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November 12th, 2007, 18:20
Plugging thru "The Ruins" by Scott Smith. Should have read some reviews before buying this one. At the 60% mark, I'm starting to wish it was over.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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November 13th, 2007, 20:37
Bought myself the novels "Den Göttern versprochen" about Myranor - the rather "high-fantasy" setting of the Dark Eye rule system, and "Armee der Verdammten", a novel from the Armalion setting (Armalion is an table-top system for The Dark Eye, plus an never finished C-RPG which eventually became Sacred).

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 16th, 2007, 05:57
I just finished Joe Abercrombie's "The Blade Itself" which I bought yesterday afternoon and read straight through (barring the time I was at work). A nice gritty hardboiled fantasy novel with a lot of good characters. I just ordered the next book in the series. I wish it was here right now!
There seems to be a lot of fantasy coming out lately that I have really enjoyed. Patrick Rothfuss' The Name Of The Wind, Scott Lynch's The Lies Of Locke Lamora and the sequel Red Seas Under Red Skies, Steven Erikson's Malazan books, R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series (I see there's another book slated for release in January 2009 - thank goodness, as i was taken aback by the abrupt ending of the last one), China Mieville's novels… I've enjoyed all of these.
I posted this in another thread as well - a little Witcher related tidbit- Gollancz will be publishing some (all?) of Sapkowski's other novels about Geralt starting with Blood Of The Elves in 2008; it's up for pre-order on Amazon.com UK.
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November 26th, 2007, 06:03
Just wrapping up Steven Erikson's Malazan book #2 Deadhouse Gates.

I continue to struggle with this series frankly. I know it has a strong following but it is still somewhat unreachable although I'm starting to "get it" - the brilliance that is. To me it is still essentially George Martin meets Dune. Lots of characters, lots of gore, lots of vague mysticism and politics. Forget guessing what is going to happen next that is for certain!

Anyone else read this stuff?

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December 4th, 2007, 09:39
Just bought and read Vol 1 of "Sandman." I'm somewhat into Franco-Belgian comics, but pretty nearly completely clueless about the American stuff beyond Walt Disney on the one hand and Art Spiegelman on the other.

I liked it, a quite a lot actually, especially the last piece. I'll go pick up some more of them one of these days.

Also bought Feersum Enjinn by Iain M. Banks, but haven't stated on that yet.
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December 4th, 2007, 20:00
Blasted thru Simon Green's first Nightside book and enjoyed it enough to pick up the next 2.

Currently working on Carl Hiassen's first book.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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December 5th, 2007, 05:42
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
Just wrapping up Steven Erikson's Malazan book #2 Deadhouse Gates.

I continue to struggle with this series frankly. I know it has a strong following but it is still somewhat unreachable although I'm starting to "get it" - the brilliance that is. To me it is still essentially George Martin meets Dune. Lots of characters, lots of gore, lots of vague mysticism and politics. Forget guessing what is going to happen next that is for certain!

Anyone else read this stuff?
I just finished that one too, and I agree with you . I definitly liked it, but I admit that I also find it very complex and difficult to follow. I didn't hated the first book, but to be honest I wasn't sure what was really going on. The second one was a bit easier to understand, though, and I hope with the third book it will be even easier.

I think the problem is that his world is incredibly rich (Middle-Earth is simplistic compared to it), but the author does a poor job of introducing it to the reader. For example, there are many differents races (and we're not talking about the clichéd elves/dwarves/hobbits here), but with hardly any descriptions on how any of them look like. Also, we the readers don't really know this world, but the characters certainly don't have THAT problem so they don't explain much to each other. I believe it's especially important for a fantasy novel to properly introduce its setting. It's not as if the story takes place in a real place like America . Still, I'll stick with it for the moment.

Hopefully one of these days, some kind of guide will come out, like there is for the Shannarra and Wheel of Time series. It would definitly be really useful .

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December 5th, 2007, 15:15
Was reading the Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett the other day.

Nice book, but falls down too much on the last third.
Looks like rushed there.

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December 7th, 2007, 17:19
I agree. Definitely the weakest of the Tiffany series. I laughed out loud when Tiffany whacked the green-hag on the head with a frying pan in Wee Free Men, but she seems to have lost that anarchic edge in Wintersmith.
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December 7th, 2007, 22:22
My main complaint is that the first part was well, built, but the second part feels mor & more rushed - like as if there was a time-table to fill, or he did't have any more interest in it.

Also, my main complaint is that the posibility for sooo many underlying themes weren't used at all.
One example is the journey of the hero. It should've been like Tiffany's journey in the first book, not this weak wishy-washy.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 8th, 2007, 05:30
Originally Posted by Dantre View Post
I just finished that one too, and I agree with you . I definitly liked it, but I admit that I also find it very complex and difficult to follow. I didn't hated the first book, but to be honest I wasn't sure what was really going on. The second one was a bit easier to understand, though, and I hope with the third book it will be even easier.

I think the problem is that his world is incredibly rich (Middle-Earth is simplistic compared to it), but the author does a poor job of introducing it to the reader. For example, there are many differents races (and we're not talking about the clichéd elves/dwarves/hobbits here), but with hardly any descriptions on how any of them look like. Also, we the readers don't really know this world, but the characters certainly don't have THAT problem so they don't explain much to each other. I believe it's especially important for a fantasy novel to properly introduce its setting. It's not as if the story takes place in a real place like America . Still, I'll stick with it for the moment.

