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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9632
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:27 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
No, I mean since it's a largely accurate medieval society, he doesn't have to spend lots of time explaining complex magical or technological systems; we know what a sword is, we know how a castle works, we know what a joust entails, etc. This gives him a lot more room to focus on other things, like the characters. Compare that to Dune, where EVERYTHING about his society has to be explained in great detail.

I disagree, Westeros is a very rich and detailed world even with the medieval familiarity. Sure we know what a knight and a lord and a vassal are, but he has to explain the maesters, the Night Watch, the wildlings, the War of the Usurper and its near-immediate consequences on Westeros, the fucked up seasons, the blood maegi, Valyria and the Targaryen dynasty and its legacy on Westeros, the religions (Faith of the Seven, the Old Gods, the Faceless Men's god, the Lord of the Light, the Drowned God, the Great Shepherd, etc.), the Dothraki tribes, the Iron Island traditions, the Free Cities, the Eyrie, Harrenhal, the creatures (the Others, the Giants, the Children of the Forest, the wights), Valyrian steel... come on now, there's as much world-building in ASoIaF as in Dune, if not more so.

Quote:
Yea, as much as I like GRRM, he's simply not on the same level as Vance, Wolfe, and Lord Dunsany at all

Maybe - haven't read those yet. Dying Earth is on my to-read list.
Quote:
(or Tolkien, for that matter).

Pah! I will never agree with this. I don't care if Tolkien's older or more "legendary", I don't care if even GRRM would agree with you, he's better than Tolkien in every single way. :annoyed:

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Thorgrim_Honkronte
Imperius Rexxz

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:40 pm
Posts: 2903
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:39 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Pah! I will never agree with this. I don't care if Tolkien's older or more "legendary", I don't care if even GRRM would agree with you, he's better than Tolkien in every single way. :annoyed:


GRRM is better than Tolkien on many things, but Tolkien still remains the greatest storyteller of the two.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
Posts: 9637
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:43 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
failsafeman wrote:
No, I mean since it's a largely accurate medieval society, he doesn't have to spend lots of time explaining complex magical or technological systems; we know what a sword is, we know how a castle works, we know what a joust entails, etc. This gives him a lot more room to focus on other things, like the characters. Compare that to Dune, where EVERYTHING about his society has to be explained in great detail.

I disagree, Westeros is a very rich and detailed world even with the medieval familiarity. Sure we know what a knight and a lord and a vassal are, but he has to explain the maesters, the Night Watch, the wildlings, the War of the Usurper and its near-immediate consequences on Westeros, the fucked up seasons, the blood maegi, Valyria and the Targaryen dynasty and its legacy on Westeros, the religions (Faith of the Seven, the Old Gods, the Faceless Men's god, the Lord of the Light, the Drowned God, the Great Shepherd, etc.), the Dothraki tribes, the Iron Island traditions, the Free Cities, the Eyrie, Harrenhal, the creatures (the Others, the Giants, the Children of the Forest, the wights), Valyrian steel... come on now, there's as much world-building in ASoIaF as in Dune, if not more so.


:lol: Look, I'm not arguing that there isn't any world-building in ASoIaF, or that it's somehow shallow or something, but it's inarguable that it's based on a solid foundation of historical fact, which allows him to focus on the aspects he wants to. The things you described are almost all arguably characterization, anyway. It's not even a criticism, but rather an observation of technique.

Morrigan wrote:
Pah! I will never agree with this. I don't care if Tolkien's older or more "legendary", I don't care if even GRRM would agree with you, he's better than Tolkien in every single way. :annoyed:


Well, I don't want to make a big deal out of this, and I would agree that some aspects of GRRM's stuff are better than Tolkien's (characters being an obvious one, though that was clearly not a focus of Tolkien's work), but for me the thing that really tips the balance is the atmosphere of LotR (and The Silmarillion as well). There's a sense of importance and age and depth and -dare I say- reality to the whole thing that I just feel isn't there (to the same degree, anyway) in GRRM's works. I realize that without specific examples or comparisons such a claim is fairly subjective, but unless someone is willing to pay me by the hour I simply don't have the time or effort available to devote to such a monumental task. :lol:
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alexanderthegreat
Metal Barbarian Dinosaur

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 5:34 pm
Posts: 1916
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:44 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
You know, most fantasy sucks shit, and other than George RR Martin and Robin Hobb I feel that there's no truly great author in the genre...


