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What are you reading at the moment?


ChrisN
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I just finished The Player of Games by Ian M Banks, which seemed ok. Only really picked it up because it was the only half decent looking sci-fi book the library had in that day. I'm not convinced I'm going to be a massive Ian M fan though. I got the algebraist the same day and have read some of the start of that and it looks a bit heavy going..

What kinds of SF do you like then?

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I'm reading this at the moment. I found a lovely old copy in Oxfam and as I hadn't read it since I was a kid I thought I'd give it ago. I can't remember any of the story so it's fresh as a daisy...and totally un-put downable.

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Chasm City is standalone, but Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap follow directly on from Revelation Space and you need to read them in sequence to understand what is going on.

The problem with Reynolds is that he has no firm grasp of pace. Century Rain and Pushing Ice both suffer from Exponential Plot Overdrive, as do his other books and it's a shame that he hasn't sorted this out considering his characterisation for the most part has improved with each book.

The Prefect looks promising, as it's a detective yarn set on Yellowstone prior to the Inhibitor series. ^_^

Noted. I'll go onto Redemption Ark when I finish reading Christopher Brookmyre's Be My Enemy. I started it about three years ago...

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I think I'm going to start re-reading the Harry Potter books well intime before the new film and book comes out. I do it every time either a film or book comes out. I'm a fast reader so it shouldnt take me too long. Proberly start on Wednesday.

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I've just finished reading Dan Brown's Digital Fortress which like all his other books has terrible dialogue and awful characterisation, BUT, is a complete pageturner. The English Literature graduate in me dies a little everytime I read a book of his but they're so darn enjoyable. The Secret History by Donna Tartt is next up to read, been meaning to start it for a while.

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I have been on a bit of an erotica glut at the moment, hard to say why. I have read Miller's Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, Lost Girls by Alan Moore and the very odd, but quite compelling Philosophy in the Boudoir by the Marquis De Sade.

I enjoyed them all, both the Tropics are excellent and I can see Miller's influence on Houellebecq. The Marquis de Sade's book is a bit odd, but the language is fantastic in places; wonderfully florid. Shame about the buggery fixation though. Lost Girls is like a wonderful, erotic dream. Some of Moore's best writing in my opinion.

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I really enjoyed it, too. Classy.

Hmmm. I disliked it - I liked his other books, but this left me cold. Just too implausible, and I just didn't buy the alienation and desensitization of the main character.

Maybe it's because I used to play Car Wars all those years ago; seems too derivative of a short CW scenario.

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I have been on a bit of an erotica glut at the moment, hard to say why. I have read Miller's Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, Lost Girls by Alan Moore and the very odd, but quite compelling Philosophy in the Boudoir by the Marquis De Sade.

Somewhat unfair to label Henry Miller's books as 'erotica'. High-brow pornography, I call 'em.

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Somewhat unfair to label Henry Miller's books as 'erotica'. High-brow pornography, I call 'em.

If the Tropics are high-brow pornography Sexus is the literary equivalent of being sucked off by a philosophy professor in the reading room of the Bodlean library.

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Hmmm. I disliked it - I liked his other books, but this left me cold. Just too implausible, and I just didn't buy the alienation and desensitization of the main character.

Maybe it's because I used to play Car Wars all those years ago; seems too derivative of a short CW scenario.

Agree. I didn't find it anywhere near as much fun as the Kovacs books - probably why he wasn't able to sell it as a screenplay.

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I picked up The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas from a charity shop for 50p, all 1300 pages of it. I loved the old movie version with Richard Chamberlain when I was a kid, but is the book worth the no doubt considerable investment of time to read?

I was going to say that depends on the edition and how it's been split up, but I'm confusing it with Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne. Yes, the Count is well worth reading.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After his recent demise I picked up Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without A Country, and read it last night (it's only short). It's a series of random, vaguely autobiographical musings on life in George W Bush's America. I absolutely adore this man's writing, and think of him as one of the great American writers of the last 50 years, this book cements that position beautifully. His quirky outlook will appeal to jaded humanists everywhere.

My only disappointment is that it was over so quickly, I might read it again tonight.

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fucker!

I've been reading Stephen Kings 'IT' for the past 3 months. Read it when i was a kid and it scared me shitless so thought i'd try it again. I got to page 1000 and then left it on the fucking plane. Argh

It's fucking crap as well, which was the biggest surprise

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Truly awful. Sorry!

I read the first chapter and wasnt that impressed considering how much i'd heard about it, i only paid £2.50 from the'Bay. I havent seen the film either btw.

Yes Man will be tough to follow, it was awesome.

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I've read lots of awful books on the paranormal in my time: this isn't one of them. It comes from a more innocent age, before the 1980s. There are no ranting conspiracies and no cynical dismissals of disbelievers or rival hypotheses. Anecdotes, facts, figures, and events are assembled in staggering number, and the explanations for them, both rational and bizarre, are discussed by the author fairly and reasonably. Berlitz is open-minded to a fault, as it should be - not the usual crank's idea of open-mindedness, but a genuine fascination with all the possibilities, which in turn fires the imagination of the reader. He's a non-specialist, so he passes along some scientific goofs from his sources, but these don't do any harm to the mystery which drives the book. And the penultimate chapter, "The Surprises of Prehistory" threatens to turn into an overlong ramble as the author gets a little carried away, which is a pity. It's got a deserved place in its wacky genre. So I'm reading Nexus magazine for amusement as much as outrage these days: I'll have to send my supervisor a copy of the article on ORMEs, it's a riot.

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I mostly bought this one for its legendary physical chemistry McGuffin, a synthetic allotrope of ice (ice-nine) which nucleates further ice formation in liquid water and which doesn't melt until about 50 degrees Celcius. With the recent passing of the author I figured it was also a good idea to get acquainted with his writing style. He's got a great cynicism for the human race, from science to religion and everything in between, and an understanding that you should never take things too seriously. Kind of Terry Gilliam, in a way. The characters and setting are incredibly odd at times and yet completely believable.

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A less provocative title would be "a pretty good model of consciousness, compared to the rubbish that's out there already". The idea is that consciousness arises from the "multiple drafts" spewed out by various unintelligent processes in the brain, which have been retasked from their original evolutionary roles to provide feedback the status of the other unintelligent processes. Dennett spends the first two thirds or so of the book pottering about with thought experiments and actual experiments, discussing the implications for how consciousness is built up in the brain, which almost makes you give up until he finally starts making his point in the last section. He has no time for pseudoscience or misleading assumptions, which is pleasing, although he's rather quick to blitz from experiment to implictions which means re-reading with a bit of head scratching and a cup of tea is necessary. Still, like Steven Pinker he's straightforward and down to earth in his explainations, and seeing as this edition is over a decade old I'll have to see where his research led.

Also I read the New York Trilogy at Spacehost's recommendation. I don't quite now what to make of it, except that it's one of the most amazing things I've ever read. Plus a couple of horror anthologies (18th Pan Book of Horror Stories, and an Edgar Allan Poe).

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I picked up The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas from a charity shop for 50p, all 1300 pages of it. I loved the old movie version with Richard Chamberlain when I was a kid, but is the book worth the no doubt considerable investment of time to read?

Yes, definitely. I finished it about a month ago, after deciding to read it on the recommendation of this very thread.

It's a fantastic read, despite the rather turgid middle section (set in Rome). The opening and ending are fantastic and make it well worth the investment of your time.

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