[Off-Topic] Community Chat Thread

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cryogen
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Post by cryogen » 7 months ago

Hermes_ wrote:
7 months ago
Look what I found on steam:
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
If it's not the original one I'm not interested.
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Post by benjameenbear » 7 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
*snip*

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.
@toctheyounger, you are a gentleman and a scholar. Sanderson rightfully inherited the void that Robert Jordan left, imo, and I've ALWAYS been impressed with his prose, world-building, and his characters. He is one of the authors whom I'm actively pursuing in acquiring their bibliography.

And Sand dan Glokta is, by far, one of the wittiest characters I've ever read. I was perusing Barnes & Noble here in the States (when I was single and I could kill 2-3 hours perusing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy aisle) and picked up the book. After reading the first 10 pages I was immediately hooked and actually snorted in laughter because of Glokta in the store. I think that Abercrombie is a bit sparse and his scope of stories could DEFINITELY be expanded but I think he writes to his strengths.

Whew, I'll try and give Malazan another go. It keeps popping up and I really just need to sit down with it.

The Dune series is phenomenal as well. The ending (a similar situation to Robert Jordan where the last part of his Dune series was finished based from his notes) was actually delightfully complete and a true "WHAAAT" moment. Highly recommend it to any self-respecting Sci-Fi/Fantasy author. I don't think there's another universe that quite captures it

Has anyone had a chance to read The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey? I keep meaning to buy a 2nd hand copy of it but then never get around to it for various reasons and I'm itching to get into a new series.

Also, James Islington is another great newcomer to the scene and his Licanius Trilogy also follows in the heels of Robert Jordan. Love it. It features an excellent redemption arc and poses some extremely thought-provoking philosophical dialogue that was awesome.

I could literally go on and on about this.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

My issue with the Sanderson / Jordan style of stories is the number of characters. I HATE the constant cliffhanger chapters then suddenly you are off for 100 pages with the other characters. I often find that there is one or two characters I actually want to see the story of and a bunch of them that I would rather skip entirely.

I am a lot happier to have a MC that receives at least 60-80% of the writing attention than to skip to a bunch of different parties. I always viewed jumping from party to party as a way to just add a bunch of fluff to a story.

I recently went back through Sanderson's "The Way of Kings" just hitting all of Caladin's parts ignoring back story. It was probably 10 or so hours of the 45 hour audio book. Even having listened to three books of the series I felt like 90% of the backstory he gives is just reiterating the same damn thing. I don't know why he hit back story so hard on those books as it was just reiterating the same damn thing over and over. Also, I didn't really care about any of his other characters and by the end of book three I didn't even like Caladin anymore so I just stopped. Mistborn was fairly decent starting out but then it just got..... weird.
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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
@toctheyounger, you are a gentleman and a scholar. Sanderson rightfully inherited the void that Robert Jordan left, imo, and I've ALWAYS been impressed with his prose, world-building, and his characters. He is one of the authors whom I'm actively pursuing in acquiring their bibliography.
Yeah, I really enjoyed Mistborn. I read a couple of his afterwards and was like 'oh, it's the same stuff...that's a shame.' I dunno, I just felt like one was enough. But then I never really got into Robert Jordan either. I kinda just missed it in my delvings.
benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
And Sand dan Glokta is, by far, one of the wittiest characters I've ever read. I was perusing Barnes & Noble here in the States (when I was single and I could kill 2-3 hours perusing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy aisle) and picked up the book. After reading the first 10 pages I was immediately hooked and actually snorted in laughter because of Glokta in the store. I think that Abercrombie is a bit sparse and his scope of stories could DEFINITELY be expanded but I think he writes to his strengths.
What I love about Abercrombie is his ability to make you think 'I LOVE this character - does that make me a bad person?'. The protagonists are all deeply flawed, even the damsel in distress has a ton of baggage, and it's just such a twisted tale. I definitely need to read more of his stuff. His prose isn't amazing, I feel like he writes the equivalent of what Guy Ritchie films - Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch for fantasy. But he does it SO well.
benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
Whew, I'll try and give Malazan another go. It keeps popping up and I really just need to sit down with it.
Honestly, it's not for everyone. It's a really divisive read, and if you're more than 200 pages deep in the first book and aren't hooked, you're probably saving yourself a ton of anguish reading a series that just isn't designed with you in mind. In my experience people either love them or hate them. It comes down to this - if you can set aside the ease of knowing precisely what's going on for at least the first 5 books, you're probably good to give it a whirl. If that's something you can't live without, well....Erikson doesn't hold your hand and the plot will carry on regardless of whether you're cognizant of the deeper machinations or not. Added is the fact that some of the characters are designed to cause some real divisiveness of feelings and, well, some can manage it, some cannot. There's a couple of things that happen like 150-200 pages into Gardens of the Moon that just had me hooked. If you don't feel the same there's absolutely no need to continue, especially considering just how girthy the series is. It's a massive undertaking and if you're not feeling it you shouldn't feel any pressure to continue.