Morrigan wrote:
failsafeman wrote:
Yea, as much as I like GRRM, he's simply not on the same level as Vance, Wolfe, and Lord Dunsany at all

Maybe - haven't read those yet. Dying Earth is on my to-read list.


Naughty, naughty. :P

Nah, the vast majority of fantasy (again, like any other genre) is clogged with the detritus of knock-offs, cash-ins and "collaborations". I do think there are plenty of other great authors, certainly better than what I've read of G.R.R.M., which is not a knock on him by any means.
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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9632
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:33 pm 
 

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
GRRM is better than Tolkien on many things, but Tolkien still remains the greatest storyteller of the two.

I cannot see this statement as being even remotely defensible.

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Thorgrim_Honkronte
Imperius Rexxz

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:40 pm
Posts: 2903
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:41 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
GRRM is better than Tolkien on many things, but Tolkien still remains the greatest storyteller of the two.

I cannot see this statement as being even remotely defensible.


Why not?
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Earthcubed
Peregrinus sine aetate

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
Posts: 2608
Location: Orocarni
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:57 pm 
 

I kind of want to read more fantasy if I ever have the time, but it's a daunting genre to get into. The only fantasy I can think of that I've read is Tolkien, CS Lewis (aka LOTR-Lite), some Stephen King, some Harry Potter (:gay:), a few of Lovecraft's fantasies, and maybe some older stuff....yeah, pretty much it. I've read about half of The Eye of the World and it was pretty good, but after seeing that there's eleven other books and apparently half of them suck I decided to just stop right there.

Horror is what I'd rather read more of if I get the time, which realistically I'll never have during the school year.
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alexanderthegreat
Metal Barbarian Dinosaur

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 5:34 pm
Posts: 1916
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:37 pm 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
I kind of want to read more fantasy if I ever have the time, but it's a daunting genre to get into. The only fantasy I can think of that I've read is Tolkien, CS Lewis (aka LOTR-Lite), some Stephen King, some Harry Potter (:gay:), a few of Lovecraft's fantasies, and maybe some older stuff....yeah, pretty much it. I've read about half of The Eye of the World and it was pretty good, but after seeing that there's eleven other books and apparently half of them suck I decided to just stop right there.


Dude, is that all? Dude... :( Off the top of my head I'd say you should at least try some Dunsany, Robert E. Howard, Karl Edward Wagner, Leigh Brackett, Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Lieber, Gene Wolfe, Jack Vance, and maybe Lloyd Alexander. They're the ones I usually recommend.
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Thulsa_Doom
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:19 pm
Posts: 70
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:45 pm 
 

Finished reading American Gods. Quite enjoyed it. Now reading a History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr. I generally read more non-fiction than fiction, and even though I'm a history geek, I don't know much about British history. I'm about a hundred pages in and so far its very well written and researched, its a bit tiring to read history books that are nothing but political and military based after a while. The author was a former writer for the Economist as well.

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Earthcubed
Peregrinus sine aetate

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
Posts: 2608
Location: Orocarni
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:40 pm 
 

alexanderthegreat wrote:
Earthcubed wrote:
I kind of want to read more fantasy if I ever have the time, but it's a daunting genre to get into. The only fantasy I can think of that I've read is Tolkien, CS Lewis (aka LOTR-Lite), some Stephen King, some Harry Potter (:gay:), a few of Lovecraft's fantasies, and maybe some older stuff....yeah, pretty much it. I've read about half of The Eye of the World and it was pretty good, but after seeing that there's eleven other books and apparently half of them suck I decided to just stop right there.


