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Thread: What Are You Reading?

  1. #1

    Default What Are You Reading?

    As per a suggestion from TheEconomist (see http://sclegacy.com/forums/showthrea...000#post189000), basically entered book territory. Lists of books were suggested, so I'll start things off. Key note, it's come one come all. Also note that I'm including both fiction and non-fiction, and certain reads that aren't technically novels, but I've classified them as such due to their length and/or structure.

    Currently Reading: The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World

    Novels, Anthologies, Novellas, and Non-fiction

    The Excellent

    The Well of Lost Plots

    Venus Revealed

    Halo: The Kilo-Five Trilogy: The Thursday War

    The Good

    The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin of Life

    A Song of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons

    World of Warcraft: Trial of the Red Blossom

    StarCraft: In the Dark

    Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon

    The Okay

    StarCraft II: Flashpoint

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories

    Halo: The Forerunner Saga: Silentium

    Star Citizen: The Lost Generation

    Dead Space: Catalyst

    StarCraft: Frenzy

    Star Citizen: Tales of Kid Crimson

    Star Citizen: Cassandra's Tears

    Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Backlash

    Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Omen

    The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World

    Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies

    Ace Combat: The Last Ace

    Year's Best Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy: Third Annual Volume

    The Bad

    World of Warcraft: Bleeding Sun

    Warhammer 40,000: Priests of Mars

    Mustn't Grumble: An Accidental Return to England

    War and Peace

    The Picador Book of 40: 40 Writers Inspired by a Number

    The Terrible

    Fostering Sustainable Behaviour: An Introduction to Community-based Social Marketing

    Graphic Novels and Guidebooks

    The Good

    Dragon Age: Those Who Speak

    Homeworld Manual

    The Okay

    Dead Space: Salvage

    Warhammer Armies: Bretonnia

    Ultima: The History of Britannia

    The Bad

    Dota 2: Are We Heroes Yet?

    InFamous: Post Blast

    Defiance: Ark Hunter Chronicles
    Last edited by Hawki; 06-04-2013 at 05:41 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What Are You Reading?

    I just finished Dan Brown's Inferno. Gotta say it was 455 pages of Brown giving his audience the finger -- and no ladies and TE, not in that way, alas. It isn't until you're about three-quarters of the way through the book and certain expositions that you realize why that is; he essentially wrote himself into a corner when it came to story and content for much of the book. For filler, Brown injects long essays on Danye Alighieri and Renassaince art -- which, for me, being an artist, wasn't so bad, but could have been better. It was delivered in that professorial way that says, "I'm trying to show just how much smarter I am than you." Hah.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  3. #3
    TheEconomist's Avatar Lord of Economics
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    Default Re: What Are You Reading?

    I just knew you wouldn't let me down Hawki. Be back later with my list



    Rest In Peace, Old Friend.

  4. #4
    TheEconomist's Avatar Lord of Economics
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    Default Re: What Are You Reading?

    Dune - I enjoyed it but I'd have to say that it's overrated. Perhaps it suffers from LotR syndrome in that it's been redone so much that its lost its original effect, or maybe I was just expecting more of a science fiction story instead of a fantasy story in a futuristic setting, but I was pretty disappoined. Still a great book, but whenever I hear it mentioned by critics its always with ridiculous praise.

    Assassin's Apprentice - This one was a pleasant surprise. I picked it up as an early audiobook because it was cheap and on-sale. The blurb didn't seem to be anything great, but the book turned out to be damned good. Its a coming of age / training book, I guess in a way similiar to Ender's Game, but the emotional and physical trials are explained better, I would say. Either way, pleasant surprise.


    Neverwhere - It was an okay book. I don't feel that the time I spent on it was wasted per say but I could think of a hundred books that I would have rather read. The description seemed to be so me, "Hidden demonic underworld hidden in the subways of London" but it ultimately seemed to be lacking something that made it connect with me. Odd since it was universally praised. Oh well, damn me and my odd ball opinions.

    Leviathan Wakes - One of my favorite books that I've read recently. This book has everything. Big sci fi, vast universe concepts, with lots of action and political intrigue (more greatly expanded upon in the second book). I can't recommend this book enough for the resident StarCraft fans here.

    Altered Carbon - This is cyberpunk done right. I had always been disappointed in classical cyberpunk since, as a genre, the concepts seemed to lose its appeal as technology became less mysterois. As a part of the generation that was raised on computers, the messasge is lost. This book boils down cyberpunk into its most important and engaging concepts, which is something of a dangerous noir setting with bat shit insane technology wrecking havocs on the natural laws of the universe. If you enjoy Deus Ex (which is what I had always compared books like Neuromancer and Snow Crash to, but felt "something" was missing) then this is book for you.

