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What books are you currently reading?


Books

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Erik Mona wrote:

I'm currently switching between "The Anubis Murders" by Gary Gygax and "Almuric" by Robert E. Howard.

I've never actually read the novel - but back in the late 70's / early 80's Marvel comics published a magazine called 'Epic Illustrated" - which was kind of like Heavy Metal magazine, and there was an adaptation of Almuric in there that spanned several issues which I still remember quiet vividly - awesome stuff. I had totally forgotten about it until now - I may have to check it out.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I'm pretty sure Roy Thomas adapted that one.

--Erik

Andoran

I remember that Almuric adaptation. I just watched Sin City tonite, and Mickey Rourke's character Marv reminded me of Esau Cairn.


Glen Cook's "Tyranny of the Night"


Currently I am reading The Dark Elf Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore. I finished "Homeland" and am currently on "Exile". I know, Forgotten Realms books are cliche, but I like them.


I'm also on a big FR kick right now. I'm reading Elfshadow by Elaine Cunningham. I already read her Conselors and Kings as well as her Sunlight and Shadows Trilogies and they were both very good. Just finished Promise of the Witch King as well. But I always am looking for good reading!


Gavgoyle wrote:
d13 wrote:
Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal BY Christopher Moore
Lamb is excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Funny; my brother just told me to go out and buy that one without delay. And he'd never be caught dead on the Paizo boards, except maybe to psychoanalyze the posters. I'd better check that one out.


Just finished "Life of Pi." Very charming; my wife loved it, too. Now I'm in the middle of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series; 3 to go before that's done. Sort of Travis McGee for the 90's; not nearly as good as J.D. McDonald's originals, but fun when you've got nothing else going on.

Andoran

I'm reading Steven Erickson's Gardens of the Moon.
It's really pretty good.


Well, I just reread the Nightside series by Simon R. Green; story set in a dark, horrific pocket dimension, has a good plot and decent character development with likeable good guys and bad guys as well as fairly sick ones; should be good for anyone who likes the fantasy set in our world genre. Am now gonna read Bloom County Babylon (fitting semi pun you will understand after your read Simon's books)5 years of Naughtyness by Berke Breathed.

ACE Fantasy and those idiots at the Berkley Publishing Group really dropped the ball though, the chowderheads didn't put anywhere in the books the order your supposed to read them and none of my books have any of the others mentioned in it; so you can't just look and see which book is next; really unfriendly of them; had to go to the web site for the author and look at the order; he has it there. Anyway; they are short, only about 200 pages and a quick read; I recommend them.


Darkvision by Bruce Cordell

Got a stack of Warhammer and the current Starwars path to read, got the first four books, but not had chance to get stuck in as yet!

Just finsihed Vermintide a warhamemr novel which I quite enjoyed!


Valegrim wrote:
Well, I just reread the Nightside series by Simon R. Green; story set in a dark, horrific pocket dimension, has a good plot and decent character development with likeable good guys and bad guys as well as fairly sick ones; should be good for anyone who likes the fantasy set in our world genre.

Yes, I too am a fan. I just read the last one - Hell to Pay - last week. Good stuff.

He's already finished a 7th "Nightside" book, due out (much) later this year, IRRC.

I'm looking forward to his new series. Unfortunately (for me), it 'll be out in hardcover first, so I'll have to wait for paperbacks - I don't do hardcovers, even for my favorite living author. In case you didn't know, it'll be compared to James Bond type spy stuff in much the same way as the "Nightside" novels compare with hard-boiled noir detective stuff.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just received my copy of the new printing of Swords and Deviltry, so I'll soon be immersing myself in the world of Newhon.

Before that happens though, I'm going to try and finish Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Heathansson wrote:

I'm reading Steven Erickson's Gardens of the Moon.

It's really pretty good.

Yes it is, and all the books following it too.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I just finished "The Anubis Murders," by Gary Gygax. It's the first of his three "Dangerous Journeys" books featuring an ancient egyptian detective/archmage. Very inventive magical duels in this one, and it's always a treat to see how the father of our hobby envisions a working fantasy milieu. Compared to the Gord the Rogue books, this series reveals Gygax as a more comfortable novelist, which makes for a better read. The end of this one is a bit of a let-down, as it seems designed to sell future books rather than tie up the interesting mystery in this one.

