What books are you currently reading?


Books

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Martin is totally going to pull a Jordan. The next novel may come out, maybe, but he'll never finish the series. Luckily, HBO will write the end for us and then make it into the final season, so all is well.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Martin is totally going to pull a Jordan.

I recall that Martin specifically denied possibility of pulling Jordan - he supposedly refused to leave notes that would help another writer to finish SoIaF in case of his untimely death.

Of course HBO could enforce leaving such notes in their contract with him.


Started Charles Stross' The Atrocity Archives, which collects I think the first two novellas of a Lovecraftian spy series. All the mythos stuff, and magic in general, is real. The governments know about it. They control information about it the same way they control information about building nuclear weapons...but the magic stuff is more portable and generally requires less infrastructure to produce.

I got it today and promptly read about a hundred and fifty pages. Not sure I like it, though. Spy fiction is not really my genre and I tend to enjoy Lovecraft more in gaming than in regular fiction. The heavy sidelines into office politics and bureaucratic ass covering might mesh well with how most large organizations, whatever their purpose, actually operate but don't make for very charming reading.

Plan to finish the story, but I might not seek out more of the series.


Drejk wrote:
I recall that Martin specifically denied possibility of pulling Jordan - he supposedly refused to leave notes that would help another writer to finish SoIaF in case of his untimely death.

Whoa! You mean that Martin would prefer his successor to base sequels on nothing but his/her own imagination, resulting in a direction that will bear no resemblance to what Martin intended?

I don't see the logic in that.


Aaron Bitman wrote:
Drejk wrote:
I recall that Martin specifically denied possibility of pulling Jordan - he supposedly refused to leave notes that would help another writer to finish SoIaF in case of his untimely death.

Whoa! You mean that Martin would prefer his successor to base sequels on nothing but his/her own imagination, resulting in a direction that will bear no resemblance to what Martin intended?

I don't see the logic in that.

As far as I understand it, it was outright refusal to have a successor.

Of course that is hearsay and might or might not be actually true.


Like Zelazny and Amber, and we saw how that turned out: 4 volumes of reportedly incompetent fan-fiction marketed as Amber novels, and a fifth one never even published. I refused to read them, largely based on this quote from Neil Gaiman:

Neil Gaiman wrote:
Well, I remember Roger talking to me and Steve Brust. We'd just suggested that if he did an anthology of other-people-write-Amber-stories that we'd be up for it (understatement) and he puffed on his pipe, and said -- extremely firmly -- that he didn't want anyone else to write Amber stories but him. I don't believe he ever changed his mind on that. (When Roger knew he was dying, though, he did nothing to rewrite his will, which means that his literary executor is a family member from whom he was somewhat estranged -- not someone who would have kept Roger's wishes paramount. Which is a pity.) Would I love to write an Amber story? God, yes. Would Steve Brust? Absolutely. Will we? Nope because Roger told us he explicitly didn't want it to happen.

Reportedly, Martin himself sided with Gaiman and Brust on that controversy, which might have something to do with his current stance vis-a-vis his own series.


I thought about referring to Roger Zelazny, Amber and Neil Gaiman in my post but cut it out during editing.

Liberty's Edge

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AIUI, Terry Pratchett has given directives that all of his works in progress at the time of his death are to be destroyed. (Not counting any that are far enough along in the publishing pipeline that he wouldn't be doing any more rewriting.)


Of course, when an author rushes to finish a big series him or herself, the results are not always up to par: witness King's "Dark Tower." After Jordan died and King was almost killed when a car hit him, he rushed through the last 3 volumes, in a panic to finish them. The results were spotty: Book V, and the first half of Book VII are some of the best fantasy ever written (if King had ended the series entirely

Spoiler:
immediately after the death of Eddie
, I'd consider the series near-perfect). But book VI was almost all filler, and the second half of Book VII was arbitrary, pointless, and obviously thrown together by someone who'd run out of ideas and wasn't willing to wait to get some new ones.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

Like Zelazny and Amber, and we saw how that turned out: 4 volumes of reportedly incompetent fan-fiction marketed as Amber novels, and a fifth one never even published. I refused to read them, largely based on this quote from Neil Gaiman:

