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MARSDUDE
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:17 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:38 pm 
 

Found a book today that I thought I'd never be able to rediscover. It's called 'In The Labyrinth' by John David Morley. I read it at random back in grade 12, and enjoyed it more than I expected to, and have never forgotten the plot but could never remember the damned name. I've been looking for this book for a few years now. And I've finally found it! Ordering a copy this week. Can't fucking wait to reread it.

The wiki summary (which misses quite a bit of the twisted tale):

"Based on months of taped conversation with its real-life protagonist, 'In the Labyrinth' is the fictionalized memoir of Hungarian-born, German businessman Josef Pallehner who, due to bureaucratic inertia and his own guilty conscience, gets lost for six years in a maze of eastern Czechoslovakian prisons in the wake of the Second World War."

Fuckin' dude builds a road with his bare hands.
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iamntbatman
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:59 pm 
 

Just finished A Feast for Crows. Not quite as bad as I was prepared for, but still pretty dull. Dividing books 4 and 5 up such as he did really was a pretty bad choice. Viewpoint characters range from good but not doing interesting things, to fun but not really important to plain dull/pointless. Oh well, at least that means Book 5 will be full of great stuff...

...right?

Next I think I'll tackle E.R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros.
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Nahsil
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:03 am 
 

Should I read Wolfe's Wizard Knight books?

The idea of him tackling fantasy seems pretty awesome, but I've heard mixed things. If not this series then what should I check out of his after finishing Urth? Fifth Head? Not really wanting to go into the other Sun books just yet.

Hell on the subject of really good high quality and unique speculative fiction, any recs in general?

Also, good place to start with Thomas Ligotti?
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Nothing New
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:24 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:58 am 
 

Some very good recommendations here.

Bought a 2€ copy of 'Waiting for Godot' at the local flea market and finished it yesterday. Actually, the book is quite fun to read, despite its dreading reputation as a 'classic'. It really amused me how mechanically the character Lucky acts; plus, a number of dialogue lines between vladimir and estragon are quite worthwile, sometimes actually funny. Gotta recommend this.

Next one for me: Herman Broch, 'The death of vergil'. First pages seem promising. If you can get past the drawn-out passages of streeaaam-of-conciousnesss, it is quite good.

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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:32 am 
 

On the topic of Samuel Beckett, I've got his Molloy/Malone Dies/The Unnameable Trilogy I need to hit up at some point. He influenced J.M. Coetzee, who I wrote my undergrad senior seminar paper over (Waiting for the Barbarians).

This is the best book I've read in a while:

http://www.amazon.com/Cutting-Through-S ... 1570629579

Fucking balls to the wall exploration of psychology from a Buddhist perspective. Takes no prisoners and is probably the most insightful look at the ego and whatnot that I've found. Looks like it's gonna usurp Mark Epstein and Alan Watts for my favorite author on Buddhism.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:04 am 
 

Nahsil wrote:
Should I read Wolfe's Wizard Knight books?

The idea of him tackling fantasy seems pretty awesome, but I've heard mixed things. If not this series then what should I check out of his after finishing Urth? Fifth Head? Not really wanting to go into the other Sun books just yet.

Hell on the subject of really good high quality and unique speculative fiction, any recs in general?

Also, good place to start with Thomas Ligotti?


The Fifth Head of Cerberus was really, really cool. Definitely recommended. I have Knight/Wizard and I've heard good things about it from failsafeman, but I'm gonna take a break from Wolfe for a while, heh. Started The Worm Ouroboros just now and I'm liking it so far (nothing's really happened just yet, but the prose is nice). Might knock out The Hobbit and some more Vance before I dive back into Wolfe stuff, even if Knight/Wizard isn't as much of a mindfuck as New Sun.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:09 am 
 

Nahsil, you haven't read any of Wolfe's Latro novels, have you? They are really excellent, almost as good as The Book of the New Sun, imo. Highly recommended.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:12 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
Should I read Wolfe's Wizard Knight books?

