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Earthcubed
Peregrinus sine aetate

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
Posts: 2321
Location: Orocarni
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:03 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Yeah, there are loads of maps. It even has city maps and floor plans for locations that Tolkien bothered to describe in detail (which is a lot of them). The only real issue is that some of the pre-War of the Ring locations are done based only on stuff that had been published when the Atlas came out and as far as I know it hasn't been revised, so it doesn't reflect Tolkien's own revisions in later notes and stuff that Chris Tolkien published later on.



Well, I don't have any of the History of Middle Earth publications and the Silmarillion proper included some of that earlier material anyway. So at least if it's pretty faithful to the published Silmarillion that sounds like it would be great.

It's a shame there will likely never be a great video game or high-end movie that takes place in Beleriand. :(
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Rasc
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:19 am
Posts: 172
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:03 pm 
 

A book I'm in love by now is Les fleurs du mal, from Baudelaire. I've translated some of its poems to Portuguese in the past, I'm even considering making a full translation. Has any of you guys ever read it?

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shouvince
Veteran

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 2673
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:39 pm 
 

Just finished 'Heart of a Dog' because of the discussion on the previous page. I found it a bit weird with some really funny moments with Sharikov. Given that it's such a short book, one breezes through it quickly.

Not "literature" in any way, but I have this curiosity about big data, since it's a term being thrown around so often, in turn over-hyping the idea. So I started reading 'Big Data' by Viktor Mayer & Kenneth. It was recommended by someone I know, who has good taste in business/science books. It's informative so far.

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:18 am 
 

reading "Re-Visioning Psychology" by James Hillman. Archetypal psychologist in the tradition of Jung who argues for a "polytheistic psychology." Fascinating, fascinating stuff.

edit: just finished Urth of the New Sun.

I don't even know, yall. I don't even know. I'm so confused I'm not sure what I'm confused about. It's brilliant of course, but there's no way I understood a fraction of what the hell I just read in the whole five books.
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Twin_guitar_attack
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:39 pm 
 

I've been reading a lot of Dostoyevsky lately as his stuff is just so easy to read. Finished Notes from the Undeground, The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiot recently. I don't want to give any spoilers, but man I don't think the ending of a book has ever bummed me out as much as the Idiot. Not that it was bad, it was great in a way, but the ending was pretty depressing.
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Under_Starmere
Abhorrent Fish-Man

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:00 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:45 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
I don't even know, yall. I don't even know. I'm so confused I'm not sure what I'm confused about. It's brilliant of course, but there's no way I understood a fraction of what the hell I just read in the whole five books.


I Visited Urth and All I Got Was This Lousy Inferiority Complex
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MARSDUDE
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:17 pm
Posts: 1659
Location: Canardia
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:50 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
reading "Re-Visioning Psychology" by James Hillman. Archetypal psychologist in the tradition of Jung who argues for a "polytheistic psychology." Fascinating, fascinating stuff.

edit: just finished Urth of the New Sun.

I don't even know, yall. I don't even know. I'm so confused I'm not sure what I'm confused about. It's brilliant of course, but there's no way I understood a fraction of what the hell I just read in the whole five books.


Woah, so brilliant you didn't even get it? Awesome!
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Scorntyrant
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:02 pm 
 

I read Urth with the "Lexicon Urthus" next to me and I was still confused as all hell. It's not just you mate :)
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:31 pm 
 

I'm about halfway through Urth. I started it actually a longass time ago (well, about six weeks, but that's a long time in my world) but I've been freaking out about money/employment issues so I've put all entertainment - books, vidya games, playing music - on hold until I get a concrete job start date (other than occasional M-A forum posts between job applications :oh shit: ). It's good stuff so far, and not yet any more confusing than past New Sun books, but based on the conversation I'm expecting it to get confusing as hell soon enough.

If this cat isn't me by the time I'm finished with it, I'll be disappointed:
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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:52 am 
 

I'm used to not fully understanding literature, I have a degree in literary criticism. :P

It's brilliant in its writing style/imagery and concepts, mainly. I do enjoy some of the themes as well, but they're a bit fuzzed up with religious allegory/symbolism and yadda yadda. And there's all the time travelling temporal junk. SEVERIAN 1, 2, 3, APU-PUNCHAU, ETC.

