Books completed

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Chopper
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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Chopper » May 8th, 2018, 1:20 pm

duskvstweak wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 10:56 pm
It is an interesting topic. I've been trying to read through the Hugo winners, but I didn't love The Fifth Season and it and it's sequel both one with the third nominated.
Also, I loved Leviathan Wakes but I gave up with the series during the third book. I think, personally, I'd prefer one-and-done novels, especially in the scifi/fantasy landscape.
We must be working off the same reading list; I'm reading the Fifth Season now and Leviathan Wakes is on the list too :)

I didn't like the Fifth Season to start, but I'm getting into it a bit now.

Finished the Ancillary series of books mentioned above. Damn good sci fi.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by duskvstweak » May 8th, 2018, 2:22 pm

Ancillary Justice was interesting, I keep meaning to pick up the second book.
Series-wise, I'm been reading through the Witcher books in preparation to start those games someday!

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Chopper » May 8th, 2018, 3:18 pm

The first Ancillary was the best of them, I think. The next two get a little 'soap opera-y'/are more character focused.

Are the Witcher books any good? I leafed through one in a bookshop once and thought the writing was terrible. It was possibly a dodgy translation/or I just got a bad 'un, but I was quite surprised given their positive rep.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by kintaris » May 8th, 2018, 11:41 pm

Well, it's coming on for 2am here and I have to be up in four hours, but I couldn't put A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet down. This is the kind of sci-fi I've always wanted to write. It's not about mind-boggling concepts, it's not about wars and battles - it's just about people. It's hopeful, it's sweet, it builds to a satisfyingly climactic ending without betraying its roots as a story about relationships. I'm not sure if anyone here would get on with it, I'm only recently coming to terms with how mushy I am compared to other thirty year old men :lol: but if you wanted to try sci-fi with a different tone, It's worth a shot.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by duskvstweak » May 9th, 2018, 12:09 am

Chopper wrote:
May 8th, 2018, 3:18 pm
Are the Witcher books any good? I leafed through one in a bookshop once and thought the writing was terrible. It was possibly a dodgy translation/or I just got a bad 'un, but I was quite surprised given their positive rep.
I really liked the first two, which were more short story collections than actual novels. The main series has been fine, but not as enjoyable.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by duskvstweak » May 9th, 2018, 12:10 am

kintaris wrote:
May 8th, 2018, 11:41 pm
Well, it's coming on for 2am here and I have to be up in four hours, but I couldn't put A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet down. This is the kind of sci-fi I've always wanted to write. It's not about mind-boggling concepts, it's not about wars and battles - it's just about people. It's hopeful, it's sweet, it builds to a satisfyingly climactic ending without betraying its roots as a story about relationships. I'm not sure if anyone here would get on with it, I'm only recently coming to terms with how mushy I am compared to other thirty year old men :lol: but if you wanted to try sci-fi with a different tone, It's worth a shot.
I haven't heard of this! I'll have to check it out! Adding it to my Goodreads!

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Flabyo » May 12th, 2018, 1:36 pm

If you liked the Ancilliary books, there’s a fourth one now. Or rather, it’s a new story in the same universe (the knock on effects of the original trilogy are going on in the background of this story).

It’s called ‘Provenance’, and I enjoyed it a lot. Possibly more than the original trilogy, it’s not trying to be quite so grand and sweeping, but still has all of Leckie’s trademark world building skill in play.


I’m going to throw in a recommendation here, because this is the kind of forum where I think people would enjoy it:

‘You’ by Austin Grossman. It’s a mystery story, and also at the same time a sideways look at the video games industry of the late 1990s (specifically places like id and looking glass) Of all the fiction I’ve ever read that have even tangential reference to video games, this is by some way the most accurate depiction of what working in games actually is like. It’s also a very fun story.

(From the same author is ‘Soon I will be Invincible’ which is a great skewering of the superhero genre told from the perspective of a villain so powerful he’s got bored of trying to win, until a new hero appears on the scene.)

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by duskvstweak » May 12th, 2018, 1:59 pm

I added You to my to-read list, thanks for the suggestion!

