What Are You Reading?

Considering Black Library books, products and events.

Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Rob P » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:58 pm

Read All My Friends are Superheroes in less than 24 hours. It's novella length and a nice little break from some of the stuff i've been reading lately. Is quirky and in many ways brilliant. I just wish the ending had more punch.

I'm contemplating reading Sleeping Beauties, which i've had since xmas.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Rob P » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:04 pm

I didn't read Sleeping Beauties.

Instead, I read through Ursula's Le Guin's writing book - Steering the Craft. It has some potentially useful exercises in it.

I'm now on Wolfsbane. I like the plot so far. 1/3 in and i'm enjoying more than i'm not enjoying.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Rob P » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:31 pm

Finished Wolfsbane.

This is one of those weird books where you know you're not going to get any massive shift in the big story arc.

It has a strong story A and reasonably strong story B which interweave a little and which focus almost exclusively on a narrow protagonist pov.

The plot, pacing and protagonists (only 3 really) were all handled fairly well.

A wanted a little more from story A in terms of the impact on the Horus Heresy as a whole; I felt the story B was too wordy (i've made this complaint about the other author's work before so maybe I just don't like his style) - which screwed the flow for me as you need decent attentive (rather than relaxed) reading comprehension; and I found some of the battle bits too long/boring.

In terms of complaint (2), if you like Guy Haley's style, you will enjoy this book. Like Matt Farrer I just don't find him a relaxing read.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Therion » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:53 pm

Finished reading:

Angels of Darkness - enjoyed dialogues and stuff a lot, including using various Wh40k sayings. Messed up, especially the conversations of Boreas with his underlings XD . And of course the Tale of Astelan. "Great Crusade isn't an event but a state of mind", joins the list of my favourite sayings.
Oh and portrayal of naval warfare was surprisingly decent. Like for example distances and times clearly being huge and attack by assault boat taking 30 minutes to arrive to enemy ship.
Gav Thorpe quickly became one of my favourite if not my favourite of BL writers because he combines ability to write characters and their psychology with ability to write combat on many levels. He clearly knows his fluff and has interest in military history.

Reading:
The Flowers Of Evil - Complete 1 - Shuzo Oshimi - awesome manga. Very messed up.

Thinking about re-reading Know No Fear.

Started re-reading Shadows of Heresy. Realised I haven't read most of the stories - only Crimson Fist and Prince of Crows and that there's a story by Gav Thorpe, which I started reading.

Reading as a part of my internship:
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites - really good textbook. Full colour. Helps me a lot. I'm about 3/4 in into it. Sadly a bit outdated as it was written when HTML5 specification was still developed and has some stuff that wasn't implemented after all, for example hgroup tag. Lacks info on CSS animations too, I think.

The Artist’s Guide to GIMP, 2nd Edition: Creative Techniques for Photographers, Artists, and Designers - Meh. Most of projects in it look horribly cheap and tacky. Look at the crushing shittiness of the gallery on the book's archived site and despair! Teaches how tools work, though, so maybe I'll improve my understanding of the program significantly, though.
The first edition was in 1998, which means the author was making these horrible graphics for at least 14 years D: .
Oh, it turns out that he's an embedded systems developer so it's a persistent case of programmer art XD .
Why is it called The Artist's Guide to GIMP, then XD ?

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design: Designing Great Web Sites is Not Rocket Science! - I'm halfway through. Finished the Colour chapter mid-June. Will continue it once I get to the part of The Artist's Guide to GIMP that covers textures because the next chapter is about textures in web design.

Major Rawne wrote:
Therion wrote:What kind of marines is it about, when it comes to abilities, casualties, etc? Is it another supermarine book like Siege of Castellax or whatever or is it something more realistic like Purging of Kadillus?

I always find the question of realism in 40k an odd one as i'd strongly argue that it's all a load of made up nonsense set forty thousand years in the future for the express purpose to entertain the reader.

I strongly disagree here. You have stuff ranging from mechanics of various games (which is where made up nonsense applies the most - though for example in BFG it's the opposite - rules are much more setting-realistic than novels - if relation between rules and novels would be like with Wh40k, we'd get at least Newtonian movement in naval scenes and 3rd dimension which would bog the game down/make it very difficult to play instead of the whole close range ship fights thing), through stuff that pretends to be realistic like Imperial Armour, then authors who write Wh40k as if it really existed, then authors who take strong liberties for sake of teh cool (like Aaron Dembski-Boweden), then authors who are completely out there (which again do made up nonsense things).
Also, usually, you have varying degrees of realism - like in Soul Hunter you have Marines ranging from reasonable Marines (usually on boarding scenes) to ridiculous super marines (in larger battle) and then you have ship combat which is absolute made up nonsense.

