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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #50 on: October 23, 2011, 11:00:08 AM »
 

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very massive books, will take you a few days even if you're an avid reader. He's new and good  :-() Enjoy  :)

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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #51 on: October 23, 2011, 12:56:11 PM »
 

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Looking forward to it, I have all the Thrones books except the most recent, so its going to take awhile :)
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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #52 on: October 23, 2011, 02:48:24 PM »
 

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There's a game called "A game of thrones - Genesis" also based in the w@&k of George R. R. Martin... are you familiar with that, Fiach? Is it good?
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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2011, 04:36:04 PM »
 

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Yes mate, but I think its a RTS (strategy) game and I dont play them, Think I've played maybe 3 in my life.

Its a rather unusual format to choose, But I can understand the reason, because its about a series of battles to wrest control of the seven kingdoms and the books chapters each deal with one characters viewpoint, so if it was a FPS, you would never have time to identify with your character as you are contstantly changing personas. It has different factions too, so it would be pretty confusing to play any other way.

There are three main factions, so like most RTS games, you probably have a Rock/Paper/Scissors mechanic.

I would like to play it as a RPG, there is one particular character (Jon Snow), he is the ba$t@rd son of the leader of House Stark and he is sent to join The Nightwatch, they are like a border patrol guard far in the north where it constantly snows, they are an elite fighting force (or were), but they are not allowed to get involved in the politics of the seven kingdoms.

Jon and his pet direwolf (Ghost) tend to have the more adventurey kind of storyline, dealing with the denizens from outside the wall as opposed to the more political aspect of the other characters.

Hope that is clear enough, I kind of went off on a tangent there :)
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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #54 on: October 23, 2011, 04:57:40 PM »
 

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You were very clear, thanks for the crash course, mate!  :-X

I didn't watch, play or read any Game of Thrones but been stumbling on that name here and there so I was pretty curious about it. Didn't now it was a book though, I thought it was just a TV show and evidently a game emerged from that. Good to know all that you mentioned. I might check one book to see how it feels. Too bad I have a long list of books but not enough time to read as much as I'd like to.
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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #55 on: October 23, 2011, 05:15:47 PM »
 

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Hopefully you will enjoy it mate, as I said earlier, my main gripe is that there are too many characters (imo), making it hard to get into the story, but once you come to grips with the names, its a cracking read.

There is a list at the back, divided into the different houses and the main members of each house. So I do tend to refer to it periodically, when I have a brain fart and dont remember a name of someone being discussed.
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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #56 on: November 04, 2012, 02:56:32 PM »
 

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After decades of reading a lot of books (like most of you fine folks, all pretty much SF and some Fantasy) I have unfortunately lapsed and not read so much during the past ten years.

I have recently started back into the habit of more regular reading.

I can agree with a lot of the names already mentioned, though I haven't hear anyone mention Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword ever before - nice one Art  :-X You said Charlie Stoss too. It probably wasn't out back then but The Atrocity Archives is a great 'recent' book which leads me to my favourite author of the 'new crowd': Anything by Tim Powers will assuage anyones needs for the semi-occult/mythological historic style novel. I'd suggest Earthquake Weather or The Anubis Gates.

More recently, if you folks like SF I have a pure left-field choice for you to consider. Remember the Japanese film Ring along with it's sequel and prequel Ring 2 and Birthday Party? Those were written by Koji Suzuki and the books start off as what appears to be a gripping horror tale, but one that morphs into almost SF half way through the second book (Spiral) and into pure SF by the third: Loop.

The main theme is about a virus that kills via videotape - I won't spoil the rest, but consider that virus is the key here and I'll leave it at that. I'd be happier with a more fluid translation than the one I read, but the style doesn't get in the way, it's just a little literal and inelegant at times. Anyway, the books are a surprise.
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Re: BOOK : The Passage by Justin Cronin
« Reply #57 on: November 04, 2012, 06:45:15 PM »
 

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THE PASSAGE BY JUSTIN CRONIN
I'm not sure if there is a "books" section, but I just finished this book and its awesomeness compelled me to post about it.

I picked it up because it was so thick, I knew it would get me over the xmas and the blurb on the back looked like it would be an interesting "thriller", which it was for about a quarter of the way through, then the book started throwing curveballs .....

I have since found out that this book is to be made into a movie or a series of movies and the book itself is part of a trilogy, but the book is totally self-contained and the ending is perfect, so you dont need to worry about the author dying and the series being unfinished.

The game starts in the South American jungle, glimpses of which are shown between narrative and a succession of emails between two scientists, this section would be comparable to maybe the Predator movies, the first curveball then throws the book into thriller territory as the story continues and follows two FBI agents, securing the release of death row inmates from various prisons.

The next curveball gets the FBI agents involved in a weird prolonged chase across a number of state lines, with the abduction of a young girl, this achieves a kind of resolution with the advent of the next and rather huge curveball the book throws at you, on which the rest of the narrative is based.

