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Author Topic: Whats everyone reading?  (Read 632925 times)

von Boom

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6555 on: 08 August, 2019, 05:30:39 pm »
Ender's Game. The Boy has to read this for school, and despite being a major OSC fanboy in my youth I had rid my shelves of his writing a few years back in response to his reprehensible views. So I picked up a second hand copy (no revenue for religious homophobes) as part of the hateful back-to-school rituals and decided to give it a read on the way home.

Blimey. There's no denying Card's shockingly precise vision  (in 1985) of how the internet would work, and how ambitious psychopaths could manipulate it to create a political power base.  And there's a lot to enjoy in Ender's struggles in the brutialsing lacophiliac* world of the battleschool.

But holy crap, is he obsessed with those wily Jews!

Typical Mormon xenophobia. Good luck trying to find a black Mormon.



The Legendary Shark

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6558 on: 08 August, 2019, 08:32:19 pm »

Sorry, vB - I didn't mean anything by it. There's a Mormon church in Chorley and, once it was completed, they opened it up to anyone who wanted to take a look before it got sanctified. It was magnificent and the Mormons seemed pretty cool at the time. I had no inkling of their past so I was intrigued to find out if they really were racist and I did a quick Google to find that website. Seems they have had their share of racist problems in the past but it looks like they're trying to set things right.

I'm not into religion myself so I'm neither condoning or condemning them. Nothing against you either, VB - I thought you might like to know what I found, is all.


von Boom

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6559 on: 08 August, 2019, 09:01:50 pm »
No offence was taken Sharky. I've got a number of Mormons in my extended family and their views on race are less than sane.

The Legendary Shark

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6560 on: 08 August, 2019, 09:11:59 pm »

Thanks.

I come across as a twat so often that I sometimes forget I'm actually a really nice bloke! :D


von Boom

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6561 on: 08 August, 2019, 09:16:39 pm »
 :lol:

Frank

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6562 on: 18 August, 2019, 11:27:16 am »

I've realised that what I'm after in a comic is something that feels like it could have run in 2000ad circa 1987-1990, that sweet spot when the new kids were tearing through the Nerve Centre, spray-painting Rimbaud verses on Tharg's back, and the old guard were still around but raising their game while planning their exit.





Sea Of Stars  (Image)  l  Jason Aaron  l  Dennis Hallum  l  Stephen Green

I took a punt on this because the Stranded Space Trucker synopsis reminded me a little of Alan Moore and John Richardson's Killer In The Cab (i). I love a focused, single-setting survival story, like Gravity or All Is Lost, so I was disconcerted to find that the practical space mechanics lesson I'd expected featured space monkeys and an annoying kid with powers.

After I got over that disappointment, I enjoyed this well enough. Despite the Yorkie metaphor that lured me in Aaron's working the old seafaring analogue (ii), deploying Space Whales and Space Eels without shame. At his lowest ebb, Gil washes up on an abandoned freighter containing a hostile robot, so that met my 87-90 criterion, even if Kyle's no Cookie.

Because Aaron and Green have 22 pages to work with, we get desaturated flashbacks to Gil's dead wife that the story could do without. Despite the extra space, Aaron treats us to some clunky Basil crammed into a few panels at the start of the story explaining Dead Wife and why the kid had to come along this trip, which feels like it's there because Aaron got notes (iii).

Green's art is nice; his inks and faces sometimes reminding me of Colin Wilson. Aaron's theme is Parents Would Crawl Over Hot Coals For Their Kid, which is the kind of guff all new-dad authors pen after putting together a flat-pack bed or eBaying action figures to pay for school clothes. Space (iv) is improbably densely populated with organic life, but fuck it.

Maybe the creators see this spinning off into a lucrative franchise, but at the moment it reads like the kind of single-use story and simple action-adventure premise that would have fitted into early 2000ad, which I wish Tharg could find room for amid the slow-burn, atmospheric multi-bookers and their allegories concerning our present woes. 3.6 roentgen.


(i) Which I read when it was reprinted in prog 532, rather than on its original appearance in 170, so it fits my head canon of stuff from 1987-1990

(ii) Clue's in the title

(iii) From Beta-readers, presumably, since Image insist traditional editorial intervention isn't part of their schtick.

