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Topic Subject:The Literature Thread II
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Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-12-19 03:23 PM CT (US)         
Behold, the long-awaited sequel to the 2013 original!

Books! Discuss.

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Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-12-19 03:23 PM CT (US)     1 / 48       
I find myself reading a lot less than I would like to, and I know I am far from alone in this. I have a pile of twenty or so books that I have bought or received as gifts which I still have to start reading. This year has been an improvement, but I have still only finished 11 books in total; half of what I read in 2014 (yes, I keep track ).

Lately I have been getting back on track, though, and most days I try to read at least one chapter of whatever book I'm currently reading.

My latest conquests:

A Choice of Gods by Clifford D. Simak.

Simak is one of those half-forgotten early sci-fi masters, always in the shadow of Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein et al. As far as I know, "City" is his most widely read work, and the only one I had read before I picked up this book. Between the two, "City" is the superior book, although the two share many similar themes. The abandonment of the Earth by humanity, a kind of idealization of the rural homestead passed down through generations, and a scepticism of technology's impact on the world - and, more importantly, the human spirit.

"A Choice of Gods" focuses a lot more on this than it does on fantastical worlds or gadgets, even though humanoid robots feature prominently throughout the story. The fantastical world in this book is the Earth, rid of most of its human population, returned to a more natural state. It also features a robot who sees it as its main mission to preserve and continue the practice of Christianity, even when humanity has largely abandoned it, which is an interesting concept.

Ultimately the book often just touches on its themes, and when it tries to delve more deeply into them, it does so in page-long introspections which are only interesting if you're already well invested in the book (and even then it sometimes drags). Still, it is a pretty quick read and it has a unique atmosphere.


Dangerous Visions by various authors, edited by Harlan Ellison

A sci-fi classic from 1969 (you can tell what kind of books I've been focusing on lately ). This is a collection of short stories from some promiment authors, and a ton who have since fallen into obscurity - some deservedly so. The stories range from entertaining to downright awful, but most of the time they are at least interesting.

Some stories of note: a J.G. Ballard story that barely qualifies as SF but still remains one of the best of the bunch; a story about a mentally deranged woman who hides under her neighbour's bed, sees him undress and finds out that he has nothing down there... and that's about it; some Jack the Ripper torture porn... IN THE FUTURE!; a story whose title I can't recall, but it might as well have been called Looking for Planet Incest... yeah, it's very much a product of its time; and, finally, there is a "short story" that takes up a hundred bloody pages, and it's literally just an acid trip committed to paper.

So, a lot of interesting stories; only a few of them are good, but even the duds usually don't feel like a complete waste of time. Except the acid trip one. That one is just pure garbage.


The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, aka The Wheel of Time Part 1

I have only gotten about 200 pages in, which is like barely the intro of this monstrosity of a series. Pretty good so far, though! The writing is a lot more accessible than I first imagined, not having read much fantasy at all, although the first chapter was a slog. Some bits of dialogue feel very 90'ies.


What books have you been reading lately? What books would you like to read?


EDIT - On a somewhat related note, is anyone else interested in a nother Writing Competition? It's been two years since the last one, so I think it's time!

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______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi

[This message has been edited by Lord Basse (edited 12-13-2019 @ 03:04 AM).]

Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-17-19 11:40 AM CT (US)     2 / 48       
I can only assume that you plebeians don't read.

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The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi

[This message has been edited by Lord Basse (edited 12-17-2019 @ 11:40 AM).]

Kongou Dess
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 12-17-19 02:04 PM CT (US)     3 / 48       
I was rereading Darksaber. Because it's suitable toilet reading, which about sums up the quality.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
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Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-17-19 02:22 PM CT (US)     4 / 48       
Never heard of it but after googling it, it turns out it was exactly what I was expecting.

__[]_________
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The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
Major Helper
AoKH Survivor, Mr. White Teeth
posted 12-17-19 04:24 PM CT (US)     5 / 48       
I read many things (dozens/hundreds of novels) It's just that they're translated web novels from Japan/South Korea/China, so there most likely isn't much for me to discuss. It's all fantasy and as light-hearted as possible since I don't like tragedy and other hard topics.

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You, you... Finnish Barstool! - Enraged Popeychops
Major Helper: Helping AoE3H Housewives since 2008 - As_Saffah
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Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-17-19 04:45 PM CT (US)     6 / 48       
dozens/hundreds of novels
You are a monster and I envy you!

I generally find myself drawn more to somewhat dark and depressing media, be it books or music or movies. Well, depressing is the wrong word - but they do depict and explore some depressing themes in a (creatively) inspirational way, if that makes any kind of sense.

