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reading pathfinder comic again

tiny raven lawyer in a cup is the best

really hope paizo will make more for 2nd edition

and why are windows keep getting worse with every new version

can barely do anything other than watch downloaded video and novel

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Do you ever wonder where lost things end up? I was on my way home from the feed store yesterday afternoon. The first Baptist Church of Covington was having a rummage sale so I stopped to look. They had a box of old books they were asking $.10 a piece for. There were about 12 or 13 books in it so I just offered them $20 for the whole box. It’s a church what the heck. They can use it more than I can. anyway I got home and started looking through it and most of it is of course junk. Very threadbare old library copies of books that were published in the 40s and 50s. But there was one remarkable book in there. It was a first print translation of “around the world in 80 days“. It was published in 1889 and it had a direct translation of the original French title “a tour of the world in 80 days“. It’s in terrible shape. The cover is beat up the bindings loose, pages frayed . Not worth anything to any collector. Inside the cover page though was an inscription: “To Eddie, happy 15th Birthday, June 3, 1924.”

Eddie is likely no longer with us. He would be 110 years old if he were. But I did get me thinking perhaps his children or grandchildren would like to have that book so I left a voicemail for the pastor of the church to call me back and see if he can find out where the donation came from. This morning I’m sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee and I started reading Eddie’s book. I was a big fan of Jules Verne growing up so I’ve read it before. But what the heck.
 

Books really are treasures aren’t they?

Edited by Guard Dog
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"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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  • 2 weeks later...

Simon Winchester's new book

50357461

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Currently: Pathfinder 2e Advanced Player's Guide

Against the Grain

Debt: The First 5000 Years

The Kingdom of God is Within You

The Dispossessed (which I have never read before oddly enough)

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run

Lately I've adopted a new style of reading where I read many books/comics at once instead of concentrating on a single thing. It's refreshing and keeps me more engaged. The downside is I don't play video games as much, but that's a small price to pay.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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You mentioning comics reminded me i just finished:

Junji Ito Venus in the Blind Spot

Junji Ito Smashed

Both are short story collections, and typical of Ito's horror work, which I like.

Leiji Matsumoto Space Battleship Yamato

Leiji Matsumoto Space Pirate Captain Harlock

I've liked Matsumoto's anime work, and what I read of Galaxy Express 999, but hadn't read these. They're both fun even if Matsumoto didn't complete them both.

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Almost done the Shira Calpurnia Omnibus, has been enjoyable so far.  Third story is interesting, reading about the set up for the astropaths.  Must be my mind going but get confused on who's who with the amount of characters, the second book I had all but forgotten most of the flotilla staff so the ending where everything goes to hell was confusing, heh.  That seemed a bit rushed. 

 

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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the fires of vengeance

still the same blend of revenge nonsense and long exposition and training segment as last book

but at least something more interesting are happening in later half of the book

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Wasting my money on trying to see how Kloos' Frontlines series ends instead of something more useful like cocaine. 

The latest book isn't even 300 pages, and is so meandering so far, I really enjoy hearing about the new gear or other military trivia.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I have been reading Kloos too.

I started Kirk Douglas's Spartacus Biography. It is really good. I also had started watching Trumbo a few months ago, but lost interest an hour in. After reading what Kirk Douglas had to say, I had to go back and finish the movie. It helped with the context quite a bit.

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8 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

have been reading Kloos too.

Is always a good sign when an author starts a new series before he's even finished his first :lol:

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Thinking of going back to the beginning....

144015848_10158326003213611_276394894140

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/30/2021 at 9:43 PM, Raithe said:

Thinking of going back to the beginning....

144015848_10158326003213611_276394894140

It really isn't a slog if you are interested in other characters. In fact some of the best parts of the series happen in those 4? books (people usually moan about winter's heart and crossroads of twilight, first time I see crown of swords and path of daggers mentioned). Also I really have a gripe with people saying Sanderson revitalized the series...He got to write the climax of the story, of course it was going to be faster passed and more action packed... Anyways I do recommend you going for it, I can't wait to go back for another re-read.

