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Old 01-29-2013, 10:11 AM   #5351
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Back to reading Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Couldn't find the book for a couple years and just picked up another copy from Chapters. One of the easiest to read and most compelling true-stories ever written that is guaranteed to change the way the reader thinks about him or herself. Frankl was definitely one of those guys I would have loved to meet in life, too bad he passed away in '97.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #5352
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I finished Ubik last night and I cannot stop raving about it. It must be my favorite Philip K. Dick book so far. I'd rank it as such:

1) Ubik
2) A Scanner Darkly
3) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
4) The Man in the High Castle.

I have one more PKD book left on my reading list, which is Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, and I do intend to get more of his books. They are so addictive! Although, the short story collections are hard to come by.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:35 AM   #5353
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i just don't think dick knows how to end his books. or he does and just rushes it. almost every book of his i've read has just been... hurried to get to the end it seems like. he has great ideas and i really like some of his books... but there is just something off for me.

reading perdido street station by china mieville.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:43 PM   #5354
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranklinTard View Post
i just don't think dick knows how to end his books. or he does and just rushes it. almost every book of his i've read has just been... hurried to get to the end it seems like. he has great ideas and i really like some of his books... but there is just something off for me.

reading perdido street station by china mieville.
I noticed that for DADOES but definitely not for A Scanner Darkly and Ubik. In fact Ubik had such a good flow from beginning till the end that I was surprised myself.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:25 AM   #5355
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Finished "Blackout/All Clear" by Connie Willis, bringing my Hugo count to 59.

Next I will be reading "The Mote in God's Eye" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

Phew, I'm so glad to finally be done with this piece of crap. How it won the Hugo for Best Novel is beyond me. Actually, it's the third (and fourth) book in a series of time travel novels that have ALL won the Hugo for best novel, and in my opinion they started from average and have become awful. God forbid she writes another one, I'll have to read that too.

Basically she uses time travel as a vessel for her history lessons. First it was Dark Ages with the plague, than victorian times, now WWII with these last books. But it's hardly science fiction as the time travel hardly comes into it, and when it does, it has the ability to make all sci-fi readers cringe in its inconsistency and flaws. In this last 1130 page "adventure," three characters are stuck in in London during the Blitz and...that's about it. Oh there are red herrings and fake twists along the way, but they ALL turn out to be nothing. The characters are stupid, they jump to an absolute conclusion every few pages which is not only lowering their IQ, but it's a sign to the reader that whatever they're saying is WRONG, because they almost never get anything right. And to add insult to injury, most of the time their assumption would have been much more interesting than what ends up happening.

And oh man, the plots holes. I could go on about plot holes...and lack of action, EDITING...but I'll stop.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:29 AM   #5356
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Ha, I found someone better at reviews at amazon.com who puts it perfectly:

Quote:
Let me preface this by saying that I love history, and if Connie Willis has done anything right with this book, it is to compact an absolutely amazing amount of detail about the Blitz into a fictional book about time travel.

But if you don't like history, you probably won't like this book, because that's its most redeeming factor.

Essentially, this book is a classic example of what happens when you have a good setting but a poor plot. The setting is fantastic - a bunch of time travelers lost in WWII with bombs falling all around them, but the plot is absolute rubbish. Take the following two lines, copy and paste them until you run out of space in one book, and then continue through the end of a second book:
"Gasp! We might have changed the space-time continuum!"
"Oops, oh, no. Everything is fine."

Intersperse with too many repeated cliffhangers involving chapter ends with historians nearly dying (Will They SURVIVE?) and some slapstick involving nobody being able to get ahold of each other, ever, and you've basically got Blackout and All Clear.

The first time this device is used, it's interesting and tense. The 47th time the historians wonder if they altered events (and they didn't) you just sort of roll your eyes and hope for more details about parachute bombs or V1 wrangling.

This book shouldn't have been split in twain - it should have been ruthlessly edited down to half its size (by cutting out all the redundant redundant plot points) and put into one, tighter, novel. I love Willis' books, but this really needed someone to take a +5 Axe of Editing to it with a vengeance.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:36 AM   #5357
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"The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:33 AM   #5358
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Just finished Isaac Asimov's Foundation. I bought the three-in-one book with Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. So far, so good, although I enjoyed only parts of Foundation. I liked the first three short stories about the Psychohistorians, the Encyclopedists and the Mayors. The last two short stories about the Traders, eh, not so much. Then again, Foundation is really a collection of five short stories set in the same universe, and are chronologically related to one another. So I don't mind liking one story and not the other. I will probably go on to Foundation and Empire after this.

