What are YOU readin'?

no we didn't try it before. because when i posted the 1st thread it was based on a similar format from another board and its always what has stuck. and change annoys me, you don't want to annoy me...

i am pages away from finishing the gone away world by nick harkaway. it is glory in the most syrup based fashion. definitely something i wish i'd written. the narrator is part of a group of hazard/disaster experts, survivors of the gone away war. the gone away bomb having ravaged the world in a horrific manner. the novel flashes back and tells the narrators life story, his childhood, the war, and back to the dangerous mission they've been sent on now. its got ninja, pirates, mimes, monsters. its funny and heartbreaking and wonderfully written. glory.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I read her Clockwork Angel several months ago and see some definite similarities. (They are set in the same 'world,' though temporaly and geographically separated). I wasn't expecting anything profound, though; I was just looking for some entertainment as it's been a rough couple of weeks. Fits the bill nicely.

I'll start Rule 34 when I get back from CA next week.
quote:
Originally posted by electricdragon/ madevilbeats:
Not really reading anything myself lately. Did find a neat book on Brion Gysin called DREAM MACHINE. I leaf through that one often, but my brain seems too busy doing other things lately to find time for readin' . . .


Have you ever experienced one of Gysin's Dream Machines? I wonder if it really works or wha?
On the other hand, it can be good to have what one has read recorded by date.

My father-in-law suggested that I start writing down what I was reading and when I was reading it in my ongoing sketch/note/journal books - and I've been very thankful for the idea. It comes in handy for mental housekeeping.
quote:
Have you ever experienced one of Gysin's Dream Machines? I wonder if it really works or wha?

I was familiar with the concept before seeing the book (probably why I noticed it to begin with) but, no. The back does have a fold out pattern you can remove and cut and install using a turntable. I'll probably trace the pattern and make my own design rather than alter the book.

I'm a bit of a skeptic when it comes to things like this anyway, especially after all those bits of blotter paper in the 90's that definitely DID work Wink
i finished Nick Harkaway's Gone Away World and i can't recommend it enough. i loved it. as the pages disappeared i wondered how on earth he was going to wrap it up, and then he pulled a blinder and i'd have been laughing and cheering if i hadn't been sitting at work during lunch. the US copy, which i picked up in vancouver, for the pretty cover, has a quote from bill, in case you needed some encouragement. one of the other quotes compares it to catch-22 and pynchon, i can certainly see the catch-22 comparison. but it is more SF/weird/absurd/gloriously-syruppy.
having finished gone away world, i guess i should have mentioned what i've started.

was in local book shop the other week trying to find scarlett thomas' latest - a book about writing based on her experience in lecturing at kent university as well as being an acclaimed novelist. i found it in the island of literary criticism, alongside "distrust that particular flavor" funnily. i've started reading it and it is a bit of an odd experience, i have no formal creative writing background, and a lot of this is very dry. for all that she talks about the matrix and toy story, she also spends a lot of time on aristotle and the like. as she moves on to her own definitions of plots and characters i think it will become more contemporary and of use to me.

at the same time, i stumbled across a random new book - greg baxter "the apartment". something about the feel of the slim volume, the plot summary, and the tone of the 1st few pages meant i bought it there and then having no previous knowledge. which is one of the joys of book shops. a 41 year old american, ex-navy, has arrived in a european city, tired of his old life he walks the streets, snow contrasting his native desert. i like the feel of the stranger in strange land, the speculative rambles. so far they haven't said what city it is, but it feels eastern european - an ancient city, old buildings, snow heavy, christmas markets. parts of it remind me of vienna, but it could be somewhere much more eastern block that that.
Finished reading all of Jack Womacks brilliant and beautifully insane series I call the "DryCo Chronicles". Acrobatic, sleek, disjointed yet perfectly joined. I can think of no other work that has done so many seemingly impossible things internally and managed to make all as believable as these books have. What at first I thought an incredibly slick bit of prose ends up being the most accurate and terrifying indictment of human nature ever put to ink.

Nothing I can say will add anything to the experience.

Read them, if you haven't.
Read them again if you have.
quote:
Originally posted by Gromit:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogerhead:
Finished reading all of Jack Womacks brilliant and beautifully insane series I call the "DryCo Chronicles".


A serious question: what does Womack call it? What do I need to look for?


i don't think there is any formality to it, i can't seeing you being able to go into a shop and ask for it by name. i've only ever come across one of his books in a book shop ever - london, number of years back, elissey if i recall, and kradlum ended up with that i believe. i got all my copies from online shops.
Yep, they're just astonishing, and bear re-reading. The order is not that important, IMO, since the plots are not linked, the world and some of the characters are. 'Random Acts...' gets us from something very like our world to that one, but I read it about fourth, I think. I started with 'Terraplane'.

Read 'em.

Gulped down the first three Sandman Slim novels in less than a week with considerable pleasure - recommended. Waiting for the library to get the fourth, which is pretty new.