That said, the new villain introduced at the end is supposed to be Iggwilv, and there's even a sly reference to Drelzna from "Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth," but I was hoping for a great ending and only got a decent one.

I'm currently about a third of the way through "The Secret Kingdom," by Otis Adelbert Kline and Allen Kline. It was last published over three issues of Amazing Stories in 1929. It's a ripping good yarn featuring an exploration into unmapped South American and a civilization of "modern" Aztecs dwelling atop a secluded plateau deep in the Amazon interior.

Good stuff.

--Erik Mona


Robert E. Howard's The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I'm working on "The Riddle of the Traveling Skull" by Harry Stephen Keeler. He's been referred to as the Ed Wood of mystery novels; meaning that they are charmingly bad and seem to only really serve the purpose of fulfilling the author's own creative desires. There are some attempts at writing accents that the publisher admits must have only originated within Keeler's own head, since they don't in any way mimic the existing accent that he was trying to present. Astounding and flabergasting cooincidences drive the book. Apparently, when starting a novel he would just grab a handful of newspaper clippings and try to piece them together as a narrative (which actually sounds like an interesting device).

After I finish that, assuming my last semester of college doesn't throw a ton of reading at my feet, I will start P.D. James' "The Children of Men" and then maybe move on to either some art history or more China Mieville.

Qadira

I am trying to read "The Fighter" series of Forgotten Realms novels. I read Chainmaster and am trying desperately to finish up Son of Thunder. I won't read any more of them. The writing is poor, and very hard to get into a flow with. I can read a novel of this size in 3-5 days without a problem but I have been trying to finish this last hack job for more than 2 weeks! What a horrible, draining read. I really don't like the newer authors that have been writing the D&D novels. I miss the Greenwoods, Hicks, Salvatores, etc.......

FH

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just finished Thud! by Terry Pratchet. Got me thinking about how to portray dwarves (and other "standard" non-human races from D&D) as being very culturally different to humans in a typical d&d setting - and how to roleplay that difference.

About to start reading the ancient greece and ancient egypt sections of an ancient history text book, got an idea for a campaign set about 2000 BC in the mediteranean region.


Just finished the most recent book in George RR Martin's Westeros series and waiting avidly for the next (along with the last of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, praying that he'll make it through his illness and finish the story). On the plane yesterday read through a bunch of Lovecraft stories. Great stuff! I can see the huge influence on D&D, as well as the modern horror and SF genres.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I am fighting my way through "The Butlerian Jihad" from the Legends of Dune trilogy. I had real fun reading the Prelude to Dune series, but this book has such a different tone to the original Dune novels, that I I hope, that those guys will finish the series in more Herbert-style than this book is feeling.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I just finished the novel version of "The Children of Men" by PD James. I thought the novel was pretty good, but the ending felt kind of rushed and tacked on. The author could have easily gone on for another several chapters, I think, and there were some abrupt changes in some of the characters' personalities that I felt could have been more gradual. I'm anxious to see the movie soon and see what the differences are.

Now I have to start on the "extra gay" version of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. "Extra gay?", you ask. Yes, the original 1890 version published in Lippincott's magazine is apparently even more fraught with inter-character homosexual tension than the 1891 novel version, which was edited for main stream tastes. Should be interesting, since I had to read the edited version last year. It will be that between "Theories of Modern Art" by Chipp, "Readings in Italian Mannerism" by Cheney (the female Italian art historian, not the decrepit beast of ruthless enterprise....I mean vice president) and if I have time, "The Scar" by China Mieville.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm about half way through Starship Troopers. Great Book. Much better than the movie.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Finished the extra gay version of The Picture of Dorian Gray. While I think it's refreshing that the artist in this case is portrayed as the moral center of the narrative for a change, I couldn't stand reading this for the second time. Something about Oscar Wilde's taking like ten pages in a chapter to describe the rich finery that Dorian's ancestors lived in, each in turn. Like, three pages about the various jewels Grey was enamored with. It wasn't even the homosexual overtones that bothered me about the book; it was the huge digressions.

The Scar by Mieville was very good, though I think I may prefer Perdido Street Station. The Scar has tighter pacing and plot, but Perdido had much more likable characters. In Perdido, there was at least some kind of trust between a few of the characters. Beyond that, however, it was very good. I wonder if Iron Council is any good.


