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  1. #1831
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
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    I finished the Star Trek TNG novel Cold Equations Book 3: The Body Electric by David Mack.
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    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  2. #1832
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gothos View Post
    I recently re-read Wells' DOCTOR MOREAU for the first time in many years. It's one of his stronger novels, and probably has never received an accurate film-adaptation, though it seems to me that the Burt Lancaster version might have come closest.
    One of the handful of novels (ouside of Phil Dick's oeuvre) that I've read twice.

    As for film adapatations, have you seen the first one, Island of Lost Souls?
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

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  3. #1833
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    One of the handful of novels (ouside of Phil Dick's oeuvre) that I've read twice.

    As for film adapatations, have you seen the first one, Island of Lost Souls?
    Oh, yes. It's certainly the best adaptation, but it doesn't follow the events of the book very closely, particularly with respect to the horrifying fate of Moreau at the climax. Wells' version gets off easy.

    Also decided to reread GULLIVER OF MARS, which I had only read once 30 yrs ago. It's a probable influence on ERB's Mars books, but though I see several elements ERB probably borrowed, Gulliver is a very reluctant hero next to John Carter. The style is really weird; sort of like what would happen if Oscar Wilde had tried to write an adventure-story.
    Last edited by Gothos; 06-20-2013 at 01:39 PM.

  4. #1834
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathstroke View Post
    I finished the Star Trek TNG novel Cold Equations Book 3: The Body Electric by David Mack.
    Is "Cold Equations" a reference to the short story of the same title that appears in The Science Fiction hall of Fame Volume 1?

    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    I'm about half-way thorugh Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White. A sensation when it was published in weekly installments in its day (1859/60), and you can see why. This is actually a re-read for me, but it's been so long, I remember only a few characters - like the unforgettable Count Fosco, one of the great literary villains of all time - and the bare bones of the story.
    After finishing this a few days back, I found myself wondering if Fosco might also have been one of the inspirations or influences behind a couple other famous fictional fat men: Rex Stout's detective Nero Wolfe and Dashiell Hammet's Caspar Gutman (in The Maltese Falcon). All three share a certain prolixity and love of talk and are big personalities as well as physically big men.

    Continuing my effort to read at least one contemporary book every month or so, I just started Iris Murdoch's 1978 novel The Sea, the Sea. This will be my first Murdoch. So far I'm impressed by the quality of her prose, but it's too early to say much else about it yet. For my purposes I'm taking "contemporary" to include anything from the late 70s, when I was in my late teens, onwards.

  5. #1835
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    Is "Cold Equations" a reference to the short story of the same title that appears in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume 1?
    I haven't read any of the Star Trek books, but according to the author's blog, it's a very loose connection based on forcing the characters to make difficult moral choices.
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  6. #1836
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    A means to freedom, the letters exchanged between R.E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft.

    Very interesting stuff in that it shows what these gentlemen actually thought, in their own words, and not what we assume they thought through the interpretation of their stories.

    I regret to see that their blatant racism goes far beyond what would be expected from simply living in a less enlightened time. It is stomach turning at times, frankly; that kind of discourse would have made any Nazi nodding in approval. Yuck. The American melting pot is decried as a mongrelizaton of the good and pure "American" stock (which is, as in any racist discourse, the group to which the writer identifies, of course); slavery is presented as pretty much a good idea, as long as slave owners be not too hard on their "property"; and a lot of insane theories about cultural evolution are spouted. The almost pathological need to identify with some kind of genetically-defined group of superior physical and intellectual worth is particularly strong in Howard, and as disappointing as it is infuriating (me being such a big fan of his stories and all).

    I suppose that if I can appreciate the beauty of Wagner's music despite his antisemitism I can also appreciate Howard's tales despite his antianythingbutceltsandanglosaxonism, but I am now convinced that had I had the chance to meet the man, it is very unlikely we would have been friends. Too bad.
    People in white coats (science cartoons, updated daily) | Art Blog

  7. #1837
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Dance of the Voodoo Handbag by Robert Rankin. Weaker than usual Rankin. His plots always meander but this one is all over the place. And the characterizations aren't enough to fully overcome that.

    The Sour Lemon Score by Richard Stark. Top tier Parker novel. Up there with the best of the series.

    The Big Burn by Timothy Egan. Popular history of the 1910 wildfire that burned an area the size of Connecticut across Idaho, Montana and Washington. The fire came about when the US Forest Service was just five years old and was a brutal coming-of-age for the service and the National Forest System. Throw in Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot vs. a passel of Gilded Age fat-cats and you have a great story.

