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Old 06-18-2007, 08:43 AM   #76
yvanleterrible
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Been away for a few days.

Kovidgoyal is right about the foundation series. When I looked the series up in the wiki I clicked on this link where Isaak describes the order the books should be read in. He slipped in a measly other 8 books to accompany the saga.

Most of what I read from that series comes from paper. NatCh gave a good source to find them. Unfortunately paper is still the major source for older titles not yet on Public Domain.

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Old 06-18-2007, 11:36 PM   #77
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Travis McGee series by John D MacDonald

Travis McGee was a "salvage consultant" who would recover anything for you at a fee of half the value. You accepted this because you could not recover your property by any other means.

McGee lived on his barge-type houseboat in a marina in Fort Lauderdale Florida. He took his retirement in installments whenever he had cash in his hidey-hole. His successes resulted from his wits and speed. He was a large rough-hewn man deeply browned by the sun.

The character McGee developed over time to a more introspective one with self-doubt. The stories span almost twenty years and in that time we see McGee age and become more vulnerable.

The stories were always full of action, romance, and the wisdom MacDonald injected into them. MacDonald was one of our most prized authors.

It was with considerable sadness that I closed the 21st McGee novel, "The Lonely Silver Rain". McGee was clearly retiring permanently. I had read the series for the first time more than 10 years ago. This time, I read them during April and May. John D MacDonald died in 1986. There will be no more Travis McGee stories.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:36 AM   #78
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Thanks for a tip.
I think I will go through book 1 and book 2. If I don't like them I stop.
I have not read any HP books yet but I have seen movies and reading A Wizard of Earthsea feels like a the first HP movie was based on this book Small buy, no parents, natural talents, goes to far away school to learn magic, rivals in school...I think Rowling is a big fan of Earthsea
It's a pretty common theme, really. Even more common if you're willing to include books about talented orphans going away to school that don't involve magic. For what it's worth, the Harry Potter books don't read like Le Guin (I think they read more smoothly, actually).

The plot of A Wizard of Earthsea takes a sharp turn from any of the HP books about halfway through. Again, I think the first one may be the weakest. The plot and characterization of The Tombs of Atuan are much stronger, and the idea behind The Farthest Shore is... deep, for lack of a better word.

Yet, the books she wrote twenty years later in the same world are much more interesting, to my mind. At the time that Le Guin was writing the first Earthsea books, there were a lot of unconscious assumptions in fantasy (e.g. all wizards are male, but that's the simplest one). Its odd, because Le Guin was writing science fiction during the same period that challenged many assumptions and stereotypes. When Le Guin returned to Earthsea, two decades later, these assumptions apparently jumped out at her, and she found a way to write sequels without the same assumptions that somehow still worked -- they explained how things had gotten to be the way they were in the first books, and caused the reader (or me, at least) to go back and re-interpret what I thought I understood about the first books. I always like it when a writer can bring the reader to that kind of reinterpretation.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:18 AM   #79
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le Guin describes stuff too much and the way she does it just gets in the way of the story.
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:35 AM   #80
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Well I am 3/4 through the first book. Going to read the second one as well. Then who knows? Though I might be interrupted at some point. I managed to lay my hands on a copy of The Terror by Dan Simmons. Some people say it is a very good book
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:55 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astra_lestat View Post
Well I am 3/4 through the first book. Going to read the second one as well. Then who knows? Though I might be interrupted at some point. I managed to lay my hands on a copy of The Terror by Dan Simmons. Some people say it is a very good book
I've read the Hyperion and Endymion sagas. This guy knows how to move stories, rarely a dead moment. Of course you can't say as much for the characters!
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:47 AM   #82
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I've read the Hyperion and Endymion sagas. This guy knows how to move stories, rarely a dead moment. Of course you can't say as much for the characters!
Ditto.
Read them same books. I was not very impressed by Hyperion (poet's life was way too borring to me) but I really liked Endymion. I guess it is because they are written in different styles. Hyperion was Sci-fi and Endymion Sci-fi too but I was reading like an adventure so I liked it much more. Female terminator, oops robot reminded me female terminator from T3
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:04 PM   #83
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I liked the Xanth 'trilogy' up through Golem in the Gears, then they started seeming increasingly rushed, like he got to be in such a hurry to tell the story (and cram in as many puns as possible, so there's good there too), that he lost sight of telling the story of the characters. I stopped buying/reading the new ones entirely some years ago.
If you like punny fantasy, you might try Steven Brust. He creates some interesting characters, like Vlad Taltos, the assassin-hero of Jhereg and some if his other novels, and interesting plots. Brust is Hungarian-American. His stories often contain Gypsy elements. Brust is a talented musician and a generally colorful character. You can read about Brust and his books here.


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Old 06-20-2007, 11:07 PM   #84
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I've been intrigued by the looks of The Phoenix Guard for years, but I've always had something else I wanted to read when I ran across it.

Your recommendation increases the odds of my actually picking up a copy, though.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:39 AM   #85
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I second the recommendation of Brust. Phoenix Guards and the books that go with it are different from his Vlad Taltos books, though-- they are a deliberate attempt to simulate the style (and to some extent, the content) of the works of Alexandre Dumas. The Taltos books are written in a more contemporary style, a bit like Zelazny on his good days, I'd say. I liked both. Lots. (I'm currently re-reading my Brust collection.) I have not been able to find any of them in "legal" ebook format, however (and I have not been able to find Phoenix Guards and its sequels in ebook form at all, so if anyone else has, please let me know).

Brust is on LiveJournal here: http://skzbrust.livejournal.com/ and his comments about writing are almost as much fun as the books themselves.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:36 AM   #86
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What I am reading

I have a few books going...
Allen Steele' "Coyote Frontier", Eric Flint "1924", "The Monk and the Cypher", about Roger Bacon. To cap it off, Ian Fleming's "Thunderball". All are on my Reader, so it is easy to switch as my mood changes.
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:50 PM   #87
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le Guin describes stuff too much and the way she does it just gets in the way of the story.
I read The Wizard of Earthsea a couple of months ago and boy was I surprised. Such a tiny book took me sooooo long to read! I'll try her other books since the consensus seems to be that they're better.

Right now I'm reading The Fall of Reach (Halo novel). Next up for me is either Cryptonomicon (Stephenson) or Red Mars (Robinson). Any advice?

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Old 06-24-2007, 09:24 AM   #88
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I read The Wizard of Earthsea a couple of months ago and boy was I surprised. Such a tiny book took me sooooo long to read! I'll try her other books since the consensus seems to be that they're better.

Right now I'm reading The Fall of Reach (Halo novel). Next up for me is either Cryptonomicon (Stephenson) or Red Mars (Robinson). Any advice?
Don't bother. They aren't much better. That is my opinion. I never really cared for her work. It's not the stories, but the way she writes. Just don't work for me.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:52 AM   #89
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Almost finished The Tombs of Atuan.

An improvement on A Wizard of Earthsea but .....something in the way she writes doesn't suit me well. I will continue nonetheless.
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:04 AM   #90
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just started the high school boys omnibus from harry. good quick breezy read

for kids of all ages
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