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While it isn't the meatiest book to have ever been written, I just got a hold of one of my childhood favorites, The Dream Eater by Christian Garrison and illustrated (the really important part for me) by Diane Goode.

It's about a little boy and a baku!


Oops. I just finished "Dragons of the Dwarven Depths", and what I said about it yesterday wasn't right.

Dragons of the Dwarven Depths:
The Hammer of Kharas filled Flint with magical strength, relieving Flint of his heart problem. Presumably, it gave him a few more months of life.

So maybe it DOES jive with the original Chronicles after all. Somehow, I didn't remember that from the first time I read "Dwarven Depths".

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

So while waiting on my Hugo Award voter packet, I decided to get a head start, and read Rachel Swirsky's (freely available) short story, "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love."

...

Well, as shallow, adolescent, dinosaur-based revenge fantasies go, I guess it had some pretty language. But the best compliment I can give it is that it was really short. Honestly, it boggles my mind how this could be winning awards; the only explanation I can think of is that the people getting eaten alive had used a variety of slurs, which makes it an "anti-bigotry" story. Or something.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Getting back into the world of Lindsey Davis (i.e. Rome under the Flavian dynasty) with Ides of April, where our narrator has shifted from Marcus Didius Falco to his foster-daughter Flavia Albia and the time has been moved about a decade ahead in time.

Falco has taken over his old man's auction business and is keeping his head low to make sure Domitianus doesn't remember they're enemies, but Flavia is keeping the family business of detecting things alive from his old "office" in a derelict building at Fountain Court.


"The Gorgon" a collection of Tanith Lee stories, which at first glance appear to have a common theme.


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Snow Crash. Very good. Has a biker who's a 1 man nuclear power.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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FuelDrop wrote:
Snow Crash. Very good. Has a biker who's a 1 man nuclear power.

Probably the best opening chapter of any book I've read, too.


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Love me some Snow Crash. Need to get around to reading some more of Stephenson's work.


Tinker, just read it in order of publication after Snow Crash; The Diamond Age to follow immediately, then Cryptonomicon, then The Baroque Cycle, then Anathem, then Reamde.

It's not a problem, exactly, but the problem with Stephenson's writing is, he teaches you how to understand it book by book, so if you read the fifth book first, it's just nonsense.


Well, I can attest to understanding Cryptonomicon after missing The Diamond Age just fine. YMMV.


I'll check it out. Still got a lot of stuff on my list to get through... reading The Name of the Wind still. I like it, but am finding it heavy going for some reason. Normally I'd have ripped through a book this size in a night or two, three at most, but we're coming up on over a week.

After I finish that I need to finish the audio book for The Fuller Memorandum (still waiting for my physical copy to arrive... stupid imports) so I can read The Apocalypse Codex. Then it's time for Words of Radiance, followed by another several years of me cursing Sanderson for not just picking a damn series and working on it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Tinkergoth wrote:

I'll check it out. Still got a lot of stuff on my list to get through... reading The Name of the Wind still. I like it, but am finding it heavy going for some reason. Normally I'd have ripped through a book this size in a night or two, three at most, but we're coming up on over a week.

After I finish that I need to finish the audio book for The Fuller Memorandum (still waiting for my physical copy to arrive... stupid imports) so I can read The Apocalypse Codex. Then it's time for Words of Radiance, followed by another several years of me cursing Sanderson for not just picking a damn series and working on it.

I'm reading TNotW's sequel right now, and I went through 400+ pages in a week, which is pretty fast for me. It's like if Harry Potter was a poor Doogie Howser at Magic U.


Yeah I'm not sure why this one is taking so long. It's not that I'm not enjoying it, just don't seem to be able to sit down and absorb it like I normally would.


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Dragonchess Player wrote:
Finished the Gerin the Fox series earlier this week and picked up Cauldron of Ghosts today.

Has it really been almost two months? [/rhetorical] Work has been keeping me busy and I haven't felt much like reading for whatever reason.

Started re-reading King of the Wood by John Maddox Roberts today. It's a fairly interesting "alternate history" fiction/fantasy.

Sovereign Court

Back in school no time for recreational reading. /tear. Currently reading Active Training its actively boring me to death......


I'm reading Lee Child's latest Jack Reacher book - Never Go Back. I'll probably finish it today, start something else, and then abandon it on Tuesday when I get my copy of Skin Game


I'm now delving into The Origin of the Species.


