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>> No. 5456 Anonymous
4th April 2014
Friday 3:02 am
5456 Vurt
This was really good.
Expand all images.
>> No. 5457 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 4:26 pm
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Seconded. I enjoy novels where reality is either flexible, blurred or distorted by the viewpoint of a particular character, and Jeff Noon does these things well. I also like the light touch to the surrealism in Vurt which probably shouldn't work, but does.

Also, thanks for the reminder; I still have Falling Out of Cars to read.
>> No. 5458 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 11:53 pm
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I read a rather interesting analysis of vurt shortly after finishing it which tied the ideas and themes into fractal geometry and some of the ideas put forth by Hofstadter in Eternal Golden Braid and I am a strange loop. It was particularly interesting to me as I'd not made the connection but had bought all three second hand on a whim the same day from the same shop. I also bought something by Campbell that day, who is also mentioned. Not that my own instances of apophenia are of interest to anyone else. Here's the analysis anyway: http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/113/wenaus.html
>> No. 5459 Anonymous
12th April 2014
Saturday 6:56 pm
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This was weird and genius in a number of ways. About fifty pages too long. Should be required reading for conspiracy theorists, it might shut them up occasionally.
>> No. 5461 Anonymous
25th April 2014
Friday 3:35 pm
Oh, this is bloody marvellous. And weird yes, but in the right way.

I'm considering to read Wilson's Prometheus Rising. Looks promising.
>> No. 5462 Anonymous
25th April 2014
Friday 3:59 pm
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This was an easy enough read but a bit pointless. Just well-meaning pop-psych/pop-evo-psych. The whole thing can be summed up in a paragraph.

>Men sexually imprint at about 6 to 10 years of age, women don't imprint but are generally more flexible. Failing to properly teach kids about sex causes more and weirder paraphillias, like plants growing through concrete. It's not their fault they get twisted. Also the author used to wank over pictures of Neanderthals when he was young.

Funnily enough I just ordered a copy of that.
>> No. 5463 Anonymous
25th April 2014
Friday 4:04 pm
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This was entertaining but very silly. Strong YA fiction. The way cyberspace (or levels-of-reality) was handled doesn't compare to the artfulness of Vurt, however.
>> No. 5464 Anonymous
25th April 2014
Friday 4:08 pm
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This is astonishingly well written for a seventeen year old. Reminiscent of Moorcock in terms of themes but the prose is much clearer and entertaining. Sadly the plot is a little bit aimless but it's less than 200 pages so you won't feel like you've wasted much time on it. The what look to be wood-cut illustrations are charming.
>> No. 5465 Anonymous
25th April 2014
Friday 10:50 pm
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> Funnily enough I just ordered a copy of that.

Share your thoughts after reading a few pages of it, please.
>> No. 5466 Anonymous
28th April 2014
Monday 1:12 am
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Vurt Konnegut?
>> No. 5467 Anonymous
28th April 2014
Monday 12:08 pm
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I've not read Prometheus Rising(been meaning to for ages), but The Illuminatus Trilogy blew my tiny little mind when I were a teenlad. Also Cosmic Trigger is well worth a read, it's quite short and a lot more biographical but really interesting. RAW is pretty out there in a lot of ways but the humour and deeply humanistic slant he has on things is lovely.

I'd say also check out some of his talks on youtube, he's a great speaker and just great fun to listen to. Some of his ideas are maybe slightly dated but he was very much a product of his time. Highly intelligent and just seemed like a lovely bloke.
>> No. 5468 Anonymous
28th April 2014
Monday 2:37 pm
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The humour and humanistic slant reminded me of Douglas Adams. So did the plot, in some ways.
>> No. 5469 Anonymous
28th April 2014
Monday 3:33 pm
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Yeah they both have that highly intelligent but absurdist take on things which I enjoy. I can barely remember the plot to Illuminatus it's been so long, aside from the conspiracy within conspiracy Hail Eris! bonkerness of it. I remember it being a proper head fuck and really enjoying it though. Some of Wilson's ideas are pretty fucking mad but he always seems open to the idea that he's entirely wrong about them which is, I think, an admirable quality. All the stuff about channeling entities from the Sirius star system and Pucas and his love of synchonicty are all just fucking bonkers but he seems like a beacon of sanity amongst the madness when you actually listen to or read him.
Either way he is/was an incredibly interesting bloke. I still often listen to his talks and interviews on youtube, there's something really comforting about them. I wish there were more "Old Bobs" about.

