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#27 Sep 14 2012 at 8:06 PM Rating: Decent
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Zieveraar wrote:
@gbaji: have you tried Eye of cat by Zelazny yet? It's a fairly similar setup as Lord of light, but with a focus on Native American mythology. A very visual book, very dark.


No, I haven't. I guess I'll have to pick that up now. Sheesh!) ;)

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The Amber series are great fun, but due to Zelazny's untimely death also frustratingly unfinished :( And the prequels by an other writer are pretty bad.


I honestly didn't realize he'd continued it past the first five.


Just thought of another author. Iain Banks. I read a book by him called "Player of Games" ages ago, and found it interesting. Good story, but also had a future society that was interesting ("The Culture"). He's got a whole mess of books that deal with and around that same future society, in a variety of ways. It's different in that the central theme is that of a super advanced galaxy spanning civilization dealing with less advanced civilizations. The stories focus often on single individuals who are either part of, or represent The Culture, having to resolve some problem. Usually without revealing just how ridiculously more advanced their own technology is to the folks they're interacting with. It's really more about overcoming social/cultural differences than technological though.
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#28 Sep 14 2012 at 8:09 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
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If you're into powered combat armor, but don't like the pro-military slant of Starship Troopers, try Joe Haldeman's "Forever War". He puts the **** in "war is ****", and examines some interesting aspects of fighting an inter-galactic war when time dilation is in effect from the technological, sociological, and psychological perspectives.


I'll definitely keep that in mind, thanks.


In pretty much any list of "best sci-fi books dealing with war", the top three are almost inevitably "Starship Troopers", "Forever War", and "Enders Game". I'd recommend reading each of them at least once, even if just to know what people are talking about.
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#29 Sep 14 2012 at 8:21 PM Rating: Good
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Ok, maybe you guys can help me remember a book I read a LONG time ago. It was a sci-fi book and one of the characters was Arthur Conan Doyle. He wasn't the writer, it was a novel about his involvement with some secret group or something. I'm sketchy on the details cause it was probably 15-20 years ago. I just remember it was really good and I want to re-read it.
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#30 Sep 14 2012 at 11:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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League of Extrordanary gentlemen would be my immidiate guess, but it apperently would have been wrong since Aurther Conan Doyle never was in that. There is a book from 1974 that might be it, called the "seven percent solution" but it wasn't sci-fi ish at all. There was another author named Gyles Brandreth that wrote something along those lines. the earliest ones would have been about 1996, see if any of these ring a bell? http://www.amazon.com/Oscar-Wilde-Death-Gyles-Brandreth/dp/0719569508

This one is also a theoretical possibility, but its from 2003
http://www.amazon.com/The-Patients-Eyes-Beginnings-Sherlock/dp/0312990987

Is there a chance its a different author name?
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#31 Sep 14 2012 at 11:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
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If you're into powered combat armor, but don't like the pro-military slant of Starship Troopers, try Joe Haldeman's "Forever War". He puts the **** in "war is ****", and examines some interesting aspects of fighting an inter-galactic war when time dilation is in effect from the technological, sociological, and psychological perspectives.


I'll definitely keep that in mind, thanks.


In pretty much any list of "best sci-fi books dealing with war", the top three are almost inevitably "Starship Troopers", "Forever War", and "Enders Game". I'd recommend reading each of them at least once, even if just to know what people are talking about.


I second John Steakley's "Armor" by the way.
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#32 Sep 15 2012 at 10:17 AM Rating: Good
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I'm at the store now, with like 70 bucks in books. I'm gonna try and narrow it down... but chances are I'm walking out of here with my wallet far emptier than I intended...

[EDIT]

So I ended up with Hitchhiker's Guide, Dune, Neuromancer, Starship Troopers, Foundation, Ringworld, and Ender's Game.

I was seriously considering grabbing Anathem and Forever War, too, but they didn't have the mass market paperbacks in stock and I'm actually not a fan of larger books, nor do I want to pay more for them. Especially Anathem--the ebook is half the cost. I'll just order them online sometime later.

