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Author Topic: Return of the Book Thread  (Read 539004 times)
stray
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Reply #105 on: July 24, 2006, 07:45:54 PM

I've read Monte Cristo (unabridged). It's one of my favorites. Dumas or most other classics I don't need a recommendation for. If I haven't read one, then I have a good idea where to look anyhow.

And yes, the classics are just that. The only thing I'll bitch about is that I can't find cool editions/hard bindings these days without paying hundreds of dollars (especially Monte Cristo, unfortunately).


Anyways, my point is: I just like "Book Threads" to be about all kinds of books more often than not. There's been like 10 of these discussions, and they all end up becoming about fantasy and sci-fi.

And not even that: They all eventually become about Robert Jordan (although this one has been rescued from that fate because of duse's thread.....For now).

Or in other words, I posted some news that Mickey Spillane just died and no one said shit. They'd rather talk about Elves. Fuck. If anything, talk about Shopgirl or the Female Eunuch for a change.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2006, 07:57:16 PM by Stray »
Johny Cee
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Reply #106 on: July 24, 2006, 10:16:01 PM

I've read Monte Cristo (unabridged). It's one of my favorites. Dumas or most other classics I don't need a recommendation for. If I haven't read one, then I have a good idea where to look anyhow.

And yes, the classics are just that. The only thing I'll bitch about is that I can't find cool editions/hard bindings these days without paying hundreds of dollars (especially Monte Cristo, unfortunately).


Anyways, my point is: I just like "Book Threads" to be about all kinds of books more often than not. There's been like 10 of these discussions, and they all end up becoming about fantasy and sci-fi.

And not even that: They all eventually become about Robert Jordan (although this one has been rescued from that fate because of duse's thread.....For now).

Or in other words, I posted some news that Mickey Spillane just died and no one said shit. They'd rather talk about Elves. Fuck. If anything, talk about Shopgirl or the Female Eunuch for a change.

Honestly Stray,  I'd love to talk about some of the other things out there...  but most people seem to want to talk about the fantasy/scifi stuff.  I read shittons of history stuff as well,  but no one really gives a horse's ass about the latest bio of Tamarlane or Genghis Khan.

Maybe a few words from you about one or two overlooked books you love?  I always like good recommendations,  and might get us on the right track.  Been meaning to break into some old school noir/detective stuff....   There a good place to start?

In fantasy's defence,  easily half the stuff that gets mentioned is in a couple relatively new genres,  like cyberpunk (Richard K. Morgan, that Snowcrash guy I haven't forced myself to read yet) or speculative fiction (Gaiman) or some of the post-modernist stuff (Mieville).


On the edit:

I'm reading Cormac Mccarthy's Blood Meridian now,  which is sort of a violent western.  Heard alot of good things.  Have two Hunter S. Thompson books picked up on the cheap I've got slated for next.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2006, 10:19:25 PM by Johny Cee »
Strazos
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Reply #107 on: July 24, 2006, 10:53:50 PM

EDIT: Sorry double post, delete please.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 12:23:32 AM by Strazos »

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Margalis
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Reply #108 on: July 25, 2006, 12:20:27 AM

I've read 23 of the books on that list. What do I win?

Books I read:

1: Dune - I liked it

2: Starship Troopers - I read this in serialized form in old sci-fi mags. (I'm not that old, they are my dads) It might be an abridged or novella version though, not sure

3: Frankenstein - Boring as all hell

4: Space Merchants - AWESOME. Everyone should read this. "Space Merchants also buzzes with ideas that are as enduring today as they were in the novelís heyday. " This is very true. Timeless.

5: Gray Lensman - Its worth it to read at least one of the Lensman books - they are the definition of Space Opera. You CANNOT get more space opera than Lensman. The dashing hero, hot lovely girlfriend, giant lasers, giant space-faring brains - super cheese. (All the Lensman books are really interchangeable, not sure how they picked this one)

6: The War of the Worlds - worth a read.

7: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - I read it but remember little.

8: The Time Machine - same with this one really. I remember the movie though with the evil cave dudes!

9: Enderís Game - pretty good but I saw the ending coming miles away.

10: Stranger in a Strange Land - I should probably read this again because I remember loathing it the first time, as I do most of Heinlein's later work.

11: I, Robot - yeah, Asimov does come off as dated. The three laws of robotics are kind of corny and his novels about them became kind of gamey Agatha Christie style nonsense. (How do we get around the laws this time???)

12: To Your Scattered Bodies Go - fans of historical fiction may like this. The Matrix also borrowed heavily from this. Really heavily. It's really as neat concept but it loses steam over the course of the series. I would certainly read the first one or two. (There are 4 or 5 total)

13: Brave New World - bored me to tears for some reason.

14: 1984 - classic.

15: The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl And Mr. Hyde - didn't do much for me but I can say I've read it.

16: Snow Crash - really amusing, kind of loses steam when the "data dump" part of the book hits. The main plotline is actually kind of lame but the writing and characters and the overall world are great.

17: Fahrenheit 451 - no pithy comment

18: Flowers for Algernon - read this when my sister had to read it in middle/high school.

19: Puppet Masters - entertaining pulp.

20: Catís Cradle - pretty trippy.

21: Alice in Wonderland - yes I've read this.

22: Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy - no comment needed?

23: I Am Legend - I can see how this is sci-fi, IIRC it does have modern trappings like houses, cars, etc.

24: Mars - I remember thinking this was boring, can't remember why.

25: Hyperion - Excelllent book, from what I understand the second was also excellent but went downhill from there. Very imaginitive and memorable. Strongly suggested.

Random observations:

Jack Vance - Jack Vance is an author that everyone should read. I love the way old sci-fi sounds so much more erudite, like people were speaking a totally different language back then, and Jack Vance may be the best example of that. Its really like reading English from an alternate universe. Kind of sorry to not see him on the list.

Greg Bear - he sucks. I dislike most hard science fiction, him being a good example.

Ursula K. Le Guin - I've never liked any of her stuff. Maybe I'm just not getting it because I find it downright awful.

Edit: The list is pretty biased towards older work but then again that's when most of the good sci-fi was written. The 80s marked a huge dropoff in SF quality. It's downright painful to try to read the anthology magazines like F&SF from the 80s, it's like the whole genre turned to shit overnight.


« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 12:23:44 AM by Margalis »

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Reply #109 on: July 25, 2006, 12:21:25 AM


Honestly Stray,  I'd love to talk about some of the other things out there...  but most people seem to want to talk about the fantasy/scifi stuff.  I read shittons of history stuff as well,  but no one really gives a horse's ass about the latest bio of Tamarlane or Genghis Khan.

<------HISTORY MAJOR

Though admittedly, most of the stuff I was reading while back in school was really...heavy stuff.

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bhodi
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Reply #110 on: July 25, 2006, 08:54:33 AM

Read greg bear's "songs of earth and power" compilation and get back to me about how much he sucks.

Sorry, I don't read much of anything but scifi/fantasy; I pretty much read to escape reality, and historical stuff (except for historical fiction, like sharpe's) doesn't really do it for me... neither do biographies except for stuff like lewis black's nothing sacred.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 08:56:36 AM by bhodi »
Morat20
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Reply #111 on: July 25, 2006, 10:45:42 AM

Honestly Stray,  I'd love to talk about some of the other things out there...  but most people seem to want to talk about the fantasy/scifi stuff.  I read shittons of history stuff as well,  but no one really gives a horse's ass about the latest bio of Tamarlane or Genghis Khan.

Maybe a few words from you about one or two overlooked books you love?  I always like good recommendations,  and might get us on the right track.  Been meaning to break into some old school noir/detective stuff....   There a good place to start?

In fantasy's defence,  easily half the stuff that gets mentioned is in a couple relatively new genres,  like cyberpunk (Richard K. Morgan, that Snowcrash guy I haven't forced myself to read yet) or speculative fiction (Gaiman) or some of the post-modernist stuff (Mieville).


On the edit:

I'm reading Cormac Mccarthy's Blood Meridian now,  which is sort of a violent western.  Heard alot of good things.  Have two Hunter S. Thompson books picked up on the cheap I've got slated for next.
Push it further -- the bulk of people in Victor Hugo's day were reading...Victor Hugo. They weren't reading Chaucer. :) It's no surprise that people prefer modern writing to 'classics', if only because modern writing -- in style, language, and plot -- reflects modern society. (Even fantasy and sci-fi).

For a crude example, take Asimov's Foundation -- that's Golden Age sci-fi, the sort of thing that a hundred years from now will be read as a "Classic" of the genre. It's heavily dated. They're flying around in fission-powered starships. (Heinlein with his giant computers is just as bad).

Fifty years ago, they weren't writing very much about genetic manipulation or nanotechnology -- but now you have Blood Music and Neuromancer.

Look, complaints about how people only read modern trash and now literature aren't anything new. Victor Hugo was a popular writer. He wrote serials printed in newspapers, was paid by the word (he was as bad as Jordan at dragging shit out), and wasn't considered a literary genius at the time --- he was looked at the way Stephen King's looked at now. A prolific and very popular writer, but not some literary master whose works are going to be assigned to children 100 years from now.

Personally, I don't find it surprising how popular sci-fi and fantasy have become -- society and technology are rapidly evolving and our understanding of the universe is exploding -- is it really that shocking that people are either looking towards tommorow's changes (sci-fi and speculative fiction) or back at a simpler or more mysterious time (fantasy)?
stray
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Reply #112 on: July 25, 2006, 11:07:29 AM

Push it further -- the bulk of people in Victor Hugo's day were reading...Victor Hugo. They weren't reading Chaucer. :) It's no surprise that people prefer modern writing to 'classics', if only because modern writing -- in style, language, and plot -- reflects modern society. (Even fantasy and sci-fi).

Hardly. Hugo, while still getting paid by the word, was still respected on intellectual/literary terms. He was considered a national treasure even while alive. Anyone who could read was reading him along with older stuff.

It was Dumas who was popular on a lowbrow/vulgar level. His biggest readership were people who couldn't even read at all. Peasants, children, and the like -- People who had to be read to. Literary types wrote him off for the most part.


Quote
Look, complaints about how people only read modern trash and now literature aren't anything new.

Just to be clear, I never said that. I'm just asking that y'all spread it out a bit. If someone made a thread called "The Music Thread" and just ended up talking about Tupac and Biggie, I'd raise my voice about that too. I have nothing against modern literature -- It's just that I haven't seen many references to modern literature except stuff from one genre.
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Reply #113 on: July 25, 2006, 12:07:02 PM

Just to be clear, I never said that. I'm just asking that y'all spread it out a bit. If someone made a thread called "The Music Thread" and just ended up talking about Tupac and Biggie, I'd raise my voice about that too. I have nothing against modern literature -- It's just that I haven't seen many references to modern literature except stuff from one genre.
Tupac and Biggie are artists -- if the discussion of modern music was only talking about rap, that would be closer.

Those genres are popular. That's what people read. What else SHOULD we talk about? Unpopular genres? Stuff people don't read? Sci-fi, fantasy, horror -- that's the bulk of modern literature (and the last is mostly due to Stephen King alone. There are other, perhaps even better, horror writers -- but he's the reason the genre is popular). Tolkien made modern fantasy popular -- god knows where I'd trace sci-fi to...the pulps of the 50s, I suppose. There's straight up fiction, but a lot of THAT has fantasy or futuristic elements these days. (We are living in the future, so to speak). Like Wicked or The Time Traveller's Wife -- I would call either of them strictly fantasy or sci-fi. I'm not sure where I'd catalogue either of those.

We could do Oprah's book club -- the works she chooses are VERY widely read, and not strictly genre limited (although you can more or less tell her taste in reading by her choices).

I can't see much of a point here beyond "People here all seem to be reading sci-fi and fantasy, and I wish they read other stuff too.". I don't talk much about historical fiction (or alternate history stuff), or technical works, or science popularizations (I've read the bulk of Gould's Natural History essays, for instance) because they require references most people don't have, and have smaller reading bases.
stray
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Reply #114 on: July 25, 2006, 01:37:38 PM

What else SHOULD we talk about? Unpopular genres? Stuff people don't read?

Ok, I thought you were kind of cool before, but that right there is just as irritating as anything Mediocre would say.

If you want to turn a simple request to discuss books on a wider level into an excuse to "debate" and troll me with stupid shit like the above, then just fuck off. Please. You win. Whatever.

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Reply #115 on: July 25, 2006, 01:45:40 PM

Stray, Morat is kinda right here. We discuss the books we read/have read. If you want to discuss books on a wider level, open the discussion. I've mentioned cooking books and music instruction books I've been interested in, but it doesn't generate conversation and I let it go. Sci-fi/fantasy fiction is apparently our common denominator here.

I've read Cook and Martin, not Dumas.

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Reply #116 on: July 25, 2006, 01:54:37 PM

What else SHOULD we talk about? Unpopular genres? Stuff people don't read?

Ok, I thought you were kind of cool before, but that right there is just as irritating as anything Mediocre would say.

If you want to turn a simple request to discuss books on a wider level into an excuse to "debate" and troll me with stupid shit like the above, then just fuck off. Please. You win. Whatever.
I'm not trying to troll. I'm trying to understand your point. Is it simply you'd like to talk about other books, other genres, of the sort that aren't terribly popular among the users of this board? Are you just tired of any book thread resulting in conversations about sci-fi or fantasy books? Or are you making a larger point about the strength of those two genres, presumably at the expense of another? I'm not trying to "win" anything -- I'm just trying to understand what your point was.

Most of that would probably lead to an interesting conversation (unless you're just wanting to talk about other books in general, which is just a function of popularity -- I have a hard time finding folks here to discuss my burning love of Gilbert and Sullivan with too. And they're freaking awesome). I mean, a conversation about why so many of the folk here like sci-fi and fantasy so much, or why fantasy and sci-fi have become increasingly popular (outside of Oprah's Book Club) while still seeming to be something one must apologize for....

What's wrong with Sci-fi and fantasy? What's wrong with it being more popular than, say, historical fiction or straight-up fiction?

I think you can pinpoint ANY era after the invention of the printing press and find a specific style of literature that was common and widely read. Some of it went on to be classics that later generations bitched current ones never appreciated. :) It's the same with movies, too. I suspect it'll be true of games as well. Any form of entertainment.

I sympathize if it's just a case of liking stuff that's not as universally read -- I understand the feeling. My library's got books that were out of print ten years before I got my hands on them. The liklihood of anyone here recognizing Godstalk is pretty slim, for a fantasy example. :)
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Reply #117 on: July 25, 2006, 02:12:33 PM

How about everyone discuss books they read. Simple.

I read Jose Canseco's book on steroids and it was great. I also read the latest Baseball Prospectus book - boring as watching grass grow.

---

My only complaint about people discussing so much sci-fi and fantasy is that both genres had their peaks a while ago.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
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Reply #118 on: July 25, 2006, 02:19:20 PM

Does wading through a suprisingly decent 3.5 conversion of Al-Qadim for a PnP game I stupidly volunteered to run count as "reading"? If not, hmm...I just started a book on the Civil War. Something Angels or other -- can't recall the exact title offhand.
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Reply #119 on: July 25, 2006, 04:15:20 PM

I read the instruction book for Titan Quest about 10 times.
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Reply #120 on: July 25, 2006, 04:17:33 PM

I read the Legend of Zelda - A Link to the Past guidebook about a hundred times. I got it for free from Nintendo Power back in the day, at least a year before I actually owned a SNES.

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Reply #121 on: July 25, 2006, 04:31:55 PM

I read the instruction book for Titan Quest about 10 times.

I just finished this myself about 10 minutes ago. A masterpiece.

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stray
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Reply #122 on: July 25, 2006, 06:26:33 PM

I'm not trying to troll. I'm trying to understand your point.

My point is: It's a big world out there. Wtf?

And that's not even mentioning non-fiction. Just fiction alone is a big world. Even popular fiction.

And I'm not saying to not talk about fantasy or sci-fi. Go ahead. I'm just wondering if people have anything else to suggest. Just talk about what else you guys are reading, y'know? It doesn't have to be so complicated.

Secondly, barring Harry Potter, fantasy and sci-fi are not the most popular kind of fiction. Any number of comtemporay authors, from Hornby to Murakami to Wolfe to even Patricia Cornwell sell just as many (and in some cases more) books than fantasy authors. Step outside a bit.

Hell, for every decade "fantasy and sci-fi" have been the so called "most popular genres for fiction", I can think of plenty "unpopular" authors in each one that will still be remembered a hundred years from now. There won't be many fantasy and sci-fi fiction writers from the past hundred years total who will be remembered that way. Just take the 50's and 60's for instance: More people have read and praised the works of Mailer, Capote, Nabokov, Marquez, Salinger, or Kerouac over anything done by Asimov, Bradbury, or Herbert. Three of science fiction's heaviest hitters don't stand a chance against Lolita alone.

Alternatively, one can just gauge from films and see that fantasy and sci-fi are not the most popular form of storytelling.

All that being said: Conan, Dune, and PKD still kick all kinds of ass. I don't hate these genres completely.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 06:28:06 PM by Stray »
Strazos
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Reply #123 on: July 25, 2006, 06:31:33 PM

You know you're getting heated over books, right?

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stray
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Reply #124 on: July 25, 2006, 06:33:20 PM

Fuck it. It's better than politics.
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Reply #125 on: July 25, 2006, 06:44:52 PM

And yet you miss the point or fail to make one with just as much aplomb here  :-D

I've been reading nothing but sci-fi/fantasy with the occasional Bruce Campbell biography for years now, mostly due to these threads. Too many great suggestions.  I've stopped reading just about everything else.  No more Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, etc (only read because my parents have lots of them and they're quick easy reads). No more classics since I've graduated and don't have to write papers on them. 

I could have my wife write up something on the heap of historical romance and chick novels (only way I know how to classify stuff like The Devil Wears Prada) she's read over the past couple years.. but you don't want that. Trust me. 

Ohh and Stardust was excellent.  I think it's time to finish off The Black Company (once I manage to remove myself from my PS2.. gogo Shadow Hearts).
« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 06:46:25 PM by Rasix »

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Reply #126 on: July 25, 2006, 07:22:20 PM


Fear the Backstab!
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Hoax
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Reply #127 on: July 25, 2006, 08:01:58 PM

Thank god for Margalis, I scored a 14 on that list and I should never "win" something like that around here.  Skipped whatever the hell Stray and Morat were up to it looked stupid...

Oh I did read Gaiman's Neverwhere nothing amazing, I could have gone for some more romance between the leads frankly since its not like it was a book to take super seriously.  Cool world as usual Gaiman's imagination is impressive.  I liked most of the Sandman stuff better though tbh and I'm not a comic fan by any means.  No regrets, finished the book quickly enjoyed most of it, thanks for the heads up.

There are all these interesting sounding series that I want to check out but seriously buying anything in a book store has gotten really difficult.  I guess I'll order some stuff on online but damn it seems like none of these series are done.  I can read fast but honestly I dont retain details well at all.  So are there any good series (scifi over fantasy but either is fine) that are actually completed?  smiley

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stray
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Reply #128 on: July 25, 2006, 09:03:58 PM

Skipped whatever the hell Stray and Morat were up to it looked stupid...

A guy made a simple request for discussion about genres in addition to fantasy and sci-fi. That's it.


The only stupid thing about it is that my post wasn't understood the first time around.

But I understand. Reading is complicated. Even moreso when you skip it.
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Reply #129 on: July 25, 2006, 09:08:00 PM

Stray,

The point isn't what we're reading.  It's what we're reading in common.  Surprise, surprise,  a bunch of gamers/mmo players have tended to read scifi/fantasy/horror, and have some opinions on it.  It's not a discussion unless more than one person wants to talk about the subject.

The best way you can reroute the conversation is to write something about a book you particularly enjoy or think should be read.  Right now,  you're just berating us for our tastes in entertainment reading.

Most of the time, our other subjects never come up because we collectively don't give a shit about 17th century theory,  or technical manuals, or music theory, or whatever.

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Reply #130 on: July 25, 2006, 09:45:30 PM

The best way you can reroute the conversation is to write something about a book you particularly enjoy or think should be read.  Right now,  you're just berating us for our tastes in entertainment reading.

I did that before....Probably in "Book Thread" 4 or 5. It was a book about pirates. Pirates. No one said a word then....And I don't really have anything better than that now.

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Reply #131 on: July 25, 2006, 10:03:01 PM

Do you need a hankie?

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stray
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Reply #132 on: July 25, 2006, 10:03:21 PM

Word.
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Reply #133 on: July 26, 2006, 10:58:38 AM

The best way you can reroute the conversation is to write something about a book you particularly enjoy or think should be read.  Right now,  you're just berating us for our tastes in entertainment reading.

I did that before....Probably in "Book Thread" 4 or 5. It was a book about pirates. Pirates. No one said a word then....And I don't really have anything better than that now.

Where they space pirates? Because I think I could get behind that. :)
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Reply #134 on: July 26, 2006, 12:14:17 PM

I need a little help. I was reading the Black Company books. I think I read the first 3. Anyway, my local books store doesnt have any more, so I am going to buy them on amazon.com, could some one list the order that the series goes in, as amazon is kind of confusing.

Thanks.
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Reply #135 on: July 26, 2006, 01:15:11 PM

I need a little help. I was reading the Black Company books. I think I read the first 3. Anyway, my local books store doesnt have any more, so I am going to buy them on amazon.com, could some one list the order that the series goes in, as amazon is kind of confusing.

Thanks.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Company:

Novels
1. The Black Company (May 1984)
2. Shadows Linger (October 1984)
3. The White Rose (April 1985)
4. Shadow Games (June 1989)
5. Dreams of Steel (April 1990)
6. Bleak Seasons (April 1996)
7. She Is The Darkness (September 1997)
8. Water Sleeps (March 1999)
9. Soldiers Live (July 2000)

Spin-offs
The Silver Spike (September 1989)

Unreleased
1. A Pitiless Rain (TBA)[1]
2. Port of Shadows (TBA)[1]

I've only read the first 3 as well. I think Silver Spike fits chronologically between White Rose and Shadow Games but Croaker isn't the narrator. That soldier guy who hangs with Raven in The White Rose is the narrator.