 

On a separate note, read through Hellboy over the weekend (do we do comic books here?). Didn't read the "spin-off" books (not really spin-offs, they just follow other characters in the same timeline) but I did finish the main story and the ending funnily enough reminded me of Wheel of Time. Really good Comic, give it a warm recommendation.

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If my memory is right, books 7-9 were kind of boring when compared with the previous ones. But at least they had some interesting moments, usually in the ending. But not book 10. I remember finishing it and thinking "nothing happened here at all." lol

Still my favorite series.

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51i2ArdhBBL.jpg

FInally gotten around to this after much procrastination.  Is an enjoyable read, same style as Voices from Chernobyl where she just lets people tell their stories. Some of the woman have interesting and amusing accounts.  So far I liked the story of the political commissar of a laundress battalion - part of an interesting section of things going on in support of the front line like laundry, cooks, etc.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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On 2/17/2021 at 1:06 AM, InsaneCommander said:

If my memory is right, books 7-9 were kind of boring when compared with the previous ones. But at least they had some interesting moments, usually in the ending. But not book 10. I remember finishing it and thinking "nothing happened here at all." lol

Still my favorite series.

Didn't book 10 follow Mat's story line? Or was that book 9?

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1 minute ago, Sarex said:

Didn't book 10 follow Mat's story line? Or was that book 9?

I don't remember. Book 10 ended with they setting up a meeting with Tuon. Not sure what else happened specifically in that book.

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9 minutes ago, InsaneCommander said:

I don't remember. Book 10 ended with they setting up a meeting with Tuon. Not sure what else happened specifically in that book.

Spoiler

In this book Perrin rescues his wife from the Shaido, one of my favorite scenes with Rand happen where Lews Therin takes control of the one powers and kills an army of Trollocs, awesome battles with Mat (plus Tuon confirms the marriage between her and Mat) and Rand loses a hand and captures one of the forsaken. (plus some scenes of Elayne running around pregnant and negotiating for her crown and Egwene gets captured by the White Tower)

So stuff happened. Not much scenes with Rand which I think is what bothers most people in the later books.

Edited by Sarex
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6 minutes ago, Sarex said:
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In this book Perrin rescues his wife from the Shaido, one of my favorite scenes with Rand happen where Lews Therin takes control of the one powers and kills an army of Trollocs, awesome battles with Mat (plus Tuon confirms the marriage between her and Mat) and Rand loses a hand and captures one of the forsaken. (plus some scenes of Elayne running around pregnant and negotiating for her crown and Egwene gets captured by the White Tower)

So stuff happened. Not much scenes with Rand which I think is what bothers most people in the later books.

No, book 10 ended with them setting up the meeting, but it only happened in book 11. So

Spoiler

Rand only lost his hand in book 11.

And I think these other things happened in book 11 too, right? It was the one Robert Jordan said would "have enough action to satisfy anyone" or something like that.

Edited by InsaneCommander
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1 hour ago, InsaneCommander said:

No, book 10 ended with them setting up the meeting, but it only happened in book 11. So

  Reveal hidden contents

Rand only lost his hand in book 11.

And I think these other things happened in book 11 too, right? It was the one Robert Jordan said would "have enough action to satisfy anyone" or something like that.

Lol. You are right I miscounted the books and you are right that book 10 was slower than usual. (for me mostly because I was not a fan of Elayne's and Egwene's plotline, but Perrin's was also not very inspiring) Mat's POV was the best part of that book.

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In that related to literature, the current stream of fuss around Baen, the Baen Bar forum, and WorldCons disinvitation of Toni Weisskpf..

An interesting post by Eric Flint - take note for those who accuse Baen of only being right wing militants and fascist scifi writers, he's a fairly reputable liberal and pretty much left of center.

