a bit let down by his Night's Dawn series, but I'm giving him another try
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  #12411  
Old 07-02-2018, 07:31 PM
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I used to post a lot more in this thread before I got a job requiring me to read as-yet-unpublished books all weekend.

I read The Emissary by Yoko Tawada and didn't really like it.

Currently reading:
Nineteen Seventy-Four by David Peace - The author's debut novel already sounds like later James Ellroy. Really enthralling, but not a nice book. Looking forward to reading more from Peace.

The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard - Actually the first novel by Ballard I've read; I think I've read three story collections and a novel before this. It's good and very recognizably Ballard. A little pulpier at times than I'd expect.

Just finished:
Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard - The second novel to feature Jack Foley from Out of Sight. Not as good as that book, but fun.
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  #12412  
Old 07-03-2018, 04:47 AM
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Finished The Rise and Fall of DODO, which is honestly kind of neck-and-neck with Snowcrash, now, for being my favorite Stephenson book. Turns out if he’s collaborating with another writer, all his annoying quirks are stamped out. So that’s good. I didn’t realize it was supposed to be kicking off a whole series until the last chapter, however, when I realized that there was still a fair bit of plot left to resolve in just a dozen pages. At the very least, I was expecting a Stephenson-y non-ending, rather than a sequel hook.

From that, I’ve started reading The Massacre of Mankind, an officially liscensed fan fiction sequel to War of the Worlds, written by Stephen Baxter. Only a few chapters in to it, but so far it’s more of an alternate history story that shows what the world would have been like if a dozen alien war machines DID crash into Britain in the early 20th century.

It would have been “objectively worse”, if you’re curious.
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  #12413  
Old 07-03-2018, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
From that, I’ve started reading The Massacre of Mankind, an officially liscensed fan fiction sequel to War of the Worlds, written by Stephen Baxter. Only a few chapters in to it, but so far it’s more of an alternate history story that shows what the world would have been like if a dozen alien war machines DID crash into Britain in the early 20th century.

It would have been “objectively worse”, if you’re curious.
Around 20 years ago, he also wrote The Time Ships, an official sequel to The Time Machine. Supposed to be quite good?
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  #12414  
Old 07-03-2018, 06:50 AM
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Reading The High Window, my fourth Marlowe book. Chandler's work holds up really well. If you accept that everyone was casually racist in the 30s and 40s.
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  #12415  
Old 07-03-2018, 06:57 AM
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I do accept that!
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  #12416  
Old 07-03-2018, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonetrope View Post
Just read through Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. I saw a production of it a couple months ago, but my attention span doesn't do very well with plays, so I had a lot of trouble following what was going on. Reading it is more my speed, and holy shit this play is such a ballet of gigantic ideas! Now I want to actually see it again.
I read this some months back due to Loki’s podcast (which is great fun for Gene Wolfe nerds). It’s the first play I’ve read since Romeo and Juliet back in 8th grade, and I really liked it. I missed a ton of subtext, but after I listened to their episode, I did a re-read a couple months later and enjoyed it even more.
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  #12417  
Old 07-05-2018, 02:50 PM
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Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
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  #12418  
Old 07-05-2018, 06:54 PM
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It would have been “objectively worse”, if you’re curious.
Well I mean how sure are you of this.
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  #12419  
Old 07-06-2018, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
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Well I mean how sure are you of this.
The book doesn’t dwell on it too long before the dang ol’ Martians come back, but the almost the whole of Europe winds up being a military dictatorship under Kaiser Wilhelm, so...

Room for improvement, on the whole.
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  #12420  
Old 07-08-2018, 06:56 AM
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I recommend Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time to all non-arachnophobes who love sci-fi with big ideas. Fastest 600 pages I've read in ages.
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