Had been hearing about Lee Child's 'Jack Reacher' novels, and heard a good interview with him on the radio. Checked them out with 'Echo Burning' on the plane, and enjoyed it. Started out looking as though it was going to be simplistic and added complications to become a complex and enjoyable mystery novel. Then read 'One Shot', and enjoyed it a lot as well... not least because the setting and all the characters but Reacher are different, and the plot is very different - no formula here.

Not super deep, but well written and enjoyable.

I believe, though, that Tom Cruise has signed to bring the franchise to the screen - which is just bizarre, because the character is 6 foot 5.
I finished the third Sandman Slim novel as well. I enjoy them. Kind of curious about where the story goes after this one.

Also read a bunch of Batman and Robin by Grant Morrison. On one hand, I enjoy that Morrison packs a lot of depth and weirdness in his comics. On the other, I read comics for the escapism.

Up next, I've got a book about the Paleo diet and Arnold Schwazenegger's autobiography.
Tore through Iain M Banks's The Hydrogen Sonata at the weekend. A good sign; I was hooked from the first chapter and even for a Culture novel, it moves at a cracking pace. Better than Surface Detail, I thought, although I found the characters of the ships far more interesting than those of the human protagonist and antagonist. This may be because he continues to write ship Minds as if they were a bunch of grumpy old codgers down the local pub. Given my taste in weird musical instruments it'll come as no surprise that I now want an Antagonistic Undecagonstring of my own. And the four arms required to play it properly, of course...

(Oh, and the frequent mentions of Vyr's jacket struck me as positively Gibsonian!)
quote:
Originally posted by Wanderer:
I'm reading China MiƩville's The City & the City. It's the novel i'm reading of his, and i'm certainly liking it so far.

Actually, the *only* Mieville I've ever fully enjoyed. Normally, his stuff is just a slog for me, but not that one!

Got on a David Brin Uplift kick: SunDiver yesterday, Startide Rising currently.

BTW, I would say that Rule 34 was a lot better the second time through. I think it was so dense that the first time I read it, I had a little trouble keeping up with WTF is going on with all the various threads. At any rate, thoroughly enjoyed my second reading of it.
Finished up a few things recently. Finally finished Pratchett's "Night Watch." Excellent. Then "Devil Said Bang," Kadrey's fourth Sandman Slim book. Good fun, though it felt a little like Kadrey's getting things in place for something bigger in later novels. Can't have the big showdowns yet. Great ideas in it, though. Also: Gwenda Bond's "Blackwood," about the lost colony of Roanoke, VA. I very much enjoyed this one, too (alchemy, John Dee, family curses...). Very strong "young adult" novel, which I'd have never heard of unless I'd met the author and her husband at ICFA this past year. He's got a new short story here: http://www.nightshadebooks.com...by-christopher-rowe/

Just started "Alan Mendolsohn, the Boy from Mars" by Daniel Pinkwater. Starts out odd, then takes a turn for the profoundly weird. I have no idea where it's going to go.
quote:
Originally posted by Justy:
Just started "Alan Mendolsohn, the Boy from Mars" by Daniel Pinkwater. Starts out odd, then takes a turn for the profoundly weird. I have no idea where it's going to go.


I love that book! It's one of the determining factors in my childhood. Where I discovered I enjoyed the absurd and was weirder that other kids because of that.
quote:
Originally posted by Justy:
Finished up a few things recently. Finally finished Pratchett's "Night Watch."


Went to my local used book shop yesterday - http://boswells.com.au/, a little hole-in-the-wall shop ideally slotted right behind a bus stop. It's piled, no shit, floor to ceiling with books, and has a some surreal fantasy art on the side, right-wing shock jocks on the radio, and a budgie up the back, near the Gregory's car repair manuals. Picked up "Going Postal" and "Snuff", two Pratchetts I'd been chasing for a while. Am starting on Postal, because chronology.
The Prestige by Christopher Priest - I'm about half through this (on audio book), and it is pretty remarkable how different the story is from the movie's screenplay. It has been a couple years since I saw the movie, but I think it is probably good they did away with a lot of the epistolary form of the novel.

I've also been reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and am almost through another Michener brick: Hawaii.
I've read "Geek Love", and positivley adored it. That was in 98.

A re-read is in order, especially since her friend Chuck Palahnuik has been pimping her so vehemently since then. Figured after Womack, she'd seem a bit.... normal.

Still undecided, though. The Pynchon is tempting, as his take on the detective novel is so alluring... But "Imperial Bedrooms" would complete my reading of Brett Easton Ellis' body of work, and "Jpod" would be only the second Coupland I've read...
a large chunk of the no-M Banks stuff is more mainstream. some of it has it's oddities, or things like rock stars and murderers, but they are definitely more along the litrachoor lines.

not actually read that one. i'm behind.
though his lit ones can be funny, i can find them difficult to get into, then they reward when i do. actually, thinking about it, that might be one i started to read, and never could get into at all.

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