Dude, is that all? Dude... :( Off the top of my head I'd say you should at least try some Dunsany, Robert E. Howard, Karl Edward Wagner, Leigh Brackett, Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Lieber, Gene Wolfe, Jack Vance, and maybe Lloyd Alexander. They're the ones I usually recommend.


Oh, well if you count Cthulhu Mythos-related stuff then I have read some Smith and Lin Carter.
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Thrasher86
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 9:45 pm
Posts: 26
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:17 am 
 

I just read Cormac McCarthy's The Road and he is easily becoming one of my favorite contemporary authors. The setting of the novel is set in post apocalyptic future (year is never given) after an unnamed event wiped out most of the human population and seemingly almost all animals have died. While McCarthy never says what happened the effects on the world seem to be those of a nuclear winter, with ash covering the Earth and air blocking out the sun, and throughout the novel it is suggested that the desire was man made and very senseless. Anyway the story deals with a dying man with a respiratory disease (probably caused by inhaling of ash) wandering throughout the desolate remains of what was once United States with his young boy, with the mother committing suicide prior to the beginning of the story. The surviving humans have either become scavengers looking for remaining canned food or have grouped together and become cannibals who keep catamites for sexual pleasures and food. The plot sounds generic but McCarthy deviates away from the cliches of the genre by making any action sparse and mostly focusing on the survival of the man and the boy as they try to go southward towards the Ocean where he hopes the boy will be safe. Anyway this book is not Water World or Postman and there is virtually no hope as Cormac paints a bleak nihilistic picture of mankind's future, it also helps that the author has a way of describing things in the story in a very poetic way as he slowly paints the picture of what has happened to the world. Might be boring for some but I'm sure many of the smarter posters here can appreciate the novels subtle critique of human nature.

Other good books by McCarthy that I read are Blood Meridian and No Country For Old Men (yes the movie is based on it) both of which are very bleak and violent especially the former which is very explicit in its detail of horrors of the lawless wild west.
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Leo762
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:28 pm
Posts: 66
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:18 pm 
 

Thrasher86 wrote:
I just read Cormac McCarthy's The Road and he is easily becoming one of my favorite contemporary authors. The setting of the novel is set in post apocalyptic future (year is never given) after an unnamed event wiped out most of the human population and seemingly almost all animals have died. While McCarthy never says what happened the effects on the world seem to be those of a nuclear winter, with ash covering the Earth and air blocking out the sun, and throughout the novel it is suggested that the desire was man made and very senseless. Anyway the story deals with a dying man with a respiratory disease (probably caused by inhaling of ash) wandering throughout the desolate remains of what was once United States with his young boy, with the mother committing suicide prior to the beginning of the story. The surviving humans have either become scavengers looking for remaining canned food or have grouped together and become cannibals who keep catamites for sexual pleasures and food. The plot sounds generic but McCarthy deviates away from the cliches of the genre by making any action sparse and mostly focusing on the survival of the man and the boy as they try to go southward towards the Ocean where he hopes the boy will be safe. Anyway this book is not Water World or Postman and there is virtually no hope as Cormac paints a bleak nihilistic picture of mankind's future, it also helps that the author has a way of describing things in the story in a very poetic way as he slowly paints the picture of what has happened to the world. Might be boring for some but I'm sure many of the smarter posters here can appreciate the novels subtle critique of human nature.

Other good books by McCarthy that I read are Blood Meridian and No Country For Old Men (yes the movie is based on it) both of which are very bleak and violent especially the former which is very explicit in its detail of horrors of the lawless wild west.


DUDE! i was right about to suggest this novel! very well written and really messes with your mind. when i was reading the road, it kinda got to me, i had some really crazy dreams and just felt totally weird - highly recommended

i just finished world war z which was great too but more of a fun book if you like zombies

im about to start on Child of God by McCarthy

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MazeofTorment
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:06 pm
Posts: 2039
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:55 pm 
 

Fuckin right guys, McCarthy rules. I got Blood Meridian for xmas recently and its one of the best books I've ever read. No Country For Old Men was also a great read/movie as well. I'm looking forward to reading more novels from him.

