Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
White Coke
May 29, 2015


The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir.

This one was written several years before The Wars of the Roses, which Weir was inspired to write because of all the research she did for this book. Unlike its prequel this one isn't just a chronicle, covering the people and events of the first War of the Roses. Weir makes the case that Richard III was responsible for murdering his nephews and goes into detail arguing about which sources she thinks are the most accurate and why. I don't know how much new information has come to light in the 30 years since the book was published, I think they found Richard III's body but I don't know if anything has come to light on his guilt or innocence. Weir doesn't just cover the reign of Richard III, she goes a bit into the two Henrys that followed him to see the consequences of the Princes' deaths decades after the fact. Like I said I don't know how much the historiography of the deaths of the Princes has changed, but unless it has been completely up ended then I think this book is a good read for someone who wants to see a specific position argued forcefully.

ScottyJSno posted:

Flashman: The Flashman Papers, Book 1 by George MacDonald Fraser.

A very entertaining historical fiction book. Think rear end in a top hat coward James Bond set around the first Anglo-Afghan War. It might be a hard read for some because of time period appropriate strong language, rape, and general white people doing horrible poo poo.

I love reading about the 1800s England and other European powers. And it is good to have a reminder once and a while that colonization and Imperialism was/is some of the most gently caress up poo poo ever. I wonder if it was the authors intention highlighting this side of it. I fear a racist would take it all at face value, and say "That is how it should be done!"

I started reading this several years ago, but I stopped for some reason, I can't remember why. I think the author wanted to shock people about how awful things were just a century ago, but I've also heard that he got more defensive about the empire in his later life.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Carrier Wave, this month's BotM

Read it, its good, especially if you like cosmic horror or zombie flicks or whatever

Borachon
Jun 15, 2011

Whiskey Powered


A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

The second of her Teixcalaan duology, it was at least as good if not better than the first, which rightfully won a Hugo award. The perspectives of the four PoV characters were all interesting and insightful, the story was well done and didn't always go in the direction expected, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem, the direct translation to English by Johnson. Extremely imaginative medidation on contact with alien intelligence, with some lovely writing. I really liked this one very much, thanks Secret Santa past!

Bilirubin fucked around with this message at 01:57 on Mar 21, 2021

Not the Messiah
Jan 7, 2018


Buglord

Finished two books in the past few days, Blood Meridian and All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries #1)

Blood Meridian: slightly hesitant to review this just because of how I read it - I basically read half of it last year then put it down for ~7/8 months and I've only just read the other half. I feel like I'd have loved it if I read all at once, but the time skip combined with my current brain fog made it a lot harder to reconnect with it in the same way, so my overall feelings are a bit mixed. Still a great read, mind - everything people say about it is true pretty much, and it gave me the feeling (pre fog) of being swept up in it, like I was being drawn in and experiencing words rather than reading a book. Or something like that - people more talented at both words and reading than I have said everything that needs to be said abojt the book before so I won't go into it. McCarthy remains just an incredible writer and unmatched at evoking that epic, biblical feeling. Probably will come back in the future and try to read it without a half year gap in between half's, see if that makes the full picture better.

All Systems Red: bought this after seeing it referenced a few times here and that it got some awards - and also, it was cheap! I'm always down for robots and murder, so it seemed like a safe bet - (incredibly mild spoiler r.e. tone) imagine my surprise when Murderbot turns out to be a total nerd and not at all a ceaseless killing machine lmao. This was a nice read - an engaging wee sci fi adventure with a bit of mystery, good characters, and engaging plot beats. And super short so I cranked it out in ~2 hours!

This brings be up to 9 books this year in total, although All Systems Red is more of a novella so I'm not sure that counts. Way ahead of schedule for reading 24 books this year!

Big Scary Owl
Oct 1, 2014

Too scary



Is it okay to post non-fiction books here too? I just finished reading Game Engine Black Book: Wolfenstein 3D a couple of days ago and it's surprisingly comfortable reading a deep dive of a source code of a game, explaining it and how the scene/market/hardware was like at the time the game came out. I also started reading its sequel, Game Engine Black Book: DOOM (which has a free PDF option available too).