I'd say so. I really enjoyed his inventive use of adolescent fantasy's established tropes in The Knight. As always, the story seems to make its own decisions, and in this case I found it really effective.

The writing itself might put you off somewhat, but rest assured that it is in fact good. He keeps the vocabulary and style generally at a young adult level (in keeping with the main character's first person narrative -- no real spoiler there), so it could be mistaken for thinner fiction. The contrast of the main character's first steps into adulthood with the unexpected, independent progression of events give the atmosphere a convincing, if sometimes confusing, surreality. Haven't gotten to The Wizard, yet. I'm looking forward to it.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:31 pm 
 

Probably way late to the party, but this website is cool:

http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php

Basically you put up any paperbacks you have but don't want anymore and, when someone requests one of 'em, you mail it to 'em on your dime. This then gives you a credit on the site to pick anyone else's listed book and have it shipped to you on their dime. Seems like a pretty sweet setup for those of you who like your books but don't compulsively hoard them.
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andersbang
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:28 am
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Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:00 am 
 

Nahsil wrote:

Also, good place to start with Thomas Ligotti?


Most of his stuff is pretty hard to come by, so start with what's easily available: Teatro Grotesco and My Work Is Not Yet Done. But are brilliant.

I just finished The King in Yellow by Chambers (yes, True Detective fan boyism made me buy it, but I've known about it for a long time, being a general fan of weird fiction and cosmic horror). I was actually kinda let down by it. There were a few of the stories that hinted at the supernatural or the weird, and those were pretty cool (The Repairer of Reputations and The Yellow Sign especially), but stories of love life of the bohemians of Paris in late 18th century? Nah.

Back to Cioran whom I've been reading on off.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:15 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Nahsil wrote:
Should I read Wolfe's Wizard Knight books?

I'd say so. I really enjoyed his inventive use of adolescent fantasy's established tropes in The Knight. As always, the story seems to make its own decisions, and in this case I found it really effective.

The writing itself might put you off somewhat, but rest assured that it is in fact good. He keeps the vocabulary and style generally at a young adult level (in keeping with the main character's first person narrative -- no real spoiler there), so it could be mistaken for thinner fiction. The contrast of the main character's first steps into adulthood with the unexpected, independent progression of events give the atmosphere a convincing, if sometimes confusing, surreality. Haven't gotten to The Wizard, yet. I'm looking forward to it.

The Wizard Knight books are among my very favorite of Wolfe's writing, and I've read nearly everything he's written. The core theme of the books is, essentially, what makes a knight? That is, in the romantic, chivalric sense. The obvious answers, among other things, are honor, chivalric love, loyalty to one's liege, etc. These are themes often touched upon by fantasy fiction written today, but unfortunately other fiction usually downplays just how uncompromising and alien the medieval mindset was to our own. Sir Able regularly does things that are clearly against his best interests, things we might even call downright stupid, and not just because he would be dishonored among his peers if he did otherwise - he cleaves to the chivalric ideals even when nobody is looking.

To illustrate his various points, Wolfe deliberately embraces various tropes of fantasy literature: the boy from the real world transported to a medieval fantasy world, the farmboy who grows up to save the kingdom, dragons, elves, ogres, giants, orcs, all that stuff. The thing is, he twists each of those tropes into something that is both familiar but also different; they're not simplistic 'subversions' but rather reimaginings, that preserve the narrative purpose and intent of the originals (i.e. dragons representing inhuman lust, greed, and destruction) while presenting them in ways that are fresh and original.

Also, beyond all that highbrow-sounding stuff, the books are just really, really good heroic fantasy. SO MUCH COOL STUFF HAPPENS. The ending to the first book is probably the most ridiculously over-the-top yet awesome example of fantasy heroics I've ever read, bar none. Yet, the two books also maintain Wolfe's respect for the reader; there's a mystery in the second book for example that is central to the plot, but its solution is never actually given. The reader has to piece together the clues, which are certainly there, but I can't remember the last time a fantasy book had that kind of major mystery and simply never answered it. Sir Able figures it out, but refuses to explain, but that is in itself a clue...

