Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 207772 times)

Placid Dingo

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2310 on: September 01, 2012, 01:35:40 am »
Finished The Prankster and the Conspiracy as part of my research.

Reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
If sheep entrails could in any way be related to the weather, i.e. sheep trails only originate where it rains, then you could use it as an accurate model for discerning what the weathers going to be like. Either, sheep shit makes it rain, or raining makes sheep shit. Sheep don't shit "randomly" sheep shit after they eat, it doesn't rain "randomly" it rains after water collects in the atmosphere.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2311 on: September 01, 2012, 03:17:09 am »
Finished Stiff, am starting War Dances and Part Wild.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”



“All that goodness, with a frozen chicken in the middle.”
― Doktor Howl, 2014

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2312 on: September 01, 2012, 05:40:31 am »
Finished The Prankster and the Conspiracy as part of my research.

Reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

Somehow I never got around to reading ol' Tess. Got her on my kindle (free, no less) but from what I gather, her life is world-o-suck. So no hurry.

I'm a sucker for old books, though.  :) Reading "At Last" by Marion Harland.
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Placid Dingo

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2313 on: September 01, 2012, 06:41:01 am »
Finished The Prankster and the Conspiracy as part of my research.

Reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

Somehow I never got around to reading ol' Tess. Got her on my kindle (free, no less) but from what I gather, her life is world-o-suck. So no hurry.

I'm a sucker for old books, though.  :) Reading "At Last" by Marion Harland.

Yeah I'm going through the classics. Tess isn't the fastest moving I've read, but it's nice prose and dryly humourous.
If sheep entrails could in any way be related to the weather, i.e. sheep trails only originate where it rains, then you could use it as an accurate model for discerning what the weathers going to be like. Either, sheep shit makes it rain, or raining makes sheep shit. Sheep don't shit "randomly" sheep shit after they eat, it doesn't rain "randomly" it rains after water collects in the atmosphere.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2314 on: September 01, 2012, 07:09:06 am »
Reading Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez.

Suarez is always a good read.  While his characters are typically "meh" (he's a techno-thriller writer) his ideas are usually interesting and at least somewhat grounded in reality.  His previous two books, Daemon and Freedom were about what you could do with a self-replicating system, lots of money, access to the internet and a desire to wreck the system.

Kill Decision is about drones.  In particular, drone attacks on the USA, using autonomous targeting.  That's drones with simple AI.  It also touches on the "swarming" behaviour that has been studied in the military, with the fear that drones would start using swarm attacks, though that has not occured so far in the book.

Drones are cheap, easy to build and with the right materials can be almost undetectable.  Throw in a sophisticated targeting system and you have the perfect weapon for assassinations, covert bombing campaigns and simulating terrorist attacks.  Anonymity and firepower are generally a bad combination.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2315 on: September 09, 2012, 07:50:53 pm »
In the past couple weeks, I blew through Asimov's Foundation (just the first one), three books by Jon Ronson (Them, The Psychopath Test, and The Men Who Stare At Goats), Neal Stephenson's recent nonfiction compilation Some Remarks, and all but the last book in Charles Stross's Family Trade series, because I'm a slacker. Asimov was not as painful as I remember him being, and Ronson always pleases. Stephenson and Stross I've ranted about before.

If my bad reading habits continue, I plan to go through the cross-section of foundational science fiction I bought at great cost from the used bookstore. A couple Heinlein things I haven't read, a couple Dune books, a Bradbury book that was never recommended to me in school (hard to find -- turns out he wrote The Toynbee Convector, presumably in 2001 to ressurect dead on planet Jupiter), a Brunner book (The Sheep Look Up), and Breakfast of Champions. The thing about the Zamatayin book (and a couple others I picked up) is that it was very much mined by later works and had almost nothing to offer except stylistically -- sort of like if Alphaville actually had an original plot when it was made. This is totally the opposite experience from what I had with Non-Stop and Solaris, so I completely expected upon reading this book whose plot had been rehashed endlessly to see something fresh that no adaptation had taken. Apparently, no. Maybe it's the translator's fault.

Tangentially, if you want some really mind-blowing science fiction, I recommend the Semiotext(e) SF collection, and anything by either Cordwainer Smith or Rudy Rucker. There are reality tunnels so strange that I couldn't project myself into them without becoming pretty warped, and while Semiotext(e) SF is the whirlwind tour (plus a couple entries by Sterling or by RAW that didn't really do much for me), the other two corpora are just pure crazy. Cordwainer Smith is the pseudonym of Paul Linebarger, who wrote the book on psychological warfare and was the domain expert in world war two and immediately afterward. I don't know what Rucker's excuse is. Maybe it's because he's a mathematician and did a lot of acid.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2316 on: September 11, 2012, 12:47:23 am »
Finally finished The Hobbit, now reading American Gods.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2317 on: September 11, 2012, 07:52:01 pm »
Flex Mentallo! Might be good? :) Just got it.

Goner - The Final Travels of UG Krishnamurti. Very funny stuff.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 07:55:50 pm by Reeducation »
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2318 on: September 12, 2012, 02:30:19 pm »
Flex Mentallo is fucking excellent. I cried at the end.

I keep thinking that Flex Mentallo and The Filth are similar, but then I try to figure out how and I come up blank.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2319 on: September 16, 2012, 04:37:37 am »
Just started "Invisible Man".
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”



“All that goodness, with a frozen chicken in the middle.”
― Doktor Howl, 2014

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2320 on: September 16, 2012, 05:09:34 am »
Working my way through "The Mammoth Book of True Crime."

I'm on the (alphabetical) Dismembered Bodies chapter.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2321 on: September 16, 2012, 05:11:55 am »
As an illustration of just how tired I am, I read that as "Disembodied bodies", and immediately wondered how that would work.

Reading a bunch of terrorism studies stuff, prepping for (hopefully) going back into studies next year or so.

Given how this job is changing, I want to give myself a way to get the qualifications I actually want before leaving.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2322 on: November 30, 2012, 09:41:49 pm »
I just started reading "Beautiful Trouble". It's a pretty well organized guide of tactics, principles, theories, case studies and practitioners of culture jamming that you don't need to read in any particular order. Seems relevant!

Read it here http://beautifultrouble.org/all-modules/ for free.



Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2323 on: December 01, 2012, 01:19:15 am »
I just started reading "Beautiful Trouble". It's a pretty well organized guide of tactics, principles, theories, case studies and practitioners of culture jamming that you don't need to read in any particular order. Seems relevant!

Read it here http://beautifultrouble.org/all-modules/ for free.

That looks like fun!
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”



“All that goodness, with a frozen chicken in the middle.”
― Doktor Howl, 2014

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2324 on: December 01, 2012, 01:21:19 am »
In the middle of chewing through Harlan Ellison's collection The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World. Next up is Jose Farmer's To Your Scattered Bodies Go.

Read PKD's The Solar Lottery. It's not like Valis or Radio Free Albemuth or any of the acclaimed ones, but in terms of fun I think it takes the cake. It has fewer gags than Ubik, but (uncharacteristically for a PKD book) it isn't actually all that depressing. He seems to really have no idea what minimax means, though.