What are you reading right now?

We've read at least one, and we'll prove it!
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Astrogirl
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Astrogirl »

Female science fiction authors? Read all the fan fiction!
Microaggression? Microaggression!

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Liriodendron_fagotti
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

Currently reading Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction. An absolutely fantastic book that I should have read years ago. Having taken lots of biology courses, including ecology and conservation biology, and having been raised by conservation biologists, a lot of the message and material isn't very new, but the writing is wonderful and it paints an extraordinary picture of the "tale" of the development of biology as a field - and island biogeography in particular - over the last century and how that ties in with the current wave of man-made extinctions. It's a very long book, and I'm still in the setting-the-stage section*.

This is more so from courses I've taken, but it's pretty terrifying to think about just how many iconic species will almost definitely go extinct within our lifetime. Probably every big cat, pandas, koalas, elephants, rhinos, etc. By 2050, it's probable that every species of frog will be extinct, thanks to environmental/habitat degradation and chytridiomycosis. By this point, a lot of it is already unstoppable. Or if it isn't yet, every major world election will have a drastic and definite effect. If a Republican is elected as the next US president, you can say goodbye to staying under 2C warming by 2100 (we already probably won't).

*I've been reading it aloud to my girlfriend every night, which has been pretty fun.

Back to Murakami, the girlfriend lent me her copy of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I also read a couple Nabokov short stories this morning with breakfast. A deaf woman's son fell down an elevator shaft and died. A pretty Russian expat fell into semi-poverty, got married then died in childbirth. A sleepy Russian expat in Berlin lay dozing on the couch, got some cigarettes for his sister and her boyfriend from their dad, then felt unbridled happiness.
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

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Kaharz
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Kaharz »

I got what is supposed to be the last disc world book that will ever be published, The Shepard's Crown.* I'm not very far in to it and it is very sad so far, but completely in line with all the things I love about Pratchett's, which softens the blow a bit. But mostly I'm reading about principles of geotechnical engineering because of school.

*Pratchett's daughter said there will be no ghost written stuff or unfished works published. He finished this book before he died.
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Liriodendron_fagotti
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

I finished The Song of the Dodo. It's made me realize I have to be a conservation biologist. I can't recommend the book highly enough.
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Lethal Interjection »

So I finished Gone Girl the other day. I really marched through it, finishing it in about 10 days. Which wouldn't be impressive to bookworms, but as I typically only read 1-3 chapters each night before bed, this was speed-reading. Due both to the page-turner nature of the book and having a lot of time to kill in places that aren't my home.
I loved it. Great writing, huge twists, and very engrossing. And my biggest compliment of it is how amazingly crafted it was. That it felt so coherent and consistent despite so much flip-flopping was quite a feat. Pretty amazing.
The second I finished all I could think of was how it was a sociopathic version of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The two meet and develop a great and non-stereotypical relationship. Eventually the 'honeymoon' fades and they become 'real' people. The relationship deteriorates to the point that they go to extreme measures to end the relationship. But against all likelihood, they end up finding their way back to each other. They assess their relationship and ultimately realize that they are sort of better together and content to be that way.
I mean it's not as if the book Gone Girl stole it's story arc from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's just that when Nick realizes that there is no one better to match with Amy and is accepting-- maybe even happy-- of that, my mind went immediately to ESotSM.
And that parallel was a little bit delightful to me.

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Liriodendron_fagotti
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

I finished MAde in America by Bill Bryson a couple weeks ago. It's his incredibly thorough, methodically researched, and entertaining exploration of the development of American English from the very first settlers to the modern day (written in 1996). It's around 400 pages of pretty much straight trivia*, yet it's hugely engrossing the entire time.

Also read Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle. Great book, if a little short. Speaking of short, I also read Margaret Atwood's latest short fiction collection, "Stone Mattress" which was pretty standard Atwood (good). Currently halfway through William Gibson's Count Zero which I'm thoroughly enjoying.

*My girlfriend and I both read it and we kick butt at Trivial Pursuit now.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

Finished Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive (what a good name!) by Gibson. Real good books. I think Neuromancer, the first in the trilogy, is still my favorite of the three. It's a lot trippier than the last two - at one point, the two leads are with this guy who can project holograms with his mind and for a solid ten pages you have no idea what the hell is going on, which is awesome, if frustrating. The main character, Case, is also a lot more 'empathizable'. Gibson and Atwood both have the not-so-enviable talent of making sex seem like the worst thing ever. As if it's quite impossible for two people who care about/love each other to have quality, consensual - more than consensual, eager - sex. Makes me want to just cut it off and bury it. At least in the movie version The Matrix Neo and Trinity have a good thing.