I started Chimera by David Wellington yesterday. I'm a little over halfway through it, but it's not really grabbing me. I'm going to try to finish it tonight, as otherwise I'll get my copy of Skin Game tomorrow and will end up putting Chimera aside and likely not picking it up again.


Edgewood wrote:
I'm now delving into The Origin of the Species.

I am proud to say that I have a beautiful, old, Harvard-press edition of The Origin of Species. I am sad to report that I never got very far in it. Read a bunch of Stephen Jay Gould instead. Also, I have to say, I never found the theory of descent with modification very convincing. It doesn't adequately explain our neg twos to Charisma and Strength.


Continuing to read "Jeeves" novels between other reading projects, I finished "Ring for Jeeves", which I would advise anyone to skip. Jeeves acts like an idiot, the meager content of the story is stretched out with rambling nonsense, and the book is too clearly the adaptation of a stage play, with the limitations of the theater.

Wodehouse kicked the series back into gear with "Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit". The ending seemed fitting. (Warning: the following spoiler might give away too much, not only about "Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit", but about some of the earlier Jeeves novels as well.)

Spoiler:
After the last several books, it seemed about time that Florence and Stilton should break up. Bertie knew that Florence wasn't right for him right from the start. Still, that engagement had been going on so long, the ending was surprising, yet fitting.

However, after a break from Jeeves with some other reading material, I went back to the series with "How Right You Are, Jeeves", the American edition of "Jeeves in the Offing". (By the way, does anyone know if there's a difference between the American and British editions?) "How Right You Are, Jeeves" has been disappointing. Wodehouse tries to create suspense where there is none. For instance...

How Right You Are, Jeeves:
...Bertie acts nervous about Roderick Glossop, seeming to forget that Glossop and Bertie are on good terms now. Maybe Wodehouse was hoping that the readers would forget as well. Both characters jump to the conclusion that Wilbert Cream stole the cow-creamer, without a shred of evidence that it was even stolen. And why does Bertie panic so much at the sound of Bobbie's fight with Kipper? Does he really take seriously every word such a crazy woman says in the heat of the moment of a fight with her boyfriend?

And Jeeves' clever thinking really seems to be slipping. For instance...

How Right You Are, Jeeves:
... he fails to see Bertie's mistakes, both with Wilbert and with Bobbie. He could simply have given Bertie the most obvious advice, without leaving Herne Bay. And upon hearing that foolish plan to rescue Upjohn from the lake, Jeeves only objection was "merely a feeling," not pointing out a dozen things that might go wrong. He didn't even point out that the "rescue from drowning in a lake" scheme backfired when Wooster tried it before, back in the short-story years. Why didn't Wooster consult Jeeves in the first place? There were times before when Wooster neglected to do so, but why now that he took the trouble to pull Jeeves out of his vacation - quite unnecessarily, as I've already mentioned? Jeeves' first real contribution - since the letter about the kleptomania obviously doesn't count - is 90% into the novel, and even that relied on his luck in coming across the speech. He sort of fixed things in the final, very short chapter, but why didn't that bit get Wooster arrested? Because Glossop was watching him?!? What a load of bunk!

And just as "Ring For Jeeves" was filled with too much rambling nonsense, so was "How Right You Are, Jeeves." All the Jeeves novels have a LITTLE of that, just to give them some levity, but this was too much. It's like Wodehouse didn't have enough ideas for a whole novel, and used the nonsense to pad it out. Was this what Zeugma meant by "relies less on madcap plotting and falls back on Wooster's verbal tics and gags"? Have I passed all the high points of the series?

I started "Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves" (also the American edition) which doesn't show any promise of turning out better. Bertie's decision to visit Totleigh Towers is questionable at best, considering the many reasons not to. Gussie's and Bassett's engagement is in danger AGAIN. Good lord, is that subplot getting tired! Why aren't those two married already?!? And Jeeves' suggestion that Bertie refuse Stiffy's request seems absurd. Surely everyone knows that Bertie can never do that!

I think "Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit" would have made a most satisfying ending to the series, and should be thought of as such.


Finally got through The Name of the Wind. I enjoyed it, but I think I'll wait a while before reading The Wise Man's Fear.

Probably going to start The Book Thief tomorrow.


Bey-Rystar Staveon Takehiko wrote:
Island In the Sea of Time by S.M. Stirling - neat idea, so far.

Great book.