I think I'm going to start with Hitchhiker's. I'm having trouble deciding, ha.

Edited, Sep 15th 2012 2:04pm by idiggory
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#33 Sep 15 2012 at 2:05 PM Rating: Good
They're all good. Eeney meenie miney moe.
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#34 Sep 15 2012 at 2:55 PM Rating: Good
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I started with Hitchhiker's and wondering why I didn't read this sooner. It's Confederacy of Dunces with aliens, which is really all I ever wanted tbh...
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#35 Sep 15 2012 at 6:27 PM Rating: Good
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Ah, to be able to read The Guide for the first time. I actually envy you a bit.
#36 Sep 15 2012 at 6:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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If you are enjoying the guide, also pick up some Terry Pratchet, start with "the color of magic" It's not sci fi, but humor on the same scale. Also, the Dirg Gently series that Adams also did is also quite good.
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#37 Sep 16 2012 at 11:26 AM Rating: Good
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I'll definitely have to do that. I thoroughly enjoyed Hitchhiker's. I'm going to read Neuromancer now, just because I read the first chapter as a sample on my phone, so might as well. Haven't decided what will come after that, though.
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#38 Sep 17 2012 at 8:28 AM Rating: Good
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
League of Extrordanary gentlemen would be my immidiate guess, but it apperently would have been wrong since Aurther Conan Doyle never was in that. There is a book from 1974 that might be it, called the "seven percent solution" but it wasn't sci-fi ish at all. There was another author named Gyles Brandreth that wrote something along those lines. the earliest ones would have been about 1996, see if any of these ring a bell? http://www.amazon.com/Oscar-Wilde-Death-Gyles-Brandreth/dp/0719569508

This one is also a theoretical possibility, but its from 2003
http://www.amazon.com/The-Patients-Eyes-Beginnings-Sherlock/dp/0312990987

Is there a chance its a different author name?


It was Ring of Death by Brandeath I think.
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#39 Sep 17 2012 at 9:57 PM Rating: Good
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I'll definitely have to do that. I thoroughly enjoyed Hitchhiker's. I'm going to read Neuromancer now, just because I read the first chapter as a sample on my phone, so might as well. Haven't decided what will come after that, though.


If you pick Dune, then bring your wading boots. Sh*t gets deep.
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#40 Sep 17 2012 at 11:09 PM Rating: Good
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Ha, will do.

I'm a quarter through Neuromancer. I like it, but I'm not in love. The book isn't really detail-rich enough for me. I have no clue what the main character looks like, sounds like. I get a lot of seemingly random details about objects and environments, but I don't often get enough detail as events are happening quickly. It makes me hard to follow, because I feel like evens are happening nonstop without context.

It's not bad, and I am enjoying it, but I shouldn't feel this lost and disconnected from the book 1/4 of the way through. I'm not asking for every room to be thoroughly described, but I don't think it's unfair to expect enough detail that I could realistically visualize what's going on. And I feel like events are often getting skipped, because they wouldn't have been super interesting, but they were important stepping stones from A to F, so when we skip there I feel lost. I'm getting used to it, but it's not a writing style I particularly enjoy or typically read, so my brain keeps looking for B through E and gets confused because they aren't there.

I get why there's a large population that would prefer this style though.

[EDIT]

Did that make sense? I've been drinking...

Edited, Sep 18th 2012 1:10am by idiggory
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#41 Sep 18 2012 at 5:59 PM Rating: Good
Yeah, I get what you're saying. What I've found is that this style of writing is more common in Sci Fi than it is in other genres. Don't really know why, and that's purely anecdotal so might not even be the case, but that's just what I've noticed.

Edited, Sep 18th 2012 8:05pm by IDrownFish
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#42 Sep 18 2012 at 6:43 PM Rating: Decent
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
Yeah, I get what you're saying. What I've found is that this style of writing is more common in Sci Fi than it is in other genres. Don't really know why, and that's purely anecdotal so might not even be the case, but that's just what I've noticed.


