Yearly Targets 2018

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H

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« Reply #90 on: July 11, 2018, 02:45:15 pm »
Both.  Definitely both.
Well, that's unfortunate.

Yeah, extremism just isn't very good on any end of the spectrum.

IIRC, Card went far-Right into ultra-conservatism and Simmons went similarly into heavy anti-Islamism/Islamiphopia territory.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #91 on: July 11, 2018, 04:01:14 pm »
Also, I recall reading a fair bit of evidence that Dan Simmons lost his mind at some point after Hyperion, some time around 9/11.

Practicing psychiatry without a license? Or just disagreeing with his worldview?

I've read a lot of Dan Simmons' fiction published since 9/11. To this layman's eyes, there's no evidence of mental deterioration.
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

H

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« Reply #92 on: July 11, 2018, 05:10:17 pm »
Practicing psychiatry without a license? Or just disagreeing with his worldview?

I've read a lot of Dan Simmons' fiction published since 9/11. To this layman's eyes, there's no evidence of mental deterioration.

I would never.  Amateur psychology on the other hand?  I can't help but.

"Lost his mind" was certainly a colloquialism there not actually denoting metal deterioration, as such, rather, a seeming incredulity with following his seemingly new-found (or at least newly expressed) logic.

To say it simply though, no, I don't agree with that I have read of his (either) current views.  Or at least, as I knew them when I found them, years ago.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #93 on: July 11, 2018, 07:03:58 pm »
Fairly said, H.

I've got quite a bit of Simmons' recent fiction on my shelf. None of it gets much rereading action, but that doesn't signify a lack of cogency. Perhaps I need to revisit the novels. "The Fifth Heart", his most recent, I think, is a historical fiction that pairs Sherlock Holmes and Henry James (!). "Drood", another HF, featured Wilkie Collins (author of "The Moonstone") as the laudanum-addled protagonist. A meditation on drug-fueled insanity. Recommended.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 08:41:45 pm by NutFlinging-Lorax »
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

Wilshire

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« Reply #94 on: July 17, 2018, 06:48:12 pm »
Finished First Lord's Fury(6) by Jim Butcher, The Codex Alera series. Wonderful finish to a great series. Predictable in a sense, and in other ways not so much. I would recommend to anyone. 4 out of 5 stars.

MSJ, just thought you might find this amusing regarding Codex Alera (from wikipedia):
The inspiration for the series came from a bet Butcher was challenged to by a member of the Del Rey Online Writer's Workshop. The challenger bet that Butcher could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and he countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger's choosing. The "lame" ideas given were "Lost Roman Legion", and "Pokémon".[1]

Fairly said, H.

I've got quite a bit of Simmons' recent fiction on my shelf. None of it gets much rereading action, but that doesn't signify a lack of cogency. Perhaps I need to revisit the novels. "The Fifth Heart", his most recent, I think, is a historical fiction that pairs Sherlock Holmes and Henry James (!). "Drood", another HF, featured Wilkie Collins (author of "The Moonstone") as the laudanum-addled protagonist. A meditation on drug-fueled insanity. Recommended.
Almost done with Illium and I'm really disappointed. The Hyperion Cantos was such a masterpiece for me, maybe I had too high expectations.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 06:56:14 pm by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #95 on: July 18, 2018, 04:10:33 am »
I've got quite a bit of Simmons' recent fiction on my shelf. None of it gets much rereading action, but that doesn't signify a lack of cogency. Perhaps I need to revisit the novels. "The Fifth Heart", his most recent, I think, is a historical fiction that pairs Sherlock Holmes and Henry James (!). "Drood", another HF, featured Wilkie Collins (author of "The Moonstone") as the laudanum-addled protagonist. A meditation on drug-fueled insanity. Recommended.
Almost done with Illium and I'm really disappointed. The Hyperion Cantos was such a masterpiece for me, maybe I had too high expectations.