Neil Gaiman wrote:
Well, I remember Roger talking to me and Steve Brust. We'd just suggested that if he did an anthology of other-people-write-Amber-stories that we'd be up for it (understatement) and he puffed on his pipe, and said -- extremely firmly -- that he didn't want anyone else to write Amber stories but him. I don't believe he ever changed his mind on that. (When Roger knew he was dying, though, he did nothing to rewrite his will, which means that his literary executor is a family member from whom he was somewhat estranged -- not someone who would have kept Roger's wishes paramount. Which is a pity.) Would I love to write an Amber story? God, yes. Would Steve Brust? Absolutely. Will we? Nope because Roger told us he explicitly didn't want it to happen.
Reportedly, Martin himself sided with Gaiman and Brust on that controversy, which might have something to do with his current stance vis-a-vis his own series.

Maybe, but it's perfectly consistent to not want to act against the dead author's known wishes, but still want someone to finish your own series if you die before you can.


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Gonna start the Corum books by Moorcock, which I've never read. Have both series in one volume, each. I'm pretty excited.

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Maybe the Wild Cards authors could collaborate to finish a SoIaF novel. Each could take a POV character, and Snodgrass or whoever could edit them together.

Although, to be honest, since I've decided to take a break from SoIaF, I've realized it wasn't as good as all the hype. IDK. It's kind of a relief to not be worrying about Arya all the time.

And sometimes it seems very Lost-like. Like he has lots and lots of characters, but doesn't seem to know where it's going. And he lost a lot of my trust when there was that giant delay between 4 and 5, to the point where I haven't even read 5 because I forgot a lot of what happened in 4, and figure it will be another 5 or 10 years before 6 comes out, so I would forget everything that was going on in 5 anyways.

Liberty's Edge

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I got partway into the first SoIaF book a few years ago, bogged down, and never picked it up again. I still think this is pretty funny, though.


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Hee hee!

I prevented myself from reading that far ahead, but I've heard comments. And then I drown them out yelling "NyahNyahNyah" with my hands over my ears until they stop.

But I feel it. I was a big Buffyverse fan, and my all time favorite chick on the show ended up being Anyanka. Her death left a gaping hole in my heart. And I never got to say goodbye...

:(


thejeff wrote:
Maybe, but it's perfectly consistent to not want to act against the dead author's known wishes, but still want someone to finish your own series if you die before you can.

Dead author's wishes are all well and good, but thank goodness Max Brod ignored Kafka's.

Of course, that's a far cry from getting a hack to finish a series, but still, just saying.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Maybe, but it's perfectly consistent to not want to act against the dead author's known wishes, but still want someone to finish your own series if you die before you can.

Dead author's wishes are all well and good, but thank goodness Max Brod ignored Kafka's.

Of course, that's a far cry from getting a hack to finish a series, but still, just saying.

How about getting a non-hack to finish a series?

If I was dying halfway through a series and Neil Gaiman was offering to finish it for me...

Well, the only concern I'd have is that everyone would wish he'd written the first half too. :)


I don't think anyone has a problem with an author selecting a specific writer to finish their series, but then there aren't a lot of talented writers who sit around waiting to get chosen to finish someone else's work rather than producing their own.

Pratchett's a special case. Not to make fun, but if I was in his position, I really wouldn't want my legacy to be a bunch of discworld fans getting into a bidding war over all the half-finished senile ramblings I'd specifically decided not to publish.

What am I currently reading? I don't read books anymore, I just talk about writers, but if Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey went to Atlantic City on their honeymoon and had adventures with Nucky Thompson from Boardwalk Empire, I would watch the s**t out of that crossover.


thejeff wrote:

How about getting a non-hack to finish a series?

If I was dying halfway through a series and Neil Gaiman was offering to finish it for me...

Well, the only concern I'd have is that everyone would wish he'd written the first half too. :)

Never did Gaiman. Saw a couple of his movies that I liked, but haven't read anything by him either in books or comics.

Searching my memory banks (never an easy task), I think the only series that I read in its entirety after the original author died were the Oz books in elementary school.

Don't remember much from them, though.

[bubble bubble bubble]

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Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:

Hee hee!

I prevented myself from reading that far ahead, but I've heard comments. And then I drown them out yelling "NyahNyahNyah" with my hands over my ears until they stop.