On a similar note, William Faulkner right alongside McCarthy has a writing style that I just cant get enough of. The best kind of books are always the ones you can read and actually 'feel' like you are right there and feel the emotion of whats going on because they're just that damn descriptive.
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Pants
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:52 pm
Posts: 20
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:37 pm 
 

Aside from stuff required to read in high school I have not read much by my own choice. Who went through high school and never read Ender's Game?

Though I picked up a copy of Lords of Chaos. It's enjoyable to read. I may start reading stuff like Che Guevara books and non-fiction historical value stuff later on.

I want to read up on the more "occult" stuff and need recommendations.

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Skullfucked
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:11 am
Posts: 8
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:34 am 
 

I highly reccomend philosophical writers such as Friedrich Nietzsche. They can be a bit heady and hard to get around, but defininetly worth it. Nietzsche's book "Beyond Good and Evil" changed my life, in the way that is completely changed my perceptions about almost everything. Be warned; it isn't a text to be taken lightly and may offend dogmatists (religious peoples)

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kronos116
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:55 pm
Posts: 179
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:01 pm 
 

I am 1/3 the way through "The Hostile Takeover Trilogy" (though it's really just one very long book) by S. Andrew Swann for my second time, and it's still fantastic. The author is obviously an anarchist, but the book is ultimately a love story and not a policital rant, so he manages to get away with it. I'm also reading the "The Turner Diaries" right now, and can't help but notice the startling lack of writing ability present.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10216
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:11 am 
 

kronos116 wrote:
I am 1/3 the way through "The Hostile Takeover Trilogy" (though it's really just one very long book) by S. Andrew Swann for my second time, and it's still fantastic. The author is obviously an anarchist, but the book is ultimately a love story and not a policital rant, so he manages to get away with it. I'm also reading the "The Turner Diaries" right now, and can't help but notice the startling lack of writing ability present.


:lol: Well, it shouldn't really startle you ... books written by people who are obviously not writers first and foremost are often poorly written. That one is a pretty funny case .. never managed to finish it, either .. it didn't really seem worthwhile and I have little patience for bad literature now after having to put up with it in my daily routine for so long!

I'm currently reading David Lindsay's "The Haunted WOman". It's the only Lindsay book I can find, aside from "A Voyage to Arcturus", which I've ranted about enough in here already. Anyway, "The Haunted Woman" is quite different and sometimes it's a little strange to think this is the same writer who penned the very much otherworldly and sublime "Arcturus". Not to say that "The haunted Woman" is a poor book...far from it in fact .. but it does concern itself with much more earthly things and is firmly placed in its early 1920s British setting. The story concerns a young woman who is about to marry a confident and well-starred businessman, and is trying to purchase a very old house from aa mysterious gentleman who seems to have things to hide, for the two of them and her old aunt to live in. The house has construction dating to Saxon times, and is also strangely haunted, with an upper storey that only some people seem to be able to see, and only at certain times. THe book is rather fascinating because despite the fact that Lindsay seems to be trying to rein in some of his more outlandish impulses, and despite the sort of post-victorian stuffiness that occasionally shows itself in the notions of the characters and what they consider to be important (the main female protagonist is actually very well portrayed, but she's surprisingly concerned with reputation, appearances and public opinion ... but I suppose that was very much the norm at the time, and still is in many respects), there are hints of all sorts of complexities beneath the surface that Lindsay delicately applies ... elements of sexual tension and strange passions, and hunger for things that lie beyond the mundane. It's a pretty quiet, slow-moving book, and it's pretty funny that so much is always done over lunch or dinner (they're always having picnics and luncheons, argh!), but there's definitely a certain romantic majesty to it and everything is sort of understated in a way that I appreciate in this time when subtlety is assumed to go over the heads of most people. I've an intense desire to track downn all of Lindsay's novels (there are only five or six of them, I think), even if they aren't as good as "A Voyage to Arcturus", becausee I find his ideas extremely compelling.