He's a talented writer/thinker but I'm not sure I'd put him up there with somebody like Borges.
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Exigence
Age: 28 (Wait, what?!)

Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:42 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:46 am 
 

Finished Ernst Junger's "Storm of Steel" and it may be the greatest war memoir ever written. It doesn't pander to peacetime sentiments of "war is terrible" and plays like a straight battlefield diary. How anybody survived WW1 is beyond me.

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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:30 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
He's a talented writer/thinker but I'm not sure I'd put him up there with somebody like Borges.

They're not even really comparable, having worked in mostly very different mediums. Wolfe did write quite a lot of short stories, but they tend to be much less philosophical than his novels. They're very 'feely' for the most part, almost impressionistic. Borges's stuff reads more like essays with a thin fictive covering.
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HeySharpshooter
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 3:12 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:34 pm 
 

Is this thread acceptable for recommendations?

I've developed an interest in horror fiction over the last few months, and I am looking for some quality horror fiction. Been reading a lot of classics: getting back in touch with Poe, checking out Lovecraft and Machen, enjoying that stuff quite a bit.

I'm not looking for anything specific, or from a specific era. Just some great horror writers, novels, short stories or even poetry.

I'm also interested in anything Occult flavored. Just ordered a copy of "The Book of Lies" using an ILA. Can't wait to get my hands on it

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:07 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
Nahsil wrote:
He's a talented writer/thinker but I'm not sure I'd put him up there with somebody like Borges.

They're not even really comparable, having worked in mostly very different mediums. Wolfe did write quite a lot of short stories, but they tend to be much less philosophical than his novels. They're very 'feely' for the most part, almost impressionistic. Borges's stuff reads more like essays with a thin fictive covering.


I guess you could say Borges is more concentrated/explicit in some ways.

I'm curious what you think about Urth and the overall five books btw. I feel like there's a lot I'm missing. I appreciate Wolfe a lot but when I think about the works consciously I struggle a bit to find reasons, beyond "he makes pretty sentences."
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RedMisanthrope
Poet Laureate of the Old Ones

Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:53 pm
Posts: 1937
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:46 pm 
 

HeySharpshooter wrote:
Is this thread acceptable for recommendations?

I've developed an interest in horror fiction over the last few months, and I am looking for some quality horror fiction. Been reading a lot of classics: getting back in touch with Poe, checking out Lovecraft and Machen, enjoying that stuff quite a bit.

I'm not looking for anything specific, or from a specific era. Just some great horror writers, novels, short stories or even poetry.

I'm also interested in anything Occult flavored. Just ordered a copy of "The Book of Lies" using an ILA. Can't wait to get my hands on it


Check out anything from Thomas Ligotti or Laird Barron. The stories of the former don't offer a gleam of hope, and the characters are often punching bags for dark forces to let loose upon. Despite this, he weaves an interesting world and constantly picks at the scabs of the human condition. His prose is nigh unmatched by his contemporaries as well. The latter (Barron) has a much more human and pulp element to it. He has his cosmic horror stories, but once in a while you get a Prohibition era gangster going up against sinister cults. Sounds hoaky on paper, but he makes it work.

Also check out any anthologies edited by Ellen Datlow or Joseph S. Pulver Sr.
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Scorntyrant
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:11 pm 
 

Exigence wrote:
Finished Ernst Junger's "Storm of Steel" and it may be the greatest war memoir ever written. It doesn't pander to peacetime sentiments of "war is terrible" and plays like a straight battlefield diary. How anybody survived WW1 is beyond me.


The weirdest thing is that Junger seemed to actually enjoy it in a strange way.

Seconding the Ligotti recommendation. That stuff is pitch-black.

