Author Topic: What are you reading at the moment  (Read 249919 times)

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Offline anais.butterfly

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2310 on: November 27, 2017, 07:22:31 AM »
Recently I finished reading Moby Dick which took a long time to read and the damn white whale didn't even show up until the last few chapters.

I read that for a high school class.  We had the choice of reading three short books, two medium books, or a really long book, and do reports on them.  I decided to go for the one long one.  Later, for a college course, as a throwaway I mentioned how long Moby Dick is, and how Melville devoted an entire chapter to the different kinds of whales that exist.  The professor didn't believe me that the chapter was in the book. ;)

On the one hand, it's not a book I think a lot of people can get into; it is very long, not very focused in terms of a plot, and written in that 1800s style that can be very wordy.  On the other, I still think it was a well-written book and despite doing it for a class project I enjoyed it immensely.  I just had no idea when I started it that the fight against Moby Dick is practically an afterthought, and most of it is just a story about whalers and the lives they led.

I would argue the novel is about two characters reacting to Ahab as he descends into an obsession which is a metaphor for man (Ahab) killing God (the whale). Also, that chapter on Whale species is, supposedly, very exaggerated with only about 10% being correct. Personally, although long, I did enjoy Moby Dick and I still have my college copy with all my notes.

Anyway, I am reading Nigerian Sci-Fi which is amazing. The author is Nnedi Okorafor, an American born of Nigerian parents. Very awesome.

This book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Fears_Death is being made into an HBO series (produced by GRR Martin because he doesn't want to actually finish the GOT series).

Then there is this novella trilogy: https://www.goodreads.com/series/180367-binti which is much more Sci Fi than Who Fears Death. Very enjoyable.
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Offline Jesse412

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2311 on: December 16, 2017, 08:44:33 AM »
Without Fail
 by Lee Child



The sixth book in the Jack Reacher series stills finds interesting and exciting situations to throw the lead character into.  This time he gets involved in an assassination plot working for the government agency that once employed his dead brother Joe.  He also becomes romantically involved with a Secret Service agent who happens to be Joe's ex-girlfriend.  One of the things that I felt kept this story interesting is that it often kept me guessing and when I thought it would lead somewhere predictable it instead went somewhere unexpected.  Right up until the climactic confrontation with the would be assassins at the end.  There's also this sort of "Ramblin' Man" vibe that starts and ends the novel.  There are plenty of callbacks to his brother's death which is an important event way back in the first book but I don't think it necessary to read that in order to understand this one.  Although having read the books in the order they were published I feel adds a better appreciation for the material.
"It is wrong to assume that art needs the spectator in order to be. The film runs on without any eyes. The spectator cannot exist without it. It ensures his existence." -- James Douglas Morrison


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2312 on: December 16, 2017, 09:15:44 AM »
I started this a while back:


Then this came out so I stopped reading that and read it:



Now I'm back reading the first pictured.

Strange Music is the latest in Alan Dean Foster's Pip and Flinx stories, they go to a bronze age world to stop someone from messing around with the locals using advanced technology.  The language used by the population of the planet is songlike, speaking without harmony or rhyme is offensive to them, this makes relations with the planet difficult.

Alien Covenant: Origins is a novel about the launching of the ship from the movie Covenant, with a radical group trying to stop the launch.


Offline CJones

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2313 on: January 30, 2018, 04:05:42 AM »


The movie is pretty good, especially for James Franco's amazing Tommy Wiseau impression. But the book is MUCH better. I don't get the impression that Greg Sistero is all that funny IRL, which is probably where co-writer Tom Bissell comes in. Greg provides the facts, as best he remembers them, and Bissell makes them entertaining to read.


Offline justann

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2314 on: February 21, 2018, 06:48:32 PM »
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan...

I am excited about the movie adaptation of this book.


Offline BathTub

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2315 on: March 20, 2018, 06:17:48 PM »
The second half of The Demolished Man is really fucking weird, no idea where it's going.


Offline BathTub

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2316 on: March 20, 2018, 08:50:20 PM »
Woah, didn't realise how long it had been since I had done a update, should do this more often, probably forgotten a few.

So just a few summaries!

