Login |  Register |  FAQ
   
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 46 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

books

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:28 pm 
Offline
Officer of the Watch
Officer of the Watch
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:48 am
Posts: 390
Location: Bridgend, South Wales
My favourite books of the last few months have been Of Human Bondage, by W Somerset Maugham, Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald and Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment (it's brilliant in bits, boring in others). I also finished Day of the Triffids, which is good if you have an afternoon or evening to spare to read in one go (it's only a few hundred pages long), but it doesn't seem to be a couple-of-chapters-a-night, bedtime type of book.

In terms of fantasy, I'd recommend Cecilia Dart-Thornton's Bitterbynde Trilogy or the Crowthistle Chronicles series. These are lushly written and have real atmosphere to them, even if you could accuse them of being a bit self-indulgent in terms of making the characters too 'perfect'. I also like Tad Williams. He's doing a trilogy at the moment (two novels released so far) called the Shadowmarch trilogy, which is pretty interesting, but nowhere near as gripping as the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, which is astoundingly good, possibly the best fantasy books around (if you don't mind the old 'awkward teenage boy goes on adventure becomes hero get girl' (otherwise known as awkward 80's D&D-fan fiction)formula it loosely follows.

_________________
Image
Sump-Dog Hennessey, Human Pit Slave: Level 9
"Razor-toothed Reptilid misses you!"And I miss Razor-toothed Reptilid!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:59 am 
Offline
Master Gunner
Master Gunner

Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:39 am
Posts: 315
Location: On the blink
Day of the Triffids is a great, great book.

The Dune series is also great, although from memory every even-numbered book is a bit dull. I was totally confused by the sixth one, but then I was only 12 when I read them.

Frank Herbert's son should never ever have been allowed anywhere near a word-processor.

Starship troopers is also a brilliant book (although it did turn a good friend of mine into something of a fascist momentarily), and proof that you don't have to write a fcuking trilogy if you want to write brilliant sci fi.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:49 am 
Offline
Sergeant
Sergeant
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:10 am
Posts: 947
Location: Utah, USA
I've read Twilight as well. I wasn't very impressed. It mostly seemed to be "Oh , Edward, you're sooo stunning!" But my wife asked me to. I'd read Sunshine previously, which is another vampire novel, which I liked much better. As for the Twilight vampires, if they're so powerful, why isn't human ranching the next great venture capitalism idea? I mean, you're not even safe from them at noon, they just go all 'sparkly" in sunlight instead of bursting into flame. My wife also made me read the 2nd book until I got to the series of blank pages, as she thought that bit was pretty funny. I declined to see the movie, however.

I've recently finished Origins : Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution and Lies, Damn Lies, and Science. The last one is a great read for anyone confused by the scientific claims that frequently show up in the media. It tells how to look beyond the catchy titles and see what the actual story is. And Origins is a great read for anyone interested in the universe (I admit it. I'm an astronomy junkie.)

And then I read What's Science Ever Done For Us?, which is about the science in The Simpsons, which was pretty funny, as well as informative. I'm currently reading The Physics of the Buffyverse, which is similar to the previous book.

_________________
Commander Adoni-Zedek
Panthers Chapter Imperial Space Marines
Warpstrike: 40k Skirmish Campaign rules (Necromunda for 40k)-Updated 2016-06-21


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:18 am 
Offline
Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:52 am
Posts: 1713
Location: Right Behind You.
As for the Dune series, I only read the first 2 books.

I jest never got around to reading the rest.

I loved Starship Troopers, and that c0ck-up of a film was an insult to the widow Heinlein. It certainly spoiled a lot of the 40K fiction for me too.

I never read the Horus Heresy books, but I did read the first Gaunt's Ghosts book, "First and Only". Which struck me as more of cr@p Hollywood war film, it didn't impress me in the slightest, it was just a way to pass the time. ( I was unemployed when I read it.)


If you want juvenile fantasy with plenty of killing, mud slogging heroes, and big breasted women. Then check out the original Robert E. Howard Conan short stories.