A day or so has gone by since I put up my long essay on the subject of the current ruckus over Baen’s Bar. Since then, a lengthy counter-attack has been posted on Mike Glyer’s File 770, some of it written by him and some by others, including Jason Sanford. If you’re interested in looking at it, you can find it here:
http://file770.com/baen-strikes-back-sanford-under.../
I will take up a couple of points here. First, a further explanation of why I suspect Jason Sanford’s attack on Baen’s Bar was really aimed at Toni Weisskopf. It’s not complicated. Baen’s Bar has been around for a very long time—more than a quarter of a century—and for that entire length of time it has had quite a bit of political discussion in some of its conferences. Some of it got very rancorous. The single most furious episode took place almost twenty years ago, right after 9/11. The political brawl that erupted almost immediately has never been surpassed since in Baen’s history. That was the one and only time, prior to just two or three days ago, when the Bar was shut down altogether. Jim Baen ordered it shut down, to have what he called a “cooling off period.”
I was right at the center of that brawl, since I was one of the half dozen or so Principal Sluggers, we’ll call them. (Never mind who the others were. It was a very long time ago and that doesn’t matter anymore.) On the scale of rancor, that brawl ranked about 9.5 out of 10.


Here’s what’s interesting, though. Nobody came charging in to investigate and issue an alarmed report on the political state of affairs in Baen’s Bar. Nor did they do so in any one of the many political brawls that took place in Baen’s Bar in the years since—and there have been plenty of them. The only thing that was really unusual about the brawl after 9/11 was that it wound up drawing in pretty much the whole Bar. Most of the time, the political brawls stay isolated in a few conferences, the two main ones being “Politics” and “Blazes.” (Blazes was specifically set up as what amounted to a virtual dueling ground. “You guys want to keep fighting this out, take it over to Blazes so we don’t have to listen to you.”)


So why the sudden need to investigate the Bar that Sanford found so urgent? Well, the only thing I can see is that Baen’s publisher, Toni Weisskopf, was scheduled to be the Editor Guest of Honor at World Con in just a few months. Now, as a result of Sanford’s “exposé,” the Worldcon committee is considering rescinding the invitation, something I suspect is the entire point of this.
In his recent post on File 770, Sanford insists this is all just a coincidence. Well, it could be. Although I find the further coincidences that just about at the same time, someone tried to drag Publishers Weekly into the affair, and someone (else? who knows?) tried to get Baen’s internet server to discontinue Baen’s account.


But, all right. I’ll drop this issue. I can’t prove my suspicion is valid and I may be wrong. So from here on, I’ll take Sanford’s word for it.
What that leaves is this: Here’s the principal objection that Sanford raises to my essay:
"However, I just saw Eric Flint’s essay attacking me and I wanted to say I disagree with what he wrote, which was a misrepresentation of my report. Everything I wrote about was based on facts and actual comments in the forum. I even shared screenshots of the comments on social media.
"This also wasn’t a coordinated attack on Baen."
I’m trying to give Sanford the benefit of the doubt here, but frankly it’s pretty hard. Unless he’s a babe in the woods, innocent as the dew, this statement seems completely disingenuous.

Why? Let’s take this statement from his “investigation”:
"Baen’s Bar has also become well-known in the genre community as a place where racism, sexism, homophobia and general fascism continually pop up. For example, a Baen’s Bar user from India was nicknamed “The Swarthy Menace” on the forum by author Tom Kratman. People on the forum thought that was the height of clever humor."
First of all, as I showed in my last essay, the second and third sentences in this accusation were either lies or the result of Sanford’s failure to do the most basic cross-checking of his facts. The supposed “victim” of the episode, “Swarthy Menace,” has spoken up with a blistering attack on Sanford for completely misrepresenting what happened.

But leave that aside. Let’s just consider the first sentence. Is there anyone so naïve that they don’t understand how that sentence is going to be parsed as time passes? I don’t have to guess about this, because for years I have been subjected to many personal attacks by people who don’t know anything about me and have never read anything I’ve written—but ran across somewhere a denunciation of Baen Books written by one or another ignoramus. (Usually an ignoramus who heard from another ignoramus who once read a hit piece by…)

Give it almost no time at all, and here is how that sentence is going to become transmuted and start showing up publicly:
“Baen Books has also become well-known as a publisher where racism, sexism, homophobia and general fascism continually pop up.”
There were any number of ways Sanford could have written his essay to make very clear to his readers that what bothered him were narrowly focused issues involving some of the comments made by some of the participants in some of the conferences in Baen’s Bar. Hell, I did it. If you go back and read my long essay you will find sharp attacks by me on half a dozen statements made in the Bar. But nobody is going to interpret any of them as a broad brush or blanket attack on conservatives in general.


