Discussion in 'General Books' started by Radagast, Aug 8, 2003.
I'm halfway through The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. It's an entertaining read.
Yay! It´s one of my fav books!
The Martian by Andy Weir
"What if I had never tried it?" the autobiography of Valentino Rossi.
How do you like it? Have you seen the film as well?
No movie yet. AND I absolutely love it
I listened to the audio presentation of The Martian right when it came out, long before it hit big... so I had no real expectations other than hoping it was worth spending my monthly credit on. It's "hard" science fiction, so if you want something epic like the main character discovering ancient artifacts from some alien species... it ain't in there.
I thought the story was well done, not great, but pretty good. I guess a lot of people really like the Mark Watney character, the geeky guy whose got to overcome dreadful circumstances... to be honest, I thought he was a bit annoying at times. Also, the book was given high marks for scientific accuracy, but as others did I found it lacking a bit in that department. You cannot grow potatoes in sterilized Martian soil, nor do hurricane force winds on Mars equate to hurricane force winds on Earth... but still, I'm a fan of hard science fiction and it's good to see Hollywood making films like Gravity and The Martian; with no stupid aliens out to destroy the planet, or turn us into zombies.
So, the book is definitely a good read, but you may just want to see the movie version of it.
I'm currently listening to The History of the Ancient World, by Susan Bauer... really well done, and not your typical history book. Very lively in it's speculative moments when she relates what we think we know about the ancient world, and piecing together scant clues to what might have really happened. She overlays modern human psychology and just plain common sense to historical figures and events.
Also listening to Midnight Riot, by Ben Aaronovitch... about a London Homicide Detective (and not a particularly talented one), except that he can see and talk to ghosts, who after his first experience with a ghost is quickly moving up the food chain in his profession. Don't know if it's any good yet as I've just started in on it.
Interstellar is a good movie like that. I'm going to watch The Martian soon. Also, if you like sweeping history, I'm still going through Warfare in the Classical World.
Anyway, I read the Sansa sample chapter on George Martin's website yesterday. The writing was good, but honestly, it's neither realistic like people claim, nor did anything remarkable happen in the chapter whatsoever. And I'm sick of characters using people's full names in their thoughts. Sansa thinks of her own da as "Lord Eddard Stark" for Hell's sake. It ought to be ol' Ned and leave it there.
I'm writing a series too. I decided to have no surnames in it whatsoever, partially as a rejection of Martin's massively repedative nonsense.
I read his blog, too... go look at it. It's a shameless infomercial. I doubt he even wrote it himself.
Oh, 'tis sad to see such an intelligent piece of work fall from the sky like a damn comet.
The problem I had with Interstellar, besides multidimensional aliens giving us a free handout in the form of a wormhole because the stupid ape-people on Earth can't chew gum and save humanity at the same time... was that horrible ending; sure, I'd go through hell and high water to get with Anne Hathaway too, but they made it so ridiculous. The guy jumps in a rocket ship with his robot friend and off he goes to hook up with her. Roll the credits. Occasionally, I'd like to see a movie be brave, and the main character is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice for a cause, instead of another happy ending.
What I did really like about the movie, was the take they had on robots. They didn't bother making the robot humanlike, it was a real robot! I wish they'd spent more time planet-hopping, and perhaps explored another planet or two.
I've washed my hands of GRRM, and A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones.
Whatever Martin had once imagined the story to be, that is a story with a narrative arc, it has gone hopelessly off the tracks and devolved into melodrama. As for Martin the man; I think he's allowed himself to get caught up in the fame and fortune, and as a result it has affected his output.
I read The Hangman's Daughter, a mystery set in Medieval Germany c1660 by Oliver Pötzsch... and enjoyed the hell out of it, way more than A Feast for Crows. Which will be my last Martin book.
I think it's fast becoming one of mine. I'm glad my friend recommended it. She has good taste.
Deliverance Lost by Gav Thorpe
Spice and Wolf vol. 4
Just finished re-reading A Brief History of Time/ The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking.
The Year's Best Short SF Novels
I usually stay clear of these sort of compilations because you get a couple of good stories, some average, and too many duds.
So far they've been really good.
Tower Lord - Anthony Ryan
Spice and Wolf Vol. 5
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Not bad at all so far.
I think I might start rereading the Mithgar saga by Dennis McKiernan
The Fire Prince by Emily Gee
This series isn't going to be a favourite of mine I think, but it's OK.
Man-made Monsters by Dr. Bob Curran
not my favorite by him but still quite good
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