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BM_DM
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:47 am
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:37 pm 
 

Does anyone use this books site? I think it's great.
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BM_DM
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:47 am
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:37 am 
 

I'm currently reading Ian Watson's The Miracle Visitors on my commute. I don't think much of it.

I read an advance copy of Jeff Somers' The Digital Plague on a flight a couple of days back, and enjoyed it.

I read Hrafnkel's Saga last weekend. All those ancient Icelanders were obsessed with legal redress against one another, so it would seem.

I am reading Rudyard Kipling's The Mark Of The Beast And Other Fantastical Tales in the evenings. It's a unique blend of weird fiction and anglo-indian social history.
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RedMisanthrope
Poet Laureate of the Old Ones

Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:53 pm
Posts: 1952
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:58 am 
 

I'm reading The Silence of the Lambs right now.
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woeoftyrants
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:08 pm
Posts: 148
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:06 pm 
 

I've been on spring break for the past week, so I've done a ton of reading lately.

Before I went on break from school, I had just finished Nietzsche's The Gay Science and started in immediately on Bret Easton Ellis' first novel Less Than Zero; I'm still not entirely sure if I liked it. It's definitely different from American Psycho or Glamorama, but the writing style went great with the general atmosphere, even if everything seemed fairly underdeveloped.

Late last week, I finished A Clockwork Orange, which was so much better than the movie. The book is definitely a new favorite. And last night, I finished Vonnegut's Slaughter-House Five, which I thought was great; I'm eager to check out more of his works.

Whenever I get back to school from break, I'm going to start in on Palahniuk's Fight Club, and then read J.G. Ballard's The Atrocity Exhibition, which I'm pretty excited about.

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ReigningChaos
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 7:36 pm
Posts: 339
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:37 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
(or Tolkien, for that matter).

Pah! I will never agree with this. I don't care if Tolkien's older or more "legendary", I don't care if even GRRM would agree with you, he's better than Tolkien in every single way. :annoyed:


I may not be qualified to comment on this, as I've only read The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring (both of which I loved; I have no beef with Tolkien), but Martin really is the superior author. I'm almost done with A Storm of Swords, and I can no longer tell who the bad guys are. I love it! :lol:
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
Posts: 9637
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:32 pm 
 

woeoftyrants wrote:
And last night, I finished Vonnegut's Slaughter-House Five, which I thought was great; I'm eager to check out more of his works.


Player Piano is the only one I've read by Vonnegut, so I can't tell you how it stacks up against his other works, but I can tell you that it was enjoyable and quite good. It's basically a story about a man in a more advanced version of our civilization (well, from the perspective of the 1950's, anyway), and his struggle to find meaning for his life in a basically mechanical world. It's very interesting how he tries to cope with this, and I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say that I was very pleased with the ending.
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incarcerated_demon
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:21 pm
Posts: 195
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:26 pm 
 

I'm on a slight Aldous Huxley fix now. Just finished Brave New World for the 3rd time, and starting Crome Yellow. So far, none of the dystopia that is in Brave New World, but early days yet...

Also just finished Kite Runner in one sitting. It's a delicately written, sensitive but hard hitting book - the narrator isn't the protagonist in any sense but he finds redemption at the end. It's a bit sobby, boohoo, heart rending tearjerker at the end, but it's written so well that it works. There's very little high falutin' lofty pondering on the human condition, but it explores human weakness really well. Also I have a fascination with that part of the world (Afghanistan, Pakistan especially). Highly recommended. And no, I waited a few months till the hype died down.

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ReigningChaos
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 7:36 pm
Posts: 339
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:18 pm 
 

The only thing I've read by Aldous Huxley is The Doors of Perception and Heaven & Hell, but they were amazing. Anyone who claims to be even remotely interested in the psychedelic experience or that aspect of the '60s American counter culture movement ought to read these essays.
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Blardone
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:03 pm
Posts: 304
Location: Philippines
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:23 pm 
 

Any fans of:

Edgar Rice Burroughs?

Georges Simenon?

Lauran Paine?

If there are- let's discuss!

