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euphronius
Feb 18, 2009





I just finished the curse of chalion

Itís a very good fantasy with one of the best protagonists I can remember in fantasy

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Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Just finished Shiloh, a chapbook by Philip Fracassi. This contains two horror short stories, the titular story focuses on two soldiers of the line, twin brothers, fighting for the south at this, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. On the battlefield they start seeing demons and angels also engaged in warfare. Sounds corny but he manages to make it not nearly as corny or melodramatic as that sounds. The second story, the Soda Fountain, is really really good. A teen-aged girl not happy with a recent move to a new town, is taken out by a popular local boy to be shown the sights, and it takes a hard turn into, well, that would be telling. I was much more impressed with this than the last chapbook I mentioned on the previous page.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014

Proudly supporting the Lowtax Spine Fund 2018-19


The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire Vol 1 by Mike Butterworth and Don Lawrence. Originally serialised in a variety of children's magazines from 1965 to 1976, this tale of a faux-Roman empire in space is more than a little bit hokey these days. Its debt to Edgar Rice Burroughs is painfully obvious - one story arc is even a straight lift from the John Carter books - and far too many stories involve an excuse to set up overwhelming odds.

What makes it stand out and be worth a revisit 50 years on is the painted artwork by the legendary Don Lawrence. It's occasionally "of its time" - the evil Lokans are straight up yellow peril caricatures in the first arc, and the only nod given to PC after that is their skin being changed to green - but other than that it's nearly faultless. Every page looks like a classic pulp cover painting, and Lawrence was turning out 80 to 100 pages a year.

Summary: a classic boys adventure story receiving its first affordable reprint in decades. If you have any interest in the area, and you haven't already read it, then you should.

TheAardvark
Mar 3, 2019



euphronius posted:

I just finished the curse of chalion

It’s a very good fantasy with one of the best protagonists I can remember in fantasy

I liked it too. Couldn't get interested in the sequel though.

Prism Mirror Lens
Oct 9, 2012

~*"The most intelligent and meaning-rich film he could think of was Shaun of the Dead, I don't think either brain is going to absorb anything you post."*~






The curse of chalion guy reminded me of FitzChivalry a whole lot

nonathlon
Jul 9, 2004
And yet, somehow, now it's my fault ...

Jedit posted:

The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire Vol 1 by Mike Butterworth and Don Lawrence. Originally serialised in a variety of children's magazines from 1965 to 1976, this tale of a faux-Roman empire in space is more than a little bit hokey these days. Its debt to Edgar Rice Burroughs is painfully obvious - one story arc is even a straight lift from the John Carter books - and far too many stories involve an excuse to set up overwhelming odds.

What makes it stand out and be worth a revisit 50 years on is the painted artwork by the legendary Don Lawrence. It's occasionally "of its time" - the evil Lokans are straight up yellow peril caricatures in the first arc, and the only nod given to PC after that is their skin being changed to green - but other than that it's nearly faultless. Every page looks like a classic pulp cover painting, and Lawrence was turning out 80 to 100 pages a year.

Summary: a classic boys adventure story receiving its first affordable reprint in decades. If you have any interest in the area, and you haven't already read it, then you should.

That's a blast from the past - I haven't thought about that since my childhood where it was serialised in some educational magazine my parents got for me. It was a great read and the artwork was something else. Asa kid, I was struck by the opening scenes where modern day Earth picks up a dead escapee from the Trigan empire, who is carrying with him the comics that we're reading. Add in that all the characters we see are "now" dead and the empire has collapsed and it was a strong tale.

ulmont
Sep 15, 2010

IF I EVER MISS VOTING IN AN ELECTION (EVEN AMERICAN IDOL) ,OR HAVE UNPAID PARKING TICKETS, PLEASE TAKE AWAY MY FRANCHISE


euphronius posted:

I just finished the curse of chalion

Itís a very good fantasy with one of the best protagonists I can remember in fantasy

TheAardvark posted:

I liked it too. Couldn't get interested in the sequel though.

Try the Penric series - same world, radically different protagonist from the sequel.

https://www.amazon.com/Penrics-Demo...g=UTF8&qid=&sr= or
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1...vapi_taft_p1_i3

FPyat
Jan 17, 2020


Servants of the Wankh by Jack Vance. Unclear why he didn't realize how British readers would react to his naming. Both the humans and aliens seemed China-derived in one way or another..

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014

Proudly supporting the Lowtax Spine Fund 2018-19


nonathlon posted:

That's a blast from the past - I haven't thought about that since my childhood where it was serialised in some educational magazine my parents got for me.