This can be done. It’s not even hard to do. But over and over again, Sanford chose to use the broadest brush possible. Take a look:
"There are tons of discussions on the forum about the pending second American Civil War."
"the forum has seen a large number of posts urging violence against political opponents."
"For all of the forum’s existence Baen Books has essentially adopted and encouraged an “anything goes” rule for posts."
And now, with an injured look on his face, he complains because I pointed out that he just got through smearing an entire publishing house and dozens of authors.
Well, he DID. He damn well did.


This is not an abstract issue for me. I am no longer a political activist, and haven’t been since the early/mid 1990s. But I have by now written a lot of fiction, mostly novels, and my novels and stories are still rooted deeply in my political views. I don’t write didactically, but I do take up broad political and social issues in almost all of my fiction. Just to name some:
My first novel, Mother of Demons, has at its core my view of how human history needs to be looked at as a whole.
The underlying theme of the six-volume Belisarius series which I wrote with David Drake involves the fundamental issue of how you define humanity to begin with. Are “people” the product of their history and developing culture, or are they defined and determined by their genetic history and makeup? We posit that question in the broadest framework possible, depicting in the form of alternate history a future war between a humanity which has evolved into many different species and has even uplifted an intelligent species out of disease—all of whom are considered part of the “human race”—and a humanity which views that as an abomination and wants to reimpose a rigid hereditary framework. David and I come down squarely on the side of the first alternative.
The huge and sprawling 1632 series has politics woven all through it, and taken as a whole is a work of fiction that champions democracy and equality.
The Trail of Glory series—with two volumes out so far and more to come—does the same thing but places it directly in the context of American history.
I could go on—and on, because only a few of my pieces of fiction aren’t rooted in politics. But this is enough to make my point, which is:
Sanford’s broad-brush smearing of my publisher is also an attack on me and my work. Who the hell is going to want to read politically-oriented fiction written by a fascist except a fascist (whom I don’t want as readers).

Did Sanford intend that to be a result? I’m sure he didn’t. But he also didn’t give a damn, obviously. And now he’s complaining because I’m fighting back. I’m being mean to him.

Here are two things that are absolutely predictable:
Right wingers will decry “cancel culture” but are always instantly ready to practice it. Colin Kaepernick took a knee? Cancel him—wreck his career! The Dixie Chicks criticized George Bush and the Iraq War? Cancel them—wreck their careers!
Of course, when right wingers do it, it’s not cancel culture. Heavens, no! It’s patriotism.
Liberals of a certain type—the ones devoted to political correctness—will respond to the charge of “cancel culture” by insisting they are simply demanding "consequences.” But they shriek with outrage whenever someone demands that they accept the consequences of their own behavior.
Sanford can smear Baen Books and its authors with as broad a brush and as careless and sloppy a stroke as he wishes to. He has that right. But I don’t want to hear him whining that there turned out to be consequences. What the hell did he think was going to happen? Did he expect me (or anyone else) to just lie down and whimper?

One last point. What I’ve run across, a number of times, is the insinuation by critics that if an author chooses to publish through Baen Books he or she must agree with the political views of Jim Baen and/or Toni Weisskopf. After all, why else would anyone choose to stay with that publishing house?
The answer is simple: In my opinion, and that of many authors all across the political spectrum, Baen Books is far and away the best publisher in science fiction. For starters, the publishing house is owned and run by real publishers, not by a pack of faceless bean counters who don’t seem to ever read anything except spread sheets.

