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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #3991
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Ah, Perry Rhodan. My late friend Brian and I acquired a pile of American paperback editions of that series when we were about 11 or 12, and enjoyed them immensely. Can't see why they couldn't be turned into an epic cycle of movies, given how much thin stuff for peri-pubertal boys is currently cycling successfully through the cinemas.

    Grant Hutchison
    I read a few in my teens as well - long, long ago. I gather that the series has moved into the adult market now. But it apparently hasn't been published in English for a a fair while. After the lack of success of the Valerian film a couple of years ago producers are probably a bit gun shy about touching another European Science Fiction franchise. They would prefer just to recycle/ remake old films.
    Last edited by ozduck; 2019-Jan-24 at 01:15 AM.

  2. #3992
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I read a few in my teens as well - long, long ago. I gather that the series has moved into the adult market now. But it apparently hasn't been published in English for a a fair while. After the lack of success of the Valerian film a couple of years ago producers are probably a bit gun shy about touching another European Science Fiction franchise. They would prefer just to recycle/ remake old films.
    Shame. Valerian was about the only big-budget SF/F film I've actually enjoyed in a long time.

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #3993
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    Yes, I watched Valerian on Amazon Prime and had very low expectations based on what I'd heard about it, but ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Sure, it had a space station that was either about as far away as Saturn or many light years away from Earth, and a claimed ISS module that looked a lot like a shiny Apollo CSM, but it was fun to watch. It had an interesting sort of weirdness that I found enjoyable.

    I also enjoyed Arrival more than I expected I would from what I'd heard about it, and liked both of these more than a lot of other recent SF movies.

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  4. #3994
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I also enjoyed Arrival more than I expected I would from what I'd heard about it, and liked both of these more than a lot of other recent SF movies.
    I found Arrival more interesting than enjoyable (but interesting is good). I liked the idea, didn't like the way the story was told.

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #3995
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Shame. Valerian was about the only big-budget SF/F film I've actually enjoyed in a long time.

    Grant Hutchison
    Don't you see the pattern? If you like something obviously few others do.:

  6. #3996
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Don't you see the pattern? If you like something obviously few others do.:
    And the reverse. I long ago became used to that. There used to be a film reviewer in the Times whose tastes were precisely opposed to mine - I went to see every film he hated, and was never disappointed.

    Grant Hutchison

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    I have just finished "Emergence" the 19th novel in the "Foreigner" series by C.J. Cherryh. As usual I enjoyed it and felt that a bit more happened in than in the last couple of books. They have been interesting but seemed a bit static. As with many creators of long running series, the author seems to have fallen a bit in love with the world and characters she has created. In my opinion this has tended to cause a bit more explanation of trivia than is absolutely necessary.

    However, I am still looking forward to the next installment.

  8. #3998
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    Dr. Sam: Johnson, Detector, by Lillian de la Torre. A collection of short stories narrated by James Boswell, in which Dr Samuel Johnson solves crimes and mysteries. De la Torre is often credited with inventing the genre of "historical detection" in 1943, with her first Sam: Johnson story (the colon is correct - it's how Johnson wrote his name). She channels the tone and style of Boswell's writing very well, is true to what we know of Johnson, and often involves real characters and events from the times.
    All great fun. There are another three collections, and I've already ordered them up.

    Grant Hutchison

  9. #3999
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    Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto by Alan Stern and David Grinspoon

    I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. Alan Stern was the PI (Principle Investigator) for the mission. Follows the history from the first conceptions of a Pluto mission, back in 1989, through the flyby. Interesting account that focused a lot more on the difficulties and politics of getting the mission approved than on the science and engineering. If you want to know how to get your mission approved, this is a must read; I never knew it was so difficult or competitive, and I almost found it kind of depressing at times, that it took over a decade of work to even the mission approved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I never knew it was so difficult or competitive, and I almost found it kind of depressing at times, that it took over a decade of work to even the mission approved.
    I chalk this up to our society's priority toward science and exploration funding.

  11. #4001
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    Simon and I started his read-a-thon reading this morning (he's still young enough that the school considers being read to in his total) with a few poems from A Light in the Attic.
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    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

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  12. #4002
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    The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Really enjoyable and funny. Told from the (insightful) perspective of Enzo the dog.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  13. #4003
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    When It Happens To You, something between a novel and a collection of short stories by Molly Ringwald. I initially picked it up because the idea of a book by Molly Ringwald was entertaining to me--I like reading books by celebrities, honestly--but it turns out to be really good.
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    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  14. #4004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Really enjoyable and funny. Told from the (insightful) perspective of Enzo the dog.
    Thanks, i have bought it for my classic racing car friend!
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  15. #4005
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Thanks, i have bought it for my classic racing car friend!
    Good. Yes, I highly recommend it. It's got some tragedy in it, too, but not related to the racing. It's got everything. Enzo's a pretty special dog - very observant.

    I also recently finished The Chord of Evil by Sarah Rayne. It was a random pick out of the library - a lucky one, since I really liked that, too. A mystery that jumped back and forth from present day to the beginnings of WWII.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  16. #4006
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    Just finished a couple by Cormac McCarthy - The Road and Blood Meridian.

    The Road was a journey through a post-apocalyptic landscape, nothing alive, a father and his son traveling to the sea and trying to stay alive.