  8. #1838
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slam_Bradley;17224360[B
    The Big Burn[/B] by Timothy Egan. Popular history of the 1910 wildfire that burned an area the size of Connecticut across Idaho, Montana and Washington. The fire came about when the US Forest Service was just five years old and was a brutal coming-of-age for the service and the National Forest System. Throw in Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot vs. a passel of Gilded Age fat-cats and you have a great story.
    Sounds right up my alley. (Admittedly, I have many alleys, or my alley has many lanes, or something.)

    Right now I'm reading sort of its polar opposite, set mainly in Ohio -- Geoff Williams' Washed Away: How the Great Flood of 1913, America's Most Widespread Natural Disaster, Terrorized a Nation and Changed It Forever. Decent so far, though I keep finding myself wishing I (or anyone else, really) could've done at least some light editing on this before publication.


    Edit: Didn't remember his name, but Amazon tells me that I've read an earlier book of Egan's, Breaking Blue. Pretty darned good, if memory serves.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  9. #1839
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    Sounds right up my alley. (Admittedly, I have many alleys, or my alley has many lanes, or something.)

    Right now I'm reading sort of its polar opposite, set mainly in Ohio -- Geoff Williams' Washed Away: How the Great Flood of 1913, America's Most Widespread Natural Disaster, Terrorized a Nation and Changed It Forever. Decent so far, though I keep finding myself wishing I (or anyone else, really) could've done at least some light editing on this before publication.


    Edit: Didn't remember his name, but Amazon tells me that I've read an earlier book of Egan's, Breaking Blue. Pretty darned good, if memory serves.
    This is the first book of Egans that I've read, but I have The Worst Hard Time, his look at the Dust Bowl coming up. I was familiar with a lot of the areas talked about in The Big Burn from my time living in North Idaho.

  10. #1840
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    I know I've read sections of The Worst Hard Time, too, but can't remember whether I read the whole thing through. Must simply not've been in the mood at the time.
    Last edited by Dan B. in the Underworld; 06-27-2013 at 06:35 AM.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  11. #1841
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
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    I finished the Robert K. Tanenbaum novel Bad Faith today.
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    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  12. #1842
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    Unfettered, edited by Shawn Speakman. It's a fantasy anthology with a somewhat eclectic line-up, put together as a benefit to help with Speakman's medical bills. Terry Brooks, Tad Williams, Patrick Rothfuss, Lev Grossman, Robert Jordan (well, Brandon Sanderson), Carrie Vaughn, Naomi Novik, and a bunch of others. It's, as you'd expect, a really mixed bag.

    Surprisingly, the Jordan/Sanderson story is a highlight. It's a deleted storyline from the last book of the Wheel of Time, which would've shown what one of the villains had been up to before showing up for the finale. I can see why it was cut (the last book needed to be about wrapping things up, not introducing new characters and settings), but it ends up being more interesting than a lot of what actually made it into the book.
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  13. #1843
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    In picking up The Big Burn at the library the other day, I noticed T.H. Watkins' The Hungry Years: A Narrative History of the Great Depression in America on the same shelf & grabbed it as well. Haven't started Burn yet but am about 40 pages from finishing Years; I'm almost always a sucker for chronicles of the Depression, for some reason.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  14. #1844
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Dracula Cha Cha Cha by Kim Newman

    Newman revisits his Anno Dracula world with The Count preparing to get married again in 1959 Rome. The book drew heavily on Italian cinema, so a lot of the Easter eggs went over my head (unlike the previous two novels). But you can still enjoy Newmans work on its own merits. It also includes a novella set in 1968 London which is at least as the main course. Bit of a comedown from Anno Dracua and Bloody Red Baron, but still a good read.

    The Name of the Game is Death by Dan J. Marlowe.

    This book came both well reviewed and favorably compared to to Richard Starks Parker novels. I guess the comparisons are inevitable. Parker and Drake/Roy Martin appeared in the same year and are both holdup men. But that's pretty much where the comparison ends. Parker is the more sophisticated villain. His plans have more finesse. He is willing to kill, but notis not nearly as enthusiastic about it. We definitely know more about Drake/Martin and what makes him tick. There's a very clear "stick it to the man" feel that goes well beyond the mere act of robbery.

    The comparison is understandable, but a tad shallow. The book, on its merits certainly ranks well above average for paperback originals. Marlowe delves in to the protagonist and makes it clear what drives him. He's more human and more fallible. He falls for a dog and a good woman, so there's that.

    The story involves a holdup gone bad, a missing partner (who has the noodle) a femme fatale and a passel of killing. That's a plenty fine mix. And if it isn't the equal of Parker at his best, it's the equal of Parker when he's just a bit off the mark.

    Deadly Edge by Richard Stark

  15. #1845
    Senior Member Moriarty's Avatar
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    To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer.

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