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Author Topic: Whats everyone reading?  (Read 714429 times)

JOE SOAP

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6720 on: 21 July, 2020, 04:38:52 PM »
My three takeaways were (1). Landsdape very evocative of holidays in Clare as a kid, I wonder doea Hodgson share the specific (alleged) inspiration of Poll na gColm with Tolkien


Possibly. He spent some time in the West as a kid.

WHH (known as “Hope” to his family and friends) was born in 1877, the second son of Essex clergyman Samuel Hodgson and his wife, Lizzie.  The family would eventually grow to include twelve children but three of WHH’s brothers would die in infancy before their second years.

By all reports, Samuel Hodgson was a difficult man to live with.  This is perhaps supported by the fact that he was constantly transferred throughout most of his career.  Samuel was moved at least twelve times during the years 1871-1890 and, in 1887, the family was sent to do missionary work in Ireland at Ardrahan, County Galway.  This would provide the setting for one of Hodgson’s most famous novels, The House on the Borderland.


https://williamhopehodgson.wordpress.com/a-short-biography-of-william-hope-hodgson/

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6721 on: 21 July, 2020, 08:23:32 PM »
Isaac Asimov's Robot Series

I finished Robots of Dawn today after having read the first two and have just picked up Robots and Empire.  So far I am really enjoying this series.  It's hardly a surprise to me as I find Asimov's writing to be highly engaging.  Despite him being one of my favourites authors, I haven't read a great deal of his work.  All of Foundation, couple of other novels and a bunch of short stories.  I like him most when he becomes fixated on otherwise benign and insignificant details of his world building.  He uses them to develop his characters and flesh out his settings in a way I don't think I've experienced from other writers.

I'm going to carry on with the galactic empire stuff and into foundation for an almost complete journey.  It should keep me quiet for a number of months.

Funt Solo

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6722 on: 22 July, 2020, 03:01:38 AM »
I really enjoyed Asimov's books - right from when I was too young to really understand all the words, but just kept going anyway because I got the general idea.

By the time you get to Robots and Empire, his two massive threads collide.

Tempting to start all of this up again. It's been long enough.

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broodblik

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6723 on: 22 July, 2020, 04:53:32 AM »
What I always liked about Asimov is his easy writing style that makes it so simple to read his books. His Foundation series is just plain awesome (the tv series looks great but it does not look anything from the books).
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6724 on: 22 July, 2020, 09:48:26 AM »
Everyone I have recommended The Foundation series to who then read it has loved it.  I first came across Asimov about 10 years ago with his collected stories The Bicentennial Man found in a second hand book shop (a rare thing in itself these days).  I went back to that shop the following week and started buying up all the Asimov books they had (mostly Foundation).  I agree that he is extremely easy to read.  I'm just really glad I have my hands on more of his books now.

Bolt-01

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6725 on: 22 July, 2020, 11:00:35 AM »
Asimov is a great writer. Something I really love about his writing is how much of his plot is progressed in conversation with characters.

I've just finished Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds. A cracking little time travel novella that rattles along at a breakneck pace.

wedgeski

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6726 on: 22 July, 2020, 11:06:38 AM »
I decided to continue my Alastair Reynolds marathon and enjoyed Pushing Ice and the Revenger series in the last few weeks. "Enjoyed" is correct but I didn't feel like they were up there with the Inspector Dreyfus or other Revelation Space novels. Pushing Ice had a fantastic premise (as always) but the character work left a bit to be desired; I didn't feel like I understood any of them, to be honest, and their actions were often "WTF"-level deplorable.

The piratical Revenger series had a fantastic premise (as always) and some of the best action sequences the author has written, and I loved the way the narrative swapped between the two sisters and then detached itself for the third book, but again, the characters didn't really differentiate themselves, and the whole story just sort of ambled from place to place. That said, the setting is very interesting and its mysteries resolved themselves satisfactorily by the end of the third book. No regrets, but none of these would be my first recommendations for a new reader.

I'll get back to space opera in good time (probably with some of the recommendations offered earlier in this thread), but I'm palate-cleansing with a first read of Ready Player One, and I'll more-than-likely segue into some fantasy before heading back out into the black.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6727 on: 22 July, 2020, 08:57:00 PM »
The Maxx 1-20
...That was just the first story arc. There's another to go and I'm very much looking forward to it. This is simply breathtaking comics.

The Maxx 21-35

And you know what it just gets better. The second story arc is just wonderful. Okay you could argue that the scripting loses some of its fizz when the brilliant Messnor-Loeb steps aside and Sam Keith takes over. And yes the little vignettes are so fantastic you just want more of them. You want to spend more time with these characters. I know that's not the point that Sam Keith gives you the insight into the minds of these glorious lost souls and no more, but man I would lap up more.

