Doing any recreational reading? v.5.8

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ukimalefu
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Post by ukimalefu »

TOS wrote: and are subject to arbitrary de-monetization


Yeah, but google pays them a ridiculously low amount, like a couple cents per ad. That's why youtubers now have to find their own sponsors and sell merch to make a living.
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Post by Metacell »

obvs wrote: :brow:

Many videos on YouTube get drastically more views than the average successful movie.

Surely you can understand that allowing independent film producers like Francis Ford Coppola (Dementia 13) opportunities to have their movies seen in public theaters by millions of ticket-buyers is somewhat more culturally significant than getting a gazillion likes for your chimp-at-the-zoo-masturbating-with-a-dead-frog-in-front-of-a-2nd-grade-fieldtrip video.
Remember, people, to forgive is divine. In other words, it ain't human.
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Post by jkahless »

Metacell wrote:
obvs wrote: :brow:

Many videos on YouTube get drastically more views than the average successful movie.

Surely you can understand that allowing independent film producers like Francis Ford Coppola (Dementia 13) opportunities to have their movies seen in public theaters by millions of ticket-buyers is somewhat more culturally significant than getting a gazillion likes for your chimp-at-the-zoo-masturbating-with-a-dead-frog-in-front-of-a-2nd-grade-fieldtrip video.


Sure, but is it art? ;)
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Post by macnuke »

Dune

yes, that Dune. I read it back 69/70.... thought to read again now that the sad memory of the 1984 movie has faded and a new remake is slated for this coming December.

People that do not succeed in politics usually tell the truth too often.

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Post by Metacell »

What about the sci-fi miniseries? It was great, probably the best thing to come out of sci-fi/sy-fy (gross).
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Post by DEyncourt »

Time for Tor Book's free e-book of the month: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. This is the first book in Kowal's to-be three book "Lady Astronaut" series when Tor Books will publish book 3, The Relentless Moon, on July 14th. The usual limitations and restrictions apply. Downloads must be completed by 11:59 pm EDT on June 26th.

Grumph! I picked up The Calculating Stars in dead-tree form about 3 months ago. No, I haven't gotten to it yet.
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Post by Warin »

I picked it up in digital form about six weeks ago. Read it immediately. It is a pretty good series. The third one is out in July.
I'm sorry Dave...
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Post by DEyncourt »

Warin wrote: I picked it up in digital form about six weeks ago. Read it immediately. It is a pretty good series. The third one is out in July.

OH WOW. You're absolutely right.

In fact I was looking for something else to read on Friday to take a break from reading Margaret Atwood's "The Testaments" (which is very depressing like her "The Handmaid's Tale" though it is very well written) so I began "The Calculating Stars" at 1 am, Saturday morning.

I finished it at 7 pm that same day. This included taking a nap during that time.

AND I went out on Sunday to pick up Kowal's "The Fated Sky", the follow-up, and began it at about 4 pm. I finished that at about 4 am this morning.

Now I am ready for her "The Restless Moon" which I will get as soon as I can.
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Post by Warin »

I am about 1/3 of the way through Relentless Moon now. It has been great so far. Worth picking up for certain.
I'm sorry Dave...
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Post by DEyncourt »

Tor Books has released another free e-book: Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh. This book can be downloaded until 11:59 pm EDT TOMORRROW July 48th. Usual limitations and restrictions apply.

I have not read anything by Tesh that I can recall.

This is being offered in preparation of Tor Books releasing book 2 in a series of 2: "Drowned Country" on August 18th.
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Post by DEyncourt »

I finished "The Restless Moon" and wow. Relentlessly fast paced

Hunting around for more stuff by Kowal, I found Lady Astronaut of Mars which is a prequel to her Lady Astronaut series. It is only a novelette that she published in 2014 and can be bought for only $0.99 from Amazon (only Kindle format) or Apple Books BUT DO NOT BUY THIS (see below).

There is also Articulated Restraint, another novelette which also takes place in her Lady Astronaut Universe (LGU) and was published in 2019 (so you might read this in between "The Fated Sky" and "The Restless Moon"). Available from Amazon (again only Kindle) and Apple Books for $0.99.

