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What non-comics are you reading these days?


#1123

Definitely. So much so that we the narrator says the “shivers” as Johnny Wheelwright, I shout it out loud in Owen’s voice.

I’m about three-quarters of the way through it, and what I love about it is that the narrator (JW) is Mr Mediochre, which is exactly how I feel about my life, and that the story has genuine laugh-out-loud moments, sadness, poignancy, mystery, and more. It’s a genuine masterclass in literature.


#1124

If you only want to hear the blurb about The Federalist Papers skip to about 4:12. :wink:


#1125

I read Dark Matter the other day. It’s… interesting. After a year of little or no “hard” scifi, it was fun.


#1126

I’ve always wondered how big the collection is - I read one or two of them a year or so back - the one about not needing a bill of rights, and the other one I forget.

Australia doesn’t have a bill of rights but there is general argument over whether we should. I can’t remember who wrote it but their argument more or less mirrors our own. I’m pretty undecided though - I think it’s more pragmatic to have one to cite.


#1127

I read some of them in college. It’s part of why I became obsessed with James Madison and the War of 1812.


#1128

A Prayer for Owen Meany is my favourite Irving book (well, next to Hotel New Hampshire), and a great novel. If you find the time, you could check out The Tin Drum, a very good novel by Günter Grass from 1959 that Owen Meany owes some inspiration to (Irving made this obvious by using the same initials as The Tin Drum’s protagonist, Oskar Matzerath).


#1129

Thanks for the recommendation. Looks like I’ll have to read it the old fasioned way though; it’s not on Audible yet, which is quite a surprise for a classic. Irving’s NYT review summary reads like an erudite version of what I said about APFOM.


#1130

An issue of Authentic Science Fiction from 1953, which I found it a second hand book shop some time ago. It’s the first British SF magazine I’ve read from the era, and it’s interesting to see how it compares to the more famous American equivalents. Basically, it’s exactly the same :smiley: Except the authors are British. The lead story novella is by E.C. Tubb, whose prose I always find a bit overblown, though his ideas are nice. The most interesting thing here, however, is a short by John Christopher – because it’s the only work I’ve read by him other than the obvious. It’s not a bad story, though a bit too much by-the-numbers SF-with a twist you see coming a mile off.

So, not bad. On balance, an issue of Astounding from the same era has a lot more of interest, but I’d pick up more of these if I ever found them.


#1131

This why Aldiss, Ballard and Moorcock moved on to what became known as New Wave soon after, thank goodness. Without the likes of Michael Moorcock and Philip Jose Farmer, I’m not the likes of Alan Moore would have flourished a generation later.


#1132

There’s only one big problem with this series - Rothfuss has decided to place himself top of the list of Fantasy Writers Who Take An Age To Conclude Their Series (If Ever), for there is no sign of the third and final book, five years on from the publication of the second book.

I generally like to back authors, but this is both taking the piss and stopping me recommending the series to others.

In other news…

Willful Child: The Wrath of Betty

I liked the first one Erikson did, it was nuts but not too nuts. This one is too nuts, far too nuts.

It’s strange in that Erkison is generally quite subtle in his Malazan books and sometimes weaves in a strand of darkly dry humour too. Here, he’s abandoned that completely for the sledgehammer approach of 20-foot high letters and it doesn’t work. Satire needs at least some story that isn’t so on the nose about it being satirical. It’s so blatant that it doesn’t work for me.

I did decide to just get through it, but it’s a book that really needs some restraint but what it’s got is its turbo-charged polar opposite in the driving seat at all times.


#1133

I liked the first book a lot, but the second one made very little progress, plot-wise. The trilogy is supposed to be the life story of a legendary magician and warrior without equal, but two-thirds of the way in, and he’s still in school.


#1134

I really enjoyed the first book, then found I was finding it harder to recall plots of book years later so grabbed Book 2 in hardback and slung it on the shelf to read when Book 3 came out.

It seemed like a good idea at the time!


#1135

Thanks for the heads up. I liked Willful Child. I found it a bit scattershot, but it was fairly funny, so I was willing to let that go.

I will give this one a miss.


#1136

Speaking of long-delayed fantasy series, there’s a new Scott Lynch apparently coming in a few months:

Two novellas rather than a new novel, but it’ll do for now.


#1137

Is that actually going to come out?

Lynch at least has reason for his books release dates getting bumped, he has some serious mental health issues he’s battling, though the last one was but a week or two before Thorn of Emberlain was scheduled to come out, which irked. The publisher should have notified sellers much sooner.

These two novellas have cropped up a zombie listings for the last few years - I won’t say no if it does and will likely pre-order if I see a good price, but I am sceptical until I have the book in my hand.

EDIT: Also, the last info I saw on them was that Lynch intended to re-write them so as to work better with the series.


#1138

I finished The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carré a couple of days before Christmas. It isn’t exactly a memoir or an autobiography. It has lots of little anecdotes about his life and his writing (in no particular order), while deftly sidestepping any discussion of his work for the British Intelligence services. I enjoyed it immensely. The stuff about his father is beautifully written and still full of anger.

There is a great story about Stanley Kubrick trying to buy the rights to one of his books.

And I really need to get around to reading A Perfect Spy some time.


#1139

Waiting doesn’t really bother me. There was a 4-year wait between books 1 and 2 so I expected a long wait for book 3 when I started the series a few weeks ago (I’m now two-thirds through book 2).

Having stuck with Planetary, Promethea, and a number of Frank Quitely comics until their final issues, I’m well accustomed to waiting for an author’s desired ending. Besides, like most of us here, I always have a stack of trades to keep me occupied. :wink:


#1140

The latest issue of Men’s Health. Trolling for some new recipes and exercise regimens for the new year. :slight_smile:


#1141

Five on Brexit Island. It’s got some nicely written parts, but overall it’s not as clever as it thinks it is. The parts that focus on the characters work much better than the political parts that are so on-the-nose that they don’t work as parody. Possibly because the whole Brexit thing is so stupid it can’t work as parody – nothing you could do to twist it could make it funnier than it actually is. But still, this is entertaining for the character work, and I would recommend it to any Famous Five lovers for that reason. Don’t you agree, Timmy? “Woof!”


#1142

Somebody once pointed out that if you substitute the word “penis” for the word “health” in that magazine, the whole thing makes a lot more sense. Since hearing that, I can’t look at it in any other way :laughing: