Spork Boards

Books: Paper, screen, audio

El Jeffe's Avatar Picture El Jeffe – November 17, 2010 06:58PM Reply Quote
Share your paper-turning, Kindle-scrolling, Audible-listening 'book' thoughts.

bahamut – September 29, 2011 10:43PM Reply Quote
Oh please please let him kill that goddamned crow on the wall. Please.

John Willoughby – September 30, 2011 12:49AM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
All in all, it's just another crow on The Wall.

bahamut – October 03, 2011 02:15PM Reply Quote
omg!

Mokers (Moderator) – October 06, 2011 07:42PM Reply Quote
Formerly Remy Martin
Book 3?

ARL (Moderator) – October 06, 2011 10:18PM Reply Quote
I whinge therefore I am!
Nope, he's up to 4 or 5 if he's talking about crows on the wall. I'm guessing book 5.

I'm almost at the end of 4 but I unfortunately read a spoiler about book 5.

El Jeffe – October 07, 2011 05:22AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
Get a prescription for Ambien. That way if you ever read a spoiler again, just pop one and you'll likely 'un-see' it.

ARL (Moderator) – October 11, 2011 11:26PM Reply Quote
I whinge therefore I am!
Latest Pratchett book on Kindle is a mess...

I'm kinda pissed off about things like this. Part of the point of buying the kindle was to get access to books faster - but not at the expense of readability.

Apparently even a lot of the annotations at the bottom of each page are missing.

How the hell do they manage to fuck things up that badly?

ARL (Moderator) – October 11, 2011 11:32PM Reply Quote
I whinge therefore I am!
DPBD!

And a milkshake for Apple - iBooks can only be viewed on iPhone or iPads, too bad if you want to read it on your Mac.

ARL (Moderator) – November 04, 2011 08:23PM Reply Quote
I whinge therefore I am!
Read Neuromancer the other day. Great book, even 25 years later...

Also read Gibson's short story collection, Burning Chrome...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2011 08:23PM by Tony Leggett.

James DeBenedetti – November 04, 2011 10:25PM Reply Quote
Yeah, I re-read it a few months ago (my first iBook). It's amazing how much better Neuromancer has held up than any other SF novel I've read. Gibson seems to have the same sense of modern / near-future culture that Jobs had of modern / near-future technology. It's much more fun to read than the Transhumanist schlock that dominates what's left of the non-"vampire romance" corner of SF bookshelves these days. I just wish Burning Chrome and Mona Lisa Overdrive were available digitally.

ARL (Moderator) – November 04, 2011 11:26PM Reply Quote
I whinge therefore I am!
Quote

I just wish Burning Chrome and Mona Lisa Overdrive were available digitally.

They are for kindle.

I have Burning Chrome and will order Mona Lisa Overdrive shortly. Count Zero isn't available sadly but you can read a HTML copy here...

John Willoughby – November 04, 2011 11:58PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
I love those books. I read his later books, but they don't have the same feel. His obsession with culture and style is interesting, but less so than his early work. His writing style remains superb.

Oddly, if you can stomach the parts written by his co-author, Bruce Sterling, his work in The Difference Engine has the kind of feel I got from the Sprawl Trilogy, despite the different setting.

ARL (Moderator) – November 05, 2011 04:44AM Reply Quote
I whinge therefore I am!
Some of his prose is amazing. I stumbled upon an article he wrote about Google not long ago.

I'm very tempted to quote it verbatim but I'll just quote a few paragraphs:

Quote

Google is a distributed entity, a two-way membrane, a game-changing tool on the order of the equally handy flint hand ax, with which we chop our way through the very densest thickets of information. Google is all of those things, and a very large and powerful corporation to boot.

We have yet to take Google’s measure. We’ve seen nothing like it before, and we already perceive much of our world through it. We would all very much like to be sagely and reliably advised by our own private genie; we would like the genie to make the world more transparent, more easily navigable. Google does that for us: it makes everything in the world accessible to everyone, and everyone accessible to the world. But we see everyone looking in, and blame Google.

Google is not ours. Which feels confusing, because we are its unpaid content-providers, in one way or another. We generate product for Google, our every search a minuscule contribution...

[...]