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Blardone
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:03 pm
Posts: 304
Location: Philippines
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:26 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
My favorite book is Dune, by the way.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.


I dig Dune too, used to be really into it in my highschool years. In fact, I was browsing the official brian herbert/kevin j anderson site while posting on this thread

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10216
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:54 am 
 

AurvandiL wrote:
Abominatrix wrote:
Last night I had a craving to open a new book and, after vacilating quite a bit, decided to crack into the first volume of Michael Moorcock's "Dancers at the End of Time", called "An Alien Heat". The book iss dedicated to Nik Turner, Bob Calvert, Dave Brock, Lemmy Killmeister and the other guys in Hawkwind, which I thought was pretty neat! However, upon beginning the book I noticed the same irritating elements that prevent me from fully enjoying all but a couple of the Moorcock books I've read .. namely, there's a big helping of grandiose cheese that I simply don't notice in other authors of this genre of sword-and-sorcery-decadent-dying-earth-culture fantasyy, like Jack Vance or Fritz Leiber, both of whom are titans as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, this also seems to be a romance of sorts and I'm kind of skeptical. We'll see how it goes.


Ach, I wanted to get it, I probably will, but I'd interessed in someone's opinion.
Speaking of Moorcock, I have the 6 Corum Books (in special aquarelle cover, Atalantes edition from 1989) waiting for me in my favourite second hand bookstore.


Sadly, I just couldn't persevere with the book. I put it aside without finishing it, which seems the fate of several Moorcock novels with me. I'm about ready to resign myself to simply not being much of a fan of his, but it perplexes me because given my taste I ought to love a lot of what he does. I'm still really a fan of "The War Hound and the World's Pain", and "Behold the Man", however, and I'd really like to read "Gloriana" andd a few others who's names escape me at the moment.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10216
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:59 am 
 

alexanderthegreat wrote:
Abominatrix wrote:
Damn, do you remember which Fafhrd and Mouser stories you read? I wasn't quite enamoured at first myself, as I recall .. but now the pair has a real place of affection in my heart that few other literary characters can share. Once a tale or two really struck me suddenly even the less significant ones seemed like a huge amount of fun. Leiber can be a little bit, well, cheeky and post-modern at times, but for some reason I can let him get away with it because he's just so good and everything he does seems to be there for a reason.


I think it was "Snow Women" and "Ill-Met in Lankhmar" I read, and although they were ok they didn't really impress me enough to read further.

Quote:
Read "Lean Times in Lankhmar" if you haven't .. you will laugh for an hour, I promise you. :D .. but yes, the horror tales are wonderful, and I think we already talked about "Our Lady of Darkness". I need to track down a lot more of Leiber's horror stuff.


I have the two Lankhmar Fantasy Masterworks collections, so I'll give it another go.

Quote:
"The Ship of Ishtar" is on my must-read list. I've read two Merrit books, "Dwellers in the Mirage" and "The Face in the Abyss". They were both very good, especially the former I think .. his writing does get a bit over-the-top and excessive sometimes, and you can practically see the exclamation points leaping and jumping from the pages, but his sense of wonder and really ahead-of-his-time scientific speculations are marvelous. He really does the whole "lost civilisation" angle just about better than anyone else, I think. I've also read some of Merrit's early short stories and I must say they were clearly a massive inspiration on H. P. Lovecraft, especially "The Moon Pool" and "People of the Pit".


Probably foolish to ask, but have you read The Challenge from Beyond? It's a round robin story with contributions from Howard, Lovecraft and Merritt, as well as C.L. Moore and Frank Belknap Long. It's quite a remarkable thing, with all the writer's individual styles being both distinctive and complementary to each other.


haha, it's not foolish to ask, because although I've heard about it before I never have read "The Challenge from Beyond". To be honest, such a collaboration really sounded too good to be true.

"The Snow Women" does feel a bit awkward at first. Everything's "snow this", "snow that" ... you have to warm to the style in these tales, which is really loose and relaxed but sort of self-consciously experimental at times, too. In some off the later adventures for example, it feels as though Leiber might be consciously trying to immitate shakespeare and epic poem stylists, sort of as E. R. Eddison, surely one of Leiber's influences, also did with "The Worm Ouroboros".

