October 23, 2018, 05:13:59 AM

Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1453312 times)

Offline ZeroEcho99

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12000 on: September 26, 2018, 03:12:32 PM »
Dear god Crossroads of Twilight is a chore!!

I've heard it was the worst book out of the series and I've managed to get past the dreaded bath scene!

It's over. Knife of Dreams has so much of Mat and Tuon that I love that book. Better times are around the corner.

It is over - I moved onto KoD yesterday.

I feel like a need a reward after that last book.  At least the end is in sight now.


Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12001 on: September 26, 2018, 06:28:14 PM »
I started Port of Shadows by Glen Cook.

Hooray, almost 20 years since the last Black Company book. This one passes between books 1 and 2, which was indeed a somewhat large gap. It also appears, at least considering the beginning, we'll have more details of the past as well, as one timeline is during the Dominator's days.

I was surprised Cook seems to be on point with the characters and style even after all this time. It's almost 40 years since the first book, and the style reflects the characters just like back then. Even the long discussions while the characters play cards are back! Glorious.
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Offline xiagan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12002 on: September 26, 2018, 08:45:07 PM »
I'm reading Poul Anderson's Boat of a Million Years.
Read some reviews and it's apparently the best book dealing with immortality.
It's about some immortal characters you accompany through the last two thousand years (and maybe beyond). One in china, a Phoenician in Greece, one in the Roman Empire and so on. Only a few dozen pages in but already hooked.

Anybody else read it?

"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12003 on: September 26, 2018, 09:59:14 PM »
I'm reading Poul Anderson's Boat of a Million Years.
Read some reviews and it's apparently the best book dealing with immortality.
It's about some immortal characters you accompany through the last two thousand years (and maybe beyond). One in china, a Phoenician in Greece, one in the Roman Empire and so on. Only a few dozen pages in but already hooked.

Anybody else read it?

No, but I added it to my TBR. I love this theme.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Lanko's Year in Books 2018

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12004 on: September 27, 2018, 12:36:03 PM »
I'm reading Poul Anderson's Boat of a Million Years.
Read some reviews and it's apparently the best book dealing with immortality.
It's about some immortal characters you accompany through the last two thousand years (and maybe beyond). One in china, a Phoenician in Greece, one in the Roman Empire and so on. Only a few dozen pages in but already hooked.

Anybody else read it?

That sounds good, added to TBR too.

No, but I added it to my TBR. I love this theme.

Offline xiagan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12005 on: September 27, 2018, 07:51:10 PM »
The reddit-review from /u/Freighnos that made me buy it:

Quote
Boat of a Million Years by Poul Anderson - the best darn book about immortality I've ever read

This is an older title from 1989 that I just finished reading. Shoutout to r/printSF for telling me about it.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be immortal? I'm sure most of us have, and there are a lot of stories across all media that tackle this topic. Boat of a Million Years is probably the most nuanced and compelling exploration of the idea that I have seen, and I know I'll keep thinking about this book for years and decades (and centuries?) to come.

The story takes us on a tour across the entirety of recorded human history and beyond as we follow a disparate group of immortals doing their best to survive the cycles of upheaval, renaissance, and decadence that are the legacy of our species. As such, most of the book reads like a series of vignettes, and it's clear that Anderson went all out when it comes to the historiography. An immense amount of research must have gone into this book, and it is even more impressive given the fact that it was written in the pre-internet era.

The prose is absolutely sublime, and Anderson has a talent for painting a picture with words. As I always say, I'm far from a judge of good writing, but it was clear to me that Anderson had a gift for constructing a sentence.

I liked that the immortals have limitations, too. It's true that they don't die of old age. They are eternally youthful, regenerate quickly, and seem immune to disease, but they will die the same as any other person if decapitated, drowned, starved, etc. This adds a layer of tension to the story since it isn't as if anyone is guaranteed to make it to the end.

The characters themselves, too, I found very compelling. The cast is a good balance of men and women from a variety of world cultures who all felt like fully realized and believable people to me. Despite (or maybe because of) their immortality, many of them were stubbornly set in their ways, and there wasn't quite as much character growth as I may have hoped for, but this book is equally about the ideas and the spectacle as the characters, and to that extent it succeeds. I was constantly rooting for the immortals to somehow find each other across the vastness of time and history, and this desire to see them all reunite and set their loneliness aside kept me going through most of the book. One chapter in particular ("No Man Shuns His Doom," which is an awesome chapter name btw) was utterly heart-wrenching but beautiful to read, and I already know I'll come back to it time and time again.

