B3D Book Club

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by London-boy, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    That's why I bought my wife the Voyage for xmas, instead of their newer model. The voyage is the only one with the adaptive light so I don't have to worry about adjusting the backlight anywhere. Why they would exclude that from what is a very expensive reader, only Amazon knows.
     
  2. London-boy

    London-boy Shifty's daddy
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    Unless I'm getting this wrong, I think the problem with the adaptive light is that it gets brighter when there is a lot of ambient light. Which kinda defeats the point of the screen, in my opinion. I use the Kindle like I would a normal book, so when there is enough light to read, I'll read, without the backlight. It's just one tap away to select the setting on the normal Paperwhite kindle anyway :)
     
  3. eloyc

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    I think I will... eventually. It's just I think how much I like the smell of books, going to the library, etc. What can replace that? Is there any "old book" essential oil that I can use with a burner while I read with a Kindle?
     
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  4. eloyc

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    Yesterday I finished The mirror of her dreams.

    :-( Has any of you read it?
     
  5. Scott_Arm

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    I'm reading Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End. It seems decent about 100 pages in.
     
  6. Laa-Yosh

    Laa-Yosh I can has custom title?
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    It's probably a sign of getting old when you start to revisit old reads, but at least I have an alibi...
    My girlfriend likes to fall asleep on me talking about planets and stuff, and by now I had to start to re-read a lot of things to keep it interesting enough ;)

    Anyway, it's Hal Clement's Mission of Gravity. It's from 1953 or so, a mix of hard science fiction and adventure, a book I've found in my parents' library when I was reading literally everything I could get my hands on. BTW I do have to question them about their book buying habits some day ;)

    The setting is a truly unique planet, Meskline - elongated along the equator, spinning so fast that a day only lasts for 18 minutes. Because of this, gravity is about 3G around the equator - but 600+G at the poles. Clement created the planet based on science, although some decades later - with the help of computers - the calculated gravity around the poles got closer to 250G. Still quite a lot, so it doesn't really matter for the story :)

    And the story was a lot of fun, as I recall. Humanity has discovered the planet and landed a probe at the pole, but the extreme gravity messed it up and its data seems to be lost... However, contact is made with the locals; small centipede-like creatures highly adopted to the local conditions, yet possessing quite an intellect.
    [​IMG] -Wayne Barlowe, of course.
    So Barlennan, captain of a trade ship, meets the humans, learns english - and agrees to travel thousands of miles to recover the probe; although with some hidden intentions.

    Now, Clement was a high school teacher, so the book itself has a lot of simple but detailed explanations of the science, like how a ship can still float on the (methane) seas in extremely high gravity - mostly as exposition from the all-knowing humans (who are pretty much secondary characters in the story, far behind Barlennan and his crew).
    On the other hand, at least based on my memories, the story is still quite engaging. Barlennan grew up close to the poles, in 100+G environments, where even the smallest fall is deadly, a solid roof is a death trap, and any item thrown would hit the ground so fast that it'd probably kill you instantly. And yet, he has to overcome his deepest fears in order to deal with concepts like flying or projectile weapons, in order to reach the common goal at the pole.

    As I recall, I was pretty much unable to put the book down as a child... so I wonder if it'll manage to keep me interested as a middle aged guy ;)

    And for those who don't want to read, the ending was really inspiring ;)
    Barlennan and his crew finally reach the probe, but then they present the humans with an ultimatum. They will help them get their lost data - but in exchange, they want to learn about science, they want their help in reaching the stars. The book ends with Barlennan on his new airship(!) and as I've heard there's a sequel where he and his crew are recruited for a space mission to another planet with extreme conditions unsuitable for humans... :)

    Yeah I really liked this book when I was a kid. I wonder how it'd work as an animated movie :D
     
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  7. eloyc

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    ^^Nice.

    That reminded me of the Hyperion series, by Dan Simons. So, SO good! Sci-fi at its best. An exquisite story, an amazing odyssey, interesting characters... For me, the best books were the first one and the third one.

    Have any of you read them?

    I hope they make a movie soon. :)
     
  8. Davros

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    Planets have gravity because of their mass not their rotation
     
  9. Laa-Yosh

    Laa-Yosh I can has custom title?
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  10. Davros

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    #110 Davros, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  11. eloyc

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    Reading Mordant's Need: A Man Rides Through, the sequel to Mordant's Need: The Mirror of Her Dreams, by Stephen R. Donaldson.

    The ending of the first book left me
    screaming "Nooooooooooooooooooo!"

    So here I am. Not the kind of fantasy story/characters I would prefer*, but I just need to know how it ends.
    The main character is quite obnoxious, I'm not sure if I like the setting of a parallel fantasy world with our contemporary world, and I think the story progresses way too slowly
     
  12. Rys

    Rys AMD RTG
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    Only took me the guts of 2 years to finish it! I took it to work to read there at lunch time but then never did. It ended up tucked away on the edge of my desk, and I only picked it back up again recently because I switched jobs and had to pack up said desk.

    Anyway. Honestly, I really didn't enjoy it in the end. I know it's supposed to be written from first-hand accounts relayed via hours and hours of interviews with the various folks mentioned, especially the two Johns, but I just got the overwhelming feeling that either what was described was mostly embellished because who the hell talks and behaves like that, or that some of my personal heroes are actually one-dimensional assholes.

