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What non-comics are you reading these days?


#1664

I’ve never actually read Snow Crash.

I do plan on reading it in a cyberpunk binge I’m planning on going in the near future.

Mirrorshades, edited by Bruce Sterling, Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy, A Song Called Youth (Eclipse) trilogy by John Shirley, Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling, Software/Hardware/Wetware/Freeware by Rudy Rucker, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling, Dr. Adder/Glass Hammer by K. W. Jeter, Burning Chrome by Gibson, and maybe a few more if I can find something else from that era that sounds interesting.

It will be a re-read for some of them, particularly Gibson, I think I’ve read Neuromancer about ten times now.


#1665

I read Schismatrix back then and was quite disappointed. Bruce Sterling was important to the cyberpunk genre in many ways, but he himself is not a good writer.

Metrophage by (occasinal comic writer and recently successful author of those Sandman Slim books) Richard Kadrey was another good one.


#1666

I really enjoyed Schismatrix, though I see where you’re coming from. It’s nature as a fixup book gives it an incredibly disjointed feel, even if you do like his prose.


#1667

I’m really annoyed that I didn’t see Arrival, from what I’ve subsequently heard about it. In my defense, the trailers did an excellent job of making it look nothing like the story and making me think it would be a bit rubbish.


#1668

What about all the reviews here? Do you not trust us, David?!? :wink:

I seriously recommend it. You should be able to rent it by now. It’s an amazing film.


#1669

Yes, yes, but they came after my window of opportunity to see it had closed :frowning:


#1670

That window re-opened MONTHS ago …


#1671

Yes, eventually it will be on the BBC or some other channel I have access to and I’ll see it. That will probably be even better. Like tradewaiting :slight_smile:


#1672

:laughing: I’m fairly sure that I saw it (and posted my views here) on opening day.
How small was your window?


#1673

#1674

Honestly, I have no idea, I can’t remember what else I was doing around that time :confused:


#1675

For those to whom it is of interest - the Empire (aka Amazon) has dropped the pre-order price for the hardback edition of The Expanse: Book 7: Persepolis Rising to £13.60.


#1676

The Story of Your Life - I finished this story in the collection last night. It was still very good but I think I might prefer the film. The reveal happens in a more interesting way along with some of the visualizations being more engaging. Part of the issue might be down to the surprise being taken out of the reveal. It had so much power in the film but I knew it going into the story.


#1677

Did I mention I was reading this?

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It’s part of the 22-volume history commissioned by the British government immediately after World War 2.

You have to read it keeping in mind what it is and accepting its bias. This means there are some frustrating gaps because areas of the campaign where the British were not directly involved are completely ignored (yes, the French were over there on the right and they lost and that’s all). But the level of detail and insight into the areas it does cover is phenomenal, possibly the best depth of any war history I’ve read.

And despite the British bias, it’s quite honest about “our” failings. While it’s careful never to say a bad thing about the courage and ability of the men on the ground as they get completely crushed by the superior German, it firmly points out errors in strategy, doctrine, and communication that put them there in the first place. Equally, it’s even-handed in pointing out everything the Germans did right. Yes, you can feel that a patriotic bias is there, but it doesn’t seem to adversely affect the validity of the information presented.

Overall, it’s so interesting that I’m seriously considering getting the other 22 volumes.


#1678

I’m reading First Light by Geoffery Wellum, which is an amazing autobiography of a 17 year old who became a fighter pilot in WW2. I’m a little bit obsessed with how people behaved during the war at the moment, and this one cuts through a lot of the stiff-upper-lip propaganda that went on. Thoroughly recommend it both as an action story but also as an antidote to the ever present outrageous douchebaggery in the world these days.

(It’s not, however, the fighter pilot autobiography I was looking for, a book which blew my mind as a teen in an --o my god I had no idea it was that hard-- kind of way. All I can remember is it starts with the author on standby as the airfield gets bombed and they have to run for cover, before flying mission after mission on the edge of his nerves and sleeplessness. Driving me nuts trying to relocate this book.)

Also rereading all of Sebastian Faulkes books, which are surprisingly mixed in quality. Birdsong is the best novel I’ve ever read, but sequences in others are frustratingly weak, dull, or weird. Luckily Faulkes can’t write a poor sentence. He’s one of those writers whose lyrical prose is a balm for the mind. Therefore, even his worst moments are very enjoyable.

Reading Nick Robinson’s history of the BBC again, which is fascinating in all it reveals about the turbulent relationship between government and the press, not least Reith and Churchill who detested each other.

Lots of books about comics - Supergods, again (always makes me chuckle when Grant casually implies he created the Ultimates), Professor Chris Murray’s exhaustive study of British Superheoes The British Superhero(best to get that from the library it’s £70), and Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution by Ronin Ro, which is as fascinating as it is depressing. I mean, if that’s how the industry treated Kirby, the greatest creator of superheoes we’ve ever seen, a man who created an art style which defined a whole genre, and an entire company, then what hope have the rest of us got?

I seem to be reading lots of books for the second time, books about real events that have already occurred. Nostalgia is comforting in troubling times, I guess. We study the past to negotiate the future.


#1679

Was it possibly The Big Show by Pierre Clostermann? That was an amazing book, a real eye-opener in the realities of how these people lived. For example, pilots routinely taking officially-prescribed amphetamines because it was the only way they cope with the volume of missions.

I read it only a few years ago but it was an old second-hand copy so I’m not sure how easy it would be to find now.


#1680

Thanks, David. Doesn’t ring a bell, but sounds rad so I’ll definitely check it out.


#1681

I’m currently reading The Last Champions, a non-fiction book about a music journo and die-hard Leeds United fan tracking down and interviewing the staff and players responsible for winning the last ever old Division One (the year before the Premier League was formed). It’s quite an interesting book, even for someone with such a waned interest in football like myself (I was a Leeds United fan though, for some reason, which helps). The chapter with Vinnie Jones is especially good. The interview with Gary Speed is poignant too, as its not too long before he committed suicide and he’s pretty frank about the rough hazing and, frankly, bullying he and other young footballers went through back in the day (though I suspect there’s a tad of retroactive embellishment, on the author’s part, of Speed’s disposition in the interview when talking about those topics).

Very weird approach to censorship of swear words though, in that the only one consistently asterisked out is “fuck”, leaving sundry other foul language untouched and Jones’ copious swearing is stepped around by reflecting his accent and having it as “fack”, which muddies the issue even more). It’s a really silly double standard to have and I don’t understand why they bothered.


#1682

I’m just finishing The Female Few: The Spitfire Heroines of the Air Transport Auxiliary by Jakcy Hyams, which is a series of summarised interviews with several women who delivered a mulitude of aircraft to airfields during WWII. I get the impression that these highly skilled pilots were often eccentrics or misfits, yet they were very down to earth, each taking her hazardous job in her stride. To them, it was just a great job while doing their ‘bit’.


#1683

I bought and read Monstress v1 and 2 on the back of this. It was good, art was excellent.

Also have bought the trilogy by Jenisin, early days yet but begins with a writer to reader familiarity which is engaging but at the same time the rest will need to be good to justify it.