Just finished 3 of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books that I got for xmas. They're great, I recommend them to all fans of historical novels, humour and political incorrectness in general. The historical detail is amazing, with each book having loads of footnotes about the important people Flashman meets and the important events he runs away from!

The one I finished most recently was "Flash for Freedom!" in which he becomes an African slaver, a slave driver in a Mississipi plantation, and a fugitive and anti-slavery agent for the Underground Railroad all the while trying to get back to England in one piece. Oh and he meets Abraham Lincoln. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It's easy to see why many people thought the Flashman papers were real when they were first published...

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Just started Mieville's Perdido Street Station - yes, I bought into all the hoopla... So far (I'm only on page 75) it is great, reminding me of a blending of Glen Cook and James Ellroy.

I'm really excited to see what direction it will be taking, though for now I'm happy to soak up the unwholesome ambience of New Crobuzon. After that, The scar awaits... Rapture!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Just finished Perdido Steet Station, which I highly recommend to anyone who likes a good yarn. Next up is The scar. Can't wait!

Andoran

Just started Perdido Street Station.
Doubt I'll finish in 4 days due to time constraints,....but I would if I had the time to read.
If I finish it in 2 weeks I'll be doing good.


I'm reading The White Goddess by the poet Robert Graves, the last remaining Christmas book I haven't read.

Its really enjoyable, but it's pretty wierd. He makes all these bizarre (and a bit tenuous) connections to prove that every ancient society in Europe and the middle east worshipped a death goddess known as the White Goddess (hmm - like Wee Jas?) who had a Sun Hero (the chief or king) ritually sacrificed to her each year. He says that all true poetry is a hymn to man's interaction with the White Goddess, and that all true european poems up to the middle ages were coded references to the story of the goddess and the sun hero.

The history is dubious and incredible, but there are just so many fascinating facts and odd connections that I can't put it down. Did you know for example that (according to Graves), the number thirteen is unlucky because the ancient druidic alphabet was made up of letters that were also the names of trees, and that the 13th tree (and letter) was the elder tree, which was sacred to the White Goddess and supposedly caused death. So he says long after the alphabet fell out of use people still associated the number 13 with the elder, and so 13 has always been unlucky in western Europe.

There you go. Just one interesting and possibly made-up fact from this very odd "poetic history book." The whole thing is like that. I recommend it to anyone interested in European myth, even if the central argument is regarded as pretty much nonsense by most real historians.

Andoran

Odd, that; I've heard of it but never read it.

In Michael Crichton's Eaters of the Dead which became the 13th Warrior, the Vikings considered 13 to be a lucky number.
Henceforth I've fancied myself a triskadecophile; I reckon it might as well be lucky for somebody.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Finished The scar last night. I think I liked Perdido Street Station better, but it is a close call. Great book - high adventure, scary adversaries, fantastic locations.

Now on to Iron council! Avast!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vattnisse wrote:

Finished The scar last night. I think I liked Perdido Street Station better, but it is a close call. Great book - high adventure, scary adversaries, fantastic locations.

Now on to Iron council! Avast!

I definitely agree with you; that's just about how I would rate them. The Perdido Street Station characters were just more likable to me; The Scar has a whole bunch to recommend it, but truly sympathetic characters were a bit hard to find. Though Tanner Sack was definitely my favorite of the cast, probably because he most clearly gave a hoot about other people. Iron Council has gotten some mixed reviews, but I look forward to reading it when my copy comes in the mail. Apparently, Mieville experiments with narrative time in ways that have left some readers confused.

Andoran

halfways through Perdido.
He uses the word "juddering" a lot I've noticed.


Heathansson wrote:

halfways through Perdido.

He uses the word "juddering" a lot I've noticed.

If anyone's read R.A. Salvatore's The Crystal Shard (which seems likely considering where we are), ever noticed how often he use variations of the word "stoic?"

It's a lot.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
James Keegan wrote:
Vattnisse wrote:

Finished The scar last night. I think I liked Perdido Street Station better, but it is a close call. Great book - high adventure, scary adversaries, fantastic locations.

Now on to Iron council! Avast!

I definitely agree with you; that's just about how I would rate them. The Perdido Street Station characters were just more likable to me; The Scar has a whole bunch to recommend it, but truly sympathetic characters were a bit hard to find. Though Tanner Sack was definitely my favorite of the cast, probably because he most clearly gave a hoot about other people. Iron Council has gotten some mixed reviews, but I look forward to reading it when my copy comes in the mail. Apparently, Mieville experiments with narrative time in ways that have left some readers confused.

