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Messages - Alia

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Literature / Re: Yearly Targets (2016) - Totals and Specifics
« on: August 28, 2016, 02:43:12 pm »
In the meantime I've finished reading a collection of short stories nominated for our biggest sf-f/fantasy awards (they were really good) and now I'm reading a collection of s-f retellings of popular legends, written by well-known Polish writers. It's OK, but as for retellings, I very much prefer the darker style of Angela Carter for example.

Author Q&A / Re: Whence the Inchoroi?
« on: August 28, 2016, 02:22:51 pm »
The Inchoroi seem to be exactly what they appear - a humanoid species who progressed technologically to the point where they could rewire their own neurology for maximum pleasure, at which point they turned themselves into a race of hedonist psychopaths.

Something like Bank's Culture gone horribly wrong? I like that idea very much.

Literature / Re: Yearly Targets (2016) - Totals and Specifics
« on: July 31, 2016, 06:04:31 pm »
Taking a short break from fantasy and s-f, today I read a short non-fiction book about wolves. On my computer, as an exception, as it had a lot of colour photos. I've always thought that wolves are fascinating animals and the book was a really interesting insight in their lives, hunting and feeding patterns, as well as history of their extermination in most of Europe.

Literature / Re: Yearly Targets (2016) - Totals and Specifics
« on: July 13, 2016, 07:03:08 pm »
Now that was fast. I finished the urban fantasy novel over the weekend. It was definitely helped by the fact that, firstly, the book is rather short, and secondly, I had a bit of a hangover on Sunday and I didn't feel like doing much apart from lying on the sofa with my kindle and reading. Which makes it 6 books so far this year.

Literature / Re: Yearly Targets (2016) - Totals and Specifics
« on: July 09, 2016, 04:34:54 pm »
While on holiday, I finished the military s-f novel I was reading (the "Afghanistan in space" one). I really enjoyed it, it was fast-paced, with likeable characters and some nice twists in the plot - and the fact that I know the author and heard some of her stories from her stay in Afghanistan only added to the fun factor.

Now I'm reading an urban fantasy by another friend of mine, so far I'm enjoying it.

Neuropath / Re: Neuropath Kindle version (
« on: June 19, 2016, 10:49:25 am »
This isn't an issue limited to the Kindle edition. I have the Tor mass market edition, first printing, ISBN 978-0-7653-6157-8, and all the chapter-opening italicized sections are missing. I only learned from reading this thread that they're also missing from the USA Kindle edition, and was surprised. I could imagine a plausible motive for removing content from a physical version if it reduced printing costs, but why would it be removed from a digital edition? Censorship?

As they say, never assume malicious intent if something can be due to plain stupidity. I guess someone just messed up their job - sent incomplete manuscript which then got printed. I remember a situation in which a publisher printed a book missing one chapter, which nobody noticed during the editing, proofreading and DTP stages. When readers started to complain, they put the missing chapter on the publisher's page for download.

Literature / Re: Yearly Targets (2016) - Totals and Specifics
« on: June 18, 2016, 06:18:54 pm »
I'm at 4 completed books now, as in addition to Harari and Brunner I've read two Polish novels (among them one by my high-school friend).
At the moment I am reading Polish military s-f written by an army doctor who spent some time in Afghanistan (and it shows). The book is very entertaining, has several likeable characters (bonus points for the fact that they are on different sides) but it's quite long and I'm halfway through.

General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« on: June 13, 2016, 05:43:01 am »
I often thought it was a well done show but then wondered how it would fare under academic scrutiny.

As series go, this one is pretty OK from a historian's point of view. They do not make any glaring factual errors - I suppose sometimes someone in the costume department would just get carried away.

General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« on: June 12, 2016, 06:37:29 pm »
Vikings is the only series that I am watching - we're currently mid-way through season 3, season 4 is still waiting on the HDR. It's fun, it's well-made and it looks pretty realistic - although my husband, who has an MA in medieval history, would sometimes shout out things like "a rosary?! a helmet with a nose guard?! impossible". But then again, nobody else would notice.

General Earwa / Re: TSA related art and stuff. (VI)
« on: June 12, 2016, 06:31:47 pm »
Well its a polish translation of a quote fromt TDTCB.

"Here is a simple difference between a strong and a weak emperor : for he first, the world is an arena, for the second - a harem"

Courtesy of google translate.

As for the picture.... I haven't the faintest clue.

Well, it seems to be a site with quotes that the author thinks interesting, superimposed on images that s/he deemed appropriate. They are quite popular over here - but this one seems to be rather dull.
The picture is taken from here:, it's a part of an advertising campaign.

Jean Michel Jarre's new album, Electronica 2. So far listened to it only once, seems great as background noise to working (I can't work with music that is too distracting, especially if it has lyrics in any language that I know).

Literature / Re: Yearly Targets (2016) - Totals and Specifics
« on: April 24, 2016, 06:28:26 pm »
Finished reading the book by the Polish philosopher, which means I've already read for books this year. Not bad for me, although the last two were rather shortish.
It was totally strange. No fantastic elements whatsoever, but a complicated family story, even more complicated by the absolutely unreliable first-person narration, so that I had to piece all the elements of the puzzle together on my own. Language still enchanting and on the whole fully satisfying.

Now I'm at a bit of a loss what to read - another Brunner, this time Sheep Look Up, a Polish military s-f by a writer who has also spent some time as a doctor in Afghanistan, Glukhovsky's FUTU.RE or maybe non-fiction about wolves (although this one I should be reading on a computer, as it has coloured photos).

Literature / Re: Yearly Targets (2016) - Totals and Specifics
« on: April 19, 2016, 07:04:35 pm »
Well, Sanderson did his thing again - he wrote a book and a few years later decided to write a sequel, which turned to be two books - and that's still not the end, as there is book four planned for sometime next year or later. But "Wax and Wayne" books are still much shorter and lighter than the rest of his stuff. And he's got much better as a writer in those years between Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self.

Literature / Re: Yearly Targets (2016) - Totals and Specifics
« on: April 16, 2016, 07:19:55 pm »
Alloy of Law is fine, but the next two are even better. Shadows of Self has such a great deconstruction of western tropes in the introduction, it made me laugh. And Bands of Mourning are incredibly fast-paced.

Literature / Re: Yearly Targets (2016) - Totals and Specifics
« on: April 12, 2016, 10:17:57 am »
Since I spent most of the weekend on the train or standing in lines (reading - I went to the biggest s-f convention in Poland), I finished reading the book by my high-school friend. It's really strange - a bit of fantasy, a bit of horror, a bit of magical realism - and a lot of truth about depression and all those little hurts that we carry on from our childhood and that influence our lives, unless we finally come to terms with them.
I had one small problem with the book. It's written mostly from the protagonist's PoV and in first person - and I couldn't help but see my friend in those parts, so many things about her life that I know of overlapped. Still, a very good book.

I've already started another one, a novel by a Polish philosopher, who started out writing folklore-based fantasy and now writes something I have no name for. It's not realistic prose, although actually there are no fantastic elements in it. But the language, the language is beautiful and captivating. So captivating that in fact after reading each of his novels so far I had bouts of thinking in his phrases.

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