I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

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It Should Be Real
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby It Should Be Real » Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:31 pm UTC

I'd really like a book recommendation. I've been reading a lot of non-fiction recently and can't seem to get into a story.

Books I like:
A Bright Moon For Fools
Blue Blazes
Good Omens
Slaughterhouse Five
Fahrenheit 451

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:48 am UTC

It Should Be Real wrote:I'd really like a book recommendation. I've been reading a lot of non-fiction recently and can't seem to get into a story.


Hm... maybe something by Orwell? 1984 is a classic, as well as Animal Farm.

However, if you don't want something that's quite so obviously the political metaphor, I'd suggest his Down and Out in Paris and London (his first book). It's kinda-sorta based on Orwell's true experiences (he's very flexible on that point) being ridiculously poor in both cities, and the many interesting experiences he has as a result. I found it really enjoyable.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby addams » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:04 pm UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:
It Should Be Real wrote:I'd really like a book recommendation. I've been reading a lot of non-fiction recently and can't seem to get into a story.


Hm... maybe something by Orwell? 1984 is a classic, as well as Animal Farm.

However, if you don't want something that's quite so obviously the political metaphor, I'd suggest his Down and Out in Paris and London (his first book). It's kinda-sorta based on Orwell's true experiences (he's very flexible on that point) being ridiculously poor in both cities, and the many interesting experiences he has as a result. I found it really enjoyable.

Good Morning, The Egyptian Sneeze;
May I ask a question?
Maybe, two?

About that book and the other one.
You read them both. I only read 1984.

Tell me....
Were the Horrors of The Poor in 1984 and the Interesting Experiences of Poverty in the other book, Two sides of the Same Coin?

These two related, yet, Very Different themes came from The Same Mind.
What do you think? You read The Book.

I don't want to read the book.
(stomps foot) Tell Me!

My reason for Not wanting to read it is I don't like reading Orwell.
I got tired of it.

I was working my way though everything he ever wrote.
It was during, Farmer Guiles of Ham;
I thought, "Does this guy ever see The Bright Side?"

"We can't Always be so fucked up!"
Then I thought about that, for a while.

I finished the book and quit reading Orwell.
I think reading Orwell was Important for some reason.

It's like climbing a fucking Mountain.
It IS a Different View from Up There.

I was such a literary slut.
I'd read anything.

I also read a lot of Stevie King.
I gave That up Suddenly.

I woke up and was afraid to get out of bed.
I had to Pee!

I stayed awake holding my pee, until daylight.
I never read another word of Stevie King.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:27 pm UTC

Hm... I'm not sure they're two sides of the same coin. In 1984 the Proles are shown somewhat like animals. They're stupid, cowardly, can kill as many as you want, etc. He sees hope in them, but still...

Down and Out doesn't speak to an agenda nearly as much as, say, 1984 did. But if he had a position, I'd say it'd be "pay people a decent wage, don't horribly overwork them. Help the poor".

His idea on the menial laborer (specifically, a plongeur...a dishwasher... of which he was one the first half of the book):
Spoiler:
[A] plongeur is one of the slaves of the modern world. Not that there is any need to whine over him, for he is better off than many manual workers, but still, he is no freer than if he were bought and sold. His work is servile and without art; he is paid just enough to keep him alive; his only holiday is the sack [.... He has] been trapped by a routine which makes thought impossible. If plongeurs thought at all, they would long ago have formed a labour union and gone on strike for better treatment. But they do not think, because they have no leisure for it; their life has made slaves of them.


His conclusion was:
Spoiler:
At present I do not feel that I have seen more than the fringe of poverty. Still, I can point to one or two things I have definitely learned by being hard up. I shall never again think that all tramps are drunken scoundrels, nor expect a beggar to be grateful when I give him a penny, nor be surprised if men out of work lack energy, nor subscribe to the Salvation Army, nor pawn my clothes, nor refuse a handbill, nor enjoy a meal at a smart restaurant. That is a beginning.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby addams » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:50 pm UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:Hm... I'm not sure they're two sides of the same coin. In 1984 the Proles are shown somewhat like animals. They're stupid, cowardly, can kill as many as you want, etc. He sees hope in them, but still...

Down and Out doesn't speak to an agenda nearly as much as, say, 1984 did. But if he had a position, I'd say it'd be "pay people a decent wage, don't horribly overwork them. Help the poor".

