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

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I don't know. I never really read YA novels but we watched some pretty disturbing anime as children because every channel manager seemed to believe that all animation is for children. Not talking about the lighthearted depiction of brutality of, say, Tom and Jerry cartoons here, but something soul crushing like Dog of Flanders. I watched Niklaas doing hard labor day in and day out just to get by, having all his hopes and dreams crushed every other episode and then, finally, when it seems like things just might improve both he and his dog freeze to death.

 

I think YA novel readers will be fine if they get some bleak grimdark. Times are going to change, look at the stuff that's on TV for children these days. *shrug*

Edited by majestic

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We got Don Bluth cartoons. Fievel's family, Littlefoot's mom, the entire of The Secret of NIMH. YA novels aren't even close.

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The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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Just finished this one. It was OK. Not great, not terrible. He was trying to be thought provoking I guess. Didn't "stick the landing" if you know what I mean.

 

9780345524508_p0_v1_s550x406.jpg

 

Starting today:

 

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"I care nothing for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it"

Abraham Lincoln

 

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Finished Blood, Sweat and Pixels - was a bit wank, I guess I should have expected much worse.   Going to start Killing Pablo by Bowden, I found BHD to be a good read at least about the battle and not the surrounding situation so hopefully this is good.


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 finally started reading the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov. It reads pretty much like his short stories, which is a good thing as they are awesome. Need to figure out if the later books are worth reading once I get to them.

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The Netflix/Oscar's debacle all over again. Most of my favorite music is put out on independently owned labels that operate within scenes with limited marketing with a focus on adding to the scenes musical canon. It's the art of the medium put above all else.

 

For the publishers to acknowledge these small scenes would be to discredit themselves as valid taste makers. Which is what they wish to be seen as, opposed to merely cold rote means of marketing and propagation of mediums. They fear when worthy art and artists don't need them, and other's fill their role for free. Instead of letting the work be free, they control how an IP is seen and consumed.

Edited by injurai
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This might be a rather common occurence for readers...

 

42357873_1498633586905542_47690315225460

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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^I wouldn't get rid of the textbook. I actually have about four boxes of old encyclopedias published in the 1960's that my elementary school was getting rid of and I volunteered to save them. They could've stuck a dog in that trashcan and it would still be there, but not the books.  :verymad:

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Natsume Soseki's Botchan [Little Master]. He is perhaps better known to some for I Am a Cat (1905):

 

neko.jpg

 

From academic works like Simmel, to of course the well known reflections of French literature, accounts of the lonely individual and modernity from the very early 20th century I find have a special resonance with today - not the least because, in many cases, so many of our present fantasies and angsts (about technology, etc.) are reprising eerily similar stuff from late 19c/early 20c.

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Now reading this. Good not great so far. It's an interesting concept but she's not pulling it off :

 

9781501169038_p0_v2_s550x406.jpg


"I care nothing for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it"

Abraham Lincoln

 

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I've been reading The Lions of al Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay, it's not really grabbed me yet.

 

Before that I finally read Dune, which I have to say is a piece of ****. I don't understand how that book became such a cultural touchstone. It's plot driven, the main protagonist is a giant Mary Sue, the main antagonist is a one-dimensional cruel stereotype, all ancillary characters are there to support the plot. I guess I should have seen the red flags when they were talking about prophecy early on.

 

Next on the docket is "Adults in the Room" by Yanis Varoufakis.

 

I'm still hoping Rothfuss will stop fundraising and ****ing finally finish book three.

Edited by JFSOCC

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Before that I finally read Dune, which I have to say is a piece of ****. I don't understand how that book became such a cultural touchstone. It's plot driven, the main protagonist is a giant Mary Sue, the main antagonist is a one-dimensional cruel stereotype, all ancillary characters are there to support the plot. I guess I should have seen the red flags when they were talking about prophecy early on.

 

Dune is a sci-fi, those 'prophecies' are social engineering and not actual prophecy.

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I've been reading The Lions of al Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay, it's not really grabbed me yet.

 

Before that I finally read Dune, which I have to say is a piece of ****. I don't understand how that book became such a cultural touchstone. It's plot driven, the main protagonist is a giant Mary Sue, the main antagonist is a one-dimensional cruel stereotype, all ancillary characters are there to support the plot. I guess I should have seen the red flags when they were talking about prophecy early on.

 

Next on the docket is "Adults in the Room" by Yanis Varoufakis.