Like, ship combat in novels and on illustrations is almost always made-up nonsense. Like you have illustrations and descriptions where ships are fighting on space of size of a stem of a cruiser base (which is one of the rare cases where game makes more sense than writing and illustrations.) because authors ignored that, like, 15000km is point-blank range in Wh40k starship combat and you do short range boarding actions from few 1000s kilometres, not from few kilometres or even hundreds of meters, etc.

Then you have various stuff in setting-design that can be measured and compared like armour thicknesses with stronger and weaker areas, armour penetration, ammo capacity, ammo load-outs, etc.
Just because setting is made up, it doesn't mean these don't count.

Knowledge like this can be used to determine risk levels, casualties, descriptions, how many shots units can fire, how long they can stay in combat, what amount of forces is necessary to achieve a goal, what logistics are used, etc.

Major Rawne wrote:Anyway the first question is easy enough, it's about the mysterious silent type who are comparative to the Night Lords in their predatory nature, some of whom die. The book doesn't hugely go into statistical detail on numbers if memory serves.

Well, I ordered it because after all I wanted it since I heard about it. I hope I'll not regret it when it will finally arrive.
"There can be no bystanders in the battle for survival. Anyone who will not fight by your side is an enemy you must crush" -Scriptorus Munificantus
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Vivia » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:45 pm

Since it's summer I'm getting back to my usual tradition of horror and murder mysteries.

Recently discovered A Podcast to the Curious: An MR James Podcast. He was one of the first I read in terms of ghost stories, but I could never get into them because of the Christian themes and church life that I knew nothing about. Listening to Will and Mike explaning things and they suddenly make a lot of sense. He wrote some seriously creepy stuff. Love this podcast.

Through them I went on to theH.P Lovecraft Literary Podcast. They're great, but they're also grating at times.
They love really sleazy pulp fiction like The Were-wolf of Paris (hurk), but they find some of the old tales in Gothic tradition to be "impenetrable". Hmm, whatever. :roll: I'm getting a vibe of cultural differences there.
I'm sorry, but werewolves are the least scary to me, they're like The Exorcist. Werewolves and devils, I couldn't care less.
They discuss the August Derleth thing here and there, and I can't help feeling really great about it.

Anyway, they got me back on the impenetrable Wuthering Heights! HP Lovecraft thought it was a mighty fine weird tale. What? So that got me hooked. Catherine's ghost! I totally missed that little detail. (Kate Bush's song is a big favourite of mine.)
I agree with everything they say about it, and more. Not much has changed, Heathcliff and Cathy are despicable characters, but there's enough that's really interesting, especially concerning Heathcliff, there's some fascinating theories of what he was. Then I went and read some articles about the incestual and abusive aspects in the Gothic tradition. I must admit, Wuthering Heights is a fascinating Gothic novel, I tried to read other big novels in the genre and they're ridiculous at best, exploitation fiction of the old days. I got my mum into rereading the novel as well!
Best from the episode: "Old Catherine is dead." That's one of best part of the novel. 8-)
There is nothing gay about the Princeton fight song. "Oh, the men of Princeton are charging up the rear, holding all the balls..." Okay, I hear it now. – Jack, episode Queen of Jordan
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:25 pm

I enjoyed Wuthering Heights, too. As to other Gothic novels, have you read any Victor Hugo? The Hunchback of Notre Dame drips Gothic, as does his lesser known (but favourite of mine), Toilers of the Sea. Much longer, and somewhat less Gothic, is the incredible Les Miserables, which almost had me in tears at the end.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Xisor » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:50 pm

Speaking of French & Gothic, I'd reiterate Schaefer & others' high praise for Aliette de Bodard's work; her "House of Shattered Wings" is terrific.

And if you wanted not-French, not-Gothic, her Obsidian & Blood trilogy are excellent historical Aztec murder mysteries!

Or perhaps Sherlock Holmes in space? (I've not yet read that one though.)

----

Anyway, finished the first half of Rumo. As it's gargantuan, I'm gonna break for a bit before the second half. Started listening to the next Elizabeth Peters' "Amelia Peabody" book on audiobook too.

So far, so excellent.
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
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