Deals on Things

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Thad
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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Thad » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:52 pm

I'm aware of his work.

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TA
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Re: Deals on Things

Postby TA » Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:02 pm

I definitely recommend at least the minimum tier, if only for Damnation Alley. Good fuckin' book.
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Mazian
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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Mazian » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:17 pm

I wonder if those ROGER ZELAZNY'S AMBER by John Betancourt books are up to the quality standards of, say, Kevin J. Anderson's Dune prequels. I've been a Zelazny fan for decades and certainly haven't wanted to find out for myself.

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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Büge » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:56 pm

Mazian wrote:I wonder if those ROGER ZELAZNY'S AMBER by John Betancourt books are up to the quality standards of, say, Kevin J. Anderson's Dune prequels. I've been a Zelazny fan for decades and certainly haven't wanted to find out for myself.


Just pray they're not the quality standards of Kevin J. Anderson's Star Wars books.
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Mazian
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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Mazian » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:01 pm

At least he's consistent.

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Rico
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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Rico » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:05 am

Thad wrote:Current Humble Books Bundle is a science fiction library featuring an A-B-C of the overlords of the genre: Asimov! Bester! Clarke!

I've actually never read any Bester or Zelazny; I've kinda been meaning to do something about that.

I could never get into Amber or Lord of Light after a few attempts, but Bester's big two, Stars... and Demolished Man were one-more-chapter-whoops-it's-4am books for me. I suppose it also helps quite a bit that both of Bester's together are about a quarter of the size of a small-print Amber collection.

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Thad
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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:15 am

In other words, they put all the good Zelazny in the bottom tier and all the good Bester in the top tier?

I haven't read Robot Dreams or Robot Visions yet but I've read a lot of Asimov over the years. I think Douglas Adams said something to the effect of, "He had a lot of really great ideas, but his writing style -- ugh!" I think that's somewhat accurate, especially of his early stuff, though I also think he got more natural as he went. Playing around with genre mashups helped him too; I remember the Lije Baley/R Daneel Olivaw novels feeling a lot less stilted than the other robot stories, largely because they were detective stories. (They weren't exactly late in his career, either -- at least, not the first two --, but I wouldn't consider them early; he wrote the short stories that became I, Robot and Foundation in the 1940's, and the Empire Trilogy in the early 1950's; his career was well underway by the time he wrote The Caves of Steel. By the time he wrapped up all three series in the 1980's, his style was a hell of a lot different from when he'd started.)

I've only read one Wild Cards story, and it didn't do much for me, but it's an anthology series so it's bound to have hits and misses.

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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:13 pm

They Might Be Giants' brand new album, Phone Power, is currently available on a pay-what-you-want basis.

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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:00 am

Beast Wars Season 1 for $6.27, 2 and 3 for $7.36.

Also, GI Joe: Resolute for $5.19. That's the one that was written by Warren Ellis. No shit.

(Also, I love the credits. "Transformers Beast Wars: Season 1 by Scott McNeil" -- hey, fair enough; he was Rattrap, Dinobot, and Waspinator. "G.I. Joe: Resolute (Widescreen) by Duke" -- sure, why not?)

(PS affiliate links as usual.)

(On an entirely unrelated note, apparently my DVD shelves are called GNEDBY. That is not a deal -- it is $60 for an 8x80" DVD shelf (approximately 8 DVD cases high by 10 across) -- but I have too many damn DVD's and I need more shelves. I gotta say one thing about switching to Blu-Ray that I didn't expect: there's a big trend toward slimmer cases. The Lord of the Rings Extended Blu-Ray set has as many discs on Blu-Ray as it did on DVD, but takes up just over 1/3 of the space.)

(None of the things I linked above are Blu-Rays, they're DVD's. I was just going off on a tangent about shelf space in those last couple sentences.)

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beatbandito
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Re: Deals on Things

Postby beatbandito » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:53 pm

I might have to go after those Beast Wars DVDs. Now that Starscream is canonically the worst, Rattrap is all I have.
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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Brentai » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:32 pm

Thad wrote:Rattrap is Starscream's Starscream
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Thad
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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Thad » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:08 am

Prime Day; lots of stuff on sale.

I think I'll celebrate the birth of Optimus Prime by picking up Transformers: Chaos Theory, which I've been meaning to read. (It's the story of the first time Megatron and Orion Pax met, and apparently sets up a lot of my favorite storylines that came later, in the More than Meets the Eye/Lost Light series. Which, by the way, also have some sales going on.)

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Thad
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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Thad » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:37 pm

Barnes and Noble has a 50% off sale on the Criterion Collection (on top of the usual 10% off you get if you're a member), through the end of November (the lady at my store said she heard they were extending it through Christmas, but I'd say assume through the end of November unless you see official confirmation of that).

There's some great friggin' stuff in there. I picked up Time Bandits, Godzilla, and Fantastic Mr. Fox, and my wife got a set with Cronos, Devil's Backbone, and Pan's Labyrinth. We stopped there for now but I think I'll probably go back for more -- I didn't get Ghost World, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World...

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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Thad » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:55 pm

And the Barnes and Noble Criterion Collection sale is on once again, running through December 3.

I'm looking forward to picking up True Stories, which comes out on November 20.

Nathan Rabin wrote a very good piece about it in his "One and Done" column on The Dissolve back in 2014; in case you haven't seen it, it's a delightful film.

Here is John Goodman singing a Talking Heads song.


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Re: Deals on Things

Postby mharr » Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:13 pm

I've been wondering something about the modern comics business, are .cbr files something you can buy legit or do they only exist as the Devil's format? Or is it a middle ground thing where you can easily generate them from the drm infested readers, so that's really just part of the checkout process?

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Re: Deals on Things

Postby Thad » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:27 am

Short answer is, I've never seen a publisher use CBR, only CBZ.

Long answer follows, and involves boring information about file formats and software licenses.

A CBR file is just a bunch of image files compressed in RAR format (CBZ is similar, but zipped, not RARed). I think it probably originates with newsgroups, where RAR is a popular distribution format. (Usenet is designed for plain-text communication, and the distribution of binary files in this format involves a pretty impressive series of hacks piled on top of one another. RAR is an ideal format for distributing large files in small chunks; a RAR-encrypted binary can be split across multiple files, and also paired with something called a PAR file which can help to rebuild a complete RAR file even if you don't have every piece of it -- which you often don't.)

I can't say as I've ever seen a CBR file from an official source. That's probably because RAR is a proprietary format; the decompression algorithm is published and redistributable without a fee (IE the source code is available, but that's not the same thing as being free/open-source), but the encryption algorithm is not published and requires purchased, proprietary software.

So that's why CBR is so well-supported in comic book reader software but not as well-supported by publishers: because the developers of the reader software can include decompression, but creating a compressed RAR file requires a WinRAR license. (As you might imagine, people illegally redistributing comics on newsgroups are not necessarily concerned with paying for legit copies of software.) That's why you're likelier to see CBZ from official sources: because Zip is a public-domain format and Windows supports it out of the box.

Of course, "not used by the publishers" doesn't inherently mean "not legit". A lot of public domain comics are distributed in CBR format on sites like Digital Comic Museum, and there are various other creators who've given permission to redistribute their work, whether under CC licenses or just by generally giving permission.

And just because I can't think of any examples of publishers using CBR offhand doesn't mean there aren't any. I'm sure there are self-published comics whose creators have released them in CBR.

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