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Samuel Dravis
09-13-2005, 10:21 AM
Since we haven't had one in quite a while -

I just read Ursula K. LeGuin's The Left Hand Of Darkness. It was really, really good. There's no wonder it won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.

This is a review from amazon, since I'm really lazy:

Genly Ai is an emissary from the human galaxy to Winter, a lost, stray world. His mission is to bring the planet back into the fold of an evolving galactic civilization, but to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own culture and prejudices and those that he encounters. On a planet where people are of no gender--or both--this is a broad gulf indeed. The inventiveness and delicacy with which Le Guin portrays her alien world are not only unusual and inspiring, they are fundamental to almost all decent science fiction that has been written since. In fact, reading Le Guin again may cause the eye to narrow somewhat disapprovingly at the younger generation: what new ground are they breaking that is not already explored here with greater skill and acumen? It cannot be said, however, that this is a rollicking good story. Le Guin takes a lot of time to explore her characters, the world of her creation, and the philosophical themes that arise.

If there were a canon of classic science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness would be included without debate. Certainly, no science fiction bookshelf may be said to be complete without it. But the real question: is it fun to read? It is science fiction of an earlier time, a time that has not worn particularly well in the genre. The Left Hand of Darkness was a groundbreaking book in 1969, a time when, like the rest of the arts, science fiction was awakening to new dimensions in both society and literature. But the first excursions out of the pulp tradition are sometimes difficult to reread with much enjoyment. Rereading The Left Hand of Darkness, decades after its publication, one feels that those who chose it for the Hugo and Nebula awards were right to do so, for it truly does stand out as one of the great books of that era. It is immensely rich in timeless wisdom and insight.

The Left Hand of Darkness is science fiction for the thinking reader, and should be read attentively in order to properly savor the depth of insight and the subtleties of plot and character. It is one of those pleasures that requires a little investment at the beginning, but pays back tenfold with the joy of raw imagination that resonates through the subsequent 30 years of science fiction storytelling. Not only is the bookshelf incomplete without owning it, so is the reader without having read it. --L. Blunt Jackson


So any good books you've read lately?

toms
09-13-2005, 11:46 AM
Not many. The Eyre Affair was pretty good

Pirouetting on the boundaries between sci-fi, the crime thriller and intertextual whimsy, Jasper Fforde's outrageous The Eyre Affairputs you on the wrong footing even on its dedication page, which proudly announces that the book conforms to Crimean War economy standard.

Fforde's heroine, Thursday Next, lives in a world where time and reality are endlessly mutable--someone has ensured that the Crimean War never ended for example--a world policed by men like her disgraced father, whose name has been edited out of existence. She herself polices text--against men like the Moriarty-like Acheron Styx, whose current scam is to hold the minor characters of Dickens' novels to ransom, entering the manuscript and abducting them for execution and extinction one by one. When that caper goes sour, Styx moves on to the nation's most beloved novel--an oddly truncated version of Jane Eyre--and kidnaps its heroine. The phlegmatic and resourceful Thursday pursues Acheron across the border into a Leninist Wales and further to Mr Rochester's Thornfield Hall, where both books find their climax on the roof amid flames.

Fforde is endlessly inventive: his heroine's utter unconcern about the strangeness of the world she inhabits keeps the reader perpetually double-taking as minor certainties of history, literature and cuisine go soggy in the corner of our eye. The audacity of the premise and its working out provides sudden leaps of understanding, many of them accompanied by wild fits of the giggles. This is a peculiarly promising first novel.

and had the big advantage of being mostly set in the town in which i'm currently living. He's written a numer of sequels and seems to have quite a following, but i've only read the first one. There is actually a Jasper Fforde festival here next week, including an open-top bus tour of the seven wonder's of swindon:
http://www.swindonweb.com/life/jasperfforde3.htm
:D

I read Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide too, but didn't like them as much as Ender's Game. Next on the list is Jennifer Government, but i'm too busy playing games and watching dvds (plus looking for a new job and a new house) to start on that yet.

Captain Wilson
09-13-2005, 03:54 PM
Just started Getting into Stephen King, atm ive read 1 -6 dark tower (waiting for number 7), immsomina, eyes of the dragon, the stand, bag of bones, IT, cujo and the tommyknockers. Finaly got round to reading 1984 and Gormenghast as well. All very good reads.

Also i started doing some external reading for my poltics coures and thourgaly enjoyed Gorden brown by Tom Bower, Blairs wars by john kampferner (Spelt wrong probaly) and Alan clark - Into poltics.

Im also just starting the Odyssey and the Iliad.

Oh by the way, does any one know when Thud is out?