    If you've read it, do you really believe that Romero smashed up so many keyboards in a rage? Do you really believe that he and others spent most of their time loudly shouting and swearing and wrecking things? I'm sure some of that went on, but the book paints the picture that most of the folks in the book are far too caught up in their own raging testosterone and/or inability to be civil to each other, to be able to develop games. Almost every quote from Romero ends in an exclamation point as if he shouted or raised his voice every time he spoke.

    Either way, I'm now depressed and wish I didn't read it. If they really did act like that all the time then I'm upset they succeeded. If they didn't, what a shit book because that's all it talks about. It also infuriatingly skipped over events in the overall chronology far too much. Kushner would devote a paragraph to something that happened, but then it was over in that same paragraph and off he wandered to something else. Especially the reasons why people moved on, or had change in their life. I know that books need to keep their length in check but I got really sick of that by the end.

    And I know it's a book for the masses, but the technical detail in the book is non-existent or badly explained. Why bother devoting words to explaining how Doom's renderer works if you're not going to explain it well? The technical content describing Ion Storm's use of id's engines is terrible. The birth of GPU acceleration is barely touched on. It's clear that Kushner doesn't understand the technology, and the book is a lot worse as a result.

    Argh.
     
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  13. Scott_Arm

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    I'm reading the Southern Reach series right now. Page turner.
     
  14. Babel-17

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    Get in line! https://openlibrary.org/works/OL56834W/Babel-17
    :)
    I scored a first edition paperback a few years ago. It brings back memories of when I first read it, a long time ago. Proto-cyberpunk with it's style, and some of its ideas. Imo it was also a transitional piece of work, reflecting the "super science" era of SF. Heinlein's Gulf, and A.E. Van Vogt's The World of Null-A were similarly inspired by Count Korzybski's work with General Semantics. So was L. Ron Hubbard, but that's another story. :)

    Huh, Wikipedia mentions Frank Herbert, I should have remembered The Dosadi Experiment (sequel to Whipping Star). I guess the super science era never really ended.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_semantics#Connections_to_other_disciplines
     
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  15. eloyc

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    Bump! :cool2:

    I still haven't read any of Tolkien's books. I want to begin with The Hobbit, but I don't know if I should go for the original version. I generally prefer to read things in chronological order (by release date) and in their original form, but I will appreciate any insights.

    Thank you!
     
  16. Mariner

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    The Hobbit is more of a kids tale than LOTR. A good start, however, as it introduces much of Middle Earth and is a quick and enjoyable read. Don't let the appalling movie trilogy put you off reading it!

    LOTR much 'darker' and more serious in nature. I'd definitely go for the Hobbit first of all, though.

    I wouldn't bother with any of the other Tolkien Middle Earth stuff. I read The Silmarillion years ago when I was a big Middle Earth fan and it was tortuous wading through it.
     
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  17. eloyc

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    Yes, thank you for your reply, but I was saying that I will read The Hobbit first, it's just that I know there were some modifications by Tolkien after the release of LOTR. Depending on the edition of The Hobbit, you can have the original version or the modified one. Yesterday I ended up buying one in Amazon, and I think it's not the original text (still have to receive the book and confirm).

    I haven't watched the movies, either, since I like to read the books first.

    Also, I want to read these books because I'm writing a fantasy novel and I don't want to write any similar stuff by accident. I was avoiding it until now for personal reasons and also because I didn't want the books to influence my mind, but I eventually came up with the conclusion that if I read them, I will be able to avoid any awkward similarities with my story. I'm very excited to feel free to read them, at last!

    :)
     
  18. hoom

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    Definitely Hobbit is a kids book, LoTR is a much bigger, much more serious thing.
    Seems that the version with changes to fit with LoTR is most common/preferable unless you want to consider it as a separate standalone kids story.

    Silmarillion is personally my favourite, its not really a novel so much as a History/Bible of the various ages of the history of Middle Earth presented as a 'found' collection of texts/documents/oral histories implied in LoTR to be collected by Bilbo, Frodo & Sam.
    It was actually put together as a single narrative by his son Christopher from the various mostly incomplete versions.
    Absolutely vital to read if you're looking to understand the full depth of Tolkiens' world & how the various stories/references/character histories tie together but pretty much only going to make any sense to read after you've read Hobbit & LoTR and found the LoTR Appendices interesting.

    Christopher has also released longer/different versions of various of the Silmarillion stories.
    Have only read Children of Hurin & just finished Fall of Gondolin, by my understanding a lot of the others are mainly useful for understanding the evolution of the stories.
    Most have multiple, incomplete, undated versions with multiple also undated annotations/revisions so there has been a huge task trying to sort out the order & try to figure out unified 'final' versions.
     
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  19. eloyc

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    Yes, I'm clear that The Hobbit is basically a story for kids, but I'm very excited to read it anyways. And I also know that there are the other books you mention.

    In fact, that's a bit scary to me, since I also have in mind what I think that could be a duology (for my own books) and then a lot of side stories and "historical" books come to my mind as well (it's kind of stressing having so many things in your head and not having the time to organise it all and put it in paper, BTW), and as much as I'm excited to finally read these books, I don't want to discover many similar things (stories, characters, structures) to what I already thought. But we'll see... :happy2:

    Thanks!
     
  20. eloyc

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    I'm halfway The Name of the Wind, a good fantasy story. There are things I don't like, but I'd definitely recommend it... at least by now.
     
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