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Knight Volant

What have you been reading recently?

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The Outsorcerer's Apprentice by Tom Holt takes fantasy, science fiction, and modern business models to a different level. Really fun to catch all the fairy tale references hidden away in the story. As for little red riding hood :)

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Since my last post, I have read:

All three Imperial Radch novels (very good)

The Decameron (very filthy)

A Specter is Haunting Texas (baffling)

Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of the New Yorker (also good)

Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War (good, but turned out to be much more about Chinese-Western relations and competing visions for the future of China than about the actual war, which was okay, but I kinda wanted more on the background and course of the rebellion)

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Recently finished: Company Town by Madeline Ashby. I loved it... up until the end, whereupon it started getting incredibly preachy with magical Free Will stuff and a heaping side of normative sexism. It almost completely lost me on the latter, because the whole "women need to personally rely on men" thing usually makes me too furious to keep reading.

 

I did like the protagonist a lot though. Also, it's now clear to me that cyberpunk is the most stereotypically Canadian SF genre ever.

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Iffy made me read Worm awhile ago (like a year ago, but i only finished it in like december). At first i was like uuuugggghhhhh meh, but then i read all of it because it turns out it's actually really good. like stupidly good, even if the author is the type of person to use two spaces after ending sentences (ugh).

 

now we're being super nerds and writing a fanfic.

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I'm currently chugging through Authority, book 2 of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy. I'd be surprised if there aren't any other fans around here—the series gives me major Avadon 2: The Corruption vibes.

 

Authority is much more of a slow burn than the first, Annihiliation, and while the first third of the book I was totally fine with that, it's starting to feel as if it should have been shorter around the 2/3 mark. Anyways, I recommend them.

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I read the first chapter of "Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes" about two weeks ago. Haven't picked it up since, although I hope I can settle down to continue at some point.

Foxy the Pirate and Balloon Boy are still my favorites. I don't know if I ever posted that here, but in person, I don't shut up about how much I like Foxy and BB.

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Since my last post here I've been reading

Worm: About a teenage girl who does wrong things for right reasons.

Pact: About a dysfunctional family, magic and everything that tries to kill you. (Never finished this though)

Twig: Group of Child/Biomechanical Construct doing things for their creator and trying to survive

Mother of Learning: A mage trying to stop the apocalypse

Dresden Files: A highly destructive wizard employed by police to solve supernatural mysteries.

Skulduggery Pleasant: A girl discovers magic, hilarity and gruesome death ensues.

 

On 6/10/2017 at 0:46 AM, sylae said:

Iffy made me read Worm awhile ago (like a year ago, but i only finished it in like december). At first i was like uuuugggghhhhh meh, but then i read all of it because it turns out it's actually really good. like stupidly good, even if the author is the type of person to use two spaces after ending sentences (ugh).

 

now we're being super nerds and writing a fanfic.

Link please?

Also, I heard now that Twig is almost finished Worm 2 is now on the horizon so to speak.

(I also have some recommendations about Worm fanfic I'll post here if anyone interested)

 

 

Edited by Ouroboros

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3 minutes ago, Ouroboros said:

Link please?

Not yet :p it'll probably be on spacebattles/calref/here?/elsewhere pretty soon though. we're trying to get the first big chunk down before releasing anything

 

3 minutes ago, Ouroboros said:

(I also have some recommendations about Worm fanfic I'll post here if anyone interested)

The only Worm fanfic I need to read is THE TECHNO QUEEN. All other fanfic falls short of its terribleness brilliance.

Edited by sylae
*thunderclap*

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Just now, sylae said:

Not yet :p it'll probably be on spacebattles/calref/here?/elsewhere pretty soon though. we're trying to get the first big chunk down before releasing anything

 

The only Worm fanfic I need to read is THE TECHNO QUEEN. All other fanfic falls short of its terribleness brilliance.

*kathoom*

I'm also at SB and SV although by different PDN.

Now I know what you said but you might like this.

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Just finished Ton Holt's The Management Style of the Supreme Beings.  I thought it was funny and a great book.  However those with strong beliefs in religion, Santa Claus, and/or Star Wars maybe offended and even think it's blasphemous.  Do not let your boss see this book as you definitely don't want any of management ideas adopted where he thinks he's a supreme being and you are the minion that gets to do all his work and yours.

 

You may not catch all the religious, pop cultural, and historical references, but consider them an educational opportunity.

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So I finished Lilith's Brood a couple weeks ago, and I'm sure someone else here has done the same, so: I have a question.

 

 

The Oankali are pure evil, aren't they? I mean, is it just me? Culturally dead hyper-specialized purely instinctual reflexively mind-controlling parasite locust hedonists totally motivated by their reproductive drives? Is this or is this not a series about the hopeless colonial subjugation, absorption, and destruction-by-corruption of the human race by something unthinkable? Don't get me wrong, Butler is subtle about it. She never tells you outright, she only shows coyly, she throws up plenty of smokescreens, and all the POV characters are sympathizers or perpetators, but by the end of the book the Oankali become capable of dissolving a hundred years of moral conviction in a week of ambient pheremone drugging and anyone they touch instantly becomes their slave and the only reason they have for doing anything is because they are instinctually driven to have sex with everything that's alive and derive physical pleasure from doing so. Even the fig leaf of the human Mars colony becomes explicitly irrelevant - anyone who might want to go gets drugged into not wanting to and not caring that they got drugged and put into an ooloi's harem. The only Oankali moral principle is a sick, sexual, paternalistic continuation of life regardless of any other quality of that life. I could go on.

