Books

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5576
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Books

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:10 pm

I discussed Perdido Street Station on the old boards; Nerd recommended The Scar as (ironically) smoother.

I think I'll probably work up a blog post about it at some point, but yeah, I gotta say The Scar is a superior book in damn near every way and I'd recommend reading it first.

User avatar
zaratustra
Posts: 1119
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:45 pm

Re: Books

Postby zaratustra » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:23 am

I did not like PSS at all. Beside the overly ornate descriptions of the titular place that, technically, does not feature into the story at all, the attack of monsters that are invincible except when they aren't, and the character arcs that never quite get finalized, the treatment of the female protagonist made me feel disgusted.

So you have this strong, relatable lady who left her whole species behind because she didn't feel comfortable with the situations she was put into. What happens to her? She commits the ultimate crime which is to do something her man doesn't know of,is arrested and tortured in order to hurt her man, is finally rescued by her man (who spent the second half of the book just assuming she was dead) just to be rendered permanently brain-damaged because she didn't listen to her man.Because women just don't listen am i right guys.

And I'm not even getting into the birdman.

User avatar
Büge
Posts: 2506
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:56 pm

Re: Books

Postby Büge » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:58 am

zaratustra wrote:And I'm not even getting into the birdman.


Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5576
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Books

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:57 pm

zaratustra wrote:So you have this strong, relatable lady who left her whole species behind because she didn't feel comfortable with the situations she was put into. What happens to her? She commits the ultimate crime which is to do something her man doesn't know of, is arrested and tortured in order to hurt her man, is finally rescued by her man (who spent the second half of the book just assuming she was dead) just to be rendered permanently brain-damaged because she didn't listen to her man. Because women just don't listen am i right guys.


(Threw some spoiler tags in the quote; if anybody's worried about them it may be a good idea to put them in the OP. If not, that's okay too; I've read the book and am not worried about spoilers.)

That's certainly one read. Another is to blame everything on Isaac for being hopelessly self-absorbed and naive. Of course, they're not mutually exclusive.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about Scar from a gender perspective either. The main character, Bellis, is female, and relatable if not likeable. Ultimately she has many of the same flaws Isaac does -- bourgeois and self-absorbed -- and basically spends the entire book being other people's pawn. She never really has her own agency. Hell, the thing that sets the whole story in motion in the first place is that she's Isaac's ex-girlfriend.

It's probably worth asking whether Mieville really has regressive views on sexual politics (consciously or not) or if he's trying for an accurate depiction of women as chattel in a fantasy setting that has a loose connection to a real-world historical setting. If the latter -- which I'm inclined to guess -- then he's clumsier about it than, say, George RR Martin, but on the other hand considerably less horrifying.

Though the ending of Perdido is pretty horrifying.

User avatar
Newbie
Posts: 532
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:30 pm
Location: January 20th, 2014, 5:30 pm

Re: Books

Postby Newbie » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:08 am

As long as we're on the subject, I think I kind of spoiled myself with Mieville by starting with The City & The City, which none of his other books have quite managed to match in either concept or execution. I really wanted to like Kraken, but it wound up just feeling like the World of Darkness crossed with H. P. Lovecraft as written by a more competent Dan Brown.
tiny text

User avatar
zaratustra
Posts: 1119
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:45 pm

Re: Books

Postby zaratustra » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:18 pm

Latest Discworld, Raising Steam, is part a Lipwig book and part an ending to the 'deep dwarf' trilogy it forms with Fifth Elephant and Thud. It's also probably the most 'pro-tech' book in the entire series: Compare with Moving Pictures / Thief of Time, where the device of genius almost destroys everything. In fact, it's almost proselytizing at times.

The writing does feel a bit 'tighter' than the last two books, which I hope is a sign Terry is learning to cope with his current condition. It does feel more like a review of points previously made than a new statement, though.

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 8811
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: Books

Postby Mongrel » Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:34 am

Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 8811
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: Books

Postby Mongrel » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:58 pm

Monty wrote:The Hugo nominations are up. The Wheel of Time was nominated for "Best Novel."

I don't mean that the latest book was nominated. The ENTIRE SERIES was nominated for Best Novel, thanks to a fan campaign that claimed that it should be considered a single work that was published in multiple parts.