The Long Earth
The Long War
The Long Mars
The Long Utopia
The Long Cosmos

 - After finishing the Discworld novels I found out that there was a Sci-Fi series by Pratchett (and Baxter) so I had to go for that.  The Long Earth is the idea that you could step 'East' or 'West' into a parallel Earths almost exactly like this one, but without people. These Earth's extend (potentially) to infinity. The further you step, the stranger things become. While there are no people, there are a handful of sentient races living in the long earth. The books gradually increase the scope (as projected by their titles), we go from the almost abandonment of Earth Prime as people migrate outwards, to the battles of independence as politically these new Earth's want to break away from their parent governments, to taking the stepping concept to the stars.
I think the best I can say is it's 'ok'. They are really just travelogues. Each book appears to present some sort of dilemma, but it's really all about the journey and the conclusions are often pretty anticlimactic. I didn't mind reading them, but couldn't imagine visiting them again. 

You're (almost) never weird on the Internet - Felicia Day
A pretty light but enjoyable read. It's written in a bit of a weird way though. Like each chapter is a new layer of paint on a wall. First Chapter is like all I did as a kid was play video games. Then the second chapter is 'Oh and also Ballet', and then Astrology, and then Violin..... It's also ends a little early, wrapping up just before Geek & Sundry effectively imploded.

The Abyss Beyond Dreams
Night Without Stars
Peter F. Hamilton
I love love love The Commonwealth Universe, it hits so many of my buttons. This series is a blend of the Futurism of the Commonwealth with the Fantasy of the Void, slightly confusing because it's easy to forget that it's told in parallel to the events of the previous Void Trilogy. It feels like a fairly definitive end to the Commonwealth series, but we'll see. Hopefully not.

Scalzi Time!

Old Man's War
Questions for a Soldier
The Ghost Brigades
The Sagan Diary
The Last Colony
Zoe's Tale
After the Coup
The Human Division
The End of All Things

A very enjoyable Sci-Fi romp, that certainly went off in a different direction that I expected. I expected more Starship Troopers, but that's really only the beginning. The shorts stories are 'eh', additive but not worth hunting down really. Zoe's Tale was still good even though it is literally The Last Colony told again from a different characters perspective, there's still enough new in it.

The Android's Dream
And odd but funny book.

Fuzzy Nation
Another one where you're never quite sure where it's going to end up. Enjoyable. A little surprised it isn't an animated film already. I have no idea how different it is to Fuzzy Man, the original.

Redshirts
A really cool riff on Star Trek, that's really dragged down by the shitty last few chapters, wow they should have been cut.

Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi
A fairly mixed bag of short stories, some ok, some are bleh.

The Bobiverse!
We Are Legion (We Are Bob)
For We Are Many
All These Worlds


A great series about a Sci-Fi geek who decides when he dies he will cryogenically freeze himself... only to wake up and find that the future US Theocracy FAITH has sold his head to science. And science has stuck him in a self replicating space probe. He promptly sets off exploring the universe and building new clones. A really fun story, with the slight oddity that the chapters aren't in chronological order. I was getting confused 'shouldn't Bob know this by now' kind of thing, and actually went back to confirm that yes they are deliberately out of order. I guess the author wanted to tell some stories to the reader in parallel even if they didn't occur that way. This extends to the books themselves, 2 and 3 significantly overlap timewise.

Ready Player One
Read this one in anticipation of the upcoming film. Wow this was hilariously bad. It's pure 13 year old wank. I'm looking forward (mostly) to the film, as it should have a lot more chance to 'show, don't tell' that hurts the book a lot. One of things I thought was dumb about the book is how much this 16 year old had apparently had time to achieve, beat every game, watch every TV show, memorize every film (he flat out says he seen Holy Grail over 180 times) it's just ridiculous. I love the concept, and like the story, but the execution was lacking. And it looks like I won't get Max Headroom on the Firefly in the movie :(

Mortal Engines
Predator's Gold
Infernal Devices
A Darkling Plain

The next series I read in anticipation of the upcoming film. I'm not anticipating the upcoming film anymore. Another series where I felt the writing was pretty dire, but for different reasons. The book is really written to a lower level, it really felt targeted at kids. It took me a while, but I figured that it felt like someone repeating a story to you as the reader, rather than the reader experiencing it first hand through the book. Yeah I fell pretty hard for the Sunk Cost fallacy on this one. You also really have to ignore the whole 'how the hell do they power everything' problem when talking about steam powered cities driving across Europe.
In regards the film, I how now idea how they are going to jam everything that happens in book one into the film, it's really packed. I thought a certain point was the epic conclusion, and it was literally only the half way point. A genuine ongoing plot point to the entire series is how ugly the lead woman is (one eye, no nose, etc) and they clearly are not going that route in the film, so that's going to be a big change too.