I, too, think that the Hyperion books are a cut above most of Dan Simmons' fiction. Both "Drood" and "The Fifth Heart" are historical thrillers, maybe better than most, maybe not. I can't recommend them to Hyperion devotees.
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

Wilshire

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« Reply #96 on: July 18, 2018, 12:26:09 pm »
Ilium by Dan Simmons (23)
Well, finished this as quickly as I could stand. It was just nowhere near as good as Hyperion. The writing was bland - I suspect in a style somewhat similar to the Iliad itself, but it was uninteresting. Too much time spent on actions, not enough on setting, plot, characters, etc. At least for me. I think I'll hold off on another Simmons book for some time.

The Time Machine by H G Wells (24)
More of a short story really, but better done than Ilium lol. This is a fun read, anyone interested in scifi should check this out - its a classic.

These are some of the books I'd like to read the rest of the year. At my current pace, I should get through all of them.

I'd like to get to these few first before the others:
Red Rising (Red Rising 1) by Pierce Brown
The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan
The Emperor's Blades by Brian Stavely
Black Company by Glen Cook
Lord Foul's Bane (Thomas Covenant 1) by Stephen Donaldson
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Then these, in no particular order
Shards of Honor (vorkosigan saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
Viriconium by M. John Harrison
Dreamsnake by Vonda Mcintyre
Starburst by Fredrik Pohl
The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski
A Canticle of Lebowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
The Broken God (A requiem for Homo Sapiens) by David Zindell
Furies of Calderon(Codex Alera 1) by Jim Butcher
Hidden Empire (Saga of Seven Suns) by Kevin J Anderson
Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy) by Robin Hobb
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower) by Stephen King



« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 12:35:31 pm by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

MSJ

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« Reply #97 on: July 19, 2018, 10:36:30 pm »
Quote from:  Wilshire
MSJ, just thought you might find this amusing regarding Codex Alera (from wikipedia):
The inspiration for the series came from a bet Butcher was challenged to by a member of the Del Rey Online Writer's Workshop. The challenger bet that Butcher could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and he countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger's choosing. The "lame" ideas given were "Lost Roman Legion", and "Pokémon".

That's very interesting. I thought it was a great series nonetheless. Awesome that he could come up with such a great story off of two lame ideas though.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #98 on: July 23, 2018, 07:08:03 pm »
Red Rising by Pierce Brown (25)

Wow this was a great book. I want to say 'like hunger games, except good' but I didnt read hunger games lol. So maybe more like hunger games mixed with Dune, though that's also probably an obscure connection too.

At any rate, it was paced very well, the setting was fun, and the plot was entertaining. I've read a handful of books this year, and this is definitely near the top. Very entertaining, not super deep but it has some things to say for sure - and its worth listening too :) . Highly recommended.

---

Started reading Eye of the World, immediately put off. Is it really starting with the disappearance of a great evil, flash forward to a small peaceful town in the future, about to start a festival and everyone's all excited to see fireworks? C'mon. This is the fantasy I try to avoid, bad Tolkien derivatives... I sure hope its not all bad, like Sword of Truth by Brooks - which currently holds the title for 'worst fantasy novel i can recall reading'.

You know what ... no. I'm not going to read it right now. Can't make myself do it. Luckily I have an excuse - the wife wants me to catch up on Republic of Thieves so we can listen to it on our road trip this weekend. So I'm going to trade in Jordan for Lynch. Last published book from him though, I'll be sad when its done.

That's very interesting. I thought it was a great series nonetheless. Awesome that he could come up with such a great story off of two lame ideas though.

Yeah I've heard great things about it, so its pretty amusing that it basically came from a bet. I really want to read it, but I already read one of Butcher's books this year... Maybe 25 books in I can double up on some authors?
One of the other conditions of possibility.

MSJ

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« Reply #99 on: July 24, 2018, 12:08:14 am »
When i read Red Risingn or rather the series a year or so ago, i recommended it highly in last year's version of this thread. Nice to see others giving it a go. Great series with an excellent finish to it.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

MSJ

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« Reply #100 on: July 29, 2018, 06:35:35 pm »
Finished The Poppy War (14), as I said in the other thread. Excellent book and excited to see the sequel.