All that being said, there is literally no fantasy series written before or since that rewards rereading as much as this one. There is a truly stunning depth of detail in the story, the characters, the....well damn near everything. It's pretty staggering, and even 5 rereads through the main books later I'm still stumbling on bits of info that slot into a bigger puzzle that make me go 'oh, that is neat!'.
ISBPathfinder wrote:
7 months ago
My issue with the Sanderson / Jordan style of stories is the number of characters. I HATE the constant cliffhanger chapters then suddenly you are off for 100 pages with the other characters. I often find that there is one or two characters I actually want to see the story of and a bunch of them that I would rather skip entirely.
As above, Malazan is not for you, lol.

One other series I started and really enjoyed was Soul of the World by David Mealing. I don't know if there's been a follow up, I believe it was intended as a trilogy, but the first of these was an excellent read. Kudos to the author for writing battle very, very well. It's not easy to do.

Oh, and if anyone is into historical(ish) fiction, pick up the Winter King series by Bernard Cornwell. It's about the Arthurian legend, written from the perspective of one of his generals, and it's simply amazing. He builds amazing characters and his battles are pitch perfect. Also, who doesn't love druids that hop around naked spitting at one another before a battle starts?

Stuff I hated that everyone seems to love: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, and anything written by Mark Lawrence. That guy is cringe, and I will die on that hill.
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Post by Airi » 7 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
Sanderson rightfully inherited the void that Robert Jordan left, imo, and I've ALWAYS been impressed with his prose, world-building, and his characters. He is one of the authors whom I'm actively pursuing in acquiring their bibliography.
I sincerely hope he didn't also inherit Jordan's fascination with braid tugging, skirt smoothing, and the importance of crossing one's arms above or below their boobs.
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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

Airi wrote:
7 months ago
benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
Sanderson rightfully inherited the void that Robert Jordan left, imo, and I've ALWAYS been impressed with his prose, world-building, and his characters. He is one of the authors whom I'm actively pursuing in acquiring their bibliography.
I sincerely hope he didn't also inherit Jordan's fascination with braid tugging, skirt smoothing, and the importance of crossing one's arms above or below their boobs.
Can't speak to that having not read a lot of Jordan (I tuned out 1/4 of the way through the first WoT), but Sanderson's romances have always seemed pretty wooden to me. Although I guess in terms of feminine attitudes a lot of his female characters are pretty strong individuals, so....pros and cons I guess?
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Post by Airi » 7 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Can't speak to that having not read a lot of Jordan (I tuned out 1/4 of the way through the first WoT), but Sanderson's romances have always seemed pretty wooden to me. Although I guess in terms of feminine attitudes a lot of his female characters are pretty strong individuals, so....pros and cons I guess?
I shall never know, sadly. I haven't bought or read any of his books for personal reasons that I won't get in to here.

I do know that at least for the last WoT book he kept up the proud tradition of braid tugging, but I have no idea if it's because it was a continuation of Jordan's works, or something he'd do in his own time. For the sake of braids everywhere, I hope not.
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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

Airi wrote:
7 months ago
toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Can't speak to that having not read a lot of Jordan (I tuned out 1/4 of the way through the first WoT), but Sanderson's romances have always seemed pretty wooden to me. Although I guess in terms of feminine attitudes a lot of his female characters are pretty strong individuals, so....pros and cons I guess?
I shall never know, sadly. I haven't bought or read any of his books for personal reasons that I won't get in to here.

