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I saw my stacks of dragonlance books on my shelf the other day and wanted to pick them up, but I have like 60 books on my kindle waitig for me that I haven't read yet. Gonna give the Maztica series a go after I'm done with Wild Cards.

 

+10 for reading Wild Cards.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Any other Robin Hobb fans here?  I just finished her Dragon, uh, whatever one more than a trilogy is.  It was good, but I hope she leaves this universe behind now and returns to the one she made in Soldier's Son.  I'm a bit tired of dragons in general, but I still like her spin on it.

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Re-reading a bit of Michelle West's "House War" saga.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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I saw my stacks of dragonlance books on my shelf the other day and wanted to pick them up, but I have like 60 books on my kindle waitig for me that I haven't read yet. Gonna give the Maztica series a go after I'm done with Wild Cards.

+10 for reading Wild Cards.

Really enjoying it so far. Dr Tachyon is a great character. My only issue is how little history deviates with superpowered beings in the world. Edited by Oerwinde
The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

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I really liked the first two Wild Card books. All momentum for the series died in book 3, to me at least.

 

I just started The Shadow Rising. I'm liking the WOT series so far, but have trouble keeping track of some of the minor characters.

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Jaguars4ever is still alive.  No word of a lie.

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I really liked the first two Wild Card books. All momentum for the series died in book 3, to me at least.

 

I just started The Shadow Rising. I'm liking the WOT series so far, but have trouble keeping track of some of the minor characters.

If this is your first time through that will only get worse. It slows down for a few books starting after #8 but comes together nicely in the last 3. There were a few unresolved plots in the end but Sanderson did a good job wrapping things up.

Get off my lawn!

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In a way, I think that's what actually appealed to me with the WoT.  All of the minor characters having goals and plots that run along throughout. It makes it actually feel like a living, breathing world rather then just the activities of the "main group" and The Big Bad. Plus, they all made sense within the context of what was happening and the way he wove the rippling effects of all those various things back and forth..

 

Of course, the books around #8-11 were the ones Jordan was struggling to write through his illness flaring up and pushing him into the grave. I think overall, I'm glad that he didn't try to rush and cram it all in, but spent the time establishing his notes on everything so it could be finished off properly.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Just started The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth  (I love everything by Forsyth and Clancy and I've read everything by Ludlum.)

 

Here's the overview:

 

In Virginia, there is an agency bearing the bland name of Technical Operations Support Activity, or TOSA. Its one mission is to track, find, and kill those so dangerous to the United States that they are on a short document known as the Kill List. TOSA actually exists. So does the Kill List.

 

Added to it is a new name: a terrorist of frightening effectiveness called the Preacher, who radicalizes young Muslims abroad to carry out assassinations. Unfortunately for him, one of the kills is a retired Marine general, whose son is TOSA’s top hunter of men.

 

He has spent the last six years at his job. He knows nothing about his target’s name, face, or location. He realizes his search will take him to places where few could survive. But the Preacher has made it personal now. The hunt is on.

 

and a link to the beginning of the book:

 

http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/1879370/report-excerpts-from-the-kill-list-by-frederick-forsyth

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I went off Clancy after Red Storm Rising. He sometimes covers interesting areas, but then he just 'Dr Who' waves a wand and makes the 'good guys' win every time.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I went off Clancy after Red Storm Rising. He sometimes covers interesting areas, but then he just 'Dr Who' waves a wand and makes the 'good guys' win every time.

 

Fair enough.   I will admit that I am less of a fan of his later work after The Bear and The Dragon in 2000.  and I agree that his earlier novels are a lot better.  Those books generally have a much more historical / political overprint.  They are a bit of tangle as the chronology of events and the publishing sequence are way out of whack.   e.g. Red Rabbit supposedly predates Hunt for Red October and was published 18 years later.  

 

The cross over occurs with Clear and Present Danger where the historical / political overprint is scrubbed away (although the underlying geopolitics is real enough).  Starting with Sum of All Fears most of his subsequent works are generally non-historical with passing nods to real historical evens such as Saddam's overthrow as the pretext for the Executive Orders plot.  I have to admit that Ryan's televised address to the nation at the end of that book has got to be one of my all time favorite scenes.  :)

 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Clancy's next one:  Command Authority coming out at the end of this year.  :)

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I went off Clancy after Red Storm Rising. He sometimes covers interesting areas, but then he just 'Dr Who' waves a wand and makes the 'good guys' win every time.

It's like he became a parody of himself after his success of Patriot Games. Each subsequent book became a whale of a tome of the efficacy of the Amerikan Intelligence/Military Industrial/Ekonomik Complex.