I am of necessity leaving out alot of the story, because the twists are many and will be enjoyed alot more if they are total surprises. If you look up any reviews, they are quite spoilerific.


Suffice to say, the world faces a doomsday scenario spanning several generations, before there is any resolution to the problem

This is a very well written book, its about 1000 pages long, depending of course on the format, but there is not one page of useless filler, the characters are well crafted, their stories are well told and the many harrowing subjects are dealt with in a compelling way, with a great sensitivity to the characters and the narrative.

Warfare, Horror, Thriller, Fantasy, Wasteland, all these subjects raise their heads in what could be a complete mess of ideas, but is honed into a rollicking good adventure yarn

I'm re-quoting this because the sequel (THE TWELVE) was released last week, for anyone interested.
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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #58 on: November 04, 2012, 06:54:24 PM »
 

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I just read these three books by australian author Matthew Reilly.

http://www.matthewreilly.com/jackwest.html

They are very good action packed end of the world adventures, kinda like Tomb Raider or the Uncharted games, the plot revolves around finding ancient monuments, solving their puzzles in a timed countdown to save the world.

The books are very well written and the author just pulls cliffhangers out of his pockets in every chapter that are believeable (mostly), action packed and well described.

The main character Jack West, has a team of helpers, he is an ex aussie SAS guy, his girlfriend is an irish Rangers Commando, the rest of the international team come from different corners of the earth, bringing their own political and personal agendas with them.

Globe trotting in the extreme, the series spins a taut yarn, that takes an interesting look at ancient intelligence.
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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #59 on: November 04, 2012, 11:47:53 PM »
 

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That sounds like a really interesting concept, right up my alley as far as ancient civilization-type stuff goes.

Thanks mate, will keep an eye out for those (I should be able to find them locally without too much trouble, I would think :-())
 

Re: Books discussion
« Reply #60 on: November 05, 2012, 07:54:30 AM »
 

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Yes, you should, I found the first one in a bargain book outlet a few years ago and the second one the same way, you woulldnt get them in a regular shop here, I got the third for Kindle, it seems to be the only way I can get books with any consistancy now.

BTW, the second book ends on a cliff hanger, I'm glad I didnt buy it at release, as I would have hated to wait for the sequel to be written/released, so if you like the first enough to get the second, you may as well buy he third at the same time. :)
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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #61 on: November 05, 2012, 08:32:53 AM »
 

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 :-X :)
 

Re: Books discussion
« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2013, 02:53:42 PM »
 

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I just finished reading an incredible historical account, one that I had known about only minimally beforehand, from the book Batavia by Aussie journalist and sometime historical writer Peter FitzSimons. This true horror story makes the Bounty mutiny look like a food fight.

The Batavia was the first of the big Dutch East Indiamen, a massive ship for the times when in October 1628 she set off on her maiden voyage from Amsterdam to the Dutch East India Company's (VOC's) centre of operations in Java - the burgeoning city that the ship was named after - Batavia (where the city of Jakarta now stands). The ship was packed full of trading treasure including hundreds of thousands of gilders' worth of money in chests, and had over 300 people on board - sailors, soldiers and passengers, including a couple of high-ranking VOC officials. In the middle of the night in June, 1629, eight months into the voyage, the ship ran aground on coral reefs outlying a small group of tiny desert islands about forty miles off the western coast of Australia. The sequence of events that followed is simply astonishing. It's about as quintessential a tale about good versus evil and the depths that men can descend to once the restraints of civilization and authority are removed as you'll ever find anywhere. There is also a classic example of how the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time can bring a bit of hell into the world. It's not a story for the fainthearted, but on the upside justice does ultimately prevail, harsh and ruthless though it is. And those to whom it's meted out are thoroughly deserving of it.

http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/peter-fitzsimons/batavia-9781864711349.aspx

If ever there was a ready-made story for a riveting movie, this is it. The screenplay writers would not have to make a single thing up, and if the film was faithful to history, anybody seeing it who wasn't aware of the facts would have to conclude that the writers had made it up.

FitzSimons has a wonderful talent for making history come alive. I've read a few of his historical non-fiction books, and they are never clinical, sterile narratives. He has a way of dropping you into the period and giving you a sense of what life would have been like in those times. By his own admission, he takes liberties with dialogue and what may have been going through characters' minds in order to flesh out his books and make his non-fiction a bit more fiction-like, but it's all in keeping with events and I think he probably is very close to being on the money with it.