In my last essay, I told the story of how I first got hooked up with Baen Books, after a long conversation with Jim Baen in which I explained my political history and opinions. What do you think would have happened if I’d had that same conversation with a corporate publishing bean counter?
Well, most likely it wouldn’t have happened, of course—not at the beginning. But if my career had started to take off with Soulless Bean Counter Inc., sooner or later my political history would have become known and there probably would have been some sort of “scandal.” Then what? Well, unless I was making a pile of money for SBC Inc., they would have dumped me.


I’ve never had to worry about that with Baen. They’re a business and if I can’t generate enough income for them, eventually they’ll cut me loose, But that will be because of the market, not because Jim or now Toni would start worrying there might be a scandal.
Beyond that, I have far more artistic freedom at Baen than I’d have at any corporate publisher. There is absolutely no way I could have created and built the 1632 series the way I have with any publisher except Baen. To give just one of many illustrations of that, the way I was able to launch the Grantville Gazette magazine was because when I raised the idea with Jim Baen, he didn’t want to do it but he offered to lend me the money I need to launch it myself.
You think a corporate publisher would have done that? Give me a couple of minutes to stop rolling on the floor laughing.


Here’s another illustration. The next solo novel I published after 1632 was The Philosophical Strangler, which was a completely different kind of story. Strangler is surrealistic comic fantasy which I sometimes describe—only half-jokingly—as a fictional rendition of Karl Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844.
Jim thought I was crazy to do it, from a marketing standpoint. 1632 was what publishers and authors often refer to as a “breakout novel,” and the standard wisdom is that you stick to that winning formula for at least several books. But I’d started the story that Strangler is part of—I just call it Joe’s World—at the age of 22, thirty years earlier, and dammit I wanted to see it published.
So—grudgingly, grudgingly, but he did it—Jim agreed to publish the book.
You think Soulless Bean Counter Inc, would have agreed? Be serious.
I don’t always agree with what Baen Books decides to do, and sometimes the answer I get to a proposal is “no.” But if nothing else, I’ll get an answer—and I’ll get it within a day or two. A week, tops.


When I tried to continue the Trail of Glory series with a corporate publisher after the first two novels came out, I was still waiting for an answer NINE ****ING MONTHS after I submitted my proposal. I’d probably still be waiting except I got fed up and told my agent to start shopping it around elsewhere. The first house we took it to was Baen, and they bought it the same day.


Not all authors have a good experience with Baen. One of the realities—this has been true since the days of Guttenberg—of dealing with a real publisher is that it tends to be a very direct one-on-one relationship. If it works, it usually works very well. But it doesn’t always work. If so, you have to go somewhere else.
Such is the life of a professional author. But there is a reason—many reasons, actually—why so many authors stick with Baen Books and often do so for years and decades.

 

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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  • 2 weeks later...

This whole Dr. Seuss thing has got me curious. What were your favorite books when you were a kid? Comic books? Story books? Actual novels? Whatever you were reading tell us all about it.

My all-time favorite book when I was a kid was Beautiful Joe. I even have two copies of it today. When I was around nine or 10 treasure Island and 20,000 leagues under the sea we’re also definite favorites. I was also a huge fan of this guy Jim Kjelgaard. I think I owned or read all of his books. There was another I remember liking very much when I was younger. It was about a Komodo Dragon that went on a trip to see the lights of the city or something like that. I can’t remember the name of it but it would’ve been published before the mid 70s. 

Edited by Guard Dog

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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Don't really recall having a favourite one, did read a lot of Crichton's books when I was 10-12. I did enjoy Sphere the best.  Did read a lot of Star Wars novels, at least before the EU got really weird, hah.

Plodding on through First Man in Rome - find it a slog as some of the dialogue is George Lucas tier, especially the bit where Julila is hitting on Sulla.  Not offensively bad so far, but I have a high tolerance I guess - only two books I have ever quit on was Executive Orders and Sandworms of Dune.

 

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Anything by Lloyd Alexander was my jam. I never got into comics or graphic novels, it was mostly just novels. This was the kind of thing I loved going back even earlier:

320px-ALEXANDER_TERRIBLE_HORRIBLE.jpg

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