It's likely to ruffle the feathers of the strong right or the strong left (I mean this in terms of social mores, morals, politics, etc.), as one of it's primary protagonists (and the most solid "action hero" role) is a homosexual black female (Captain of a Coast Guard ship), while one of its villains (sort of*) is an extremist left-wing group.

The only named strongly religious individual who comes off as a good person is a Catholic priest (though some other non-Unitarian Christian denominations are presented in a good light*) or (a few) practitioners of non-modern Western religious traditions (i.e. certain limited pagan views, though their religion is generally accepted as outright false).

(It's worth noting that most of the protagonists are Christian, and maintain that faith throughout; there are also two Jewish protagonists, who maintain their faith throughout. The difference is that none of these are strongly religious - they are more culturally religious, but with enough conviction to maintain that religion thereafter.)

It's also very recommended that anyone with Triggers either avoid it entirely, or be exceedingly cautious with it. It does not shy away from how some ancient cultures were excessively cruel - especially to women, but also to men.

Especially that one scene. That was... uh... well. It... it happened.

So... yeah, be cautious. I was mellowed out for a while after a couple of things.

That aside, it's phenomenally well written, and very cleverly put together. It has a few winks at the reader without said winks feeling hammy or forced (notably, one of the Jewish protagonists - a professor of Anthropology - is a science fiction and fantasy aficionado; thus an early rumination of "if this were one of the books he'd so often read..." which was rather promptly rejected, as an example).

Over all solidly crafted, exquisite story.

And now, Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling. I have yet to start it, but I just acquired it - it is the first book in his next series dealing with the world of 1998 A.D. that was left behind when Nantucket was suddenly thrust into 1250 B.C.

* There are actually several sets of villains in the story. A few spoilers below.

Villains!:
The first "villains" of the story are a small group of fanatic Protestant Christians who believe the devil sent them back in time in order to prevent the birth of Christ; this group quickly fails in their attempt to burn the town down, and are reformed at the hands of the aforementioned Catholic priest in the salt mines for the island (their legally-proscribed punishment for one year to avoid killing folk who were, in the end, misguided). The pastor who'd led them had hung himself to avoid capture, shattering their faith in his message.

The other villains are somewhat scattered - some are sort-of friends (at first) who have reprehensible practices and others are just outright vile.

There is a radical left-wing artistic group who strongly believe that "the Patriarchy" and "the System" will cause the destruction of the natural world around them. Egged on by another couple of villains (see below) they eventually go so far as to stage a gunpoint kidnapping of the President's/Mayor's wife for the purpose of acquiring guns and other goods and giving them to the Olmecs in the south to ensure that the White Patriarchy doesn't go forth and conquer the poor helpless natives. Their mission was a complete failure - the kidnapped wife is allowed to survive because she's pregnant, and the leader - a woman with green-gold eyes - is allowed to survive because they believe she is partly a jaguar due to her eyes. Her brother survived, too, though by being knocked unconscious and lost when the boat exploded. Everyone else was brutally murdered. They ended up giving the mumps to the Olmecs, thus effectively ensuring adult sterility in nearly 100% of the adult males (hypothesized, anyway). Although all three survivors were eventually rescued (more or less) by the fore-mentioned Captain, the woman with green-and-gold eyes was killed by accidental stray spear, and her brother drowned himself on being confronted with the evidence of himself (or one of his people) accidentally spreading the mumps. The Olmecs themselves were villains; see below, but be warned: Possible Triggers. It's awful.

*TRIGGER WARNING. TRIGGER WARNING. TRIGGER WARNING.*
A third villainous group comprises of the Olmecs themselves. Cannibles into human sacrifice who worshiped half-breed part-jaguar part-human "bloodlines" (from what we can tell) they practiced some of the worst sort of things imaginable. While I won't use explicit wording, they believed that the half-breeds came from the actual "interaction" (*ahem*) between human kind and jaguar kind.
TRIGGER WARNING: To that end, in part of a religious ceremony, they took the green-and-gold-eyed woman tied her up, smeared her with a substance, and unleashed a drugged jaguar, and their chief. /TRIGGER WARNING
Although she was later rescued by the chief, she didn't recover from the events noted above, and was accidentally killed by a stray spear from the Olmecs who were trying to "rescue" her from the Captain who'd rescued her from the Olmecs.
*/TRIGGER WARNING. /TRIGGER WARNING. /TRIGGER WARNING.*

One of the most long-term villains are the Iraiina, or Sun People who were in the process of invading the island that would later be called England. When they first met the people from Nantucket, they were great friends, although their invasion of conquest, enslavement, and many other cruelties ensured the people from Nantucket (after convening about it in a meeting back on the island) refused to trade with them again. They were later given great gifts and made powerful by another villain (see below) and, in the end, those that survived and did not follow the villain, were effectively incorporated into the burgeoning country.