I also think he's actually been quite influential on a lot of counter cultural type stuff. I'm sure he'd fucking love all the insane music industry illuminati symbology and theory that is so prevalent nowadays. Although maybe the fact that it often seems to be nothing other than a marketing gimmick nowadays is a bit shit.
I reckon Operation Mindfuck has definitely been in full effect for a while now though.

I think I'll grab Prometheus Rising and maybe Vurt as well. Haven't read any good scifi in a bit.

Also if people are into their scifi and haven't read any of Iain M bank's 'Culture' novels you really are missing out. They're flipping great books.
>> No. 5470 Anonymous
30th April 2014
Wednesday 9:13 pm
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genuinely brilliant, words fucking on a page, not quite so much as nymphomation but still lyrical.
>> No. 5471 Anonymous
30th April 2014
Wednesday 10:04 pm
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Only finished the preface and introduction to PR and I already feel like I should probably rewatch the lectures on the 8-circuit mind then read the Dhammapada and Intro to General Semantics before I carry on with the rest of the book. Never mind, time for that later.
>> No. 5472 Anonymous
30th April 2014
Wednesday 11:52 pm
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This one. Quite good, I'd say.
>> No. 5473 Anonymous
1st May 2014
Thursday 1:37 am
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I've heard Stephenson is quite unsubtle and more for the YA market than anything. Do correct me if I'm wrong.
>> No. 5474 Anonymous
1st May 2014
Thursday 3:39 pm
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I don't really know, lad; I'm no expert in appraising books. I find his books (so far I have read the Baroque Cycle) interesting and entertaining.
>> No. 5475 Anonymous
6th May 2014
Tuesday 2:32 pm
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This took a lot longer to finish than I expected as life got in the way. I started off making notes on each chapter as I went along but they weren't anything of any interest to anyone else and were making me pick holes in the writing rather than appreciating it for itself so I stopped after a couple of chapters.
It is definitely worth reading. Witty and full of interesting ideas presented clearly. Some of it is clearly false or suspect but the author acknowledges that as being unavoidable and it doesn't really detract from the theories. There's probably some validity to the stuff about circuits but I'm not entirely convinced. The imprinting stuff seems close to the mark. The best bits are probably the way he explains subjective reality, even if you are aware of it, it's very good at repeating the same point in a way that isn't boring but makes it easier to remember yourself and use as a tool in that way. The Milligan-esque drawings are a nice touch. I'd certainly recommend the book, it's generally logical and nothing like the hippy claptrap one might expect. Not a whole lot in it that you couldn't learn from Illuminatus! if you tried but it does clarify the points he's making.

Sorry, I'm instinctively inclined to be snobbish about books, completely unfairly in this case as I've never read anything of his. I'll give it a go in the near future.
>> No. 5476 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 6:43 am
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I wouldn't bother with Stephenson, to be honest. I picked up Quicksilver from my local second hand bookshop, because it was big, cheap, and the owner had heard it might be worth a read. I guess it isn't bad, but yeah more YA I feel. I got about two thirds of the way through, put it down because I had picked up something else, and haven't bothered picking it up again for over a month. I don't usually do that.

Also, Stephenson is nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is. Nowhere near...

If you haven't read any Iain M Banks, go for that. Get Excession. I think you will enjoy that as a (incredibly intense) starter book.
>> No. 5477 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 11:53 am
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Maybe I am far too YA in my head for my own good still but I liked Stephenson's earlier work particularly Snow Crash which is still a latter-day classic of the genre. I found Cryptonomicon a bit too over-arching for me and I would have preferred if it'd just stayed on the present-day thread. I haven't read any of his Baroque trilogy stuff because it seemed just too self-masturbatory. The last book of his I managed to complete was The Diamond Age which I seem to have fond memories of despite not actually enjoying reading it at all at the time.

Pic related is one of my more recent reads, just to reduce the pointlessness of this post slightly.
>> No. 5478 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 2:21 pm
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I've read a lot of Greg Bear and Asimov, but only Ian Banks not Ian M. How does he compare to the other two?