Pie™
09-13-2005, 04:07 PM
http://www.lukeman.com/images/jacket--images/lords--front.jpg

Quite an interesting read, but very subjective, so you really have to read with a critical mindset... Still, I learned some new facts about, amongst other things, the murder of Sandro Beyer... Written in an entertaining way too, so I had problems putting it down. :)

Kain
09-13-2005, 04:10 PM
I just read the Legend of Drizzt books not too long ago.

warchild75
09-13-2005, 04:19 PM
Just started Getting into Stephen King, atm ive read 1 -6 dark tower (waiting for number 7), immsomina, eyes of the dragon, the stand, bag of bones, IT, cujo and the tommyknockers. Finaly got round to reading 1984 and Gormenghast as well. All very good reads.

Also i started doing some external reading for my poltics coures and thourgaly enjoyed Gorden brown by Tom Bower, Blairs wars by john kampferner (Spelt wrong probaly) and Alan clark - Into poltics.

Im also just starting the Odyssey and the Iliad.

Oh by the way, does any one know when Thud is out?

If your into steven king then try Desperation http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a391/warchild75/Desperation.jpg

Its superb keeps you right on the edge of your seat. :sithk:

Alegis
09-13-2005, 04:37 PM
Just finished reading 'The Odessa File' by Frederick Forsyth. Great stuff

Joetheeskimo
09-13-2005, 04:45 PM
Just finished Ender's Game.

Mike Windu
09-13-2005, 05:22 PM
The Great Gatsby
Gods and Generals
13 Days/ The Cuban Missle Crisis
A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave

Currently reading: The Scarlet Letter and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

:D

TiE23
09-13-2005, 09:29 PM
X-Wing: Rouge Squadron (1)
X-Wing: Wedges Gamble (2)
Splinter Cell
Fall of Berlin: 1945
WRAETHTHU (Trilogy book)

Finished X-Wing 1 and the first book of Wraeththu, so I'm taking a short break from it. Reading X-Wing 2 and Splinter CEll right now. I havent gotten far into Berlin, so its in limbo right now.

SeleneRayne
09-13-2005, 10:48 PM
I would like to get the Ravenloft The Memoris of a Vampire, Strahd books. :emodanc:

the_raven_03
09-14-2005, 12:23 AM
Since we haven't had one in quite a while -

I just read Ursula K. LeGuin's The Left Hand Of Darkness. It was really, really good. There's no wonder it won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.


I have this book. I got it from my uncle but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Maybe I should get on it already.

Right now I am reading Shadow Puppets by Orsen Scott Card. I am a big fan of his. I just finished Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, another author that I have really enjoyed reading.

I also want to read State of Fear by Michael Crichton.

Tyrion
09-14-2005, 02:47 AM
Lilies of The Field by William Barret and The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Both were for my honors english, of course. Reading for pleasure is only a myth, like intercourse with a woman without the requirement of beer.

Lilies in the Field was pretty dull, but I actually like the symbolism in The Pearl. Go me.

CapNColostomy
09-14-2005, 05:10 AM
Just started Getting into Stephen King, atm ive read 1 -6 dark tower (waiting for number 7),

Dark Tower/Gunslinger are some really good ****. Among my favorites if not right there at the top.

If your into steven king then try Desperation http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a391/warchild75/Desperation.jpg

Its superb keeps you right on the edge of your seat. :sithk:

Desperation was great. I loved the cop. What was that **** he always said? Thak? Some **** like that. There was an alternate universe companion book that went with Desperation. It sucked bad enough that I didn't bother remembering the name.

As for badass SK books, I'm not much of an authority, as I've only read a few. But when I was a kid, I made a point of reading The Running Man at least twice a year. Awesome book. Don't let the ****ty Governator movie fool you. The only thing the book and the movie have in common are the names of two of the main characters. You'll find no mention of glow in the dark "pro-wrestler" types in the novel. And it's gory and gritty as hell. Awesome read, highly recomended.

ckcsaber
09-14-2005, 10:15 AM
I'm in the middle of the Jason Bourne series. Pretty good stuff.

Cmdr. Cracken
09-14-2005, 03:03 PM
I recently re-read the Republic, and read the Apology/Crito. granted, for class, but things i wanted to read, but could never make the time to. Forced enjoyed reading i guess. ^^

the Prince by Machiavielli is also one of my favorites.

Captain Wilson
09-14-2005, 07:29 PM
I just finished Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

I would say one of his best, or even his best book. If you havent read Angels and Demons, i would recomened it, Better then the Da Vinci code :).

edlib
09-14-2005, 07:42 PM
Ditto on waiting for book 7 of S.K.'s Dark Tower series (in paperback.). Really good stuff!

In the meantime I'm reading Dreamcatcher, also by King. Also very good... a bit trippy.

Speaking of trippy; I started reading "The Castle" by Kafka... but I put it down for a while to give my brain a break. Not exactly light summer reading...

