[Off-Topic] Community Chat Thread

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 7 months ago

Do we have a "help me pick a commander thread" anymore, or did we get rid of that? Or was it only ever an mtgs thing?

I'm not sure if I should make Diaochan, Artful Beauty or Lady Sun. Diaochan is probably a lot more interesting, but lady sun intrigues me for being one of the most expensive commanders ever (#4 I believe) yet virtually unplayed - 3 decks on EDHrec lol. Presumably tap-ability tribal, so I can finally find a spot for Ovinomancer.

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Post by cryogen » 7 months ago

DirkGently wrote:
7 months ago
Do we have a "help me pick a commander thread" anymore, or did we get rid of that? Or was it only ever an mtgs thing?

I'm not sure if I should make Diaochan, Artful Beauty or Lady Sun. Diaochan is probably a lot more interesting, but lady sun intrigues me for being one of the most expensive commanders ever (#4 I believe) yet virtually unplayed - 3 decks on EDHrec lol. Presumably tap-ability tribal, so I can finally find a spot for Ovinomancer.
I thought we did, but perhaps it was MTGS. I would be surprised if any threads got deleted, unless the OP did.
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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

Hermes_ wrote:
7 months ago
Okay everyone can give up...we've found the best sol ring alter ever
Lol. I got into an LOTR vs Star Wars argument on the facebook post of this. It just felt like an internet argument sort of day, Just for the record, by any standard LOTR is better :cool: .

And yeah, that alter is exquisite.
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Post by not-a-cube » 7 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Just for the record, by any standard LOTR is better :cool: .
Better than Malazan book of the fallen?
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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

not-a-cube wrote:
7 months ago
toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Just for the record, by any standard LOTR is better :cool: .
Better than Malazan book of the fallen?
I wouldn't really compare the two tbh. One wouldn't exist without the other, and it's fairly clear that if Tolkien had lived longer he certainly would've intended to extrapolate on some of the stories of the earlier ages, which by all accounts were dark af and epic af. An army of Balrogs? Forget about it.

They're just too different in tone writing style to directly compare, and Tolkien coming from an entirely different era makes it hard to compare them in other ways too. Both are great for different reasons imo. And both are 'love em or hate em' level of divisive, too.
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Post by Airi » 7 months ago

It's also going to depend on genre. For people who want an old school high fantasy epic, LotR is going to win out every time. For people who prefer gritty military fantasy (and, it should be noted that while the scope of the Malazan series could qualify it as an epic, the narration isn't really set like an epic so I don't consider it one) series, Malazan is going to win. Prose preferences are also going to factor in.
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Post by materpillar » 7 months ago

Oh can we swerve this into amazing fantasy/Sci-Fi series the thread? Because I could always do with some more recommendations...

I've read a lot; the vast majority of Brandon Sandersons stuff, Dresden Files, Game of Thrones, Dune, Name of the Wind, etc etc. My favorite series is still The Black Company.

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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

materpillar wrote:
7 months ago
Oh can we swerve this into amazing fantasy/Sci-Fi series the thread? Because I could always do with some more recommendations...

I've read a lot; the vast majority of Brandon Sandersons stuff, Dresden Files, Game of Thrones, Dune, Name of the Wind, etc etc. My favorite series is still The Black Company.
If the Black Company is your jam, definitely give Malazan a try. Erikson took lots of inspiration from Cook with his series. Also, based on how convoluted and intricate your decks can get, Malazan would be great for you too. Very much the same, intricate, convoluted, you don't really understand what's going down other than that it's awesome, at least for the first few books. You just have to roll with it, but it really is worth it. Be warned though, it's also a massive undertaking. The books are long and to finish the core series there's a minimum of ten.

I agree with Airi too, the tone is way different. Tolkien is a linguist and it shows. His prose is clean and concise, and Erikson's is varied from book to book and often gets a little bawdy, especially from the marines.

One further recommendation @materpillar - if you haven't read The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie, those are amazing too. They, uh....they do get pretty dark though.
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Post by RxPhantom » 7 months ago

Chadwick Boseman has died of colon cancer. Really in shock. Story here. So sad on so many levels.
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Post by Airi » 7 months ago

materpillar wrote:
7 months ago
Oh can we swerve this into amazing fantasy/Sci-Fi series the thread? Because I could always do with some more recommendations...