I put down The Warded Man, by Peter V. Brett in favor of TPW, picked it up after and back down again. This time in favor of Assassin's Apprentice, by Robin Hobb. I've debated and debated starting this series, but I'm gonna give it a go...
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #101 on: July 31, 2018, 07:52:44 pm »
Hobb is on my list ... can you let me know if you finish? I started it once, briefly, but only got a handful of pages. Does it have much magic, or not so much, and if its worth reading. These are things I need MSJ to tell me :) .

Reading Black Company and Republic of Thieves.

Cook is interesting. I'm a bit on the fence. The dialogue is great, but the plot and prose is a bit uninteresting. I dunno, we'll see.
Lynch has done a better job with ROT than RSURS. Looking forward to getting through that one - listening to audiobooks with my wife on car trips, hoping to finish it up this month.

EDIT
Last night I decided to finish Black Company by Glen Cook (26)
It was ... alright. I was kind of disappointed with it, as it seems pretty popular. Ah well.
I think it just ended up not being very compelling to me for some reasons. The characters and plots seemed a bit thin, though the dialogue was great.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 12:49:09 pm by Wilshire »
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MSJ

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« Reply #102 on: August 01, 2018, 05:38:17 pm »
Quote from:  Wilshire
Hobb is on my list ... can you let me know if you finish? I started it once, briefly, but only got a handful of pages. Does it have much magic, or not so much, and if its worth reading. These are things I need MSJ to tell me :).

I am only on chapter 2, so there hasn't been any type of action so far. Only the background on Fitz (main character), and a little world building. I will keep you informed as your questions are answered.

Only thing is...i might put it down in favor of another book. Came across a thread about The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, by Claire North (which is a ghostname(?) for Charlotte Webb). This has really grabbed my attention, the whole premise is that Harry is a a man that lives the same life over and over. He can remember his previous lives, and meets others just like him. It has gotten a lot of rave reviews on it, and everything I read up on, says it's an excellent book. Also, it's only $2.99 on kindle, couldn't pass that up. I might put off AA for a minute, and gobble this one up first. We'll see.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #103 on: August 02, 2018, 04:37:59 pm »
Quote from:  Wilshire
Hobb is on my list ... can you let me know if you finish? I started it once, briefly, but only got a handful of pages. Does it have much magic, or not so much, and if its worth reading. These are things I need MSJ to tell me :).

I am only on chapter 2, so there hasn't been any type of action so far. Only the background on Fitz (main character), and a little world building. I will keep you informed as your questions are answered.

Only thing is...i might put it down in favor of another book. Came across a thread about The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, by Claire North (which is a ghostname(?) for Charlotte Webb). This has really grabbed my attention, the whole premise is that Harry is a a man that lives the same life over and over. He can remember his previous lives, and meets others just like him. It has gotten a lot of rave reviews on it, and everything I read up on, says it's an excellent book. Also, it's only $2.99 on kindle, couldn't pass that up. I might put off AA for a minute, and gobble this one up first. We'll see.

I have read The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and would recommend it. I really enjoyed the exploration of how people who could remember their past lives (well, the same life over and over, but you get what I mean) would try to change the world/society (or choose not to do it), and how it affected their mental well-being, personality, etc.
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasűrimbor Kayűtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)

MSJ

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« Reply #104 on: August 02, 2018, 09:09:33 pm »
Quote from:  ThoughtsofThelli
I have read The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and would recommend it. I really enjoyed the exploration of how people who could remember their past lives (well, the same life over and over, but you get what I mean) would try to change the world/society (or choose not to do it), and how it affected their mental well-being, personality, etc

Yea, I'm starting it tonight, just can't stop the itch I have to read this book. Once I've read it, I'll start a spoiler thread so we can discuss. :)
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,