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Stupid_Sexy_Flander
Mar 14, 2007

Is a man not entitled to the haw of his maw?


Grimey Drawer

New calibre is out, up to 4.0.

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ReWinter
Nov 23, 2008

Perpetually Perturbed

Stupid_Sexy_Flander posted:

New calibre is out, up to 4.0.

I keep dutifully downloading them but I'm not sure I could tell you a single thing that's changed about calibre in the years I've used it.

Evil Fluffy
Jul 13, 2009

Scholars are some of the most pompous and pedantic people I've ever had the joy of meeting.

MockingQuantum posted:

For Evil Fluffy, though: if you haven't read them already, the Chronicles of Prydain are excellent, though they do get dark at times. But they're cozy and satisfying in a similar way to Misenchanted Sword. They probably get marketed as YA these days but don't let that put you off if you're not someone who usually dips into YA fantasy.

I'll check that out. Stuff like Misenchanted Sword and Unwilling Warlord are the equivalent of comfort food for reading which is a nice break at times.

Might check out Nero Wolfe as well, hadn't heard of those PI books until now.

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


Evil Fluffy posted:

I'll check that out. Stuff like Misenchanted Sword and Unwilling Warlord are the equivalent of comfort food for reading which is a nice break at times.

Might check out Nero Wolfe as well, hadn't heard of those PI books until now.

I'll happily shill for the Nero Wolfe books. Archie is just such a compelling voice and I want to eat dinner with Fritz. Those and Wodehouse are probably my most common comfort reading.

PupsOfWar
Dec 6, 2013



@Battuta post your honor harrington fanfic in the mil-sf thread, coward

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



PupsOfWar posted:

@Battuta post your honor harrington fanfic in the mil-sf thread, coward

No don't.
The Mil-Scifi thread is a damned zone..and we really don't deserve quality writing in there (i say this as the Mil-Scifi thread OP).
@Battuta Follow the advice given in Arthur Clarke's 2010: Odyssey Two.

quote:

ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS
Ė EXCEPT EUROPA MIL-SCIFI THREAD
ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

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


140 pages into Bone Ships: so far this is very good gritty sea drama. If the author hasn't read Aubrey-Maturin I'll call him a liar, but it's definitely its own beast. I'm digging how we have the protagonist bossing the viewpoint character around, and the bleak island politics.

exmarx
Feb 18, 2012

I'm escaping to the ONE PLACE that hasn't been corrupted by capitalism.... SPAAAACE


i just finished The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman. it's very good but sad, and i'm glad he didn't turn into a rationalist freak like every other 2000s atheist.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


What was your opinion on La Belle Sauvage? I found it to be hugely disappointing (boring and understuffed) yet at the same time am still looking forward to The Secret Commonwealth, I don't know why.

exmarx
Feb 18, 2012

I'm escaping to the ONE PLACE that hasn't been corrupted by capitalism.... SPAAAACE


i remember enjoying it, but Secret Commonwealth is a lot more thematically interesting (it does cover a lot of ground, so you might find it similarly overstuffed). probably also worth noting that's it's definitely more of a sequel to Belle Sauvage than HDM

branedotorg
Jun 19, 2009


StrixNebulosa posted:

140 pages into Bone Ships: so far this is very good gritty sea drama. If the author hasn't read Aubrey-Maturin I'll call him a liar, but it's definitely its own beast. I'm digging how we have the protagonist bossing the viewpoint character around, and the bleak island politics.

his assassins books were pretty good but so bleak.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

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


branedotorg posted:

his assassins books were pretty good but so bleak.

How bleak are we talking? Malazan-bleak? Worse? Because I don't know if I can handle books that punch me in the stomach right now.

I tried starting Medusa Uploaded the other day and had to put it down for this reason, it starts out dark and awful and then gets worse, because the future is hell. I'd like to return to it, but when I'm braced for such things.

