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What are you reading? — Page 48

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The original Johnston McCulley Zorro stories. I’m on Volume 5 of the bold venture press reprints and need to get the last one volume 6. Absolutely magical and the birth of all superhero storytelling. I never thought these would ever be fully collected like this.

I’m also making my through all the Batman novels and am currently reading Inferno.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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 (Edited)

Children of Dune

I remember quite liking this book the first two times I read it, but the latest time it felt rather lacking in plot. Most of the book is mired in a swamp of introspection which often teeters on the edge of full-on Randian rant. I really want to still like this book and it still has its moments, but they’re getting fewer and farther apart as I get older. 7/10.

Jurassic Park

Speaking of rants, I had no idea that Ian Malcolm was the John Galt of this story. This is a rare case of the movie being better than the book. Maybe you could appreciate this book if your interest was computer science in the early nineties or the vagaries of Chaos Theory, but I’m a simple man who wanted a story about dinosaurs but got fifty diagrams of computer menus instead.

I’m just happy that Malcolm died at the end. 6/10.

The Lost World

“Somehow, Malcolm returned.”

The film is trash, so I had high hopes that this was merely a problem of the story being lost on its way to the screen. I still haven’t finished the book, but from what I can tell, the book is trash as well. It’s a different type of trash than the film, but equally worthless. Nobody in either telling has a good reason to be on Dinosaur Island Version 2 and they all deserve to die. I keep reading out of morbid curiosity, hoping that at least the raptors get a good meal. 1/10.

Mistborn

Just finished re-reading the first book. It’s pretty great. An engaging magic system, parts of which remind me of Attack on Titan, and characters that don’t make me want to punch dry-wall (Lost World, I’m looking at you). Overall, it’s a very solid 8/10 up until the last sentence of the epilogue, when that line drops the entire book to a 7/10. I’d recommend striking it from the page with a Sharpie marker, you’ll lose nothing by it.

I would still heartily recommend the three-part series, however.

Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? - oojason
Episode 9 Rewrite THE SHATTERED SWORD (Complete!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V3 Released!) and The Starlight Project (WORKPRINT RELEASED!)

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NeverarGreat said:

Children of Dune

I remember quite liking this book the first two times I read it, but the latest time it felt rather lacking in plot. Most of the book is mired in a swamp of introspection which often teeters on the edge of full-on Randian rant. I really want to still like this book and it still has its moments, but they’re getting fewer and farther apart as I get older. 7/10.

I barely remember anything of the book. The miniseries is more memorable.

Jurassic Park

Speaking of rants, I had no idea that Ian Malcolm was the John Galt of this story. This is a rare case of the movie being better than the book. Maybe you could appreciate this book if your interest was computer science in the early nineties or the vagaries of Chaos Theory, but I’m a simple man who wanted a story about dinosaurs but got fifty diagrams of computer menus instead.

I’m just happy that Malcolm died at the end. 6/10.

The Lost World

“Somehow, Malcolm returned.”

The film is trash, so I had high hopes that this was merely a problem of the story being lost on its way to the screen. I still haven’t finished the book, but from what I can tell, the book is trash as well. It’s a different type of trash than the film, but equally worthless. Nobody in either telling has a good reason to be on Dinosaur Island Version 2 and they all deserve to die. I keep reading out of morbid curiosity, hoping that at least the raptors get a good meal. 1/10.

I’ve read/tried to read a few Crichton novels, but found none of them satisfying. Rumination on technical trivia may engross some readers, but not me.

Divergent Universes
Dreams of a Randy Git-Fiend

Make Off Topic great again.

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Vorse, Mary Heaton - Sinister Romance

Seven stories from 1906 - 1926 by a prolific writer, though her forays into supernatural were rare.
Few of these are as overt as ghost tales or vampire lore. These are, more often, residual echoes.
In “The Mirror Of Silence,” new owners move into Thorn House. They, and their busy-busy friends are loud, devoid of grace and empathy. After a fashion, the occupants sense, all too palpably, that the house disapproves.
“The Pavilion Of Saint Merci” is another house, more sinister this time out, with a ruinous history.
Moira often lapses into a rapturous spell in “The Other Room,” for she possesses second sight. Such souls can be challenging to live with, let alone love, especially those who would fetter them to the ordinary world.
Sinister Romance is a quiet collection, though melancholy pervades.
Jessica Salmonson provides an excellent introduction, as well as biographical details of Vorse.
I still pick up Ash-Tree books when I can. Volumes by female authors are generally more available and more affordable.
Often that holds true with other presses, as well. I’m unsure why male readers of horror and strange still harbor faint prejudices.

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Aguirre, Forrest - The Varvaros Ascensions

“… we build cities with stories and with people’s interpretations of such stories.”

A chances mention of a masters thesis, arcane or deranged, arouses curiosity then obsession.
The bookshop that proves to be a gateway, followed by a descent into the chaos of knowledge.
The soon-to-be grad student sees his future in sight, his professional landscape mapped out. Until the aforementioned descent which ignites a flame that purifies as it annihilates.
This book would make an ideal, if heady, introduction to the Romanian publisher of commonplace upheaval.
Mr. Aguirre shows an efficient yet unerring word sense, his descriptions evocative, often multi faceted.
Time and again, even with mundane activities, a single sentence can dance with observations:
“… I headed up a narrow stairway to an over-rated, underlit café that served overpriced sandwiches made by under-paid students …”
The second half of the book delves into what can only be called dark science, of which I shall say no more.

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BTW I’d like to ask, are the Dune books (sequels and prequel series) written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson worth reading?