I checked and... yup.
Image

User avatar
zaratustra
Posts: 1119
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:45 pm

Re: Books

Postby zaratustra » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:59 pm

funny that it's competing against Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles.

Also, XKCD's 'time' is competing, that has to be a new something.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5576
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Books

Postby Thad » Fri May 30, 2014 5:10 pm

New Douglas Adams biography The Frood will include previously unpublished writings, including a rough script for the never-made second season of the TV series and an unused bit on interspecies sex from Life, the Universe and Everything.

The Salmon of Doubt was simultaneously wonderful and vexing; it was mostly short essays, with the very beginning of a third Dirk Gently book at the end. Purportedly Adams realized the reason he'd had writer's block and been unable to finish Salmon was that the story was better-suited for a Hitchhiker's Guide book than a Dirk one and that he had intended to change it into a sixth Hitchhiker's book accordingly, but the book gave no indication as to what he'd planned on changing or where he intended to go with it, or whether he'd made any progress to that end at all.

The excerpts for Frood are likely to be even less complete than what was in Salmon; I expect something a lot more like Don't Panic with its inclusion of the original pitch for the Hitchhiker's Guide radio series (where Arthur was still named "Alaric B" and every episode was going to be a different story about the Earth being destroyed in a different way) and the Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen outline that became Life, the Universe and Everything.

I'll take it. It's not what I'd have hoped for, but I've known for 13 years that I'm never going to get what I'd have hoped for. This is the closest thing we're ever going to get to new material from Douglas Adams, and even if it's the stuff he didn't think was good enough to use, and even if it's fragmentary, I'm delighted I'll be able to read it.

And Don't Panic WAS pretty great. Read it, if you haven't. (It's actually the first Neil Gaiman book I ever read.) The new book is by Jem Roberts, who I'm not familiar with but he seems like he knows what he's doing.

But "none of this stuff is finished", he added. "It's very important to contextualise this material properly … and I understand people thinking that this is raw material and he didn't want it to be seen. I spend part of the book asking what Douglas would have wanted … but there are so many great Douglas Adams jokes which have been completely air-sealed for the last 20 years. [And] I think it's wonderful that we finally get to read some of this stuff."


I never met the man but he always seemed pretty pragmatic on the subject of death. I suspect if you had asked him what he would want after he died, he would have responded that he should keep out of this, he's dead and should be concentrating on developing a good firm rigor mortis.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5576
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Books

Postby Thad » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:19 pm

Dumbledore’s Army Reunites at Quidditch World Cup Final, by Rita Skeeter

A nice touch: given the (occasionally inconsistent) chronology established in the books, this is the first Harry Potter story to be set in the present.

User avatar
pacobird
Posts: 487
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:25 pm

Re: Books

Postby pacobird » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:37 pm

Why did I never read the Sound and the Fury before now?
Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5576
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Books

Postby Thad » Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:15 pm

Rowling's written a bio of Dolores Umbridge. Most of it is stuff we already know or could have guessed, but there are some interesting details in there.

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 8811
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: Books

Postby Mongrel » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:25 pm

Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5576
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Books

Postby Thad » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:02 pm

The best part is the reviews.

These series of books have helped me deal with my own past issues with dinosaur bullying and discovering who I am as a person. Highly recommended!


FOR SCIENCE: I READ THIS SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO
By M. Bolay

5% in: “'The CEO...isn't that Oliver Anderson? The dinosaur billionaire?' He asked, I could hear the upset tone in his voice. My father had never liked the dinosaurs ever since they began taking control of the world economy.” OK, two thoughts: 1. Oliver Anderson? I know actual humans with more dinosaur-sounding names than that. C'mon. 2. So maybe this is a cleverly-veiled critique of corporate fat cats and the corrupt banking industry??? Fingers crossed!

16% in: “A gust of cool air encompassed me as I entered the lobby which was made entirely of white marble.” Wouldn't that be slippery for those with claws as feet? Also, the security guards are raptors – makes sense.

21% in: The billionaire dinosaur wears a navy blue suit but no shoes.

32% in: “On the cover of GQ he was holding up a glass of scotch in his right claw.” No girly drinks for this alpha reptile. Bird. Whatever.

