Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides Snail in Danger (Sid)'s Comments (member since Nov 02, 2009)

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Jan 26, 2012 11:49AM

1865 Julia ... I know what Barrayar is. In fact, I suggested Cordelia earlier in the thread, for that reason. Barrayar appeared to be on the list as a name earlier, but the post has since been edited.

Ash: A Secret History - Liz, maybe this is what you were thinking of?

My favorite popular from movies name is Skylar - big peak when Good Will Hunting came out.
^ Plugging in names and date ranges there is superfun. US only, though.
1865 I feel kind of guilty, but I made it about halfway through this book before I ran out of steam. Combination of reasons but mostly it boiled down to, this book was depressing/not fun for me. It had turned into a lit crit exercise where I was spending all this time thinking about the satirical statement about religion that Bulgakov was (I think) making.
1865 Started this yesterday; about to begin Chapter 5. Poor Ivan Nikolayich ... he's just not having a good day, it seems.
Jan 25, 2012 04:18AM

1865 I also liked Soon I Will Be Invincible. Looking back, I can agree that the characterization was not out of the ordinary. But it was a fun story, for me. (You'll note that I haven't ever attempted to re-read it, though. Maybe someday I will, but it's not a huge priority.)

A buddy of mine, who is a devoted comics reader and much more steeped in the superhero traditions of Western comics than I am, thought it was boring and unoriginal.
Jan 24, 2012 06:37PM

1865 By the way - I see "Barrayar" on your list. I don't know if that slipped on by mistake or what, but I feel I should note that it's the name of a planet, not a person. :) (Also I would hate my parents if they'd named me Barrayar. Just sayin'.)
Jan 24, 2012 03:42PM

1865 I made an actual survey of my SF/F books so ... more names! You will let us know if you use one of the group's suggestions, right? :) *curious now*

Dorothy (Wizard of Oz)
Cecelia (Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot)
Aliera (Steven Brust's Dragaera series)
Susan (Discworld)
Mirka (Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, though people who follow tennis might ask if you named her for Roger Federer'wife)
Sophie Howl's Moving Castle)
Janet (Tam Lin, based on the Scottish ballad of the same name)
Mariesa (Firestar series)
Zoe (Old Man's War series)
Jan 24, 2012 02:52PM

1865 Opal's also the name of a villain from Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series ... I'd be careful there. :)
Jan 24, 2012 02:49PM

1865 Cordelia - from the Barrayar series and from Buffy, and from Shakespeare. The SF/fantasy/classics triple!
Jan 24, 2012 08:34AM

1865 Heh. You have a point about Honor Harrington and I thought the series was terrible for years. Now I, er, well, it's the thing I read that I'm slightly embarrassed to read. Such good popcorn. (More seriously: I think there are some characters with interesting stories that aren't necessarily handed well. I'd level "too much going on" at Weber more than I would at Zahn.)
Jan 24, 2012 03:32AM

1865 Heh. I read the Elenium and the Tamuli when I was a teenager. Tried to read the Belgariad then and bounced off it.
1865 Nice list, Chris.
1865 The Cabinet of Earths is a middle grade (designation of target age group, not quality) fantasy. It's not the most original thing ever, thematically speaking, but it was an enjoyable read, and would make a great movie in the right hands. And since YA and middle grade things are very popular targets for film adaptations ... I have my fingers crossed.
Jan 22, 2012 03:44PM

1865 I love Bellwether though it's only tenuously SF, at best.

Other than that, I've enjoyed Willis's short fiction more. Her genuinely SF novels have not worked for me ... though I would have liked them to.

And despite the previous, I was a little surprised that she hadn't been named a grand master already.
Jan 21, 2012 05:20PM

1865 My most influential English teacher convinced me that one suitable definition of literature is "things that are read." But at the same time, I turn up my nose at things that try too hard to be literary and fail. So I do recognize a qualitative difference. (Qualitative in the scientific sense, not "poor quality vs. good quality.")

Rowena, I liked your post, and Genia, I totally agree with your last sentence. There is literary junk food and sometimes it's what I want.
Jan 20, 2012 06:52AM

1865 Wow, this thread got long when I wasn't looking. I'm going to throw my two pennies in the pool and then probably disappear again for at least a couple pages. /lazy

On King and Gaiman vs. Martin — in terms of sales the former two have done better than Martin, I suspect. In terms of mainstream success and recognizability, I would guess that King blows the other two out of the water.

And pronouncing Russian ... English speakers are not helped at all by competing transcription systems. (Which all seem non-obvious to me. But anyway.)
1865 Yeah, the appeal of all the post-apocalyptic and dystopian books is clear. (Though, personally, I've gotten bored with them too.) You may have a point about the Victorians being seen as comforting, domestic, a place for everyone and everyone in their place ... but you say "Victorians" and I think "Dickens." Not exactly cheerful!
1865 Also, as to why authors are jumping on the bandwagon ... I don't blame them, though if I think what they produce is meh I'll say so. Authors need to eat too and if something is commercially viable then why shouldn't they be responsive to the market?

(Of course if someone comes up with something genre-shaking that's great ... but those books don't come along every day. Heck, they don't even come along every year.)
1865 Plus, what took everyone so long to jump on this bandwagon? It's been there. Why weren't you reading steampunk 25 years ago? Why have people only started in on this recently?

I wonder this all the time. (Well, with different dates.) I was starting to hear about it by the late 90s/early 2000s, via comic book fandom. (I was in my early 20s.) So it being big now kind of gives me this "Haven't we done this already, guys?" feeling. I keep trying to figure out why it has tapped into the current zeitgeist so much.
1865 Which is the one that you really loved, Brad?

The Alchemy of Stone, New Amsterdam, and Airborn were decent. The latter two had sequels that I either couldn't get into or thought were just recapitulating the first book, though.

I think I've said this here before, but I've never really fallen in love with a steampunk book. The spirit is willing but the mind is weak every time I try, though. Or something.
1865 Ysabeau S. Wilce wrote a fantasy version of the story of Springheel Jack in her Califa setting — it's very different from this, but you can read it here if you're so inclined. (He later shows up in her trilogy in the same setting.)

As with Colleen, it's been a while since I read this book, and I don't feel like I have time to read it again right now. I did like the premise, though I've gotten slightly vague on the details. My main takeaway is that I got tired of Swinburne squealing so much. (I know, I'm a terrible person.)

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