Munin
Nov 14, 2004




Any good non-bleak and/or uplifting scifi or fantasy? given my excessive news consumption I need a palate cleanser.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

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


Munin posted:

Any good non-bleak and/or uplifting scifi or fantasy? given my excessive news consumption I need a palate cleanser.

Murderbot, possibly the Dhulyn and Parno series (haven't read it yet, waiting on the mail), the Cast in Shadow series (really comforting urban fantasy imho), Species Imperative trilogy by Czerneda, Discworld, 1632 (kinda, but it's mostly about building a new society)...

I want to rec Foreigner by Cherryh, but it's super long and it does become cozy but it starts out real rough and anxious.

e: went looking through my goodreads to see if I'd missed anything and oof I've been reading a lot of sad stuff lately. but more importantly, why do I have this in my TBR list: Amish Vampires in Space

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Also everything by Becky Chambers and The Goblin Emperor

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Munin posted:

Any good non-bleak and/or uplifting scifi or fantasy? given my excessive news consumption I need a palate cleanser.

Anyone who likes Becky Chambers should read Lawrence Watt-Evan's stuff, starting with The Misenchanted Sword. He was doing Cozy in the eighties.

Munin
Nov 14, 2004




Nice, quite a few I hadn't read before. I'll have a look at the stuff you mentioned Strix.

Discworld is legend. I remember enjoying the Goblin Emperor but also thinking that it drifted a bit too much and how t was kinda unsatisfying how everything just kinda fell into place.

I read a lot of the Foreigner series but for some reason it was difficult to get hold of in the UK when I was reading it. I think I'm still missing the last few books. Some of the best scifi I've read. I really like how she strives to represent a different society and how someone adapts to it. As an aside, this manga made me think of it a bit as well: https://mangadex.org/title/26079/he...ous-linguistics

I remember reading the Misenchanted Sword. It was a nice read. Again how the initial problem was resolved felt a bit deus ex machina, Definitely a cozy read though.

wizzardstaff
Apr 6, 2018



Misenchanted Sword was one I found in a corner of the decrepit used bookstore that I dredged all my books from as a middle schooler and teen. I used to reread it every couple of years because it was just so pleasant and....resolved. Now Iím wondering what happened to my copy.

TastyShrimpPlatter
Dec 17, 2006

It's me, I'm the

I bounced off The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet about halfway through, it was cozy but it never felt like there was actually anything at stake (I really wanted to like it more). I'm currently going through The Quantum Magician and it's pretty fun if not a little predictable so far.

tildes
Nov 15, 2018


Munin posted:

Any good non-bleak and/or uplifting scifi or fantasy? given my excessive news consumption I need a palate cleanser.

Literally any Becky Chambers book

Stupid_Sexy_Flander
Mar 14, 2007

Is a man not entitled to the haw of his maw?


Grimey Drawer

The Last Policeman was pretty good, but was in no way an upbeat book. Was honestly surprised at how well the story came together.

pseudorandom name
May 6, 2007
INSOLENT


Grimey Drawer

It has two sequels that are better and/or worse.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Munin posted:

Any good non-bleak and/or uplifting scifi or fantasy? given my excessive news consumption I need a palate cleanser.

Not fantasy, but still genre: give No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency a go.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


TastyShrimpPlatter posted:

I bounced off The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet about halfway through, it was cozy but it never felt like there was actually anything at stake (I really wanted to like it more).

A Close and Common Orbit is the one with the most at stake, which is one reason why it's my favorite of Chambers' books so far.

branedotorg
Jun 19, 2009


TastyShrimpPlatter posted:

I bounced off The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet about halfway through, it was cozy but it never felt like there was actually anything at stake (I really wanted to like it more). I'm currently going through The Quantum Magician and it's pretty fun if not a little predictable so far.

The next quantum one is out soon.

wizzardstaff
Apr 6, 2018



TastyShrimpPlatter posted:

I bounced off The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet about halfway through, it was cozy but it never felt like there was actually anything at stake (I really wanted to like it more). I'm currently going through The Quantum Magician and it's pretty fun if not a little predictable so far.

