What are you currently reading?

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aaelgr
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Postby aaelgr » Nov 17 2012, 10:08

I've been working my way through Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. They're the first books in a long time that I've read cover to cover in a single sitting. I knew before starting that he's considered one of the greats in sci-fi, but now I know why...
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Postby Corribus » Nov 18 2012, 0:12

Hi Wimfrits -
Glad you liked them. I agree the lack of any map is very annoying and I know it's a common criticism. In The Heroes he finally does include a map, though it's only a map of the battle taking place (the whole novel is a single 3 day battle). Speaking of which, the stand alone books that follow are IMO even better. But I can understand if you need a break. :) What I meant by "no heroes" is that none of the characters really fit traditional hero stereotypes, though I consider that a good thing.

I am working slowly through Prince of Nothing. Not for lack of enjoyment - I don't get much reading time. I am currently in the second book. I must admit I found it a little hard to get into in the beginning - the plodding pace and complicated political landscape took some time to figure out (plus the place and character names seem sometimes like they were just drawn out of a hat). However once I got a head of steam I've found it to be quite enjoyable and thank you for the suggestion! (In this way it's a little like Tad Williams, who also suffers from rather slow beginnings.) If I've got one criticism it's the eponymous character, who is a bit too much of a Mary Sue for my liking. On the other hand, I love every scene that Cnaiur is in, so I guess it balances out. :D
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Postby wimfrits » Nov 18 2012, 7:25

Ah. Heroes like Gandalf and such. I forgot those existed.
I don't think any of the more recent fantasy novels feature stereotype heroes. Even exceptionally gifted characters have their flaws.
Not counting that other fellow, you could say that Logen is a pretty stereotype hero ;)

I fully intend to stay tuned to Abercrombie's writing after this first taste. But like to switch between writers.

I agree PoN starts slow, partly because of the counter-intuitive naming. Bakker could learn a thing or two from Tad Williams in that respect.
A Mary Sue? Kellhus made me think of you when I first got to know him :D
I'm torn between considering K a hero or a tyrant.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 22 2012, 15:20

So i read Game of Thrones, then i started the Guild Wars book, i'm about half way through the 2nd one (read chronologically by in-game time) and i got to say, while i enjoy the story in the GW books the difference in talent between the writes and Martin is very noticeable (also, Ghosts of Ascalon flows better then Edge of Destiny so far)...


And while on the subject, i also don't find Asimov to be that great of a writer, his writing feels to clinical... i find his shorts stories about the 3 laws going wrong fit his style best.
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Postby Greengnots » Nov 24 2012, 22:42

I am reading the book Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan.
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Postby GreatEmerald » Jan 1 2013, 20:52

Just finished the third Wheel of Time book (or should I say "tome"? :D ). I like how circular it all feels. All three books have followed the same basic pattern. But each had progressed the story forward, and the status of every character is always ever-changing.

I was also a bit surprised to see that Jordan put the supporting characters (Mat, Perrin) on a bus (albeit for commuting only) for the second book - and yet the bus came back in the third book. The opposite was with Rand, he was the centre of the second book, but he was put on a bus for the third.

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Postby Gaidal Cain » Jan 2 2013, 8:54

Good. You can stop now when it's still good. Well, about two more books won't hurt much, but then you should really, really stop.
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Postby ShadowLiberal » Jan 3 2013, 3:10

Just finished reading The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I got books #2 through #5 for Christmas, and spent most of my Christmas vacation reading it in my spare time.

It's certainly not a book series I would have picked out for myself, but I'm glad my older brother got me started on the author a year ago when giving me a book in the series as a gift earlier in the year.

I especially loved book #3, City of Glass, and the main Villain's end, quite appropriate for his character to be finished off that way after using all those demons as his own personal army throughout the first two books.

I wish I could read the final book in the series, City of Heavenly Fire, if only it were out soon. :(

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Postby wimfrits » Jan 7 2013, 8:18

Gaidal Cain wrote:Good. You can stop now when it's still good.