Any comments to make on that 69 book?
>> No. 5479 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 2:52 pm
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> Any comments to make on that 69 book?

Bizarre but enjoyable enough that I'm hunting down one of his other books at the moment. The main downside is that the author obviously tries far too hard to be clever (or perhaps I mean tries far too hard to be avant-garde/post-modern/arty. You could almost imagine the book being displayed in the Tate Modern).

His writing style could be comparable to Will Self or William S Burroughs, although I'm sure the author himself would hate such comparisons.
>> No. 5480 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 4:11 pm
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It's okay, lad. I don't mind I am a bit like that myself. And thank you for the comment on „Prometheus rising”.
> Also, Stephenson is nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is. Nowhere near...
Can you please elaborate on that?
>> No. 5481 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 4:27 pm
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I know the author slightly and know just how much he would indeed hate those comparisons. I think your overall assessment is about right. Other titles of his which are especially worth seeking out are Come Before Christ and Murder Love and Memphis Underground.
>> No. 5482 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 5:47 pm
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Thanks for the tips. I'm currently waiting for an Amazon marketplace vendor to send me an apparently out of print Down and Out in Shoreditch and Hoxton. I'll see if I can track down the ones you recommend too.
>> No. 5483 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 6:36 pm
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Oh that is a good one. A curious fact about it is that every paragraph is exactly 100 words long - he was inspired by the sort of literary self-restrictions used by Georges Perec where he wrote a book without using the letter 'E'.

With 69 Things one of his primary sources was Ann Quin's novel 'Berg'. "A man called Berg, who changed his name to Greb, came to a seaside town intending to kill his father..."
>> No. 5484 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 10:23 pm
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Those are both pretty awesome things to know, thank you. I look forward to receiving Down and out, apparently some paragraphs are essentially cut-n-pasted with only key words changed in an almost Burroughsian style. That's about the only other thing I know about it.
>> No. 5485 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 10:30 pm
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Just picked up a copy of Berg off Amazon, allegedly an original 1964 copy (although I'm dubious). Thanks again.
>> No. 5486 Anonymous
12th May 2014
Monday 2:46 pm
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Just finished this. Seems like a strong early novel but the use of alliteration and pointlessly obscure vocabulary crowbarred in detracts from the immersion somewhat. It felt like a serious version of Pratchett's, which is no bad thing. Not much connection felt to the characters plus the creature design was a bit weak. Points for effort in not using the same old fantasy world though. The world itself was intriguing and the plot enthralling enough. Very hard to shake the impression it wasn't just set in a weird London but that's ok. It's about on par with the city and the city, the best of his books in my humble opinion.
>> No. 5487 Anonymous
15th May 2014
Thursday 11:30 am
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This was an interesting contrast to Perdido Street Station. There are a lot of things to take issue with such as the oddly simplistic way her world functions, the obvious satires, the retro-active attempts to crowbar cultural references into the third novel and most particularly the infantile understanding of computers. A lot of it was just silly and it's unclear how intentional that is. In terms of the setting it's a lot weaker than The Handmaiden's Tale if only because that book didn't try to explain their reality in much detail so there's less to fall apart. But I'm being massively over-critical, because none of that stuff is particularly important. The storytelling and the dialogue is wonderful, the female characters seem very real and human, they're beautifully portrayed. Particularly the format she uses in the final of the trilogy, it was an engaging read.
Trigger warning: all three of these books have overt feminist and ecological agendas. Almost to Sexing the Cherry level of dogmatism but without the unpleasantness.
>> No. 5488 Anonymous
20th May 2014
Tuesday 10:49 pm
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A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking by G.R. Haskins.
A nice intro to cognitive biases, arguments and things like that.
>> No. 5489 Anonymous
20th May 2014
Tuesday 10:59 pm
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So simultaneously wacky, pretentious, yet ultimately middle-of-the-road. Sounds like standard Míeville to me.
>> No. 5490 Anonymous
20th May 2014
Tuesday 11:41 pm
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For some reason HR Giger dying inspired me to finally get around to reading Dune, he was meant to work on the film that never happened.