His idea on the menial laborer (specifically, a plongeur...a dishwasher... of which he was one the first half of the book):
Spoiler:
[A] plongeur is one of the slaves of the modern world. Not that there is any need to whine over him, for he is better off than many manual workers, but still, he is no freer than if he were bought and sold. His work is servile and without art; he is paid just enough to keep him alive; his only holiday is the sack [.... He has] been trapped by a routine which makes thought impossible. If plongeurs thought at all, they would long ago have formed a labour union and gone on strike for better treatment. But they do not think, because they have no leisure for it; their life has made slaves of them.


His conclusion was:
Spoiler:
At present I do not feel that I have seen more than the fringe of poverty. Still, I can point to one or two things I have definitely learned by being hard up. I shall never again think that all tramps are drunken scoundrels, nor expect a beggar to be grateful when I give him a penny, nor be surprised if men out of work lack energy, nor subscribe to the Salvation Army, nor pawn my clothes, nor refuse a handbill, nor enjoy a meal at a smart restaurant. That is a beginning.

It's not a Wrong view from Up There.
It is a Different view from Up There.

Thank you for the well chosen quotes.
His style was and is engaging.

He had Really given the subject Some Thought.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby addams » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:00 pm UTC

I want to recommend a book.
No poster asked for this book.

How would a person know to ask?
Who thinks, out of the blue, "I wonder how Mountain Climbers Poop?"

The Book is Shitting Pretty.
by, Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth
http://www.amazon.com/Shitting-Pretty-c ... 1885211473

How many people dream of International Travel?
Now many dream of being handed a hand full of TP and a wave in the direction of the Forest.
A person can learn to know what to do in nearly all situations.

One man asked for the Loo.
He was given directions and handed a Hammer.
What that man was expected to do, still, makes me laugh.

I recommend this book to Everyone.
Especially those that have Romantic Notions about Travel.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby PeteP » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:01 pm UTC

Looking for: Fantasy>scifi>most other genres (I count everything as fantasy which has either magic(psychic powers outside scifi count, or non human intelligent races who aren't from space).
Genre preferences aside I want something with a really smart protagonist. Thing is many books show smartness by somebody being great at math or science stuff, or a genius at something like chess, stuff where you don't have to show the details. But I want one where it's evident they are smart from dialog,thoughts, actions or the actually explained plans they make. In other words a main character where it's not an informed attribute but is evident from the content of the book.
Also preferably the MC shouldn't be a dick. By which I don't mean they have to be nice or sane. I don't mind crazy backstabbing psychos who are plotting to sacrifice their friends for ultimate power as long as they aren't assholes about it. Maybe that's not the best explanation for how I use dick or asshole here…

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:35 pm UTC

Nick Harkaway does this pretty well. Try Gone-Away World or Angelmaker.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby mat.tia » Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:54 pm UTC

Can someone suggest a good spy-story please? Not James Bond and the like. More like "the three days of the Condor", to speak of movies.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:22 pm UTC

mat.tia wrote:Can someone suggest a good spy-story please? Not James Bond and the like. More like "the three days of the Condor", to speak of movies.

Dan Silva has written some good ones, such as The English Girl.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby mat.tia » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:48 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:
mat.tia wrote:Can someone suggest a good spy-story please? Not James Bond and the like. More like "the three days of the Condor", to speak of movies.

Dan Silva has written some good ones, such as The English Girl.

thanks, added to the Christmas list. What about classics of the genre?

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby no-genius » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:50 pm UTC

mat.tia wrote:What about classics of the genre?


I haven't read any of it, but anything by John le Carré? (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:22 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:Looking for: Fantasy>scifi>most other genres (I count everything as fantasy which has either magic(psychic powers outside scifi count, or non human intelligent races who aren't from space).
Genre preferences aside I want something with a really smart protagonist. Thing is many books show smartness by somebody being great at math or science stuff, or a genius at something like chess, stuff where you don't have to show the details. But I want one where it's evident they are smart from dialog,thoughts, actions or the actually explained plans they make. In other words a main character where it's not an informed attribute but is evident from the content of the book.
Also preferably the MC shouldn't be a dick. By which I don't mean they have to be nice or sane. I don't mind crazy backstabbing psychos who are plotting to sacrifice their friends for ultimate power as long as they aren't assholes about it. Maybe that's not the best explanation for how I use dick or asshole here…

I know this is old, but have you read The Black Company?
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby PeteP » Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:34 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I know this is old, but have you read The Black Company?

