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The Athenaeum - Reading updates and Literary Review from the Obsidian Elite (this means you)


Amentep

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Interesting look into 'time travel'. I just love this book. If you like it there is game based on it as well which is also awesome:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Day_of_Creation

I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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Since the literature thread was closed back in May, I figured I might as well as start a new one, and I do that with a confession:

For the first time in my life, a computer game series has made me buy books and comic books!

Not only are they very good, but I just can't enough of this world and all its lore and characters.

Which world am I talking about?

 

The Empire of the Isles and the hints from the Pandyssian Continent.

In short, the world of Arkane's Dishonored.

 

Here are a few of the works I've been enjoying this summer:

 

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I'm such a fan, so I'm digesting it all, solemnly.

Have this ever happened to you guys? A computer franchise leeching into your literary leisure?

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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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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Oopsie! Unless this thread is needed in some computer game fandom spreading into our other media habits, please smack this into the existing thread, please. :)

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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When trying to explain the Count of Monte-Cristo and the characters and how they all relate.

 

1920px-CountOfMonteCristoRelations.svg.p

 

Dang it, I'm going to have to find time to re-read it once more.

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Do you guys know a hardback copy of the Planescape Campaign setting D&D books are going for over $500 each in new condition? I can't believe demand is that high. I saw some in a flea market a little while back. 

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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Currently reading this. It's OK. Seems a little embellished and mundane at the same time. But eyewitness history is always interesting to me. 

 

51y9vrLX3vL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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Do you guys know a hardback copy of the Planescape Campaign setting D&D books are going for over $500 each in new condition? I can't believe demand is that high. I saw some in a flea market a little while back. 

 

I've actually got most of the boxed sets for that from it's first release stashed on my shelves....

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Doing a lot of professional reading lately. My job responsibilities are changing. I'm moving up so to speak to take the place of someone retiring. My education has done little to prepare me for the job I have now. Less so for the one I'm moving into. I need to cram a lot of info into my brain that is already close to being maxed out. Every new thing I lean I forget something old. I'm afraid I won't be able to find my way home one day!

 

Now reading this:

 

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"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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Finished reading "American Gods" yesterday for the first time.

 

Good read, although I'll give all the credit to Gaiman's basic concept (mixing ancient gods and modern america) and his writing style. The story per se starts well but I didn't like the way it evolved after the first third, and the ending is almost cringy, relying on some unnecessary plot twists. 

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I finished The Red Tree by Caitlin Kiernan. Okayish for a horror novel. I'd definitely read more of hers, but I'm not dying to recommend it to anyone else.

 

Now to decide whether I'm going back to my Weaboo nonse and read Re:Zero 7 or that copy of Welcome to Night Vale I got for Christmas.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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Finished reading "American Gods" yesterday for the first time.

 

Good read, although I'll give all the credit to Gaiman's basic concept (mixing ancient gods and modern america) and his writing style. The story per se starts well but I didn't like the way it evolved after the first third, and the ending is almost cringy, relying on some unnecessary plot twists. 

if you liked American gods, I'd recommend his "the sandman" comic series. It's 75 issues and is largely the same in concept, except expanded to include figures like Lucifer and elves as well, and has some unfortunate, editorially mandated connections to the rest of DC in the early (first 5-10 or something) issues.

 

It focuses on Dream and in lesser degree his siblings, The Endless, who are antropomorphic representations/embodiments of certain concepts, such as dreams, death and such. Death in particular is really well done. Two of them make a stealth appearance in American Gods for half a page each or so.

 

It's a really weird series with really weird artwork at times, but easily (one of) my favourite graphic novel(s) ever.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just finished this:

 

41C3CGGp6KL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

Robert Smalls was a slave in 1861 who had been taught to pilot small boats in the SC lowlands. In 1862 he and a few other slaves stole a Confederate Warship, the CSS Planter. On May 12 1862 the Planter had taken on guns to take back to Charleston the following day. The crew (but for three officers) were ashore that night. Smalls crept into the Captains cabin and put on his uniform and straw hat, released the slaves in the hold and commandeered the ship. They sailed the Planter brazenly past the CS outpost with Smalls in uniform at the wheel. They even stopped and rescued other slaves and families of the crew. They sailed the Planter straight to the Union blockade and surrendered the Planter to the US Navy. 

 

Smalls went on to serve with (but not in) the US Navy for the duration of the war. He became the pilot of the very ship he stole. After the war he received prize money for the capture of the Planter which he used to move back to Charleston and buy his old master's house and start a business. Eventually he got into politics.

 

How the hell is this man's story not a movie? 

Edited by Guard Dog
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"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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I actually liked Gaiman's American Gods spinoff, Anansi Boys, a lot more. Though it's considerably lighter tone wise. Reminded me of Terry Pratchett.

 

Pratchett and Gaiman actually wrote a book together, Good Omens. Their styles blend quite well.

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If reading is wrong, I don't want to be right! :lol:

 

Heaven will be a giant library with every book that ever has been or will be written. And there are doors that lead to every possible climate/vista in creation with a comfortable chair where you can sit and read with a beautiful view.

 

And there's dogs... and beer

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"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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Finished reading Empires of EVE - good marketing for the game.  Was funny to read the exploits of SirMolle, I remember him from the EVE alpha when the Relicnews people arrived (I miss frstkor13).  Second volume in the works, so will look for that.

 

Starting Blood, Sweat and Pixels.  Might be interesting to read a behind the scenes approach to game dev.

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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Blood Sweat and Pixels is underwhelming so far, one purchase I regret.

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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For one point of view..

 

The Unbearable Darkness of YA literature

 

As one author commented on it:

 


Kids who are at the most angst-ridden, uncertain, self-doubting, hormone-driven periods of their entire lives DO NOT need this kind of crap shoveled at them, whether it's in the name of "literature" or the name of... social intervention.

And the statement attributed to "educator Alice Hays" is enough to make the soul cringe and the stomach turn.

I suppose the new mantra is "There is no prison ship like a book to transport us to the gulag."

 

 

Is the object simply to entertain, or is it to question, to inspire, to teach, or to warn? The same book can do all of those things, but what happens when the warning is "Yeah, and its going to happen to you, and there's not one damned thing you can do about it?" What happens when the lesson is "Hey! The best you can hope for is to survive?"

I'm a professional writer. I write primarily adult books. As a writer, I take my responsibilities to my audience and to myself seriously. If ugly things happen, I deal with them, for example, but I refuse to write "splatter porn" in which only bad guys died or, if good people DO occasionally die, they always do it almost instantaneously, and, oh BTW, that "collateral damage" stuff where innocent civilians get killed along the way is totally avoidable. So, yeah, I get the notion that authors writing for kids need to be able to go there and have a responsibility not to sugarcoat. But in too much current YA, then pendulum has swung too far, in my opinion.

And, to be honest, I do think that YA writers have a greater responsibility to consider the fact their audience is in a much more formative and angst-ridden phase of its existence. I know that's part of why some of the darker writers are trying hard to reach out to them now, because they are trying to speak to kids DEALING with this kind of crap. While it may not seem evident from some of what I've said, I recognize and applaud that impulse on their part. It's the ones who never get beyond the "its a dark, dark, ugly world out there" who are the problem for me.

And I do think that YA authors --- or at least the gatekeepers ---also need to be aware of how rapidly the strata among young readers change as they age. A 10-year old reader and a 15-year old reader are separated by a whole big bunch bigger slice of life experience than a 35-year old reader and a 40-year old reader. To take on example, if a 10-year old read HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE in 1997, that reader was 20 by the time DEATHLY Hallows came out in 2007. That reader grew up with the books, and was undoubtedly a totally different person at 20. But what about the 10-year-old who binge reads all of them in a six month period? I wold argue that the issues being dealt with in the later books are totally appropriate for young readers to encounter (and, BTW, I read the first five books to my kids before they could read them to themselves; I left the last two for them to discover/read on their own when they wanted to), but they're just a tad darkER and uglIER for a 10-year-old than they are for a 19-20-year-old. So before one of my 10-year-olds sat down to read them, I would make it a point to sit down with him/her first.

And at the end of the day, Harry Potter is NOT the kind of dystopia that gets my back up. A whole bunch of really good people die, a whole lot of really bad stuff happens, but in the end Harry and his (surviving) friends find out that there really can be light at the end of the darkest hallway

Edited by Raithe

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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