That would be Look and Learn.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


TommyGun85 posted:

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

I am a big fan of Mitchell's, but this was probably my least favorite of his novels. Its still a very good autobiographical account of his time as a young teenager dealing with how he overcame bullying, his stutter, his parents divorce and ultimately his self consciousness of becoming a writer. It does not contain any of the usual storytelling quirks present in all of his other novels, so I would actually recommend it as a good place to start with Mitchell.

Im thinking of starting The Expanse series of novels now after watching the show.

Black Swan Green is still better than Ghoswritten and Number9Dream, in my opinion.

Boco_T
Mar 12, 2003

la calaca tilica y flaca


My Mitchell opinions are upside down to yours I guess, my favorites are Black Swan Green and number9dream, and I mostly didn't like Cloud Atlas and especially Bone Clocks. Excited for Utopia Avenue, though, just because I've read all his books so it's exciting to finally get a new one.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


Re: Mitchell

The only novel of his I didnt enjoy was Slade House. My favorites are probably The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and Ghostwritten. I enjoyed Black Swan Green a lot, but its just a straight autobiography which wasnt what I was expecting.

Turk182
Feb 28, 2009


2010: Odyssey Two - This is my second time through this one. Arthur is a master and i also liked the movie.

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


On Mitchell: Black Swan Green is maybe my favorite, 1000 Autumns next, then I liked pretty much everything though Bone Clocks felt a little like fan service. His books can be very tonally different though so I expect they will resonate differently.

Ball Lightning by Cixin Liu. I read his "3 Body problem" trilogy and really liked it. Ball Lightning was released prior but in what was a really informative afterword he revealed that he was mostly done with the 3 body problem when he banged this out, and wrote this book in more of a "Chinese Science Fiction" style. Ball Lightning doesn't deal with social/global ramifications of new discoveries like his other books do, but the "feel" and tone is really similar. He takes a more fuzzy approach to physics (including some things that were straight up wrong) but he is thorough and internally consistent.

I didn't like this book as much, but glad I could revisit his approach to sci-fi again. Some of the complaints I had with 3 body definitely exist here (a lot of 2 dimensional characters, some weirdly structured situations that are awkward) but it's well written. I would read this after 3 body, and it's not at all essential.

I saw he had another series coming out but I read the description and gently caress that, I am not reading that right now.

nonathlon
Jul 9, 2004
And yet, somehow, now it's my fault ...

Jedit posted:

That would be Look and Learn.

That's the one.

In reflection, it was full of urban legends, rah-rah imperialism, and "heroic" tales, but I loved to read it and it gave me a good general knowledge for a kid.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


Leviathan Wakes ( Book1 of The Expanse)

Started this series after enjoying the TV adaptation. I wasnt expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it. The TV adaptation is pretty faithful, but to be honest I enjoyed it more (so far) than the novel. The novel is told from the POV of Miller and Holden, who are probably my least favorite characters. I expect the next in the series to be more enjoyable when more POVs are introduced.

Another thing that the novel felt it was 'missing' was the political perspectives of Earth and Mars during these events, which are present in the show and feature some great characters.

I am looking forward to Caliban's War (Book 2).

Ubiquitus
Nov 20, 2011



There's been a lot of discussion about The Expanse, my take has always been somewhat similar to Game of Thrones.

Some of the books are good or even great, others are just really trash, and both TV series elevated the quality of the material that was there.

Lex Neville
Apr 15, 2009


oops

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


Ubiquitus posted:

There's been a lot of discussion about The Expanse, my take has always been somewhat similar to Game of Thrones.

Some of the books are good or even great, others are just really trash, and both TV series elevated the quality of the material that was there.

well lets hope The Expanse TV Series does not end up like GOT. I read ASOIF but hated the writing. Endless descriptions of armour and food and name dropping a million characters that dont matter just didnt do it for me.

Im hoping Leviathan Wakes is one of the weaker ones in The Expanse. I know the shows 3rd season was great so I am looking forward to those novels and the ones beyond what has been adapted. Hopefully, there arent too many duds in there. I am looking forward to new POVs for the next book since Holden is pretty boring (show and book).

Sarern
Nov 4, 2008


Won't you take me to
Bomertown?
Won't you take me to
BONERTOWN?



TommyGun85 posted:

Leviathan Wakes ( Book1 of The Expanse)

Started this series after enjoying the TV adaptation. I wasnt expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it. The TV adaptation is pretty faithful, but to be honest I enjoyed it more (so far) than the novel. The novel is told from the POV of Miller and Holden, who are probably my least favorite characters. I expect the next in the series to be more enjoyable when more POVs are introduced.

Another thing that the novel felt it was 'missing' was the political perspectives of Earth and Mars during these events, which are present in the show and feature some great characters.