I'm also reading "The Mists Of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Extremely well written re-telling of the Arthurian legends from the female's point of view. I heard the mini-series they made of it wasn't too good, but the book is great.

Recently finished all of the Jason Bourne books. Great stuff. NOTHING like the movies (which are also cool, in a very different way.)

I also recently read Black Hawk Down. Amazing! Better than the movie!

Other than that I've been occsionally going back and re-reading all of my H.P. Lovecraft collection. I had forgotten how good some of them were (my fave: The Dream Quest Of Unknown Kadath.)

the_raven_03
09-14-2005, 08:02 PM
I would say one of his best, or even his best book. If you havent read Angels and Demons, i would recomened it, Better then the Da Vinci code :).

I really enjoyed Angels and Demons. I agree that is was better than DaVinci Code. I have Deception Point and hope to get to it soon but school has slowed down my non-school related reading immensely.

Seph
09-14-2005, 11:02 PM
Last book I read was Eye of the World, long as hell book

jokemaster
09-15-2005, 01:22 AM
I got all 7 dark tower books and read them back-to-back. It was awesome.

toms
09-15-2005, 08:12 AM
I would say one of his best, or even his best book. If you havent read Angels and Demons, i would recomened it, Better then the Da Vinci code :).

most things in the world are better than Da Vinci Code....

CapNColostomy
09-15-2005, 10:13 AM
most things in the world are better than Da Vinci Code....

^Hillarious. I lol'd.

manoman81
09-15-2005, 10:28 AM
I read Harry Potter over the summer. His Dark Materials is a good series if you're into HP. Gods and Generals was a great book too. The Killer Angels is also worth picking up.

Lady Jedi
09-15-2005, 07:34 PM
So any good books you've read lately?

Yup. :D

I read Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and I'm almost finished with Shadow of the Giant; all by Orson Scott Card for those who don't know. They've all been absolutely awesome, and it'll be interesting to see how things wrap up in Shadow of the Giant. :) Great reads. Very addictive. :D

toms
09-16-2005, 09:02 AM
Can someone clear up how many books are in the Ender series and what order they should be read in??? I was under the impression there was an initial Trilogy, then a few other ones, but I just read Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide and instead of the expected conclusion it just ended. I'm starting to think he's ruining it by overcomplicating the whole thing, but I'd still like to finish it.

swphreak
09-16-2005, 12:02 PM
Ender Series:
Ender's Game
Speaker for the Dead
Xenocide
Children of the Mind

Bean Series:
Ender's Shadow
Shadow of the Hegemon
Shadow Puppets
(and apparently) Shadow of the Giant

Gotta pick up that last one.

I'm reading Dune at the moment.

•-BLaCKouT-•
09-17-2005, 03:13 PM
I'm reading through Brian Lumley's Necroscope series again. Currently in the middle of book five: Deadspawn.

http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0586209050.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Managing to get through one every 7-10 days :) 5 down, 8 to go...

B.

toms
09-19-2005, 08:45 AM
I really want to read some book that AREN'T part of great big series. It always seems a good idea at the time, then you get locked into finishing a 3 (or 12) book series that usually goes down hill pretty fast but you wannna finish anyway. Darn SF/F authors...

Lady Jedi
09-19-2005, 01:32 PM
Well, toms, Orson Scott Card actually has some really good stand alone books:

Hart's Hope - Absolutely incredible; written in that old fantasy style. Almost like someone is telling you the tale. Fantastic.

Homebody - This one is more of a creepy novel than a sci-fi one. In fact it's not sci-fi at all, but it's a really fun book to read; a very quick one. :)

Pastwatch: The Remption of Christopher Columbus - I've not read it but it's been highly recommended to me. ;)

David Brin's 'Earth' is a stand alone novel as well. Again, I've not read this one, but it was highly recommended, and next in line for me. :)

BTW, I finished Shadow of the Giant. Wow. Amazing book. The ending could have been better, but the rest of the book was just incredible.

Captain Wilson
09-19-2005, 06:47 PM
Last book I read was Eye of the World, long as hell book

Arrg they be a grand set of books worthy of any tresure chest. Ya scury dog.

:D

toms
09-20-2005, 09:54 AM
Cheers Lady J!!! I'll check some out.

Arrg they be a grand set of books worthy of any tresure chest. Ya scury dog.:D

Is Eye of the World one of the Wheel of Time series? Now that is one series I DEFINATELY regret starting... :(

Lady Jedi
09-20-2005, 10:09 PM
Picked up a few books today:

The Worthing Saga - Orson Scott Card

and

The Postman - David Brin

Now I can't decide whether to start Earth, The Postman, or The Worthing Saga. Then again, Wizard's First Rule is there as well, and that just complicates things further. :p

swphreak
09-25-2005, 02:54 PM
Well, I finished Shadow of the Giant at 2am this morning. And I have to say, it was good. It got kinda fast paced near the end like maybe Card was rushed or something. My favorite part has to be when 2 Battle Schoolers are emailing each other and they're "ribbing" each other.