Good books. A+.
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

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Kaharz
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Kaharz »

A while back I was in a great used and collectors editions book store and they had a signed copy of Johnny Mnemonic. I don't really care about signed copies, but I really like Gibson and it was only marked up $5 over the cover price. But it was the standalone "major motion picture" version with Keanu's face on it so I just found a used copy of Burning Chrome for $4. More stories, no dumb movie shilling reprint.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by trickcyclist »

Just finished 'The Library at Mount Char' by Scott Hawkins.
I liked it a lot. Reminded me of Peter Straub at his best (Ghost Story, the Talisman) with a dash of Neal Stephenson. Fairly dark. Ok, very dark at times. Well plotted, internally consistent, only one or two tiny holes. Not perfect, I would have liked it structured differently (maybe opening with one of the bull scenes), but a great first novel.
I got it from the barnes and noble list of the best sf and fantasy of 2015 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci- ... s-of-2015/

There was some appalling trash on the list too, on which I wasted my money, so now I'm scared to try again.

Other items sampled from said list:

'Uprooted' was ok, just not to my taste.

'Wake of Vultures' is a steaming pile of poo that has garnered great praise apparently because its protagonist is a half black half indian bisexual slave girl who pretends to be a boy and discovers herself. She's also sped through what passes for a plot by a host of deus ex machina monsters, scripted by the cliché bros, and, despite learning how to shoot a revolver in a single afternoon and skillfully taking out a snake monster with it, proceeds to accidentally hit her horse with a rock (instead of the vulture monster she was aiming at). This, you understand, was necessary for the plot, so the horse would run away and she couldn't ride off*. I stopped reading when she was rescued by the well spoken indian scout/medicine man in a g-string. Not joking.

If anybody has read anything on the list, or anything out in the last year, worth reading, then speak now. Please...

* No, the horse didn't run off from a vulture monster. But a badly thrown rock, damn that is too scary.
The tracks are curved and my train of thought accelerates tangentially. Whooo whooooo.

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Edminster
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Edminster »

trickcyclist wrote:'Wake of Vultures' is a steaming pile of poo that has garnered great praise apparently because its protagonist is a half black half indian bisexual slave girl who pretends to be a boy and discovers herself. She's also sped through what passes for a plot by a host of deus ex machina monsters, scripted by the cliché bros, and, despite learning how to shoot a revolver in a single afternoon and skillfully taking out a snake monster with it, proceeds to accidentally hit her horse with a rock (instead of the vulture monster she was aiming at). This, you understand, was necessary for the plot, so the horse would run away and she couldn't ride off*. I stopped reading when she was rescued by the well spoken indian scout/medicine man in a g-string. Not joking.

If anybody has read anything on the list, or anything out in the last year, worth reading, then speak now. Please...

* No, the horse didn't run off from a vulture monster. But a badly thrown rock, damn that is too scary.
it sounds like you need to cleanse your palate with 'The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit' by Storm Constantine.

Liri might even send you their copy if you ask real nice ;)
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trickcyclist
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by trickcyclist »

Is that the one where the main race is hermaphroditic and they have amazing astral sex when the protagonist turns into one? And the excited genitals bear a passing resemblance to tibetan mandalas? I read them about a million years ago as an extremely shy and angsty teen.
The tracks are curved and my train of thought accelerates tangentially. Whooo whooooo.

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Edminster
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Edminster »

trickcyclist wrote:Is that the one where the main race is hermaphroditic and they have amazing astral sex when the protagonist turns into one? And the excited genitals bear a passing resemblance to tibetan mandalas? I read them about a million years ago as an extremely shy and angsty teen.
Ah damn, I was hoping to sucker somebody else into reading it. Here's Liri's review if you're interested:
http://www.smbc-comics.com/smbcforum/vi ... 54#p152054

apparently there is an official appearance of their junk; i posted it immediately following that review.
ol qwerty bastard wrote:bitcoin is backed by math, and math is intrinsically perfect and logically consistent always

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trickcyclist
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by trickcyclist »

Edminster wrote: apparently there is an official appearance of their junk; i posted it immediately following that review.
An official appearance of their junk on the cover of an RPG?
If I can get hold of a copy, what are you doing on Friday night?
The tracks are curved and my train of thought accelerates tangentially. Whooo whooooo.

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Edminster
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Re: What are you reading right now?

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trickcyclist wrote: An official appearance of their junk on the cover of an RPG?
If I can get hold of a copy, what are you doing on Friday night?
Staying well clear of any telecommunications service, obviously.
ol qwerty bastard wrote:bitcoin is backed by math, and math is intrinsically perfect and logically consistent always

gödel stop spreading fud

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trickcyclist
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by trickcyclist »

But I can get a copy for only $1260.00 on amazon (excl. shipping). And this review http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/14/14347.phtml says it all.

I'm not joking about $1260.00 either. I guess it now comes under 'specialist fetish gear' in their inventory.
The tracks are curved and my train of thought accelerates tangentially. Whooo whooooo.

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