They are quick to read and entertaining.

Just out of curiosity, what does the group here think of the Lord of the Rings series?

I found large portions of it, any thing to do with the Elves, incredibly boring. The Elf songs made my eyes bleed. That and I thought the movies best bits were all the parts that weren't in the books.

I'm not trying to stir up a hornets' nest here, just looking for rational thoughts and informed opinions of the LOTR series. I know the Brits tend to take offense to criticism of the LOTR series.

_________________
"Kindness is nothing but hypocrisy in disguise. It is a human deception. Man enjoys the suffering of others - it gives him something to be thankful for, something to feel good about, something to feel superior."
<a href="http://www.the-n.com/games/quiz/3290"><img src="http://www.the-n.com/media/quiz/badges/evil_quiz/scary.gif" border="0"></a>

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (colloquially translated as No one f**ks with me**)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:44 am 
Offline
Sergeant
Sergeant

Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:22 am
Posts: 853
Location: fighting the nids on the eastern fringe
funny thing is, i have never read the lotr books :eek:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:37 am 
Offline
Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 7:44 am
Posts: 1675
Location: Australia
Dr_Remulack wrote:
As for the Dune series, I only read the first 2 books.

I jest never got around to reading the rest.

They're the best 2, I suppose you're not missing that much by not reading the rest. The second book, which is about a third the size of the other books in the series, would have to be my favourite. I sometimes think Frank should have stopped at the 2nd book, and just created a different setting and storyline to explore the concepts used in the 4 latter books.

Dr_Remulack wrote:
I never read the Horus Heresy books, but I did read the first Gaunt's Ghosts book, "First and Only". Which struck me as more of cr@p Hollywood war film, it didn't impress me in the slightest, it was just a way to pass the time. ( I was unemployed when I read it.)

Yep. And books analogous to a crap Hollywood war film is about as good as Black Library gets. Most of what they put out is excruciatingly bad compared to Gaunt's Ghosts.

Dr_Remulack wrote:
If you want juvenile fantasy with plenty of killing, mud slogging heroes, and big breasted women. Then check out the original Robert E. Howard Conan short stories.

They are quick to read and entertaining.

I think I've got his complete works on file here somewhere, I'll have to give it a read sooner or later.

Dr_Remulack wrote:
Just out of curiosity, what does the group here think of the Lord of the Rings series?

I found large portions of it, any thing to do with the Elves, incredibly boring. The Elf songs made my eyes bleed. That and I thought the movies best bits were all the parts that weren't in the books.

I feel pretty much the same. Except I probably like the movies less than you.
What I dislike the most is how Lord of the Rings has set the benchmark for the fantasy genre as a whole.
When you say fantasy, by default, everyone expects Lord of the Rings. And it's set an incredibly boring plot trope of protagonist and mismatched band of companions gallivant about the countryside eating stew, alternately pursuing someone or being pursued by someone as a magic thingamajig changes hands.

_________________
Warhammer 40,000 5th edition
The least worst rules for 40K.

The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity.
With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog, behind which halftruths and untruths can frolic and procreate unmolested.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:14 am 
Offline
Master Gunner
Master Gunner

Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:39 am
Posts: 315
Location: On the blink
Agreed that the Lord of the Rings are not great novels, when compared to, say, Surfacing by Margaret Atwood. But they were never intended to be great novels, nor were they intended to be very innovative in terms of plot. The Hobbit is a novel - but not Lotr.

The LotR books are intended to recount an epic saga and bring back traditional mythological plot moves and whatnot - Tolkein's creative emphasis is entirely conservative. His editor baulked at the project, and made him give much more prominence to the hobbits in Book I.

Think of it as Shakespearean history if you like - there is next to no character development or anything like that, it's just event after event after event. Once you accept you're reading folk history rather than a novel, it gets much better.

Unfortunately it doesn't film well - films two and three are so mind-numbingly dull on second viewing. The dialogue is almost entirely grand speeches and pompous statements. But then every attempt at filming a Shakespearean history has also resulted in a terrible film.