Instead of picking up "Lady Astronaut of Mars" you should get Word Puppets which is an anthology of short stories which not only includes "Lady Astronaut of Mars" but a second story from the Kowal's LGU along with 14 other stories. Available from Amazon and Apple Books for $6.99.
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Post by ukimalefu »

Raiders of the Lost Ark: Novel, by Campbell Black

Haven't watched the movie in a long time, but I've seen it many times.

First time reading it.

The author takes time describing things and tells you what people are thinking, etc, yet the pace feels faster than I remember it to be in the movie. Still cool though.

I just started last night and read up to when Indy finds Marion.
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Post by ukimalefu »

The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles - Peter Brown, Steven Gaines
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Post by dv »

ukimalefu wrote: Raiders of the Lost Ark: Novel, by Campbell Black

Haven't watched the movie in a long time, but I've seen it many times.

First time reading it.

The author takes time describing things and tells you what people are thinking, etc, yet the pace feels faster than I remember it to be in the movie. Still cool though.

I just started last night and read up to when Indy finds Marion.


The mixed blessing about movie novelizations is that the authors are given access to early versions of the scripts. But they have to get their book out the door before the final version of the film is edited, so they sometimes have scenes the movie doesn't or include more background exposition.

I read all the Star War / Star Trek movie novels when I was a kid and it was weird/confusing.
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Post by jkahless »

The best way to do it, is have Stanley Kubrick make your movie, get Arthur C Clark to write your book, and just let them do what they want.
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Post by DEyncourt »

Time for another free e-book from Tor Books: Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi. Download before 11:59 pm EDT, Friday, August 21st. You must be eligible to sign-up for Tor.com newsletter in the US or Canada.
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Post by TOS »

"the march of folly" by barbara tuchman

about spectacularly bad decisions by bad leaders acting against their own (or that of their people's) self interest

quite relevant these days, eh?
"TOS ain’t havin no horserace round here. “Policies” is the coin of the realm." -- iDaemon
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ukimalefu
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Post by ukimalefu »

The Secret of the Incas: Myth, Astronomy and the War Against Time
by William L. Sullivan

If you like mythology, read it
If you like astronomy, read it
If you like history, read it
If you like anthropology, read it

It's great, fascinating, awesome. I love it.

:D

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/108 ... 0be%20true.
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Post by DEyncourt »

Time for Tor Books free e-book of the month: "The Haunting of Tram Car 015" by P. Djèlí Clark. I should note that it is listed as a novella, but it was a finalist for the 2020 Hugo Award, the 2020 Nebula Award AND the 2020 Locus Award. Apparently Clark has written another story--"Dead Djinn in Cairo"--set in the same universe. Tor Books is using this free e-book to announce that Clark also has "Ring Shout" now on sale (which is about the demonic origins of the Twentieth Century revival of the Ku Klux Klan and how activists prevented the Klan from bringing about the end of the world).

The usual limitations apply. Available for downloading until 11:59 pm EDT on Oct. 23rd.
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Post by DEyncourt »

I finished Clark's "The Haunting of Tram Car 015" last night. I liked it enough that even before finishing that story I picked up "Ring Shout" even though that is likely not within the same universe as "Haunting".

"Haunting" is set in 1914 Egypt but markedly different from our history. This Egypt threw off the colonial shackles from England in 1879 and with the assistance of djinn Egypt has established itself as one of the world's magical powers. It wouldn't be quite right to call this story "steampunk"--perhaps electropunk would be a better term. The economic and social balances are uneven: on the streets of Cairo one is likely to see women fully sheathed in burkas along side other women in the latest Paris fashions, and one of street issues is giving women the vote.

I am going to hunt down the other Clark stories. I believe that there are at least two others out now.
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Post by Ribtor »

Pity The Nation: Lebanon At War, by Robert Fisk

The author recently died so I thought I'd pull this off the shelf for another read.


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Post by DEyncourt »

Time for another free Tor e-book SERIES, but this is a bit complicated.

Go TODAY (Monday, 11/30) to here to pick up the FIRST book "Every Heart a Doorway" in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series, and then over the next 4 days this week that link should change to each of the next 4 books in McGuire's series (sorry, usual restrictions apply). This is Tor Books' announcement that on January 12, 2021, they will release book 6 "Across the Green Grass Fields".