Currently reading "I'm your man - the life of Leonard Cohen".
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Scorntyrant
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:42 am 
 

Interesting Gene Wolfe fact: As well as being grateful to him for his books, you owe him thanks if you like greasy pseudo-chips:

"Pringles were first sold in October 1967, and distributed internationally by 1975.[3] P&G wanted to create a perfect chip to address consumer complaints about broken, greasy, and stale chips, as well as air in the bags.[4] The task was assigned to chemist Fredric Baur, who, from 1956 to 1958, created Pringles’ saddle shape from fried dough, and the can to go with it. Baur could not figure out how to make the chips taste good, though, and he eventually was pulled off the Pringles job to work on another brand. In the mid-1960s, another P&G researcher, Alexander Liepa of Montgomery, Ohio, restarted Baur’s work, and set out to improve on the Pringles taste, which he succeeded in doing.[5] While Baur was the true inventor of the Pringles chip, according to the patent, Liepa was the inventor of Pringles.[6] Gene Wolfe, a mechanical engineer-author known for science fiction and fantasy novels, developed the machine that cooks them.[7] Their consistent saddle shape is mathematically known as a hyperbolic paraboloid.[8] Their design is reportedly aided by supercomputers to ensure safe aerodynamics while packaging.[9][10]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pringles
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:47 am 
 

That is the most beautiful thing I have read all day.

I'm going to finish Urth soon, finally, as I started my new job yesterday so I can finally do fun things with my time rather than looking for jobs during every waking moment.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:35 am 
 

Nahsil wrote:
I'm curious what you think about Urth and the overall five books btw. I feel like there's a lot I'm missing. I appreciate Wolfe a lot but when I think about the works consciously I struggle a bit to find reasons, beyond "he makes pretty sentences."

Well, I haven't read those particular books since 2005, but one of the main things I liked about them (and about Wolfe's work in general) is that they were able to evoke a sense of confused wonder more consistently than pretty much anything else. Also, the sense of wonder was both intellectual and aesthetic - on the one hand you have essentially throwaway but amazingly cool details like that poisonous flower duel from the first book, where they try to hit each other with the blooms, throw the sharp leaves at each other, and the over-ripe flower turns around and unfurls to show some sort of weird, quasi-supernatural-horror poisonous face to Severian - think about how easily that same scene could have simply been a pistol duel, where Severian's pistol was sabotaged somehow. From a plot perspective it would have done the exact same job, establishing that the other guy is personally out to kill Severian and is willing to cheat to do it, but the whole poisonous flower thing also manages to be really fucking cool, really unusual, and really unsettling all at the same time - which serves to illustrate just how alien Severian's world is, not just to us, but to him as well. Basically that one tiny scene serves a number of purposes and, despite its relative insignificance to the plot or character development, it's really memorable.

That intellectual sense of wonder is most obviously present in the typically unreliable narrators that Wolfe employs, whether Severian's guilty, self-serving lies, Latro's daily memory loss and continual re-evaluation of his companions, or Mr. Green's (of There Are Doors) poor memory, low intelligence, and general mental instability.

Basically, seemingly without effort, Wolfe manages to engage both left and right brain (to borrow terms from pop psychology) on a very high level. The only other author I can think of who comes close to that is M John Harrison, but he tends to rely on very different methods.
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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:07 pm 
 

I read Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind this week, very damn good intelligent fantasy with memorable characters and great writing. I'll start the 2nd book now and I'll read Scott Lynch's books after since HB insisted and it seems nice too. Getting this Kobo tablet was a good decision, I was having troubles sitting down with a book but this solved it.

Anyone has recs for cool sci fi/fantasy?
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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:02 pm 
 

Just started Stranger in a Strange Land, pretty awesome so far.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:39 am 
 

Nahsil wrote:
Just started Stranger in a Strange Land, pretty awesome so far.

That book suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.
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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:50 am 
 

i find that unlikely, sure the politics in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a bit over the top but the book as a whole was great, I can't see Stranger... suddenly sucking
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Necroticism174
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:52 am 
 

I'm going to third Ligotti. He blew my mind when I first read it. I think he's the only horror author that can instill a feeling of, well, horror. I wish his stuff was easier to find as I'm always yearning for more. Very singular prose that's virtually unmatched within the genre. One of those terrific Failsafeman reccs.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:03 am 
 

I've only read Starship Troopers, but I enjoyed it quite a bit (in the context of an imperialism and scifi class).

I'm enjoying Stranger so far, only on page 25 or so. A good friend told me one of its themes is the arrival of Eastern religion/philosophy into the West, which is fascinating to me. Also the whole theme of encounter with/phobia toward the Other is great.
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Jonpo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:24 am 
 

I've been reading a .pdf version of The Three Impostors by Arthur Machen here at work. Count_Venereal had previously recommended his short story "The Great God Pan" and I was smitten by it, completely. So far The Three Impostors has been just as good, although I'm not very deep into it.