The first film is seriously ace though!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:57 am 
Offline
Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:52 am
Posts: 1713
Location: Right Behind You.
I am glad to read that there are like minded folks out there with regards to the LOTR books.

There was actually an Anti-LOTR book group out here in WAshington DC. However, not for the reasons that we've discussed.

They were unhappy with the lauding of LOTR as an ORIGINAL Epic Fantasy series. Not that it was a BORING fantasy series.

Their primary arguement was that Tolkien had stolen many elements and characters out of his books from L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz series, which pre-dates LOTR. They also claim that he stole a lot of his LOTR history from the works of Rudyard Kipling, particularily anything to with "the misty mountains".

I haven't really read much into either series or arguement, but it actually sounds plausible.

I also don't want to turn a book conversation into a Tolkien bashing conversation.

Also, I do agree that Tolkien's "The Hobbit" is a great read and that he had done a lot to draw attention to the fantasy genre.

I also WHOLE HEARTEDLY CONCUR with Robbie, LOTR SHOULD NOT be the benchmark for all fantasy.

_________________
"Kindness is nothing but hypocrisy in disguise. It is a human deception. Man enjoys the suffering of others - it gives him something to be thankful for, something to feel good about, something to feel superior."
<a href="http://www.the-n.com/games/quiz/3290"><img src="http://www.the-n.com/media/quiz/badges/evil_quiz/scary.gif" border="0"></a>

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (colloquially translated as No one f**ks with me**)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:11 am 
Offline
Rogue-Psyker
Rogue-Psyker
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Posts: 1580
Location: Pech, Ultima Segmentum
Dr_Remulack wrote:
Just out of curiosity, what does the group here think of the Lord of the Rings series?
I think they're great and have read the whole series... five times I think. Of course most of those readings were when I was younger and didn't have a DVD collection. Are they the best and most enjoyable fantasy books I've ever read? No, probably not, but I don't find them boring either. (You want boring, read the last Harry Potter book.)

The reason LotR is the benchmark for all fantasy is because it was different and so much better than what had come before it. It had a richness and depth that few book approach even today. Because it completely redefined the genre, it had to be the benchmark. Nearly everything we call fantasy today is based on Tolkien.

Try reading some pre-Tolkien fantasy, and you will understand what a revolution The Lord of the Rings was. The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison would be a good place to start. Since a lot of pre-Tolkien fantasy was not novel-length, you might pick up a collection like Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy by Douglas Anderson.


I enjoyed Dune and have read it twice, but it didn't change my life or make me rush out and buy the second book. The main reason I have read it twice, many years apart, is because I encounter people who love it so much they have read it a dozen times and just go on and on about how great it is. I read it but can't quite understand what makes them love it so.
I have never encountered a single person who had anything good to say about later Dune books penned by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. And yet, they all become best sellers... so who's buying them?


In general, I find that I buy more non-fiction than fiction these days. But I haven't given up on fiction either.
In last year's Books I own, but haven't friggin read yet... Neglected Books thread, I noted that I was waiting for George R. R. Martin's A Dance with Dragons to be released... and I still am!


Largely due to the influences of some of my friends, and people I play RPGs with (not always friends) I can't quite escape the superhero genre. I realize that people flying around in brightly colored tights are really not a promising premise for good fiction... but it can be done. Most superhero fare is unoriginal, simplistic and juvenile, but there are some authors that think outside the box. The following are all novels, not sequential art / comics:

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman is a great book, which mujadaddy said he wanted to read but probably hasn't.
Playing For Keeps by Mur Lafferty is also good... taking place in a world where many people have superpowers that are just not hero-grade.
Unlike the previous two books, Devil's Cape by Rob Rogers is not especially humorous. It's a more standard superhero book that follows the origins of a group of new heroes.
I also read Superfolks by Robert Mayer... which is... funny but weird. It clearly influenced later stories like The Incredibles but its strange combination of 1970's pop culture references and toilet humor made it difficult for me to get in to.