 

I'm still hoping Rothfuss will stop fundraising and ****ing finally finish book three.

I could tell you the Dune series gets better as you keep on reading. But I'd be lying. The next two books are decent if you actually like the first one. After that is gets.... it gets.... well... look I realize they are looking thousands of years past the first three but did it have to get weird? Herbert was doing way too many drugs in those days. 


"I care nothing for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it"

Abraham Lincoln

 

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Almost finished the Foundation series, not including the prequels, and I have to say it's pretty much the greatest sci-fi series/book I have read (I don't read much sci-fi).

 

 

You have to look at Dune at the period of time it was written, it was a pioneer. That said I couldn't get past book 3 or 4  (I don't remember which one was about the worm emperor).

 

edit: and screw Rothfuss, I'm debating whether or not to even read the 3rd book when/if it comes out. Had he remained quiet and not responded regarding it, I would have been peeved, but I would have waited. He had to open his big mouth, I understand that he may be frustrated by everyone asking about the next book, but he came across as such an entitled prick and an ****...

Edited by Sarex
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If a writer being a jerk turns you off, you might as well drop books altogether. :lol:

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The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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It's funny but the really good writers start series they never finish. Meanwhile others are churning out tens of thousands of pages of dreck that is little more than a poor copy of better works by better people. Oh.. hey Terry Goodkind. We were just talking about you!

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"I care nothing for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it"

Abraham Lincoln

 

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If a writer being a jerk turns you off, you might as well drop books altogether. :lol:

 

I really haven't come across other writers that I read that behaved like that. I don't really mind authors who are "jerks", but the self entitled ones do get on my nerves

 

 

It's funny but the really good writers start series they never finish. Meanwhile others are churning out tens of thousands of pages of dreck that is little more than a poor copy of better works by better people. Oh.. hey Terry Goodkind. We were just talking about you!

 

I mean you have Brandon Sanderson who writes high/good quality material consistently. There are also other but not to that degree.

 

Then you have Martin, but I don't really care about him as I dumped his series after book 1 (book 2 was a slog for me and I quit 1/4 of a way through).

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I read some of Sanderson's Mistborn books. I could not get into it. Goodkind has never had an original thought, Brooks with Shanarra just copied Tolkien, etc. I'm not a fan of fantasy fiction in general. I find most of it either unoriginal or intentionally tedious. I liked the WoT series well enough until Jordan lost control of it in the middle. I think the same thing has happened to Martin. He is letting the road obscure the destination and it's making the completion harder. I really enjoyed Rothfuss's writing style. But writing is not his primary profession and it's become such a hot property he is distracted with making a series, video games, etc out of his works. Plus his day job of teaching.

 

It's funny, with a fantasy genre a writer can create an entire world out of whole cloth. But so many just revisit the same tired themes. One thing I do like about Martin's work is his characters are interesting. There are not many stereotypes in ASoIaF in my opinion.

 

Speaking of churning out truck loads of dreck what was the last Stephen King novel that you guys actually thought was good? For me it was the Shining. It was all downhill after that. And a steep hill at that.

Edited by Guard Dog

"I care nothing for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it"

Abraham Lincoln

 

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Any fan of fantasy really should buy a kindle and get the Kindle Unlimited package from Amazon. There are writers turning out libraries of fantasy as self published titles on amazon you can read for free. Most of it is s--t. But if you are partial to shoveling s--t at least you won't have to pay for the privilege of doing it. 


"I care nothing for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it"

Abraham Lincoln

 

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I read some of Sanderson's Mistborn books. I could not get into it. Goodkind has never had an original thought, Brooks with Shanarra just copied Tolkien, etc. I'm not a fan of fantasy fiction in general. I find most of it either unoriginal or intentionally tedious. I liked the WoT series well enough until Jordan lost control of it in the middle. I think the same thing has happened to Martin. He is letting the road obscure the destination and it's making the completion harder. I really enjoyed Rothfuss's writing style. But writing is not his primary profession and it's become such a hot property he is distracted with making a series, video games, etc out of his works. Plus his day job of teaching.

 

It's funny, with a fantasy genre a writer can create an entire world out of whole cloth. But so many just revisit the same tired themes. One thing I do like about Martin's work is his characters are interesting. There are not many stereotypes in ASoIaF in my opinion.

 

Speaking of churning out truck loads of dreck what was the last Stephen King novel that you guys actually thought was good? For me it was the Shining. It was all downhill after that. And a steep hill at that.