Will absolutely be looking to pick up a compilation of short tales by Machen.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:40 pm 
 

Alllllllllright, I finally finished Urth of the New Sun. I have to say I wasn't really any more confused by it than I was by previous entries in Book of the New Sun, right up until:

Spoiler: show
near the end, when Severian's in Typhon's age and gets shot at by some soldiers, then just steps out of the time stream or whatever


I kind of regret not reading it immediately after the first four. There's just so much goddamn stuff that happens in those first four books, much of which was just sort of strange seemingly non-sequitur events that just added to the surreal, unsettling feeling that just oozes out of every pore of the story, but turned out to be sort of important (or at least helpful) references as the story was tied together at the end. I'm still not really very clear on what, exactly, was happening at the very end of the book. I'll probably wind up reading through a bunch of internet discussions or whatever to try to wrap my head around it a little better, but in the meantime the next thing on my list is to knock out ASoIaF #4 before season 4 starts.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:42 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
I've only read Starship Troopers, but I enjoyed it quite a bit (in the context of an imperialism and scifi class).

Starship Troopers is a good sci-fi character story with a lot of rather awful politics in the background.

Nahsil wrote:
I'm enjoying Stranger so far, only on page 25 or so. A good friend told me one of its themes is the arrival of Eastern religion/philosophy into the West, which is fascinating to me. Also the whole theme of encounter with/phobia toward the Other is great.

Where it really took a nosedive for me is when the Martian guy shacks up with the new-age retro hippies. It might have been very hip for when it was written, but it came across to me as unbearably dated and just plain boring besides. Also, I didn't at all buy into the flim-flam philosophy that Heinlein was peddling, especially given that it was presented in an incredibly preachy way. Left Hand of Darkness has a similar concept, i.e. humans encounter an alien society that has very different ideas about many things that are fundamental to the way human society works, with the intention of getting us to question certain preconceptions. However, it comes across as far less preachy and is just much better-written in general.

Jonpo wrote:
I've been reading a .pdf version of The Three Impostors by Arthur Machen here at work. Count_Venereal had previously recommended his short story "The Great God Pan" and I was smitten by it, completely. So far The Three Impostors has been just as good, although I'm not very deep into it.

Will absolutely be looking to pick up a compilation of short tales by Machen.

The Great God Pan wasn't bad but it's actually one of my least favorite stories by Machen. Nothing much really happens, and even though the core concept is cool, it's just kind of there. Not much is done with it.

My favorite Machen story is probably The White People. It takes the form of a young girl's diary, in which she gradually and obscurely reveals her initiation into a strange and ancient cult. It's written very convincingly in the voice of a young girl, so what actually happens is difficult to say for sure - in many cases she clearly doesn't understand what's going on, lacks the facility to explain or describe it clearly, or simply doesn't feel the need to. However it becomes increasingly clear that she's involved with some really serious and sinister shit. The story's great at giving out just enough information so that you can piece together what's really going on, but not so much that it loses its air of mystery. What's so great about it though is that she describes these things very matter-of-factly; it's just her nurse that first sets her on the occult path, not some evil priest. It makes you feel like supernatural forces are lurking everywhere, and anyone anywhere could get involved with them almost by accident, or simply by coincidence, and still suffer irreparable harm.
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Jonpo
Hypercolombowler

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:04 pm 
 

Alright so I'll be reading that one next! There's definitely something about his style, and the way he implies things but doesn't spell it out. I'm really intrigued so far. Tons of atmosphere.
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Numerator_41
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:45 pm 
 

Thirding or fourthing or whatever the Ligotti recommendations. I don't think his works entirely hit you until you really think about them for a little bit. I read most of Teatro Grottesco in one night and I felt really fucking weird for quite awhile afterwards. I'd recommend accompanying the story "In a Foreign Town, in a Foreign Land" with the Current 93 album of the same name, really adds to the experience.

