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Old 11-19-2012, 08:39 PM   #5176
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Moving on to The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:43 PM   #5177
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I think gaiman is pop fantasy at best, very over rated. But I consider him very much in the realm of ray Bradbury, who I think has cool ideas but is a terrible writer.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:28 PM   #5178
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He wrote a hell of a Doctor Who episode a couple years ago. I'll give him that one.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:40 PM   #5179
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He wrote a hell of a Doctor Who episode a couple years ago. I'll give him that one.
Like I said, he's probably better off as a screenwriter. He can't pull off anything more than 100 pages.

I don't know about Ray Bradbury. He's been 50/50 for me so far. I quite liked Fahrenheit 451 but couldn't even get through Something Wicked This Way Comes.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:30 PM   #5180
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"The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson

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Old 11-22-2012, 06:41 AM   #5181
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Wow I haven't listened to too many books since I got a cat - things wil settle down so I can soon. Right now she's following me around like a puppy.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:36 AM   #5182
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My cat does that, too.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:45 PM   #5183
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Wrong thread.

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Old 11-24-2012, 06:35 PM   #5184
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I suppose you are right. I stopped reading American Gods last night because I got tired with Gaiman’s Oh-look-what-I-can-do writing style, with one-dimensional characters and zero development. For one, as a reader, the book never interested me in a way that other books do. I felt like a spectator watching a story unfold, rather than being an active participant as a reader. Some authors write distant, laconic characters very well –*but not Gaiman. Shadow, the main protagonist, is so free of personality, charisma and character, and I found it hard to relate or sympathize with him in any way. That is not to say that the other characters, the Gods, were particularly interesting either. Gaiman would tell you that a character is actually Odin, then leave the description as that. He cannot write character descriptions beyond the colours of their eyes, skin and hair. When he does go to clothes, he oftentimes rely on colours like “black”, “blue” or “white”. In terms of vocabulary, he’s lacking in skills severely. This is probably due to the fact that, as a comic book writer, he never had to worry about the colour of characters’ hair. The colourist probably did the job for him.

Gaiman also tends to be too clever for his own good. He pats himself on the back whenever he changes a character’s name to something clever, like Low Key Lyesmith “Oh, I am so clever! People are going to love this”. I disliked how he would gloss of many characters and never delve too deep into anything. He’s lazy, almost egoistical and banks too much on the premise for anything else to flourish.

I’ve read many of his other books before. The Sandman series, Marvel 1602, some other Sandman spin-off book, Neverwhere, Good Omens and, now, American Gods. I’ve never liked any of them, and I’ve sworn off Gaiman books. He has some truly great ideas in his head, but he is probably better suited for episodic stories, or stories that do not require him to write anything more than 100 pages. Also, he’s probably better at screenplays, because he cannot describe anything for nuts. Characters and places were all blank slates to me, and it was difficult for me to relate to his imaginary world.
In all fairness though, if that's his writing style then that's his style. Obviously Gaiman leaves them that way for a reason; perhaps he prefers heavy minimalism over the standard description--who knows. You could make the same argument that GRRM's writing style is standard and his storytelling compensates for it. Neither one of them is a great writer, but they are really good storytellers. If you want someone who is a talented writer, then you might want to look elsewhere. Pynchon, Faulkner, Wallace, Melville...look at those guys if you want someone who will dazzle you with their writing.

Honestly, a lot of your criticisms seem to stem from how you think Gaiman comes off--like lazy, too clever, etc. I used to follow him on a number of social media sites and he's very humble, well-spoken, and always praising others. Not exactly the ideal traits for someone who has a massive ego. If you want to talk about an ego, then what about GRRM opening up about how Tolkien should've told his story? "Gandalf should've died...".

Don't misunderstand me, I like both writers a lot. GRRM and Gaiman do what they do really well. If he's not your style, then fine, but I think criticizing him for what he does makes very little sense. You might as well tell Pynchon to stop writing so much. I'm not criticizing you, either, for that matter. I just think that if you dislike a person's style, then so be it. I don't see the reasoning behind reading five or six of their novels and then talk about how much you hate it.

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Old 11-24-2012, 08:18 PM   #5185
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In all fairness though, if that's his writing style then that's his style. Obviously Gaiman leaves them that way for a reason; perhaps he prefers heavy minimalism over the standard description--who knows. You could make the same argument that GRRM's writing style is standard and his storytelling compensates for it. Neither one of them is a great writer, but they are really good storytellers. If you want someone who is a talented writer, then you might want to look elsewhere. Pynchon, Faulkner, Wallace, Melville...look at those guys if you want someone who will dazzle you with their writing.

Honestly, a lot of your criticisms seem to stem from how you think Gaiman comes off--like lazy, too clever, etc. I used to follow him on a number of social media sites and he's very humble, well-spoken, and always praising others. Not exactly the ideal traits for someone who has a massive ego. If you want to talk about an ego, then what about GRRM opening up about how Tolkien should've told his story? "Gandalf should've died...".