Also bought Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and a Ray Bradbury short stories collection for good measure.
>> No. 5491 Anonymous
21st May 2014
Wednesday 1:21 am
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Please don't remind me of Railsea. I maintain that Looking For Jake was a solid collection of stories.

I could be mistaken but I think Giger did do quite a bit of art in prep for it. I'm picturing a strange baby-faced tank. If you haven't seen them they're probably floating around somewhere assuming I didn't just imagine this.
>> No. 5492 Anonymous
21st May 2014
Wednesday 1:47 am
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Search for a documentary called Jodorowski's Dune, it shows a lot of the artwork that Giger and Moebius did for the film.
>> No. 5493 Anonymous
29th May 2014
Thursday 9:58 am
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Thanks, grabbing that now. Sounds fascinating.
>> No. 5494 Anonymous
3rd June 2014
Tuesday 10:59 pm
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I sense a slight despisal towards YA literature in your posts. Why? Lack of mature finesse? Lack of depth?
>> No. 5495 Anonymous
3rd June 2014
Tuesday 11:35 pm
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I don't know if I analyse literature in enough depth to know exactly what I dislike about it, I just usually find some fault or another with it.
Then again, I'm probably just trying too hard to feel like an adult.
>> No. 5496 Anonymous
4th June 2014
Wednesday 11:03 pm
5496 spacer
All right, cheers.
>> No. 5497 Anonymous
4th June 2014
Wednesday 11:48 pm
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Just finished re-reading this. Not much to say except it was definitely better the second time around. There's an awful lot I missed out on originally but it was much easier to understand the second time. The prose (even translated) is fluid and beautiful, the ideas complex and fascinating. It's a little like reading a kaleidoscope. Very difficult to explain to anyone what it's about.
In a way, not unlike the Stanley Parable of fiction. Only less depressing.
>> No. 5513 Anonymous
5th June 2014
Thursday 10:59 pm
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Orwell's "Politics and the English language". I tend to think that it can be applied to some other things as well, not only to the language.

Also I have started reading the aforementioned Prometheus Rising. Makes me wonder how will I carry out the bloody party exercises being a recluse. So far I have read only the introduction and the first chapter. Looks promising.
>> No. 5518 Anonymous
5th June 2014
Thursday 11:58 pm
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>> No. 5520 Anonymous
6th June 2014
Friday 12:33 am
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That article is far worse than the fact of any adult reading YA fiction. It's also addressing a far more juvenile level of novel than Gibson, Stephenson et al who've been name-dropped in this thread thus far.
>> No. 5521 Anonymous
6th June 2014
Friday 12:46 am
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>> No. 5548 Anonymous
6th June 2014
Friday 4:04 pm
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That prejudice only makes sense if you're one of those weirdos who fetishises the very idea of books and reading and want to make sure everyone knows what you're reading and what an intellectual you are.
>> No. 5578 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 2:24 pm
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You sound more than a little intellectually insecure yourself.
>> No. 5579 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 2:41 pm
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Nice one, "no u" is a classic of the genre.
>> No. 5580 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 2:51 pm
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It's also a valid observation.
>> No. 5581 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 3:59 pm
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I'll be sure to take note, Sigmund.
>> No. 5582 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 4:13 pm
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Four chapters through so far. It does assuredly maintain its status as an interesting book. Still struggling with exercises. I suppose it is all right, since the whole idea is about overcoming your "programming" but anyway.
> Animals outline their territories with their excretions, humans outline their territories by ink excretions on paper.
> 2. Get roaring drunk and pound the table, telling everybody in
a loud voice just what dumb assholes they all are.
Gave me a good laugh.
>> No. 5583 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 4:33 pm
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I'll look forward to your equally lucid rants on /e/ and /v/ at people daring to discuss their opinions on the media they've enjoyed lately.

He has a great sense of humour. Do you think you'll try any of the exercises?
>> No. 5584 Anonymous
30th June 2014
Monday 3:53 pm
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> Do you think you'll try any of the exercises?
I have already. Haven't found enough coins yet but anyway. The one with discerning what people's Thinkers think and Provers prove is interesting but I think I haven't reached the full understanding. Assumptions only.

The "50-something questions" exercise was kind of easy. Get in and there are all kinds of weird questions flood in, just pick those on-topic. A very good thing to do whilst in the bogs.

