What book are you reading right now?


#181

Page a minute for me in most paperbacks.

I have all of my books shelved, and I throw out/ donate/ give away any I don’t want to read again. Some have been re-read a dozen or more times. If I pick it up and remember too much of the plot I put it back and let it lay fallow for a couple of years.

I’ve tossed some stuff lately that I thought was top of the craft in Science Fiction thirty years ago… it’s utter drivel.

I just started a Drake - Monsters of the Earth, which is apparently one of the “Books of the Elements” series. I’m amazed at how long it took for him to get any action going. Seriously… character and plot layout took d@mned near the first half of the book! If it hadn’t been Drake, I’d have tossed it.


#182

I’ve been reading only Kindle books for ages. Most of my books are in boxes in my basement, and I can’t bear to sell or throw away any of them. Even though I haven’t read a paper book in a couple years. I think I need to start reading paper again.

I usually read a standard paperback book in 3-5 hours, including time when the Kindle is on, but I’m not actually reading it. I think LE Moddisett is going to be why I go back to reading physical media. I have so many of his books that I can’t make the case to buy them all again, especially since they are all so similar.


#183

While a bit boring im reading my Networking Plus book.


#184

‘Midnight in Broad Daylight’

Edit: Finished it on the train home tonight.

A damn fine read. An insightful look into the horrors of war, the meaning of loyalty to one’s country, and duty to one’s family.


#185

i just finished the lies of Lock lemora, fantastic and fun read about a small group of thieves. I would recommend if you like a quick read.


#186

Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell. It’s a little bit difficult to read due to some of the phrasing of a book written in the late 1950s and the placement of punctuation is different than I’m used to. But so far, he’s doing a good job of describing the house he was given to live in and the surrounding lands.

It’s hard to imagine living like that these days. At this point in the book, he’s finally gotten around to rigging up a fresh water supply for his house from the nearby burn (which is anything from a large stream to a small river), and beachcombing seems to be his primary occupation. Nearest neighbor is about a mile away and the nearest town is about four by boat or over 100 by road, due to the way the coastlines are in that part of Scotland.

I have no idea how far into the book it will be before he gets to the point where he describes bringing an otter back from Iraq.


#187

I read Bigfoot Wars. It was like snorting broken glass, with cocaine on it. You really want the cocaine, and are mostly OK with the broken glass.

Total spoilers below. But it won’t ruin the book at all.

Action/Horror story, introduce character, flesh them out in half a page and kill them three pages later, in a hopeless situation. Smashed skulls, impaled on street signs, thrown into brick walls, etc… But copypasta everywhere, “giant fingers sink into flesh” all over, and spines crackle, and light dims as horrors move in. Some of the descriptions were worded the wrong way, I don’t know if I can explain it, but instead of “A light, as if from Hell, shone through the beasts eyes” it was “It looked as if the light of Hell was being projected through the beasts eyes unto the sheriffs disbelieving eyes.” He described when he should have shown things. And just like a Harlequin Romance, people never said things, they exclaimed, they panted, they shouted, they whispered breathily. There are a couple sex scenes, but they are so awkward and badly done I wasn’t aware it was a sex scene until it was almost over.

Now, action book… Every pistol is a 9mm Glock or a 44 Magnum. Glocks take clips and can’t kill anything in the books. M-16s are fully automatic, and so are AK-47s, and guns must be registered and permitted. You rock a “clip” into an M-16 and an AK. An AR-14 is an awesome weapon of destruction. Casings fly everywhere, 50 caliber weapons fire non-stop for thousands of rounds. Young girls bury hunting knives into skulls to the hilt, more than once. Katanas are better. A battalion headquarters is 100 infantry, 3 APCs with “dozens of crew” and a mobile command center so massive they leave it behind, oh, and 4 M1A4 Abrams. Tactics are standing in a ring and shooting everything, or charging directly into death.

And the last bastion of mankind falls because of a ill kept garage door opener. Except not really because the epilogue shows mankind ascendant again

But… I read it all. It was $.99 on Amazon for three books. I’m slightly interested in reading the rest, it’s like eating bad popcorn, you’ll be pickign bits of it out of your teeth forever, but while you are eating it it’s fun.

And now I’m reading the entire original Conan works. In order as written. For $0.00.


#188

“God is not great” by Christopher Hitchens.


#189

Agatha Christie’s ‘Tommy and Tuppence’ series.

Was good reading.


#190

I just finished ‘The Forever War’. Interesting concept for the time dilation of space travel and how it would affect a space war. Is it everything I’d heard? Meh.

Listening to ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide’ now on the commute. Not sure what I want to pick up next.


#191

Wow. There’s an oldie. I read that one decades ago. I remember some of it, but I thought it was rather dull over all.

I just finished An Ancient Peace by Tanya Huff. It’s the latest in her military SF series.


#192

Yeah, I got a list of 50 top scifi books of all time from somewhere and I’m going through and filling in the gaps of the ones that I’ve missed. I’ve read quite a few. Some not since school.


#193

The Forever War is a bit of a disappointment. But it’s in the class of books that created new ideas and new ways of putting old ideas together.

I try not to read books like that with the same brain I use to read modern fiction. Just like the Conan books I’m still reading, this shit was clever as hell 90 years ago, but some of it is stale now. OTOH, some modern writers could learn from a character as simple, yet complex as Conan.

