Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 655369 times)

Jasper

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1635 on: November 06, 2010, 08:05:58 am »
Depends on what you expect.  If you wanted a RAW fiction trilogy, then no.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1636 on: November 06, 2010, 08:40:44 am »
I want to read Unseen Academicals.  Anyone read it yet?  Good?  Bad?
We have that one on the bookshelf, but I'm waiting until I've read all the others first. My husband says that's the only way it will make sense to me. I'll be interested to hear what you have to say after you've read it, though.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1637 on: November 06, 2010, 12:27:09 pm »
I want to read Unseen Academicals.  Anyone read it yet?  Good?  Bad?

Not his best, but pretty readable still.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1638 on: November 06, 2010, 01:38:04 pm »
Just ordered the Schroedinger's Cat trilogy. Should get here by next Teusday or so. Any one here know whether or not I just wasted my money?

It's basically, a really really really long inter-dimensional parallel dick-joke ;-)

Apart from that, while not as good as ]The Illuminatus!, but I did enjoy reading it.

Printed out the PDF when I was still in uni and could print for free--I'd rather have spend a few euros on a proper bunch of paperbacks [cause when I print for free it seems stupid to spend money on properly binding them, but a stack of papers is still annoying]. Actually, IIRC I found (and bought) the second part of the trilogy in a 2nd hand bookstore, I suppose it sits in one of my boxes full of smoked things I never got around to sorting out after the fire last year. I might as well online order the other two. Just for having them. And giving them a re-read.

It does feature Markov Chaney again, and Josephine Malik who is apparently a female counterpart of Joe Malik in another parallel universe. And a bunch of other characters from I3.

The Discordians and (I think) the Illuminati get a short mention, but do not play a big part in the story.

From what I remember, it may be slightly more developed theories by RAW (but lot of them still way out there), in the sense that he blames the state of humanity no longer on a shadowy conspiracy organisation of authoritarian neophobes (the Illuminati), but rather the fact that we're all evolved from a bunch of territorial monkeys that lived in hierarchical tribes and like to prove their status by flinging shit at eachother. Quite a lot of our "we're all a bunch of monkeys" arguments and ideas are described in that book--though they probably didn't originate there, afaik.

Typing this up makes me think I should re-read it, and perhaps, I dunno, discuss it? Cause we might have discussed I3 to death, SC3 not yet so much.

Hey, and once you get there, I think it's in the third part, maybe even in one of the final chapters, he goes on about the letters H and C again ... You know how in I3 he said you couldn't trust anybody with those initials--Harry Coin, Hagbard Celine--there's now a character named Hugh Crane, and somewhere in the final chapters one of the main characters has an epiphany about the water taps in his shower marked with "H" and "C". And I dunno. He plays it as if there's something for the reader to get. Even just something in a made-up occult numerological law of fives sort of way. But I can't figure it out. When you get there, I like to hear your thoughts on it. It's just a very minor (maybe even irrelevant) detail in the story, btw.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1639 on: November 06, 2010, 06:36:06 pm »
Just ordered the Schroedinger's Cat trilogy. Should get here by next Teusday or so. Any one here know whether or not I just wasted my money?

It's basically, a really really really long inter-dimensional parallel dick-joke ;-)

Apart from that, while not as good as ]The Illuminatus!, but I did enjoy reading it.

Printed out the PDF when I was still in uni and could print for free--I'd rather have spend a few euros on a proper bunch of paperbacks [cause when I print for free it seems stupid to spend money on properly binding them, but a stack of papers is still annoying]. Actually, IIRC I found (and bought) the second part of the trilogy in a 2nd hand bookstore, I suppose it sits in one of my boxes full of smoked things I never got around to sorting out after the fire last year. I might as well online order the other two. Just for having them. And giving them a re-read.

It does feature Markov Chaney again, and Josephine Malik who is apparently a female counterpart of Joe Malik in another parallel universe. And a bunch of other characters from I3.

The Discordians and (I think) the Illuminati get a short mention, but do not play a big part in the story.

From what I remember, it may be slightly more developed theories by RAW (but lot of them still way out there), in the sense that he blames the state of humanity no longer on a shadowy conspiracy organisation of authoritarian neophobes (the Illuminati), but rather the fact that we're all evolved from a bunch of territorial monkeys that lived in hierarchical tribes and like to prove their status by flinging shit at eachother. Quite a lot of our "we're all a bunch of monkeys" arguments and ideas are described in that book--though they probably didn't originate there, afaik.

Typing this up makes me think I should re-read it, and perhaps, I dunno, discuss it? Cause we might have discussed I3 to death, SC3 not yet so much.

Hey, and once you get there, I think it's in the third part, maybe even in one of the final chapters, he goes on about the letters H and C again ... You know how in I3 he said you couldn't trust anybody with those initials--Harry Coin, Hagbard Celine--there's now a character named Hugh Crane, and somewhere in the final chapters one of the main characters has an epiphany about the water taps in his shower marked with "H" and "C". And I dunno. He plays it as if there's something for the reader to get. Even just something in a made-up occult numerological law of fives sort of way. But I can't figure it out. When you get there, I like to hear your thoughts on it. It's just a very minor (maybe even irrelevant) detail in the story, btw.

Yeah, there is a fair amount of Illuminatus discussion, but very little SC talk. That's sort of what piqued my curiousity.

Is SC done in the same confusing style as Illuminatus (ie: first to third person jumps, jumps to different character narrations and such)?