Just finished Iron council. It is very good, though I can see why some readers didn't care for it - it is the most "industrial" of his Bas-Lag books and also the most overtly political. The complaint about narrative confusion is, in so many words, completely baseless - have those readers never encountered a flashback sequence before? I agree with your point about character identification issues in The scar, though I've read enough spy/crime stuff to sympathise a little with the agent. Despite such problems, it is still a great story.

One of the things about Mieville's books that make reading them so rewarding is that they are chock-full of little nuggets of imaginative gold that play no real part in the overall plot - things like Perdido Street Station's detailing of techno-magical police crowd control methods, The scar's oblique references to exotic lands like High Cromlech or Iron council's chitin farmers and strange cults. Many of these ideas are good enough to be major plot devices, but here they are throwaway pieces of flavour text. I'm so impressed...

Andoran

I just started China Miéville's "Perdido Street Station."

Andoran

Vattnisse wrote:
James Keegan wrote:
Vattnisse wrote:

Finished The scar last night. I think I liked Perdido Street Station better, but it is a close call. Great book - high adventure, scary adversaries, fantastic locations.

Now on to Iron council! Avast!

I definitely agree with you; that's just about how I would rate them. The Perdido Street Station characters were just more likable to me; The Scar has a whole bunch to recommend it, but truly sympathetic characters were a bit hard to find. Though Tanner Sack was definitely my favorite of the cast, probably because he most clearly gave a hoot about other people. Iron Council has gotten some mixed reviews, but I look forward to reading it when my copy comes in the mail. Apparently, Mieville experiments with narrative time in ways that have left some readers confused.

Just finished Iron council. It is very good, though I can see why some readers didn't care for it - it is the most "industrial" of his Bas-Lag books and also the most overtly political. The complaint about narrative confusion is, in so many words, completely baseless - have those readers never encountered a flashback sequence before? I agree with your point about character identification issues in The scar, though I've read enough spy/crime stuff to sympathise a little with the agent. Despite such problems, it is still a great story.

One of the things about Mieville's books that make reading them so rewarding is that they are chock-full of little nuggets of imaginative gold that play no real part in the overall plot - things like Perdido Street Station's detailing of techno-magical police crowd control methods, The scar's oblique references to exotic lands like High Cromlech or Iron council's chitin farmers and strange cults. Many of these ideas are good enough to be major plot devices, but here they are throwaway pieces of flavour text. I'm so impressed...

I agree. I'm going through Perdido right now with a piece of notebook paper folded 3 or four times for a bookmark; and stopping and writing down snippets here and there and/or small idea inspirings/musings.

Paizo Employee Sales Imp

I just started "Demon Theory" by Stephen Graham Jones upon a friend's recommendation.

Weird.

In a VERY good way.

I'm only about a third of the way into it and already I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone who considers themselves a fan of the horror genre. Particularly horror movies.

The book is written as if it were a novelization of a trilogy of pretty standard, campy, horror flicks but... it's annotated. EXHAUSTIVELY. There are footnotes. There are sub-footnotes. There are sub-sub-sub-sub-footnotes. All of them together make up a heavily researched and fascinating history of the horror genre with particular attention to the through-line of themes and tropes throughout different films.

Given that the story is a more or less a by-the-numbers horror flick (in book form), the story itself ends up serving as a mere framework to bring out and illustrate the concepts in the footnotes. However, the characters are very knowledgeable of horror tropes and, much like the characters in the movie Scream, they recognize that they are enacting an old and predictable story.

It sounds weird and it is. But I haven't read very many books so engrossing that I nearly miss my bus stop. With this book, I've done it three times. This week.

A MUST for horror fans.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

World War Z by Max Brooks is a pretty good novel about how an actual global zombie epidemic would go down. A friend sent it to me on audiobook and the readers include Alan Alda, Henry Rollins and Mark Hammill, to say the least. The whole book is conducted as interviews with survivors from all over the globe about how they survived and what the war was like from beginning to end.


ACK! Nothing; I am out of books to read; good thing there is this forum :)

Contributor

S.Baldrick wrote:
I just started China Miéville's "Perdido Street Station."