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"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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I hope I'm not doing him too great an injustice if I hypothesise he got peons to research massive chunks of material and then he just loosely stitched them together. Fair play to the guy he's sold a lot of books. I just don't see the point of all the technical detail without any counter-intuitive surprises, or worked through consequences.

 

By way of contrast, Harry Turtledove has wins for the good guys in his alternate histories, but they aren't easy, and they aren't cheap, and they don't always win.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I hope I'm not doing him too great an injustice if I hypothesise he got peons to research massive chunks of material and then he just loosely stitched them together. Fair play to the guy he's sold a lot of books. I just don't see the point of all the technical detail without any counter-intuitive surprises, or worked through consequences.

 

Fair enough on the last point.  Clancy doesn't throw a lot of surprises at you. 

 

I can't vouch for all of his books but that's definitely not true for Hunt for Red October.  Based on the following link, I think he does most of his own research but its always possible that he uses assistants.  It appears that HfRO opened a lot of doors for Clancy - enough that he was able to write 11 non-fiction books as well.  He probably got a lot of information about various Naval systems from Harpoon.   

 

When Clancy’s first novel, The Hunt for Red October, was published, one former Soviet-watching intelligence officer conjectured that Clancy must have had inside information from U.S. intelligence personnel who intercept Soviet communications. “That’s a lot of crap,” Clancy replied. In fact, his basic sources were hundreds of books with dry titles like The World’s Missile Systems, Guide to the Soviet Navy and Combat Fleets of the World. Clancy also learned a great deal from a war game called "Harpoon", which the Navy used as an instruction manual for ROTC cadets.

 

However, Clancy claims that most of his research involves talking endlessly to the types of people he wants to write about….

 

For Red October, he interviewed former submariners who were operating the Baltimore Gas & Electric nuclear power plant near his home in Huntingtown, MD. At his publisher’s request, the finished

manuscript of Red October was read by two submarine officers, who found only a few mistakes. For example, Clancy had put valves on the bottom of the ballast tanks, rather than the top.

 

http://blogs.amctv.com/movie-blog/2007/11/tom-clancy-on-w/

 

I've played Harpoon and the detail in that game is amazing.  

 

Here's a list of Clancy's non-fiction books

 

http://www.clancyfaq.com/Hold%20Originals/Non-fict.htm

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I throughout I enjoyed RecOctober and Patriot Games. But after Cardinal in the Kremlin, it just became...too much.

 

That's not to say they weren't well written, after all I also ended up reading Without Remorse, Rainbow Six, Debt of Honor, Sum of All Fears, as well as Airborne!

 

The problem for me was that after the end of the Cold War, his novels became too convoluted and his antagonists were blasé.

 

I liked Irish Terrorists and Soviet Commies myself :)

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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Thread for books.
 
I'll start with the Temaraire series by Naomi Novak. She was a developer for Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide, but then decided to just write books. The books are about an alternate history where dragons exist in the Napoleonic Wars. Despite the premise it deals with things like suffrage, considering Dragons are sentient intelligent beings. 

 

novik-hismajestysdragon.jpeg

 

Peter Jackson has the rights to make movies out of it. But he hasn't done anything yet. 

Edited by NKKKK

Ka-ka-ka-ka-Cocaine!


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Hey I remember that name. She was an active poster on the Bio Boards back when SoU came out.

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Get off my lawn!

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Now reading The Red and Savage Tounge by FJ Atkinson. It's set in post Roman Britain. I think you guys would like this one. It has swords.

 

Also reading The Boy From Reactor 4 by Orest Stelmach. I just started it but I'm hooked. If you like Dan Brown you'll like this. The style at least, not the subject matter.

Get off my lawn!

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Thread for books.

 

I'll start with the Temaraire series by Naomi Novak. She was a developer for Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide, but then decided to just write books. The books are about an alternate history where dragons exist in the Napoleonic Wars. Despite the premise it deals with things like suffrage, considering Dragons are sentient intelligent beings. 

 

novik-hismajestysdragon.jpeg

 

Peter Jackson has the rights to make movies out of it. But he hasn't done anything yet.

There's never enough time! Between my writing, mod making, and gaming, I haven't enough time for reading!

 

That does sound great though, I think I'll throw it up on my Amazon wishlist.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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Hmm, only books I've read, written by game developers were the Deepgate Codex trilogy (Alan Campbell, former Rockstar employee). I think I made sarcastic comments at the time about the third book, as it could only have been written by a game developer. Great intro, excellent middle part and absolutely sucky deus-ex-machine ending.

 

I think that was even before ME3's ending :p

 

First two and a half book were great though.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Thread for books.