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Alex79uk » May 13th, 2018, 12:43 pm

I recently finished Ready Player One. Maybe it's not that brilliant a story but I really enjoyed it. Yes, a lot of that was undoubtably the familiarity of and nostalgia I have for much of the source material, but I thought it really was highly enjoyable.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by duskvstweak » May 13th, 2018, 8:43 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
May 13th, 2018, 12:43 pm
I recently finished Ready Player One. Maybe it's not that brilliant a story but I really enjoyed it. Yes, a lot of that was undoubtably the familiarity of and nostalgia I have for much of the source material, but I thought it really was highly enjoyable.
I loved the book when I read it back in 2011. I found it to be lots of fun. The movie was pretty enjoyable too.
He's second book, Armada was no good, though. Really disappointing.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Spacefarer » May 21st, 2018, 4:55 pm

I really enjoyed RP1, too. I definitely preferred the book to the film, but that's not to say it was a bad film. Just felt it was missing a first act.

Anyway. Books. I finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy (plus The Hobbit) earlier this year. It was so, so good. Admittedly, it wasn't the best written book I've ever read - Tolkien isn't great at describing landscapes, for example - but the worldbuilding and the characters just kept me hooked. It helps that I enjoyed the films, and the books were even better.
I also read the Hunger Games trilogy. Scary stuff. My feelings towards Katniss were remarkably similar to how I felt towards Walter White - the character isn't really all that likeable, but because they're the protagonists of their respective media, you develop a sort of Stockholm syndrome. Lots of echoes of 1984, too. I've yet to see the films...but given my track record, I feel like I'm still gonna like the books better. ;)

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Flabyo » May 21st, 2018, 5:39 pm

The whole third book of Hunger Games is a manual for ‘why people with ptsd make terrible soldiers’. She’s by far the most mentally broken protagonist I’ve read in a book not aimed at adults.

Battle Royale is still a better novel though (and is waaaaaay more political than the movie, although the politics are very specific to Japan so might not seem so radical to a western reader)

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Alex79uk » May 21st, 2018, 6:31 pm

I did not even realise it was based on a novel.

EDIT: Battle Royale, that is. Not Hunger Games.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Spacefarer » May 22nd, 2018, 6:49 pm

Ooh, interesting. I'll seek that one out for sure.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by kintaris » May 22nd, 2018, 9:46 pm

So after swooning over A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet I moved straight on to the sort-of-sequel A Closed and Common Orbit. The cover quote suggesting that Becky Chambers is the most interesting voice in current speculative fiction no longer feels like hyperbole to me. She is taking all of the classic humans-among-the-stars tropes and applying a modern sensibility to them, as well as strictly limiting the blockbustery space opera stuff to focus on more familial dramas. We've moved on from the intricacies of a multi-species crew on a ship to the difficulties of navigating relationships with AI. There's no uprising or apocalypse to be found here, just a tale about a sentient computer with a ship-sized brain trying to cope with transference to a humanoid shell, with matters of identity, kinship and what it means to have a purpose mixed in with an intriguing mystery involving a little girl and the ship computer that ended up raising her. It's just wonderful life-affirming stuff that says important things without resorting to disaster and violence.

Sadly I miscalculated as the next book isn't here until July 28th. I also made the mistake of reading a beautiful and insightful exploration of an AI integrating into sentient society right before I pick up David Cage's interpretation of the same theme... I would wager that the game will not quite meet the standards set by this excellent book.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Chopper » May 23rd, 2018, 6:57 am

kintaris wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 9:46 pm
Sadly I miscalculated as the next book isn't here until July 28th. I also made the mistake of reading a beautiful and insightful exploration of an AI integrating into sentient society right before I pick up David Cage's interpretation of the same theme... I would wager that the game will not quite meet the standards set by this excellent book.
:lol:

You know it.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Alex79uk » June 15th, 2018, 7:22 am

I'm currently reading Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All - the book which the Johnny Depp film of the same name is based upon. I like the film, and the book is interesting too.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by duskvstweak » June 17th, 2018, 10:33 pm

I just reread Jurassic Park and the Lost World. Still love them, but I defiantly see the flaws in the writing style more than I did my first few reads. It's nice not being a kid/teenager and being confused by the science or philosophical discussions. Also, the dinosaur stuff is still tops. Probably will reread them in another few years...

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Alex79uk » June 18th, 2018, 8:26 am

Ah interesting, Jurassic Park is next on my list. I've had the paperback for years, but only ever read the first 100 pages or so on a flight about eight years ago. I really enjoyed it, but never picked it back up after we landed.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Flabyo » June 18th, 2018, 9:09 am

Crichton had a habit of loving his research so much he sometimes just dumped it all out on the page for you. His stuff is still mostly readable and fun, but it’s not amongst my favourites.

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