IMO Small Angry Planet works better if you consider it an anthology of loosely independent scenes rather than a continuous narrative. There's a plot going on in the background, but the author chooses to zoom in on moments that depict something about the characters and their relationships rather than big stakes.

Granted, I only gained this appreciation for it on a second reading after I knew the whole story; the first time I was also frustrated in the same way you describe.

As others have said though, the other books do offer more in the way of stakes (especially the second one) and you can more or less read them in any order if you don't mind spoilers for an outcome in the first book.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

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


Munin posted:

Nice, quite a few I hadn't read before. I'll have a look at the stuff you mentioned Strix.

Discworld is legend. I remember enjoying the Goblin Emperor but also thinking that it drifted a bit too much and how t was kinda unsatisfying how everything just kinda fell into place.

I read a lot of the Foreigner series but for some reason it was difficult to get hold of in the UK when I was reading it. I think I'm still missing the last few books. Some of the best scifi I've read. I really like how she strives to represent a different society and how someone adapts to it. As an aside, this manga made me think of it a bit as well: https://mangadex.org/title/26079/he...ous-linguistics

I remember reading the Misenchanted Sword. It was a nice read. Again how the initial problem was resolved felt a bit deus ex machina, Definitely a cozy read though.

Cherryh writes insanely good sci-fi and fantasy, but except for Foreigner none of them are comfy, and a lot of them are nerve-wracking to read. (Rimrunners for example just makes me feel awful, but in a good way?)

Nemesis Of Moles
Jul 25, 2007




If I really enjoyed the Quantum Thief/Jean Le Flambeur series, especially the later books where the whole fundamental structure of the universe is going apeshit, what else should I check out?

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Munin posted:

Any good non-bleak and/or uplifting scifi or fantasy? given my excessive news consumption I need a palate cleanser.
Anyone suggest Bridge of Birds yet?

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


wizzardstaff posted:

IMO Small Angry Planet works better if you consider it an anthology of loosely independent scenes rather than a continuous narrative. There's a plot going on in the background, but the author chooses to zoom in on moments that depict something about the characters and their relationships rather than big stakes.

Granted, I only gained this appreciation for it on a second reading after I knew the whole story; the first time I was also frustrated in the same way you describe.

As others have said though, the other books do offer more in the way of stakes (especially the second one) and you can more or less read them in any order if you don't mind spoilers for an outcome in the first book.

I cottoned on that it was episodic pretty quickly when I first read it. I also read it after the second book and didn't mind the spoiler. It might have even enhanced my experience, not that I can know for sure.

a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007

(bi)cyclic mutation



Nemesis Of Moles posted:

If I really enjoyed the Quantum Thief/Jean Le Flambeur series, especially the later books where the whole fundamental structure of the universe is going apeshit, what else should I check out?

It's not exactly that, but Banks' Excession has characters dealing with something advanced and inexplicable (and Culture novels are always really fun).



Anyway, I've gotten most of the way through Gideon the Ninth, and it really reminds of me a Gene Wolf story told by one of Stross's Laundry Files protagonists.

Take the plunge! Okay!
Feb 24, 2007



Nemesis Of Moles posted:

If I really enjoyed the Quantum Thief/Jean Le Flambeur series, especially the later books where the whole fundamental structure of the universe is going apeshit, what else should I check out?

Pretty much anything by Greg Egan. Stephen Baxterís Xeelee Sequence. That should keep you busy for a while.

Cardiac
Aug 28, 2012



a foolish pianist posted:

Anyway, I've gotten most of the way through Gideon the Ninth, and it really reminds of me a Gene Wolf story told by one of Stross's Laundry Files protagonists.

This is probably the best review of the book so far, so I guess it goes into the list.

Also, started reading Too like the lightning and authors who think that it is a innovative idea to write in a Jane Austen 17-18th style should be shoot imo.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012




Gun Saliva

Cardiac posted:

This is probably the best review of the book so far, so I guess it goes into the list.

