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Finger Prince


I'm reading Blackfish right now and it's ok. It's a post apocalyptic water world type thing, nothing amazing but not bad either. Got it with Amazon kindle whatever it is that lets you access books each month.

I think there's a new Murderbot Diaries book coming out. That's a great series if you haven't read it. It got me to check out all of Martha Wells' back catalog, and boy she can write some swashbuckling adventures! All the Ile Rien books are great fun, but the whole Fall of Ile Rien series is fantastic.

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Finger Prince


take the moon posted:

i actually really liked blackfish lol. i cant stand most hype sci fi either

It's pretty cool, the world is really well imagined. I can picture the settings in my minds eye really well and detailed. But the characters are kinda one dimensional so far, and the merging of their storylines feels kinda kludgey.

Finger Prince


I'm kinda sci-fied out and want to read some of the other genre of book, which is to say fantasy, for a bit. Just finished clockwork boys + the wonder engine because kindle kept shoving them in my face and they were on sale. They were alright, nothing amazing though. The first one was better I think.
Hmm city of brass was pretty good. Wasn't there more of that setting? Oh look, book 2 kingdom of copper is on sale. Convenient, and a meaty 645 pages. That'll take a bit to chew through.

Finger Prince


So I posted some stream of consciousness about picking up the Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty earlier itt. Well it's really really good, better than the first book the City of Brass. The characters, largely the same, are much more nuanced. The author does a great job giving depths of character flaws to all of them, making them simultaneously identifiable and repellant. Only problem with it is every chapter seems full of intruige or simmering, sometimes explosive action that if i read it to try falling asleep, instead I get all keyed up and can't.

Finger Prince


3D Megadoodoo posted:

After reading Rivers of London I've been extremely wary of any sort of magic cum crime literature :(

*puts on wizard's coat and deerstalker*

Finger Prince


rear end-penny posted:

A page late, but just throwing it out there that Left Hand of Darkness was a wild ride, and Le Guin is fantastic. I'm sad I didn't pick up any of her books before she was dead.

I'm still not done with Ender's Game, but I was waiting for my car to get worked on last week and read about a third of the way through Tomorrow's Bones by Shanna Germain. It's set in the pen and paper RPG Numenera's world, so it's super weird but I'm rather enjoying it. I've read two other novels in the same world by Germain, she makes the weird setting pop and makes enjoyable characters.

Cool, I'll give that one a look. The only one of hers I read was Worlds of Exile and Ruin. I couldn't remember anything about it, but I skimmed through the summary and a few pages and oh yeah the one with the little alien people, that was pretty cool. I did enjoy reading it, but it didnt really stick with me. But I'd read another book by her.

Finger Prince


I just finished the left hand of darkness. It was pretty good, I enjoyed it. I felt there was a bit of unnecessary explaining with some of it, but I put that down to a product of its time, where maybe the audiences of the day needed the hours of the day or the words for dwellings explained to them. But after tapping the second asterisk or so, I just ignored them and got on with reading. I wonder how the original text handled it? Probably footnotes. Some bits were predictable but it was a good story overall, a bit allegorical, but not heavy about it, more just an examination of the human condition.
Thanks for the recommendation!

Finger Prince


Pizzatime posted:

They're amazing, thank you! Here's a chronological list if anyone else wants to check em out: https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/dragonlance/

I read every book on this list as a kid.
There is a notable drop off in quality as time goes on and they just keep churning them out. Highly recommended is the original trilogy (autumn, winter, and spring - skip summer, it's a sub-par afterthought written 10 years later.) and Legends. Tales and Tales 2 are decent hit and miss short story anthologies, but are worth a light read. Heroes is good and so is the Elven nations one, if I remember right. You'll probably start getting bored of it by then.

Finger Prince


I finished Empire of Gold recently, which finishes up the Daevabad trilogy by SA Chakraborty. Very good page turner and full of exciting adventure and intrigue as expected. I really liked the setting as a near-east fantasy world adjacent to our own, that was cool. I liked how they incorporated Sobek from ancient Egyptian mythology, having passing familiarity of it from, of all places, assassins creed origins. The characters do have an amount of redemption in the final book, which was a good way to resolve things, even though they're all still a bit detestable, they're made a lot more likeable in comparison to the truly horrific big badness. The modernizing entrenched monarchies angle was a bit transparent, but didn't detract from the story. Anyway, they were all thoroughly enjoyable books with great character arcs and story arcs, and I recommend them to someone who's looking for some long read exotic fantasy.