38% in: “'John. It's me Oliver. I need you to come to the roof in five. Don't bring anything with you.' He said, hanging up right after.” The plot thickens!!! Is the roof where The Gaying happens???

43% in: John gets into Oliver's private helicopter, heading to his beach house. DON'T DO IT, JOHN!!! Also, the helicopter pilot is a pterodactyl – why can't they just ride the pterodactyl???

52% in: “[H]is deep voice was turning me on so much as he leaned closer to me. I had never been with a man before, let alone a male dinosaur!” I think we all know where this is heading.

55% in: “'How about I give you a tour of the place?'...'This is stunning!' I said...'I agree' Oliver said while staring at me...My breath began to quicken as he stepped closer, pulling me towards him with his claws. He reached around me and tore off my clothing, leaving me in just my briefs.” Shit, Oliver does NOT mess around.

60% in: “I knew now why my boss had taken me to his beach house.” Always ten steps behind. That's SO John, amirite?

62% in: Wow, dinosaurs are rapey.

64% in: No. NO. NOOOOOOOOO. Seriously, there is NO WAY that would work.

68% in: EW-EW-EW-EW-EW-EW, etc.

73% in: I need a shower. On the inside.

75% in: “I knew exactly what he was doing. He had hated humans all along, humiliating and embarrassing them one by one.” Oh, John. You poor, stupid, STUPID bastard.

77% in: “I began devising a plan, though, one day I would do to Mr. Anderson what he had done to me.” Considering what you both did from 55% through 73%, I think it's probably okay to call him Oliver from now on. “I needed revenge. To Be Continued...” Yeah, I'll pass.....

80% - 95% in: According to the appendices, “Hunter Fox” has also written:
Forced Gay by Aliens
Tentacles Made Me Gay
Forced Gay by the School Mascot
Yetti Forced Me Gay
Sphinx Turned Me Gay
Turned Gay by an Orc
T-Rex Forced Me Gay
Brachiosaurus Made Me Gay
Cyclops Forced Me Gay
Gay Cyclops GangBang
Turned Gay by Dinosaurs: Three Book Collection

FINAL THOUHTS: Okay, so this...was John “forced gay” by the dinosaur? I mean, there was most definitely some dubcon and he was at least bi-curious and interspecies-curious, but does one encounter with a same-sex dinosaur “force” a guy to identify as gay from then on? Based on his oeuvre, I'm thinking that possibly the author came from a fundamentalist background causing some VERY confused feelings – and more than a little misinformation – about homosexuality.


I think Colbert did a piece on Amazon erotic dinosaur fiction awhile back. I can't get it to load just at the moment but I think this is probably it: Tip/Wag - New Jersey, Robo-teachers & Amazon Erotica (might be region locked though)

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 8811
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: Books

Postby Mongrel » Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:52 pm

He has copycats:

Image

He never expected to be taken by… A LIGHTNING BOLT!!!

EXCERPT: I was standing outside in a field in a thunderstorm humping a metal sculpture of a horse. It was like that giant scary horse sculpture that’s outside Denver International Airport only with bigger junk. I know you’re thinking didn’t that horse sculpture fall down and crush the guy who sculpted it? That’s why I had fixed this one really carefully to the ground with concrete mixed with metal shavings because metal makes things stronger.

I was dry-humping the solid metal back of the horse and holding up my iPhone so I could send a picture unsolicited to people on OKCupid when...
Image

User avatar
Mothra
Woah Dangsaurus
Posts: 3156
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:12 pm
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: Books

Postby Mothra » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:53 am

I gotta get in on this...

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5576
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Books

Postby Thad » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:44 am

...should all this be in the Baboon Fart Story thread instead?

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 8811
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: Books

Postby Mongrel » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:49 pm

Do we have a general media sales thread? Couldn't find one (joke about 'Mongrel is senile' if there is one) outside the free/cheap comics thread.

Anyway, there's a deal on right now offering 25% off any one book on Amazon using coupon code BOOKDEAL25

The maximum savings value is $10.
Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5576
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Books

Postby Thad » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:36 am

The annual Best of Tor collection is up and, for the time being, free; look for it on your ebook site of choice (Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, etc.).

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests