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Angelhorns 28-10-2004 00:43:04

do people actually read in the toilet? I'm never in there for more than two minutes.

Immortal Wombat 28-10-2004 00:54:37

Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses on the toilet. Although he did have rather severe constipation. I just take lesuirely dumps while the bath runs.

Angelhorns 28-10-2004 07:17:20

thanks for the information :)

BigGameHunter 28-10-2004 22:49:34

I've got a foot high stack of reading material in the bathroom...I'm thinking of putting a hotplate in there so I can have my meals as well.
Garbage in, garbage out...

jsorense 16-11-2004 17:50:19

I have just started Philip Roth's new novel. "The Plot Against America." No, I do not expect it to be a whole lot of fun.

paiktis22 18-11-2004 11:04:09 :coolgrin:

Funkodrom 18-11-2004 11:16:25

I'm reading The Years of Rice and Salt buy Kim Stanley Robinson.

Alternative history where white Europe is wiped out by disease and the Eastern cultures conquer the world.

Told through the eyes of a cast of characters (a jati) who are continually living lives within this world and then dying and being reborn (in the Buddhist tradtion) and living different lives in another part of the world, different culture, different aspect of this alternate history. In each reincarnation they again come into contact with and interact with the other members of their jati. Together they have to try and achieve enough that they can get off the wheel of reincarnation.

It's a very impressive work although a little tricky to get into at first. You have to switch character names, cultures and contexts every time the characters die and are reborn. You do get clues in the character names as to who's who though, and their personalities. At first it's very obvious but as you learn to recognise them he's a bit more relaxed with it. I don't really imagine anyone would really not know which character was who at any point.

It's great stuff though, and the concept of a world being run by the Chinese/Islamic rulers rather than the west is pretty interesting.

Anyway, great stuff. I really like KSR anyway but this might be his best.

JM^3 19-11-2004 10:11:52

Gene Wolfes most recent books (Wizard and Knight)

very good as expected

very Norsey, with a touch of metachristianity (with undertones of Dante)

Jon Miller

(I think that most of his novels have a touch of metachristianity, this might have a little more than most (I am thinking about the 3 sun series in particular))

JM^3 19-11-2004 10:13:03

I didn't like the first mars book much, is this better?

the idea sounds interesting

JOn Miller

Funkodrom 19-11-2004 10:28:03

That's a hard question to answer it's totally different to the Mars books. And anyway better is a bit subjective.

I really liked the Mars trilogy but it's years since I read them.

I dunno. What didn't you like about the Mars book?

JM^3 19-11-2004 10:37:12

Never really liked any of the characters. Is one of the few (I think fewer than 10) books I have put down.

Jon Miller
(I have read some pretty bad books... Of course, I have put down some books that are generally considered good, even litereature)

Immortal Wombat 19-11-2004 13:08:05

I thought The Years of Rice and Salt was great as well. I found at the beginning I was only recognising two or three characters, and then at each further incarnation you notice another one reappearing. Its very cleverly done.

Funkodrom 19-11-2004 13:09:36

Yes, very true. I think I'll have to read it again because all the characters must be in all the stories, I just didn't notice them in the early ones because I didn't know I was looking for them.

Nills Lagerbaak 19-11-2004 15:12:51

I have just finished The name of the Rose. I recommend this to everyone it's great.
Deals with so many topics and really makes you feel what it must have been like living with the conflicts between religion and science in the olden times. Fascinating!

Funkodrom 19-11-2004 15:14:42

Did they make that into a film with Sean Connery? And famously make a very young Christian Slater do a sex scene?

Nills Lagerbaak 19-11-2004 15:15:53

Yep, the film is pretty good as well!

Funkodrom 19-11-2004 15:25:49


Funnily enough religion/science conflict comes up at various times in The Years of Rice and Salt too. You'd like it actually.

Nills Lagerbaak 19-11-2004 15:27:18

It comes up on counterglow every now and again!

Who's the years of rice and salt by?

Immortal Wombat 19-11-2004 15:29:13


Originally posted by Funkodrom
I'm reading The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Funkodrom 19-11-2004 15:29:25

Kim Stanley Robinson, you can borrow it when I finish it if you want.