Finger Prince


I'm currently reading A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay. It is really, really good. Up there with some of his best work (Sarantine Mosaic, Lions of Al-Rassan). The chapter describing the lead-up and 3 lap horse race around a city square was edge of seat exciting. The way he tells the story through the different perspectives of everyone who interacts with the story is always so great. If you've never read his stuff, it's like quasi-historical low fantasy fiction. Based loosely (generally) on European* historical cultures/geography/time periods, but obviously altered so that actual history doesn't get in the way of telling the story.
Anyway I really recommend his books if you're looking for some really engaging and well written fiction**

*he did a couple of books set in pseudo-China which were pretty decent

**I didn't like the Fionavar Tapestry series (his first books), but I don't like those kinds of stories where the protagonist(s) are modern people that get teleported to some fantasy world. His rest aren't like that at all. If you're interested, you can pretty much bounce around, but I'd start with the Sarantine Mosaic (2 books) and Lions of Al-Rassan, and branch out from there, because they set the world that the rest build on. Maybe read Children of Earth and Sky before A Brightness Long Ago. Actually you can pretty much just read them in the order they were published. Tigana is stand-alone and isn't set in the same world as the other books.

Finger Prince


I just read the first discworld novel. That was fun, I want to read more. I need a new library card because there's a lot of them and it could end up very costly buying them all.

Finger Prince


KaBob posted:

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway



This is one of the trippiest novels I've ever read.

Synop:

From the widely acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World and Tigerman, comes a virtuosic new novel set in a near-future, high-tech surveillance state, that is equal parts dark comedy, gripping detective story, and mind-bending philosophical puzzle.

In the world of Gnomon, citizens are constantly observed and democracy has reached a pinnacle of ‘transparency.’ Every action is seen, every word is recorded, and the System has access to its citizens’ thoughts and memories–all in the name of providing the safest society in history.

When suspected dissident Diana Hunter dies in government custody, it marks the first time a citizen has been killed during an interrogation. The System doesn’t make mistakes, but something isn’t right about the circumstances surrounding Hunter’s death. Mielikki Neith, a trusted state inspector and a true believer in the System, is assigned to find out what went wrong. Immersing herself in neural recordings of the interrogation, what she finds isn’t Hunter but rather a panorama of characters within Hunter’s psyche: a lovelorn financier in Athens who has a mystical experience with a shark; a brilliant alchemist in ancient Carthage confronting the unexpected outcome of her invention; an expat Ethiopian painter in London designing a controversial new video game, and a sociopathic disembodied intelligence from the distant future.

Embedded in the memories of these impossible lives lies a code which Neith must decipher to find out what Hunter is hiding. In the static between these stories, Neith begins to catch glimpses of the real Diana Hunter–and, alarmingly, of herself. The staggering consequences of what she finds will reverberate throughout the world.

A dazzling, panoramic achievement, and Nick Harkaway’s most brilliant work to date, Gnomon is peerless and profound, captivating and irreverent, as it pierces through strata of reality and consciousness, and illuminates how to set a mind free. It is a truly accomplished novel from a mind possessing a matchless wit infused with a deep humanity.


I fuckin hated that book. It is 1000% full of its own fart smelling. I think it's the only book I ever read that when I got to the end I was actually upset that the author would be so blatantly smug and up his own arse. It's also the only book I ever stopped to leave a negative review for, and I never leave reviews for poo poo. So I guess it is powerful, but maybe not in the way the author intended.

I kinda want to read Obama's latest memoirs (a promised land), but it's still like $18.99 on kindle, and while that's probably a bargain.... Ehhhh....

Finger Prince fucked around with this message at 17:25 on Jun 26, 2021

Finger Prince


There's a term I can't remember right now for something that sounds very tidy on the surface, but doesn't hold up well to scrutiny, and that quote sounds like one of those things. I like it, it sounds true. But I can't help thinking it's glossing over the whole development of tools, technologies, and techniques thing.

Finger Prince


3D Megadoodoo posted:

Are there any time-travel novellas that don't feature cats and/or Adolf Hitler?

It's a full novel, but The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland was a really good unconventional time travel story. There may be a cat in it though, I don't remember.

Finger Prince


Oh yeah, another good time-travelesque novel is The Peripheral by William Gibson. It has a sequel too, but... Ehhh... Not as good.