The creator of the books has a nice website with some analyses of game source codes (like Another World/Out of this World) and other IT curiosities, it's worth a read you're into this sorta stuff.

rollick
Mar 20, 2009


I read John Gardner's On Writers and Writing, a collection of essays and reviews.

Gardner was a novelist and a medievalist and a creative writing teacher who was part of that wave of American writers in the 70s -- William Gass and John Updike and Joyce Carol Oates and so on. He died in a motorbike accident in 1982, age 49.

He's probably best known for the book Grendel (former SA BOTM!), and it looks like a lot of his other work is hard to find, which is a bummer. I want to read more of his novels off the back of this collection.

Some of the pieces were clearly written quickly and for money, like when he goes through a pile of new releases and tosses off verdicts. (Peter Faecke is "a hack", Mishima is a "purveyor of untruth" in the Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, although "the dust jacket is excellent". He loves Calvino, saying The Castle of Crossed Destinies "is a shamelessly original work of art. Not a huge work, but elegant, beautiful in the way mathematic proofs can be beautiful, and beautiful in the sense that it is the careful statement of an artist we have learned to trust."). In general, he has a very strong sense about what makes fiction good, I think, that I'm still trying to decipher. The word "moral" comes up a lot, as do references to Tolstoy.

quote:

The central tenet of all our great religions--Zeus-worship, Yahweh worship, Jesus worship, and so on--is, as the Taoists say, "so simple that a Fool, if he were to hear it, would laugh aloud." That central tenet is this: we believe that some things are physically and spiritually healthy for human beings, as individuals and as groups, and other things are not. The rest is ritual and fine distinction. Ritual is the business of organized religion, and as artists and critics we can take it or leave it. Fine distinctions in what is good or bad for us are, I will argue, the business of art. Religion and philosophy are of course notorious for trying to get into the artist's act--the act of finding and dramatically enforcing (or re-enforcing) values--but both are notoriously bad at it. Religions make up codes, which have a way of sounding fine until someone like Raskolnikov--or Melville's tragically misguided Captain Vere--tries to act on them.

That's part of an essay where he sketches out his views on fiction, through the lens of contemporary US lit. He divides writers into five camps:

(1) "religious liberals and liberal agnostics(often indistinguishable)" (Bellow, Mailer, Malamud, Doctorow)
(2) "orthodox or troubled-orthodox Christians" (early Gass, Cheever, Gaddis, Pynchon, Coover)
(3) "Christians who have lost their faith and cannot stand it" (Barthelme, Barth, later Gass)
(4) "diabolism" (Burroughs)
(5) "heretics" (Updike)

It's presented as a joke but it's also what he actually believes, I think, reading the explanations.

My favourite ones are where he gets to use his medievalist background. The essay tracing Steinbeck's King Arthur project is top notch, and I also liked this view of Tolkien, from his review of the Silmarillion:

quote:

The power and beauty of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings guarantees in advance the importance and interest of The Silmarillion, his account of all that happened earlier in his imaginary kingdoms of towers, dwarfs, elves and men. The longer we look at it, the more impressive The Lord of the Rings becomes; and the more we see of Tolkien's other work, the more miraculous it seems that the powers should have granted him that great trilogy.

He was, in many ways, an ordinary man. As a scholar, he was a good, not a great, medievalist. His famous essay, "Beowulf, the Monsters and the Critics," stands out mainly because it lacks the pedantic stuffiness common in this field and because it gave early support to a way of reading Beowulf that more rigorous critics were already pursuing to their profit. His edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was a good, trustworthy edition, not brilliant---curiously weak when it comes to interpretation--and his modernizations of that poem and also of Pearl and Sir Orfeo were loaded with forced inversions, false rhymes and silly archaisms like "eke" and "ere." Tolkien's original story-poems, like "The Adventures of Tom Bombabil", were even worse, yet The Lord of the Rings looms already as one of the truly great works of the human spirit, glving luster to its less awesome but still miraculous satellites, The Hobbit and now The Silmarillion.

rollick fucked around with this message at 18:28 on Mar 22, 2021

BurningBeard
May 10, 2013


Gardner is amazing. The Art of Fiction is a wonderful book if youíve not read it and have any interest in craft stuff. I think Iíve read it four or five times and always find something new to discover. Though every time I read his stuff I feel too dumb to comprehend it all.