Another ally-turned-enemy was a highly untrustworthy trader from a land called Tartessos. He always planned on taking as much as he could from the people of Nantucket (he was teaching them language, and taking all of their secrets that he could in exchange - he knew it was unfair, but didn't care). Eventually, he suspected (and was egged on into believing by the primary antagonist, see below) that they were going to conspire to keep him on Nantucket (they were thinking about it, as he had been clearly attempting not only to cheat them, but also prepare to do terrible things to other folk of the world at large; thus they weren't sure which was the less of two evils - either imprisoning him on the island for a year as they got established, or releasing him). He would later assist the primary antagonist in attacking and attempting to kill the people from Nantucket and conquer England.

The final villain, and the primary antagonist, was a young, ambitious Lieutenant who was under the aforementioned Captain. After subtly (and exceedingly cautiously) building up some political clout with a few fellow Coastguard people and a few disgruntled citizens of Nantucket, as well as after making strong friends with the trader from Tartessos, manipulating the radical left-wing folk, and preparing for most of a year, he stole all of the firearms and boats that he could, kidnapped several important people (notably a fresh-from-medical school sado-masichistic doctor - his girlfriend; a highly skilled blacksmith - by threatening his girlfriend; and a young woman who was friends of the doctor and was the "Nantucket girlfriend" - and slated "third wife", though she didn't know it - of the trader from Tartessos), and sailed to England. The primary story - outside of the basic drive for survival on Nantucket - revolves around their attempts to ensure that he doesn't conquer the whole of the Island using his new metalworking methods and gunpowder technology and warmaking style.


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Bey-Rystar Staveon Takehiko wrote:
Bey-Rystar Staveon Takehiko wrote:
Island In the Sea of Time by S.M. Stirling - neat idea, so far.

Great book.

...

It's also very recommended that anyone with Triggers either avoid it entirely, or be exceedingly cautious with it. It does not shy away from how some ancient cultures were excessively cruel - especially to women, but also to men.

Especially that one scene. That was... uh... well. It... it happened.

So... yeah, be cautious. I was mellowed out for a while after a couple of things.

Well, S. M. Stirling hasn't been noted for shying away from such things. Snowbrother, his first published novel (part of the Fifth Millennium set of novels, some in collaboration with Shirley Meier and Karen Wehrstein), contains some rather... unsanitized content.* Of course, the main focus of the novel is the protagonist realizing that the culture she was raised in is wrong in its mores and attitudes toward other cultures, then leaving to follow her own path.

*

Spoiler:
Among others, the female protagonist capturing a pubescent/young teen boy to be her sex toy.


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I finished Chimera by David Wellington. It's wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't recommend it, given the number of better books out there in a similar vein (Preston and Child's stuff or Jonathan Maberry's Ledger books, as an example). I picked up my copy of Butcher's Skin Game yesterday, and probably won't pick up anything else until I finish it. I also started Warren Fahy's Pandemonium yesterday before getting Skin Game. It's the sequel to Fragment which was a lot of fun, but Pandemonim will probably sit abandoned until I finish Skin Game


"Dark Dance" by Tanith Lee, a premature birthday gift from my mother.
I love me some Lee. I hate (or at best feel indifferent about) all other goth fiction I've come across, but Lee does it right.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
Bey-Rystar Staveon Takehiko wrote:
Bey-Rystar Staveon Takehiko wrote:
Island In the Sea of Time by S.M. Stirling - neat idea, so far.

Great book.

...

It's also very recommended that anyone with Triggers either avoid it entirely, or be exceedingly cautious with it. It does not shy away from how some ancient cultures were excessively cruel - especially to women, but also to men.

Especially that one scene. That was... uh... well. It... it happened.

So... yeah, be cautious. I was mellowed out for a while after a couple of things.

Well, S. M. Stirling hasn't been noted for shying away from such things. Snowbrother, his first published novel (part of the Fifth Millennium set of novels, some in collaboration with Shirley Meier and Karen Wehrstein), contains some rather... unsanitized content.* Of course, the main focus of the novel is the protagonist realizing that the culture she was raised in is wrong in its mores and attitudes toward other cultures, then leaving to follow her own path.

