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What are you reading?

edinatlanta

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Re-reading this. Reviews thought he was too alarmist but we’re spreading seeing climate impacts happening decades earlier that predicted.

View attachment 2187617
Yeah whats terrifying is how many of the baseline predictions assumed there would be some action or things wouldn't be as bad and all of those were wrong.
 

smittycl

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Yeah whats terrifying is how many of the baseline predictions assumed there would be some action or things wouldn't be as bad and all of those were wrong.
I have extended family that shriek "there is no climate change!" at any mention of the weather.
 

smittycl

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“This is an extraordinary conclusion, so let me repeat it: the combined efforts of human beings to dig up and burn fossil fuels to power our global industrialised economy is taking place at least ten times faster than the catastrophic carbon release that drove the world’s worst-ever mass extinction [End Permian]. My verdict after surveying the palaeoclimatic literature is that our current releases of carbon are very likely unprecedented throughout the entire Phanerozoic. At no point since complex life appeared on Earth has so much carbon been released as quickly as we are releasing it now.”

Excerpt From
Our Final Warning
Mark Lynas
This material may be protected by copyright.
 

Kaplan

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Michael Moorcock: Elric of Melniboné, 1972
......................... Sailor on the Seas of Fate, 1976
......................... The Weird of the White Wolf, 1964,1961,1967

"It is all dreaming, if you like," said Corum. "All existence."
Elric was not interested in such philosophising. "Dream or reality, the experience amounts to the same, does it not?"


In this, Elric mirrors the character he was created to be the opposite of:

"I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me."
- Conan in Queen of the Black Coast.


My journey through classic sword & sorcery have (after Dunsany, Howard, CL Moore, Anderson and Leiber) brought me to Michael Moorcock and his albino sorcerer Elric - a character he started 60 years ago and still writes. Along the way Moorcock developed his own multiverse with an Eternal Champion, of which Elric is but one of nearly 50 incarnations, described in other books and series. I'm not too interested in this larger part of Moorcock's writing, and the only other Eternal Champion I've read about was the new wave science fiction character Jerry Cornelius.

Elric's publication and chronology is one of the more labyrinthine, with short stories first published in magazines in the early 60s, then strung together to short novels and then collected in various omnibusses in varying attempts at creating a chronology. Luckily there is a very handsome set of four hardbacks from Saga Press collecting nearly everything. Personally, I'm only interested in the earlier work, concluding with Stormbringer, so I'll only need the first two volumes (and for now I'll skip the two later written, chronologically inserted stories that these contain).

The stories are delightfully short, moving at a fast clip - even sometimes wrapping up dramatic scenes a little too fast. The writing is easy flowing, though for the most part less beautiful than the works of the other writers mentioned above - but Elric has a pact with a Chaos Lord and his sword drinks souls.

elric-of-melnibone-9781534445680_lg.jpg
 
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smittycl

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Michael Moorcock: Elric of Melniboné, 1972
......................... Sailor on the Seas of Fate, 1976
......................... The Weird of the White Wolf, 1964,1961,1967

"It is all dreaming, if you like," said Corum. "All existence."
Elric was not interested in such philosophising. "Dream or reality, the experience amounts to the same, does it not?"


In this, Elric mirrors the character he was created to be the opposite of:

"I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me."
- Conan in Queen of the Black Coast.


My journey through classic sword & sorcery have (after Dunsany, Howard, CL Moore, Anderson and Leiber) brought me to Michael Moorcock and his albino sorcerer Elric - a character he started 60 years ago and still writes. Along the way Moorcock developed his own multiverse with an Eternal Champion, of which Elric is but one of nearly 50 incarnations, described in other books and series. I'm not too interested in this larger part of Moorcock's writing, and the only other Eternal Champion I've read about was the new wave science fiction character Jerry Cornelius.

Elric's publication and chronology is one of the more labyrinthine, with short stories first published in magazines in the early 60s, then strung together to short novels and then collected in various omnibusses in varying attempts at creating a chronology. Luckily there is a very handsome set of four hardbacks from Saga Press collecting nearly everything. Personally, I'm only interested in the earlier work, concluding with Stormbringer, so I'll only need the first two volumes (and for now I'll skip the two later written, chronologically inserted stories that these contain).

The stories are delightfully short, moving at a fast clip - even sometimes wrapping up dramatic scenes a little too fast. The writing is easy flowing, though for the most part less beautiful than the works of the other writers mentioned above - but Elric has a pact with a Chaos Lord and his sword drinks souls.

elric-of-melnibone-9781534445680_lg.jpg
Apart from frequently revisiting Tolkien, the Elric saga is the only Sword & Sorcery I’ve ever read more than once. Just the first six books as you mentioned. I skipped all the other stuff. I have a two-volume set of the original six. Pretty good reads. I loved his interactions with his demon patron Arioch.

