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Author Topic: Books  (Read 1567 times)


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« on: Aug 06, 2013, 01:09 AM »
Currently Reading: Neptune's Brood by Charles Stross Hardcore nerd sci-fi. Featuring interstellar banking systems, post-human biology, all kinds of wild stuff. Very dense, not an easy read at all. Would recommend for those nearly as crazy as I am.

Favorite Sci-Fi: Cosmonaut Keep by Ken MacLeod  Is among my all-time favorites. Hard science fiction at its best. This is also dense, containing a lot of political and social themes, and ideas I've rarely seen in other authors. The series gets better as it goes on, but there are some spoilers to be had in reading the back covers or amazon descriptions (you've been warned and ). There's even more to appreciate here if you like biology, physics and/or polisci.

Favorite Fantasy: Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind. Brilliant fantasy epic. The writing is strong, the story is strong, it's just a 10/10 all around. Writing is almost similar to Tolkien but more approachable, fast-paced and engaging. The first book is subject to criticism for having potter-like 'boy wizard' themes. It's a very rewarding in spite of this fact, it's a story that's very suitable for adults. The series is unfinished, but book 2 is similarly strong


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Re: Books
« Reply #1 on: Aug 06, 2013, 05:33 PM »
Oh, what's this gauntlet here.

The Stand: Full Uncut - Full version of The Stand by Stephen King. 1100 pages on newsprint and size 3 font. A couple months in the process of reading. Probably one of the greatest post apocalyptic stories ever, and fun if you know anything about the Stephen King universe. Randall Flagg, etc.

On The Beach by Nevil Shute - The entire northern hemisphere destroyed itself in nuclear war and the southern hemisphere is waiting for the fallout and radiation to creep south. A story told by the survivors in Australia as they make plans and do their best to live for a tomorrow that will never come.

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman - If I had a favorite novel, this is probably it. I've read it probably 15 times. Some times back to back. Sometimes back to back to back. Haldeman is a Vietnam Vet that wanted to tell his experiences, but nobody would touch it. So he rewrote it in a sci-fi format. Its unique because 99% of sci-fi tends to circumvent relativity while traveling great distances. I.e. great periods of time passing to the static observer while the person doing the traveling experiences no loss of time. Haldeman embraces this and uses it to explain the phrase "you can never go home again." Finishes with the conclusion, Forever Free written some 20 years later in real life.

The Electric Church by Jeff Somers - Now everyone can learn where I got the majority of my names in ToR. Cainnic, Grisha, Michaleen, Cates, Garda are all taken from this series. The Electric Church is a dystopian cyberpunk series with an antihero protagonist. It's dark and gritty. Followed by:
The Digital Plague
The Eternal Prison
The Terminal State
The Final Evolution

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson - Not sure how much awesomeness you can cram into one book. Considering the protagonist is a katana wielding hacker who delivers pizza for a living. Who's name is Hiro Protagonist. Say it out loud. That kind of in your face writing is Neal Stephenson's bread and butter. This guy writes like your drunk best friend telling you a really awesome story. If you enjoy Snow Crash, read The Diamond Age, whereas Snow Crash is the day after tomorrow, The Diamond Age is the next century. Think Stone Age, Industrial Age, Diamond Age, the Civ 5 players will get the reference. Cryptonomicon is to round out Stephenson, some people have trouble with it, but its really a phenomenal piece of work. Tells three stories in three different time periods simultaneously.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons - This one's the money shot. Hands down, the best Sci-Fi series I've read. Four books. First one is a retelling of The Canterbury Tales that sets the stage for the remainder of the books. Really can't recommend this series enough.
The Fall of Hyperion
The Rise of Endymion

Storm Front by Jim Butcher - Now for the afterglow. This was turned into a very shitty TV series, read the books instead. Modern day Chicago, Private Investigator who is also a wizard. But magic isn't real! Yeah, keep telling yourself that. Long series, something like 12 or 14 books at this point. Butcher puts one out about once a year. It's particularly impressive to see how his writing has matured after about book five or six.


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Re: Books
« Reply #2 on: Aug 06, 2013, 07:23 PM »
You forgot to mention House of Leaves.


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Re: Books
« Reply #3 on: Aug 06, 2013, 07:59 PM »
You forgot to mention House of Leaves.



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Re: Books
« Reply #4 on: Aug 06, 2013, 08:01 PM »

I'm hardly a prolific reader by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have a few books I've enjoyed over the yeas:

The First Law trilogy
Most of my Fantasy reading took place was based either in D&D Lore (Ravenloft, Dragonlance Forgotten Realms, Planescape, etc) or the "classics" (LotR, some of the Oz Books, Narnia, Etc) so this series was a real shock to the system.  The story is packed with dark, complex characters and a gallows humor.  It was less like a living an adventure and more like surviving a horrific accident.

Battle Royale
This book is largely an allegory about the brutal clique-ish nature of high school and the battle to be the popular/successful kid.  The story is literally a sadistic fight to the death in an alternate version of Japan.  The book came out while the US was having highschools shot up about every other week in the late 90's so it was more or less banned here and nearly impossible to get due to the violence.  Unfortunately, the basic of the plot was more or less ripped off an adapted to become "The Hunger Games" movie, however, this book is a million times better than the move.  Battle royale has gone on to spawn manga series and at least 2 movies of the same name and is a huge cult hit in Japan.

American Gods
American Gods is an amazing new take on old mythology.  I've always loved the way Neil Gaiman characterized mythology and abstract concepts from back in the Sandman days.

Some other classics:
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Unbeliever


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Re: Books
« Reply #5 on: Aug 06, 2013, 08:46 PM »
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielweski - Since Deatch brought it up. This is my unicorn. Nic Cage had his Shelby, this is the one damn book I am so impressed with I can never finish. I've read Mein Kamph. I've read War and Peace. I've read Dhalgren. I can't finish House of Leaves. First off, it's an experimental novel. So you better be ready for some mind bending shit. Imagine a window that you're looking down through. Through this window you can see a bottom layer, that layer is the House of Leaves plot. A horror story. One layer up from this are cliff notes written on the pages. The cliff notes come from a crazy old man that you learn the more you read, that he went crazy reading the House of Leaves plot. So you get his story, as well as that bottom story. Next is one layer up, and it's a college kid that found this copy of House of Leaves and read it, and the cliffs notes, and went progressively batshit at varying rates and made his own notations while he went. Last level is your window. You're reading the story of House of Leaves through all that. Bearing in mind that the actual story of House of Leaves is damn near insane as well. Everytime the word "House" is written, its in red. Everytime the word "blue" is written, its in blue. Some pages are blank. Some pages are written backwards. Some pages are written in spirals. Some pages are written in free form. Some pages are musical notes.


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