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10216
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:04 pm 
 

Blardone wrote:
Any fans of:

Edgar Rice Burroughs?

Georges Simenon?

Lauran Paine?

If there are- let's discuss!


Georges Simenon's Maigret novels are great fun. I've only read a couple of them, but they're some of the best detective fiction I've come across recently. There are a hell of a lot of these books and I'd like to crack into more .. Maigret seems like possibly a more complex individual than what you initially find on the surface andd I haven't really gotten a feel for the style yet. It'd probably be more enjoyable to read these in french, but unfortunately I think I lack the skill.

Edgar Rice Burroughs is certainly fun to read, and from a time period when the most wonderouss fantastic literature was being proliferated. I can't say I love his writing or have been inspired to read that much of it, but I enjoyed "At the Earth's Core" and one or two of the Mars books.

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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:53 pm 
 

Right now I am two thirds through Stephen King's From a Buick 8. Of course, it is a Stephen King book so the premise is extremely silly - but unlike his previous haunted car story Christine this one actually strives to work as serious literature; it's about how the paranormal fills the spiritual void of the modern age - and the ultimate futility of attempting to explaining the supernatural. Actually, it reminds me of C. G. Jung's idea that the most important part of growing up is realizing there's things in life you have no control over. Yes, I know I'm saying this about a novel whose plot revolves around a haunted car. A haunted... car.

When I'm done with it, I'm either starting on Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man (allegedly Bester was the closest thing you got to cyberpunk in the 1950s) or something by Thomas Pynchon. Which Pynchon book would the people here recommend I get first? I know that Gravity's Rainbow is his best-known book but that's pretty much it.
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BM_DM
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:47 am
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:42 am 
 

I read Gravity's Rainbow over a decade ago out of a sense of duty, and other than remembering the outline of the plot and my coming to understand that reading any Pynchon is as much about learning to appreciate his unique qualities (technical and creative) as a writer as it is about his spinning a good yarn (more of a tapestry, really), I can't remember a great deal about it.

I read Mason & Dixon last year, however, and really enjoyed it.

A hardback of Against the Day is currently bowing the bookshelf, unread. It's a work of daunting dimensions.

That doesn't help much, I know. I'd say G's R is as good a place to start as any.

As far as Bester goes, if you can lay hands on The Stars my Destination a.k.a. Tiger! Tiger! first, read it before The Demolished Man. If not, it really doesn't matter, but I prefer the former .
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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:46 am 
 

BM_DM wrote:
I read Gravity's Rainbow over a decade ago out of a sense of duty, and other than remembering the outline of the plot and my coming to understand that reading any Pynchon is as much about learning to appreciate his unique qualities (technical and creative) as a writer as it is about his spinning a good yarn (more of a tapestry, really), I can't remember a great deal about it.

I read Mason & Dixon last year, however, and really enjoyed it.

A hardback of Against the Day is currently bowing the bookshelf, unread. It's a work of daunting dimensions.

That doesn't help much, I know. I'd say G's R is as good a place to start as any.


Thanks anyway. :)

In the meantime I've heard that The Crying of Lot 49 is considered his most accessible book since his quirks as an author aren't quite as prominent as in his others, but that arguably detracts from its charm. So I'll start with either Gravity's Rainbow or Mason & Dixon, then. :hyper:
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intothevoid
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:35 am
Posts: 74
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:24 am 
 

I've just finished reading Le Rouge et Le Noir by Stendhal. I'm sure an English traduction exists.
It's depicts 4 years of a young adult man's life, Julien Sorel, as he goes from the lowest point of society to the state of military commander. Stendhal subtly criticizes the return of the bourgeoisie and the ambiguity of an aspiring member of the catholic priesthood, as well as ironically mocking his own character, a man with inachievable ideals who would use anything and anybody to reach his life's goal; to be a high ranking military officer.
It's a solid 600 page book, and at some times it suffers from being to descriptive, though Stendhal's descriptions are truly works of art. It's an interesting read for anyone interested in romanticism as well psychological novels.
Oh, and the English title is The Red And The Black.
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InfernoNecrosis
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:57 pm
Posts: 242
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:15 am 
 