I wouldn't say this book is for everyone. For one thing, it took me a few chapters to truly see where the book was going before I was fully on board, and it is quite long at 500+ dense pages. It is by no means a light read. There is a good deal of sexual content, including some allusions to sexual violence, that are for the most part handled as tastefully as possible (in my opinion), but may put some people off. A couple of the chapters had some racial slurs, but these were in the interest of being faithful to the period and were not overdone. I think it would have been weirder to NOT include them in the interest of authenticity, but nevertheless some people may find it unappealing even with the proper context. Lastly, the final 20% of the book is a major departure from what came before, which I was completely on board for, but it may strike some people as jarring.

With all of those caveats aside, reading this book actually felt like going on a journey of millennia alongside the protagonists. Though I haven't read anything else by Poul Anderson, his sci-fi/fantasy career dates back to the 1940's, and it's clear that he fully brought his decades of experience to bear on writing this masterwork. If you're looking for something a bit different, definitely give this a shot.

5/5

EDIT: I forgot to mention one thing people should know before going in. This novel doesn't focus on the great historical events. It isn't a Forrest Gump tour of history, and there aren't many cameos from major historical figures, with a few exceptions. I found that to be refreshing, since it's an easy temptation to fall into, but that just isn't the story Anderson is trying to tell. Obviously the major events and historical juggernauts shape the course of the story, but only insofar as the immortals are average people trying to live their lives and stay out of sight as much as possible.
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12006 on: September 28, 2018, 09:39:29 AM »
Feeling a bit exasperated on Red Seas and Red Skies when it used the exact same 'Locke and friend threatened by armed magical maniacs' trope they used in book 1 again, and two times in a row, to be precise. Also, I'm seriously tired of those damned Karthain Bondsmagi, prancing around like they own half the world and pushing Locke and his buddies around. 

Took a little break and went to Warbreaker. The BioChrome breathing magic system already got me hooked!  :D

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12007 on: September 28, 2018, 10:12:55 AM »
Feeling a bit exasperated on Red Seas and Red Skies when it used the exact same 'Locke and friend threatened by armed magical maniacs' trope they used in book 1 again, and two times in a row, to be precise. Also, I'm seriously tired of those damned Karthain Bondsmagi, prancing around like they own half the world and pushing Locke and his buddies around. 
But... PIRATES! :D
LADY pirates! :D
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all" - Douglas Adams

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12008 on: September 28, 2018, 03:09:26 PM »
Feeling a bit exasperated on Red Seas and Red Skies when it used the exact same 'Locke and friend threatened by armed magical maniacs' trope they used in book 1 again, and two times in a row, to be precise. Also, I'm seriously tired of those damned Karthain Bondsmagi, prancing around like they own half the world and pushing Locke and his buddies around. 
But... PIRATES! :D
LADY pirates! :D

There are pirates? Even sea travel? I surely haven't reach that part yet.  ;D

Offline Elfy

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12009 on: September 30, 2018, 12:59:23 AM »
Feeling a bit exasperated on Red Seas and Red Skies when it used the exact same 'Locke and friend threatened by armed magical maniacs' trope they used in book 1 again, and two times in a row, to be precise. Also, I'm seriously tired of those damned Karthain Bondsmagi, prancing around like they own half the world and pushing Locke and his buddies around. 
But... PIRATES! :D
LADY pirates! :D

There are pirates? Even sea travel? I surely haven't reach that part yet.  ;D
Oh yes there are pirates. The tagline for this was how do you make The Lies of Locke Lamora even better? Easy, just add pirates.

Offline JMack

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12010 on: September 30, 2018, 09:58:05 PM »
I’m deep into the fourth Wheel ofTime recorded book, listening during my commute and whenever I can squirrel away time. I read it at least 15 years ago,  it I’m enjoying it much more the second time through. And just bought book 5 with my monthly Audible credit. I guess it will take me way into next year to finish listening to the whole thing!
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Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12011 on: October 01, 2018, 09:18:38 PM »
I'm currently reading Nightmare Keep by Phil Tucker, Shadowborn by David Dalglish, and Skyfarer by Joseph Brassey. All are great reads. I'm just not finding as much reading time as I used to.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12012 on: October 02, 2018, 09:12:19 AM »
I finished A Time of Dread, John Gwynne, and it was amazing. I just loved the characters, they're just so human and relatable! Also the element of loyalty and friendship, and power gone mad.
It's book 1 in the new series, and although it takes place in the same world as the previous one (100+ years later), it can be read completly independently.

I've now started The power, Naomi Alderman - great premise...
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Offline Alex Hormann

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12013 on: October 02, 2018, 11:40:33 AM »
I've started the month off with Leo Carew's The Wolf. It had quite a slow start, but now that it's picked up I'm really enjoying it. it does however, mix real-world history and terms with secondary world ideas (I.e. a Roman fort with Cannon) which always annoys me a little.

Offline Rostum

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12014 on: October 02, 2018, 08:19:30 PM »
Read books 6-8 James N Cook surviving the dead books on kindle 

started Something coming through by Paul McAuley