 

 

Ditto with Mistborn, but his epic is great. WoT I read a couple of times whole, I wouldn't say he really lost control as much as he added a buttload of side characters and their POVs. You can always skim those.

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For Fantasy fiction I enjoyed Robin Hobbs books, if you can get past the melancholy of her characters, I've enjoyed Trudi Cannavan, even if it is a little stock fantasy, Jacqueline Carey, if you don;t mind lots of sex, and Brent Weeks, although he manages to move from low to high fantasy within a trilogy, I like his well written characters, enough that I tolerate his use of prophecy as a narrative device (and yes The_Dog_Days, I'm aware that in Dune it's social engineering, and yet the protagonist still works out to be the actual "chosen one")

 

Mistborn I've read because it was recommended to me as intelligent fantasy, but I didn't like it.

I got gifted (way before the tv series) game of thrones and threw it away after chapter 2, I do not regret it

 

For Sci-fi, I'm less well versed, but I loved Hyperion by Dan Simmons, I think one of the previous threads on this forum recommended it to me, maybe more Science fantasy than Science fiction, and I thought Neuromancer by William Gibson was pretty good, although that's cyberpunk, not really Sci-Fi. (and to me it read like a film noir)

 

I dunno, I tend to get my Sci-fi fix through cinema and tv-series, but I welcome advise.

I have a hypothesis concerning Patrick Rothfuss and the elusive third book, it goes something like this.

Rothfuss knows the broad lines of his work, but he gets carried away, we know that that is like.

Every time he creates a loose thread of a plot arc, he wishes to have it neatly resolved in book three, the problem is that he has created too many. Since it takes him about two hundred pages to resolve any arc (by my rough count) ignoring any new ones that would get introduced during the resolution of these narrative arcs, he'd need to write a lot.

He needs to resolve Bast's origin/introduction;

He needs to resolve the expulsion from university;

The obvious 9 villains arc;

The introduction of these pesky demonic arachnid creatures;

Tthe lackless box in his possession;

How the maer's fiance is actually Kvothe's aunt;

Learning the names and creating rings of a few more elements,

 

not to mention he has to

Revisit his old mentor;

deal with draco malfoy, I mean ambrose;

Find the secret order whose existence is removed from the library;

Befriend the immortal storyteller who got locked up (and free him).

Have a tragic (non)romance with Denna

 

That's roughly a few thousand pages right there, and then that's only if he can resist the urge to not create any more (without wrecking his story, or world, of course) loose threads. and he must make it a trilogy, because that's holy to him. And that's just resolving the arcs he's already thrown out there. If Kvothe actually ever gets convinced to rejoin society and take action after telling his story, well a man might still have some legend in him...

 

So Rothfuss writes and writes and writes, and I believe that by now he's written the collected works of Shakespeare and it's a giant mess and he doesn't know what to do with it. He can't cut this, or that, but maybe he can rewrite, or go to Pax, play some DnD or fundraise while he plies for more time. Meanwhile it becomes a bigger and bigger obstacle in his mind because he cannot fathom a world where it takes him more than three books to finish his narrative.

I bet that his drive to bookend and tie a nice bow on his story will prevent him from ever completing it.

 

 

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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.. WoT I read a couple of times whole, I wouldn't say he really lost control as much as he added a buttload of side characters and their POVs. You can always skim those.

 

 

It was probably the reverse of Jordan losing control- his mid series books bear all the hallmarks of not having a 'proper' editing pass by an external editor, likely because of the success of his previous entries and the desire to get a(s many) book(s as possible) out to market quickly. He's pretty much the reverse Martin in that regard, while Martin needs an external editor to tell him to pull finger and stop tinkering Jordan needed one to stick a big red pen stroke through pages of his writing, or at least ask if it was all necessary.

 

Sanderson did a pretty good job of finishing up WoT, but they're the only books of his I've read.

 

Speaking of churning out truck loads of dreck what was the last Stephen King novel that you guys actually thought was good? For me it was the Shining. It was all downhill after that. And a steep hill at that.

 

Checking a list the last one I liked was The Dead Zone though I didn't regret reading 'It'. I liked The Stand as well, but a lot of the things I disliked about his writing were coming out even then. Carrie and The Shining had the problem of me having seen the iconic movies prior to reading the books. Anything after is like Dan Brown novels, I'm sure I've read some of them but cannot remember which ones nor anything about them. Then again I definitely wasn't reading them in release order as I'm too young for that.

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