What are you READING right now?

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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:55 pm

Kevin wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:I've finished Revelation Space and Redemption Ark and have got a wee bit into Absolution Gap.

From where I stand reading the trilogy Alastair Reynolds is edging his way into a near-holy triumvirate and asking to be the fourth member. I'm an old fart and have read everything that Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein ever wrote. Reynolds has the ability to meld the hard sci-fi bits of the Old Masters with the personal-level motivations of Frank Herbert's style and come out with 700-page paperbacks that are still cracking page-turner reads. I'd love to read more from this universe (already have Chasm City), but I'll gladly read anything he writes before consulting the critics. Mark my words; Alastair Reynolds has the potential to retire as one of the few giants of sci-fi.

Thanks to your recommendation, I've started reading Revelation Space. Definitely a good read so far.

Before this, I read the first Uplift Trilogy by David Brin (Sundiver, Startide Rising, The Uplift War). A really cool concept and well executed.


Agree 100% with Captain Ned. I've read all of Mr. Reynolds books (as far as I know) and feel he is one of the greats.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:51 am

"His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman. Just finished Golden Compass, and am wrapping up The Subtle Knife. Really good, so far. Simply written, but good plot and characterization. Looking forward to the third one.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:43 am

does facebook picture comments count on this thread?
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:55 am

Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:11 pm

Lost Paradise ~ Cees Nooteboom
Anansi Boys ~ Neil Gaiman
Shantaram ~ Gregory David Roberts
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:27 pm

River God - Wilbur Smith
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:12 am

"The Scar" by China Mieville
"Programming XNA 3.0"
"Programming the Cell Processor"
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:23 am

Iain M. Banks’s Consider Phlebas - Just finished it

I'm now reading The Watchmen... Over half way through and it's not doing it for me really... I guess I am not into comics as much nowadays.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:16 pm

I just started reading The Hobbit. I've read the LotR books, thought I might as well read this one before the movie(s) come out... :)
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:55 am

Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:Iain M. Banks’s Consider Phlebas - Just finished it

I'm now reading The Watchmen... Over half way through and it's not doing it for me really... I guess I am not into comics as much nowadays.


Have you tried the Sandman series?
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:26 am

"The Yiddish Policeman's Union" by Michael Chabon.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:51 pm

Reading the short story "Baby Doll" in the 'Year's Best SF 13' anthology. I have to say that this is one of the few stories that actually is making me sick to my stomach.

Previously read the short story "Aristotle OS" in the same anthology. You techies might like it :P

You can read both stories here, from the publisher's website.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:29 pm

Churchill's history of the English-speaking peoples, condensed to one volume.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:24 am

Currently reading the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons.

On the fourth book (The Rise of Endymion) at the moment. The first book is especially notable, it is cast within a narrative structure similar to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, only set in the future, and interspersed with references to and quotations from Romantic period English poets. The style is more utilitarian in the suceeding books as the plot coheres, but the narrative tends to remain multi-threaded. Is this science fiction posing as literature, or vice versa? Since it hasn't bored me to death yet, I am surmising that it can't be literature :p.

Other than that, the most notable series I've read recently was the entirety of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, which stands among some of the favourite books I've read.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:30 pm

The Quest by Wilbur Smith. The last book in his Egyptian series.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:38 pm

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. It's odd that I haven't read it before now, considering how big a Rush fan I was as a teenager...
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:45 pm

just brew it! wrote:Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. It's odd that I haven't read it before now, considering how big a Rush fan I was as a teenager...


Wow, that's so bizarre. That's what I'm reading right now, jbi! I'm halfway through it, and uh... it's pretty good so far overall. I kinda don't like how Ayn will piledrive several contradictory emotions into one action when describing a character's dialogue-reaction... but at the same time I think I understand what she was going for.

For school, I'm also reading:

Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser
Shoveling Feul for a Runaway Train, Brian Czech ---This book is like the total opposite of Atlas Shrugged
The Affluent Society, John Kenneth Galbrath ---Same.
The Ecology of Commerce, Paul Hawken
The Six Sigma Journey, Larry Walters

Phew! That's a lot of reading!
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:00 pm

"The Nature of Alexander" by Mary Renault.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:03 pm

Gerbil Jedidiah wrote:Iain M. Banks’s Consider Phlebas - Just finished it

I'm now reading The Watchmen... Over half way through and it's not doing it for me really... I guess I am not into comics as much nowadays.



I'm a big Banks fan, Just finishing "Look to Windward".
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:16 am

I just finished World War Z - An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks and I'm on to The Count of Monte Cristo.
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Re:

Postposted on Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:51 am

ssidbroadcast wrote:
Vrock wrote:
titan wrote:I've been reading a bunch of Isaac Asimov's stuff. Namely, the Foundation series. I'm on Foundation's Fear right now.
Foundation's Fear? That must be one of his later books. I've read Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation, and the Robot novels that tie in with them. I may have to check those other Foundation books out.


Don't bother Vrock I just read the first one, Foundation and it was *alright* but the sequels get progessively convoluted, and Asimov's caricatures are all ham-fisted actors.

Props for predicting the personal calculator, though (As described in Foundation, yet the book pre-dates the integrated circuit.)

Although I liked Foundation better than I liked Starship Troopers. My opinion of that book is... neutral... at best. Not a lot of action. Mostly about the future concept of Conscription, and Nationalism.