* ** spoiler omitted **

Yeah, that was pretty solidly the impression I got out of reading this. He was good at helping you understand the mind-set of other people, as well, - really understand it, and get you to see why they felt the way they did... without making their views sympathetic or necessarily "the right way", and, often enough, using that new understanding and empathy (not sympathy) to show how tragic it was that they were as wrong as they were.

Most times. Other times, he just let villains be... villainous.
*shudders*

Oof. So yeah: recommended with that caveat!


Yearly trip to the literature festival hasn't resulted in much literature as such, beyond quite a bit of Angela Carter and Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but I have got enough krutty S&P/S&S to last me until the end of the year at least, so time and money well spent.

Most recently, I've been reading Knight Arrant by Gary Gygax (for completists only, I think) and Letters from the Earth - Uncensored Writings by Mark Twain, by Mark Twain, which was fab.


I read Letters from Earth a long time ago. It was great and I probably didn't appreciate it as much as I would now.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Corrosive Rabbit wrote:
I finished Chimera by David Wellington. It's wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't recommend it, given the number of better books out there in a similar vein (Preston and Child's stuff or Jonathan Maberry's Ledger books, as an example). I picked up my copy of Butcher's Skin Game yesterday, and probably won't pick up anything else until I finish it. I also started Warren Fahy's Pandemonium yesterday before getting Skin Game. It's the sequel to Fragment which was a lot of fun, but Pandemonim will probably sit abandoned until I finish Skin Game

I read the Fahy duology, and it (they?) were pretty good.

Is Chimera about special forces fighting a

spoiler:
the Hydra
? I think I read that, too, and it was very Syfy channelly.


SmiloDan wrote:
Corrosive Rabbit wrote:
I finished Chimera by David Wellington. It's wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't recommend it, given the number of better books out there in a similar vein (Preston and Child's stuff or Jonathan Maberry's Ledger books, as an example). I picked up my copy of Butcher's Skin Game yesterday, and probably won't pick up anything else until I finish it. I also started Warren Fahy's Pandemonium yesterday before getting Skin Game. It's the sequel to Fragment which was a lot of fun, but Pandemonim will probably sit abandoned until I finish Skin Game

I read the Fahy duology, and it (they?) were pretty good.

Is Chimera about special forces fighting a ** spoiler omitted **? I think I read that, too, and it was very Syfy channelly.

I don't think that's Wellington's Chimera. Unless I've missed the mark entirely. Blurb says it's about a veteran being sent to hunt down a bunch of genetically modified soldiers.

For a special forces fighting mythological beasts story though, I recommend The Age of Zeus by James Lovegrove. The Greek gods come back and basically tell the world that they're taking over, because humanity can't be trusted. Novel follows the resistance to this.

It's actually part of a series of novels Lovegrove has been working on for a while. There's 6 of them now, each of them dealing with a different religion/mythology. The stories don't connect directly, and in some cases are completely different. For example, in The Age of Ra, the gods rule from their own world and provide divine power to their followers (which can actually be stored and used to power weapons), and the story follows the armies of the gods. In The Age of Zeus, the gods are physically present on Earth, and rule directly, with the story being about their enemies. I've read the first three so far, complete series to date is:

The Age of Ra
The Age of Zeus
The Age of Odin
Age of Aztec
Age of Voodoo
Age of Shiva

Not sure why he dropped The from the start of the titles after the third one. I know that originally it was meant to finish with The Age of Odin though.


Not a book exactly, but I've been reading a web serial called Worm. It's really good.

Also plan on picking up Skin Game this weekend. Hyped.


Limeylongears wrote:
Most recently, I've been reading Knight Arrant by Gary Gygax (for completists only, I think)

Yes, but, it's better than the Gord books that follow.

COMMUNISM COMMUNISM COMMUNISM

Am honing in on the end of American Communism and Soviet Russia. Up to the Sixth World Congress of the Comintern and the split between Stalin and Bukharin and the ramifications that had on the perma-factional CPUSA.

Some wiki pages for your delectation:

William Z. Foster
Jay Lovestone
Jozsef Pogany, a.k.a. "John Pepper"

Pretty close to the end of In Red and Black as well, last night reading an essay defending William Styron's Confessions of Nat Turner.