I haven't read anything by McGuire that I can recall.
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Post by dv »

Since there are a few sci-fi fans around here; Ben Bova died of COVID.

https://twitter.com/KathrynBruscoBk/sta ... 7104873474
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Post by maurvir »

Since the Play store had a dearth of new titles worth paying for, I decided to catch up on my Tor books - which have been languishing on my SSD for too long now. I started by finishing the four books I have of Martha Well's Murderbot series and wrapped up by finishing Seanan McQuire's Wayward Children series.

The Murderbot series is a fun, if short, romp narrated by a somewhat neurotic cyborg "SecUnit". However, for a character who self-identifies as a murderbot, it does very little actual murdering - which is sort of the point. The series arc is centered around the SecUnit discovering its own humanity amongst its advanced processing and innate ability to hack things around it. The four books turned out to be a pretty fast read, as they are fairly fast paced.

My only real complaints are that Well's pulls her punches a lot and that the four books I read really could have been one book. I suspect this is due to the books being targeted for the young adult audience. The ending of the fourth book really felt like an ending, while the endings of the first three books felt more like the end of a solid chapter or section - leaving me feeling like the books had been split apart just to be able to charge extra.

The other issue is related to the soft-pedaling of the story. I can't say a whole lot, as my own writing suffers the same issue at times, but the author seems intent in only killing off or permanently damaging minor characters or genuine villains. This issue definitely improves as the story develops, but it never quite goes away. Things seem to always go well for the protagonist, even when there is an obvious twist. Still, watching the Murderbot begin to wrap its "head" around existing as something other than a "slave" was enjoyable.

Although I got the books for free through Tor, I would have been happy paying for them, and I may still buy the remaining two books in the series.

The second series was a bit different. Each book felt like a book, even though they were very short. They each had definite beginnings and endings. However, I was continued surprised to find that, despite my initial assumption, Every Heart a Doorway was actually the first book - even though it feels like Down Among the Sticks and Bones should have come first. Had I not read the latter book first, I would have been very lost as I read the former.

Now, while many of the complaints I read about the first book, Every Heart..., were, IMHO, silly, there were a few legit complaints. However, none of them prevented me from enjoying the book. I love McGuire's paraphrases of classic children's stories and horror movies with a "realistic" bent. The idea of consequences following fantastical tales and adventures is a great premise, and I definitely took a shine to these. They are much more honest approaches to the classic fairytale - fairytales for young (and young at heart) adults.

Where I would fault the author, especially for the first book, is in cutting out so much length that the story feels unsupported. This is also why I actually checked twice to make sure the order was correct. The second book really feels like it should be the first book, and having read it as the first book, I would suggest that order. As it is, McGuire never really explains the premise of her books well in the first book on its own. Worse, she is both trying to introduce this alternate world AND tell a murder mystery at the same time. The result is that she doesn't really do either justice.

Even for a school like Eleanor West's, I imagine that the students would begin boxing up a victim's things quite so soon, and that is just the start of the unrealistic responses due to what feels like a need to "make time". I feel the first book should have been no less than twice as long to adequately cover the ground attempted.

The rest of the books, while not terribly long either, focus on a single story, and as a result, read much better. We finally begin seeing the nuances in these characters rather than merely seeing them as stand-ins for concepts. They develop a personality, a soul of sorts. Sure, having read the first book, you know the ending already. However, just because you know the ship sinks at the end doesn't make Titanic any less interesting to watch. The same is true of the books in this series.

Still, even the rest of the books could stand to be a little longer and flesh out the characters a bit more fully. I don't think this ruins the stories at all, and they are great little morality plays at times, but it does take a bit of the shine off at times.

Now, that said, I really enjoyed all of them. By the last book, Come Tumbling Down, the author had clearly gotten her sea legs for the series. It was well written, and hit most of the high points. It was, perhaps, a bit anticlimactic, but I have to remind myself that these are YA books.
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Post by DEyncourt »

An epilogue for "The Return of the King" that JRR Tolkien wrote but did not widely publish.

Tor Books announced this to note that Molly Knox Ostertag created a comic version of this epilogue and which is available at the second link above (though for some reason I cannot get past their concent page).

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Post by ukimalefu »

DEyncourt wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:01 pm

An epilogue for "The Return of the King" that JRR Tolkien wrote but did not widely publish.

Tor Books announced this to note that Molly Knox Ostertag created a comic version of this epilogue and which is available at the second link above (though for some reason I cannot get past their concent page).