Hopefully one of these days, some kind of guide will come out, like there is for the Shannarra and Wheel of Time series. It would definitly be really useful .
Yeah I hear you. Try this, its very good!
http://encylopaediamalazica.pbwiki.com/

I'm about 100 pages into book 3 now. I'm still deciding if I like it LOL

No, I definitely like it. I drank the Kool-Aid. I need to know what happens next. I've never met an author (Besides Martin) who willfully abandons a host of characters completely (book 2) just to resume the original storyline and leave events on another continent completely unresolved. Bastard!

He is brilliant though isnt he? Almost condescending to his reader leaving us half in the dark. On the upside, there is a conversation early in Book 3 between Paran and someone I won't name that explains quite a number of things. Really I'm not kidding! Stuff that goes back to Book 1. I read the conversation 3 times to make sure I got it!

Still no idea what the hell is going on with those Azath houses though. Where they fit in that is. It is a myyyyyyyssstery.

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December 9th, 2007, 06:20
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
Yeah I hear you. Try this, its very good!
http://encylopaediamalazica.pbwiki.com/
I'm not sure I want to check that website. I'm sure it's good, but I fear that it may spoil more than a few surprises (like the true identity of two Ascendents that was revealed in the second book, for example).

I'll bookmark it, and then check it out when I finally catch up with the latest release . Thanks for the link.

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December 10th, 2007, 07:05
Picked up a copy of The Algebraist at the used bookstore last week on Prime Junta's recommendation—it's my first Iain Banks and I'm enjoying it quite a bit ( I'm a sucker for any book that has a prologue written by the Head Gardener)Only a few chapters in and already had to grab the dictionary (diaspora—very nice word) which is always a good sign.

Edit: Well, due to power outage and computer deprivation, spent all day yesterday reading this book by window-light. Fortunately the power came on late in the evening so I could finish it without ruining what's left of my eyesight reading by kerosene lamp. Have to say I almost laid it down around the 50 page mark, but after that it became quite a classic read. The author has a rathey chewy sentence and paragraph style—writing even longer sentences than I do without a break and throwing in a lot of creative terms for various denizens and tech systems of his invented galaxy that require a lot of patient absorption, but in the end he produces a very good sci-fi adventure with a bit more depth than usual, believable characters that range from the playful, the resourceful, to the truly pragmatically evil, and ends up with a book that reminds one of the best of Vonnegut or Vernor Vinge without in the least being derivative. Good book, and it saved me from a really dismal day of housebound boredom wrapped in a blanket and staring at the fireplace.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; December 12th, 2007 at 21:23.
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December 15th, 2007, 11:30
Originally Posted by Black Hood View Post
I just finished Joe Abercrombie's "The Blade Itself"
I loved that book. The characters were great! I can't decide which is my favorite: Inquisitor Glokta or Logen Ninefingers. I couldn't wait until "Before They Are Hanged" comes out in march, in America, so I ordered it from Amazon.uk. Now the problem is waiting for book 3 to come out in the UK in march…
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December 25th, 2007, 21:24
Got a whole bunch of books for Christmas. Just started on Molecular Gastronomy by Hervé This. Fascinating stuff. Already discovered lots of interesting things, some of which even have practical applications.

For example, to make for a tenderer lentil soup, add some sodium bicarbonate to the water, and to make a perfect soufflé, sear the surface under a grill, then cook it by heating it from the bottom (i.e., put the dish on the floor of the oven).
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December 25th, 2007, 22:12
Practical Ethics by Peter Singer
Tro och Vetande 2.0 (Belief and Knowledge 2.0) by Christer Sturemark

That's about what I have time to read before the next year.
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December 26th, 2007, 01:12
Singer and I tend not to agree on many things!! Still, he's interesting to read.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 26th, 2007, 02:07
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Singer and I tend not to agree on many things!! Still, he's interesting to read.
It's part of my advanced philosophy studies. Im making lots of notes while reading the book, comments that I will use when I review the book next year.
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December 26th, 2007, 15:45
The Treasure Island in a softcover version (translated, I think I'll buy the English original one day) and a collection of tales by Edgar Allan Poe (in Englisgh) - a variety of themes, not just the mystery and horror themes he's so much known for.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 26th, 2007, 17:07
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Got a whole bunch of books for Christmas. Just started on Molecular Gastronomy by Hervé This. Fascinating stuff. Already discovered lots of interesting things, some of which even have practical applications.

For example, to make for a tenderer lentil soup, add some sodium bicarbonate to the water, and to make a perfect soufflé, sear the surface under a grill, then cook it by heating it from the bottom (i.e., put the dish on the floor of the oven).
Don't know if you get the cable television channel Food Network in Finland, but there is a cook on it called Alton Brown, whose show, Good Eats, often features the physics of cooking, complete with blackboard and math formulas. One of the only shows I miss now that we're cable-less.

I also got books for Christmas, but they are mostly quite frivolous. The only one with a literary pedigree would be Dorothy Dunnet's Caprice and Rondo, the next to last installment in her saga of 15th century banking and trade called the House of Niccolo series. It's a good series, full of swashbuckling and historical detail, and functions as a prequel to The Lymond Chronicles, (The Game of Kings, Queen's Play, Pawn in Frankincense, The Disordely Knights, etc) her series about the political machinations of 16th century Europe. Like most prequels, it's not got quite the same magic as the original series but she's always a good read.

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