NON-COMMUNISM

Have got two more volumes of The Unwritten to read, but I can't find them. Maybe I left them over The Black Goblin's house.

Am thinking about doing some Hawthorne next, but also desperately need to get back to Leiber and Gaskell.


SmiloDan wrote:
Corrosive Rabbit wrote:
I finished Chimera by David Wellington. It's wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't recommend it, given the number of better books out there in a similar vein (Preston and Child's stuff or Jonathan Maberry's Ledger books, as an example). I picked up my copy of Butcher's Skin Game yesterday, and probably won't pick up anything else until I finish it. I also started Warren Fahy's Pandemonium yesterday before getting Skin Game. It's the sequel to Fragment which was a lot of fun, but Pandemonim will probably sit abandoned until I finish Skin Game

I read the Fahy duology, and it (they?) were pretty good.

Is Chimera about special forces fighting a ** spoiler omitted **? I think I read that, too, and it was very Syfy channelly.

Nope, this Chimera was about:

Spoiler:
an ex-soldier fighting escaped crazy genetically enhanced supersoldiers. The initial concept was not laid out too badly, but the author then went with a predictable turn of "it's the shadowy government agency that is bad, and the supersoldiers are tragic victims", which came off as pretty trite.

I finished Skin Game this morning and am back into Pandemonium. I'm enjoying it so far, but the book does do one thing that I find annoying, which is to say that the early chapters are trying to be mysterious about a setup that is clearly summarized in the back-of-the-book-blurb. I'm guessing that the back of the book text is written by someone with the publisher as opposed to the author, but it's always jarring when that happens.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Yeah, I try to avoid reading blurbs of books if I can help it. But it's sometimes necessary for new authors and the like.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

The Drowned Cities, by Paolo Bacigalupi—same setting as Ship Breaker, but focusing on child soldiers, the aftermath of peacekeeping, and loyalty. Glad I read it, but it's pretty grim. Followed that up with The Magic of Saida by M.G. Vassanji, the story of a young man caught between the African and Indian communities of his hometown in Tanzania, in the 1950s and 1960s. Turned all magical realism at the end, but a fascinating portrait of a really complex situation.


I finished Skin Game this morning so can return to Ancillary Justice. I am pleased at how well Ancillary Justice is living up to its hype and am reading at a leisurely pace to enjoy its unfolding.

Too often, I zip through a book then wish I could read it again for the first time.


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Dragonchess Player wrote:
Started re-reading King of the Wood by John Maddox Roberts today. It's a fairly interesting "alternate history" fiction/fantasy.

Finished King of the Wood, as well as Pretender (by Piers Anthony and Frances Hall) this week; staying in an "alternate history" or "historical fiction" vein.

Debating on if I want to re-read Steppe. Piers Anthony is actually a decent writer when he isn't churning out formulaic crap to make money. Nothing against him making money, just the formulaic crap (like turning the later Phaze novels into a SF version of Xanth). Similar to Heinlein, his earlier works seem to be better written, IMO.


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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Limeylongears wrote:
Most recently, I've been reading Knight Arrant by Gary Gygax (for completists only, I think)
Yes, but, it's better than the Gord books that follow.

I thought the series was actually fairly decent until the "scorched earth" ending of Dance of Demons. Not to say this was the intent, but it seemed (at least partly) like his way of saying "F-U" to TSR by (narratively) destroying Greyhawk after being ousted.

I thought Knight Arrant was trying too hard to be like Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.


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When it comes to the Gord-hate/love, YMMV. The one that I absolutely detested was City of Hawks. If I were to be meaner to the poor ghost of EGG, I might add that further readings in Moorcock have made me think those books are even worse.

But it does remind me that I have to add the Rose Estes Wolf Nomad series to the list of potential next-reads...

Shadow Lodge

Just about finished with Warbreaker. Will resume (and likely finish) Well of Ascension on my way back to Chattanooga over the next two days. When I get there I will have Hero of Ages and Skin Game waiting for me.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I am about half way through The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy.

Because it was written in 1905, the initial pacing is slower then a modern reader may be used to, but it does pick up quite a bit in the second half.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Just finished The Religion, by Tim Willocks, on the recommendation of a friend. It's a historical fiction based on the Siege of Malta, which one might describe as a 16th-century Hospitallers-vs.-Ottomans Iliad. Pretty epic. Packed with Saxon violins.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Shameless plug for my friends book I finished. The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland very fun book good summer type read, though well researched as well. It is a period piece historical fiction from the Revolutionary War period.