The "can I beat the shit out of that person" exercise makes me somewhat wary. I think that's partly because of my combining it with Cooper's advice on remaining in condition yellow [1] when not home. As for getting pissed and knocking the table - tough shit.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Cooper#Combat_Mindset_and_the_Cooper_Color_Code
>> No. 5598 Anonymous
30th July 2014
Wednesday 3:54 pm
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>> No. 5599 Anonymous
30th July 2014
Wednesday 4:15 pm
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>> No. 5650 Anonymous
16th August 2014
Saturday 9:56 pm
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Going forwards. Chapters 8 and 9. This is where it starts to echo with some stuff I read earlier. Upbringing methods, specifically, and other things related.

> 1. Recreate vividly in imagination your first orgasm. To what extent do you still use the same accessories (stimuli) to turn you on?
Bloody hell. I have been consulting prof. Hans Jerkov since the age of 7, I think. It is going to be tough.
> 2. Try to change your sexual imprint. See if you can reach orgasm by some method that has been taboo or unthinkable to you before.
Well, shit. What do I do now, wank to fat transsexuals? This is going to be fun indeed.

There is another problem I have run into whilst reading this book. I think I have finally realised (or I am approaching to that realisation) how actually daft and ignorant I am. Not sure whether this is good or bad. I'd say it's rather good but something needs to be done about this.

Otherwise, continuing to read the book.
>> No. 5651 Anonymous
16th August 2014
Saturday 10:12 pm
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> 2. Try to change your sexual imprint. See if you can reach orgasm by some method that has been taboo or unthinkable to you before.
Doesn't sound like a very healthy book to me...
>> No. 5652 Anonymous
16th August 2014
Saturday 10:15 pm
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> I think I have finally realised (or I am approaching to that realisation) how actually daft and ignorant I am.

Cleverer individuals than you have been saying for a long time that the trick to being intelligent is remembering precisely how little of absolutely fuck all you actually know. You'll be fine.
>> No. 5653 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 2:45 pm
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Funniest book i've read.
>> No. 5654 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 3:10 pm
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>> No. 5655 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 3:27 pm
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This one advice is really innocent. See the discussion above.
I hope so.
>> No. 5656 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 5:31 pm
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>> No. 5657 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 7:10 pm
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This was really quite interesting. I read it as a child and somehow only picked up on one of the plots which stuck with me for years, but it was well worth re-reading.
>> No. 5658 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 7:13 pm
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This was ... weak. The plot is under developed and while striving to cover a great deal, feels short. It's also weirdly self-consciously sexist; the protagonists wife being a generally useless proto-MacGuffin who is aware of her own status as something to simply run around after the protagonist.
>> No. 5659 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 7:16 pm
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I haven't yet finished reading this but it is much better than Time. Sadly, a lot of what's interesting about it wouldn't make sense without having read Time. I don't know how sensible any of the authors ideas are, really, the stories being not very hard science, but reading this has thrown a lot of light on what Baxter and Pratchett are trying to achieve with the Long series.
I guess if you read the first and enjoy it, save your time and money by reading a synopsis of Time rather than reading the book itself, then move onto this one.
>> No. 5686 Anonymous
2nd September 2014
Tuesday 9:34 pm
5686 Chapter 10
> Refute this whole book
Well Mr. Wilson, I have been wondering when you'd ask. Whether the expectation of such request is obvious or not, I have been asking this question to myself since I started to read this book.

Anyway. Going through the "we are all right, you are all wrong; it is unlikely that one as wrong as you will become right ever but we'll try to teach you" part has reminded me one particular tech forum. I doubt they had ever been trying to reimprint someone (and if they had, they probably failed miserably) but the principle echoes the very principles of communication with "newchaps" on that forum. I do even recall behaving like that myself sometimes. Damn shame.

I have also hit the metaphorical trap door of thinking about brainwashing evasion. It seems to be fairly easy from the comfy arm-chair but I doubt that it really is. I am not sure what would I do if I were drafted and thrown into a boot camp. Could I theoretically devise a strategy to remain myself, throw out all incoming bullshit whilst learning anything that's good? Or would that be too resource-consuming?