With the way the book ended, there could still be a sequel, but I don't think it would be important.

There is still the lady with the "Bean baby" on the loose, and what happens to Bean with the babies with him on the starship?

Samuel Dravis
09-26-2005, 01:38 AM
I'm in the middle of Comet (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0345412222/qid=1127709606/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl14/104-9057437-2644748?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) by Carl Sagan. His books are consistently well researched and very interesting. If anyone's been put off Sagan by the movie Contact, don't be. Try reading the book, I liked that one a lot too.

Rogue15
09-27-2005, 01:01 AM
i'm kinda reading 2 books.

Chronicles of Narnia book 4: The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis. pretty cool series, i've got all the original movies. XD can't wait to see what disney is gonna do w/it.

and recently started Chronicles of the King: The Lord is My Strength by Lynn N. Austin. It's about King Hezekia.

Lady Jedi
10-04-2005, 05:39 PM
I'm reading The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card right now. I've finished the 'Worthing Chronicle' part, and it was very good. I actually found it to be better if I read it in pieces rather than trying to get it all in at once. It spans so many thousands of years, so many characters that I was starting to cross characters and times. :)

Anyway, it was excellent. It had a perfect blend of fantasy with a sci-fi type background. So engaging. I recommend it. :)

I bought The Left Hand of Darkness yesterday. I was going to read that after I finish the rest of The Worthing Saga, but my sister says that I have to read Wizard's First Rule. We shall see, eh? :D

Mike Windu
10-04-2005, 06:46 PM
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.

AP reading. Yay for meat packing plants! :p

Samuel Dravis
10-05-2005, 02:29 AM
*a bunch of words*

We shall see, eh? :D
Looks like you're in a bind. lol.

I'm reading Wealth and Democracy, a better book never crossed my path. Interesting, but not my type of casual reading. It's for my history class; the prof's really into the economics of it... blergh. :D

Lady Jedi
10-05-2005, 02:37 AM
Looks like you're in a bind. lol.
And it's all your fault, you know! There's only been one or two books I've read recently not recommended by you. What have you DONE to me?! :xp:

:D

I'm reading Wealth and Democracy, a better book never crossed my path. Interesting, but not my type of casual reading. It's for my history class; the prof's really into the economics of it... blergh. :D
Well, my hunter's ed teacher kept on trying to teach ethics....Oh wait a sec, I think that was the point. Oh boy. :p

StormHammer
10-07-2005, 09:15 PM
Recently finished reading...

White Wolf by David Gemmell

Not quite up to his best standards (like Legend, Waylander, Dark Prince and Morningstar), but still a good read. The key villain was a bit obvious, but Gemmell does have a way of really fleshing out characters and making the extraordinary seem ordinary, and blurring the lines between good and evil.

You Only Live Twice and The Man With The Golden Gun by Ian Fleming

I highly recommend reading the Bond novels in some semblence of order, because as in the case of these two, the story practically follows on. Bond's actions in the start of TMWTGG directly relate to how the previous book ends. Anyway, even if you've seen all of the Bond movies, the novels are worth reading partly because they are so well written, but also because you will often find the situations in the books are completely different from what you have seen on the big screen. Certain scenes across a few different novels will have been used in the making of one of the movies, for instance, and it is satisfying to recognise those scenes as you come across them. I find the novels more down to earth.

Currently reading...

The First Book Of Swords by Fred Saberhagen

Ice Station Zebra by Alistair MacLean

As you can tell, I like to have a few books on the go with completely different settings.


When it comes to the Wheel Of Time series by Robert Jordan, I can only say they are a prime example of an author not having the discipline to conclude a story. While many of David Gemmell's novels of the Drenai have a similar setting, and even some similar characters, each book is usually a story in its own right and requires no previous reading. I stopped buying the Wheel of Time novels after number 8, because I suspected no foreseeable conclusion - and now the series is up to 11 volumes and rising with too much rehashing of ideas.

BTW, for those who like to read long books, try any of the Duncton Wood novels by William Horwood. 1000 page tales about the lives and loves of moles is enough to test anyone's mettle.

TiE23
10-07-2005, 09:45 PM
I just finished the second book in the X-Wing series and finished the Splinter Cell Book.
I'm gonna start the second part of Wraeththu tommarow.

Samuel Dravis
10-08-2005, 03:29 AM
The First Book Of Swords by Fred SaberhagenThat's an interesting book. I've got the collected one with all three of them in it, and they were pretty fun to read, although not the best.