I've read a lot; the vast majority of Brandon Sandersons stuff, Dresden Files, Game of Thrones, Dune, Name of the Wind, etc etc. My favorite series is still The Black Company.
Malazan is good military fantasy, like Toch said. I also recommend The First Law series (first book is called The Blade Itself) by Joe Abercrombie. The Traitor Baru Cormorant (and it's sequal) are also really good, but they're more political fantasy than hard action. Both series are pretty dark, so fair warning.

I also highly recommend to anyone who hasn't read it to pick up The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. I'm usually big on grimdark fantasy but that book was so wholesome it even warmed my heart. Plus, good political fantasy is rare.

I could talk about book recommendations all day. :love:

Edit: Dang it, I didn't even notice Toch beat me to recommending First Law. I've never met other people who've actually read it >.<
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

@cryogen is a knucklehead apparently....
click on the link to see why
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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

Airi wrote:
7 months ago
materpillar wrote:
7 months ago
Oh can we swerve this into amazing fantasy/Sci-Fi series the thread? Because I could always do with some more recommendations...

I've read a lot; the vast majority of Brandon Sandersons stuff, Dresden Files, Game of Thrones, Dune, Name of the Wind, etc etc. My favorite series is still The Black Company.
Malazan is good military fantasy, like Toch said. I also recommend The First Law series (first book is called The Blade Itself) by Joe Abercrombie. The Traitor Baru Cormorant (and it's sequal) are also really good, but they're more political fantasy than hard action. Both series are pretty dark, so fair warning.

I also highly recommend to anyone who hasn't read it to pick up The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. I'm usually big on grimdark fantasy but that book was so wholesome it even warmed my heart. Plus, good political fantasy is rare.

I could talk about book recommendations all day. :love:

Edit: Dang it, I didn't even notice Toch beat me to recommending First Law. I've never met other people who've actually read it >.<
I know a ton of people who've read it. It's generally considered the best grimdark out there, hence Abercrombie's twitter handle @LordGrimdark. Scott Bakker is up there too, although I haven't read personally. Mark Lawrence also gets a lot of props, but I honestly think his writing is cliched and bad, and his plot development is really predictable. Super cringe to me.

Another couple series I've read recently and loved both of is The Powder Mage series by Brian McClellan, and The Riyria Revelations by Michael J Sullivan. The first is what they call 'flintlock fantasy' apparently. Industrial era society with magic in the mix. It's a great read with some good character development, I'd recommend it. The second is just like...D&D in book form. It was a lot of fun.
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Post by Airi » 7 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Scott Bakker is up there too, although I haven't read personally.
It's... dense. Like reading a slightly more entertaining history book. Really really good, but not something you just pick up and read.
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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

Airi wrote:
7 months ago
toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Scott Bakker is up there too, although I haven't read personally.
It's... dense. Like reading a slightly more entertaining history book. Really really good, but not something you just pick up and read.
So I've heard. Not something I have the time for right now with a 4 month old in the house.
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Post by lyonhaert » 7 months ago

Picked up Control on steam on sale yesterday. After reading some recommendations that if one likes X-Files, SCP Foundation, Twin Peaks, Warehouse 13, etc. (Weird/Supernatural fiction) then one will probably like this, I figured I'd give it a go since there was a time I would read a lot of SCP. It has not disappointed so far.
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Post by not-a-cube » 7 months ago

Great book recommendations. I used to read a lot when I was younger, but I guess games, tv and the internet lured me away from that. I don't think I've read anything in the last 5-6 years and the last thing I went through was Malazan.

I'd like to start reading fiction again, but I don't know what to pickup first, do you guys, @toctheyounger, @Airi, @materpillar have a recommendation for something not to dense to get into it again? I've pretty much always read fantasy, but Sci-fi would also be great.
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Song of Ice and fire (before the show)
Raymond E Feist: The riftwar cycle, except chaoswar, that wasn't written yet.
David Gemmels: All the drenai books
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Post by Airi » 7 months ago

@not-a-cube The Riyria series by Michael J. Sullivain are all great reads for that kind of thing. There's the main series, called the Riyria Revelations, a direct prequal series about the main characters, called Riyria Chronicles, and a even more prequal series called the Legends of the First Empire which focuses more on the origins of historical events described in the main series. I would also recommend reading the series in that order (Revelations > Chronicles > First Empire)

While that sounds confusing, the books are pretty light, prose-wise and the characters are really easy to relate to. The whole thing has a pretty natural flow to it. Also, I'd die for Royce. Just saying.

I'll also still peddle the Goblin Emperor until the day I die. It's a lot harder to read initially, because it relies heavily on nosism in dialogue (basically, all speech uses the royal we), but the second you can get accustomed to that it's actually a really easy story to fall in to. A lot of the names, government structures, etc. are confusing but that's okay, because the main character is learning it with you as you go.
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Post by benjameenbear » 7 months ago

I'll second @Airi's recommendation on the Ryria Series @not-a-cube. The prose is wonderfully simply to follow and the wit is excellent and the story is pretty engaging. It's a great series to dive into to reignite the High Fantasy drive to read.

I will also STRONGLY recommend Joe Abercrombie. His First Law Trilogy is sheer brilliance and it's one of the few book series I've ever laughed out loud about, for reals. It's more grim-dark, which you might appreciate based on your reading of the Malazan series, and it's a very excellently done series.

I'm an avid reader of High Fantasy, so this kind of discussion is my jam.

Also, I have a HUGE nostalgia for The Dragonlance Series. It was the first series I ever read that wasn't Tolkien and it got me hooked on the genre. It hits on all the main High-Fantasy tropes with characters that are superbly done.

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Post by SocorroTortoise » 7 months ago

My reading list might be a little outside of what everyone else is talking about but it's still a fun discussion. I haven't read a lot of fantasy recently, to the point where I couldn't actually tell you the last fantasy work I read (probably rereading something by Terry Pratchett). Finally finished up William Gibson's sprawl trilogy, mostly because I felt like any self respecting lover of cyberpunk settings should read that. Spread it out over a couple years and I'm entirely willing to admit that Cyberpunk 2077 was the impetus for grabbing the last one. Stylistically it's not quite my thing, but it's a lot of fun to see the seeds for so much of the cyberpunk genre. His depictions of cyberspace are also great because he had almost no computer knowledge when he was writing them and computers were not nearly as widespread at the time, so it's very stereotypical 80s. Avatars moving around giant black and white grids past glowing geometric shapes representing data.

The best thing I read recently was I Wrote This Book Because I Love You, Tim Kreider's essay collection. I'll strongly recommend that, even if essays aren't something you usually go for. He's a very erudite writer and he's got some good stories included in this collection, though I enjoy his style enough that I think I could read work about nothing and still have fun with it.

Next things on my list are Absolutely on Music by Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa, A Fable by William Faulkner, and possibly Ulysses by James Joyce (started this a couple times, but never got through it). On the lighter side I'm also working my way through East of West and having a lot of fun with it. Sci-fi western alt-history graphic novel featuring death as the protagonist and the remaining four horsemen of the apocalypse as antagonists.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

I fell into lit RPG genre after reading The Land by Aleron Kong. I probably read something like 100 books in the last two years most of which have been Lit RPG based. I think Michael Chatfield, Jay Boyce, and Dakota Krout are probably my favorite authors right now.

If you want something light and fun I would reccomend trying out the series A Touch of Power by Jay Boyce or The Ten Realms by Michael Chatfield. Ten Realms is a touch rough in the first few chapters but it picks up fast.

Sanderson is fine.... I just feel like sometimes I LOVE his work and sometimes I am slogging through to see if it gets better (Stormlight Archive book one was great, I hated the next two). I went through some other more traditional fantasy authors like Sullivain as well but I just didn't find myself caring if I stuck to their series. I used to be a huge fan of Terry Goodkind as well growing up but I feel like perhaps some of my fondness there came from growing up reading him.
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

not-a-cube wrote:
7 months ago
I don't think I've read anything in the last 5-6 years and the last thing I went through was Malazan.

