Now reading (The Book Thread)

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Avatar, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Honeyb35 Registered Member

    For Fiction I'm reading that "Cell" book by Stephen King. As corny as the premise sounded at first, I actually rather like it. Plus, as with any good zombie story, it's rife with social commentary and subtle satire.
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  3. RAW2000 suburban Registered Senior Member

    Iain M Banks - "Consider Phlebas"

    I really liking these 'the Culture' novels....
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  5. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

    Has anyone read The Absolute at Largeby Karel Capek? Some literary writer/critic was raving about this science fiction novel as being prophetic as well as funny! Is it worth the purchase?
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  7. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Empire of the Clouds, James Hamilton-Paterson. A nostalgic but informed "fan boy" retrospective of the British (military) aircraft scene of the 50s and 60s. A "plane-spotter's memories" tied together by a semi-biography of one of the test pilots of the era.

    The Strangest Man, Graham Farmelo. The biography of P. A. M. Dirac. Not as heavy on the actual physics as, say, Jagdish Mehra's Beat of a Different Drum (biography of Feynman), more along the lines of Gleick's Genius (Feynman again). Eminently readable, and full of "names". Which reminds me that I've got Blackett's biography kicking about somewhere to read, they were at Cambridge together.
  8. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Just finished World War Z.
    Now reading The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. It won an SFX award. I have no idea what that is.

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  9. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    I liked it as well. And it didn't end incredibly stupid either. It had an ending I could believe.
  10. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    It's a science fiction magazine in the UK.
    Pretty popular (i.e. it takes an adult but fannish approach to science fiction).
    Semi-notorious because as often as not the cover photo overlaps part of the magazine title and you tend to be stood at the check-out with a glossy mag with a cover-photo of some sexy Sci-Fi babe and a title that looks like it says SEX in big letters...

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  11. SomethingClever Registered Senior Member

    The Norton Reader (11th edition)

    excerpts/essays from a host of great writers, from Abe Lincoln to John Muir to Garrisson Keeler... and of course Faulker, Thoreau etc.

    highly recommended.
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Quofum by Alan Dean Foster. He's my favorite sci-fi author, which is great because he must crank out about six books a year. It's never "hard" sci-fi; the technology is never explained and just exists to make the stories possible.

    This one is about a planet that appears to pop in and out of existence. A team is sent to explore it (who would volunteer for that mission???) and discovers that it is teeming with life, but the biology of the various lifeforms cannot possibly have evolved from the same source. It almost seems as if plants and animals from many different planets were just dumped there.

    I'm waiting for it to blink out of existence and pop up in another galaxy (or universe, I wouldn't put it past him), with the team still there.

    Most of his novels are somewhat light-hearted and full of humor, although this one isn't; there's already been a murder.

    My all-time favorite is the Taken trilogy, just because it features an issue that has been rattling around in my head since I was a kid and back then when we all believed in aliens it actually gave me nightmares:

    Suppose aliens came to earth, kidnapped you, and took you to their planet for nefarious purposes. (In this case humans--and one dog--are destined for private zoos.) The Good Guys from the other side of the galaxy have been chasing these Bad Guys for a long time and finally catch them, but in the process the Bad Guys' ship and the information in its computer is destroyed.

    After being put up in hotels by the Good Guys and learning all about alien culture, you finally tell them, "I'd really like to go home now. Can you just take me back to Earth?"

    The answer, "Of course, we'd be happy to!"

    "Where is it?"

    Talk about feeling alone in the universe! How many of you could give an alien space captain the vaguest directions to Earth?
  13. Psyche Registered Senior Member

    In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate'
    This is a soul searching book written by a psychiatrist who works on the downtown east-side in Vancouver, British Columbia, the infamous drug capital of Canada. It offers an unflinchingly honest examination of the the causes of addiction, as well as the science behind it, while also offering a scathing critique of the drug policies of governments in the United States, Canada, and abroad. It is very difficult to read at times. So much of it is just so heartbreaking.

    The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
    My brain is kind of reading this one on autopilot given how preoccupied I am with interests of more immediate concern. Not a whole lot I haven't read about before, but it has been awhile since I've really sunk my teeth into these subjects. All in all I think I prefer to get my pop cosmology from John Gribbon.
  14. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Oryx and Crake, a Novel

    One of the best sci-fi novels I have ever read. A post-apocalyptic story where the precipitating events of the apocalypse largely centered around the narrator, one of the only survivors.


    The story of a woman who is held captive for 6 years in a shed. The story is told from the perspective of the child she bore in captivity who thinks the world is only as big as the room, and most things on TV are not real, including other people. It's also the story of their escape and adjustment to the outside world. Surreal and compelling!
  15. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    The Affinity Bridge, The Osiris Ritual and The Immorality Engine, all by George Mann.
    Seemingly lightweight steampunk romps than have a nastier underside. I picked these up on the off-chance, read them over the last 3 days and now I've got my fingers crossed for sequels.
    Victorian-period* science fiction, steam-power, nefarious plots and esoteric dark (.e.g. dashed foreign) practices all mixed together with a more-or-less persistent classic London pea-souper.

    * Yes, despite being set in 1901 (for the first novel) Victoria is still alive and ruling her Empire with an iron fist.
  16. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    @ Spidey:
    I have a copy of Oryx and was very good but very depressing. Not as depressing as "The Road," but...depressing.

    Atwood doesn't really do happy endings much, does she?
  17. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Rollback by some Sawyer guy. I'm hoping its good
  18. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member

    I've been reading the historical novel series The House Of Nicollo, by Dorothy Dunnett.

    They're set in the era of 1460 Europe, and Lady Dunnett is (was, died in 2001) one of the premier historians covering that era. And a very good writer.
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Path of Fate by Diana Pharaoh Francis. Swords and sorcery with a female protagonist, volume I of a trilogy. Yeah, it's "young adult" literature, but so was Harry Potter and I loved that too. If you like Robin McKinley (one of my favorites) you'll probably like this author too.
  20. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Manhattan in Reverse, a collection of short SF stories by Peter F. Hamilton (and a serendipitous find yesterday - I didn't even know it had been published yet). Although, strictly speaking I'm not "now reading" because I finished it earlier today.
    The entire Sandman series of comics by Neil Gaiman. Currently on issue 38 of 75 (also started yesterday).
  21. Shogun Bleed White and Blue! Valued Senior Member

    Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream
  22. smellincoffee Registered Member

    Last night I finished The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and this morning I started a novel I spotted in the library last week called The Astral. It's about a man who is kicked out and forced to struggle with relating to his two adult kids after his wife decides -- upon reading his love poetry -- that he is having an affair.
  23. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Martin Gardner's classic Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science and Seelöwe Nord, a novel about an "alternative" German invasion of Britain in WWII, this time in the North-East of the country (i.e. bits of England I know, not this namby-pamby Southerner stuff).
    Bought it and the "prequel" Thunder in May (novelisation of the invasion of France) directly from the author (and got both books signed by him) while having an irredeemably nerdy day out the other weekend.

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