Finger Prince


Dr. Yinz Ljubljana posted:

I had the opposite reaction, thought Peripheral didn't give you enough about The Jackpot while Agency at least explored that more interesting idea more thoroughly

What I liked about the peripheral was that nobody really had any idea what was going on, except maybe the mysterious police officer (can't remember her name). Agency removed all that mystery and everyone was just doing a job now. You even found out what the deal with the police officer is, which was cool, but also I kind of liked not knowing.

Finger Prince


Do kids (ie under 25 (if you're under 25, hey kid, how's it going?)) still read hitchhikers guide to the galaxy?

Finger Prince



Great now I'm thinking of that book and mad again. It's the book equivalent of a lousy lay that just nuts ineffectually on your stomach after a few pumps and a tedious attempt at foreplay and then tells you how much you loved it and how much he rocked your world.

Finger Prince


Dr. Yinz Ljubljana posted:

the ending kinda felt thrown together on deadline, but a good ride

started a new witchy book "Everybody Knows Your Mother Is A Witch" by Rivka Galchen and this one is a bit weirder and funnier, more of if Douglas Adams did a spec script for Blackadder about an old witch

That sounds fun!

Finger Prince


I just finished A Psalm for the Wild-built by Becky Chambers. It was a decent book. The protagonist is maybe a bit Mary Sue, but I don't know the author so maybe not. Anyway, a nice parable. I think it would make an incredible Pixar or Dreamworks type movie. Her writing is very visual.

Finger Prince


Hello, I just finished up "The Expert System's Brother/The Expert System's Champion" by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Both very good, very interesting explorations in to a human colony that had to adapt to a hostile planet. I think I enjoyed the first book a bit more, the second introduces an interesting antagonist, but it's a bit muddier. Still a cool story though.

I also read Master of Revels which is a sequel to Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O (without Neal Stephenson) and unfortunately nowhere near as good. The primary character gives a strong Mary Sue vibe, and everything about the story is just really really convenient.

Finger Prince


biosterous posted:

i hadn't heard of this sequel so i got really excited and then really unexcited over the course of this paragraph lol

It sort of reads like, what if a huge Shakespeare nerd (who may or may not be a stand-in for the author, or someone they know) went back in time and met Will Shakespeare and foiled the plot of a meddling witch by using her powers of knowing everything about Shakespeare! , and also some other stuff happened that was tangentially related in other timelines but who cares, Shakespeare! And, like it wouldn't be so bad, but the whole way the character is introduced, is like oh no, the main character from the previous book has been removed from the plot! Well good thing his ultra cool theatre nerd kid sister showed up in town today with exactly the skillset required to instantly join the time travel gang, questioning literally nothing about the whole getup, to rescue big bro in Shakespearian times and stop the evil witch!
It's bad. I skimmed a lot to get through it. Not terrible, just, I wanted it to be over while I was reading it.

Finger Prince


I finished Made Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky the other week. I quite enjoyed it. It's the 3rd book of his I've read and found them all really nice stories. There's something about his writing that pulls you into the ~world of imagination~. It's very vivid, and even though it might be sci-fi or fantasy, it doesn't feel 'genre', they're just good stories. Made Things is like, what if there were little puppets that were somehow magically alive and trying to carve out their own existence among humans, and kind of runs with it and carries you along the whole way.

Finger Prince


I'm halfway through the 5th book (of 10) of the Shadows of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I've been puzzling as to what it is that's drawn me in to the series, why I've gone from book to book to book and will continue until the series is finished. They aren't page turners. There's times where I'll read like a third of a chapter and be like ok that's enough for today. But I keep coming back. I guess it's a rich world he's built that takes time to reveal, and some of it is how he reveals it. Also the characters, none of them really stand out as particularly relatable, especially to start with, but they get really fleshed out as the story goes on. Thalric, who is cast as a villain for the most part, is an excellent, even likeable character. And the protagonists don't always particularly endear, but their motivations are well explained. I dunno, I'm just finding I'm really enjoying the saga he's created, but I couldn't really tell you why.

Finger Prince


I've loved Bob Mortimer on Would I Lie To You and the other stuff I've seen him on. I think I'll have to check out his book!

Finger Prince


The only Cory Doctorow book I've read was Walkaway. The premise seemed a proposterous dream of a tech bro who's never considered that maybe it would take more than a 3d printer and some solar panels to build utopian society free from the yoke of The Man What's Keeping Us Down.

Finger Prince


Saoshyant posted:

I just looked this up and there's more than one version. One narrated by Barrett Whitener in 2006 and a more recent one by Reginald D. Hunter. Which one did you get?