Nills Lagerbaak 19-11-2004 15:30:44

Yikes he was the one who did the mars business. Found that a little unsubstantial

Funkodrom 19-11-2004 15:32:44

This is much more substantial I think, if I understand the way you felt that was insubstantial. That was more of a science showcase...

Nills Lagerbaak 19-11-2004 15:33:30

Cool, I'll give it a spin.

King_Ghidra 23-11-2004 09:36:03

Finished Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which was excellent, now reading T S Eliot's collected poems (again) and about to order Eliot's Four Quartets.

MDA 29-11-2004 14:28:09

Been reading John Ringo. Just finished the third book in the series about the Posleen galactic invasion (the earthside bit of it in that book). When the Devil Dances, I think its called.

You highbrow SF people might not like it. Its military scifi. Its got heroes and aliens and conspiracies and powered combat armor, and really big guns and explosions. Also a giant tank that shoots down orbital landers, the crew painted Bun-bun (really!) on it.

Really loved the Sluggy Freelance references. It would seem that John Ringo is a fan.

Anyhow, it made for great Thanksgiving reading. Beats the shit out of that Hamilton hack

Just started and I'll finish David Weber's Shadows of Saganami very quickly. It'll probably be back to the library by the end of the week.

Mr. Bas 29-11-2004 14:46:58

I read some Herman Brusselmans recently, a funny and entertaining read but not much substance I guess. For the rest, most of my reading only concerns work/studying stuff. Blargh.

King_Ghidra 29-11-2004 14:56:48

Read The Tempest on the weekend. Good fun, one of the more unusual Shakespeare plays, but a little too brief for my liking.

BigGameHunter 29-11-2004 21:13:18

Jeezus, what next, Dr. Zhivago in high Russian?

Anyhow...V is for Vendetta was good, though not actually a book per se.
Reading "Otherness" by David Brin now. Tried to start that Thursday Next thing but it didn't do it for me. Finished Handmaid's Tale...brrr...scary real. Also read a William Gibson novel...Virtual Light? That was pretty good.

Mainly short story collections time for anything too involved.

Someone suggest the best Sci Fi or "alternative reality" novel ever. And preferably one with short passages or chapters.

Japher 29-11-2004 21:22:46


And preferably one with short passages or chapters.
Definitly a must.

I am reading Otherworld, by Tad Williams, right now.. It's okay so far. Might not read the whole series though. Chapters are either too long or too short.

RedFred 30-11-2004 05:24:17

Now I am reading Asher... no it is not like that... Neal Asher. He used to come out with these wild designed covers on trade paperbacks. He also had some great fun and ideas for SF. But his latest book "Cowl" he seems to be reaching a bit.

Do yourselves a favour and read his first few books instead.

Speaking of alternate realities, I read a fairly interesting and bizarre book by L. Neal Smith where Europe gets the Black Plague a lot worse, thus Christianity is more of an obscure cult. But he had trouble ending the book so he went with a lot of senseless violence.

King_Ghidra 30-11-2004 09:10:48


Originally posted by BigGameHunter
Jeezus, what next, Dr. Zhivago in high Russian?


Originally posted by BigGameHunter
Anyhow...V is for Vendetta was good, though not actually a book per se.
yeah i bought the original comics of that, thought it was excellent

paiktis22 30-11-2004 21:46:44


Originally posted by King_Ghidra
Read The Tempest on the weekend. Good fun, one of the more unusual Shakespeare plays, but a little too brief for my liking.
When in a new little room up on the cold harsh northern landscapes I saw an ad about a posters sales. So I went and what caught my attention was a painting of a woman dressed in a long dark blue dress standing on a beach looking at a wild sea and a ship that was fighting with the waves. Underneath it just read "Shakespeare's Tempest". It went on my wall and then again out of the blue I find a sales of english books one of which was Shakespeare's Tempest. So I bought it and opened it to read it. But the language was exactly the same used by Shakespeare so I didn't understand anything. It was another kind of english to me. The poster has stayed on that wall for the next student to like or throw away but the book has survived travelling from one end of the continent to the other in a rough post cargo bag, although "surviving" is relative it is almost in shreds. It must be somewhere up in the attic now but I'm too scared to open it again. I really didn't understand a thing! If I come across it in greek though I'll buy it and read it thus ending the circle.

zmama 30-11-2004 21:56:08

Do read K_G says, good fun. But I do really enjoy reading plays and especially Shakespeare ...consider that first

BigGameHunter 05-12-2004 08:34:05

Hell, I named my kid after a character I liked it so well.
And no, his name isn't Caliban.