    In The Woods - An absolutely fantastic mystery novel with a lot of psychology and a very interesting main character. Can't say too much without spoiling it, since it is a mystery novel after all, but I was really impressed with the characters and the topics of the human condition and human nature raised in here. For some reason, I tend to relate less to realistic characters (too many irl problems?) but this was the exception.

    The Blade Itself - This was a series I started because of all the praise I seen piled on it. It was said to be deep, action-packed and violent, with unique characters. It is certainly action packed with unique characters and definitely violent, but it lacked a depth to the characters and the world which made it as interesting as other books of its kind. If I were truly burned out on less unique characters, I might have enjoyed this more, but, as it is, I am not, so a story with the depth of characters like Ice and Fire would appeal to me more. Great series (I'm towards the end of the second book) but it didn't turn the genre upside down for me like it did for a lot of people. Although I hear his book get better and better.


    Revelation Space - Another book I can't recommend enough to resident StarCraft fans. This book has some of the most unique and just plain "big" ideas I've ever read in science fiction. The scope and scale of the series is manificent and if there's a itch left in you from the drop off of these things in StarCraft then this might just help you out as much as it did me. The flip side though is that characters are pretty plain. They used more as methods to continue the plot from one outrageous setpeice to the next. So, yeah, feels that gap StarCraft left. I'd also have to say that Mass Effect took its main plot from this book. I feel okay saying this since there's enough other stuff for someone whose played Mass Effect but it really does seem like ME just took one of the plot points and then made it into a game. Unless there's another book as similiar as this but, if I were to read you the synopsis of the later half of this book, you'd probably say, oh wow, that's Mass Effect. Like I said though, don't let that stop you. This book as enough other large concepts and plot points to justify the read.

    The Passage - Maybe I'm just a sucker for apocalyptic fiction but this might be the book I've enjoyed the most recently. It's a huge, monstrous book with lots of varied characters, spanning several generation, before and after the end of human civilization. It contains monsters similiar to vampires but the horror elements and the actions of the "vampires" makes it anything but these cliches. If you liked Walking Dead, I'd dare to say you'd enjoy this too, as much if not more. I haven't started the second book, but I plan to soon, and, from what I hear, it gets even better and more complex. 'Ice and Fire' for the zombie apocalypse generations? Might just be.

    Ender's Game - I've spoken about this book before on this forum so I'll keep it short. Good book, better when I was younger, and better when it had fresh ideas. I could recommend a few books that cover these ideas but done better.

    The Lies of Locke Lamora - Another one of those new era of fantasy books that is supposed to be a modern classic. This time, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's got all the morally ambiguous, yet very likeable characters you could want. It's got all the swagger of mobster stories like Godfather, but in a fantasy setting, though, yes, no where near as good, but as close as you'll get in this genre.

    I've read more and I'll leave my thoughts on them later. Maybe someone has read some of these books and would like to comment or maybe there's a book they'd like to share. Hope this topic gets some good discussion going even if for no other reason than stopping it from spilling into other topics.
    Last edited by TheEconomist; 06-05-2013 at 09:37 PM.



    Rest In Peace, Old Friend.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What Are You Reading?

    More a response by subject than specific post:

    Dan Brown: Of his work, I've only seen the film adaptation of Angels and Demons, which was...okay, at the end of the day. Concerning VoK's comments, I've kind of got the impression from word of mouth that "I'm smarter than you" is a feeling that people get from many of his works.

    Dune: Got all of the Brian Herbert books and a few Frank Herbert/Anderson ones in the house. However, I admit to have never read them. Certainly Dune is a book I'd like to read someday, but what's put me off so far is its length and that it's an unknown quantity (e.g. if a short book is bad, I don't have to bear it for long). I will say that its influence on other medias is something I've noticed to an extent (Star Wars, Warhammer 40,000 and arguably Homeworld off the top of my head), but not to the extent that it's detrimental ala Wheel of Time.

    Cyberpunk: Not a genre I'm fond of admittedly. There's a few exceptions (e.g. Blade Runner and Perfect Dark), but Altered Carbon isn't one of them. Tried reading it ages back, just couldn't get into the writing style or characters. I did struggle through Snow Crash, and...well, "struggle" is the key word. Has some interesting ideas (e.g. the Tower of Babel thing) but it's masked by trite writing and incoherant characters.

    Ender's Game: Another book I'd like to read, preferably before the movie comes out. However, while there's a copy of Ender's Shadow and [I]Xenocide[/I in the house, Ender's Game itself is unfortunately missing. Still, more a question for TE, if you've read it, is it possible to get a full experience from Ender's Shadow without reading Ender's Game? I know they occur in the same timeframe and all that, but obviously EG came first, so...

  6. #6

    Default Re: What Are You Reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki
    Cyberpunk
    William Gibson's Neuromancer. Do it. Now. Peter Watts' Starfish Trilogy and Blindsight are also good reads.

