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What are you reading?

edinatlanta

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To continue the theme above and further interrupt the sci fi nerdfest...
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edinatlanta

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Sci fi adjacent....

Had to finish this last week because "they" wouldn't let me renew the book. (Something about there being multiple holds on ot after me :paranoia::tinfoil::marchal:).

It was good. Im familiar with so many of these stories so there wasnt that much new ground to cover for me. In fact honestly only a few things about the scientific exploration of alien life and some of the international stories of ufo sightings.

His thesis is interesting and while i believe in ufos/aliens/that stuff i do it only because it is more fun to think there's a conspiracy at play or whatever. There just has to have been some other form of life in the universe considering its scope and length of existence. What that life resembles is probably irrelevant though.

90
 

smittycl

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There are a slew of excellent novelizations of the Greek Myths by female authors in the past few years. Reading Jennifer Saint's new book on Atalanta, the only female crew member of the Argo.

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Pat Barker's are the best of the bunch but there are plenty of others.

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Kaplan

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Gene Wolfe: Claw of the Conciliator, 1981.

"There are beings--and artifacts--against which we batter our intelligence raw, and in the end make peace with reality only by saying, "It was an apparition, a thing of beauty and horror.""

More is revealed of the world, the narrator grows more unreliable, and the plot thickens.
 

Kaplan

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Gene Wolfe: The Sword of the Lictor, 1982.

"All of us, I suppose, when we think we are talking most intimately to someone else, are actually addressing an image we have of the person to whom we believe we speak."

In a world already ripe with fantastic and fantastical ideas, Wolfe keeps adding more, and ramps up the action. Great stuff.
 

Kaplan

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Gene Wolfe: The Citadel of the Autarch, 1983.

"This is a true story. I know many stories. Some are made up, though perhaps the made up ones were true in times everyone has forgotten."

This 4th volume concludes The Book of the New Sun - which really is a single book; similar to how Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings as a single volume (and would had released as such, if not for his publisher), Wolfe had finished 2nd draft on these four installments before releasing the first.

But unlike Tolkien who disliked allegory, this is brimming with it. In a TV interview from the early 80's (available in full on youtube), Wolfe talks about the three levels he feels a text might be read, and when asked which previous work he would recommend to inform the reading of this, he quietly suggests The New Testament.

Much have been written about the ways TBotNS can be interpreted, and for some the fun seems to be to solve all of Wolfe's puzzles, but the superb thing about this is that the setting and the surface story are so great on their own, that you can choose to engage with these deeper levels as much or as little as you want. Unless having unresolved questions frustrate you: many claim that a 2nd or 3rd read is required to get the full picture.

And there's more to Wolfe's writing yet: In an examination on whether this work can be rightfully called a masterpiece, this quote stood out:

"The literary game Wolfe constructs is most notable in terms of textual structure. Wolfe’s presentation of his rational sf novel as a non-rational fantasy, together with his subversion of the Campbellian heroic cycle, provide an insight not only into the possibilities of the genre but also into how habitual modes of reading inform and construct the reader’s reception of a text."

Some accolades: Each of the four volumes earned various awards, Wolfe himself was named a Grand Master of SF, Ursula Le Guin called him the Melville of SF, and Neil Gaiman put this book in the top spot of his three favorite science fiction novels. For myself, I expect the unlikely messiah of Severian of The Torturer's Guild, wrapped in his cloak of fuligin (the colour darker than black) carrying his large executioners sword Terminus Est, and his extraordinary journey, to stay with with me for some time - and will likely revisit it, ignoring the warning Severian himself ends the initial volumes with:

"Here I pause. If you wish to walk no farther with me, reader, I do not blame you. It is no easy road."
 

Kaplan

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Dan Simmons: Hyperion, 1989.

"Kassad felt the pull of the time tides like waves of déjà vu tugging at every cell of his body."

"... the fact that we spend most of our mental lives in brain mansions build of words means that we lack the objectivity necessary to see the terrible distortion of reality which language brings."

"Worrying about AIs turning on us is about as productive as worrying that farm animals are going to revolt."
"Except the AI's are smarter that we," I said.

"Yeah, well, there is that."
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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IMG_0163.jpeg


Interesting collection of short stories some work some I was left wondering about the connection to the song’s referenced.
 

Kaplan

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Vernor Vinge: A Fire Upon the Deep, 1992.

"He raced to the human, surrounding him."

Vinge (a professor of mathematics and a computer scientist) put forth the idea of The Singularity in a 1993 essay, describing how the creation of superhuman AI will mark the point at which 'the human era will be ended', such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it.

Any second now...
 

NakedYoga

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I just finished Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Really enjoyed it. Living in Charleston, surprisingly, I have never been to Savannah. Might have to change that soon.
 

edinatlanta

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I just finished Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Really enjoyed it. Living in Charleston, surprisingly, I have never been to Savannah. Might have to change that soon.
I haven't either and I devour almost all things Georgia. You should go. Savannah is a great city. And Bird Girl is in a museum now.
 

edinatlanta

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Wow. What a book. Already book of the year candidate. This is one ill be thinking about for a while. It shows that anyone is really capable of violence which is a long way of saying women are capable of violence. Great plotting great characters great everything. Utterly propulsive plot...go pick ot up
 

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