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Author Topic: Whats everyone reading?  (Read 744338 times)

sheridan

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5910 on: 04 February, 2017, 02:13:02 PM »
Oh yeah (I enjoy all of them!) but some folks may bounce straight off fantasy-humour. Was really just naming a couple at random without falling back on the usual 'Light Fantastic and Colour of Magic are very different' Pratchett summary.

LF and CoM different to all the books that followed, or different to each other?  To me the two seem like two parts of the same book, a bit like how Hitchhikers and Restaurant are basically the same book, but Adams had to submit the manuscript so curtailed the first book so that something would actually get printed.

sheridan

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5911 on: 04 February, 2017, 02:14:06 PM »
Ah the Last Hero was beautifully illustrated though.

As with FaustEric.  And for that matter, Elric at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock and Rodney Matthews.

Rara Avis

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5912 on: 04 February, 2017, 09:01:40 PM »
I have no idea. I think 'Use of Weapons' wouldn't be a great place to start. The first time I read it I hadn't a clue what was going on until the final chapter. Then everything just fell into place and I was completely blown away. When I read it a second time even though I knew what was going to happen I felt the exact same. It was like those moments in the movies were the camera zooms in and pulls out at the same time. What an amazing piece of literature, I totally want to read it again now. I want to read them all again actually.

What did you think of the Hydrogen Sonata?

Strange - because wasn't Use of Weapons the first one Banks conceived of, but decided that the reader would need to be introduced to the Culture via the other books first?

sheridan

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5913 on: 05 February, 2017, 02:01:51 AM »
I have no idea. I think 'Use of Weapons' wouldn't be a great place to start. The first time I read it I hadn't a clue what was going on until the final chapter. Then everything just fell into place and I was completely blown away. When I read it a second time even though I knew what was going to happen I felt the exact same. It was like those moments in the movies were the camera zooms in and pulls out at the same time. What an amazing piece of literature, I totally want to read it again now. I want to read them all again actually.
Dolly zoom is the name of the zoom in / pull out manoeuvre.  It's been well over a decade since I read Phlebas and don't recall any confusing / "what's going on" feelings, though I think I'd read Banks' essay about the Culture prior to reading it so may have had some idea what to expect (or maybe I was just inured to confusion by having started off reading 2000AD with non-sequential progs and having to be content with reading incomplete progs and reading episodes out of order as I filled in the gaps!)

Quote
What did you think of the Hydrogen Sonata?
I'm afraid I haven't read that one yet - I have a mission to re-read all of the Hitchhikers books while I'm still 42 years old (plus any other Douglas Adams things I can lay my hands on, Dirk Gently, Last Chance, etc).  I have until October.  Next after that is to complete my collection of and read through the Discworld books and then I'll read the Culture/Iain M Banks books (and maybe Iain Banks as well - though while I only have to buy four 'M' books, I'd have to get ten or more IB books).

Rara Avis

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5914 on: 05 February, 2017, 08:03:01 AM »
You learn something new every day and today I learned what a dolly zoom is  :)

Just to clarify I found 'Use of Weapons' confusing not Phlebas. Iirc the chapters jump back and forth in time until you find out that who you think is Zakalwe has actually been that scoundrel Elethiomel all along 

A quick look at Wikipedia confirms that this was the first Culture novel written but was deemed too complicated to publish by the author who wrote 'Against a Dark Background' next.

I assume Banks was a TS Eliot fan, at least two of his novels are references from 'The Waste Land':

IV. Death by Water

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
                                   A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
                                   Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

Well that settles it, I'm re-reading the Culture collection next.

von Boom

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5915 on: 05 February, 2017, 12:28:38 PM »
You won't regret it. I finished rereading all the Culture books last year to finish with The Hydrogen Sonata which was the only one I hadn't read yet.

The thing about the Culture is that while some books may be better than others subjectively, they are each a jewel in the entire series. We won't see the likes of that sort of story for some time to come I think.

Rara Avis

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5916 on: 05 February, 2017, 01:56:20 PM »
Did you read them in order or publication or is there an alternative reading structure that you could recommend?

Life is a bit busy at the moment but hopefully over the summer I can devote my free time to reading more.
I have a stack of books that's probably almost as tall as me on my to read list and no time but I do what I can.

von Boom

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5917 on: 05 February, 2017, 02:28:14 PM »
I always recommend reading them in order of publication. While the books are all pretty much stand alone, there are references you may not get if you read them in any other order.

Theblazeuk

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5918 on: 06 February, 2017, 12:48:35 PM »
Oh yeah (I enjoy all of them!) but some folks may bounce straight off fantasy-humour. Was really just naming a couple at random without falling back on the usual 'Light Fantastic and Colour of Magic are very different' Pratchett summary.

LF and CoM different to all the books that followed, or different to each other?  To me the two seem like two parts of the same book, a bit like how Hitchhikers and Restaurant are basically the same book, but Adams had to submit the manuscript so curtailed the first book so that something would actually get printed.

Different from all the books that followed. You see a bit of it in Equal Rites and Pyramids but to a lesser extent - the world of the Disc in those early books doesn't match up with the later ones in either its general tone or the elements it introduces (most notably the Unseen University and the portrayal of Wizards). All minor stuff though.

von Boom

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Rara Avis

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5920 on: 06 February, 2017, 06:38:10 PM »
Interesting, they probably wouldn't be my top 5 but it's been a while since I read them.

Use Of Weapons
Excession
Consider Phlebas
Surface Detail
Inversions

To be revised .. when I have read them in order of publication ...

Ancient Otter

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5921 on: 06 February, 2017, 11:37:42 PM »
Devoured Voice of the Whirlwind by Walter Jon Williams, going to start Captain Alatriste before reading another early novel by Walter Jon Williams, Hardwired.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5922 on: 09 February, 2017, 04:47:22 PM »
The second and final Hellboy in Hell trade. Beautiful, melancholy, and elegaic.

A really powerful and fitting ending, even if a)it was typically obtuse and I can't say I entirely understood it?and b)he's still got a role to play in the final BPRD arc.

von Boom

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5923 on: 09 February, 2017, 05:58:49 PM »
Devoured Voice of the Whirlwind by Walter Jon Williams, going to start Captain Alatriste before reading another early novel by Walter Jon Williams, Hardwired.

Hardwired is a great read. I remember going through every cyberpunk related book in the 80s and 90s in very short order. Hardwired is a stand-out.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5924 on: 14 February, 2017, 08:01:21 PM »
On the journey too and from the 40th I finished off reading The Goon and by gosh that is some damned fine comics. I mean really good stuff. Okay so if I'm honest it does quite recover its old form after the truly magnificent 12 issue arc featuring the return of Labrazio (apparently) - its not that the latter issues are bad, far from it. In fact there are some of the best individual issues of the series BUT they lack the conhesion of the earlier done in ones and the beautiful long form story in the middle. It was a comic that felt like it wanted to find its momentum again but never quite made it.

That said I want to try the mini-series that the book was moving to (did that happen actually) after 43 cos it looked like that was building to a really interesting story.

Anyway over all just brilliant comics and while I always struggle with this I think Eric Powell might, just might be my favourite none 2000ad artist... just might!