I've never listened to audio books, but I think Reginald D Hunter would be a pro tier narrator.

Finger Prince


I finished the last book from the Shadows of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
Overall the whole series was really very enjoyable. Book 5 wasn't very good, but it introduces important plot points that are relevant later on.
Mostly the series is about war, and revolves around various wars, but it's told in a fashion that is very honest and does not glorify it at all. It pulls a lot of parallels to our own history of war, but that I think is what makes it believable, even with the fantastic elements.
The characters are very well written in general and undergo changes based on what they experience, and there is depth there where there isn't really "the good guy" or "the bad guy" (though there is a "good" theme - freedom, and "bad" - tyranny and slavery).
It's probably not to everyone's tastes, but I really profoundly enjoyed it.

Finger Prince


I read City of Last Chances by Adrian Tchaikovsky. A nice standalone book about revolution, magic, and some deeper mysteries. I like how he writes about magic. It's not something prescribed that you learn about in wizard school or something, it's mysterious and primal. I've read several of his fantasy novels now and he has a knack for describing something succinctly (?) and letting your own imagination fill in the gaps, so that you understand what's going on intuitively. If that makes sense.

Oh I totally forgot, I love how he characterizes God/Gods in the book. Really well done and kind of uniquely interesting.

Finger Prince fucked around with this message at 02:15 on Jun 4, 2023

Finger Prince


I don't think I've ever had a dessert made from peas.

Finger Prince


Saoshyant posted:



You aren't living the best version of your life if you are not feasting on some Pea Cake once in a while!

Oh I'd probably try it if I ever saw it, but then again I'm not a huge dessert person so someone would probably have to give me some.

Finger Prince


I read guy gavriel cay's new book 'all the seas of the world'.
The prose was lacking the magic of his earlier books somehow. It's kind of all over the place, and there's this weird storyteller character that acts as a sort of narrator in between some chapters, that comes across as a self insert and kind of pretentious?
Nothing much really happens for the bulk of the book either.
But I wouldn't day it was a bad book, and maybe just suffers from the author trying new things that I don't really think worked out.

Finger Prince


Chronicles of the Black Company

It's an interesting tale told from the perspective of the physician and official annalist for a somewhat infamous, somewhat renowned mercenary company in a medieval, magical world where everything is mostly horrible, including them. It's not shocking or gruesome, but kind of treads the grey morality of mercenary soldiers used as pawns in greater power struggles.

Anyway that's kind of a not great description but it was a decent, long read.

Finger Prince


Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
An interesting take on manufactued non human intelligences and how they might come to live along side human intelligences. There are some fizzy bits that once revealed are quite fizzy. It isn't the most riveting book, but it's worth a read if you're interested in a different sort of take on the subject.

Finger Prince


Question for the folks reading or familiar with the murderbot diaries series of books:
Even though the character is explicitly non-gendered, does your brain subconsciously assign a gender to it? And if so, what gender?
I don't mean like picturing or associating while reading necessarily, more like you catch yourself thinking of the character as her/him.
I'm just curious. For some reason I associate the character as feminine/she, and I was wondering if that's subconscious bias, or if there's something there in how the character is written, and/or other people make the same association.

Finger Prince fucked around with this message at 08:23 on Dec 27, 2023

Finger Prince


3D Megadoodoo posted:

FUN FACT NO-ONE WANTS TO HEAR AGAIN: In Finnish real people are "it" but your dog/cat, athletes, babies, and your husband as well as other people you don't like are not.

Interesting. My father in law originally spoke Yoruba, which doesn't have gendered pronouns, and he's always inadvertently getting he and she mixed up and interchanged when he's speaking English.

Finger Prince


I started reading Bear Head (second Dogs of War book by Adrian Tchaikovsky). He's just introduced a politician character who is clearly modeled after Trump. The way he unpacks the stump speeches, the language he uses. It's loving scary! The obvious, calculated manipulation and how and why it works.

Finger Prince


OK Bear Head was a really, really excellent book. Really, scarily dystopian that, I think, really shines a bright light on/holds an unflattering mirror to the kind of world we live in now and where it is going.

Finger Prince


I read Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovich. First book in a long series. Have you seen that SNL skit The Californians with Fred Arminsen and Bill Hader? It's like that only a modern wizard cop hunting ghosts instead of a soap opera. The entire book is half Google Maps directions. Not going to bother with the rest of the series.

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Finger Prince


Children of Time. Enjoyed reading, look forward the rest of the series.

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