Quote

Cyberspace, not so long ago, was a specific elsewhere, one we visited periodically, peering into it from the familiar physical world. Now cyberspace has everted. Turned itself inside out. Colonized the physical. Making Google a central and evolving structural unit not only of the architecture of cyberspace, but of the world. This is the sort of thing that empires and nation-states did, before. But empires and nation-states weren’t organs of global human perception. They had their many eyes, certainly, but they didn’t constitute a single multiplex eye for the entire human species.

Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon prison design is a perennial metaphor in discussions of digital surveillance and data mining, but it doesn’t really suit an entity like Google. Bentham’s all-seeing eye looks down from a central viewpoint, the gaze of a Victorian warder. In Google, we are at once the surveilled and the individual retinal cells of the surveillant, however many millions of us, constantly if unconsciously participatory. We are part of a post-geographical, post-national super-state, one that handily says no to China. Or yes, depending on profit considerations and strategy. But we do not participate in Google on that level. We’re citizens, but without rights.

Oops, I nearly did...

James DeBenedetti – November 05, 2011 03:01PM Reply Quote
Quote
Tony Leggett
Quote

I just wish Burning Chrome and Mona Lisa Overdrive were available digitally.

They are for kindle.

I have Burning Chrome and will order Mona Lisa Overdrive shortly. Count Zero isn't available sadly but you can read a HTML copy here...

Interesting... Count Zero is available through iBooks (I have it), but I'm not sure if I want to split my book collection between two competing companies.

John Willoughby – November 05, 2011 06:05PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Pay for the digital version, then download a pirated version in a compatible format.

tliet – November 06, 2011 12:05PM Reply Quote
Well, at least I tried ordering it.



I'll resort to the results of the second advice.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2011 12:06PM by tliet.

ARL (Moderator) – November 22, 2011 10:52PM Reply Quote
I whinge therefore I am!
Finished the final book in the ASOIAF (well book 5 anyhow...).

In both book 4 & 5 it felt like a lot happened without necessarily progressing the story - did other people feel that?

I don't think George Martin will finish this series frankly.

At the end of Book four Martin explains that he had to split the book/characters/stories in half and that the following book (five) will hopefully be out the following year. That was June 2005 and rather than 2006, the next book came out in May 2011.

In the acknowledgements at the end of book five he makes it clear he is finding the writing process quite gruelling. I'm not sure he's got another two books in him.

James DeBenedetti – November 23, 2011 03:02AM Reply Quote
I haven't read it yet (I'm still re-reading book 3 for the first time since it came out, in preparation for book 4, which I never got around to), but Brad DeLong has.

El Jeffe – November 23, 2011 07:38AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
Ok, John Hodgman's AUDIO books are pretty crazy stuff. His head of full of fantasy. Fancy fantasy at that.
Have any of you LISTENED to them? If you like 30 minutes of it, you'll love it all.

ARL (Moderator) – November 24, 2011 12:16AM Reply Quote
I whinge therefore I am!
Quote
James DeBenedetti
I haven't read it yet (I'm still re-reading book 3 for the first time since it came out, in preparation for book 4, which I never got around to), but Brad DeLong has.

So, based on that metric of performance the Unabomber's manifesto has more literary worth than one of Shakespeare's sonnets?

< rant >

I'm not criticising Martin on his words-per-year output, I greatly prefer quality over quantity (J K Rowling, I'm looking at you). Martin at his best creates an evocative landscape almost as detailed and complex as Tolkien. At his worst he can fill several pages talking about nothing but heraldry, medieval food/drink/customs without progressing the story at all. I know he's a huge fan of that era and has researched hundreds of larges tomes on every aspect of it - and while it adds authenticity to the story there is too much of a good thing. It's like an undergrad uni student who's done all this *great* research and just has to fit it in somewhere and thus triples their essay word limit.

The first two books have told a lot more story than the last three. More storytelling, less waffle about roasted capons (which is a knackered rooster apparently), boiled leather jerkins and patterned doublets (apparently a double-lined vest) and other window dressing...

< / rant >

That tangent aside I actually wasn't criticising Martin in the previous post (but boy I had a good whinge here to make up for it, hey?), just making the observation that he appears to be exhausted by writing the whole series.

Let's hope I'm wrong.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login