I used up my reading list at this point, so I literally grab 'All the Hugo Award Winners' bundle.

First up...
Farmer in the Sky - 1950- Robert A. Heinlein
A scout and his newly extended family emigrate to Ganymede to escape the overcrowded earth and become homesteaders.
I would love to see HBO or Netflix make these books into a series, but make each story as if it was filmed (vision wise) in 1950. This is an amazing look at how the future was viewed almost 70 years ago. It's hilarious to see the mix of ridiculously advanced and primitive. It's stuff like 'lets jump into our space ship and fly away, but don't forget your farmers almanac!'. Quite possibly the most casually sexist book I've ever read. It honestly got the point where I thought the main characters sexism was going to be a plot point, but it didn't, it just was.

Seems wireless energy transmission was definitely a favourite of writers back then, also a feature of The Demolished Man which I'm currently finishing up.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 09:15:07 PM by BathTub »


Offline BathTub

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2317 on: March 26, 2018, 07:56:50 PM »
The Demolished Man

As mentioned before, definitely the origins of the Psicorp from B5. An interesting book that gets really freaking weird towards the end.

Fahrenheit 451

Wow this was grim, much darker than I was expecting. Not sure there are any real heroes in this one. Hard to tell how far in the future it was meant to be.

I'm enjoying these books and having no idea where the hell they are going.


Offline Kete

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2318 on: April 10, 2018, 10:48:56 AM »
I just finished the Wheel of Time.  I started it in 1993.  I'd given up a couple times, and I ended up starting over in 2012. But I finally made it through all 10,000+ pages.

I've got a few things I've been putting off reading.  Now I can read whatever I want!


Offline BathTub

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2319 on: April 10, 2018, 01:20:06 PM »
Well if 'The set would concuss you if it fell on your head' is a requirement, I can recommend Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth!


Offline Kete

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2320 on: April 10, 2018, 01:32:37 PM »
Wow, I was just thinking that I should go back and read the Foundation series:

http://www.comingsoon.net/tv/news/936721-apple-foundation-series


Offline wihogfan

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2321 on: April 10, 2018, 06:45:22 PM »
Area X (or Southern Reach) trilogy
After seeing the Annihilation movie, I decided to read the book it was based on and found out that there were three. The first book, Annihilation, was better in some ways than the movie and worse in other ways (better more comprehensive plot overall, but the hypnotism stuff in the book that was absent from the movie was just plain silly). Book 2 wasn't very good at all. Just started book 3.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2322 on: April 10, 2018, 07:01:56 PM »
Wow, I was just thinking that I should go back and read the Foundation series:

http://www.comingsoon.net/tv/news/936721-apple-foundation-series

By the writer of Batman V Superman... Probably best to stick to the books.
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2323 on: April 11, 2018, 09:42:15 AM »
Area X (or Southern Reach) trilogy
After seeing the Annihilation movie, I decided to read the book it was based on and found out that there were three. The first book, Annihilation, was better in some ways than the movie and worse in other ways (better more comprehensive plot overall, but the hypnotism stuff in the book that was absent from the movie was just plain silly). Book 2 wasn't very good at all. Just started book 3.

:'( i think you might be broken.
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Offline wihogfan

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Re: What are you reading at the moment
« Reply #2324 on: April 24, 2018, 06:59:10 PM »
Area X (or Southern Reach) trilogy
After seeing the Annihilation movie, I decided to read the book it was based on and found out that there were three. The first book, Annihilation, was better in some ways than the movie and worse in other ways (better more comprehensive plot overall, but the hypnotism stuff in the book that was absent from the movie was just plain silly). Book 2 wasn't very good at all. Just started book 3.
Book 3 was the best of the bunch, but overall I was disappointed. It seemed in some ways to be a take off of the far superior "Roadside Picnic" by the Russian Strugatsky Brothers (on which the movie "Stalker" was loosely based), but not anywhere near as complex or interesting.

Just started "Earth Abides". Classic sci fi book from the 40s about a virus that wipes out much of humanity. Some of the side ecology messages (that don't have a lot to do directly with the plot) are a bit jarring considering when it was written. I'm a big fan of 40's/50's pulp sci fi that doesn't have any of the L Ron Hubbard-exemplified gobbledygook and super human silliness and so far (about a fourth of the way through) this is inline with what I like from the best of that era.