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Messages - Basilius

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Just wanted to let you know I finished Nightfall a few days ago. I found the premise fascinating, but I had a few beefs with the amount and scale of the deaths the morning after nightfall. It just seemed a bit too much so soon. That, and I'd love to see that planetary system modeled. It's unlike Asimov to propose something patently impossible, but six visible suns? Sounds a bit over the top.

Certainly a good read, though. I'll have to dig up the shorter work it was based on to compare the differences. Thanks for the recommendation!

Basilius, I finished reading Boneshaker by Cherie Priest Saturday and definitely enjoyed it.

Yay! Glad you enjoyed it! That series has turned out to be simply fun reading.

I also finished listening to The LAST LECTURE by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow. I think this is a book that everyone should read. I mentioned the book to my daughter and learned that she had purchased and read it when it was first out in hardcover, after my mom's cancer surgery and chemo but before my brother's diagnosis with cancer. By the time I learned of the book my brother had passed away just three months after diagnosis of anaplastic thyroid cancer, another rare and deadly cancer that must be treated aggressively. I kept putting off reading The LAST LECTURE until now. Thank you for suggesting it.

(Emphasis mine.) Glad you were able to enjoy Pausch's book given your loss. The book hit me more as the father of two younger children, and gave me some good perspectives on how to approach parenthood. It's the kind of book I'll probably read every couple of years.

I have started listening to The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and am enjoying that book as well.

I'm interested in what you think of this one. It was a reading game recommendation to me, and it's definitely one I'll consider recommending to anyone that shares primary reading genres with me.

Basilius, I am 65% into Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. ;D

I am on the third CD out of four of The LAST LECTURE by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow. I have purchased the Kindle version to read and annotate. Definite winner!

Woohoo! The third full novel in the Clockwork Century series (Ganymede) comes out in a couple weeks... can't wait.


Finally I've got some time to post your recommendations. I'll give you two primary choices and a couple other mentions, have fun choosing!

Stories and philosophies from a professor dying from pancreatic cancer. Very moving, and proceeds go to cancer research (at least I think that's still the case.)

Yes, I'm cheating a bit, but this is one of the landmark steampunk books. A son and his mother in an adventure through a devastated 1880 Seattle. And yeah, it's got zombies. Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century setting is very well put-together, and she does her research well.

There are two other books I was thinking of recommending, but I simply can't put forward books where the ebook costs more than the paperback. However, if you don't have a problem with that, take a look at The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon or The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.

If you don't find something you're interested in, I'll recommend a couple more.

Basilius, I think I've come up with a few choices for you.

A boy's coming of age story with a supernatural twist.

My favorite Sci fi novel.

Ok, I know you said no horror.....but this book is a LOT more fantasy than horror.  Although I have read a lot of Stephen King's books, I have found very few that I like..... most are just disturbing, but not this one.  I consider this one of my favorite books.  Try the sample before you write it off.  :)

If none of these work, let me know and I'll come up with something else.


Thanks, Ciscokid!

I'm against buying eBooks that are $4 more than the paperback, so I'm going to skip The Shadow Year. Looks like a good book, though.

In deciding between the other two, I think I'm going to wimp out a bit and go with Nightfall. I don't think I've read any Asimov outside Foundation and a bit of Robots, and I've never read Silverberg, so the combination looks good. August was insanely busy for us, and September isn't looking much better. So I'm thinking a venture into King and Straub might not sit well this month.

It's probably going to be a week until I can get into the book, but I'll certainly let you know how it goes!

Annalog, we're currently on a Disneyland vacation, so I may not have your recommendations for a couple days. I'll be thinking about it, though, while waiting in lines.

The Book Corner / Re: Anybody else know what SF series this was?
« on: August 22, 2011, 01:38:41 pm »
Yes, I dug this old thread out of the depths of the past because I actually found one of the paperbacks in storage over the weekend and answered my question.

And, NogDog, you should have known this series :)

The series was Roger Zelazny's Alien Speedway. Book one was written by Jeffrey Carver, books 2 and 3 by Thomas Wylde. Only the first is available for kindle, and it's a ridiculous $9.99.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Do you have a nook in addition to an Kindle?
« on: August 22, 2011, 09:24:39 am »
I've got a Kobo Touch along with my Kindle 3, and frankly the Kobo has become my every-day reader.

More and better font options, more control over layout, touch interface, and size won me over.