    I'm currently working through the first book of The Wheel of Time as well as The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi.

    Quote Originally Posted by TE
    Neverwhere - It was an okay book. I don't feel that the time I spent on it was wasted per say but I could think of a hundred books that I would have rather read. The description seemed to be so me, "Hidden demonic underworld hidden in the subways of London" but it ultimately seemed to be lacking something that made it connect with me. Odd since it was universally praised. Oh well, damn me and my odd ball opinions.
    You didn't like it? I loved it. In that case, you probably wouldn't enjoy Gaiman's Anansi Boys, which is also in the quaint "Otherworld" sort of urban fantasy, and reminded me a lot of Douglas Adams. However, American Gods, though similar but much darker in tone, though it meanders a lot.
    Last edited by Visions of Khas; 06-06-2013 at 08:36 PM.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  7. #7
    TheEconomist's Avatar Lord of Economics
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    Default Re: What Are You Reading?

    @Hawki: I definitely agree that it has incoherent characters, as well as an incoherent world. I look my time reading it but I still largely confused about many aspects of the story, setting, and plot. But, that was the charm and probably by design. Given its noir influences and the fact that the story is based in a world where death means basically nothing since you can be resleeved at any moment and the main character was basically revived out of nowhere and asked to work for a man full of secrets to uncover a plot that only gets bigger as the story gets along. I tend to like convoluted plots though. I guess its just me. I'm an odd ball.

    @VoS: I actually has Quantum Thief in my wishlist. It was a book I happened to find happen stance and thought its premise sounded intriguing. Let me know how it is and I might just make it one of my next few books.

    I've also been considering giving Gaiman another chance, since I said Neverwhere was very close, with American Gods. I liked Neverwhere, don't get me wrong. It just seemed short and ultimately pointless. Maybe I'm just too used to 700+ page multivolume epics Audiobooks make it so easy to digest monstrous tomes of literature so I do lots more reading than I've ever done.

    Also, here's some books I'm thinking of reading soon.

    1) The Likeness, the next part in the series with In The Woods. I really enjoyed that book. Needs a Dexter or House style HBO series

    2) Hyperion, gonna give this one another shot. It got away from when I first tried to read it years ago, although for no real justifiable reason.

    3) Under The Dome, A town full of Stephen King characters trapped under a dome and forced to live together as they all go mad. Sounds like something I'd love. I haven't read any SK novels other than the Dark Tower, but I have seen the Mist movie which I liked, and I loves me some Stephen Kingness.

    4) Conan the Barbarian, been meaning to get into this for the longest time. Bought this book about two years ago but keep getting side tracked with other books instead of diving into this.

    5) Sherlock Holmes, same as the above, I really want to read the series but whenever I get into the mood for mystery, I always end up with some other book that probably a whole lot darker than SH.

    6) Pandora's Star, THE place to go, I hear, for monstrous multivolume science fiction epicness, in the same vein as Wheel of Time in terms of expansiveness but with some GRRM characters (why do I keep using these as examples? makes it seem like I lack the ability to express myself ), atleast that's what I hear. I just am a bit hesitant to get into these monstrous books because I'm getting better and better at flying through books as I work my brain muscles and I keep saving them for down the road when I can read the entire book without needing a break for more than a day.

    7) Ian M Bank's The Culture series. I've talked about this before and it seem slike another book to fill the gap left by SC2.

    I'll get back to you both later with some more books I've read. I'm actually quite surprised you've all read some of the books I've read.
    Last edited by TheEconomist; 06-06-2013 at 09:30 PM.



    Rest In Peace, Old Friend.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What Are You Reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by TE
    Pandora's Star
    This is one of my all-time favorite series, when coupled with the Void Trilogy. You're right in that it's sort of like Game of Thrones in space; you follow the life and times of numerous characters, with the added spice of transhumanism, aliens and noospheres. I can see a lot of the mechanics and technologies depicted becoming real in several centuries -- provided we survive each other and get off this rock.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What Are You Reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas
    William Gibson's Neuromancer. Do it. Now.
    Maybe someday, but the same people who recommended Neuromancer to be were the same who recommended Snow Crash. Heck, the only reason I read it was because it was kind of a form of 'writing group homework.'

    Apart from that, and looking at other stuff, the only writer I have in common is Neil Gaiman, and only then from his Doctor Who episodes.

    BTW, I was thinking of creating duplicate topics, such as "What Are You Watching?" (movies, TV, cartoons, etc.) and "What Are You Playing?" (games). Think it's worth it?

  10. #10
    TheEconomist's Avatar Lord of Economics
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    Default Re: What Are You Reading?

    Think it's worth it?
    I was actually thinking the same thing. I'd definitely be down with it.



    Rest In Peace, Old Friend.

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