Hear hear. Better to remain ignorant than to gradually trade curiosity for disappointment
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Postby GreatEmerald » Jan 7 2013, 8:22

wimfrits wrote:Hear hear. Better to remain ignorant than to gradually trade curiosity for disappointment


Eh, I'll take a gamble. After all, I liked MM1 despite its flaws, so maybe I won't be as disappointed with the later WoT books as well :D That, and now I have lower expectations because of you :P

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wimfrits
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Postby wimfrits » Jun 11 2013, 8:38

Can someone please point me to the next fantasy book series I should pick up? :D

I already read an awful lot.. my current top 5 is:
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Stephen Donaldson)
A Tale of the Malazan: Book of the Fallen (Steven Erikson)
The Prince of Nothing (R. Scott Bakker)
The First Law (Joe Abercrombie)
Memory, Sorrow, Thorn (Tad Williams)

I'm considering Mistborn (Sanderson) and Codex Alera (Jim Butcher), but am not sure if they will fit my taste. The Broken Empire (Mark Lawrence) sounds nice as well, but isn't completed yet. Any suggestions are welcome!
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Postby GreatEmerald » Jun 11 2013, 11:02

I'm still reading The Wheel of Time: The Shadow Rising. Man, this book is just huge...

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Postby Kalah » Jun 12 2013, 21:33

I'm just getting started on Karl Marx: a nineteenth century life by Jonathan Sperber. Very interesting.
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Postby Corribus » Jun 14 2013, 0:04

Wimfrits,
I'm not sure how you feel about historical fiction but if you have any chance to pick up anything by Gary Jennings, I am sure you will enjoy it. He is dead and many of his books are out of print, so you may have to cruise the used books stores, but it'll be well worth your time. One word of advice, though - skip the Aztec sequels, which mostly weren't written by him and do not have the same level of quality.

The best are:
Aztec
Raptor
The Journeyer

They are not series but are very long - nearly 1000 pages each. In particular the Journeyer (about Marco Polo) is one of the best historical fiction books (if not one of the best books period) I've ever read.

On the topic of historical fiction, Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) is a high quality read, as is its sequel, the name of which eludes me at the moment. And Sarum by Rutherford, The Far Pavilions by MM Kay, and Shogun/Tai-Pan by Clavell are decent reads as well. There's a whole genre for you to explore, and most of them have as many swords in them as any fantasy novel. :)
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wimfrits
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Postby wimfrits » Jun 14 2013, 7:19

Corribus wrote:There's a whole genre for you to explore, and most of them have as many swords in them as any fantasy novel. :)


:D Yet lacking sorcery.. I'm a real sucker for fantasy, needing alternate realms, mythical creatures and/or magic to break the bonds with reality.
I have heard good things about Jennings earlier. And there seems to be a tv miniseries of Pillars of the Earth that was well received.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Kalah
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Postby Kalah » Jun 14 2013, 18:54

wimfrits wrote: I'm a real sucker for fantasy, needing alternate realms, mythical creatures and/or magic to break the bonds with reality.


Well, stay tuned for my book. It should be finished in twenty years or so ... ;)
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wimfrits
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Postby wimfrits » Jun 15 2013, 12:39

Thanks Kalah! You're a lot of help.. ;|

I went and ordered a Mistborn box set. Based on all the praise it's magic system gets.

Currently nearing the end of the Black Company series. Which starts and ends pretty good, but has a slight dip in the middle. Though one might argue that's because of the difference in writing style of the responsible 'Company annalist'. A bit unfair because of the time the series were written, but The Black Company seems a light version of the Malazan series.
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Kalah
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Postby Kalah » Jun 15 2013, 20:08

Come to think of it, have you read Bone? It's a graphic (comic) novel but still some of the best fantasy stuff I've come across ...
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wimfrits
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Postby wimfrits » Jun 16 2013, 9:35

I don't think Bone was published in the Netherlands in my comic days. I was a huge Storm fan though.
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Kalah
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Postby Kalah » Jun 16 2013, 10:44

Buy it.

Truly, you won't be sorry. :)
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