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Old 01-21-2013, 01:14 PM   #15391
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Im sure I read that years ago, only I read it thinking it was a novel and it totally didnt make sense...
The introduction explains what it's all about - you must have skipped it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:13 PM   #15392
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I just finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett. What a fantastic, compelling read! Highly recommended. Now: The Color of Magic, my first Terry Pratchett.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:28 PM   #15393
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I am currently reading Shadow Divers on my Kindle.
I read it a couple years ago. I never held my breath so many times while reading a book.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:04 PM   #15394
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Finished my first set of new books for the new year.

Read George R.R. Martin's "Dunk & Egg" adventures, which are a set of prequel novellas to his A Song of Ice and Fire series.

These are charming, light-hearted tales about an impromptu hedge knight from the lower classes, and his even more impromptu squire, who's something of a surprise, set about a century before ASOIAF and stand in decided contrast to the grimdark crapsack world that shows up in the main series. Which is not to say that they're fluffy, which they aren't, but they're considerably more optimistic and there's a lot less rape and torture involved, generally speaking.

I read Préludes au Trône de fer: Le chevalier errant suivi de L'épée lige, which are French translations of the first two novellas in a single-volume edition by Jean Sola (who was the official translator until Pygmalion decided to trade him in for someone else, in a decision which apparently has some kind of accompanying drama, if I'm reading the Francophone fan wiki right) and Paul Benita, who's not the replacement. The translations were fairly decently done, as far as I can tell (I read the originals for the first time afterward), and I now know far more terms for pieces of armour than I thought I would.

These correspond to "The Hedge Knight" novella, which sets up Dunk as a new knight who has to make his own way at a tourney after his old master dies and promptly gets in way over his head by clashing with royalty, and "The Sworn Sword", which follows Dunk and his new squire Egg on a typical hedge knight adventure, in a territorial dispute between his bottom-rung nobility employer and the neighbouring more powerful widow with a fearsome reputation.

I then read the English versions and the 3rd novella, "The Mystery Knight" (not yet translated), which further expands on some things alluded to in the 1st and 2nd, but seemed a bit repetitive in some places, with certain elements carried over from the earlier novellas as near-verbatim echoes (how Dunk wins fights, mid-lengthy descriptions of certain VIPs, etc.). Possibly Martin didn't do a re-read before writing the 3rd and just went from his earlier notes or whatever for how he wanted to do the scenes.

Aside from that, the stories hang well together, with neat twists which resolve in interesting ways, and have very readable characters and provide a pleasant level of detail on the day-to-day workings of Westerosi society as seen from a lower-class peacetime perspective (instead of the convoluted royal plotting and wars in ASOIAF proper).

Anyway, a nice, light, and recommended read, especially if you're interested in ASOIAF. I understand that these are meant to be compiled with an upcoming (late!) 4th story in a standalone omnibus Real Soon Now.

Also read Le chevalier errant standalone graphic novel, which is the French translation of the Marvel Comics-published adaptation of "The Hedge Knight". Fairly well done, with quite decent art which can distinguish faces (not always a given with adaptations done by people who normally do superhero artwork, unfortunately) and put in good background details as it retells the story engagingly*, and an interesting narrative choice to change from 3rd to 1st person narration.

I like the extra bit in the back where among the illustrations of the heraldic sigils of the knights participating in the tourney, the comics adaptors have slipped in their own made-up sigils and knightly names.

Apparently the English version of this is severely out of print (and selling for $$$ on eBay!!!), but if Marvel should happen to reprint them to tie in with the HBO TV show, I'd say they're worth getting, and I hope Bragelonne/Milady's GN division really is working on the translation for the sequel (no indication/news up on their website or blog, sigh, although apparently they've released the individual issues for LCE as ebook comics).

* Though I question some of the design choices. Gold codpieces on otherwise all-white† armour = you might as well put up a sign saying "hit me! hit me here!" Y/N?

† Well okay, the Kingsguards' gorgets are also gold as well. But that's just asking for an arrow in the throat as well as the crotch, IMHO.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:41 PM   #15395
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Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Anyway, a nice, light, and recommended read, especially if you're interested in ASOIAF. I understand that these are meant to be compiled with an upcoming (late!) 4th story in a standalone omnibus Real Soon Now.
The way I understand it (which is often times barely at all), the fourth Dunk & Egg novella will be released "early this summer" in another of Martin's short story anthologies entitled (or themed?) Dangerous Women. Similar to "The Mystery Knight" in his Warriors anthology. It (Dangerous Women) will apparently then have an 18-month exclusivity period for the new story. The Dunk & Egg collected volume (all four novellas) will follow sometime in "late 2014."