I do know that at least for the last WoT book he kept up the proud tradition of braid tugging, but I have no idea if it's because it was a continuation of Jordan's works, or something he'd do in his own time. For the sake of braids everywhere, I hope not.
Well, that's a shame. I suspect it's the former, but cannot confirm. I guess it's one of those tropes in fantasy that really is pretty slow to change. I'd say the best contemporary fantasy author for feminist views is Pratchett (RIP :( ), but outside of that those views are a little slow to change. Even Erikson, whom I love, well...Felisin elder and younger....
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Post by benjameenbear » 7 months ago

Airi wrote:
7 months ago
benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
Sanderson rightfully inherited the void that Robert Jordan left, imo, and I've ALWAYS been impressed with his prose, world-building, and his characters. He is one of the authors whom I'm actively pursuing in acquiring their bibliography.
I sincerely hope he didn't also inherit Jordan's fascination with braid tugging, skirt smoothing, and the importance of crossing one's arms above or below their boobs.
LOL!!! I'm dying... No he didn't thankfully, but that always annoyed the hell out of me too. Like, seriously Nynaeve, can't you find some other stupid nervous tic? Pulling your braid? It's a wonder of the world that she wasn't bald by the time Memory of Light came around.

What I really meant was that I think Sanderson's inherited the role of the tasteful, non-grimdark fantasy author. I feel like there are two camps in Fantasy writing, at this moment: grimdark (headed by George RR Martin) and Jordan-ian epics.

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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
Airi wrote:
7 months ago
benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
Sanderson rightfully inherited the void that Robert Jordan left, imo, and I've ALWAYS been impressed with his prose, world-building, and his characters. He is one of the authors whom I'm actively pursuing in acquiring their bibliography.
I sincerely hope he didn't also inherit Jordan's fascination with braid tugging, skirt smoothing, and the importance of crossing one's arms above or below their boobs.
LOL!!! I'm dying... No he didn't thankfully, but that always annoyed the hell out of me too. Like, seriously Nynaeve, can't you find some other stupid nervous tic? Pulling your braid? It's a wonder of the world that she wasn't bald by the time Memory of Light came around.

What I really meant was that I think Sanderson's inherited the role of the tasteful, non-grimdark fantasy author. I feel like there are two camps in Fantasy writing, at this moment: grimdark (headed by George RR Martin) and Jordan-ian epics.
Seems pretty accurate. You could split things further a little - grimdark and noblebright are what you're referring to here and they are probably the lion's share. There's also flintlock (see Brian McClellan and a couple others), weird fiction (China Mieville) historical or historical influenced and a couple of other weird avenues to go down. But yeah most of what's out there is on the axis mentioned. Tolkien's shadow stretches a long way, and rightly so.

Although I will protest re GRRM; he's heading nothing until he finishes his series (which at this point will probably never happen). Aside from that, Abercrombie, Anna Smith Spark and a couple of others are more firmly rooted in grimdark, Martin just wrote War of the Roses (fantasy version), which was a relatively violent point of England's succession history. Yeah, I might be a little salty about Martin, but I calls 'em like I sees 'em - he wrote himself into a corner and then gave up. D for effort at best. Same goes for Rothfuss, he gets zero credit until he commits to ending his story. Dude committed to a trilogy, wrote 2 books that deal mostly with a character's history and now has a single book that'll probably end up requiring like 1200 pages or to be split in two. All the while he's too busy D&Díng to write.

Rant over :P . Those two authors get my goat, I just do not understand why people love them when they've clearly written themselves into a situation they can't write out of.
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Post by Sanity_Eclipse » 7 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Oh, and if anyone is into historical(ish) fiction, pick up the Winter King series by Bernard Cornwell. It's about the Arthurian legend, written from the perspective of one of his generals, and it's simply amazing. He builds amazing characters and his battles are pitch perfect. Also, who doesn't love druids that hop around naked spitting at one another before a battle starts?
Well that sounds a bit interesting. If only I could find the time, energy etc to read. Noted FFR though.
- Lyra -

- Naru Meha -

- Liliana -

- Chandra - Lovisa -

- Nissa - Titania -

- Lavinia X -
- Elenda -
- Yuriko -
- Jhoira-G - Saheeli -
-
- Glissa - Lathril - Meren -
-
-
-
- Koma -
-
- Anafenza -
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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