Also, started reading Too like the lightning and authors who think that it is a innovative idea to write in a Jane Austen 17-18th style should be shoot imo.

For what it's worth, 2 Like 2 Lightning does back off of that style a bit once the book gets rolling. There are occasional spans where it pops back up, though. It takes a bit, but the book actually becomes pretty compelling techno/political conspiracy fare before too long. The stuff with Bridger is present throughout too, but he's actually not the focus (of the first book, at least, I assume he becomes more central later?)

mewse
May 2, 2006



Uncanny Collateral by Brian McClellan (powder mage guy, protege of Brandon Sanderson) is currently free on the kindle store. It's a fun read and the kickstarter for the sequel is closing in another day.

Sibling of TB
Aug 3, 2007


MockingQuantum posted:

For what it's worth, 2 Like 2 Lightning does back off of that style a bit once the book gets rolling. There are occasional spans where it pops back up, though. It takes a bit, but the book actually becomes pretty compelling techno/political conspiracy fare before too long. The stuff with Bridger is present throughout too, but he's actually not the focus (of the first book, at least, I assume he becomes more central later?)

I have never read a book before where about half way through I decided that I hated all the characters and wanted to see bad stuff happen to them. Any other books like that?

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

Cardiac posted:

This is probably the best review of the book so far, so I guess it goes into the list.

Also, started reading Too like the lightning and authors who think that it is a innovative idea to write in a Jane Austen 17-18th style should be shoot imo.

2Like 2Lightning isnít written anything like Austen. Aubrey/Maturin is written like Austen. Austen is, among other traits, extremely funny.

Cardiac
Aug 28, 2012



Sibling of TB posted:

I have never read a book before where about half way through I decided that I hated all the characters and wanted to see bad stuff happen to them. Any other books like that?

Bakker?
You also get your wish fulfilled, so there is that.

General Battuta posted:

2Like 2Lightning isnít written anything like Austen. Aubrey/Maturin is written like Austen. Austen is, among other traits, extremely funny.

It is more the style than the actual author, where the purpose of the text is to be flowery with words instead of using words to drive the story.
Probably the one thing that turned me off Jonathan Strange and Mister Norell.

wizzardstaff
Apr 6, 2018



Sibling of TB posted:

I have never read a book before where about half way through I decided that I hated all the characters and wanted to see bad stuff happen to them. Any other books like that?

The Blending by Sharon Green.

A five-book series that features five protagonists each specializing in a different element of magic. They are brought together from the corners of The Empire to compete in a tournament to crown the next heads of state. The tournament is a Captain Planet cage match in which teams of five coordinate their powers to summon a combined entity. The main antagonists are a team of nobles hand-picked for succession, and you know they're evil because they do BDSM. Meanwhile, in between arena battles the protagonists are forced into a communal living situation which provides no end of soap opera drama and sexual tension. Eventually they sleep together in all possible heterosexual combinations because it strengthens their bonds as teammates; homosexual pairings aren't necessary because they "love each other like siblings".

Oh, and the first two books are actually 1/5 the printed length because they cover the characters individually going through solo trials which are beat-by-beat identical to each other, to the point where it feels like the chapters are copied and pasted with the names changed.


I hate these books and also can't put them down. I have read them three times. I have considered a chapter-by-chapter hate-read but that just seems spiteful.

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my bony fealty
Oct 1, 2008










a foolish pianist posted:

Anyway, I've gotten most of the way through Gideon the Ninth, and it really reminds of me a Gene Wolf story told by one of Stross's Laundry Files protagonists.

ok you've finally sold me on Gideon I will get it. what would you say is Wolfe-like about it?

relatedly I have been thinking recently about how Gene Wolfe was unique among genre authors in that his stories and books work on multiple levels - you can read one three times and come away with five different stories. what other SFF authors do stuff like this?

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