One of my favourite books is The Wisdom Of Crowds by James Surowiecki. If you're a huge social sciences, business studies, or James Surowiecki fan, this book is for you :)

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yogibear
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 9:22 pm
Posts: 1494
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:35 pm 
 

I used to read a lot. My fave genre was/is science fiction. Nowadays I don't read nearly as much as I did in the past. I have even dabbled in speed reading to try to get more out of my reading. Speed reading takes a large vocabulary and lots of people today do not work on increasing their reading abilities.

I think its become to easy to just learn what you need and not read whole or complete stories, instructions, manuals et al. This works well in todays society but at the same time has led to more and more not wanting to read or to improve their reading skills. Its a shame really.

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EpicTightPants
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:59 am
Posts: 10
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:55 pm 
 

I'm on a Raymond E. Feist kick. A friend of mine was kind enough to mail me his copies of "Magician; Apprentice" and "Magician; Master" and now I'm firmly hooked. I'm just moving on to "The King's Buccaneer".

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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:15 am 
 

Upon BM_DM's recommendation I'm reading Mason & Dixon right now... it's like Pynchon meant it as a parody of the entire "historical fiction" genre. I wouldn't be surprised if Baron Münchhausen inspired it too, what with the talking dog.
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10216
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:14 pm 
 

Peregrin wrote:
BM_DM wrote:
I read Gravity's Rainbow over a decade ago out of a sense of duty, and other than remembering the outline of the plot and my coming to understand that reading any Pynchon is as much about learning to appreciate his unique qualities (technical and creative) as a writer as it is about his spinning a good yarn (more of a tapestry, really), I can't remember a great deal about it.

I read Mason & Dixon last year, however, and really enjoyed it.

A hardback of Against the Day is currently bowing the bookshelf, unread. It's a work of daunting dimensions.

That doesn't help much, I know. I'd say G's R is as good a place to start as any.


Thanks anyway. :)

In the meantime I've heard that The Crying of Lot 49 is considered his most accessible book since his quirks as an author aren't quite as prominent as in his others, but that arguably detracts from its charm. So I'll start with either Gravity's Rainbow or Mason & Dixon, then. :hyper:


I tried to start "Gravity's Rainbow" some years ago but I just couldn't penetrate it. Maybe I was in the wrong mood; maybe I"ll try it again someday, but what a rambling, incoherent novel it seemed to be. Still, what I could glean of the premiss (which admittedly wasn't much)) appeared to be pretty interesting. Give it a go and tell us what you make of it.

I had to chuckle at your commetns about Stephen King because I was telling a friend of mine some weeks ago about how preposterous any summary of a Stephen King book always appears. I even wrote two-line preposterous plot summaries for a bunch of King books .. maybe I'll find them and post them here. :lol:

DOes anybody else think that King owes a debt to Fritz Leiber? Leiber's urban horror stories seem to have inspired King's style quite a bit, and I got really strong flashbacks of King from reading "Gonna Roll the Bones", Leiber's nebula-winning tale from the late 60s.

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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:29 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
I had to chuckle at your commetns about Stephen King because I was telling a friend of mine some weeks ago about how preposterous any summary of a Stephen King book always appears. I even wrote two-line preposterous plot summaries for a bunch of King books .. maybe I'll find them and post them here. :lol:


You should.

However, when I think about it, "silly" starts looking like a very subjective word. One man's goofy is another's awesome, and both can often make each their case so it's not that valid a complaint as long as you have no problems suspending disbelief as all fiction basically requires.

Quote:
DOes anybody else think that King owes a debt to Fritz Leiber?


I haven't read any of Fritz Leiber's stories and I'm too lazy to search the internet for interviews with Stephen King ;), so I can't answer that question.
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