Anyway yeah, top-notch stuff. Up there with New Sun, Fifth Head, and Peace as Wolfe's best work (Latro may get there too, depending on when/if the series is ever finished).
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:18 pm 
 

I just picked up wizard-knight from the library yesterday actually.
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RedMisanthrope
Poet Laureate of the Old Ones

Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:53 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:13 pm 
 

Back on the subject of Beowulf, apparently this is a thing: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/m ... -published

Nahsil wrote:
Also, good place to start with Thomas Ligotti?


I'll have to mirror everyone else's sentiments with the work of his that is readily available. It seems you can get his older stuff if you have an e-reader. You're into philosophy right? He wrote a non-fiction called The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, which delves into the ideas of the morality of existing and antinatalism. It pretty much reads like an eloquent journal of someone who's had anxiety issues their entire life (like Ligotti has), but it's an interesting read none the less. I like it more since he's not asking you to adopt these ideas, just to consider them.
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:00 pm 
 

Just picked up an anthology of Laird Barron's short stories. Really great stuff - best thing in the "weird tales" genre since Ligotti IMO.
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MARSDUDE
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:03 pm 
 

If you guys want weird genre-blenders, then check out the anthology 'Psychedelia Gothique' by DL Sproule.
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RedMisanthrope
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:22 am 
 

Scorntyrant wrote:
Just picked up an anthology of Laird Barron's short stories. Really great stuff - best thing in the "weird tales" genre since Ligotti IMO.


Which collection? I agree that Barron and Ligotti are the guys to beat as far as the modern weird goes.
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:46 am 
 

RedMisanthrope wrote:
Scorntyrant wrote:
Just picked up an anthology of Laird Barron's short stories. Really great stuff - best thing in the "weird tales" genre since Ligotti IMO.


Which collection? I agree that Barron and Ligotti are the guys to beat as far as the modern weird goes.


"The Imago sequence".
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RedMisanthrope
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:55 am 
 

Nice! Definitely his weirdest one I think. If you like what you're reading, check out his collection after this one, "Occultation". Definitely his finest hour, I think. Though you can't go wrong with anything he's done yet.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:03 pm 
 

Finally FINALLY finished The Book of the Long Sun. God...that was by far the most protracted and fragmented reading of a book I've ever been through, which chagrins me because it's really damn good. I've been reading it on and off literally for years. It deserves better than I was able to give it! Excellent stuff, though. Like most Gene Wolfe works, it was shot through with some of the most luminous, gorgeous literary moments I've experienced. I do think that the concept of
Spoiler: show
the story being an account penned by Horn
was unnecessary and implausible, but it didn't ruin the experience or anything. Maybe that, like other interesting/difficult-to-fully-understand aspects of the book, will be a little further explained in The Book of the Short Sun, which I obviously need to read NOW.

Only thing is I kinda want to take a side-trip into a completely different literary world for a while, now that I've spent so much time on the Long Sun Whorl. (I'm thinking Umberto Eco's Baudolino. Not sure if I'm ready to dive into Tolkien again.... :oh shit: Anyone here familiar with that particular work of Eco's?)

God, the whole Sun series is so fucking awesome. Definitely need to re-read the entire thing at some point, once I've finished Short Sun. At that juncture it will have been so many years since I read New Sun that it'll be like discovering it all over again, which is quite the appealing thought :).
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:24 pm 
 

I can't even wrap my head around there being so many more Sun books. For now and the near future I'm going to pretend it's just the 5 books.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:29 pm 
 

For what it's worth, the style of Long Sun is far less dense and labyrinthine than that of New Sun. It's much more conversational and accessible. But for the tedium of certain characters' manner of speech and the odd, brain-halting reveals and twists Wolfe inevitably throws at you, I'd imagine most people would chew through this tetralogy a lot more quickly and easily than New Sun. It's still quite complex and difficult to fully understand (as you're continually waiting for clues to find resolution and events to be actually clarified) but purely just the style by which the story is carried along makes it a much quicker read (ironically, in my particular case ;) ).
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:15 pm 
 

Yeah, Long Sun is a much, much easier read than New Sun....until you get to the end. I really recommend reading the end section a couple of times as he starts a few of his narrative shenanigans towards the end.

