Novel / Book Thread

As of late I've come across some really good sci-fi books. It has got me back into reading after about a half a year break.

The last story I finished was "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath". My first time reading something by Lovecraft. Really enjoyed it.

Before that I read "Hardwired" by Walter Jon Williams. It is one of the best books I have read. A fantastic story of an uprising over the rich ruling class. Help by some of the best scene setting around.

Current Book
"Tau Zero" by Poul Anderson. Only 30 some pages in but I can already tell I'm going to enjoy the ride.


Since I could find a general book / what are you reading thread that has been active lately.
Here is one.

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Currently I'm reading Spook Country by William Gibson. It's pretty much a clone of his previous book Pattern Recognition. It feels like the characters got recycled, renamed and transplanted into another story about searching for an obscure, nebulous macguffin. I expect Zero History to be similar as well, heh.

That said, I'm enjoying it, because Gibson is fantastically creative with his settings as always. He's definitely a sci-fi writer, but he shapes perfectly believable and very detailed worlds. It was "Yes, that's the world in 30 to 50 years." with the Sprawl trilogy, then "Yup, that's coming in 5 to 10 years." with the Bridge trilogy and it's "I can see this happening somewhere right now." with the Blue Ant trilogy.

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I think there was one a while ago.

Also, do comics count? If so: currently working through the recent Bloodshot reboot; it's pretty fucking cool.

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The last book I've read was manga called "Boy Alice in Wonderland", a weird allegorical story about a girl that was born with a boy's body. Some thoughts are here.

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As of yesterday, Paul Auster's Oracle Night. This is the first I've read of Auster and I'm impressed by how the accessibility of his writing doesn't come at the cost of inventive prose or original ideas - particularly as he's dealing with themes and experiences that everyone can relate to or easily imagine. I suspect that a reader who's ill-equipped with stories of his own, or who doesn't often read fiction, even, would still be immediately drawn into the book's engrossing narrative with a similiar appreciation for its curiously spooky tone.

I also recently got to catch up on some of Orwell's earlier works, including Burmese Days and Keep the Aspidistra Flying, the first of which was admittedly a pretty hard read for its bleakness and dislikeable characters but which was all the same rewarding. The second book, on the other hand, while also quite insistent on its brooding and obsessive tone (Gordon Comstock's railings against the Money God must clock in at a collective 50 pages), was more fascinating on a personal level. Orwell must have in some way anticipated this in some of his readers, as the final chapter in introspection shows the plight of the protagonist to have been in some way worthwhile when measured up against the failed attempts of others.

Cool thread!

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I must admit I have not read a book for ages. The last two books I've read were Kafka's The Trial and Metamorphosis. I found both to be unsatisfying, but the good kind of unsatisfying if there is ever such a thing.

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The last time I was reading I was dovetailing Jules Verne and Mark Twain. Both are authors I greatly enjoy, though Jules Verne has a very dry writing style when he is attempting to furnish scientific facts (or at the very least, what was understood to be scientific fact at the time of his writing). Around the World in 80 Days is probably his easiest read.

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dew said:

Currently I'm reading Spook Country by William Gibson. It's pretty much a clone of his previous book Pattern Recognition. It feels like the characters got recycled, renamed and transplanted into another story about searching for an obscure, nebulous macguffin. I expect Zero History to be similar as well, heh.

That said, I'm enjoying it, because Gibson is fantastically creative with his settings as always. He's definitely a sci-fi writer, but he shapes perfectly believable and very detailed worlds. It was "Yes, that's the world in 30 to 50 years." with the Sprawl trilogy, then "Yup, that's coming in 5 to 10 years." with the Bridge trilogy and it's "I can see this happening somewhere right now." with the Blue Ant trilogy.

Heh, I'm going through the Bridge now, halfway through Idoru.

Reading his books is tiring for me. I don't like how every time some bit of technology is mentioned it's described with technobabble. Logically, no further explanation is given, since to the characters it's obvious how the thingie works. I'm also starting to get a really annoying retro-futuristic vibe from some of the descriptions, because some of the stuff is already available now, while his visions of it despite their accuracy are falling into the uncanny valley of tech.

The Sprawl was a good read, but with every next book of his all the things I didn't like are getting worse. Recycled characters, reusing the same story structure, etc. Before I even get to All Tomorrow's Parties I already expect the first few chapters to introduce several parallel character arcs which will converge halfway through the book.

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I know what you mean, usually the first book of each trilogy feels the strongest, because you're exploring new settings Gibson exploits for two more books. I've read Idoru before Virtual Light, so I enjoyed that one the most out of Bridge, heh. I also found myself reading just a few pages a day, so it actually took me some time to get through them.