Sanity_Eclipse wrote:
7 months ago
toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Oh, and if anyone is into historical(ish) fiction, pick up the Winter King series by Bernard Cornwell. It's about the Arthurian legend, written from the perspective of one of his generals, and it's simply amazing. He builds amazing characters and his battles are pitch perfect. Also, who doesn't love druids that hop around naked spitting at one another before a battle starts?
Well that sounds a bit interesting. If only I could find the time, energy etc to read. Noted FFR though.
It's pretty damn brilliant. My expectations starting it were middling at best and I enjoyed the absolute arse off the whole series. Obviously it's speculative at best in terms of actual facts but the story itself is amazing.
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Post by benjameenbear » 7 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Seems pretty accurate. You could split things further a little - grimdark and noblebright are what you're referring to here and they are probably the lion's share. There's also flintlock (see Brian McClellan and a couple others), weird fiction (China Mieville) historical or historical influenced and a couple of other weird avenues to go down. But yeah most of what's out there is on the axis mentioned. Tolkien's shadow stretches a long way, and rightly so.

Although I will protest re GRRM; he's heading nothing until he finishes his series (which at this point will probably never happen). Aside from that, Abercrombie, Anna Smith Spark and a couple of others are more firmly rooted in grimdark, Martin just wrote War of the Roses (fantasy version), which was a relatively violent point of England's succession history. Yeah, I might be a little salty about Martin, but I calls 'em like I sees 'em - he wrote himself into a corner and then gave up. D for effort at best. Same goes for Rothfuss, he gets zero credit until he commits to ending his story. Dude committed to a trilogy, wrote 2 books that deal mostly with a character's history and now has a single book that'll probably end up requiring like 1200 pages or to be split in two. All the while he's too busy D&Díng to write.

Rant over :P . Those two authors get my goat, I just do not understand why people love them when they've clearly written themselves into a situation they can't write out of.
Oh, don't get me started on either of them... Especially Rothfuss. His prose is beautiful, akin to some of the old school authors (particularly akin to Tad Williams whom I love as a writer) and his backstory for the Chandrian is a story arc I'm dying to learn more about. But it often feels like slogging through a morass of minutiae that doesn't matter all that much. Sure, worrying about term and the tuition costs is definitely a real thing, but the man devoted probably 200 pages to Kvothe's scheme to try and get said tuition... Basically, he's taken nearly 1000 pages across two books for a huge setup that he needs to finish in one book. Great author and I like his style and the unique way he's told his story (it reminds me of Arabian Nights) but I'm tired of waiting for him to sit down and finish it.

I've never particularly cared for George RR. After reading what felt like the sixth or seventh graphic sex scene (which I'm sensitive to as a reader), I put down book 1 and never finished the rest of the series. What I read was enough to convince me that I would be in for a massively bloody, highly political story that wouldn't really talk seriously about the Nightwalkers until WAY later in the series. After that hooking prologue in Book 1, he never followed up with it and focused instead on the human element. It's one of the reasons why I think he got developed into a TV show: because there really isn't a ton of magic present in the storv and it's a true-to-life drama more than a fantasy series.

And in regards to Tolkien's shadow stretching, well... check out this Epikkk Rap Battles of History episode that I think captures why Tolkien should be considered the forefather and most successful author of modern High Fantasy.

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Post by not-a-cube » 7 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
Whew, I'll try and give Malazan another go. It keeps popping up and I really just need to sit down with it.
Honestly, it's not for everyone. It's a really divisive read, and if you're more than 200 pages deep in the first book and aren't hooked, you're probably saving yourself a ton of anguish reading a series that just isn't designed with you in mind. In my experience people either love them or hate them. It comes down to this - if you can set aside the ease of knowing precisely what's going on for at least the first 5 books, you're probably good to give it a whirl. If that's something you can't live without, well....Erikson doesn't hold your hand and the plot will carry on regardless of whether you're cognizant of the deeper machinations or not. Added is the fact that some of the characters are designed to cause some real divisiveness of feelings and, well, some can manage it, some cannot. There's a couple of things that happen like 150-200 pages into Gardens of the Moon that just had me hooked. If you don't feel the same there's absolutely no need to continue, especially considering just how girthy the series is. It's a massive undertaking and if you're not feeling it you shouldn't feel any pressure to continue.