First book. I think I dropped it before the end. Somewhere in FaiD I rant about the reasons I didn't like it. (Ah here.)

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby emceng » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:27 am UTC

I'm looking for a new webcomic suggestion. Humor, not a traditional comic like Spiderman, Batman, etc. More especially looking for one that has a book or two out that I can pick up for myself for my birthday.

Ones that I like to read currently:
Wonderella
Wondermark
Beartato
Basic Instructions
Hark! A Vagrant.
SMBC

Probably a few others I can't recall.
Gave up on Questionable Content, CAD, a few others.

Looking for something that fits my sense of humor, which is hard to do.
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby ahammel » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:35 am UTC

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby emceng » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:39 am UTC

ahammel wrote:I reccomend The Thrilling Adventures of Babbage and Lovelace, natch.

Thanks, I'll check it out!
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Zohar » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:43 am UTC

Not a webcomic, but if you're into Basic Instructions, the writer also put out a few books in a series called Magic 2.0, essentially a computer nerd finds a file that controls reality and starts messing around with it. Shenanigans ensue, it's pretty fun. I think the first is called Off To Be The Wizard. Somewhat Pratchett-y/Douglas Adams-y.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby emceng » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:32 am UTC

Zohar wrote:Not a webcomic, but if you're into Basic Instructions, the writer also put out a few books in a series called Magic 2.0, essentially a computer nerd finds a file that controls reality and starts messing around with it. Shenanigans ensue, it's pretty fun. I think the first is called Off To Be The Wizard. Somewhat Pratchett-y/Douglas Adams-y.


I bought that as an ebook, need to remember to freaking read it!
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Angua » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:35 am UTC

'Look, sir, I know Angua. She's not the useless type. She doesn't stand there and scream helplessly. She makes other people do that.'
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby emceng » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:28 pm UTC



Hmm, I'll have to try it. Read it a bit a few years ago and it didn't catch me, but it's worth another read.
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby tarascon » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:25 pm UTC

Mind, Brain, & Education, David Sousa,ed.


Spoiler:
Off OP topic a wee bit (though this can be considered philosophical/linguistic fiction) and, if you're feeling perverse:

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
Last edited by tarascon on Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:53 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:50 pm UTC

I'm really enjoying Seveneves by Stephenson. It's like The Martian, but set in space! Or a novelization of KSP.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby tarascon » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:53 pm UTC

And Have you checked out The Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose?

http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/revi ... rose1.html
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Quercus » Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:57 pm UTC

I've recently been thinking how Western-centric most of the fantasy I've read is - it draws mainly from Celtic and Nordic cultural traditions and mythologies. I've also come across some based on Japanese and ancient Egyptian mythologies, but virtually none from Native American traditions (North or South), Africa, the Middle East, most of Asia, or Australia. I'd like to broaden my fantasy reading somewhat so if anyone can recommend some fantasy books based on these traditions I would be most grateful. I know of Anansi Boys, and that's going to be the next novel I'm going to read, and I've read American Gods, but I've not come across any others.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Angua » Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:29 pm UTC

Nancy Farmer does good books based on African cultures. I have good memories of this one.

edit - I've also read a Girl called Disaster which is also by her which was also good.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Zohar » Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:36 pm UTC

I can't really think of many like that either... The Nightwatch series by Sergei Lukyanenko is Moscow-based fantasy, and the atmosphere is quite different from a lot of other fantasy (including those set in the modern world). I liked the series quite a bit. The other option I can think of is Lian Hearn's The Otori Tales, which is basically set in Japan and is very good, at least the core trilogy.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:14 pm UTC

Check out the Carl Brandon Awards, given to authors and works dealing with ethnic diversity in F&SF.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Quercus » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:20 pm UTC

Thanks everyone for their suggestions, I'll be checking all of them out. That especially goes for PAstrychef - those awards look like an absolute treasure trove of just the sort of thing I'm looking for.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:26 pm UTC

My English professor told us to do a book report on anything we wanted. I have not read any really good sci-fi stories lately. I would like a book with aliens that is not about making first contact or an allegory for racism. Those themes have been done to death. I would prefer a book were an alien is one of the main characters. Something like Animorphs or Mass Effect would be nice. Thanks for all your suggestions.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby addams » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:39 pm UTC

I can recommend these two books.
The Persistence of Vision is a science fiction novella by John Varley.
It won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1979.
It was included in the anthology of the same name and in the The John Varley Reader.