My favourite sci-fi book is probably "The City and the Stars", in large part because it evokes this deep sense of emptiness, of a whole universe that has been abandoned, save for a single city that is content to live apart from the world.

__[]_________
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The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
Neochud
Squire
(id: Taichud)
posted 12-18-19 08:18 AM CT (US)     7 / 48       
I gave up on the Eye of the World early on because it felt too much like a poorer version of Fellowship of the Ring combined with Star Wars.

I'm currently reading The Summer Queen, a book about Eleanor of Aquitaine. Interesting for historical purposes, but can be a bit of a slog sometimes.

Major Helper
AoKH Survivor, Mr. White Teeth
posted 12-18-19 09:51 AM CT (US)     8 / 48       
Oh and yeah, I've read through Wheel of Time. More specifically, I've read the series through from the beginning over and over again every time I got a new book. I like it a fair bit, but I like the first few books or so of the series better than the end part. I think I might've personally preferred a less branched story overall. Might've been interesting to see what Jordan would've done with the final books if he hadn't passed away. Still one of my favourite book series anyways. David and Leigh Eddings' series are also ones that I've enjoyed (even more archetypical fantasy than WoT, super vanilla). I've also read a fair bit of Dragonlance books, with Raistlin Majere being my favourite character (obviously, considering I've played in a couple RP thread here with his name ). Haven't read Dragonlance in a loooong time, though.

_,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,_
You, you... Finnish Barstool! - Enraged Popeychops
Major Helper: Helping AoE3H Housewives since 2008 - As_Saffah
I spent 3 months trying to convince a door that I was an intelligent life form and gave up. - TLM
Winner of "Nicest" (2012-2016), "Most Helpful" (2014) and "Best Moderator" (2015-2016) Forummer Awards
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Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-18-19 08:04 PM CT (US)     9 / 48       
I have heard that complaint against Wheel of Time too, yeah. And it is a daunting task to read 14 massive books. I do like the first one so far, but it hasn't gotten to the point where I find myself binging it... and it I never get there, I will probably never finish the whole series. Or just take 14 years doing it.
David and Leigh Eddings' series are also ones that I've enjoyed (even more archetypical fantasy than WoT, super vanilla)
So far I think WoT is bordering on too vanilla to be worth investing time in, so I am probably not going to for these then.

In general, I haven't read much fantasy at all. Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire, Neverending Story... that's about it, I think. Classic sci-fi just interests me more. Which is odd because the things I write are much more fantasy-oriented. I think I've only written one story that would count as sci-fi, and even then it had literally no hard sci-fi elements.

__[]_________
|||||||||||||||||
The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi

[This message has been edited by Lord Basse (edited 12-18-2019 @ 08:07 PM).]

Major Helper
AoKH Survivor, Mr. White Teeth
posted 12-19-19 12:01 PM CT (US)     10 / 48       
I, on the other hand, pretty much don't read sci-fi at all, but sci-fi TV shows like Star Trek and the like are some of my favourites I feel like fantasy doesn't get used in TV shows though (?), so who knows if I'd like those.

Anyways, I pretty much don't read anything else besides fantasy, maybe some crime stuff occasionally from the likes of Agatha Christie/John Grisham/Donna Leon.

_,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,_
You, you... Finnish Barstool! - Enraged Popeychops
Major Helper: Helping AoE3H Housewives since 2008 - As_Saffah
I spent 3 months trying to convince a door that I was an intelligent life form and gave up. - TLM
Winner of "Nicest" (2012-2016), "Most Helpful" (2014) and "Best Moderator" (2015-2016) Forummer Awards
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Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-20-19 09:21 AM CT (US)     11 / 48       
I dunno, Game of Thrones would be one major exception. And that seems to have spawned a number of new fantasy shows, like the other GRRM shows, His Dark Materials, and the new Witcher series. Sci-fi might still be more commong, though. I don't watch enough TV/Netflix to know, honestly.

__[]_________
|||||||||||||||||
The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-23-19 10:22 AM CT (US)     12 / 48       
Is anyone interested in having another Writing Competition? Besides me?

__[]_________
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The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
Kongou Dess
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 12-23-19 11:09 AM CT (US)     13 / 48       
Kind of, yeah.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
Hi, I'm Kongou! Are you my admiral?
Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-23-19 03:16 PM CT (US)     14 / 48       
Well, one more entrant and we will have the same number of participants as last time! Anyone up to host and judge?

__[]_________
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The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
Lord Sipia
Squire
posted 12-23-19 03:41 PM CT (US)     15 / 48       
Might be willing to enter, but I'm afraid I'm not available for hosting or judging. Got more than enough on my plate IRL.