I envy you, although reading it two or three times doesn't dilute it - Mieville must be one of the most talented young British writers working at the moment.

Enjoy:)

Contributor

Heathansson wrote:

I'm reading Steven Erickson's Gardens of the Moon.

It's really pretty good.

Please don't mention the name Erikson old chum - it makes me depressed thinking about football:(

Andoran

Sorry.
All I can think about when I hear "football" is:

University of Florida Gators: 41
Ohio State Buckeyes: 14
Huzzah!


S.Baldrick wrote:
I just started China Miéville's "Perdido Street Station."

Geez, it's like "Dragon" is the "Oprah" for gaming dorks. We've even got a book club reading list now. My wife will NEVER let me hear the end of this.

Andoran

Oprah plays D&D?


Heathansson wrote:
Oprah plays D&D?

I tried so hard to think of a witty comment to add to this but I couldn't. I know it's out there, it's j-u-s-t out of reach...

Anyway just started reading Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. It's OK I guess, but I'm starting to think Miller is a bit over-rated. The Sin City movie I thought was much better than Miller's original comic, and this one, which is supposed to be a classic... it's well-written and the artwork is nice but the two elements are joined together pretty poorly. Pretty words and pretty pictures but the layout is a little unnnatural and hard to follow.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
kahoolin wrote:
Heathansson wrote:
Oprah plays D&D?

I tried so hard to think of a witty comment to add to this but I couldn't. I know it's out there, it's j-u-s-t out of reach...

Anyway just started reading Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. It's OK I guess, but I'm starting to think Miller is a bit over-rated. The Sin City movie I thought was much better than Miller's original comic, and this one, which is supposed to be a classic... it's well-written and the artwork is nice but the two elements are joined together pretty poorly. Pretty words and pretty pictures but the layout is a little unnnatural and hard to follow.

I was thinking about checking this out. There's a fancy shmancy huge hardcover for $100 that would be nice if I had that kind of money to blow. Paul Pope's recent "Batman Year 100" four issue series is incredible, in my opinion.


James Keegan wrote:
I was thinking about checking this out. There's a fancy shmancy huge hardcover for $100 that would be nice if I had that kind of money to blow. Paul Pope's recent "Batman Year 100" four issue series is incredible, in my opinion.

I just finished it and it's defnitely worth reading - in the end the story and the powerful writing overshadows the confusing layout. Still, I found it irritating. I'm probably just more used to modern comics which tend to be blocky and simple in layout. After all, DKR was first published in 1986.

I find that with comics in general, public perception of what's available and fashionable (including my own) is about 20 years behind what's actually going on. I think of things like DKR, Watchmen and Sandman as being some sort of avant garde new wave of comics, but they are all in fact from the 1980s/early 90s. The medium as a whole is only just starting to break out of the overtly fantastic superhero mould, depite the hard work of many writers and artists since the 60s.

I think it's quite similar to the whole fantasy/Tolkien thing. Only now are people starting to write realistic fantasy rather than mythic epics or poor Tolkein rip-offs. Authors like Robin Hobb and China Mieville represent a transitional stage in fantasy literature, reacting against epic fantasy (IMHO). I wonder what the next evolution will be?

And with that bizarre foray into the land of Off-Topica, I shall return to work... Sorry about that.


Age of Misrule by Mark Chadbourn.
Celtic Gods and Demons return to the world with a vengence- solidly written if a tad uneven in it's pacing at times, it's one part The Stand, one part unknowable and dagerous fairies, one part Cthulhuoid nastiness and one part New Age magic. A bit reminisecent of the Cataclysm that creates the world of Shadowrun.
The other book is The Pale Horseman, by Bernard Cornwell- King Alfred the Great warts and all, as told by his Viking-raised troubleshooter. A great portrayal of the clash between the Pagan and Christian worlds as the latter loses it's Roman Imperial patronage.


The White Goddess is heavy going. I'm two-thirds of the way through so I am having to lighten it up by reading other books at the same time.

So I'm reading Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. I like Gaiman's stuff normally, but this one seems very light and cute compared with Sandman or American Gods. I keep having to look at the front cover to make sure I'm not reading a Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett book. He seems to have removed most of the darkness and intensity that identifies his style to me. Still, it's funny and light and enjoyable. Maybe all English fantasy writers turn into Terry Pratchett when they hit their 40s. Or maybe something really awful is about to happen...

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