All that being said, there is literally no fantasy series written before or since that rewards rereading as much as this one. There is a truly stunning depth of detail in the story, the characters, the....well damn near everything. It's pretty staggering, and even 5 rereads through the main books later I'm still stumbling on bits of info that slot into a bigger puzzle that make me go 'oh, that is neat!'.
It is a fact that when starting with the malazan series, you know nothing, get hardly any exposition and are thrown into that world. Erickson's phylosophy that a story shouldn't have an introduction or history lesson and should just start is both nice and annoying. On one side, it gives you the feeling of getting to know the world and people bit by bit, and you get to learn the history by snippets in stories. But on the other hand it's pretty hard to make heads or tails between all the factions and people during your first read. Now the further you get into the books, the clearer it becomes and I always got excited when I learned new things about established figures and factions.

Like you say Toc, the hardest part about the series is getting through the first 100-200 pages, if it hasn't clicked by then, it probably won't, but if it has.... well you are in for quite the series, enjoy the read :).
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

I started listening to Stephin King's The Stand recently. Its a "what if an engineered supervirus escaped" kinda book. Its maybe a little ominous to read mid covid lol.
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Post by benjameenbear » 7 months ago

@ISBPathfinder That and "V for Vendetta". I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but there seems to be a lot of similarity between the two overarching plots.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

Yea I suppose V for Vendetta is a very similar concept. Remind me on the fifth of November :P
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Post by Airi » 7 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Seems pretty accurate. You could split things further a little - grimdark and noblebright are what you're referring to here and they are probably the lion's share. There's also flintlock (see Brian McClellan and a couple others), weird fiction (China Mieville) historical or historical influenced and a couple of other weird avenues to go down. But yeah most of what's out there is on the axis mentioned. Tolkien's shadow stretches a long way, and rightly so.
I don't really consider grimdark and noblebright to be genres in their own right, but rather tonal descriptors for work. To me, the genres are more things like Flintlock, Sword and Sorcery, Dark Fantasy, Political Fantasy, Portal Fantasy, etc. Grimdark, Noblebright, High, and Low fantasy all just tell me what kind of world I'm getting, not what kind of story.
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
7 months ago
I started listening to Stephin King's The Stand recently. Its a "what if an engineered supervirus escaped" kinda book. Its maybe a little ominous to read mid covid lol.
Which version is the audio book? The complete and uncut version of the book adds in a lot of material (and a few minor updates from the 79 printing) that got cut and helps flesh out some more characters along with ending a new coda at the end. Why yes I do own both versions lol

CBS also just dropped the teaser for the remake,and it looks good. The original miniseries is also up on youtube...or so i've heard *wink wink nudge nudge*

Fun Fact: I first read it back in 4th grade, showed up in class with the hardback (which at the time had one of the coolest covers i've ever seen) and no one including the teacher believed me when i said I was reading it.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

Hermes_ wrote:
7 months ago
ISBPathfinder wrote:
7 months ago
I started listening to Stephin King's The Stand recently. Its a "what if an engineered supervirus escaped" kinda book. Its maybe a little ominous to read mid covid lol.
Which version is the audio book? The complete and uncut version of the book adds in a lot of material (and a few minor updates from the 79 printing) that got cut and helps flesh out some more characters along with ending a new coda at the end. Why yes I do own both versions lol

CBS also just dropped the teaser for the remake,and it looks good. The original miniseries is also up on youtube...or so i've heard *wink wink nudge nudge*

Fun Fact: I first read it back in 4th grade, showed up in class with the hardback (which at the time had one of the coolest covers i've ever seen) and no one including the teacher believed me when i said I was reading it.
I got the newer extended version. He restored a lot of the cut material but my understanding is he still cut things to improve the book but restored content that was cut to shorten the book. I am still fairly early in the book, just a few hours in.