(iv) Actual space, as in vacuum, rather than planets.

Keef Monkey

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6563 on: 28 August, 2019, 02:30:07 pm »
Been reading the most recent Game of Thrones book but having to break it up with other things because it's only engaging me for chunks at a time and boring the hell out of me for others, so my current palate cleanser is Death Got No Mercy by Al Ewing. I'm not far into it but the protagonist just had a fistfight with a bear so I'm on board.

Professor Bear

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6564 on: 28 August, 2019, 02:48:44 pm »
If you pay very close attention, you can see where Al Ewing wrote himself a Clive Cussler-style cameo into the book.

TordelBack

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6565 on: 29 August, 2019, 09:39:11 am »
A quick comfort-food re-read of On Writing over the summer, after the rather disappointing The Outsider (I just don't get on with Lisbeth Holly Gibney, and wasn't expecting to find her here), led me into a selective re-visiting of Stephen King's deep bibliography, aimed at filling gaps and refreshing ancient memories.  What extra joy having On Writing firmly in mind brings to the project! So much fun seeing incidents from his life and writing philosophy crop up over and over.  After a blast through the older short story collections, I'm currently deep into It, screen versions of which have confused my recall enough to feel like a new novel.  Most enjoyable, soothing even. 

Other childish indulgences of late: Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphus Cain WH40K franchise books (light and frothy SFFlashman homage), Joe Abercrombie's Half a World (YA fantasy that breezes along pleasantly) and Claudia Gray's Lost Stars (more YA, of a SW flavour this time, which pulls off the interesting trick of explaining how a decent person might end up serving the Empire, and why Luke was so keen to get to that Academy of theirs.  Gray is a clumsy writer, but her characters ring true).
« Last Edit: 29 August, 2019, 09:45:38 am by TordelBack »

TordelBack

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6566 on: 29 August, 2019, 09:50:48 am »
Oh yeah, and Robert Harris' The Ghost, definitely his weakest book, to the point of being laughably bad. Despite being a fan, I'd been avoiding this one for years, and I wish I had continued to do so. A horny Cherie Blair was something I didn't need in my head.


Dandontdare

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6567 on: 29 August, 2019, 11:26:39 am »
I'm currently working my way through the Dredd-world novels. I read Dredd year 1 & 2 a while ago, and recently bought Judges, Rico and Anderson Year 1

Judges is great, telling stories from 2033 when the newly formed Judges were still working alongside regular police. The first two stories are excellent (Mike Carroll's, unsurprisingly is the best), but the third was a little opaque in it's style - lot's of flashbacks and out-of-context conversations where it's unclear who is speaking - I'll be expounding further in the Mega City Book Club at some point in the future!)

I'm 2/3 way through Rico - I wondered how this could work, but Mike has created a well-rounded prison-world and an intriguing portrayal of Rico - he's not evil per se, he just thinks that the administration of justice works better with flexibility, working with known criminal gangs to maintain peace for "innocents" rather than punishing every crime with an iron fist - his justifications and self-delusion are far more plausible than simple greed or wickedness. And of course, he's super-skilled and totally badass, as you'd expect from a Dredd clone.

Not yet got started on Alec Worley's Anderson Year one.

Robin Low

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6568 on: 29 August, 2019, 06:53:48 pm »
A horny Cherie Blair was something I didn't need in my head.

Oh, I don't know. There are probably worse parts of your anatomy to find her occupying.

Regards,

Robin

TordelBack

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6569 on: 02 September, 2019, 12:38:18 pm »
Staying on (this) topic, I was un/fortunate to read a Twitter thread around the observation that male authors writing female characters tend to have them endlessly reflecting on their breasts/nipples.

All my current reading is now blighted. Once noted, it is endemic, and bizarre. In particular, it seems impossible for a male-written female character to feel cold without a comment on the state of their nipples, irrespective of age, or to un/dress or wash without reflection on the size/shape/consistency of their breasts. Men, it turns out, really are pathetic: even my man King is a major offender here.

Anyway, it's weird as feck and now it's all I can see, and so I've passed it on to y'all. Enjoy the wokeness.