Anyway, didnít know this book existed. Thanks for mentioning it.

rollick
Mar 20, 2009


Art of Fiction sounds good, thanks. I'm looking at the book On Moral Fiction, and thinking I might save that for a while longer -- mainly beefs from the 70s.

I have read On Becoming a Novelist, which I also liked, even though I don't actually want to Become a Novelist. There is a funny section on bad prose where he eviscerates a Harlan Ellison story about Jack the Ripper so hard it made me think it was personal somehow.

Sinatrapod
Sep 24, 2007

The "Latin" is too dangerous, my queen!

Pocket Billiards posted:

I reread Dune once and I would again. But that time in my life where I would read 5000 pages or whatever about space Jews and man-worm God Emperors is behind me.

The time when you were cool? 😎

In actual posting, I'm fighting a bit to finish The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. The first third was had a lot of fun cultural friction juice and historical tidbits, but this central chunk has diverted to other, more separate characters and a fair amount of repetitiveness that I'm having trouble sticking to.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat




I'm a big fan of Gardner's October Light. Strongly recommend the fully illustrated original release.

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

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


Sinatrapod posted:

The time when you were cool? 😎

In actual posting, I'm fighting a bit to finish The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. The first third was had a lot of fun cultural friction juice and historical tidbits, but this central chunk has diverted to other, more separate characters and a fair amount of repetitiveness that I'm having trouble sticking to.

I think the final third is the best but unfortunately most of that juice is behind you. The ending is real good though.

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

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


Finished A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Overall, didn't think it was that good, but good enough to finish I guess. Some of this was my fault. The description was of a Russian noble sentenced to house arrest in a luxurious Moscow Hotel shortly after the revolution (for reasons he was given this sentence vs Siberia but its pretty flimsy). I was expecting a historical fiction and a unique vantage point of unfolding history among the hypocritical Bolshevik decadence but instead it was just Eloise in Moscow. Which did have some charm, but seemed like a really wasted setup just to write a story about how wonderful the main character is for knowing a good wine pairing or being so good at glib chat over dinner that everyone falls in love with him.

The middle picks up a bit as the plot focuses less on the main character but the ending involved a completely pointless over-involved caper and largely undid any character growth or motivations just for a climax that was overall mostly pretty boring.

So yeah, I actually think there was a good book in here by a decent writer but it really worked hard to not deliver it.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


The Year of the Flood and Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood

I read Oryx and Crake years ago and really enjoyed the writing and world Atwood created. Its biggest flaw is that the 3 central characters, Jimmy, Oryx and Crake are some of the most unlikeable characters I've ever read about.

Thankfully, the two sequels expand on the world and the situation, but frame it through the lens of really likeable characters. In terms of speculative fiction, you can really see how our own world can very easily follow the path into the doomsday scenario the books present and it is especially relevant now in terms of the global pandemic we are all currently living through.

My only major gripe is that the antagonistic characters are really weak, but the real antagonist is the world everyone is living in so its not that bad. I wont get into spoilers, but the last chapter of Maddaddam, which is more of an epilogue, was unnecessary and actually made me a bit angry.

I can see this being adapted ala Handmaid's Tail in the future.

Cosmic Queries by Neil deGrasse Tyson

I love Tyson and his efforts to make science interesting. He tends to recycle material in all of his books but still manages to make it fresh and interesting.

As he says, "Asking what came before the Big Bang is like asking what is north of the North Pole? It's not that there is nothing, its that every direction you travel is south." If you enjoy having extremely complicated questions about the origins of the universe, life, evolution, technology, quantum physics, etc. reframed and discussed in this way, then I highly recommend it.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser. Famous in SA's military and history communities, and for good reason: this is one of the most haunting books I've ever read.