Having read the big three in science fiction (Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein), I must say that ACC is probably my favorite out of them all.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:10 PM   #5359
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I think I have Asimov above Clarke, but they're so far above everyone else I usually just group them together.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:42 PM   #5360
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Finally finished A Clockwork Orange. I really enjoyed it. I went back and rewatched the movie, and it's kind of comical in comparison (you were definitely right JBond). This is something that I find fascinating considering the movie was originally banned in the UK.

I am now moving on to 1984. Its a re-read for me, but continues my dive into dystopian literature. Anyone have any recommendations besides the obvious ones (Brave New World, Running Man, Fahrenheit 451, etc.)?
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:40 PM   #5361
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We by zamyatin, handmaids tale by Atwood, the trial by Kafka, stuff from Neal Stephenson always has dystopian characteristics, galapogos and player piano by vonnegut perhaps.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:23 PM   #5362
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I think I am putting down Foundation and Empire in favor of another book (for now). I'm not entirely sure what it is about this book though. I was really interested in the idea of psychohistory and everything, but the stories seem to be dealing with anything BUT that. Besides, since psychohistory is never wrong, you pretty much know that the characters are going to get out of every damning situation in the book. Even the failures will somehow result in the fulfilment of psychohistory's vision of the second empire. I have no problems with unsympathetic characters, the large jump in time between chapters and the fact that characters are still reading newspapers 10,000 years in the future. My problem is with the fact that Sari Heldon has pretty much spoiled the entire series with the basic premise.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:53 PM   #5363
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The fourth book is the real gem.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #5364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranklinTard View Post
We by zamyatin, handmaids tale by Atwood, the trial by Kafka, stuff from Neal Stephenson always has dystopian characteristics, galapogos and player piano by vonnegut perhaps.
Thanks for the suggestions. I've wanted to read We for a while. Looks like it is next on my list.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:19 AM   #5365
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Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:46 PM   #5366
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OK, just finished Flows My Tears, the Policeman Said. Strange ending, as FranklinTard would argue about every PKD book he's read, but somewhat satisfying. This book works better as a reflection of PKD's life. That is to say, if you know what was going on in his life back then (broken marriages and relationships), then this book will probably make more sense. I need a little time to ponder over its implications, but for now it's not quite as good as the few that I have read. I kinda preferred my own theory of what happened to the protagonist instead of what the book ultimately provided. Anyhow, I still enjoyed it. Here's a ranking.

1) Ubik
2) A Scanner Darkly
3) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
4) Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
5) The Man in the High Castle

The next PKD book I will be reading is The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Before that, though, I am probably switching gears to Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:53 AM   #5367
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hmm i think i might join you. needed a choice and i have left hand of darkness sitting on my shelf.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:59 AM   #5368
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"We" is really good.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:07 AM   #5369
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Quote:
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hmm i think i might join you. needed a choice and i have left hand of darkness sitting on my shelf.
You may want to think twice. It's taking me really long to read 60 pages. Le Guin writes in a really weird way. I cannot seem to read 10 pages in one sitting. I keep picking it up and putting it down. That's never a good sign.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:24 AM   #5370
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kinda started a fire upon the deep by vinge. starts fast like most space operas.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:04 PM   #5371
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Finished Unholy Night (which I REALLY enjoyed), next up: Valhalla Rising by Clive Cussler.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:10 PM   #5372
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Just finished The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. I must admit that, immediately after reading the book, I didn't like it all that much. But after thinking about the messages and the themes explored, I got to like it a little more. Like the previous book of his that I read, this one has the trademark PKD problem – sloppy endings. He tends to touch on big themes, but he never allows them to be fully explored or digested. As a result, as a reader, I felt like I missed something along the way. Still, the book was a great EXPERIENCE in confusion, paranoia and religion. A re-read will probably highlight the themes a little more though. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said was definitely structured better, but that story was perhaps less consequential than this. So, my latest PKD ranking:

1) Ubik
2) A Scanner Darkly
3) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
4) The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
5) Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
6) The Man in the High Castle

Next up, Wool by Hugh Howey. Here's a trailer for the book:

VIDEO-CLick to Watch!:
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:20 PM   #5373
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first wool is good stuff. didn't get too much further though... only the first one was free.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:15 PM   #5374
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Quote:
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first wool is good stuff. didn't get too much further though... only the first one was free.
I will let you know if the rest are worthwhile.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:23 PM   #5375
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Reading "The Twelve", sequel to "The Passage" ... it was not what I expected, much more "gore" detailed than the previous ... loved the chapter with the families out in the field ... frustrated how "jumpy" the chapters feel and the parts of moving forward and backward in time. Without any spoilers, I am frustrated in feeling like it will end no further in the story in same ways than the way The Passage ended ... it's feeling like a forced continuation middle novel. Anyone else reading it? (Just wrapped up reading World War Z, loved the military strategy part of the novel)
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