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What are you reading?

smittycl

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The biggest problem seems to me to be that The Old Ones are described to be so outside our comprehension as to be maddening to look upon, making any visual depiction an automatic failure (even though Cthulhu is pretty detailed described in the story). It definitely would require the right balance of how much to attempt to show - maybe someone like Guillermo del Toro could pull it off.
He's apparently been trying the make "At the Mountains of Madness" for ages.

 

Kaplan

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H.G. Wells: The Time Machine, 1895.

"It is a law of Nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble."

Wells invents the time machine in this brisk classic - easily read in one sitting with its 115 pages. Not merely an adventure tale with Eloi and Morlocks, this had more philosophical and societal ruminations than I expected. The description of time as the Fourth Dimension seemed very modern for 1895, and it was fun to see how Wells' writing style felt rather modern as well, even compared to that of Lovecraft from 40 years later. The story even takes a quick jaunt to a future dying earth under a red sun - a setting Jack Vance embraced 55 years later with great results.
 

Fueco

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Reading one of my favorite authors while the kids are doing swim lessons…

IMG_4733.jpeg
 

smittycl

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Started up the Flashman series - good stuff!
Read them and love them! They do get a bit old after a while, though, after Flashman and the Great Game. I would highly recommend Fraser's stand-alone novel Mr. American. It's about an American outlaw who flees to England around 1900 with stolen gold and pushes into the English wealthy classes. An aged General Flashman makes an appearance. Smashing read.

1705496810694.png
 

smittycl

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Noted! I've also got The Complete McAuslan as a backup
71vHBrQPvHL._AC_UL320_.jpg
Some of those stories are very funny. Scots generally don't appreciate the caricature of PVT McAuslan as the "shambling tartan Caliban."
 

Kaplan

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E.M. Forster: The Machine Stops, 1909.

"But humanity, in its desire for comfort, had overreached itself... Quietly and complacently, it was sinking into decadence."

I wasn't aware of it when started this, but it turned out to be inspired by Wells' The Time Machine that I read yesterday, also presenting a future where a lack of adversity leads to cultural, intellectual and spiritual decline - this time with technology to blame. Extremely prescient for a 115 years old text (and more so now than it would've been 20 years ago), predicting Zoom calls, instant messaging, access to thousands of friends at the touch of a button, TED talks (but only with recycled ideas), and a pretty precise description of live like we've recently seen under lock-down.

Extremely well written and a breeze to read (this probably shouldn't have been a surprise - Forster was nominated for the Nobel Price in Literature in 22 separate years). The best short story I've read, highly recommended.
 
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wojt

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H.G. Wells: The Time Machine, 1895.

"It is a law of Nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble."

Wells invents the time machine in this brisk classic - easily read in one sitting with its 115 pages. Not merely an adventure tale with Eloi and Morlocks, this had more philosophical and societal ruminations than I expected. The description of time as the Fourth Dimension seemed very modern for 1895, and it was fun to see how Wells' writing style felt rather modern as well, even compared to that of Lovecraft from 40 years later. The story even takes a quick jaunt to a future dying earth under a red sun - a setting Jack Vance embraced 55 years later with great results.
It's a great book, The Island of Doctor Moreau is pretty much in this vein. Both much better than corresponding attempts to put these stories to screen.
 

Kaplan

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It's a great book, The Island of Doctor Moreau is pretty much in this vein. Both much better than corresponding attempts to put these stories to screen.
Good to hear. As can be seen here, that one recently entered my TBR list.
 

smittycl

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Good to hear. As can be seen here, that one recently entered my TBR list.
The Elric series (just books 1-6) was fun when I was younger. I re-read them during the pandemic but they fell short. He has great idea but is not always the best writer.
 

Kaplan

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The Elric series (just books 1-6) was fun when I was younger. I re-read them during the pandemic but they fell short. He has great idea but is not always the best writer.
That volume collects the first 4 books. Will get around to them when I take a break from Science Fiction, along with some other accumulated Sword & Sorcery (from Fritz Leiber, C.L. Moore and Lord Dunsany - I should get some Robert E. Howard too).

I did read one SF novel by Moorcock, The Final Programme - interesting, but not a favourite.
 

double00

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mountains of madness was a fun read but even more fun and interesting was the introduction which filets lovecrafts class prejudices .

in other news i just re-read The Demolished Man , a great cat n mouse story involving a mind reading detective and his world-beating quarry .
 

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