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Cimmerian Nights
Striding Hero
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tofu Man wrote:
Oi can anyone recommend a recent (2008 or later) sci-fi novel of the non-visual kind that's gotten good (or better) critical reception? Not so much interested in the story, rather on the form, so predictable/bad plot is of no real consequence. Sci-fi lite is ok as well.

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson?

Picked up at used bookstore for a buck each:
-Heinlein's Moon is a Harsh Mistress
-Sterling's Islands in the Net
-Leckie's Helmet for my Pillow
Can't decide which to read next...
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the rep CN but I probably misspoke. I've read up on Pattern and it doesn't quite look like what I'm looking for. What I'm looking for would be a Neuromancer that was released yesterday, something that takes risks, that's risqué, that's fresh, that either gets unanimous praise or divides the critics into one star / five star camps. Preferrably somebody's first novel. Something with spunk (metaphorically speaking), you know?

Unless you think PR has that, I'll give it a shot, then.
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gobbleykins
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

ok 2009 "The City & The City," by China Mieville (you can tell I'm being serious because I'm actually capitalizing words). Pretty terrible plot as you'll see if you read it but well written, actually if I must say quite well written (which is just under incredibly well written on my scale of "terrible to well written" things), and also sort of sci-fi while being sort of contemporary (if you live in a post-ww2-post-cold war-eastern-europe contemporary country, that is). It's also (self-professed, by the author) noiresque, if that influences you any.

Also I could be reccomending this book only because I read "Neuromancer" directly before I read "The City & The City," but that's for historians in the 22nd century to determine (when they've studied the internet for their ENTIRE LIVES). I personally liked the book.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Intriguing, I don't think I've ever read anything by a communist skinhead body-builder with a master's degree. But then I don't actually read that much.

Also, for curiosity's sake, what would you consider incredibly well written? Genuinely curious, not trying to out-pedant you or anything of the sort.

Anyway, TC&TC sounds about right; cheers, genkins.
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Cimmerian Nights
Striding Hero
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The closest thing to Neuromancer (other than it's sequels) is Snow Crash, but it too is from the 90s, but it does take a lot of risks, more comedy/sarcasm/parody/esoteric tangents on archaic, obscure shit. Neal Stephenson is very polarizing, he's very long-winded and goes off on these bizarre scholastic tangents. He's a real hot-shit writer and likes to almost show off, but he's smart enough and witty enough to pull it off. It turns many off though.

The only sci-fi books I've read recently that really polarize people are those dreadful Dune spin-offs. The author died and they give the rights to his son and some hack that writes Star Wars and X-files novels.
Real low frequency rubbish just capitalizing on the setting/name.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Actually, Snow Crash sounds great. Maybe it's not as recent as I'd like, but what you and the wiki have on the writer and the fact that it's early work (and that I find the synopsis interesting) makes it a good choice.

I think I'll avoid the Dune thingies. Going by what you write, it sounds pretty bottom of the barrel stuff.

Starting off with "Hard boiled wonderland at the end of the world" I borrowed from a chiq. Again, gracias for the input.
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Cimmerian Nights
Striding Hero
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:32 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I liked it more than I would've thought, although I'm still more partial to Gibson.
At times Snow Crash is way too cutesy and filled with yuk yuk jokes for me. Like the main character is Hiro Protagonist (GET IT?), he works for Uncle Enzo's La Cosa Nostra Pizza franchise (pizza/mafia/'enzo wakka wakka wakka). It is funny, and it's better than Gibson at parody/ridicule/cynicism of American commercial/religious/military culture. Stephenson is a one-of-a-kind writer, he's very witty, well-read and sharp. He packs more smart references and metaphors into a page than I've ever read. He's a wonderful writer, and the first 100 pages of Snow Crash are mind-blowing. Still, I'll take Gibson's noir-y pathos and "high-tech lowlifes" any day. His prose is much better than Stephenson's by leaps and bounds. Stephenson is more of a hot-shot showing off his wit IMO. Which, the guy is phenomenal, but in a much different way than Gibson. I have more of a soft spot for William Gibson since I'm an IT stoner who's spent a lot of time in Tokyo. Gibson is a lot more subtle, and his books have a real somber, depressing tone to them. Stephenson's a lot bolder, aggressive, funny and tends to focus on ridiculing institutions like govt/religion/coprorations/military where as Gibson takes a more personal, introspective approach.