I enjoy apocalyptic style books though and saw a few references to it from some reviews to a few other things and thought I should give it a shot.
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Post by Hermes_ » 7 months ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
7 months ago
Hermes_ wrote:
7 months ago
ISBPathfinder wrote:
7 months ago
I started listening to Stephin King's The Stand recently. Its a "what if an engineered supervirus escaped" kinda book. Its maybe a little ominous to read mid covid lol.
Which version is the audio book? The complete and uncut version of the book adds in a lot of material (and a few minor updates from the 79 printing) that got cut and helps flesh out some more characters along with ending a new coda at the end. Why yes I do own both versions lol

CBS also just dropped the teaser for the remake,and it looks good. The original miniseries is also up on youtube...or so i've heard *wink wink nudge nudge*

Fun Fact: I first read it back in 4th grade, showed up in class with the hardback (which at the time had one of the coolest covers i've ever seen) and no one including the teacher believed me when i said I was reading it.
I got the newer extended version. He restored a lot of the cut material but my understanding is he still cut things to improve the book but restored content that was cut to shorten the book. I am still fairly early in the book, just a few hours in.

I enjoy apocalyptic style books though and saw a few references to it from some reviews to a few other things and thought I should give it a shot.
I'm sure it would be impractical but does the narrator do different voices for the characters? Jim Dale did that for the HP audio books,while Max Brooks just got his friends (actual big name celebrities) to be different characters for World War Z's audio book.
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ISBPathfinder
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 7 months ago

Hermes_ wrote:
7 months ago
I'm sure it would be impractical but does the narrator do different voices for the characters? Jim Dale did that for the HP audio books,while Max Brooks just got his friends (actual big name celebrities) to be different characters for World War Z's audio book.
It varies a little but it was recorded back in 2012. Newer stuff tends to get a lot more of that treatment. I think the way narrators read audiobooks has changed quite a bit as it became more popular in recent years.
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Post by materpillar » 7 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
Oh, don't get me started on either of them... Especially Rothfuss. His prose is beautiful, akin to some of the old school authors (particularly akin to Tad Williams whom I love as a writer) and his backstory for the Chandrian is a story arc I'm dying to learn more about. But it often feels like slogging through a morass of minutiae that doesn't matter all that much. Sure, worrying about term and the tuition costs is definitely a real thing, but the man devoted probably 200 pages to Kvothe's scheme to try and get said tuition... Basically, he's taken nearly 1000 pages across two books for a huge setup that he needs to finish in one book. Great author and I like his style and the unique way he's told his story (it reminds me of Arabian Nights) but I'm tired of waiting for him to sit down and finish it.
I didn't care for the Name of the Wind series much at all. It's extremely well written and immensely boring. It's two straight books of Kvothe being the best perfect snowflake who casual obliterates insurmountable odds over and over and over again. Yes, building him up for a huge downfall and whatever. Yadda yadda, my suspension of disbelieve couldn't survive it. My favorite part of those books by miles is when he picks a magic fight and loses.
benjameenbear wrote:
7 months ago
I've never particularly cared for George RR. After reading what felt like the sixth or seventh graphic sex scene (which I'm sensitive to as a reader), I put down book 1 and never finished the rest of the series. What I read was enough to convince me that I would be in for a massively bloody, highly political story that wouldn't really talk seriously about the Nightwalkers until WAY later in the series. After that hooking prologue in Book 1, he never followed up with it and focused instead on the human element. It's one of the reasons why I think he got developed into a TV show: because there really isn't a ton of magic present in the storv and it's a true-to-life drama more than a fantasy series.
I think George RR Martin's first three books in A Song of Fire and Ice are exceptional. I admit they're not flawless (he does go pretty hard into the graphic sexual content), but they have some of the best "your actions have consequences" in fantasy. I love that it's a fantasy series that feels driven primarily by the characters' conflicting motivations and not by magic/destiny/evil for the sake of evil. The Lannisters just feel way more grounded in reality and tangible than Sauron. The struggles between the Starks and the Lannisters have a lot higher emotional payoffs for me than the chosen ones versus the generic evil of normal fantasy.

Don't get me wrong, I love me some chosen ones versus generic evil. Game of Thrones just massively raised the bar for what I consider a quality villain to be.