 

I'll start with the Temaraire series by Naomi Novak. She was a developer for Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide, but then decided to just write books. The books are about an alternate history where dragons exist in the Napoleonic Wars. Despite the premise it deals with things like suffrage, considering Dragons are sentient intelligent beings. 

 

novik-hismajestysdragon.jpeg

 

Peter Jackson has the rights to make movies out of it. But he hasn't done anything yet. 

 

About to place an order now.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I've read the first four books of that series. They do begin well, but they start to meander a bit towards the end of the third and into the fourth. Although I've heard the most recent ones are back on track.

The story does get spread world wide, and you get a view of how Imperial China treats their dragons as compared to the Europeans... 

And I think it's the fourth or fifth book where they end up sent to the colonies of Australia...

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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The Australia one was good, the ones before that and after the African adventure were slow. Did we really have to have a whole book of him traveling back from Africa? 

 

I have yet to read the one that takes place in South America. 

Ka-ka-ka-ka-Cocaine!


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In reading related news..

 

Frederik Pohl died this weekend.

 

http://www.frederikpohl.com/

 

http://io9.com/rip-frederik-pohl-the-man-who-transformed-science-fict-1241405614

 

And his daughter tweeted it to confirm it.

 

 

Rest in peace to my beloved grandfather Frederik Pohl, who showed me by example how to be an author. 1919-2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pohl was known for his mind-bending, often satirical novels (many co-authored with longtime collaborator C.M. Kornbluth), his editing acumen, his science fiction criticism, and his witty, fascinating blog, which he was updating right up until his death.

 

Born in 1919, Pohl began work on his genre-transforming novel The Space Merchants during his service during World War II, and published it in 1953 after he'd spent a few years working in the advertising industry. A collaborative effort with Kornbluth, it was a scathing sendup of the future of the advertising world that he said "nobody wanted to publish." But it became an instant classic, and its dystopian corporate future, where advertising rules everything, presaged the work of Philip K. **** and the cyberpunks.

 

Pohl was one of the founders of the influential, progressive group the Futurians in the 1930s. At a time when a lot of scifi was embracing its pulpiest tendencies, the Futurians argued that science fiction could be both literary and politically relevant. With The Space Merchants, he proved his point. And in later novels like Gladiator-at-Law (with Kornbluth) and Gateway, he continued to write dark, satiric tales of futures defined by class conflict and corporate greed.

 

In an interview with Vice, Pohl said:

"You can’t really predict the future. All you can do is invent it. You can do things that may have an effect on what the future will be, but you can’t say which is going to happen unless you know who’s inventing things and who’s making things happen. We would not have landed a man on the moon in 1969 if John Kennedy hadn’t decided to do it. It’s because he invented that event that it took place. It probably would’ve happened sooner or later under some other circumstances, but that’s why it happened. Same with atomic energy. So you can see how future events take place but what you can’t do is know who’s going to do something that will change it. You can’t really say what’s going to happen, but you can show a spectrum of possibilities."

 

 

As an editor, Pohl was known for taking risks on science fiction that broke out of the Golden Age adventure mold. In the 1960s, while working at Bantam, he published Samuel Delany's classic Dhalgren, and Joanna Russ' foundational feminist work The Female Man.

About Dhalgren, he told Locus magazine:

 

"For several weeks after I bought Delany's Dhalgren, every time I came into the office somebody would take me aside and say, 'Hey Fred, I'm not questioning your decision — but why did you buy that book, exactly?' The only answer I could ever give them was, 'Because it's the first book that taught me anything I didn't know about sex since The Story of O.' But it did sell, and I take some credit for that.

 

Most editors were not usually invited to the annual sales conference, because there were too many of them, but I told the boss I was going whether they liked it or not. Nobody else would be able to persuade them to deal with Dhalgren. When I got there I said to the salesmen, 'You're going to get a book called Dhalgren. You don't need to read it, don't need to know what it's about. The only thing you need to know is, it's the first book by Samuel R. Delany in many years. He considers it his masterpiece, and there are thousands of people out there who will buy it as soon as they see it. Just get it in the stores, and it will take care of itself.' It did. I think we did 16 printings in the first year, and he kept changing a line or two for every one. When the guy who took over from me as editor saw the sales figures on Dhalgren, he immediately signed three new contracts with [Delany], with commensurate advances... and lost his shirt!"

 

He wrote a memoir called The Way the Future Was, which also became the name for his long-running blog, The Way the Future Blogs.

We will miss Pohl, both for championing great works of science fiction and for writing some of the best works of the twentieth century. His career is a reminder that sometimes the greatest contributions to the genre came from collaboration and community-building, as well as the solitary work that's done at the keyboard.

 

 

 

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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