Oooh, I'm currently going through Lord Of The Rings (again) I'll get that... but I don't know if I read it any time soon, since I'd have to it on desktop computer.

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Post by DEyncourt »

Time for another Tor Books free ebook (although I should note that there wasn't such an offering for Feb 2021).

Go here to sign up for Tor Books e-mail to be able to download "The Unspoken Name" by A. K. Larkwood. The usual limitations and restrictions apply. The download must be completed by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, March 5th. This offering was in part to let Tor Books announce that they will be publishing book 2, "The Thousand Eyes", sometime in 2022.

BUT...do note: I have already downloaded this book, but when I tried to add it my Apple Books library, I got an error message: "The operation couldn't be completed. No such file or directory". i have sent a message to Tor Books' address for technical problems. I will add to this string if and when I get a reply.

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Post by DEyncourt »

Just an update: I download the epub version again at 1 pm on March 3rd and that version installed just fine into my Apple Books app.

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Post by justine »

My current rec reading is the manual for my Sig Sauer SP2022 :D

"The older i get, the less i care about what people think of me. therefore the older i get, the more i enjoy life."

"Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation."
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Post by Ribtor »

The New Covenant Commonly Called The New Testament, Revised Standard Version. The book was given to me as well as every other schoolchild in the U.K. because that is a thing they did back them.
Has anyone actually read these?

I was inspired to read it because I recently watched Jesus Christ Superstar for the umpteenth time and am curious how closely it follows.

The books are a lot more basic than I was expecting. Luke parallels the birth of John The baptist which helps make a lot more sense of the importance of that character. Matt and Mark dropped the ball there. Joseph get the full heritage treatment back to Adam.

The parables are tedious but that is actually addressed as deliberate.

Killing the fig tree was a dick move.

The parable of the 'Talent's in which a master of servants is praised for wanting to increase his wealth through banking and his humble servant is rightfully punished for not knowing how banking works seems tacked on and more than a little contradictory. I had to look that one up because it was so odd.

I still have to read everything after Luke but so far it is a mess. If there were no church and priests to tell people what it all 'really' means it would have gone nowhere. It does not stand on its own.

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Post by DEyncourt »

I just finished Project Hail Mary by Andrew Weir (2021).

Get it NOW.

I had been reading it up to this morning when I got to about page 125 (out of 478). After that I HAD to finish it.

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Post by DEyncourt »

BTW: even if you do use my link to Amazon's page for Project Hail Mary to order it for yourself, do yourself a favor and do NOT read Amazon's description for the book. It doesn't give away TOO much, but I think to get a full appreciation of what Weir wrote, it would be better to start on its first page completely without any spoilers.

I must admit that I heard the Skeptics Guide to the Universe interview of Weir (episode #826) including their self-described spoiler portion.

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Post by DEyncourt »

OK, last add for Project Hail Mary. This is definitely a bit of a spoiler (relaying info of which a non-reader would not be aware) so wait until after you have read the book to read the spoiler below.

Spoiler

In the discussions about Rocky's home world Erid, Dr. Grace says that it is about 4.5 times the mass of the Earth. While Weir was writing PHM there was a paper written by Dr. Leslie Rogers in 2015 in which she had calculated that at about 1.6 times Earth mass that such planets should have sufficient surface gravity that ALL of the hydrogen involved during that planet's formation would be retained and thus becoming at a minimum a mini-Neptune with a very thick, mostly hydrogen atmosphere rather than a super-Earth. There is a bit of leeway here (such as planets with a LOT of water so they would have much larger diameters [water being much less dense than rock] and thus having smaller surface gravity), but the difference between 1.6 and 4.5 is great enough that had Weir been aware of that paper he might have had Grace tell the reader in self-contemplation:

Erid is 4.5 Earth masses? There was a paper a while back that predicted that ALL planets of 1.6 Earth masses or greater should retain all of its hydrogen because of surface gravity. Perhaps while the 40 Eridani system was being formed that there were 2 or more Earth-size planets that orbited for long enough that their "excess" hydrogen was blown away before they slowly collided together to form Erid. Or Erid once had a nearby Jupiter-like planet which stole much of Erid's hydrogen during early formation before that Jupiter-like planet was moved to its current orbit. Or some combination of both.

Anyway the universe is weirder that we can imagine and I'm not going to argue with reality.

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