Started the wizard Knight the other evening. I quite like the short chapter structure - makes it easy to say "I'll read 2 chapters then go to sleep"
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:26 pm 
 

Definitely look forward to reading The Wizard Knight at some point. Even though I don't enjoy the premise of "normal boy gets magically transported to a fantasy world" very much, what little I've read about the books makes it sound like Wolfe pulled it off in a really classy and non-clichéd way that goes far beyond the expected, so that's rad.

Just ordered all three Short Sun books separately online because I couldn't find a copy of the omnibus edition for anything less than $100 :grumble: I just don't like the artwork they used for the separate books, but I got the hardcovers so I can take the dust jackets off :). Always nice to have that option, as most dust jacket covers kinda suck.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:23 pm 
 

Under_Starmere wrote:
most dust jacket covers kinda suck.

*suck badly

Oh No! DUST!
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:44 pm 
 

New preview chapter from The Winds of Winter!
http://www.georgerrmartin.com/excerpt-f ... of-winter/
For those like me with no willpower, I couldn't wait and read it all. And it's SO GOOD. Now I want moar, dammit. If all or most chapters have this kind of pacing and insanely good pay-off, the book will be incredible.
[Chapter spoilers, do not click unless you read it!]
Spoiler: show
I really lost my shit at "Think so?". HellBlazer looked at me funny, haha. But damn that was good. And the whole chapter is pretty disturbing with its sexual component (we have to remember, Arya is getting to the cusp of puberty), but it worked well and it was incredibly well-written and very satisfying to read. Damn, GRRM, I hope that means you found your mojo again.

Who's left now? I don't remember if Arya knows Gregor's fate, so we might have: the Mountain, Queen Cersei, Dunsen, Ser Meryn Trant, Ser Ilyn Payne... anyone else I'm forgetting?

Also, I wonder if that Forel who wrote the play is an historic Forel (ancestor to Syrio), or a living relative. Now I wanna know! lol
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Azmodes
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:26 pm 
 

Spoiler: show
Good stuff, yeah. But I had no idea who that guardsman she killed was supposed to be. Had to look up his name in the ASoIaF wiki. I mean, I knew that he was someone from her list, but not why he was on there. Those details are foggy after all this time, heh. Also, who was the Westerosi envoy supposed to be again? :( He had a chicken sigil?

The guards wondering whether Bobono might be Tyrion and all that reminded me of the sudden increase in dwarf murders after the bounty had been placed on the latter's head. :D
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:55 am 
 

Spoiler: show
I'm a big ASoIaF nerd so I recognized Raff the Sweetling before he ever said his name. :P And the envoy, he's from House Swyft according to the blue sigil rooster. So he's likely Ser Harys Swyft, the new treasurer, and is likely sent to Braavos to deal with the Iron Bank. Of course since they've made a deal with Stannis so... who knows how it'll go for him. :D

Anyone notice how Arya's role in the play was most probably Sansa? Hahaha, talk about goddamn ironic. I wonder if Arya even realized it.

This line caught my attention: "and a tree that watched her as she ran." Could that refer to Bran?

[edit: nah, on second thought it was probably... Shae? The whole "tonight I'll be raped and murdered doesn't work with Sansa. But the line "Please, m’lord, I am still a maiden" doesn't work with Shae either. Either way, it's funny as hell to imagine Arya playing either of those. Haha.]
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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:27 am 
 

Spoiler: show
I recognised Raff when he first said "sweetling". I'm not a huge fan of the series like Morrigan is, and I actually thought that Raff had already been killed earlier.