I really liked the first 4 books of The Foundation series...the rest have been a tad mediocre. Of course, I read them back in the 60's, closer to the date when they were first published, and when many of Asimov s ideas were quite a bit fresher than today.

I do not remember Hari Seldon and Hober Mallow being "ham fisted", and I would describe the theme as complex, but not convoluted...but that's a matter of semantics.

I DO remember being quite caught up in this series, to the point of non-stop reading, and have reread the first 4 books a couple of times over the decades. Maybe it's time to dust them off again! :)

I recommend the series to anyone who is interested in the evolution of civilizations.

Right now I'm looking for something new to read, and will probably pick something from this thread, just for fun.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:10 pm

Darkmage wrote:I just finished World War Z - An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks and I'm on to The Count of Monte Cristo.


Yeah, that book was good. There's a movie that's going to come out on it.

I wish there was a sequel to the book.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:21 pm

gerbilspy wrote:Right now I'm looking for something new to read, and will probably pick something from this thread, just for fun.

If the original Foundation Trilogy appealed to you, then I think you'd like:

Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos and his Ilium/Olympos duology.
Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space books (now up to 5, 3 connected and 2 standalones in the same universe). His other stuff is excellent as well.
Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy.

Neal Stephenson's stuff is OK and has great ideas, but the sheer number of words in each book makes them daunting tasks, especially if they're library borrowings.

Given that you read Foundation back in the '60s, I'll assume you've read the Dune universe as well as Heinlein & Clarke.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:44 pm

gerbilspy wrote:I do not remember Hari Seldon and Hober Mallow being "ham fisted", and I would describe the theme as complex, but not convoluted...but that's a matter of semantics.


Most of the characters in Asimov's early works were pastiches and caricatures of charater traits. Susan Calvin, Hari Seldon, Elijah Baley etc. That didn't stop his books from being good, rather, the 1D characters were shorthand that allowed us to delve into the world and plot of the novels/stories seamlessly. When he tried to craft complex characters, the results were usually disastrous (*cough*Nemesis*cough*). Finally, he settled on action hero/sex for the Foundation prequels, which sold well, but which I feel were inferior to his original craft.

Echo the recommendations for the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons. Also check out Blindsight by Peter Watts (Hugo nominee). Both take the early Asimov approach of boiling down characters to their essences, but in a way which raises complex issues and interactions rather than in a dumbed down fashion. The Endymion novels in the Hyperion series are not quite as good as the original 2, but still worth reading for closure and completeness.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:10 am

Voldenuit wrote:The Endymion novels in the Hyperion series are not quite as good as the original 2, but still worth reading for closure and completeness.

The last act and epilogue of Rise of Endymion never fail to have me sniffling as I read them. I never got that from Meina Gladstone's self-sacrifice after she ordered the destruction of the farcaster network.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:47 am

Captain Ned wrote:
Voldenuit wrote:The Endymion novels in the Hyperion series are not quite as good as the original 2, but still worth reading for closure and completeness.

The last act and epilogue of Rise of Endymion never fail to have me sniffling as I read them. I never got that from Meina Gladstone's self-sacrifice after she ordered the destruction of the farcaster network.


Haha, well, Meina was a bitch :p.

I definitely had the same connection to Sol and Rachel Weintraub* in the first novel as I did to Raul and Aenea in the second act. But somehow it felt more overt and manipulative in the Endymion series, as if the author were deliberately provoking your empathy responses.


I also feel that Rachel's story was the most tragic in the first 2 books, and her appearance in the second 2 to be rather weak and pointless.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:03 am

Voldenuit wrote:I definitely had the same connection to Sol and Rachel Weintraub* in the first novel as I did to Raul and Aenea in the second act. But somehow it felt more overt and manipulative in the Endymion series, as if the author were deliberately provoking your empathy responses. I also feel that Rachel's story was the most tragic in the first 2 books, and her appearance in the second 2 to be rather weak and pointless.

Whereas I come out of the first two books believing The Consul to be the true tragic figure. Rachel has no control over her condition and is just a passenger on the ride to the Time Tombs. The Consul knows what he has done, knows the treason he has committed for the greater good, and knows what the costs are.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:17 am

Captain Ned wrote:
gerbilspy wrote:Right now I'm looking for something new to read, and will probably pick something from this thread, just for fun.

If the original Foundation Trilogy appealed to you, then I think you'd like:

Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos and his Ilium/Olympos duology.
Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space books (now up to 5, 3 connected and 2 standalones in the same universe). His other stuff is excellent as well.
Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy.

Neal Stephenson's stuff is OK and has great ideas, but the sheer number of words in each book makes them daunting tasks, especially if they're library borrowings.

Given that you read Foundation back in the '60s, I'll assume you've read the Dune universe as well as Heinlein & Clarke.


Yea, read those too and enjoyed them. Thanks for the recommendations.
I think I will get a copy of Hyperion Cantos --- a good use for that B&N gift certificate I got for Christmas. :)
Last edited by gerbilspy on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:37 am

The Iliad - Homer,
with the Odyssey lined up.

Surprisingly and delightfully violent and bloody!
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Postposted on Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:54 am

Read My **** Life So far by Frankie Boyle while I was snowed in at Gatwick airport. Am now trying to get into The Defence of the Realm by Christopher Andrew, albeit while harbouring a certain level of cynicism.
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