The following exercises propose to learn to listen and to observe. Maybe that'll help.
>> No. 5687 Anonymous
5th September 2014
Friday 3:12 pm
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At Swim-Two-Birds- image 3.jpg
Some fantastic and witty meta-fiction writing here, aside from the occasional segment composed of Epic Irish poetry, which tends to drag. At just over 200 pages this is a great light read.
>> No. 5688 Anonymous
5th September 2014
Friday 3:19 pm
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This is just absolute excellence in writing. The sort of book you can read and re-read and keep finding new stuff in. I've no idea where the treasure is hidden yet. There's not even any noncing, other than a strong pederast subtext, the most graphic of which is a sentence which refers to "plucking ripe figs and peaches" (paraphrased). It's worth reading for the poem alone, never mind the commentary. Best to not get a copy that says the author's name in a large font anywhere if there's any chance anyone will see it, else you will get some funny looks.
>> No. 5689 Anonymous
5th September 2014
Friday 3:29 pm
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>Best to not get a copy that says the author's name in a large font anywhere if there's any chance anyone will see it, else you will get some funny looks.
Which is a damn shame, because even Lolita is not the book people think it is. You do get some bloody funny looks if you read it on the bus though.
>> No. 5690 Anonymous
10th September 2014
Wednesday 7:38 pm
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This book is hilariously ineptly written. The author doesn't seem to know anything about teenagers or drugs.
>> No. 5691 Anonymous
10th September 2014
Wednesday 10:54 pm
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Oh, she's gloriously bad. Her name escapes me, but she wrote loads of similar books claiming to be the diaries of teenagers who got involved in [insert scare topic here] and had various awful things happen. I found 'Jay's Journal' in a charity shop a while back, which is another of hers, and it's hilarious. A teenager sells his soul to the devil via a demon named Raoul, with cattle mutilation and all sorts of other nonsense thrown in.
>> No. 5692 Anonymous
10th September 2014
Wednesday 11:00 pm
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This https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay%27s_Journal ?
I can't help but think Sparks has more harm than good with these ludicrous diaries. I'm sure she means well.
>> No. 5693 Anonymous
10th September 2014
Wednesday 11:45 pm
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That's the one; apologies for mis-spelling the demon's name. Comedy value of the books aside, I've no doubt you're right that she's done more harm than good, though given some of the allegations of unethical behaviour against her (the Barrett family aren't the only ones unhappy with the way she used material given to her if I remember rightly) I'm not sure if she genuinely means well or is simply the equivalent of a tabloid editor at their worst, not caring that's she's exploiting real people's misery and then distorting it beyond all recognition because she knows it'll sell. It really was the most overblown and hysterical nonsense, a version of Satanism so cartoonish that a seventies Hammer film would look tame in comparison - she's a lot like Jack Chick, actually.
>> No. 5694 Anonymous
10th September 2014
Wednesday 11:51 pm
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Well, she is a Mormon. Jack Chick is a pretty good comparison.
>> No. 5695 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 8:07 am
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I wish I was part of a Satanic cult, but they'd probably just boot me out for being a dickhead anyway.
>> No. 5696 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 3:36 pm
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The Man Who Was Thursday. I stumbled upon it whilst playing Deus Ex. Cannot say anything as I've just started reading it. The excerpts from the game were quite intriguing though.
>> No. 5697 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 5:44 pm
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Only at a Satanic cult meeting would the bald prick in the next row forward so obstinately stand in the way of the shot.
>> No. 5698 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 6:22 pm
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>> No. 5699 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 8:18 pm
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Well you've ruined that picture for me, thanks very much.
>> No. 5700 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 9:47 pm
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That fucking Anton.
>> No. 6016 Anonymous
13th July 2015
Monday 4:10 pm
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Finished Aldington's Death of a Hero.
I was told it is an anti-war novel but it seems to me that the author steamrolled many other things as well in it. Good read. Wish I read it several years ago.
>> No. 6017 Anonymous
13th July 2015
Monday 4:46 pm
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Posted about 10 months ago, but still got a laugh out of me. Good job.

Assuming this is the 'what are you reading' thread, I'm getting through Broca's Brain by Carl Sagan at the moment. I ditched it a year ago because the bulk of the book is made up of debunking, point-by-point, questionable scientific arguments in texts from the period it was published that really aren't very relevant anymore. It's a bit tedious getting through the fine details of debates that ended forty odd years ago, but I'm trying to draw more general knowledge out of it, and Sagan's writing is really pleasant.