I kind of laughed at the fat king being killed by a "demonic boar" in the play. :D

The Rooster is the sigil of House Swyft. I thought the envoy would be Kevan Lannister, but he has the Lion sigil, doesn't he? So perhaps he's Harys Swyft?
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Azmodes
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:53 am 
 

Spoiler: show
Kevan is dead, so I doubt it. :P Harys Swyft rings a small bell.

About remembering Raff, well I think it's gotta be at least 10 years now since I've last read A Clash of Kings...
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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:26 pm 
 

Spoiler: show
You're right, I forgot. It was a rather memorable part too, with Varys finally actively taking part in things, with his own person. I don't understand how I could forget that. :scratch:
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VenusianSea
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:22 am 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Spoiler: show
I'm a big ASoIaF nerd so I recognized Raff the Sweetling before he ever said his name. :P And the envoy, he's from House Swyft according to the blue sigil rooster. So he's likely Ser Harys Swyft, the new treasurer, and is likely sent to Braavos to deal with the Iron Bank. Of course since they've made a deal with Stannis so... who knows how it'll go for him. :D

Anyone notice how Arya's role in the play was most probably Sansa? Hahaha, talk about goddamn ironic. I wonder if Arya even realized it.

This line caught my attention: "and a tree that watched her as she ran." Could that refer to Bran?

[edit: nah, on second thought it was probably... Shae? The whole "tonight I'll be raped and murdered doesn't work with Sansa. But the line "Please, m’lord, I am still a maiden" doesn't work with Shae either. Either way, it's funny as hell to imagine Arya playing either of those. Haha.]


Finally got to read it last night, and

Spoiler: show
I too figured it was Raff before it was said. I started crying when he said "you'll have to carry me". Honestly I did. That was PERFECT.

Also I think Mercy was playing Shae. The maiden thing was probably just... theatrics, you know. Couldn't have been Sansa, though I did think that initially. And yeah, the sex stuff was pretty disturbing, but it worked!

A question, though. Maybe I'm forgetting stuff from A Feast for Crows, but the Lannister guards said "the queen will have his head" when talking about Ser Harys. Did Cersei send Swyft to Braavos before the big mess with the High Septon? I'm not quite sure about the timeline of this chapter, but could it mean that after Kevan's death, Cersei is in charge of the kingdom again?


Overall, it was vastly superior to about 90% of A Dance with Dragons.

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:10 am 
 

Read like 150 pages of Stranger in a Strange Land yesterday. Really good book, quite a bit better than his only other one I've read, Starship Troopers. And that's saying something because I actually enjoyed ST as well.

Maybe it's my biased love for Eastern philosophy though ;)
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TripeOverload
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:46 am
Posts: 234
Location: Romania (The Land of Jokes)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:07 am 
 

Tristan Corbiere's Amours Jaunes is quite an interesting read, and recommended to those who are too cool for Baudelaire or Lautreamont.
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Azmodes
Ultranaut

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:44 am
Posts: 6094
Location: Gradec, Austria
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:43 am 
 

I'm about halfway through Scott Lynch's (FINALLY) new Gentleman Bastards installment, The Republic of Thieves. Great stuff as expected, he's one of those authors whose style and imagination just flow so damn well that you often forget you're actually, actively reading a novel and just smoothly immerse yourself in the narrative.

Before that I was taking some steps through Wayne Barlowe's God's Demon. I like the mythology and Hellish ecology he created (still need to get my hands on his absolutely stunning Inferno), but the fact that he's a visual artist and that this is his first foray into novel writing shows, IMO. Bit cumbersome and awkward-fanfic-y prose, I got stuck at around a third, but plan to pick it up again sometime.