I'd like to start reading fiction again, but I don't know what to pickup first, do you guys, @toctheyounger, @Airi, @materpillar have a recommendation
The Dresden Files bu Jim Butcher are great IMO, also The Hunger games books including the most recent book The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes which is a prequel,wish i could link you to my bookshelf on goodreads.


On a different note last night I cleared up some space on an SSD to install GTA V which is 95 gigs....I freed up that much space by uninstalling skyrim special edition and all of the mods i had for it.
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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

Airi wrote:
7 months ago
@not-a-cube The Riyria series by Michael J. Sullivain are all great reads for that kind of thing. There's the main series, called the Riyria Revelations, a direct prequal series about the main characters, called Riyria Chronicles, and a even more prequal series called the Legends of the First Empire which focuses more on the origins of historical events described in the main series. I would also recommend reading the series in that order (Revelations > Chronicles > First Empire)
Seconded. Great books, lots of fun, the characters are excellent. Would also die for Royce.
SocorroTortoise wrote:
7 months ago
(probably rereading something by Terry Pratchett)
Picking up just a snippet of this post, but it's what I know. If you haven't read Discworld, get intae it. You don't need to read in order and the only point of reference you need is to be able to look at the world around you and be able to laugh at it. Pratchett is both fantastical and satire at it's most brilliant and hilarious. Every time his name comes up I miss him more.

Recommendations from myself:
I think every self-respecting fantasy reader should give Brandon Sanderson a try, especially given how much of a MtG nut he is (He's been on Game Knights before even). I really enjoyed the Mistborn trilogy, although I must admit reading anything outside of this left me a little disappointed in that it did get quite samey. His world-building is great, prose is fine, character building....ok.

I'm gonna second the First Law. Really quite dark and brutal at points but that doesn't stop you loving the bejesus out of Sand dan Glokta. He instantly became one of my favourite characters to have read, ever. Flawed and hate-filled, but brilliant, hilarious and ingenious nonetheless. Logen Ninefingers is pretty wonderful too. It's also light enough after Malazan that you're not trudging through it.

I also think every fantasy reader should have the Earthsea trilogy by Ursula Le Guin under their belts. It's ostensibly aimed at younger fantasy readers, but it has a depth of philosophy and a maturity to it that belies outward appearances. I've really enjoyed it every time I've read through, and I've read it many times. It's again quite a light read too, so shouldn't be too sloggy.

In terms of sci-fi, well....I haven't read deeply, but Dune is pretty brilliant. It''s very deep and layered though, so it could be a bit much to blunt your teeth on first off the ranks. I also read a ton of Philip K Dick, which is a relatively acquired taste. Kaleidoscopic and dystopian, but really well done if that's your jam. Do androids dream of electric sheep? Is really good while also being well removed enough from the movie (Blade Runner) to be quite different, A Scanner Darkly is great too, and Flow my Tears, the Policeman said is pretty cool too. You're either going to love or hate them though.

@not-a-cube kudos on the Farseer trilogy. Those are great books, but they can be really hard to read. I've read a fair amount of grimdark, but damn does that protagonist go through more than his fair amount of hardship. If you're interested in more she has written 2 follow up trilogies, one focusing on the fate of Fitz and the Fool and their relationship, and one to follow that.

I'm sure there's more but that's all I can recall right now.
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Post by not-a-cube » 7 months ago

Thanks everyone for the suggestion, I decide on the first law trilogy, because I found the whole trilogy in paperback delivered this evening for 30 euros. I'll keep a link to this list because i'll probably want to read more once I get through these.
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Chainer, Dementia Master
Will Kenrith
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

Look what I found on steam:
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
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Post by Airi » 7 months ago

not-a-cube wrote:
7 months ago
Thanks everyone for the suggestion, I decide on the first law trilogy, because I found the whole trilogy in paperback delivered this evening for 30 euros. I'll keep a link to this list because i'll probably want to read more once I get through these.
If you end up liking it, there are three standalone books that take place after the main series ends (Best Served Cold, Red Country, and The Heroes) which are also good. Each story has a different feel, which can be a nice change of pace as well.
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