I've come to enjoy the Dunk & Egg stories more than the main series, to be perfectly frank.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:47 PM   #15396
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Cool Dana Stabenow & James S.A. Corey

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I finished reading The Children of the Sun last evening and liked it a lot. The II AM Trilogy turned out to be a quite enjoyable indie. Now back to Dana Stabenow's, Whisper to the Blood.

I completed reading Dana Stabenow's Whisper to the Blood. It was, as all the Kate Shugak books seem to be, a great, suspenseful, and exciting read.

Right now I'm starting to read Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey an author I've never read before.

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Old 01-21-2013, 11:19 PM   #15397
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The way I understand it (which is often times barely at all), the fourth Dunk & Egg novella will be released "early this summer" in another of Martin's short story anthologies entitled (or themed?) Dangerous Women. Similar to "The Mystery Knight" in his Warriors anthology. It (Dangerous Women) will apparently then have an 18-month exclusivity period for the new story. The Dunk & Egg collected volume (all four novellas) will follow sometime in "late 2014."
I meant Real Soon Now in an ironic way, since according to a recent-ish post on Martin's blog, he's not even finished writing the 4th D&E tale, and it's the one holding up the anthology release.

I myself would personally take cash money bets against either the D&E omnibus or the 6th ASOIAF book coming out any time in 2014, though I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

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I've come to enjoy the Dunk & Egg stories more than the main series, to be perfectly frank.
I know what you mean. I'm kind of morbidly curious about what's going to happen next in ASOIAF (my personal favourite characters are generally ranked upon the "bad" sides by fandom, and the ones remaining are mostly probably slated to die horribly as some sort of comeuppance) and do want to find out how it all turns out, but I actually look forward to reading the next D&E for fun (and world-building supplementary backstory info).

And also because I get a complete story in one novella and not a 1000-page chunk of To Be Continued...

Speaking of which, the current book is Martin's A Feast for Crows, 4th in ASOIAF. I'm finally reading the thing from start to finish after having read through just the POV chapters of the characters whose particular storylines I wanted to follow when I first picked the series up last summer.

(I figured that having started the entire series out of order with the 5th book because it was in the Hugo Voter Packet, and then reading the other books out of order as soon as I could get available copies via 3 different libraries, I was already thoroughly spoilered anyway and might as well skip to the interesting bits first.)

I'm halfway through and I honestly can't say I feel like I missed all that much the first time around when I skipped roughly half the book. But there are a few interesting details cropping up in the POVs I'm catching up with, so it's nice to have that filled in.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:00 AM   #15398
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Right now I'm starting to read Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey an author I've never read before.

Interested to know what you think about it - and given your reading pace I probably won't have to wait very long.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:13 AM   #15399
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I really enjoyed Leviathan Wakes... and the second book... and the novella... and the short story. Corey is the pen name for Daniel Abraham (The Long Price Quartet) and Ty Franck (GRRM's assistant).

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Old 01-22-2013, 10:27 AM   #15400
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I'm working my way through Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (I keep wanting to write Necronomicon). While it takes some very odd turns and sometimes nothing much happens it makes for quite captivating reading; I just don't quite know why.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:02 PM   #15401
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I'm currently reading "When Worlds Collide", a 1933 novel by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer. I've seen the (very enjoyable) film adaptation of this several times, but until I came across the book purely by chance on Amazon I didn't know that the film was based on a book .

The plot is that a "rogue planet" is discovered by astronomers, which is going to collide with the Earth in a few months time. Civilisation starts to collapse as the news causes mass panic, and a group of scientists tries to build a spaceship which will take a few people to the new planet to start afresh.

About half way through it so far. Very enjoyable, and also nicely formatted with few errors.
Now finished this book. Very good - highly recommended.

Now on to "Terminal Freeze" by Lincoln Child, a thriller about a group of scientists who undercover something strange in a cave beneath a melting glacier in Alaska.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:34 PM   #15402
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I finished the first book: The Eye of the World in the Wheel Of Time series and it will probably be the last book I read from this series.

It didn't appeal to me. I thought it had too many similarities with The Lord Of The Rings.
A bit too gloomy and I didn't find the characters involved interesting enough.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:50 PM   #15403
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Now reading a sample of Atlas Shrugged to see what all the fuss is about.

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Atlas Shrugged is highly overrated.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:19 PM   #15404
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I really enjoyed Leviathan Wakes... and the second book... and the novella... and the short story. Corey is the pen name for Daniel Abraham (The Long Price Quartet) and Ty Franck (GRRM's assistant).
Ah! That explains why The Dragon's Path came with an ARC of Leviathan Wakes when I bought it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:20 PM   #15405
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I'm working my way through Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (I keep wanting to write Necronomicon). While it takes some very odd turns and sometimes nothing much happens it makes for quite captivating reading; I just don't quite know why.
One of my favourite books. I don't know if I'll ever find the time required to read it again, but it placed Stephenson up there as one of my favourite authors.
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