Basilius, I finished Gun, with Occasional Music a couple of days ago. I have mixed feelings about the book.  I liked the writting, the characters and the idea (I love a good noir) but the typos kept throwing me out of the story.   If Joey wasn't dead I'd have him go lean on the publishers and get them to do a little editing.  Bottom line, enjoyed the story but the typos made it too hard to read so I won't be recommending it to anyone else.  :(
Thanks for the recommendation.  I would not have picked it up on my own, or finished it if not for this game, and I would have missed a fun story.

Glad you liked it, but sorry about the typos! I don't recall them, but it's been a few months since I read it. Will keep that in mind for future recommendations...

Glad you liked it! There are other books. I haven't gotten very far in the series yet, but some of the sequels cover things that happen very far in the future and some are in the time frame of Ender's Game.  Hopefully someone who has read them will correct any errors I made.

I only read the sequel, but I felt Speaker for the Dead, was a much better book. Ender's Game was great read, but I don't think it has staying power with any particular person. Speaker for the Dead does.

I'm back. Same as last time.

I think this will be the case with me, too.  I have already brought up some of the plot lines into discussions with my kids.  What can I say, I am a nerd.

I didn't see that earlier, but now I wonder how I missed it.  It is so obvious.  

One other observation, this was written in the early 70's and I was impressed with how contemporary it was.

I bought my copy from Webscriptions, so I'm not sure if they're included in the Kindle version, but the extra material on how The Mote in God's Eye was written was fascinating.

dpinmd, I forgot to post that I had finished The Name of the Wind earlier in the week. Definitely a book that's hard to put down.

I love the structure. The idea of him telling his story to Chronicler turns it into an autobiography of sorts. Quite well done. I'll certainly be reading the rest of this series. Hopefully he can keep it to just a trilogy.

Thanks for the rec!

I still don't believe Aegon is who he is said to be although he may well believe that he is (admittedly on no particular evidence). They may rally to him for a while, but I suspect it will be his destruction.

I'm of the opposite opinion. I think Aegon is authentic. I also think we'll see Daenerys and Aegon interact in some way, likely in the next book. I haven't thought it through enough to have an opinion on how that will turn out, but my gut says only one makes it out alive.

Or, and I think I forgot to mention it when it came up, on page 410/location 9133 of ADWD she mentions that "With Stannis gone, her bed saw little use." So I guess her and Stannis could be exchanging backstory while having sex even as far back as ACOK.

Given the context in which this quote came up, I took it to mean that after Stannis left, she gave up sleeping to continue scrying. I actually have trouble picturing Stannis and Melisandre having a physical relationship.

I dunno, I think that if you asked most readers, the deaths of Lyanna and Brandon are what really set the Starks as the "good guys" against the "evil" Targaryens. We are told that Robert lead a righteous rebellion and really have little choice but to accept their version (history is written by the victorious). But what I see now is that GRRM is willing to undercut and destroy the bedrock of his story. If Lyanna and Rhaegar were in love, if Brandon was a jerk who didn't really care for Catelin, if Ned slept around instead of putting duty first and foremost, then where does that really leave us? Were the Targaryens as insane as we are led to believe, are Robert and his brothers just bullies like the Lannisters? I'm not saying this is a bad thing, it adds a lot of depth to the backstory, but GRRM is running the risk of having EVERYTHING become kinda meaningless, at least from a moral POV (which may be his intent). I feel Rowling did this with the backstory of James, Lily, and Severus. It humanizes characters, but too much and it trivializes them. I do like that the seeds of this stuff are present in AGOT, this is clearly not something he is adding in later just to spice things up.

One of the pervasive themes, for me, in ASoIaF is that "good" is a matter of perspective. To me, the shifting opinion on Lyanna, Brandon, and Robert continue this theme. You _think_ you know someone, but as you dig deeper, you discover that maybe your perspective was off. And maybe they're not as "good" or "evil" as they've seemed. And that is one of the reasons why I love this series.

I don't think all Starks have it since there was no indication that the previous generation possessed it, but I do assume it is some sort of inherited ability. Why so many now, I don't have a guess.

That causes us to look at Ned. (I'd say Catelyn as well, but Jon's got the ability and Jon's not hers. Yes, the following assumes Jon IS Ned's.)

Who were Ned's parents? There's nothing on, and I can't honestly recall any of the Stark kids talking about their grandmother. Given that this entire generation of Starks are skinchangers, one must naturally assume at least one of their parents had the skill. Ned, being Ned, probably would have suppressed it in himself if he'd ever discovered it but he'd still be able to pass it on.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Kindle on Kobo?
« on: August 12, 2011, 12:53:28 pm »
My mother-in-law has a kobo reader.  Can anyone tell me how she can order Kindle books with it?  Should she download the new "cloud reader" or is there another app?


If she's got a Kobo, she should be buying from, or any other site that supports Adobe Digital Editions.

