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First Quarter 2020 Reading

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21 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

“The smell of Murillo, perfume and sweat. The corrupt softness of his bulk. The strength that twisted my limbs until they creaked, until the pain reached me through the fog of whatever drug the wine had hidden, and tore thin screams past the gag. I made Katherine watch and share, made her share the pollution, the crude stink of his lust, the delight he took in his power, the horror of being helpless. I let her hear his grunting. I made her understand how dirt can get inside you, too deep to be scrubbed out, too deep to be bled out, perhaps too deep even to be burned out.”

That quote doesn’t seem to line up with the point you’re making. It’s the rape of the first person narrator which fundamentally informs his characterisation. Not really just for shock value.

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About 200 pages into A Little Hatred and hoping it picks up.  Definitely moments of the Abercrombie wit here and there, but the plot is not doing much for me so far.  

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1 hour ago, Triskele said:

About 200 pages into A Little Hatred and hoping it picks up.  Definitely moments of the Abercrombie wit here and there, but the plot is not doing much for me so far.  

It starts *very* slow; the first 150 pages or so could/should have been condensed to half of this. It is also annoying that very shortish episodes without much action alternate. But it gets better. It does never get really good, IMO, but not so bad that it would not be somewhat entertaining. Overall, people who like Abercrombie are probably gonna love it as it basically has the same style, faults and strengths as his older books.

Edit: I am about 70-80% through with Strange and Norrell. This is also a flawed book (too long and sluggish, among other things) but pretty great anway. And so much better written than most typical fantasy

Edited by Jo498

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I read Martha Wells' Rogue Protocol, the third of her Murderbot Diaries stories. Like the previous two it was a lot of fun. It had some good character development for the lead character as they slowly (and somewhat reluctantly) get better at interacting with beings who aren't cyborg killing machines. The main plot about exploring the abandoned terraforming station was decent, although I think I probably found the plots in the first two stories more compelling.

Edited by williamjm

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2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

@IlyaP you’re killing me man I need a follow up on that Lawrence gossip!

Sorry D, lost power up our way due to the storm that slammed into the east coast of NSW over the weekend. 

(I wouldn't really call this gossip; this is all informed by first-handish participation.)

So, about a year ago, my fiancee and I were both part of a fantasy book discussion group online (on the book of face), and Lawrence ("ML" for ease, from here on in) posted there. He proposed a book cover challenge of linking book titles together, but added the caveat of "real books only" - i.e.: not eBooks, Kindles; only physical hard copies. 

Now, look, I get that some people can be purists about this, and I'm happy to put time and effort into teaching them to broaden their notion of what constitutes a "book". I'd be a bad [former] school teacher if I didn't. 

In any event, several posters very politely raised their hands and provided polite objections, as well as reminded him of the argumentative fallacy of 'no true Scotsman'. 

One by one, he blocked all of them from the group, as well as personally blocked them, from what I could tell. 

Ultimately, a few days later, the entire post and thread(s?) were shut down. I don't know if ML was subsequently slapped on the wrists by the other moderators, but I can confirm that my fiancee went out of her way to contact one of the mods privately, and provided screenshots and context and explained the situation. 

The combination of being a book purist, in combination with his banning posters who dared to object left an incredibly sour taste in my mouth. 

A friend then informed me of some less-than-wise comments made by ML in a Tor review of his first book (unread by me), which struck me as wildly unprofessional and in bad taste. 

As a result, ML's in the sin bin in my world. 

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2 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Wow, that's odd. I always thought he was a big supporter of the ebook thing.

I thought so too, given what he posts on his blog. 

But that sort of ableist and quasi-essentialist approach doesn't sit well with me. Considering that, for example - some humans have strong reactions to or even allergies to mould/mould spores, and stick exclusively to eBooks to reduce the chance of experiencing mould shock. Or people with visual impairments who use eBooks because they can modify font types and sizes. And so on. 