We as a species are very, very fortunate despite everything we did to put our existence at stake.

ereignis
Mar 30, 2021


In terms of literature, I just finished Osipov's Rock, Paper, Scissors story collection, the NYRB edition. Best short story collection I've read in a long time, although I have not read as many as I'd like due to research. Currently tackling the Decameron.

As far as more prosaic stuff goes, for said research I recently finished processing Lilian Alweiss' The World Unclaimed. I'm ultimately not convinced by the argument against Heidegger, but it's a really excellent work in the phenomenological tradition that isn't just exegesis.

Meaty Ore
Dec 17, 2011

My God, it's full of cat pictures!


I finished Dubliners. Really enjoyable and easy to read. I know The Dead tends to be considered the best story in here, and I agree that it's great, but I think Grace was my favorite overall, and I can see why Joyce initially had planned to end the collection with it. Just perfect satire beginning to end.

Pocket Billiards
Aug 29, 2007
.

TommyGun85 posted:

The Year of the Flood and Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood


I can see this being adapted ala Handmaid's Tail in the future.


HBO were going to do an adaptation with Darren Arronofsky. That stalled and there's another in the works now with Paramount.

The Sean
Apr 16, 2005

Am I handsome now?




Sinatrapod posted:

The time when you were cool? 😎

In actual posting, I'm fighting a bit to finish The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. The first third was had a lot of fun cultural friction juice and historical tidbits, but this central chunk has diverted to other, more separate characters and a fair amount of repetitiveness that I'm having trouble sticking to.

I also encourage you to finish it. Imo it is extremely good.

Also read Mitchell's other novels if you haven't. (Have you?)

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Just finished The Decameron, a book of the month from last year. Took a while and read other things as I went but it was both long and of course comprised of nothing but short stories. Some of those were outstanding (and lit class classics) and others were a bit bland. It is a bit too much to read all at once honestly, but some of the best stories are in the last three days so it's worth slogging through.

Farten Barfen
Dec 30, 2018


Just finished Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo and I enjoyed it! I really enjoyed Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom and King of Scars quite a bit so if you liked those, this book fits in perfectly into the series.

I donít really have much else to say other than itís a good (presumed) end to the series (though itís possible that Bardugo might announce another duology/trilogy in this universe at some point in the future).

Reaverbot
Jun 13, 2010


Finished The Ritual by Adam Neville. The first half of this book is a grizzly, tense atmospheric joy that plays to my love of woodland (possibly) supernatural stuff and hiking-gone-wrong stories.

The second half made me want to throw the drat thing in the trash, but I kept going because it felt like I had read too much to stop at that point. It felt like the author had watched a documentary on a subject and wanted to make a horror story using that tangential knowledge, but knew it didnít have legs for a full novel so he pinned it to the tail end of a completely different story.

Sinatrapod
Sep 24, 2007

The "Latin" is too dangerous, my queen!

Trip Report: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoat

Really quite glad I stuck it out, the bit I was losing steam on ended up not being much longer and ended with a real clap, and while it's true the succulent juice of archaic Dutch-Japanese translation shenanegains never really came back in full force, what was there still wrapped up in a rewarding way. Plus we definitely have the seagoing adventures of William Pitt to look forward to in what I am sure is an upcoming spinoff book.

I've been through Cloud Atlas, which I liked very much, and I picked up the Bone Clocks at release but put it down very early on for entirely petulant reasons, namely that I had just finished another book with an author as the protagonist and was strongly set against reading about a writer who writes about writers writing again. Maybe now that I've had seven years to cool off it's time to revisit it.

In the meantime I've chewed through about 95% of the Rampart Trilogy (Book of Koli, Trials of Koli, etc) which I mostly enjoyed. The setting is a lot of familiar things in a moderately unfamiliar post apocalyptic setting, and the protagonist being empathetic and pleasant makes a nice change from a lot of books in the genre which star Troy Johnson, Seal Team Delta Rainbow Captain, Utilitarian Murderking of the Wasteland. MR Carey's writing style is in that zone of "really good for a superhero comic book, not outstanding for a novelist" and can feel a bit YA at times, but he's got a good grip on writing characters that hold your interest and draw your sympathy, though it does feel like he struggles a bit with pacing sometimes.