By the end Keith miraclously pulls together this boggling mindscape sown across the entire 35 issues series and makes it all make complete sense, work as a whole and be utter satisfying while at the same time being a work of surreal mystery.

Its like nothing else I've read. I know I need to read it again. I know each time I read it I will get more and more things from it.

An absolute masterpiece.

TordelBack

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6728 on: 23 July, 2020, 12:44:54 PM »
By all reports, Samuel Hodgson was a difficult man to live with.  This is perhaps supported by the fact that he was constantly transferred throughout most of his career.  Samuel was moved at least twelve times during the years 1871-1890 and, in 1887, the family was sent to do missionary work in Ireland at Ardrahan, County Galway.  This would provide the setting for one of Hodgson’s most famous novels, The House on the Borderland.[/i]

Cool, cheers Joe!  I reckon Ardrahan can't be more than an hour's (modern) drive from Pollnagollum cave, which fits well with the Borderland description. 



Apestrife

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6729 on: 23 July, 2020, 09:01:40 PM »
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Picked up a trick or two from this one. The book centers around the idea of thoughts being emotional or logical, and how those two are working together: often with excercises. My favorite one being “A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” which made me go Aha! quite the bit.

A good book. Especially since I'm about to start reading a book on cognitive behavioral therapy next :)
« Last Edit: 23 July, 2020, 09:04:28 PM by Apestrife »

Link Prime

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6730 on: 27 July, 2020, 02:56:35 PM »
Mine is the Fantasy Masterworks edition, which compiles all Hodgson's novels and has an interesting intro by China Mieville, but whilst you could once pick that up at Fopp for a few quid, it seems to have shot up in price somewhat - though not to any more than a modern edition of The Night Land alone.

Amazingly I rediscovered my copy of that same edition just today, after assuming it was long gone to the great recycling bin in the sky!


That the edition that misspells the authors name, going for 50 smackers on Amazon?

That's the one - although the spelling error isn't on the actual cover, just the online graphic.

Cheers lads, picked up a cheapo copy of THOTB, will shell out for decent editions of Hogson's stuff if I like it.

Apestrife

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6731 on: 29 July, 2020, 08:43:04 AM »
Harleen by Stjepan Šejić. This one took me by surprise. A very good and complex retelling of Harley Quinn's beginnings. Her relationship to the Joker is especially interesting. The book strikes a good balance between showing why it's far from a healthy relationship and how she can believe it is. Much like Batman's trauma, it's hard decide wether it's made her free or in a cage: in her quest/hope to cure a person (and perhaps herself) who's essentially a big bad wolf. Stjepan has made a really good job making sure there's no straight up answer to this, and without her loosing her agency --even when she's loosing it.

I'd also like recommend the youtube channel The deluxe version's fantastic job presenting the beauty of the hardcover edition of the book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3mW6jKzX3U
« Last Edit: 29 July, 2020, 08:45:22 AM by Apestrife »

wedgeski

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6732 on: 29 July, 2020, 03:56:00 PM »
I'll get back to space opera in good time (probably with some of the recommendations offered earlier in this thread), but I'm palate-cleansing with a first read of Ready Player One, and I'll more-than-likely segue into some fantasy before heading back out into the black.
This was strangely not as good as I expected, and had many of the same problems as the film. Then this happened:

Me: This was strangely not as good as I expected, and had many of the same problems as the film.
Wife: Are you sure you're not just pissed that you didn't think of it first?
Me: ...

I married someone much smarter than me.

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6733 on: 29 July, 2020, 10:30:08 PM »
I was under the impression that the book had all the problems of the film in larger quantity.  The film entirely put me off reading it as I found it utterly tiresome, trite, idiotic and an insult to my intelligence.  That's not even taking into account that it comes across as a massive checklist of "geek culture" references, which outside their own contexts were just hollow and meaningless... or even worse, missed the fucking point.

sheridan

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6734 on: 01 August, 2020, 06:53:51 PM »
Readers of The House on the Borderland - or indeed those who've enjoyed one of the most memorable Carnacki yarns - will find it somewhat appropriate to see the author referred to as Hogson. If there was one animal that engendered grave misgivings in WHH, pigs were it.

There's a Buy It Now of said edition on eBay for £18.

Ha!  Though ever since new Doctor Who came out (not so new now, it's fifteen years since it came back) I think of the House on the Borderland people as being like the guys from Depression-era New York.