_________________
"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
"It is to be expected that we will run out of fossil fuels before we run out of optimists, who are, along with fools and madmen, a renewable resource." - Dmitry Orlov


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:59 pm 
Offline
Officer of the Watch
Officer of the Watch
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:48 am
Posts: 390
Location: Bridgend, South Wales
I finished The Hobbit yesterday ... wierd. I haven't read it in years. I was explaining The Hobbit and LotR to my Nan this evening, actually, and I did mention to her that the Hobbit's nice and has character, but LotR is boring. As has been mentioned, it was an exercise in epic writing, rather than a novel. What makes it difficult for people to appreciate it is that the books were published so long ago: in terms of literature, once something is in the past, people tend to make asssumptions that the piece is typical of its era. I think that's why Maugham and Waugh, for example, are often seen as belonging to the same school or genre.

I thought I'd throw in props for the HH series, it's pretty good if you want an easy read about a cool subject. Little substance or style, but I'll give McNeill kudos for Fulgrim. It's very well written.

If you want a' proper' novel, read Maugham's Of Human Bondage. It's the best book I've ever read.

_________________
Image
Sump-Dog Hennessey, Human Pit Slave: Level 9
"Razor-toothed Reptilid misses you!"And I miss Razor-toothed Reptilid!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:54 am 
Offline
Graveyard Disciple
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 1452
Location: Lomita, CA
Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark should be required reading for everyone upon graduating high school.

Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel should be required reading for anyone who believes one race or culture is inherently superior to another.

_________________
“Tis a battle for bread, for love, for breath, tis a race for life into the jaws of death. ”


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 7:02 am 
Offline
Mature, well groomed miniature enthusiast
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 11:10 pm
Posts: 2192
Waaaargh Grimjaw wrote:
Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark should be required reading for everyone upon graduating high school.
Before.

_________________
Populus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur... (Mujadaddy)'s Rule: Painted armies will always outroll unpainted ones.

Mrs. Dr. Remulack wrote:
It is not no wonder that USA children are so, forgive me here, fcuked up!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 7:35 am 
Offline
Master Gunner
Master Gunner

Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:39 am
Posts: 315
Location: On the blink
I second Grim's Jared Diamond recommendation. His book "Collapse" is also seriously ace.

While we're recommending books that comprehensively refute prejudice....Timothy Taylor's "The Prehistory of Sex" should be required reading for any moron who thinks homosexuality or bisexuality is unnatural.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 11:02 am 
Offline
Private
Private
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:51 am
Posts: 86
I've been enjoying the Stephen Eriksson Malazan books for years (they come out sooo slowly!), and as a fantasy series I find them more interesting because they show the plots from a fair few different angles. The plot twists are worth hanging on for if the series gets to be a struggle.

For light fantasy I like the 'old faithful' David Gemmel, although in my mind he had lost his way with his later books. Again David Eddings started off well with the Belgariad, but lost it after Redemtion of Althalus. Althalus was like a one book version of the Belgariad, but still readable (mostly).

I haven't bothered much with Science fiction, after Kevin J Andersons Saga of Seven Suns, but would put 'Old mans war' By john Scalzi in the mix. It is well told and has a different viewpoint to what you would normally get. The Ringworld books by Larry Niven are also worth a look, as they are good old sci-fi adventures.

_________________
Innocence proves Nothing!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 7:20 am 
Offline
Sergeant
Sergeant

Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:22 am
Posts: 853
Location: fighting the nids on the eastern fringe
Waaaargh Grimjaw wrote:
Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark should be required reading for everyone upon graduating high school.


thats this about?

Waaaargh Grimjaw wrote:
Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel should be required reading for anyone who believes one race or culture is inherently superior to another.


i have this sitting on my shelf, i have been meaning to read it but have not gotten around to it.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 46 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

cron

Powered by phpBB ® Forum Software © phpBB Group