But I feel it. I was a big Buffyverse fan, and my all time favorite chick on the show ended up being Anyanka. Her death left a gaping hole in my heart. And I never got to say goodbye...

:(

A gaping hole that could not be filled by an exchange of goods and/or services?

But at least Steven Brust wrote a Firefly novel....


SmiloDan wrote:

A gaping hole that could not be filled by an exchange of goods and/or services?

Hee hee!

She was such a hawtie, even if she was a petty-bourgeois shopkeeper, peddling superstition and obscurantism to the anti-Hellmouth masses. IIRC, she also had something to do with the creation of my Undead Leon Czolgosz avatar.


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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
thejeff wrote:

How about getting a non-hack to finish a series?

If I was dying halfway through a series and Neil Gaiman was offering to finish it for me...

Well, the only concern I'd have is that everyone would wish he'd written the first half too. :)

Never did Gaiman. Saw a couple of his movies that I liked, but haven't read anything by him either in books or comics.

Searching my memory banks (never an easy task), I think the only series that I read in its entirety after the original author died were the Oz books in elementary school.

Don't remember much from them, though.

[bubble bubble bubble]

*slaps Doodlebug in the face with Neverwhere and assigns him a reading of American Gods and Stardust (the book is better than the film)*


Ow!


Goblins only understand one language!


If we're lucky...


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:


Searching my memory banks (never an easy task), I think the only series that I read in its entirety after the original author died were the Oz books in elementary school.

...

[bubble bubble bubble]

Duh, I just read all the deCamp and Carter Conan stuff, like, three months ago.

KJ, slap me some more.


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Nah, if I do that everyone will want one.

The Exchange

I gave up on Silver Pigs (again), and read Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring, which had been on my shelf unread since it was published in '98. It's a pretty good voodoo/near-future sci-fi, with "real" zombies (Caribbean style) and a bit of an Afrofuturist vibe. I'm thinking of reading some of her other books, mostly because I'm intrigued by the voodoo spirits and want to see who they possess next.

I'm also reading The Googlization of everything (and why we should worry), by Siva Vaidhyanathan. I went to his lecture and got my book autographed. He was very nice about it since I was one of only a few people who spoke to him after his talk.


Finished Miroslav Zamboch's Hunters.


It's summer and I actually have time to read :) Currently "Wicked Bronze Ambition" by Glen Cook. I'm addicted to the Garrett P.I. series...


Well, The Atrocity Arhives certainly picked up toward the end. What's not to love about a pocket universe where Nazi wizards carved Hitler's face on the moon? Especially since later they died horribly?

I think the sequel is up next.

Liberty's Edge

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The short story at the end of Atrocity Archives is also worth a read, as it introduces SCORPION STARE and is, I think, the first mention of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN.

Stross has the fifth or sixth novel in the hopper, and I believe just finished the first draft of the next one (in eighteen days of nonstop writing).


John Woodford wrote:
The short story at the end of Atrocity Archives is also worth a read, as it introduces SCORPION STARE and is, I think, the first mention of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN.

I read it, and the appendix where he talks about his ideas on horror and spy stories. :)

After this one I'll have to go back and do some serious reading, though. Probably William W. Freehling's The Road to Disunion: Secessionists Triumphant.


I'm reading Lord of the Rings, and before that I read The Hobbit, The Children of Hurin, and The Book of Lost Tales I. Good books, and I plan on reading The Silmarillion after that. . .


Started Thackeray's Barry Lyndon. Big LOLZ already, and more to come!

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Taking a break from Peter V. Brett's The Daylight War for Cherry Priest's The Inexplicables.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Started Thackeray's Barry Lyndon. Big LOLZ already, and more to come!

Never read it, but film snob link.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Never read it, but film snob link.

The movie was awesome -- I made sure to see it BEFORE I read the book, because I have a tendency not to like movies so well if I see them after.

P.S. The Barry Lyndon movie reminds me of this Ridley Scott masterpiece, for some reason.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just started Neptune's Brood, which is supposed to be an extended work on economics disguised as a space opera. So far, so good.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Never read it, but film snob link.

The movie was awesome -- I made sure to see it BEFORE I read the book, because I have a tendency not to like movies so well if I see them after.

P.S. The Barry Lyndon movie reminds me of this Ridley Scott masterpiece, for some reason.