BlankSystemDaemon
Mar 13, 2009

System Access Node Not Found



I just finished Alone by E. J. Noyes.

It's a deeply introspective book written from the first-person point-of-view, where a character has at the start of the book already spent three years in voluntary isolation.

It has some pretty powerful use of psychological defense mechanisms, and feels extremely real despite being nominally fiction (at least I don't think it's autobiographical or based on real events, as there's no mention of that).

It also happens to have a relationship between two women, so there are some sex scenes, but they're well-written and gives more insight into the main characters state of mind than you might think.

I really liked this book after reading it, it's definitely one of the best books I've ever read.

Chas McGill
Oct 29, 2010


Really enjoying The Weird anthology 22 stories in. There are obviously variations in quality, but they've all been interesting, particularly the newly translated stories from authors I'd never heard of.

Reaverbot posted:

Finished The Ritual by Adam Neville. The first half of this book is a grizzly, tense atmospheric joy that plays to my love of woodland (possibly) supernatural stuff and hiking-gone-wrong stories.

The second half made me want to throw the drat thing in the trash, but I kept going because it felt like I had read too much to stop at that point. It felt like the author had watched a documentary on a subject and wanted to make a horror story using that tangential knowledge, but knew it didn’t have legs for a full novel so he pinned it to the tail end of a completely different story.

That's Nevill. He has great ideas and openings but just can't nail the last third.

Dr. Yinz Ljubljana
Nov 25, 2013

if the portal didn't work, why am i guilty?


Finished Ambergris trilogy by Jeff VanDerMeer. It's a good series, despite my favorite bits being the first and second books while the third drags a bit.

Set in the city of Ambergris, the three books tell three (or more) stories of life during different periods, diving into the history of the place. It's a grimy fantasy/steampunk (people called it "fungal noir") and the characters really are the heart of it. The second book "Shriek : An Afterward" is the most interesting from a literary point of view as it's written by one character who disappeared, but with parenthetical notes made by another character who comes upon the manuscript after their disappearance. An asynchronous conversation about obsession, desire and the weird things that live underground in this ruined city. Reminded me a lot of China Mieville's "Perdido Street Station" which I finished last year.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


Finished The Persistence of the Old Regime by Arno Mayer. It's really good but it was a slog to get through the first chapters because he just throws all sorts of numbers and statistics out (without including a single chart) so I couldn't read very much at once since I needed to reread drat near every sentence, and eventually language stopped making sense because of semantic satiation.

The topic of the book derived from a lecture Mayer delivered about how a resurgence of conservatism in Europe starting in the 1870s lead to the World Wars. As part of the lecture Mayer said that prior to World War One Europe was still pre-modern and enough people disputed his claim so he wrote the book to provide his evidence for the claim.

Vei
Jan 29, 2007


Finished Daddy's Girl, a thriller by Lisa Scottoline.

I find the differences between modern male/female authors' work within the same genres to be very interesting, so for that reason alone I enjoyed the book.

It had a couple "very weak" plot points for my taste, but the writing itself was filled with enough humor and creative prose, that I still enjoyed it enough to order another book by Scottoline.

Not the Messiah
Jan 7, 2018


Buglord

Finished Artificial Condition (Murderbot #2)! Much the same as the first one, fun little story that scratches many itches. "Cosy" is definitely a good word to describe it.
My only real criticism isn't so much about the book but the pricing - I got this for ~£4 (combination of a discount and some Google survey funbux) which feels a touch too high for a short novella, but to go on with the series (and with my fake survey money now gone) they're each ~£6.50 (discounted, £10 normally) for 2-3 hours of reading which feels...really high. Which is a bummer, as the first entry is £3 which was A Good Price. Might just hold off for a while and see if an omnibus ebook collection comes out before I go on!