Don't misunderstand me, I like both writers a lot. GRRM and Gaiman do what they do really well. If he's not your style, then fine, but I think criticizing him for what he does makes very little sense. You might as well tell Pynchon to stop writing so much. I'm not criticizing you, either, for that matter. I just think that if you dislike a person's style, then so be it. I don't see the reasoning behind reading five or six of their novels and then talk about how much you hate it.
It took you a few days to type this, didn't you? I vaguely remember seeing a shorter reply before you deleted it. Anyway, I think this stems from everyone around me shoving Gaiman into my face over the years. It's one thing to dislike writing style, but something else altogether when people around you, even the non-book readers, keep recommending it. The reason why I've read so many of his books over the years is either because someone forced me to read it, gave it to me as a present or it's part of a top 100 list somewhere and I forced myself to read it. But I understand where you are coming from, and I agree. At least, from here on out, you won't be hearing me complain about his stuff any longer, since I will be staying the hell away from them like a plague.

ANYWAY, I've just finished The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. What a great read that was. I totally didn't expect the book to turn out the way it did. It was a pleasant surprise.

Next up, The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:52 PM   #5186
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It took you a few days to type this, didn't you? I vaguely remember seeing a shorter reply before you deleted it. Anyway, I think this stems from everyone around me shoving Gaiman into my face over the years. It's one thing to dislike writing style, but something else altogether when people around you, even the non-book readers, keep recommending it. The reason why I've read so many of his books over the years is either because someone forced me to read it, gave it to me as a present or it's part of a top 100 list somewhere and I forced myself to read it. But I understand where you are coming from, and I agree. At least, from here on out, you won't be hearing me complain about his stuff any longer, since I will be staying the hell away from them like a plague.

ANYWAY, I've just finished The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. What a great read that was. I totally didn't expect the book to turn out the way it did. It was a pleasant surprise.

Next up, The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
No, not a few days. I just haven't had the time to reply, so I deleted my initial post up until I could give you an adequate response. I didn't want to come off as an *******.

I understand--it's not fun having someone shove books (or movies, for that matter) into your face. Trust me, I know what it's like. It's enough to turn someone's taste from simply disliking it, to being bitterly resentful. That's happened many times to me, so naturally I've resorted to just outright saying "no". Sometimes it worked out for the better, however, like with the Harry Potter books.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:41 AM   #5187
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ANYWAY, I've just finished The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. What a great read that was. I totally didn't expect the book to turn out the way it did. It was a pleasant surprise.
Classic ending.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:57 PM   #5188
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Finished Ender's Game over the weekend. Man, I hope they don't screw up this movie.

Starting A Team of Rivals now. I'm hoping I can finish it before go back to Colorado in a month so I can see Lincoln with my parents. There's a 100 pages of annotations alone. O_o
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:28 AM   #5189
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Finished The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I don't remember liking the movie when I first saw it more than ten years ago. Which is strange, because it is almost exactly like the book. I suppose, with the change of age, my perspectives changed as well. I do feel that the book worked just a little bit better than the movie though. Some of the jokes or goofiness came off better in text than on screen. Anyway, the version of the book that I own has Buttercup's Baby at the back, which was pretty darn horrible. But I think Goldman added the first chapter of Buttercup's Baby in there on purpose just to throw people off. After all, the entire book is pretty meta for the most part. This is a guy writing about a fictional version of himself, abridging a fictional book. I enjoyed the book a lot, but I'd probably need to explain a few things to people if I were to recommend it.

Next up, 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:05 PM   #5190
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Fun.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:58 AM   #5191
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Is 2001 a must read for speculative fiction? I've been kind of interesting in dabbling into those types of books - my brother reads them all the time.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:19 AM   #5192
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Is 2001 a must read for speculative fiction? I've been kind of interesting in dabbling into those types of books - my brother reads them all the time.
I wouldn't consider 2001: A Space Odyssey to be speculative fiction. Then again, I'm only 45 pages in.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:03 AM   #5193
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speculative fiction? ya just call it sci fi.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:47 PM   #5194
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"The Dog Stars" by Peter Heller
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:13 PM   #5195
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"2001" is anything but speculative.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:45 PM   #5196
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I don't know... it's pretty far out there to me. Judging by the movie.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:52 PM   #5197
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That's what he said.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:00 PM   #5198
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We may have differing views of what "speculative ficiton" means.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:58 PM   #5199
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I don't know... it's pretty far out there to me. Judging by the movie.
I'd say speculative fiction is based more in reality, and has a "What If?" factor to the story. Something like 1984 by George Orwell, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick or The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:59 PM   #5200
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That's the very definition of speculative fiction.
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