    Blood Meridian - OMG. I gotta say, this was a work of art, but perhaps the bloodiest of historical novels. A self-styled militia of murderers and Apache scalp hunters - these are your characters. Unbelievable filth and hardship, off through the mountains and deserts, tracking Apaches. He writes so well, you're there. Makes you real glad you don't live in the middle 1800s!
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    I have just finished "Henry V11 The Maligned Tudor King" by Terry Breverton. I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a liking for the minutia of a Tudor Kings travels and finances.

    It started off well enough with an interesting description of the struggles of Henry Tudor as he fled to Brittany and schemed for years to avoid being given over to Edward 1V who would probably have promptly executed him. However, after his victory at Bosworth Field over Richard 111 and his coronation as Henry V11 it often descends in an exhaustive and exhausting description of his travels through his kingdom and a record of almost every shilling he spent. There are, again, interesting accounts of the various rebellions against his reign and his slow descent into illness and depression as he is affected by the deaths of his friends, advisers and family. But they are overcome by the authors apparent determination to provide excessive details of Henry's rule - for me at least.

    What was interesting was that there is still a great deal of animosity between the supporters of Henry V11 and those of Richard 111. The author is firmly in the former camp, as can even be seen in the book title. The competing arguments are discussed but those of Richards supporters are firmly dismissed. It is fascinating that such passions can be found regarding two kings who died over 500 years ago.

  18. #4008
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I have just finished "Henry V11 The Maligned Tudor King" by Terry Breverton. I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a liking for the minutia of a Tudor Kings travels and finances.

    It started off well enough with an interesting description of the struggles of Henry Tudor as he fled to Brittany and schemed for years to avoid being given over to Edward 1V who would probably have promptly executed him. However, after his victory at Bosworth Field over Richard 111 and his coronation as Henry V11 it often descends in an exhaustive and exhausting description of his travels through his kingdom and a record of almost every shilling he spent. There are, again, interesting accounts of the various rebellions against his reign and his slow descent into illness and depression as he is affected by the deaths of his friends, advisers and family. But they are overcome by the authors apparent determination to provide excessive details of Henry's rule - for me at least.

    What was interesting was that there is still a great deal of animosity between the supporters of Henry V11 and those of Richard 111. The author is firmly in the former camp, as can even be seen in the book title. The competing arguments are discussed but those of Richards supporters are firmly dismissed. It is fascinating that such passions can be found regarding two kings who died over 500 years ago.
    Well the Tudor period was by far the most interesting in British history and set up, rather ironically, the golden age of the Stuarts. I am grateful to be warned off that book. I recently read about Kett’s rebellion in a fictional rendering in “ Tombland” set in my region which i can recomend for both a story and an historical context.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  19. #4009
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Well the Tudor period was by far the most interesting in British history and set up, rather ironically, the golden age of the Stuarts. I am grateful to be warned off that book. I recently read about Kett’s rebellion in a fictional rendering in “ Tombland” set in my region which i can recomend for both a story and an historical context.
    As always, this is only my opinion and you might have an entirely different one. But it is a style of book that I didn't really enjoy. I just had a quick look for some reviews and they ranged from good to bad. However, I was highly amused by one review which pilloried him for distorting history to tarnish the name of good king Richard 111 - as I said passions still apparently run high.

    I have heard of that rebellion but I have read little about it in any detail. I will keep out an eye for that book as I have enjoyed similar series in the past - thanks.

  20. #4010
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    There are a lot of adjectives I would use for Henry VII. "Maligned" is not one of them. I'm not a huge Richard III partisan--though I don't think he was responsible for his nephews' death--but just what we know of Henry without touching on Richard at all is enough to make me dislike him!
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    This thread.

  22. #4012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    There are a lot of adjectives I would use for Henry VII. "Maligned" is not one of them. I'm not a huge Richard III partisan--though I don't think he was responsible for his nephews' death--but just what we know of Henry without touching on Richard at all is enough to make me dislike him!
    Leaving aside the 'Princes in the Tower' matter I used to be inclined that way. But, much as I didn't like this book, it did make a number of points in Henry's favour - assuming of course that his statements of fact etc weren't biased themselves. One of them was that he was far less cruel and more merciful than his predecessors and descendants. Another was that his 'greed' was an attempt to give his kingdom a sound financial basis - overwhelmed later by his son's spendthrift ways.

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    A Briefer History of Time by Leonard Mlodinow and Stephen Hawking

    "However, when an antiparticle and a particle meet, they annihilate each other. So if you meet your antiself, don't shake hands - you would both vanish in a great flash of light!"

  24. #4014
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    That doesn't excuse how he treated Katherine of Aragon, though. Sure, the marriage was for an alliance, but he was personally fairly unpleasant toward her.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  25. #4015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    That doesn't excuse how he treated Katherine of Aragon, though. Sure, the marriage was for an alliance, but he was personally fairly unpleasant toward her.
    Yes he certainly was and to be fair the author called him out for it. I hadn't heard about his poor treatment of her before I read this book - perhaps it was better than I thought?

  26. #4016
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    Pratchett's Dodger. What the Dickens!
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  27. #4017
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    Henrik bought me that!
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  28. #4018
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    I'm reading The Delikon to a student. The full story of why is here.
    Solfe

  29. #4019
    Just finished the Elegant Universe, now I might learn some stuff on teleportation. But first some brain juice (coffee).
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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    Pakistan, a hard country, by Anatol Lieven. A fascinating look at modern Pakistan.

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