 


I haven't seen anyone else advance this as an interpretation? It seemed to definitely be what was going on by the end of the last book. Like, it's not that I think I'm real clever, it's that I don't know what the series is about if not this. It's called Lilith's Brood for a reason, isn't it? Like a very clear reason? Lilith, mother of demons? Is it just me? Cuz I have seen really no similar interpretations where I've been looking.

 

Edited by Sudanna

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Evil is a social construct. But yeah, you can't reason with them. Their whole ecosystem is a hateful parasite.

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I probably should get around to finishing The Lies Of Locke Lamorra.

 

On what I have gotten through these past few weeks, "De Norske Vikingesverd", by Jan Petersen, was lovely. Old Norwegian is far more beautiful and readable than I expected. Can't understand any kind of written Danish, though. It is a real shame.

 

I'll need to find a good book for christmas. Preferably with wizards and castles and old dragons and feasts. Any recommendations?

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I think somewhere around 5M words of my reading this year has been pony stories. It's not for everyone, but the Austraeoh series is quite enjoyable (though quirky and often deliberately purple-prosed, and it's an ASoIaF-sized beast).

 

Still on my list right now is the recently published Beren and Luthien book, as well as Neal Stephenson's The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. On the latter, I'm experimenting with listening to the audiobook while reading - with Stephenson's narrative style, I tend to lose the thread, and maybe this helps.

 

(I mentioned some time in mid-2015 I was reading Yudkowsky's rationality thing, which is coming along really slowly: I'm somewhere around 60% in now. It's not easy to follow and EY does like to go on and on about some stuff, but there are some pretty interesting concepts in there.)

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Berkeley Breathed's has in print, A New Hope: Episode XI and A Brand New Spanking Day reproduced from his Facebook page after 25 years Opus, Bill the Cat, Milo Bloom, Blinkey, Oliver Wendell Jones, Steve Dallas and Cutter John are back to mock the Internet, Trump, and Star Wars. Because if you can't mock them, than who can you mock.

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No One Cares About Crazy People by Ron Powers. It's of professional interest. It's sad and moving and actually quite good at walking the fine line of what we know (little), what we don't know (quite a lot), and what we don't know for certain but have compelling hypotheses about (substantial).

 

—Alorael, who has When Breath Becomes Air sitting on his nightstand and taunting him. It's been there for almost a year. He's not sure 2018 is looking too good for it either.

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Win Bigly by Scott Adams explained how to use persuasion techniques to get what you want. Adams used them to persuade the reader that Donald Trump isn't evil and that his statements were just starting points to negotiate for what he really wanted. However after Adams lost speaking engagements and death threats for supporting Trump he neglected to include a significant number of examples of Trump's actions especially inciting his followers to violence against his opponents.

 

I'll stick to his free Dilbert comic strips in future and stop buying his books.

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I'm late to the party, but I was so sick of hearing about it in 2013 that I didn't want to read it then. Ordered a used copy online recently and found Donna Tartt's signature in it.

 

I started last Friday and I'm already 300 pages in, which is really fast for me. It's a real page-turner, which I don't understand because the events are not particularly exciting. Donna Tartt has a way of making mundane stuff interesting.

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I just started reading the Elfstones of Shannara.  I remember when it was first released and I was interested in reading it then, but never got around to it.  35 years later I found a copy in a used book stand and so here I am

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I just picked up The Bridge to D'arnath series by Carol Berg again - that was the first fantasy series I read other than Harry Potter and LOTR.  Would recommend to anyone - she is great at eliciting emotions from the reader and I can always clearly imagine the scenes described in her books.

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I've been reading Pratchett, but that's a given. I'm working on writing a Discworld reader, in fact. Other than that I've been re-reading Where the Wasteland Ends and To Serve Them All My Days. Wasteland is a very dense work by Theodore Roszak about our technocratic society and the reaction to it. It's an older work, but still very relevant. You have to take it slow, though, and it helps to have a dictionary handy. Serve is a very enjoyable novel by R.F. Delderfield, about a young WWI vet who goes to teach in an English public (boarding) school. Very readable and a lovely escape from 2018. 

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I just bought The Age of Em (Robin Hanson) while waiting for a train, because I heard good things about it over the years, though I haven't finished reading the introduction yet.

 

(One of these days I really need to take some time off to finish all the books I started reading. 😛)

I also want to make another go at learning French (Duolingo didn't work out so great last time), so I picked a book I'm already familiar with that is available in French on Audible (Harry Potter book 1) as well as an EPUB, and I'm going to try reading along while listening.

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