"Have you ever had a dream that you thought was impossible to achieve? Well, some people say nothing is impossible. But I do nothing every day! So you can definitely do it."
--Tofu the dog's infinite wisdom

"British English is easy! Just use an 's' instead of a 'z' and replace 'or' with 'our' and you're dandy." "Do you want pissa our noodles for dinner?" "u better not piss in r noodles m8"
--Classic exchange between Popeychops and John the Late
Kongou Dess
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 12-24-19 01:35 PM CT (US)     16 / 48       
Oooh, if Sipia isn't judging... that means he can feature without it looking like pandering!

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
Hi, I'm Kongou! Are you my admiral?
Neochud
Squire
(id: Taichud)
posted 12-25-19 12:44 PM CT (US)     17 / 48       
I'm up for judging.

Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-25-19 04:00 PM CT (US)     18 / 48       
Great! That makes 2-3 entrants and one judge. I'm hoping to get some SWS colleagues involved too, but I have come up short so far.

I already have a short story in mind. I've had the basic idea kicking around for a couple years, but I only recently thought of a way to turn it into something readable.

EDIT - On another note, I spent part of last night, after the Christmas celebrations, and a good chunk of today reading "The Sorrows of Young Werther". Not exactly something that gets you into the holiday spirit. But I have to say it was far more of a breeze to read than I was expecting, despite the often archaic language of the translation I read.

__[]_________
|||||||||||||||||
The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi

[This message has been edited by Lord Basse (edited 12-25-2019 @ 04:05 PM).]

Mithril Knight
Squire
posted 12-25-19 05:26 PM CT (US)     19 / 48       
I am interested in entering to the contest a short piece, if it starts soon-ish. I've been worldbuilding something for a while and I'd like to write a story in that universe.

►►►►Mithril Knight◄◄◄◄
My Works
¡Viva México!
My Coat of Arms

[This message has been edited by Mithril Knight (edited 12-25-2019 @ 05:26 PM).]

Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-25-19 05:32 PM CT (US)     20 / 48       
Possibly four entrants then! If we can find two more judges, I think we should go ahead with this.

Sam, Matt, any of you interested?

__[]_________
|||||||||||||||||
The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 12-25-19 07:39 PM CT (US)     21 / 48       
Much to my chagrin, I can't conceive of myself having enough time to judge a contest in the near future. I was fortunate enough that the PTC deadline fell in the midst of the holiday season, allowing me to get results out in a timely manner.

~ Forgotten Empires ~

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjálfr it sama; ek veit einn at aldri deyr, dómr um dauðan hvern." - Hávamál 77.
Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-26-19 03:56 PM CT (US)     22 / 48       
Ah, that's a shame, but completely understandable.

__[]_________
|||||||||||||||||
The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
Major Helper
AoKH Survivor, Mr. White Teeth
posted 12-27-19 08:35 AM CT (US)     23 / 48       
I don't mind judging if there's gonna be another writing contest. I think I judged last time as well.

_,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,_
You, you... Finnish Barstool! - Enraged Popeychops
Major Helper: Helping AoE3H Housewives since 2008 - As_Saffah
I spent 3 months trying to convince a door that I was an intelligent life form and gave up. - TLM
Winner of "Nicest" (2012-2016), "Most Helpful" (2014) and "Best Moderator" (2015-2016) Forummer Awards
-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-=x=-
Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-27-19 10:29 AM CT (US)     24 / 48       
Nice! Just one more to go then!

__[]_________
|||||||||||||||||
The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
Lord Basse
MI6 Scenario-Making Machine
posted 12-31-19 08:04 PM CT (US)     25 / 48       
I intend to post a thread for the Writing Competition in the coming days and get it rolling. Unless someone in the staff beats me to it.

On another note, I managed to read 14 out of the 15 books I was hoping to get through this year! A few days ago I finished "A Wizard of Earthsea" which I started this summer. A nice read with some beautiful language and descriptions, but the characters and plot didn't really get me hooked until the last few chapters.

In the last couple of days I've been reading "Nina X" by Ewan Morrisson. I'm about halfway through and I find it very interesting, the perspective choice in particular. It's a story about a woman who has lived her entire life inside a cult and now struggles to adapt to her freedom, and it's told entirely through diary notes that the cult has forced her to write daily, erasing and rewriting all memories deemed contrary to the cult's ideology. Fascinating stuff. And it's fast-paced and entertaining, too.

__[]_________
|||||||||||||||||
The ||||||||||||||||| Hus
OF | [/ \] |¯| [/ \] | ME
______________________________________________________________________________ |__ _ |¯|____|_______________________________________________________________________________
The Relics of Athalën (5.0) | AoK Opus - 95,000+ downloads | StormWind Studios | "I consider the conversion of Basse to be one of the great triumphs of my modding crusade" - Matt LiVecchi
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