The story is similar to Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.
Both authors had experiences that influenced and were influenced by hippie ideologies in the 1960s.

For your use Stranger in a Strange Land would be the better choice.
It is a classic.

It is a good book to have read,
if you want to have an adult conversations about the subjects it explores.

How do we think about ourselves and others?
What makes us fulfilled? Who is the Alien?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

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Some of us see The Gutter.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Echo244 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:42 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:My English professor told us to do a book report on anything we wanted. I have not read any really good sci-fi stories lately. I would like a book with aliens that is not about making first contact or an allegory for racism. Those themes have been done to death. I would prefer a book were an alien is one of the main characters. Something like Animorphs or Mass Effect would be nice. Thanks for all your suggestions.


<Somewhat evil mode>

Iain M. Banks' Use of Weapons - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Use-Of-Weapons-The-Culture/dp/185723135X

</Somewhat evil mode>

Many characters are humanoid. Some are machines. None are human, as in from or descended from someone from Earth. I don't know Animorphs, but the central character fits somewhere into the Shepard mould, and a whole load of other things from Mass Effect might feel familiar. The interleaved present-past chapter format might be a little confusing, but meh, it's part of the art that makes it all so powerful for me.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Zohar » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:49 pm UTC

Hmmm, a few suggestions I can think of off the top of my head:

Sundiver, by David Brin. It's a first in a series, sort of mystery novel (investigating a murder sort of thing I think, it's been a while). The book's completely stand-alone though.
A Fire Upon the Deep, by Vernor Vinge. Exciting space opera with great alien descriptions.
Lord Valentine's Castle, by Robert Silverberg. It's almost entirely a fantasy story - essentially different races (including humans) landed on this planet about 20 thousand years ago or so and have been living there ever since, and some of their technology is indistinguishable from magic. Very fun travel-exploring-adventure stuff.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby ahammel » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:16 am UTC

Zohar wrote:Sundiver, by David Brin. It's a first in a series, sort of mystery novel (investigating a murder sort of thing I think, it's been a while). The book's completely stand-alone though.

Or Startide Rising, which is the second in that series but still a good place to start.

Gateway by Fred Pohl is about humans scavenging the artifacts of an alien civilisation.

Asimov's The Gods Themselves is, for about a third of it, written from the perspective of some very alien aliens. I guess it's technically a first contact story, but a very different one from those in the War of the Worlds/Mote in God's Eye/Close Encounters vein.

+1 on A Fire Upon the Deep, but it might be a bit long fur a school book report.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby serutan » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:37 am UTC

Perhaps too late, but The Bug Wars by Robert Aspirin. No humans at all.
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Izawwlgood
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:38 pm UTC

Reading the Wool Omnibus. It's pretty good - tells the story so far by switching from characters in sequence, which I love as a method for storytelling.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

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PeteP
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby PeteP » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:11 pm UTC

Does anyone know a litrpg that is actually good? https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/litrpg for people who haven't heard of the genre.

(Btw feel free to recommend me general VR stories since I like VR stories but I'm specifically asking for a litrpg because I have tried some and many were just bad some were decent but I didn't find anything I would call good. )

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You, sir, name?
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:38 pm UTC

mat.tia wrote:Can someone suggest a good spy-story please? Not James Bond and the like. More like "the three days of the Condor", to speak of movies.


This is an old post, but you could look into Len Deighton's books (e.g. the Game / Set / Match trilogy). Very nice, leaning more on the realistic side, with an interesting cold war setting. It's a bit cerebral in that it expects the reader to pay attention to rather subtle details in order to keep track of the plot.
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heuristically_alone
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Postby heuristically_alone » Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:59 am UTC

I highly recommend The Pathfinder Series by Orson Scott Card. If you liked Ender's game, science fiction, or anything Orson Scott Card, this book is absolutely positively fantastic. Almost as good as the Ender Universe

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

Postby Aldarion » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:59 pm UTC

Does anyone know a good book about robots/AI replacing humanity on Earth? I'd especially love it if the extinction of humanity is presented as a good thing (no more pollution, no more wars, machines won't be cruel and stupid etc.), rather than a dystopic disaster.
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