And before that, a very interesting novel titled Something More than Night by Ian Tregillis. Rather cool setting on and above a near-future Earth with angelic beings and ontology and quantum physics and other shiny big words. Basically, it starts as a noir detective story about a murder in Heaven, but gets more complex as the novel unfolds. Unfortunately, I think it didn't quite live up to and truly harness the potential of the cosmology it was setting up. I felt it was always just shying away from the really interesting questions and boundaries and the way Tregillis tried to put the incomprehensible into words didn't always work. Still an interesting read and -that last bit notwithstanding- Tregillis is a quite capable writer.

Lastly, I finally came around to reading Quarantine and Distress by one of my favourite hard sci-fi authors, Greg Egan. As I've come to expect from his work, both are absolutely mindblowing, top-notch fascinating stuff and well-written to boot. The former a bit moreso than the latter, but damn. Just go read them, seriously. Look up some plot blurbs online, if you must, but do eet
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Scorntyrant
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
Posts: 1117
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:57 pm 
 

I was in a thrift shop the other day and spotted the 3 books of Brian Lumley's Vampire World trilogy. I already had vol 2 and had read it, but had never read 1 and 3. Feel kinda bad now that I left vol 2 sitting there though haha. They are as pulp as they get, but the Necroscope books (of which these are a spin-off) are hugely entertaining.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
Posts: 9725
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:21 pm 
 

Azmodes wrote:
Before that I was taking some steps through Wayne Barlowe's God's Demon. I like the mythology and Hellish ecology he created (still need to get my hands on his absolutely stunning Inferno), but the fact that he's a visual artist and that this is his first foray into novel writing shows, IMO. Bit cumbersome and awkward-fanfic-y prose, I got stuck at around a third, but plan to pick it up again sometime.

Oh weird, I was just talking about this novel the other day. I've had Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials for close to 20 years now, and more recently picked up Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy and another book that features his work in general. Unfortunately Inferno is OOP and quite expensive, but I got a PDF of it and it really is amazing. It's too bad the novel isn't all that great - maybe it gets better as it goes on? A graphic novel version of Inferno would be ideal, but those paintings of his are great to the point where I would dearly like the novel to live up to them.
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Azmodes
Ultranaut

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:44 am
Posts: 6094
Location: Gradec, Austria
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:59 pm 
 

Yeah, been looking for Inferno, but, as you say, it's out of print and prices for mint copies are in the three-digit range. :/

I do still find God's Demon's concept and story attractive, despite the lackluster execution. When I'm done with Lynch, I'll probably pick up where I left off. I'm interested in what Sargatanas plans to do and what the deal is with Lilith exactly. Not to mention more details about the setting in general.
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MARSDUDE
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:17 pm
Posts: 1724
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:36 am 
 

Did anyone know RL Stine wrote two adult horror novels? Started reading his first one, 'Superstitious'. Digging it.
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Erdrickgr
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:44 pm
Posts: 320
Location: PA, US
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:31 am 
 

Running With the Devil: Power, Gender and Madness in Heavy Metal Music, by Robert Walser

It's a sympathetic look at heavy metal music (as opposed to just lyrics) by a musicologist and cultural critic. I'm about a quarter of the way through. It is somewhat dated (1993) and the metal discussed tends towards the poppier side, but I've still enjoyed this quite a bit thus far.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 7936
Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:39 am 
 

Almost through E.R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros. Pretty enjoyable but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say that it's god-tier stuff like I was led to believe. The writing style is extremely archaic but still very easy to read, so it definitely comes across like someone from the (relatively) modern era using that sort of ornate old style of English rather than someone actually from the 1600's or something. The best parts are definitely the descriptions of castles, attire, landscapes, etc.; the style of dialogue is so ornate and formal that there's really not huge amounts of room for a real sense of characterization, though of course the various characters do fit into broad archetypes. Also, the whole set-up for the book with Lessingham traveling to Mercury was essentially abandoned like twenty pages in, which seems like an odd choice and kind of gives me the impression Eddison didn't really have much in the way of an editor.

Still very cool though, and definitely recommended to people who like things like The Silmarillion but with a focus on high adventure and battles without as much detailed building of the world's history.
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