Right now I'm in the middle of Fredy Perlman's The Strait. It's a fictionalized account (though aided with a lot of notes) of the experiences of Native Americans that were located in the Great Lakes region during the arrival of Europeans. So far it's mostly been "journeys" taken by the narrator in which he sees through the eyes of his ancestors and experiences the decline of the people there over hundreds of years. I'm only a few chapters in, but there have been some really vivid and beautiful passages and I think it does a pretty good job of portraying the fear and confusion of the Natives that first had contact with outsiders.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:30 am 
 

Left Hand of Darkness is indeed great. I read it when I was 16 or so, should probably revisit it. Sometimes I wonder what if any effect it had on my burgeoning liberalism, since as far as sex and gender go it's pretty thought-provoking, and that's around the time I stopped being a conservative Christian. I also need to read The Dispossessed, which I started but never really dug into.
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:53 am 
 

Speaking of Ligotti, this is interesting:

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/02/ ... detective/

The director of HBO's "True Detective" discussing Ligotti, E.M. Cioran etc etc.
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Subrick
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:57 am 
 

I've was listening to the audiobook of Stephen King's "Carrie" as read by Sissy Spacek last week and I just finished it yesterday. This audiobook is incredibly unsettling at night, and not really for King's text (although the story is still one of his best). It's more for how Spacek transitions between the epistolary sections and the narrative sections of the story. I may be the only person ever who finds audiobooks unnerving (a disembodied voice with zero background noise talking as though they're reading from a script with no breaths to indicate it's a person reading and constant brief pauses between paragraphs and chapters just weirds me out), so when you take a book like Carrie with its constant shifting between sections of narrative and sections of epistolary and combine it with the strangeness of audiobooks it just adds up to a really creepy and weird experience.

Anybody else think audiobooks are just plain weird to listen to?
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:44 pm 
 

Yeah, not a fan of audiobooks. I have a couple of Black Library 40k audiobooks and I just dont like the voice acting.

I've been reading the graphic novel prequels to King's Dark Tower books and I'm intrigued to start reading the main series now. Anyone read them? Are they worth the slog?
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HeySharpshooter
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Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 3:12 am
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:08 pm 
 

Finished "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and I gotta say, what a book. I hated, and still hate, Blade Runner, but I knew the book was vastly different so I went in with no expectations. Philip K Dick's style is surprisingly easy to read, even if it's strange as hell; for most of the book, it feels like a good, solid, whacked out high-minded sci-fi story with a nice mythology and a rich world. It doesn't really become difficult to follow in anyway until the end(and I had to re-read the first Mercer part to make sure I fully grasped it). And some things are pretty much left to the reader's perspective anyway.

Currently reading "The Plague" by Albert Camus. Decent, if a bit clinical and dry.

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ClaymanOnFire
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:19 pm 
 

I'm reading House of Leaves, very very slowly. I don't know how to describe exactly what this book is like. Disturbing is the word, I guess. Anyway, the big pitfall is how obvious the book is in its intentions. It won't go down as my favorite book ever, but I highly recommend it for the experience.
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Necroticism174
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:09 am 
 

Scorntyrant wrote:

I've been reading the graphic novel prequels to King's Dark Tower books and I'm intrigued to start reading the main series now. Anyone read them? Are they worth the slog?

I would say no. There's some good stuff in the first three books but it goes downhill, gets clusterfucky, poorly tries to juggle too many things, has Stephen King as an important character at some point, there's an entire book that's just a middling love story. It's okay for completionists who just come in their pants every time Stephen King makes references to other books/ties his universes together, but I would never read it again. It DOES have lobster monsters called lobstrosities in it though, so what do I know?
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WaywardSon
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:44 am 
 

Plus
Spoiler: show
the ending sucks. Roland reaches the Tower and goes back in time to repeat his quest with a slight difference in his starting inventory.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:15 am 
 

Scorntyrant wrote:
Speaking of Ligotti, this is interesting:

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/02/ ... detective/

The director of HBO's "True Detective" discussing Ligotti, E.M. Cioran etc etc.

article wrote:
The hit series...is rich in dread similar to the kind inherent in the work of H.P. Lovecraft, and it has featured words and imagery derived from Robert W. Chambers‘ story anthology “The King in Yellow.”

Why am I only just now hearing about this shit :wtf:
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:27 am 
 

...Whoa. I'd heard vague rumblings of good things about the show but nothing even close to that level of coolness. Definitely will watch, now.
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