Specifically the first three Game of Thrones books. Then, A Feast for Crows happened and the quality took a sharp dip. It recovered some after that but it's become increasingly clear ever since then that A Song of Ice and Fire story has slowly wriggled free from George RR Martin's grasp and slipped into the ether.
toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
Honestly, it's not for everyone. It's a really divisive read, and if you're more than 200 pages deep in the first book and aren't hooked, you're probably saving yourself a ton of anguish reading a series that just isn't designed with you in mind. In my experience people either love them or hate them. It comes down to this - if you can set aside the ease of knowing precisely what's going on for at least the first 5 books, you're probably good to give it a whirl. If that's something you can't live without, well....Erikson doesn't hold your hand and the plot will carry on regardless of whether you're cognizant of the deeper machinations or not. Added is the fact that some of the characters are designed to cause some real divisiveness of feelings and, well, some can manage it, some cannot. There's a couple of things that happen like 150-200 pages into Gardens of the Moon that just had me hooked. If you don't feel the same there's absolutely no need to continue, especially considering just how girthy the series is. It's a massive undertaking and if you're not feeling it you shouldn't feel any pressure to continue.
I read the first three books of Malazan years and years ago. It just... didn't grab me. I honestly can't remember any of the characters or anything that happened. There was like a weird moon dragon attacking a city with an elf wizard guy who had a super spiffy sword or something? That's literally the only thing I remember from 3 books. Enjoy giggling at that paraphrase. >.>

toctheyounger wrote:
7 months ago
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.
I've read it and enjoyed it. It isn't a favorite of mine though. I didn't find the ending to be particularly satisfying. Specifically I felt like some of the characters really stole all agency from some of the others which I wasn't a fan of. Keeping it vague to avoid spoilers.
not-a-cube wrote:
7 months ago
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.
I really really enjoy Mistborn. It's opening chapters aren't the most exciting to me, but I really like the characters and how they progress. It's a good summer blockbuster movie equivalent for me. Basically anything that Brandon Sanderson writes I enjoy though.

The Dresden Files is also really really fun. Each book is easy to blow throw in a weekend. Tons of action and all the nerdy references. More of a chill out and read kind of book.

I really like the first three Dune books. I'm not sure what all to compare them to. They're a little more on the political intrigue and less just straight action all the time like Dresden. They're exceptional though.

I enjoyed The Black Prism series by Brent Weeks. It's a bit darker and more edgy. Closer to Game of Thrones than Tolkien. The final books ending was... weird. There's a huge tonal shift that was extremely underwhelming from a dramatic standpoint but the more time that passes the more I liked it.

If you're looking for standalone books and not series. I highly highly recommend 1984. I'm a sucker for dsytopian future books and this is the best. If you like it I'd also read Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, and A Handmaiden's Tale. I consider these 4 books to be a series even though they're written completely independently of each other by different authors. The themes are all fairly close together.

I recently read The Left Hand Of Darkness. It was great. It's a purely political intrigue/sci-fi drama. It had surprising heart.

If you're in the mood for more of a classic, Frankenstein is also very good. More of a philosophical nature to that one but very entertaining.

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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

@materpillar that paraphrasing was exceptional. I chuckled and it was fairly accurate too. Honestly there are so many characters and an entire world of plot lines to follow, I fault no one for passing Malazan. As I said it is definitely not for everyone.

I'll also +1 for Frankenstein and 1984. The first is brilliantly written gothic literature, and the second is excellent dystopian future.

My wife read the left hand of darkness and loved it, maybe I should pick it up.

Re the First Law - I get it. I've heard similar complaints about the ending and I understand, but to some degree that's grimdark - oh you wanted a happy ending? Sorry, that doesn't happen in the real world, it ain't happening here. That sort of vibe. But yeah I understand how you feel about it. It left me with mixed feelings.

The Stand is a great booK even if it's a bit close to home atm.. Stephen King is a really great writer in general. It still scares the bejesus out of me, and the Dark Tower series is worth a read if you like dystopia meets western meets fantasy...yeah.
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Airi
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Post by Airi » 7 months ago

It's very weird to me to hear ASOIAF describe as having graphic sexual content. I'd definitely not disagree with that in regards to the show, but the books were... well, GRRM is not good at that sort of scene other than writing that they happened. Lots of fade to black/quick mentioned in passing. Granted, I didn't think Kushiel lived up to its reputation, so that might just be a me thing.

Another good series for anyone looking to pick up something new is The Faithful and the Fallen by John Gwynne (frist book is called Malice). It kind of just sits in the middle of the grimdark/noblebright dichotomy, but it's a pretty good high fantasy epic.

Red Rising is also a pretty good sci-fi series, though I can't comment to the sequel series. I'm not sure how to describe it beyond that because I don't really read a ton of sci-fi, so I am not familiar with it's sub-genres. It's like a space opera meets fantasy-style heroes journey?
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