Kiost
Mar 22, 2021


Just finished Outer Dark by McCarthy. I've been reading through all of his novels the past two months and its probably the most grim one out of them, outside of The Road. You can see some forming of the stylistic threads that would mark Blood Meridian or No Country for Old Men, and in all honesty, I consider the three strangers that are in the wings for most of the book to be some of the most sinister of McCarthy's villains. The ferry ride in the darkness, and the scene of the three of them and Culla sitting around the fire was one of the most hair-raising sequences in any of McCarthy's books that I've read yet. It honestly beat out anything involving Chigurh or Judge Holden.

I was planning on continuing on and reading the Border Crossing trilogy, but might hold off on it until I've let this book stew a bit more. There's definitely a lot of symbolism that I missed when I was blazing through the last 100 pages of the book, and so I've been looking up some analyses of it to get a better feel for what I may have missed.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


Finished Matchlock to Flintlocks by William Urban. I didn't care for it. It was short and mostly just provided a narrative of the wars of the period. At times it mentions the role of mercenaries and how they changed over the period as the state grew more powerful and could take over more functions from private interests, but he didn't go into too much detail about all of that. He would talk about a war, then abruptly bring up mercenaries so that it was like reading two different works stuck together incohesively.

Sisal Two-Step
May 29, 2006

mom without jaw
dad without wife


Reaverbot posted:

Finished The Ritual by Adam Neville. The first half of this book is a grizzly, tense atmospheric joy that plays to my love of woodland (possibly) supernatural stuff and hiking-gone-wrong stories.

The second half made me want to throw the drat thing in the trash, but I kept going because it felt like I had read too much to stop at that point. It felt like the author had watched a documentary on a subject and wanted to make a horror story using that tangential knowledge, but knew it didnít have legs for a full novel so he pinned it to the tail end of a completely different story.

I watched the movie a few years ago; didn't realise it was based on a book. The movie was decent but it sounds pretty similar (first part is good, second part is confusing/messy).

I finished Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke. It was fine. I'm struggling to remember anything about it beyond "it was fine" so take that as you will. I did get the sequel Heaven, My Home from the library before my province entered super mega turbo ultra lockdown, so I'll give that a shot.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Inspector Gesicht
Oct 26, 2012

500 Zeus a body.




I just finished all 10 volumes of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, a Japanese science-fiction series from the 80's that was only officially released in the west in 2016 onwards.

The Bad
- The series is set 1600 years from now, but might as well be still in the 70's given the gender roles. There aren't any women mentioned outside of the core cast, in a story with over 100 named characters. I groaned when I started the last volume and the first page had the words 'though a woman'. This is a shame since the two main leading-ladies do figure heavily into the plot.
- There are three typos per book , and in some galling instances the wrong character name is used. I doubt the quartermaster on the democratic side suddenly decided to engage in a monarchist plot 10,00 light years away for no reason.

The Mixed
- Whenever a character has a single distinguishing feature like blonde hair or heterochromia the author will always mention it when they return after a chapter's absence. Pity the admiral with irritable-bowel-syndrome as the narration will never let him forget it.

The Good
- The pacing is perfect. The average pagecount is 240 pages and there are two-to-three climactic incidents per book. It's evident that the author planned the whole thing in advance since it doesnt wander off into extraneous sideplots. The author keeps a handle on the huge cast by killing them in droves. The conclusion is satisfying and it actually exists, so suck it GRRM.
- Little to no technobabble. There are no aliens, no robots, no AIs, no big dumb objects. It's just a naval adventure in space. A point made is that no war is won by relying on fancy hardware.
- There are actual characters in this plot. A lot of old-timey sci-fi has expendable ciphers instead of a cast. LOGH begins with the rivalry between an Ambitous Monarchist and a Libertarian Slacker, and grows from there. One major conflict near the end occurs that is both completely avoidable but also sadly inevitable as neither party is willing to back down or lose face.
- The main characters all have conflicting plans and clashing ideologies. The best part is seeing them come up with these plans and rationalizing their outlooks. One character is Machiavelli with artificial eyes, and he convinces a fellow officer to engage in a plot that will likely see him killed. Cyborg-Machiavelli knows this and states, "Being alive is not the way to serve your country".

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply