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Author Topic: Return of the Book Thread  (Read 432583 times)
Chimpy
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Reply #6195 on: August 23, 2016, 02:34:06 PM

Aw, that's a little disappointing.  I feel like he's been getting progressively better at writing endings.

Oh, it is better than his early stuff (I just re-read Snow Crash the other day and abrupt is the only word to describe that ending) but the pace totally accelerates through what could be much more interesting exposition near the end. It isn't a BAD ending by his standards, but it is still lacking.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Rendakor
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Reply #6196 on: August 23, 2016, 02:39:39 PM

I thought the ending was one of the worst of Stephenson's; I couldn't even finish it.

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Reg
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Reply #6197 on: August 23, 2016, 04:39:05 PM

Morat20
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Reply #6198 on: August 23, 2016, 05:51:39 PM

Rendakor
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Reply #6199 on: August 23, 2016, 06:27:59 PM


Check out my podcast: ADD&D, Attention Deficit Dungeons & Dragons!
"I think it's time for a dose of F13 RED PILL MOTHER FUCKERS" ~cosapi
Abagadro
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Reply #6200 on: August 23, 2016, 09:03:23 PM

For me Stevenson is such a good writer you just have to sort of know the last act is going to fall apart but it doesn't matter.  I agree with Morat that he probably should have split the book. I thought the same thing about Anathem.  Maybe he got too much shit for how much he packed/expanded into the Baroque Cycle.

On the evolutionary issue, I really wish John C. Wright hadn't devolved into such a piece of shit because I thought he was doing some interesting things in how he was handling divergent/manipulated evolution in the Eschaton Sequence series but I just had to stop.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

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NowhereMan
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Reply #6201 on: August 24, 2016, 01:41:41 AM

I'm delving back into Cyptonomicon again (having sort of dropped out of it about 1/4 in) I read the first book of the Baroque cycle which, I guess was fine? It felt kind of Modernist in the sense of tackling events without any particular narrative behind them (thought there's a strong suggestion there's something going on). Recognising some of the characters reappearing is kind of neat but again, it feels like he's hinting at some overarching meta-plot that isn't there.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Khaldun
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Reply #6202 on: August 24, 2016, 01:49:20 PM

For me Stevenson is such a good writer you just have to sort of know the last act is going to fall apart but it doesn't matter.  I agree with Morat that he probably should have split the book. I thought the same thing about Anathem.  Maybe he got too much shit for how much he packed/expanded into the Baroque Cycle.

On the evolutionary issue, I really wish John C. Wright hadn't devolved into such a piece of shit because I thought he was doing some interesting things in how he was handling divergent/manipulated evolution in the Eschaton Sequence series but I just had to stop.

His turn to nutcasery *really* affected his writing. Even before I knew anything about him, I could see something was going badly wrong in his stuff.
Morat20
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Reply #6203 on: August 24, 2016, 06:16:54 PM

Let this be a lesson to all idiot publishers: If, for some reason, you decide NOT to offer a Kindle version of a 30 year old book in America, because you're a jackass who can't be bothered to deal with the digital rights, even though I could GET the e-book in Europe, the UK, etc...

Well, it's your damn fault if I end up with a free copy via internet magic.

I'd have paid you money, but you've been dicking around for like five years on this. During which, oddly, there was a two month period where you COULD get the books). Seriously, just pay the estate or settle the rights issue or something, you jerks.

Samwise
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Reply #6204 on: August 25, 2016, 04:56:59 PM

Finished Seveneves, glad my expectations were low because I ended up enjoying it.

I thought the ending was one of the worst of Stephenson's; I couldn't even finish it.

You stopped reading well before the ending; that was the main focus of the second half, and your question gets answered maybe halfway into that second half.

Agree that the characters after the time jump were obviously very rushed and I didn't care about any of them.  Seems like a common problem with Stephenson and part of his overall problem with rushed endings, he'll bring in a bunch of new characters that we're supposed to suddenly care about and it's awkward as fuck.



My main complaint about the last half of the book is why didn't they

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MahrinSkel
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Reply #6205 on: August 25, 2016, 10:49:35 PM

Just finished reading Seveneves. Have to agree that the two pieces are disjointed, and the second half needed to be longer to really hold together. The "epigenetic metamorphosis" really wasn't given enough background, it really felt like he didn't figure out what he wanted it to do until he got there, and didn't want to go back and add the exposition where it belonged. So he dropped it into the middle of what was supposed to be the highest tension phase, and totally screwed the flow, made it into just another Macguffin.

--Dave

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lamaros
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Reply #6206 on: September 02, 2016, 12:47:47 AM

Red Rising was decent, are the others in the series also worth reading?

Expect poison from the standing water.
Reg
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Reply #6207 on: September 02, 2016, 04:41:05 AM

They're OK. Though I must admit if it weren't for nagging by my nieces I'd be giving the whole "Magical Teenager Saves the World" genre a lengthy rest.
Viin
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Reply #6208 on: September 02, 2016, 07:09:28 PM

They are great. The hero develops more as a character and even *gasp* fails and shit. This isn't magical YA land where no one important dies.

- Viin
lamaros
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Reply #6209 on: September 04, 2016, 08:11:21 PM

Yeah I've ended up binging. Halfway through the last and started 3 days ago...

Certainly has momentum, though I'm not sure if I'd go as far as "great".

Expect poison from the standing water.
Viin
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Reply #6210 on: September 04, 2016, 09:17:34 PM

They aren't high literature, but they flow well and the story carries forward without boredom or disjointedness. Sounds great to me! (compared to some other crap I've read)

- Viin
lamaros
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Reply #6211 on: September 05, 2016, 12:11:03 AM

I'll agree with that.

Certainly a better executed trilogy than many others, the second and third book quality  dead spiral is much more common.

Expect poison from the standing water.
Rendakor
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Reply #6212 on: September 17, 2016, 01:37:42 PM

Finished reading 1Q84; aside from not really knowing how to pronounce the title (Q-teen Eighty Four being the least awkward) it was quite good.

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WayAbvPar
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Reply #6213 on: September 21, 2016, 02:32:02 PM

Just absolutely tore through A Passage At Arms by everyone's favorite Glen Cook. It is basically a submarine story told in space, but it is very effective at conveying the tension and unease of the situation. A couple of loose ends didn't get tied up, but other than that I really enjoyed it.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

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shiznitz
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Reply #6214 on: September 26, 2016, 01:24:49 PM

Fred Saberhagen's Book of Swords series has been very enjoyable. I expected them to be discrete stories but they do share characters without being chronologically contiguous.

I have never played WoW.
K9
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Reply #6215 on: October 16, 2016, 03:11:07 AM

I just finished The Lies of Locke Lamora and I'll second all the previous posters who recommended it. It's a solid story told in a fun way. I found it a real breath of fresh air after trying to get into The Name of the Wind which I just found insufferable.

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Chimpy
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Reply #6216 on: October 16, 2016, 09:30:07 AM

Finished reading 1Q84; aside from not really knowing how to pronounce the title (Q-teen Eighty Four being the least awkward) it was quite good.

I just finished this as well (checked out the ebook from the library after seeing it available and remembering this post.)

Strange but not bad.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Morat20
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Reply #6217 on: October 16, 2016, 11:00:45 AM

I just finished The Lies of Locke Lamora and I'll second all the previous posters who recommended it. It's a solid story told in a fun way. I found it a real breath of fresh air after trying to get into The Name of the Wind which I just found insufferable.
My wife's been recommending that book (The Lies of Locke Lamora) to all and sundry. I have not yet gotten to it.
Reg
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Reply #6218 on: October 16, 2016, 11:17:41 AM

Lies of Locke Lamora is really good. I didn't much care for the sequel though. I got about halfway though it and stalled out.
NowhereMan
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Reply #6219 on: October 16, 2016, 11:25:25 AM

Lies of Locke Lamora is really good. I didn't much care for the sequel though. I got about halfway though it and stalled out.

Sequel isn't that great and has the problem of book 2 of a trilogy in that it's really setting up the third book. Compounded by the fact that the author has pretty much stalled out of writing and I'm not sure we're going to see the third book ever.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Chimpy
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Reply #6220 on: October 16, 2016, 11:44:12 AM

The third book of the Locke Lamora stuff?

You mean the one that has been out for 3 years?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Republic_of_Thieves

 Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
NowhereMan
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Reply #6221 on: October 16, 2016, 12:01:36 PM

The third book of the Locke Lamora stuff?

You mean the one that has been out for 3 years?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Republic_of_Thieves

 Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?


 swamp poop Well at least I've got something to read next week. Thanks!

On the note of being behind the times on book news, read the latest Bakker Aspect Emperor series. Not the strongest in the series, definitely dark and depressing but at least this one was largely absent alien rape or graphic descriptions of alien dongs. The story is moving along, the world seems set for Armageddon.

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Rendakor
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Reply #6222 on: October 16, 2016, 12:36:20 PM

Lies of Locke Lamora is really good. I didn't much care for the sequel though. I got about halfway though it and stalled out.
Agreed. I trudged through the second one, read the first few chapters of the third and gave up. Not sure if spoiler but:

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satael
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Reply #6223 on: October 16, 2016, 12:58:24 PM

Lies of Locke Lamora is really good. I didn't much care for the sequel though. I got about halfway though it and stalled out.
Agreed. I trudged through the second one, read the first few chapters of the third and gave up. Not sure if spoiler but:

I like Lynch's books despite all their shortcomings. I'm really looking forward to the 4th Gentleman Bastard book which is really taking a long time (I listened to him read a bit from its start at Finncon 2014 and that's almost 2.5 years ago!) but then again the time between his second and third book was 6 years (compared to just one between first and second)
Reg
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Reply #6224 on: October 16, 2016, 01:07:31 PM

Let me know if the third book makes it all worthwhile and I'll go back and finish the series.
Chimpy
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Reply #6225 on: October 16, 2016, 01:29:56 PM

I liked the third book better than the second, mainly because it is much more like the first with the flashbacks to their growing up.

To each their own, though. Some of the stuff people around here rave about I don't consider all that interesting.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
K9
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Reply #6226 on: October 16, 2016, 04:27:14 PM

Apparently he went through a fairly messy divorce between books two and three, hence the delays.

Apparently he has plans for seven of these books

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lamaros
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Reply #6227 on: October 16, 2016, 10:05:46 PM

I think I posted my thoughts on it earlier in this thread,

Quote
So I read the Locke Lamora book after the recent re-recommendations in this thread. I was quite underwhelmed in the end. I just want to read something good. It feels like all the authors these days are just awful at their world building and obviously spend most of their time watching films, not reading. Everything tries far too hard to be cinematic.

Expect poison from the standing water.
NowhereMan
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Reply #6228 on: November 25, 2016, 04:27:29 AM

Let me know if the third book makes it all worthwhile and I'll go back and finish the series.

Oh hey I got around to that third book and discovered I had already in fact read it. Apparently my memory just pretty much blanked on book 2 or I mashed the plots for both together. What I'm saying is the third book doesn't bring them together, read the first one and enjoy the cliff hanger.

On more positive notes, Sanderson's second Mistborn trilogy's second book (the third dealing with this age since the first one was a stand-alone he wrote on a plane that he just really enjoyed) is good and the Secret History is really interesting. Avoiding spoilers, Secret History tells an ongoing story happening during the original trilogy and parts of the latest one as well. It's events Sanderson had going on in the background when he was writing it but didn't feel he would be able to write in without either giving up some mystery or because he didn't have faith in his own ability to write it well. The points where it intersects with things that happened in the older books is pretty cool because it's generally small moments that seemed to be explained away with events in the story there.

His writing really has come on hugely from his earlier works. The Emperor's Soul is an actual piece of good writing, compared to the painfully awkward and rote dialogue and prose in his earlier stuff it's really impressive. If he can keep it up I think the later parts of his big series will be classics, I can already see him being taken up as a case study for creative writing classes just because he makes so much of his process available and transparent.

Also started reading the Daniel Faust series by Craig Schaefer. Urban fantasy, like the Dresden Files is the main character saw himself as a bad guy willing to kill if necessary. Apparently the writing gets better but I'd class the first two as good quality pulp so it's only up from here! Read the Hanging Tree (Rivers of London series) that was fun and also read one of the newer Laundry Files (Charles Stross) books, Rhesus Chart. I'd skipped it because it didn't seem to be part of the main plot, thought it was a semi-stand along novella thing, turns out I skipped two books with a fair amount of plot development in them and had gone to the most recent one. It was fun, although it's starting a fairly significant change in the nature of the series as Bob Howard moves out from a lot of the Civil Service bureaucracy and gets a lot more massive magic fights with Horrors from beyond. Still fun and a good series, the latest one switches to one of the new recruits and recaptures some of the original spirit of the series and I'm not sure about that yet.

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dd0029
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Reply #6229 on: November 25, 2016, 05:35:42 AM

Also started reading the Daniel Faust series by Craig Schaefer. Urban fantasy, like the Dresden Files is the main character saw himself as a bad guy willing to kill if necessary. Apparently the writing gets better but I'd class the first two as good quality pulp so it's only up from here!

Craig Schaefer is quality self published pulp. I do think the spin off series is a bit better written and just generally better, but it's still only at the top end of self published. I will say I have read all of the urban fantasy stuff. I tried the sample of his more traditional fantasy thing and passed on it.
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