I really love his short biography of Einstein, not cloying, but captures what made him an inspirational figure.
>> No. 6018 Anonymous
13th July 2015
Monday 4:51 pm
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Apologies for double posting, but not coincidentally there was a lovely bit about Sagan and Voyager's audio recordings on the BBC World Service's Science Hour just recently. It's why I picked up the book again. Worth a listen:

>> No. 6162 Anonymous
5th September 2015
Saturday 1:28 pm
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Just finished this over my morning coffee. Definitely lives up to the reviews, and just as stylish as his Mars trilogy. I've always maintained that good SF is a study of human nature, and this really excels at blending the technological aspects with the human story without falling into the trap of just becoming a dumpload of dry technical data. Very enjoyable book.
>> No. 6178 Anonymous
7th October 2015
Wednesday 5:54 pm
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Geoff Thompson's Dead or Alive. I don't even remember where I got this one.

Haven't finished it so nothing substantial to say for now. Sorry for the lousy quality pic.
>> No. 6222 Anonymous
22nd November 2015
Sunday 5:00 pm
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Just 4 months and I've finished re-reading it. I did not notice how the author's snarkiness decreased as I approached the end of the book the first time but I have noticed it now.

I have also really appreciated his description of George's alienation from his former environment. Somewhat reminds me of London's Martin Eden's finale. Exactly as bitter. Exactly as hard to fathom it truly if you have never been in any of the two situations portrayed.
>> No. 6243 Anonymous
13th December 2015
Sunday 4:50 pm
6243 The Day of the Jackal
'They can't shoot straight.'

Then a fuck-up by OAS where a jocular question asked by one of the policemen prompted the reveal of the whole plot.

So far, nice.
>> No. 6244 Anonymous
14th December 2015
Monday 10:27 am
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Picked this up on the recommendation of a friend, enjoyed it quite a lot.
>> No. 6245 Anonymous
14th December 2015
Monday 11:23 pm
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Anything like Snow Crash or The Diamond Age as far as you know?
>> No. 6280 Anonymous
27th February 2016
Saturday 7:22 pm
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Not at all like Snow Crash. Seveneves is very much SF whereas Snowcrash is a homage to/satire of Cyberpunk. Personally I much preferred Seveneves; it goes on a bit but some of the scenes are really magnificent. There's a wonderful description of the end of the world as viewed from the ISS where they're all listening on the radio to the last broadcasts, mainly live orchestras around the world in cathedrals and stadiums and so on, playing various classical pieces as the world dies around them.
>> No. 6292 Anonymous
2nd March 2016
Wednesday 10:14 pm
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God, I found Snowcrash unbearable. It literally gave me a headache at parts.
>> No. 6293 Anonymous
3rd March 2016
Thursday 12:14 am
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I can't say I was a big fan of it. It seemed to be trying to satirise cyberpunk whilst still being a totally sincere cyberpunk novel with nothing new to say.
>> No. 6295 Anonymous
3rd March 2016
Thursday 2:11 am
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It didn't occur to me at any point that it was trying to satirise cyberpunk, but then I've not read that much so there may well have been references or in-jokes I missed. I just found the style of breathless run-on sentences, the "dynamic fast-paced futuristic" tone or whatever, to be exhausting; the cyberpunk I've read has been bad for this but I found it particularly grating in Snowcrash. The characters and plot were also fucking ridiculous.