Anyhow, within the next few years (well, it's the plan, anyhow) I should be teaching at the community college out here. My goal is to get a Modern Literature class, and put Illuminatus on the docket.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1640 on: November 06, 2010, 10:48:09 pm »
Is SC done in the same confusing style as Illuminatus (ie: first to third person jumps, jumps to different character narrations and such)?

As far as I remember, a littlebit, but not nearly as much as I3. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, it's been years, and I read it on loooong train trips when I was very sleepy.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1641 on: November 07, 2010, 12:20:17 am »
Is SC done in the same confusing style as Illuminatus (ie: first to third person jumps, jumps to different character narrations and such)?

As far as I remember, a littlebit, but not nearly as much as I3. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, it's been years, and I read it on loooong train trips when I was very sleepy.

Most of the weird pacing and verbiage (i.e. the Joycean meaning-blending and fractal echoing) happens when the characters jump universes.

I enjoyed the SC trilogy, but I also felt that it was kinda a parallel setup (parallel with the "Historical Illuminatus" books, of which I haven't read much of) for "Masks of the Illuminati", which is the RAW book with Crowley, Einstein, and Joyce as central protagonist figures. I likes Masks, it really felt like an occult initiation.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1642 on: November 07, 2010, 10:27:22 am »
I used to have audio files of the Historial Illuminatus books.  They seemd pretty good, though I always lose concentration when listening to audio books after a while, so it may have gotten crap further on.  It is much more linear than most of RAW's work.

Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1643 on: November 07, 2010, 03:48:40 pm »
Reading

Empires of the Silk Road by Christopher Beckwith (a history of Central Eurasia from prehistory to present...very good)
Bayes Theorem and the Philosophy of Science by Curtis Brown (Bayes for people who suck at maths)
Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.  Still think Brandon Sanderson > Robert Jordan, if only for tying up several dozen loose ends in the previous book and not spending 50+ pages on unnecessary descriptions of peoples clothing and background.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1644 on: November 09, 2010, 02:16:52 pm »
I just finished the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.  If you're looking for a decent fantasy series, I highly recommend this.  The story flows very well from book to book and has a lot of reveals in the second and third book that you would never guess from the start.

The author is a creative writing teacher at Bigham Young, but don't let that color your impression, the story is really very good with a good magic system and believable world.

looks like it's been optioned for a movie deal too, and it would make a bad ass movie.

check it out spags, I never recommend bad books.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1645 on: November 09, 2010, 02:34:19 pm »
I've had another person, who I was working with over the summer, also recommend that series.  It's something I definitely intend to get around to, at some point.  I was really frustrated with the way the Wheel of Time series went (in fact, a lot about the series as whole frustrates me, but at this point I'm labouring under the irrational esclation bias due to the amount of time I've spent reading the books) but he's actually made them somewhat enjoyable again, not least by massively downplaying Jordan's, uh, quirks in portraying many female characters.  So I'm definitely feeling well disposed to him at the moment.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1646 on: November 09, 2010, 11:25:59 pm »
I'm currently reading "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson. It's the third in the series and I'm liking it much better than the first and second, although they were also excellent.  Unfortunately, there won't be any more books by this author because he died soon after submitting the manuscripts for publication.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1647 on: November 11, 2010, 01:52:12 pm »
I've had another person, who I was working with over the summer, also recommend that series.  It's something I definitely intend to get around to, at some point.  I was really frustrated with the way the Wheel of Time series went (in fact, a lot about the series as whole frustrates me, but at this point I'm labouring under the irrational esclation bias due to the amount of time I've spent reading the books) but he's actually made them somewhat enjoyable again, not least by massively downplaying Jordan's, uh, quirks in portraying many female characters.  So I'm definitely feeling well disposed to him at the moment.

I hadn't heard of either author until this series was recommended to me.  Now the same guy is telling me I should read Wheel of Time.  He says it's something like 13 parts..  not sure I have the staying power for that.  The last series I finished that was close to that long was Brian Lumley's Necroscope series.
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Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1648 on: November 11, 2010, 02:00:34 pm »
It gets really tough around the middle, as well.  Robert Jordan had an annoying habit of describing everything in as much detail as possible, from the clothes people were wearing to the complete and accurate history of minor characters who die in the next scene.  This reached it's zenith of stupidity in the tenth book, which detailed the events of pretty much a single day, which was the reactions to a pivotal event in the previous book.  And each book is a doorstopper, it's true.

The first six books are pretty good, I would say and I would recommend them.  It then goes massively downhill for a while...and then Brandon made the series readable again.  Jordan had a terrible habit though, of writing women as either bitches, or sluts, or slutty bitches.  Apparently this was a "thing" for him, and is evident in his other writings.  Its at least justified in the case of one character, but for the others...Also there is an element of stupidity driven plot in many cases, where characters keep critical information from each other on the flimsiest of pretexts.  And the "Dragon Reborn is going insane" subplot drags on for ever and ever and ever (one of the reasons I am so grateful to Brandon is that he gave said subplot its long overdue death).

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #1649 on: November 11, 2010, 02:03:14 pm »
If you want a much more consistently decent, long fantasy series on the other hand, I recommend the Malazan Books of the Fallen series by Steve Erickson.  Tenth and final book should be out sometime next year, and it veers away from many standard fantasy tropes hard, unlike Wheel of Time, hews way too closely to Tolkein at times, and without the skill Tolkein had.