I think it's because sci-fi stories often involve non-character concepts that the author wants to explore. So characters are sometimes just used as a method to explore said concepts. You see this a whole **** of a lot with short stories in the genre. The characters are almost a throwaway element, with the "twist" being the main point. Sci-fi lends itself to this more often because it's sci-fi. Let's face it, most authors become sci-fi authors because it's the science that interests them. You see the same thing in fantasy, just not to the same degree or as often.
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#43 Sep 19 2012 at 3:08 AM Rating: Good
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Interesting, I'd say exactly the opposite. The kind of tedious over-description he's asking for is mostly the preserve of bad fantasy. In " ''''''literature''''''' " it's generally only used to convey something - for example, the grey existence of the main character in The Handmaid's Tale.
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#44 Sep 19 2012 at 10:53 AM Rating: Good
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I'm not asking for every single detail, I'm asking for enough to follow the story.

One scene in Neuromancer was particularly egregious. I felt like I was trying to read the arc in the Matrix where Neo and Trinity rescue Morpheus, but the author hadn't yet given me information about the cast's abilities, didn't bother to tell me that there were pillars in the lobby scene, hadn't detailed the program-download plot element, and failed to inform me that Morpheus was being kept in a window-front office in a skyscraper. But you also need to add in a bunch of minor characters central to the plot of the heist that weren't ever introduced and don't seem to be of any particular value.

It was just really poorly written.

The weird thing about this book is that it sometimes spends way too much time dwelling on details, and other times it's like pages upon pages without a single one. For instance, the author sometimes describes locations in rich detail--he'll spend a page or half just discussing that. Yet the loft the main character is now living in, which has been the setting for quite a few scenes, has gotten almost no detailing at all. I know it has a foam mattress and a chemical toilet (whatever that is) in the corner. But not one single detail about what it actually looks like. Yet the place they went to quickly get debugged was

And the number of times he's told me something is plastic is absurd. I'm long since past the point where I'm just assuming every object is plastic unless told otherwise. Each time he uses the word now, it just annoys me.
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#45 Sep 19 2012 at 2:23 PM Rating: Decent
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Honestly, that's just Gibson's style. He tends to write from the perspective of the main character, and thus concentrates his descriptions on things that would be new or interesting to that character. This has an interesting side effect of making the reader have to figure the main character out through the actions of said character as the plot evolves. I can see how this could be annoying if you just want to know why he did this, what he thinks of that, etc.
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#46 Sep 20 2012 at 8:05 AM Rating: Good
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His style's not for me then. I'll finish the book--I do think the world is interesting, and while the plot premise doesn't particularly interest me, it's not bad.

I usually like to feel more submerged in the story than I'm getting from him. I'm sure other people have the opposite reaction, and the kind of writing I enjoy actually keeps them out.
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#47 Sep 20 2012 at 6:44 PM Rating: Good
I'll be interested to hear your take on Dune, then. Later on in the series it picks up I think a similar style. I've never read Neuromancer, though, so I can't say for sure. But the first book at least is a lot more world building. There are times when it's still light on details, but if Herbert included everything then I think Dune would end up being some 32,000 page house of paper.
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#48 Oct 03 2012 at 6:38 PM Rating: Good
Just finished the Dark Tower novels by Stephen King.

I am officially retracting my recommendation.
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#49 Oct 03 2012 at 6:48 PM Rating: Good
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#50 Oct 03 2012 at 6:55 PM Rating: Good
The first five books are pretty good, honestly. Well, four. The fifth goes downhill a bit, then the sixth and seventh go full Mass Effect and do a nose dive into a compost heap.
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#51 Oct 03 2012 at 6:58 PM Rating: Good
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I didn't think the ending of Mass Effect was that bad tbh. Smiley: frown
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