Which doesn't leave much, really.
>> No. 6296 Anonymous
3rd March 2016
Thursday 2:21 am
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>there may well have been references or in-jokes I missed.
The protagonists name is Hiro Protagonist.
>The characters and plot were also fucking ridiculous.
That's probably part of the "joke", or at least the sort of thing fans of it will claim is the joke.
>> No. 6297 Anonymous
10th March 2016
Thursday 7:46 pm
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Kelly Victor.jpg
Some time last year I thought I'd have a go at reading some modern Welsh literature, see what the taff answer to Trainspotting is, that sort of thing. So I got this on recommendation.
It's not very good. The story of two young people falling into a rather violent love affair, told from both their perspectives. Aside from the plot itself being a non-starter and going somewhere predictable, the prose is tedious. The first half of the book is told from Victor's perspective, then it tells the same story again but from Kelly's. That could be interesting, but it's not. You don't learn anything new from what she says and she narrates in exactly the same way as him, even using the same imagery. If you're into amateurish, dangerously violent sub/dom sex stuff then you might enjoy it, otherwise it's a complete waste of paper.
>> No. 6298 Anonymous
10th March 2016
Thursday 7:55 pm
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At the same time for the same reasons, I picked up The Long Dry by Cynan Jones.
A real gem of a book, if a gem can be made from bleakness and despair. A heartwrenchingly beautiful story of life on a small British farm, I ordered his second and third novels as soon as I'd finished. Really can't recommend this any more highly, especially if you've had any sort of connection with rural life. The other two weren't quite as good, similar stuff; one about a fisherman and a Polish immigrant, one a farmer and a dodgy gypsy but told in the same captivating melancholy style. Cynan Jones makes Irvine Welsh read like cheap, tawdry entertainment.
>> No. 6299 Anonymous
11th March 2016
Friday 7:44 pm
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> with nothing new to say

To be fair it was written in 1992. The genre defining Neuromancer was only written in 1984 (with follow ups released in '86 and '88 respectively) so I'm fairly sure that in 1992 Snowcrash was a breath of fresh air, especially compared to the genre it served to satirize and Gibson's sprawl trilogy that exemplified it.

For what it's worth, I found the plot fairly good when I read it as a teenlad. I especially enjoyed the way it blended religion, linguistics, and a much more realistic and accurate interpretation of virtual reality than Gibson's novels ever did (Second Life, anyone?).

If Snowcrash is guilty of anything, it's being a novel very much of its time. I'll admit that taken out of that context it may not make very much sense at all.

Cryptonomicon and The Diamond Age are also both very good, although the 1000 and 500 page heft of them is enough to put more than a few people off.
>> No. 6300 Anonymous
11th March 2016
Friday 10:10 pm
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I can't say I agree with Cryptonomicon being very good. It was good enough that I bothered to finish reading it but no more. It didn't really have a plot, did you notice that? It was just a bunch of stuff that happened.

>a much more realistic and accurate interpretation of virtual reality than Gibson's novels ever did (Second Life, anyone?).
Are we using Second Life now? Is anyone? The idea that the entire internet would be some sort of Second Life analogue is no more realistic than Gibson's confused reckoning of VR.
>> No. 6302 Anonymous
11th March 2016
Friday 11:07 pm
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> It didn't really have a plot, did you notice that? It was just a bunch of stuff that happened.

It's been nigh on fifteen years since I read it but I'd have to tentatively disagree with you on that, pending my rereading it. The plot was extremely convoluted though, being divided as it was across two time periods, and I felt exceedingly frustrated by the ending of the book; it felt as though there was another book or two's worth of plot missing off the end. Unfortunately Stephenson didn't continue with the story but rather segued off into writing The Baroque Cycle which I didn't take to at all.

> Are we using Second Life now? Is anyone? The idea that the entire internet would be some sort of Second Life analogue is no more realistic than Gibson's confused reckoning of VR.

I suppose my point was much more that at least Stephenson's avatar vision of internet representation has been played out to some extent in reality in everything from Second Life to every MMORPG ever. Granted our own current internet has gone in a totally different and more logical direction, but it's still vastly more realistic than Gibson's vision. We might not literally wander through a 3D internet world, but in some ways Facebook, Instagram etc force us to project an idealized avatar of ourselves, and what difference between the gargoyles in Snowcrash and the majority of us who live glued to smartphone screens?
>> No. 6303 Anonymous
11th March 2016
Friday 11:52 pm
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The book ended with them finding all the gold, as though that was what it had all been building up towards, but we didn't even know it existed until half way through the book, and it didn't feel like anything very important hinged on them doing so. The plot was meandering rather than convoluted. And don't get me started on the sections where he just dumped in mathematical equations related to cryptography that he'd sometimes explain in prose and sometimes not.

I suppose you have a point about the SL thing, but it was written almost ten years later, he must have been more aware of computers and the internet in a way that Gibson wasn't at the time of writing Neuromancer.
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