Right now I'm reading the Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb. I read her Farseer trilogy a while back and that was a depressing piece of work. This one doesn't seem quite as bleak but its not a happy story. Almost done with Mad Ship and I've got Ship of Destiny waiting on the bookshelf.

The most recent Harry Potter book just came out in paperback. I need to go pick that up since I'm too cheap to buy hardbacks. I heard someone dies in this book...(what color is sarcasm again?)

My dad is always tossing Robert Ludlum books at me. While they are entertaining, most of the time the character's speech annoys me. They're always witty and know the exact thing to say at all times, especially the protagonists. I'd just like to see the main character just go "Umm... humm... urmm... I got no fucking clue." I read the Bourne Supremacy first and then saw the movie. They were 2 completely different things.

Not too long ago I read "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. Really good book. A young Indian boy and his family are travelling across the ocean when their ship sinks. His dad is a zookeeper and is bringing many of the animals along. The boy is the only human survivor who made it into a lifeboat. Unfortunately he now gets to share that lifeboat with an orangatan, an injured zebra, a hyena, and a 3 year old bengal tiger.
Hoax
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Reply #136 on: July 26, 2006, 06:51:40 PM

Skipped whatever the hell Stray and Morat were up to it looked stupid...

A guy made a simple request for discussion about genres in addition to fantasy and sci-fi. That's it.


The only stupid thing about it is that my post wasn't understood the first time around.

But I understand. Reading is complicated. Even moreso when you skip it.

You managed to get into what looked like some penis-fencing in my book thread.  No shit I skipped it, I come here to read about books.  I always skim threads like this, if a book's general description sounds good I'll read the replies in detail and see if anyone had additional comments.

P.S.   Space pirates 4tw.  Lets talk about those.

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
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Yoru
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Reply #137 on: July 26, 2006, 07:07:54 PM

In the interests of rerailment.

I picked up and have been picking through Kim Stanley Robinson's 'Forty Signs of Rain' (relatively new; published 2004), which so far is basically a KSR book about biotech and global warming. I'm not sure how those plot threads will tie together yet (or if they will at all, in true KSR fashion).

I'm about 150 pages in, and it's very definitely the standard KSR style so far - there's an absolutely dizzying panopoly of different characters and viewpoints used, the text is relatively dry and there's a large number of disparate, barely-related plot threads being spun off, some of which I can see colliding in the future.

It's not (yet?) what I'd call 'gripping', but it's a better outing than 'The Years of Rice and Salt' by this point. Not quite as good as 'Red Mars' but probably better than 'Green Mars' and 'Blue Mars'.

In my opinion, KSR still needs to work on vivifying his prose; coming off of a re-read of 'A Canticle for Leibowitz', '40 Signs of Rain' seems really languid.
Murgos
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Reply #138 on: July 26, 2006, 07:48:24 PM

I've only read the first 3 as well. I think Silver Spike fits chronologically between White Rose and Shadow Games but Croaker isn't the narrator. That soldier guy who hangs with Raven in The White Rose is the narrator.

Silver Spike is concurrent with Shadow Games, there is some shared events between the two books but no interaction between characters.

When I re-read the series I always read Silver Spike 4th as the rest of the books continue on from Shadow Games and it would feel odd to jump back to Silver Spikes time-frame and characters after the rest of the series.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
Johny Cee
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Reply #139 on: July 26, 2006, 08:40:00 PM

I've only read the first 3 as well. I think Silver Spike fits chronologically between White Rose and Shadow Games but Croaker isn't the narrator. That soldier guy who hangs with Raven in The White Rose is the narrator.

Silver Spike is concurrent with Shadow Games, there is some shared events between the two books but no interaction between characters.

When I re-read the series I always read Silver Spike 4th as the rest of the books continue on from Shadow Games and it would feel odd to jump back to Silver Spikes time-frame and characters after the rest of the series.

I think Murgos is right...  read Spike before Shadow Games.  The story flows better that way.  It doesn't make a huge difference, though, since no plot elements are spoiled between the two.

Silver Spike is really, really, really depressing.  The amorality is turned up pretty high too.  Might be the most fatalistic Cook book,  slightly ahead of Old Tin Sorrows and Tower of Fear.
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