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DuracellEnergizer said:

I’t’s abhorrent; it’s amazing. I’m glad I read it; I’m glad I’ll never have to read it again.

Lol.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit | The Terminator - Color Regrade | The Wrong Trousers - Audio Preservation
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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The George Lucas interviews. It is a compilation of various interviews given to the press and magazines through the years.

I’ve read the ones on THX and Graffiti so far. Its interesting. His contempt for the Hollywood system and grudge for the edits made to his first two films is kind of hilarious. Especially the bit about art being pretentious and BS, and how he is more like a watchmaker.

How he admits to not being a good writer and that his strength was as an editor. And how he relied on his friends on the script, and how he threw out the first 3 drafts of Star Wars. That he considered the lead for Star Wars to be a girl before he cast Mark Hamill to play Luke.

Not like the 1990s and after how he had the whole thing as one big script and it was always the story of Darth Vader.

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Crouch, Blake - A Little Orange Book Of Obsessions

A “little book” containing two stories and one novella.
“Summer Frost” introduces Max, short for Maxine, fleeing after a grisly murder. Perhaps.
Max is a NPC, an abbreviated backstory in a video game.
Except Max has a glitch and behaves outside her programming.
“Well, now that’s interesting,” thinks Riley, one of the developers, who clearly has never watched films such as Colossus: The Forbin Project, Ex Machina, or more appropriately, 2013’s Her.
Seeing potential, and potential profits, developer and corporation allot Max more CPU, mountains of memory, and feed gigantic amounts of data.
While the pace hurtles, you do have an idea where it is heading.
The final tale, “Shining Rock,” is a memorable lament of loss, dread and stalking.
Roger and Sue, a long married couple, hike deep into the Smokey Mountains.
One evening, without even a rustle, the stranger arrives into their campsite.
He is friendly, jovial, but so too is grinning Mick Taylor, scourge of the Australian Outback.
Mr. Crouch here is masterful, constantly shifting tone and focus.
What follows is an infernal corkscrew, fiendishly manipulating reader assumptions and sympathies.

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Eye in the Sky (Philip K. Dick)

A very good novel, verging on great — then came the final two chapters. 😠

In a lot of ways — and here be some spoilers — Eye in the Sky’s reminiscent of the Star Trek episode “Spectre of the Gun”. It’s bizarre, bewildering, beguiling … benumbing. The stakes are too low. If death in dreams don’t translate to death in reality, why should I feel invested?

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Divergent Universes
Dreams of a Randy Git-Fiend

Make Off Topic great again.

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Time

Schow, David - Eye

Caustic assortment of venomous bonbons from the reliably ill-tempered Schow.
Ethan pores through a box of memories in “Unhasped.” Memories of ex-girlfriends. Good – bad, here and in the hereafter.
“Quebradora” will be familiar territory for fans of Schow’s later novel, Gun Work (2011). An inside look at the secretive world of lucha libre.
Paul wakes in the middle of the night, and listens to his wife, examines his wife. It doesn’t sound like her, smell like her, look like her. “Entr’acte” reminds readers, no matter how much we know someone, we really don’t know much about them.
“Calendar Girl” is a dark love paeon to anyone whose youthful “admiration” for a particular pinup endured well into adulthood. Be it Marilyn, Bettie, Anna Nicole, Donna Michelle …
The collection also provides an afterword. Insights, story roots, obstacles, details that may offer aspiring writers sympathetic encouragement. Especially since Comp 101 and those pricey boot camps make the path from keyboard to Stephen King fame sound oh so easy,

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Wandrei, Donald - Colossus

“… The average air temperature was rising.
Smog and pollution had created a thermal blanket around the globe. As the climate warmed, the forest line retreated farther and farther northwards throughout Canada and Siberia, where new brushlands developed, then forests, and birds and animals never before observed in those regions. The icecap of Greenland shrank more every year. Entire ledges and shelves broke off the crumbling fringes of the Antarctic.
Perceptibly and inexorably, the ocean level rose, initially by mere fractions of an inch, but eventually by inches per year. And the pace of this ecological disaster became accelerated by several related events …”

from “Requiem For Mankind” © 1971

A hefty collection of over twenty stories from the visionary Wandrei.
Most are 1930’s science fiction, pulp style, emphasizing pseudo science, where an enthusiastic Dr. Hans Zarkov would feel at home.
A few stories are overweighted with gobbledygook and techno-babble. Descriptions of lab equipment, voltages, metallurgy, stretched hypotheses regarding unexpected results.
Better stories, such as “A Race Through Time” and “Farewell To Earth” deal with time on an epic scale. Wandrei works in blocks of 100,000 years or more.
Two of this best known works, “Colossus” and “Colossus Eternal,” embrace epochs of time and distance. Masters here are towering beings, the Titans, who have the ability to foresee the future – for good, for ill.
“The Blinding Shadows,” “Life Current,” and “Earth Minus” are cautionary tales. Miscalculations that lead to cataclysm.
These are not Tom Swift yarns, crafted to stimulate and thrill young boys. There is a dark streak in Wandrei, perhaps caused by the Depression, the approach of World War II, or the filthy aftermath.

Colossus remains Fedogan & Bremer’s flagship title, and they have done Wandrei proud.
There are illustrations. Richard Tierney provides an excellent introduction, sketching Wandrei’s life, elaborating on the stories, with observations of the publishing business.
The back of the book contains photos, a glimpse of the author’s young days and his later years.
Worth a place in your shelves if you have a fondness for pulp, or if you are curious about what the future used to be.