I am looking forward to Caliban's War (Book 2).

Milkfred E. Moore and Omi no Kami are doing an excellent Let's Read of the Expanse series, going chapter by chapter. I think it's worth checking out if you are enjoying the books (and probably the show, too).

Ubiquitus
Nov 20, 2011



TommyGun85 posted:

well lets hope The Expanse TV Series does not end up like GOT. I read ASOIF but hated the writing. Endless descriptions of armour and food and name dropping a million characters that dont matter just didnt do it for me.

Im hoping Leviathan Wakes is one of the weaker ones in The Expanse. I know the shows 3rd season was great so I am looking forward to those novels and the ones beyond what has been adapted. Hopefully, there arent too many duds in there. I am looking forward to new POVs for the next book since Holden is pretty boring (show and book).

My experience with both book series was very similar: amazing settings and worldbuilding in the first few books, then sucked a fatty

kalthir
Mar 15, 2012



A Kayak Full of Ghosts: Eskimo Tales - Got this after seeing the following excerpt. The rest of the book is in the same vein, was not disappointed.
https://twitter.com/incunabula/stat...033394357395456

Circe - Madeline Miller - Didn't like it as much as Song of Achilles, the pacing was worse and I didn't get as invested in the protagonist. Still, wasn't bad.

Fires - Raymond Carver - Didn't care much for the poems, enjoyed the essays and short stories.

Kings of the Wyld - Finally broke my bad habit of getting the whole set when starting a new series and boy am I glad of that. The main selling point of the book is supposedly its humor, and boy is the humor grating. It's a horrible mix of references to modern things and bad slapstick. The only redeeming point was that the pacing is decent, reading it wasn't a slog.

This is How You Lose The Time War - There was some nice prose at the beginning but the rest of the book fell flat for me, presumably since I didn't get invested in the protagonists and their struggle.

blackgreywhite
Apr 7, 2019

and pink.


The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.

I always wanted to read this. In doing so I found myself immediately rewarded with various expressions of 'I don't want to be alone'. There's more, of course, but in that statement there's a real and natural human desire that's overwhelmingly beautiful. God(s) help us all.

Aggro
Apr 24, 2003

STRONG as an OX and TWICE as SMART


COOL CORN posted:

Let's Go Play At The Adams' by Mendal W. Johnson

I first heard about this book in Grady Hendrix's "Paperbacks From Hell", where it was described as this ultra-extreme book from the 70s that people couldn't finish, and was only talked about in whispers. So, naturally, when I saw that it was being re-released, I had to jump on it. Boy, was I let down. I've never wanted to shout "oh GET ON with it!" at the bad guys in a book, as much as I did at the kids in this book. Maybe it's my internet-fueled desensitization talking, but LGPatA does NOT hold up, 4 decades later. Two stars only because it had a promising premise from the beginning, that devolved into boredom.

Iím assuming youíve read Jack Ketchumís The Girl Next Door? That book is currently the closest Iíve ever come to not finishing a book out of disgust and horror. The book obviously has its flaws, but itís stuck with me for over a decade as the only piece of literature thatís evoked such a visceral reaction.

PsychedelicWarlord
Sep 8, 2016




Grimey Drawer

The last few books I read:

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. It's the first Witcher book. Pretty mindless but engaging. A lot of baseline misogyny.
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. Waters writes a lot of neo-victorian lesbian novels. This was her debut book and it's not very good. It's pretty clearly a self-insert, and even ends with the main character delivering a rousing speech.
Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti. I enjoyed this way more than Teatro Grotesco. It's a series of disconnected horror short stories.

Robot Wendigo
Jul 8, 2013



Finished The Black Legion by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. I have never played Warhammer, but I have a fondness for these books, particularly ADB's. This volume was part of the Black Legion series, detailing the grimdark exploits of selfsame legion and their plans for revenge against the Emperor, who is gonna get what's comin' to him, you'll see. The Warhammer books are what you get when you mix about two tons of 2000 AD back issues with black metal and Monty Python, all finished with a cover usually featuring someone who looks to be permanently constipated.

Robot Wendigo fucked around with this message at 01:54 on Apr 11, 2020

PsychedelicWarlord
Sep 8, 2016




Grimey Drawer

Just finished True Grit by Charles Portis. I had only seen the 2010 movie. The book is one of the more delightful experiences I've had reading lately. I stayed up all night reading it. It's a western about a young girl who teams up with a Marshal and a Texas Ranger to capture the man who killed her father. It's narrated by her and has a very dry and deadpan wit.