Pattern Recognition is definitely worth the read though, because he breaks the mold to an extent with it. He follows just one central character, although she hops around the globe a lot. Also he finally "reverted" into the present days, so in the Blue Ant trilogy he uses current technologies to dream up some cultural phenomenon that doesn't really exist.

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Lovecraft's dream cycle was my least favourite of his work. There are a handful of really, really good Cthulhu Mythos anthologies among thousands of terrible efforts (avoid any Cthulhu Mythos story written by women, they are invaribly dream-like love stories). "Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos" has a few crackers, and "Lovecraft 2000", while distinctly over-rated and not particularly Lovecraftian, is worth it if you can get it cheap.

I also recommend Nightshade by Jack Butler. Weirdest, most powerfully emotive sci-fi of all time. It's not Lovecraftian, by the way.

The Red Dwarf novels are all really good.

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Currently, I'm reading The Sword of Truth books by Terry Goodkind (I'm on the third book). I've read them before, but I'm re-reading them so I can continue on with the new books he has written. Besides that, it's probably my favorite book series, so I read them now and then anyway.

Before that, I read the entire Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson. I read the first two trilogies once, but I didn't read the last four book series before, so I wanted to finish that off. Personally, I thought the ending was a little weak.

I also read The First Confessor by Terry Goodkind (set in the SoT universe), Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and I've been going through a book on the Punic Wars. All this since Christmas when I got my Kindle.

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I'm writing the book "City Kid" By Shoam Smith in a nutshell for a project in school, my mother keeps on finding something else to write about it.

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Seeker_of_Truth said:

Currently, I'm reading The Sword of Truth...

Heh, so you've sought it out at last?


Last book I read was Tom Clancy's Against All Enemies, which was a pretty compelling read, IMO. His hard-on for all things military was slightly less obvious than when he's writing the Jack Ryan stuff and, at around 700 pages, it wasn't too big to have in a weekend bag for long train journeys, which is a problem for Rainbow Six and Executive Orders, clocking in nearer 1000 pages each.

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I just read through the Dark Forces novellas again, minus the third book which I have now read for the first time. While I wanna say it's sort of becoming more norm in Star Wars books, these seem to be the first that threw in some war grit, especially the first book and its focus on Imperial characters. I guess it helps that the author was in the military, which makes some of the lingo more authentic.

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this month it's been Judge Dredd books 11 & 12
Catch 22 (again)
Pariah & Unremembered Empire (dan abnett)
Shitty short story collection from that guy who wrote the Naked God who I can't be fucked looking up.

I read a lot of shit.

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I just finished reading how to stop worrying by Dale Carnegie. I used to worry a lot about almost everything but after reading the book I almost rarely worry about even forgetting to lock the door when I go out. (I mean because the worst that can happen is a robber comes to my house and robs everything important from me, right?)

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Last book read was "Tuesdays With Morrie" and it was recommended to me by my roommate. Found it to be sensationalist, pandering crap that borderlined on hero worship. Mayhap Morrie wasn't a bad guy, but I don't like how the author turned his death into a way of spreading the idealistic thinkings of an average happy-go-lucky high schooler with just a dash more of experience mixed in.

Currently reading "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami. Only 80 pages into it, so I can't say how much I like it yet, but I'm a big fan of the author so I'm sure I'll enjoy it as it unfolds. If it's half as good as I found "Dance Dance Dance" to be then I'll just be a happy motherfucker.

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I finished "Cell" and "The Stand" recently, both by Stephen King. He's a favorite of mine, you see.

Right now, I'm reading "Hellfire" by John Saul. Good stuff, if you ask me. I'm quite big on the horror genre, and I wish I could locate a copy of anything Lovecraftian; I'm quite interested in the Eldritch gods.

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"The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simision was the last good fiction book that I read. Very entertaining and amusing. Several laugh out loud moments, which is something I don't do while reading. For fans of Stephen King and/or horror, check out "Heart Shaped Box" by King's son, Joe Hill. I found a very old tattered copy of "The Scarlatti Inheritance" by Robert Ludlum while in Brazil, and I read it in one sitting all night while getting over jet lag. A page turner for sure. "The Third Twin" by Ken Follett was another unexpected gem that had me completely gripped. And John Grisham, particularly "Street Lawyer" and "The Testament." Great suspense.

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Jimothy said:

I finished "Cell" and "The Stand" recently, both by Stephen King. He's a favorite of mine, you see.

Right now, I'm reading "Hellfire" by John Saul. Good stuff, if you ask me. I'm quite big on the horror genre, and I wish I could locate a copy of anything Lovecraftian; I'm quite interested in the Eldritch gods.


You ever read King's book Thinner? Just got it, haven't read it yet, and wondering if it's half decent. Sure I cold find out myself, but I'm still wondering if there's something to look forward too.

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Read metro 2033-2034, original stalker book, dune series, star wars. I'm also thinking of buying shadowrun novels, because the snes game is awesome

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