IMG_1142.jpeg
 

Kaplan

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^ Nice editions! And yes, just those six stories are what I'm after. Adding the second volume of the Saga Press hardcovers will accomplish that. Only other sword & sorcery author I'm interested in after this is Karl Edward Wagner, but sadly he's out of print.
 

Kaplan

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Michael Moorcock: The Sleeping Sorceress, 1971.

"And so I die," Elric murmured. "Well, I suppose I do not care..."

Next in line was this, a short novel consisting of three parts - the first nearly reaching Robert E Howard levels of greatness, the last seeing Elric joining forces with two other incarnations of the Eternal Champion as they skip through the planes of the multiverse. In later publications this was retitled as The Vanishing Tower.

view_archive.php

Lucky local vintage find, an awesome A-format paperback from 1973.
 
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am55

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Jean Giono, refus d'obeissance.

Giono was the only survivor of his company in WWI, with his CO. Everyone else was "replaced" multiple times over. His WWI writing (e.g. Grand Troupeau) is absolutely gut wrenching and would be taught in schools instead of Erich Maria Remarque, if it wasn't so good at making you feel sick - unlike Sledge in "With the Old Breed" where the facts themselves are sickening, Giono adds his own capacity for a verbal punch for extra impression - he talks of the "human flour" being sent into the "mill". You can see the queues, mud covered, exhausted, ill fed, slowly meandering towards the flashes and thunder of hell on earth and not returning. He describes things in a sparse and creative way - for example, the acrid smell of the horse excrement uncomfortable to these mostly farmer troopers as they can tell the horse is quite sick, like them.

He initially charged into battle with an empty rifle, out of protest (it is a wonder he survived) but later decided that active resistance was the way. He talks of feeling immense guilt at betraying his trench mates, but taking that guilt as a cost for his principles, which was interesting. This book is a collection of essays about independence of mind. Small moments of resistance, often futile. Human character snapshots. The writing is very capable, powerful, and probably terribly translated. The love of life qua life shines through.

Giono was considered an enemy of the state by WWII as his militant pacifism was seen as collaborationist. As with Petain, who partially is responsible for victory in WWI with the "bite and hold" then thoroughly savaged his reputation with the wrong choices a few decades later, it is a good reminder that life is complex. I'm very fond of the man and his writing.
 

Kaplan

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Mary Shelley: Frankenstein, 1818.

"No creature had ever been so miserable as I was; so frightful an event is single in the history of man."


Back to science fiction, going chronologically through the books I've accumulated over the last year or so. This being the earliest, and by Brian Aldiss called the first SF novel (though arguments can be made for much older works). Amazingly Shelley wrote this when she was 19, creating something which's cultural impact is hard to overstate (the mad scientist, the misunderstood monster, the whole concept of science fiction as stories about things that might be possible in our world). A ton of editions in print, though few have the original 1818 text which I wanted and found in the nice Penguin Classic below:

0x500
 

Kaplan

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HG Wells: The Island of Doctor Moreau, 1896.

"To this day I have never troubled about the ethics of the matter. The study of Nature makes a man at last as remorseless as Nature. I have gone on, not heeding anything but the question I was pursuing."

A direct and worthy descendant of Frankenstein, this too deals with the tragedy of neglecting morality in the pursuit of science. A nice, brisk read.

hbg-title-9781399617239-7.jpg


As often with classics old enough to be in the public domain, there's a ton of editions in print to chose from, most with horrendous cover art. I got this one from Gollancz's new, rather nice, 'Best of the Masterworks' from last year.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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Michael Moorcock: The Sleeping Sorceress, 1971.

"And so I die," Elric murmured. "Well, I suppose I do not care..."

Next in line was this, a short novel consisting of three parts - the first nearly reaching Robert E Howard levels of greatness, the last seeing Elric joining forces with two other incarnations of the Eternal Champion as they skip through the planes of the multiverse. In later publications this was retitled as The Vanishing Tower.

view_archive.php

Lucky local vintage find, an awesome A-format paperback from 1973.
Ever read Behold The Man by Moorcock only a novella but…exceptionally weird…very weird.
 

Kaplan

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Ever read Behold The Man by Moorcock only a novella but…exceptionally weird…very weird.
No I haven't read it, but I've read about it when reading about science fiction: Moorcock was probably the most influential writer/editor on the new wave of SF, on the UK side of things. Last year I did read his also very weird The Final Programme, which was released in the same, psychedelic late 60s, as Behold the Man.
 

edinatlanta

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I went to the thrift store and for some reason this popped out to me.

It cost a quarter. I had no quarter. The shop volunteer said she would pay for it.

Reviews are good but all things considered I am giving this book a short leash. View attachment 2100783
After reading this off and on since end of last year, I finally finished it. Pretty good thriller. Don't know that it's a classic orbeven something to find but all the things I predicted happening didn't because of good twists.
 

smittycl

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His climate change novel The Deluge was the best book I read last year. Thought I'd go back and read his first major book.

1717023277224.png
 

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