Prism Mirror Lens
Oct 9, 2012

~*"The most intelligent and meaning-rich film he could think of was Shaun of the Dead, I don't think either brain is going to absorb anything you post."*~






Dark Reflections (Delany). What Delany always does really well, and what I love in fiction, is recontextualisation. You follow the main character, the gay black poet Arnold Hawley, through decades of his life, different ages - so people he thought were old become young looking back, the young become old with the shifting of the light, minor personal events spiral out and become historical and cultural ones, major personal events come to look trivial. And everything is reflected on by the other works of literature dropped throughout the novel, by the similarities to Delanyís life and his own autobiography, and by Hawleyís own poems, none of which we get to see (except for, fittingly, one typoíd word) but which he himself revisits over time and re-evaluates the meaning of. Delany always writes palimpsests.

If you ever tried Delany but gave up because of his quirks, this one is a lot more accessible in content and language than his sci-fi. Ok, it still has some inexplicably horny dudes, but uh... itís toned down a lot.

Sandwolf
Jan 23, 2007

cheers



Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Fun science fiction that is effectively some Decline and Fall of Roman Empire wish fulfillment. I enjoyed the book a lot, political maneuvering and slow world-(galaxy-)building is exciting to me.

Iíve heard every other book in the Foundation series is substandard compared to this one though, are literally any of them worth reading? The Hari Seldon Psychohistory thing is a fun thread to follow.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Sandwolf posted:

Iíve heard every other book in the Foundation series is substandard compared to this one though, are literally any of them worth reading?
The original "trilogy" is composed of stories that were all individually published in the early '50s. Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation are effectively a single contiguous collection presented in three volumes (which have often been collected in a single volume anyway); there's no reason to single the first one out like that.

What I assume you're thinking of is the sequels and prequels that Asimov wrote in the '80s. They definitely have a lesser reputation, but I've never heard anyone say that they aren't worth reading at all. The main issues that people point out (relative to the originals) are his distracting efforts to connect them with the setting of the robot stories and to bring them up to speed with the development of computers in the intervening decades.

Sham bam bamina! fucked around with this message at 00:02 on Apr 17, 2020

TV Zombie
Sep 6, 2011

MAMAMOO STAN



Dinosaur Gum

Son by Lois Lowry was the last book in a quadrilogy. Given that I read only the first book up to this point, I thought that there might be too much of a gap for me to enjoy the book but the book was still enjoyable. However, how the antagonist was defeated was a bit...too easy? too simplistic?

PsychedelicWarlord
Sep 8, 2016




Grimey Drawer

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Pretty ridiculous plot but it's the best-selling mystery novel of all time for a reason. It's extremely gripping, though I'm not sure how I felt about the solution.

nut
Jul 30, 2019



PsychedelicWarlord posted:

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Pretty ridiculous plot but it's the best-selling mystery novel of all time for a reason. It's extremely gripping, though I'm not sure how I felt about the solution.

I remember reading this and feeling wildly cheated by the reveal

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013


If it wasn't for disappointment,
I wouldn't have any appointment.





Grimey Drawer

nut posted:

I remember reading this and feeling wildly cheated by the reveal

It's a very stupid twist/solution.

Mel Mudkiper
Jan 19, 2012

I think this is a pretty good draft class overall. It's really shaping up that way because of the water types.


Agatha Christie's most famous mysteries are always absurd cop outs and I have no idea why she is so famous

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


Its pretty unfair to criticize a book written in the 30s under todays bias. It would be like saying The Turn of the Screw isnt scary and you dont understand why people thought it was. Different times folks; the ending is only ridiculous now because it is derivative of itself.

That original title though.....yikes.

Mel Mudkiper
Jan 19, 2012

I think this is a pretty good draft class overall. It's really shaping up that way because of the water types.


You are making some offensive presumptions there

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


They were stupid twists even back then. I love them so much because I'm always left guessing, even if the chain of logic is wildly out of left field. So in a sense they're kind of like thrillers?

Anyways y'all should read John Dickson Carr instead, he writes cool mysteries.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


Mel Mudkiper posted:

You are making some offensive presumptions there

such as?

StrixNebulosa posted:

They were stupid twists even back then.

Kinf of my point though. Were you alive in 1939? How can you judge if they were stupid back then?

For the record, Im not defending the twists, just saying its not unreasonable to understand why its the most popular mystery of all time and why Christie is highly praised.

TommyGun85 fucked around with this message at 01:02 on Apr 18, 2020

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Mel Mudkiper
Jan 19, 2012

I think this is a pretty good draft class overall. It's really shaping up that way because of the water types.


Mystery stories had been published regularly for almost a century before Christie, it's not like she was a pioneer in an unexplored genre

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