A couple of related facts: From 1985 to 1995 a working, sea-worthy replica of the Batavia was built in Holland using traditional tools and materials of the 17th century. When the ship visited Sydney, the main mast was so high that an exceptionally low tide had to be waited for in order for the ship to be able to pass under Sydney Harbour Bridge - about 50 metres (approx. 160 feet) above the water. A large part of the hull of the original Batavia was excavated from the shipwreck site in relatively recent years and is now on display in the Western Australian Maritime Museum's Shipwreck Galleries in Fremantle, just south of Perth. I visited this in 2006 and it was poignant to see a once magnificent ship reduced to a 400-year-old collection of dull grey, half-rotten wood, and more than a tad creepy to know the horrific episode in history it represented - and here it was, almost close enough to touch.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 10:36:53 PM by fragger »
 

Re: Books discussion
« Reply #63 on: August 19, 2013, 07:58:51 PM »
 

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I just finished a wonderful novel called "The Art of Fielding", written by Chad Harbach (2011). It's his debut.
The story is about a guy, Henry Skrimshander, who has a wonderful talent for baseball. The best short stop since the great Aparicio Rodriguez. He gets accidentally discovered by a player of the Westish College Team and that gives him a ticket to start there as a student and develop his talent in favour of the local baseball team called "The Harpooners".
There, everything seems to roll out perfectly for a great career in the Major League, until one ball, thrown by him in a regular match, loses track of it's direction towards the first baseman and hits one of his team mates in the face. From that moment on a very interesting novel unfolds around him and some other Westish members.

I've played baseball myself for 8 years (from my 8th until my 16th) and it was great to catch up with a sport that is so different from most other team sports. I felt that good old feeling when entering the field for another fieldplay, or when entering the strike zone hoping to hit the ball high over all the players into somewhere in the outfield.

What else I like about the book is the American style of writing. I don't know whatever sense that makes to all of you, but to me it means that in the story, the way it's written and the way the personages develop, I feel a spirit that's both powerful and liberate. I like that a lot. I've read a lot of books of Ken Kesey, and also one of Tom Wolffe, and they have that same strong "freedom to act"-feeling in their novels. There's also a Dutch writer called Leon de Winter, that lives in LA for quite some time now, that also managed to write novels with that feeling in it.

I recommend this novel to all who like reading novels every once in a while. (or more often of course :-D) I enjoyed it a lot.  :-X :)
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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #64 on: August 19, 2013, 10:22:58 PM »
 

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hehe, nice one :)

I finished Joe Abercrombie's latest novel Red Country (fantasy) a few weeks ago. What I like about his style is that he uses two different (British) English language levels. Every time when the story turns to uneducated and savage people such as simple thieves or warriors he uses a very colloquial and crude style with wrong grammar not only in direct speech but also when narrating while when educated people or high society is involved the language switches to a very elaborate style. I like his style and stories very much and own all of his published books.

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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #65 on: January 04, 2017, 05:49:20 PM »
 

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I didn't want to start a new thread for a single post and while I know this thread has been dormant over three years I suspect that some of you are still willing to read if something catches your interest.   :-D

OK, I'll admit up front that the collection of short stories that I'm giving the link to is not a "Book" though many of the pieces that I've read so far (currently on page 6 / 33) outshine many patched together offerings in the numerous Sci-Fi anthologies I've trudged through.  I've been surprised by some of the gems that I've come across so far.

This link is for Page 1 of the collection  http://imgur.com/gallery/w3nA4

One of the aspects of this body of works from various authors that really put a hook in me (and set it) is that it's not because it's sci-fi but has the required condition that each submitted story (to be accepted in the collection) has to be written from the perspective of a non-human observer.

Take a glance at the first page and see if you find anything that tickles your interest.  At the bottom of the few short pieces on page 1 there will be a display of links for all pages 1 through 33.

Because these are all screen captures (I believe from Reddit) most of the stories can be clicked to expand their size but some of them render up as eye achingly too small to read comfortably.  When I've encountered that it has been helpful to use the hot key of press and hold "Ctrl" while tapping the "+" key to increase the size of the image to a comfortable level.

Oh yeah, when you've used the screen resize remember to shrink it back down using the reversing "Ctrl" and "-" key combo before moving on.  :-X

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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #66 on: January 04, 2017, 05:53:54 PM »
 

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 :-X :)

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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #67 on: January 05, 2017, 02:38:10 PM »
 

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I'm into page 13 of this collection and I've begun to see an occasional story presented in a human's point of view so I have to retract that the people assembling this collection are going to stick to an alien's POV.

That said I'm still enjoying the working my way through them.
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Re: Books discussion
« Reply #68 on: January 20, 2017, 01:00:32 PM »
 

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The school got some new part-time studies. One of them is "Book club". Here, we read books and come up with books that's worth a read :) I have been reading about Silicon Valley and how it works inside/out. It's about Jim Clark, a businessman who made himself a billionaire and some other unheard stuff going down back in the 1980's when IT was becoming the next big business. Apparently, the first idea of a pocket sized computer (smart phone) and a smart TV was experimented with in the early 1990's.
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