I'm on a reading "Expendable" by James Alan Gardner (side note...why do SF and Fantasy authors have to use their whole names all the time???? I find that highly annoying and a definite geek alarm) which is a first book a matches my recent description--quick and short chapters--perfectly.
I think you'll like it if you like your SF long on action and short on science and dialogue. Good stuff.

Darkstar 06-12-2004 21:34:51

Usually, they use their full name because there's already another author out there that they or their pub thinks will be confused with them.

Although some are just pretentious or anal. ;)

chagarra 08-12-2004 03:28:09


Originally posted by MDA
[B]Been reading John Ringo. Just finished the third book in the series about the Posleen galactic invasion (the earthside bit of it in that book). When the Devil Dances, I think its called.
You now need the next two in the series...
Hells Faire, and Calleys War

MDA 09-12-2004 16:01:13

I may be picking those up today. We're taking half a day off work to finish up the last of the Christmas shopping.

MDA 09-12-2004 22:47:51

Got Hells Faire, couldn't locate Calley's War. :beer: Yaay.

Apparently Bun-bun is going to be refitted as the Earth's new "superweapon" in this one.

paiktis22 16-12-2004 20:03:50

I'm reading before I go to sleep plato's symposium (something light u know). which is a bit disturbing since i came up with a dialogue between socrates and alkybiades i think where the latter praises socrates restraint for not touching him even though he was so beautiful (alkibiades not socrates). this is a bit disturbing. apart from that he says a lot of socrates courage in battle and paints a very informative picture of him overall. which is a bit daft because it is really him describing him maybe.

then for a break rococo to revolution, a journey to 18th century painting which is very nice.

paiktis22 16-12-2004 20:05:28

i also read the da vinci code. it was very mediocre but a page turner as you have said.

BigGameHunter 18-12-2004 11:44:33

Look out KG, paiktis seems to be coming up strong in the annual Smoking Jacket Reader's Choice Awards competition.

King_Ghidra 20-12-2004 09:56:23


I am currently reading Melmoth the Wanderer, i challenge him to beat that :p

Funkodrom 20-12-2004 10:42:59

I'm reading Crime and Punishment.

zmama 20-12-2004 11:17:38

I'm reading the Microsoft Knowledge Base
"How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting"

Funkodrom 20-12-2004 11:27:31

Ok, you win, that's the most incomprehensible, hard to understand work of fiction ever.

zmama 20-12-2004 11:38:15


I know

BigGameHunter 17-01-2005 00:00:59

Just finished the first in the Thursday Next series. It's ok but I can't see myself reading three or more in addition. Too cutesy.

I've been reading tons of current Sci-Fi anthologies. Great stuff, but I can't help but feel I could do better. Just don't have time to write.

Just started Turtledove's "Guns of the South" about the South winning the US Civil War with help in the form of AK-47's from time travelling South Africans.
Pretty good so far.

MOBIUS 17-01-2005 00:05:14

I read "The Map that changed the World" by Simon Winchester...

It is about William Smith, the 'Father of Stratigraphy' and the man who created the first geological map for the World to see in 1815 and it is reely reely grate...:)

zmama 17-01-2005 00:08:30

I've been reading Janwillem van de Wetering. We got nine of his Grijpstra & DeGier mysteries for Christmas.

Really cool. So far The Corpse on the Dike and The Streetbird have impressed me the most. His writing is very evocative of place and the main characters are complicated people but still the writing is very zen and simple.

Mr. Bas 17-01-2005 11:07:14

I reread "De aanslag" by Harry Mulisch, still a good book but it didn't impress me as much as it did about 8 years ago. I also tried to do part of the Canterbury Tales, but I lost patience... Already finished most of them a few years ago, so no big loss I guess.

And to brush up my Italian, I bought Umberto Eco's "Il nome della rosa". I also have an Italian Harry Potter lying around somewhere, so I hope that I'm able to read either or both of them at a reasonable speed.

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