The Book Corner / Re: NPR's Top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books
« on: August 12, 2011, 12:03:31 pm »
" I know it when I see it"
Sometimes that's the only good answer

Agreed. I got a vitriolic tweet from someone a couple days ago wailing how Hyperion isn't science fiction because there are floating trees.

To each their own...

The Book Corner / Re: NPR's Top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books
« on: August 12, 2011, 10:22:52 am »
Well, it's a Science Fiction and Fantasy list, and Fantasy can be be a very broad category, depending on how you want to define it. Since vampires are magical, imaginary creatures, I suppose any vampire story could be considered a fantasy.*
* I suppose they could even be sci-fi, if some technological and/or biological reason were given for them becoming vampires, or if they were actually some alien species.

Case in point: The Passage by Justin Cronin.

The Book Corner / Re: NPR's Top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books
« on: August 12, 2011, 07:37:35 am »
Is Ender's Game really that good? The concept has never really interested me. Hearing a thing or two about the author and reading the innocent killer essay online sort of put me further off trying it.

I read Ender's Game shortly after it came out, and it was the first book of any real size that I read in a single day. Could not put it down. But, I was in my early 20s. I've noticed a definite tendency for it to have a bigger impact on younger readers. People in their 30s or later reading it for the first time don't seem to have the same sort of reaction.

If there would be a modern movie equivalent, I'd think of The Sixth Sense. Big impact on you if you saw it before you knew what it was about, but it fades quickly on repeated views or if you know the hook ahead of time.  I think Speaker for the Dead is a better book, and has more staying power because it doesn't rely on that sort of shock twist.

I honestly don't recall if I voted for Ender's Game as one of my top 10, but it would have been close.

The Book Corner / Re: Favorite kind of sci-fi?
« on: August 11, 2011, 03:58:20 pm »
I like science fiction that has a strong female protagonist. She doesn't have to be physically strong, but needs to think for herself. I also like science fiction where battles and technology are in the background, not the main focus of the story. I recently finished reading Glow (Sky Chasers #1) by Amy Kathleen Ryan in one sitting - it's a pretty good example of what I mean.

There were a couple other posts in this thread that made me think of this book, but it most directly fits yours: Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon. The main focus of the story is an elderly woman's relationship with death and, reciprocally, life. It's also happens to be a very good first contact story, but that's the secondary theme.

I've got a pretty good feeling you'll love this book.

The Book Corner / Re: The Problem with Reading About Zombies...
« on: August 08, 2011, 07:50:22 pm »
I am also starting to be really bored by the masses of similar zombie books.

For a couple different takes on zombies, check out Feed by Mira Grant (book starts ~25 years AFTER the zombie uprising. Humanity survived because George Romero was right - there's some interesting conjecture into what society would be like living under a constant threat of zombies) and Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. (The latter is more a steampunk book that features zombies of a sort.)

The Book Corner / Re: Books Set in Pacific NW? Going on a trip....
« on: August 08, 2011, 07:39:11 pm »
I had my picture next to "Bella's Truck" in forks.  That was about 3 years ago.  Some friends went through Forks a couple months ago and said it was even worse now.

It used to be that way in North Bend and Fall City when Twin Peaks was hot. I remember carting my brother around the area so he could do his pilgrimage, including cherry pie at the Double R Diner. (I think that was the name.) To a lesser extent, Roslyn got busy when Northern Exposure was current.

As far as books set in Seattle, Cherie Priest's Boneshaker is set in an 1880-ish Seattle. Steampunk with zombies! Her novella Clementine starts in Seattle, goes to Bainbridge Island (IIRC), then moves east. Mira Grant's Deadline (the sequel to Feed) spends part of its time in Forest Grove and Portland.

Book of the Month Klub / Re: FEED: Political Overtones? *SPOILERS*
« on: August 05, 2011, 08:43:18 am »
I'm at 75% and I figured about who the political badguy was around 48% ..... it appears I'm right .....

I love that the Republican nominee in this case is so far to Left of today's Democrats that he and I share some political opinions.  Its a bit like the message in the Movie Independence Day - nothing like the threat of extinction to make everyone's differences seem unimportant.

I don't think it was much of a surprise about Tate. The surprise is more the why, what, and how.

I think the political situation is a reasonable extrapolation of what could happen after the rising. You're certainly going to get a strong contingent of far-right-wing protectionists/isolationists. And the culture of fear is one that's already promoted rather heavily right now.

Of course, we're in a conservative cycle right now, so moving that far right doesn't seem like a reach. If we were currently in a different phase, it might seem a little more unlikely.

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