Alas, this was the only post I could get in earlier before solar flare interefence (or was it the NSA?) booted me off the internet. Anyway, BL was, I think, the only Kubrick flick I didn't go ga-ga over, but it was a long, long time ago and it's probably time for another viewing.

As for reading material on the Anklebiter estate, read the first third of Moorcock's The King of the Swords and am as tickled green as I'd expected. Origins of the Hand and Eye of Vecna? (Ding-ding) Bonus!!

Also am plowing through a career-spanning collection of essays by one Ted Grant, The Unbroken Thread: The Development of Trotskyism Over 40 Years.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
As for reading material on the Anklebiter estate, read the first third of Moorcock's The King of the Swords and am as tickled green as I'd expected. Origins of the Hand and Eye of Vecna? (Ding-ding) Bonus!!

The end of that 1st trilogy is one of my favorites in all of fiction.

Overall, though, the second Corum trilogy might be even better than the first (although the ending sure is a downer).


I read all the Eternal Champion stuff to death back in high school and before. Great stuff and impossible for me to look at now without the haze of nostalgia.

I recall liking the 1st Corum series better than the second, but I haven't read those in decades. Maybe they'd appeal to me differently now.

Liberty's Edge

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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:


As for reading material on the Anklebiter estate, read the first third of Moorcock's The King of the Swords and am as tickled green as I'd expected. Origins of the Hand and Eye of Vecna? (Ding-ding) Bonus!!

I read the Moorcock (and Three Hearts and Three Lions) before I'd been exposed to D&D, so there were a lot of "Bet I know where Gygax got that!" moments when I finally started playing.


John Woodford wrote:
Three Hearts and Three Lions

The high elves in my homebrew setting are right out of that book. Anderson for the win!

Liberty's Edge

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The Broken Sword, an older Anderson novel (older than 3H&3L, I mean; he hasn't had anything new come out for quite some time...), had similar elves.


John Woodford wrote:
The Broken Sword, an older Anderson novel (older than 3H&3L, I mean; he hasn't had anything new come out for quite some time...), had similar elves.

Yeah, but they're invisibile to mortals most of the time, which doesn't play well with other races in D&D! I did love TBS, though -- especially the original, pre-revision, nastier version.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
As for reading material on the Anklebiter estate, read the first third of Moorcock's The King of the Swords and am as tickled green as I'd expected. Origins of the Hand and Eye of Vecna? (Ding-ding) Bonus!!

I read this post earlier today. Later, while playing LOTRO I was assaulted by an evil spirit in Dunland. Before dying it cried something along the line of "The Hand Is Only A Servant Of The Eye".


Kirth Gersen wrote:
John Woodford wrote:
The Broken Sword, an older Anderson novel (older than 3H&3L, I mean; he hasn't had anything new come out for quite some time...), had similar elves.
Yeah, but they're invisibile to mortals most of the time, which doesn't play well with other races in D&D! I did love TBS, though -- especially the original, pre-revision, nastier version.

TBS is a diamond of a book. I read the version that got reissued by Fantasy Masterworks, which (according to Wikipedia) is the original version... Think those are out of print themselves, though...

Just finished 'Warrior of Llarn' by Gardner F. Fox, where the Great Gardner 'pays tribute' to Edgar Rice Burroughs and does a very good job - much better than his Conan takeoffs. Lots of sword-fights and semi-naked alien women with blue skin. C+.

Might have a re-read of Michael Moorcock's Warrior of Mars books now - in the mood for more John Carter-alikes!


John Woodford wrote:


The Broken Sword, an older Anderson novel (older than 3H&3L, I mean; he hasn't had anything new come out for quite some time...), had similar elves.

Two of my favorite fantasy novels. Poul Anderson passed away a few years ago (2001 iirc), I remember the shock when I received the e-mail. His science fiction was excellent as well (the Van Rijn and Flandry books are among my favorite). He helped found the Society for Creative Anachronism too.

Anderson, Moorcock, and Tolkien were my favorite fantasy authors in the early 1970s. Anderson and H. Beam Piper were my favorite science fiction authors...


Fantasy? Anderson, Susannah Clarke, Zelazny, Vance, Lieber, Barker, Bellairs, Burroughs.
SciFi: Herbert, Vance, "Doc" Smith.


The Hobbit by Tolkien, obviously, and The Bible.

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