I'm reading Stephenson's Diamond Age off and on right now, I'm starting to become a fan. He's smart, and he takes for granted that his audience has half a brain that can put all these wacky references and analogies together. That's a good thing.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The more you write about it, the more "just the thing" it sounds. Sounds like a challenge, for better or worse. I reckon I'll like it even thought that wasn't really the point.

And the way you speak of Gibson (and yourself) makes it sound like you'd enjoy this Murakami cat, at least going by the ad-nopsis in the back cover. Not that far into it myself, I'll deffo say if it's worth it when I'm done.
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Cimmerian Nights
Striding Hero
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah, my wife read Kafka on the Beach and 1Q84 and said I'd like them too, especially given my David Lynch fandom. I would read her copy but I can't really read Japanese at a functional level.

I have a problem spending full retail price for books these days too. I usually go to the library or this massive used book store near me that sells paperbacks for a buck, and buys them back for a quarter. So that kind oflimits me on new/rare shit like translated imports like that.
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

After hearing some good things about it I've ordered The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick. I know he's also written Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and I've been meaning to read that, too.

All I've been reading lately are books about Southern Reconstruction in the post Civil War US, and I want some goddamn science fiction.
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Stalagmite
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

SenisterDenister wrote:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and I've been meaning to read that, too.


Yeah, Blade Runner isn't too bad of a book. Also check out his short stories, used to print them out about a bunch of years ago and stuff. Total Recall aka "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" is a good one to you know short story wise.
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Cimmerian Nights
Striding Hero
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

PKD is pretty bueno. The only criticism I would have of him is that he tends to deal with the same themes a lot. But, he's really good at writing on those themes so it's hard to fault him.

I did just read a "PKD Reader" collection of short stories, it was great. I think that's where he shines.

His books seem woefully out of print which make them rarer and more expensive than they should be.
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I know what you mean by out of print, the copy of Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch that I ordered was a 70's print.
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Cimmerian Nights
Striding Hero
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

P.K. Dick, H.P. Lovecraft, R.E. Howard's original Conan - the publishing industry has had a slow go of catching up to the popularity some of these guys found posthumously.

People want to buy your books assholes, print more of them.
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

A friend of mine found a leather-bound omnibus of Lovecraft's writing with the name Necronomicon scrawled out across the front and nothing else. Pretty sexy.
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jetbaby
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Three books I will be picking up as soon as I can find them... if I can find them.


Red Harvest.
Maltese Falcon.
The Glass Key.
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Got Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep? in the mail today, bought it used, and glad to find that its in good condition. There is a drawback, as every good thing has these days, since the cunt who owned it previous thought it necessary to write EVERYTHING THAT SPOILS THE PLOT IN THE MARGINS OF THE PAGES.

Returning it ASAP.
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Taco-Hero
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Joined: 13 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I just finished "Breakfast of Champions." It was the first book I've ever read by Kurt Vonnegut and it was pretty good. I also started Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury" and it's sort of confusing. Fortunately some guy before wrote some useful stuff in the margins and what year it is whenever there's a jump.
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Megatron
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

i havent started the sound and the fury but from what i can remember its told from different perspectives with the time shifting throughout, i dunno.

Last thing I read was tropic of cancer by henry miller. its about a hungry writer going to peoples houses for free meals mostly and then banging prostitutes with his horrible friends, pretty good.

I'm struggling a bit at the moment as I have a choice between Ham on Rye by bukowski (i dont care about childhood), a marx brothers biography (way too much detail about their origins and whatnot. i want hi-hinks) and papillon by charriere. i think im going to go for the latter but its a bit of commitment when i just want something pretty lite, bud lite, if you know what i mean : )
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POOPERSCOOPER
Paparazzi
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

SenisterDenister wrote:
Got Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep? in the mail today, bought it used, and glad to find that its in good condition. There is a drawback, as every good thing has these days, since the cunt who owned it previous thought it necessary to write EVERYTHING THAT SPOILS THE PLOT IN THE MARGINS OF THE PAGES.

Returning it ASAP.


When a book costs like less than 10 bucks new, I don't know why you would wanted to buy it used especially when it's online.
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