There are some that are timeless, Starship Troopers for me, lot of Heinlein stuff actually. Some Clark, Zelazny (but only because he’s so out of place already), I tried to read the Martian Chronicles again and the Illustrated man… maybe I wasn’t in the right mood, but I couldn’t get into them and I read them like crack when I was a kid.


#194

Forever War has a sequel called Forever Free. (Haldeman wrote a book called Forever Peace, but it’s not a sequel.) I can’t particularly recommend it on the “if you buy the premise, you’ll buy the bit” standard, but I can see how some people enjoyed it more than I did.


#195

I get you. A lot of these are from the 50’s to late 70’s. Some I still love but others are harder to get through. I read ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ back in high school and tried reading it again. I just couldn’t do it.

And here’s the list if anyone cares.
1 - Ender’s Game - Orson Scott Card - 1985
2 - Dune - Frank Herbert - 1965
3- Foundation - Isaac Asimov - 1951
4 - Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - 1979
5 - 1984 - George Orwell - 1949
6 - Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A Heinlein - 1961
7 - Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - 1954
8 - 2001; A Space Odyssey - Arthur C Clarke - 1968
9 - Starship Troopers - Robert A Heinlein - 1959
10 - I, Robot - Isaac Asimov - 1950
11 - Neuromancer - William Gibson - 1984
12 - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K Dick - 1968
13 - Ringworld - Larry Niven - 1970
14 - Rendezvous With Rama - Arthur C Clarke - 1973
15 - Hyperion - Dan Simmons - 1989
16 - Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - 1932
17 - The Time Machine - H G Wells - 1895
18 - Childhood’s End - Arthur C Clarke - 1954
19 - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A Heinlein - 1966
20 - The War of the Worlds - H G Wells - 1898
21 - The Forever War - Joe Haldeman - 1974
22 - The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury - 1950
23 - Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut - 1969
24 - Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - 1992
25 - The Mote in God’s Eye - Niven & Pournelle - 1975
26 - The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K Le Guin - 1969
27 - Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card - 1986
28 - Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton - 1990
29 - The Man in the High Castle - Philip K Dick - 1962
30 - The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov - 1954
31 - The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester - 1956
32 - Gateway - Frederik Pohl - 1977
33 - Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny - 1967
34 - Solaris - Lem Stanislaw - 1961
35 - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne - 1870
36 - A Wrinkle in Time - Madelein L’Engle - 1962
37 - Cat’s Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut - 1963
38 - Contact - Carl Sagan - 1985
39 - The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton - 1969
40 - The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov - 1972
41 - A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge - 1991
42 - Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson - 1999
43 - The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham - 1951
44 - UBIK - Philip K Dick - 1969
45 - Time Enough For Love - Robert A Heinlein - 1973
46 - A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess - 1962
47 - Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson - 1992
48 - Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
49 - A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller - 1959
50 - The End of Eternity - Isaac Asimov - 1955


#196

I always hear this and think of The Peace War by Vernor Vinge… The sequel, especially, gets into some very, very long time scales. The original is kind of a weird story as has post-apocalyptic elements (but a relatively ‘soft’ apocalypse, as a paranoid rogue scientist group has started placing anyone who tries to build large-scale military technology or even cars with placing them in an impenetrable stasis bubble. (Back cover spoiler: What about when the bubbles stop being impenetrable?)

To fit the thread theme, I just finished re-reading The Fuller Memorandum, in which our hero Bob O.F. Howard deals with demons and spies in an ISO9001 compliant spy agency. Probably waiting a bit to start re-reading the next book in the series, as it can be a bit depressing at times.


#197

I’ve never read any Gibson, or Stephenson. I am reasonably sure I’d like them, but they never come up when I’m looking for books.

I think Lord of Light is one of Roger Zelazny’s weakest books.

1, 4, 5, 7, 9, and 10should be mandatory reading, out of the top ten.

It’s funny, I’ve read most of the top 20, and most of the bottom 15, but only about half of the middle.

The Mote in God’s Eye is an incredible book. I really like the combination of those two authors, while alone they are both not quite as good.

Man, I could talk about this list all day, but I need to reread most of them and read the rest for the first time.

And I think if you read 48 and then 49 in one sitting you die of a broken heart.


#198

Hmmm… There are 14 books on that list that I haven’t read. I may have to look those up.


#199

I started reading Heinlein in high school, maybe middle school, and went through more than I could list off.

Enjoyed… This one got me started on several in the series. I think I eventually read some of his other books, too.

I used to watch the old movie when I was a kid. Didn’t realize it was based on a book until many years later. Eventually found it as a book on tape and got to relive it while driving. The remake was made for TV with Benjamin Bratt and Ricky Schroder… I didn’t love it.


#200

I liked the early Stephenson stuff, but kind of stopped when he started the post-Cryptonomicon “Baroque cycle” which kind of veered into the ‘secret history’ genre… Something about it turned me off, and I still haven’t read it.

On the plus side, he’s a good author and has some great skills at explaining things. Cryptonomicon has a lot of theory about encryption and how it works, while the earlier Diamond Age handles overall turing machine cocnepts at a very basic level. I’d even argue that Cryptonomicon helps explain why there’s some people who treat encryption as essentially the modern equivalent of firearms controls, and why we should be concerned about this.

On the bad side, a lot of his endings feel as if he reached a page count and said, “Well, time to wrap this up” and then jumped to the “…And something wonderful happens” ending gambit.