The Rebel Pirate on Goodreads

The Rebel Pirate on Barnes and Noble

Her other book is also a fun read they are part of a series but don't need to be read in order.

The Turncoat

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OK, I got my Hugo Awards voter packet, so I'm ready to start in on the longer stuff. Bizarrely, I couldn't download the files onto my phone or transfer from my computer to my phone, but I could transfer them to my Kindle and THEN to my phone to read on the Kindle app. Weird.


I'm reading The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters. It's a murder mystery / cop serial set against the backdrop of a present-day Earth that is six months away from being struck by a planet-killer asteroid. I'm about a third of the way through it, and am really enjoying it so far. I'll likely pick up the sequel from the library later today.

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Corrosive Rabbit wrote:
I'm reading The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters. It's a murder mystery / cop serial set against the backdrop of a present-day Earth that is six months away from being struck by a planet-killer asteroid. I'm about a third of the way through it, and am really enjoying it so far. I'll likely pick up the sequel from the library later today.

Oh, that's a good one, but in a depressing kind of way. You should only read it while surrounded by your loved ones.


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Was kinda synergistic weirdiosed out when the fourth volume of The Unwritten started with a heaping dose of Melville and Moby-Dick, but seeing as how the volume is entitled Leviathan, I guess I wasn't really surprised.

Does bump "Benito Cereno" over anything by Hawthorne on the to-be-read-next list, though.


Meanwhile, last chapter and afterward to go through on Draper. Man, that book has more Greek-style tragedy than a history of a leftist party should, you know?

Short (well, kinda) example:

Spoiler:
William Z. Foster was an ex-member of the IWW who hoboed over to Europe and hung out with a bunch of French and German anarcho-syndicalists. When he came back, he declared that the IWW's policy of dual unionism was flawed because it ended up isolating the revolutionary workers from the not-so-revolutionary workers. He sets up his own group, The Syndicalist League, and while the American Communists are running around the post-war (WWI) strike wave doing nothing, he organizes the Chicago meatpackers strike of 1919 and a steel strike in Pennsylvania over the next couple of years.

Meanwhile, the Communist International figures out that the American CPers, amongst others, are running around supporting "revolutionary" dual unionism. Lenin writes a book called "Left-Wing Communism", An Infantile Disorder, big fight and discussion, the American party changes its position on dual unionism. Foster, who has at this point visited the Soviet Union, agrees to join and puts his organization (by this point called the Trade Union Educational League) at the disposal of the American CP.

Years go by. Foster, who just wants to do trade union work, keeps getting drawn into high-level party politics 'cuz the party leadership keeps f$!&ing with his work. In order to keep control of t-u work, he decides he has to take over the party. Cue years of faction-fighting in which Foster just can't win. His allies keep getting accused of Trotskyism or something or other, his faction deserts him, etc., etc. Finally, Stalin attacks Bukharin, drives out the Lovestoneite "Rightist" leadership in the American party, and offers leadership to Foster AS LONG AS he endorses the new Stalinist "Third Period" "Left turn" which includes a new policy on trade unionism which includes....yup, that's right, "revolutionary dual unionism."

And Foster abandons his last political principle, the one that brought him into the CP in the first place...

Okay, well, maybe it's not Aeschylus, but it's pretty close.


The chapter on "The Birth of American Trotskyism" was pretty dope, too.

Essentially: 6th World Congress of the Communist International, 1928. Two North American delegates (James P. Cannon from the US and Maurice Spector from Canada) are assigned to the not-particularly exciting committee to rubber stamp the new draft programme. As part of the readings packet, they are both given a copy of Trotsky's statement. Trotsky, by this point, has been expelled from the party and exiled to Alma Ata, but he had appealled to the International and his appeal hadn't quite been rejected yet. Thus, his document was allowed to circulate to the committee in numbered copies that were marked "Return to Secretariat". Cannon and Spector read it at the Congress, have their minds blown, arrange to have copies of the document smuggled out of Russia (according to one source I've read, not this one, they had to smuggle it out in a teddy bear belonging to another of the American comrades!), start recruiting their friends in US and Canada, publish what becomes The Third International After Lenin, and begin the process which, seventy years later, results in the recruitment of Baby Doodlebug to the cause of international proletarian socialist revolution!

Huzzah!

Shadow Lodge

And finished Well of Ascension. My two new books are not here yet =( Maybe today.

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