ML has a daughter, I believe, with medicinal issues - and I hoped that it would inform him of the challenges that less-abled folk face and make him sympathetic to their plight. Heck, I'm even fine with polite disagreements. But full-blown blocking of people and - I forgot to mention - deletion of their comments? There's no need for that. 

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On 2/8/2020 at 11:42 AM, Darth Richard II said:

Sigh, I shall disengage before this gets nasty.

”I have no actual no actual arguments. Just hollow declarations that I hope sound cheeky and smart.” 

Listen man(or don't ignore this if you want), your proclamation was weird and easily disposable to anyone who had a book from the Broken Empire. You every right not to defend your statement that there was only one instance of rape in the broken empire-it was a genuinely bizarre statement. But I have to suspect your grasp of the books you’re defending to be lacking if you honestly thought you're statement was in anyway correct. 

On 2/9/2020 at 5:22 AM, john said:

That quote doesn’t seem to line up with the point you’re making. It’s the rape of the first person narrator which fundamentally informs his characterisation. Not really just for shock value.

Main point here was just to rebut the ridiculous declaration that there was only one rape in the entire series. 

Though this instance in my opinion was too graphic, and given it revealed nothing  in terms of character(to which we couldn't gleam), or really much of a roadblock to Jorge it did to come off as purely exploitative both in and out story.  In story he’s mostly recounting it to torment a woman he's obsessed since book 1 to stop using his dream to guilt-trip him. He's recounts feelings of pain and helplessness during the assault when he is physically incapable of moving but jumps right back into normal sociopathic edge-lord relatively soon after his assault. He cries a little and proceeds to literally kills soldiers while naked just a couple pages later. 

On 2/8/2020 at 11:53 AM, polishgenius said:

Fixed that for you. :P

Seriously? You too think there was only one instance of rape in the entire Broken empire trilogy? 

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I started Iain (no M.) Banks' The Crow Road. I've read all his SF novels but I'm not very familiar with his non-SF work. It's been good so far. I've heard it suggested before that the book has one of the best first lines in literature, it's certainly an attention-grabbing way to start a book:

It was the day my grandmother exploded.

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Finished 2 fantasy books set in Cowboy Old West. 

Six-Gun Tarot (Golgotha #1)

Shotgun Arcana (Golgotha #2)

Quite an interesting hot pot of a world. Has everything from gods, angels, demons to sheriff's, gay mormons. Books 1 is a good adventure fun read. Book 2 takes a darker turn with more gore and is a step down. 

Still a different read to refresh palate. 

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1 hour ago, williamjm said:

I started Iain (no M.) Banks' The Crow Road. I've read all his SF novels but I'm not very familiar with his non-SF work. It's been good so far. I've heard it suggested before that the book has one of the best first lines in literature, it's certainly an attention-grabbing way to start a book:

 

 

I need to read more of his non SFF. It’s sad he’s very unknown here in the states.

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Late to the party on this one, but Tad Williams' Dragonbone Chair is quite compelling. A goddamn brick. But compelling. A compelling brick.

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The Second Sleep (2019) by Robert Harris.

"From the international bestselling author of Fatherland and Munich, a gripping mystery and a fascinating cautionary tale.

"All civilizations consider themselves invulnerable; history warns us that none is."

P.S. Loved Crow Road! 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Hah, wait till you see the size of book 3

Aw fuck.

550,275 words, 1,083 pages.

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9 minutes ago, IlyaP said:

Aw fuck.

550,275 words, 1,083 pages.

I have the original hardcover. Makes Sanderson books look tiny. One ofbthe longest SFF novels too. Wert had a post about that once.

also dragon bone chair is probably his weakest and slowest book so man are you in for a treat.

Edited by Darth Richard II

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9 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Makes Sanderson books look tiny.

Madre del Dios. Why are these books so big?

Thankfully I have the reasonably portable DAW edition of the first 2 books. I picked up a more modern copy of the first book, which had a more readable font, but even reading it on the couch or in bed at home was just a goddamn nightmare on my hobbit-sized wrists. It could double as weights in a gym!

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