Random Random's Comments

Random's comments from the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club group.

Note: Random is no longer a member of this group.

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Dec 02, 2011 09:21AM

1865 Umar wrote: "For December's SF Book Club selection, if you have a chance to get a copy of the audio version of Ready Player One (my local library had it), Will Wheaton's narration takes the experience to a whol..."

I've been running across Will Wheaton's as a narrator semi frequently lately. I have to say, I've been impressed with his work.
1865 Andrea wrote: "I particularly appreciated the Zork interlude."

I adored that game. :D
1865 I can't recommend Ted Chaing's Stories of Your Life and Others enough. I really wish he wrote more.
Nov 08, 2011 11:43AM

1865 From my experience, people who dislike this book, dislike it because it isn't like American Gods. Often people who like the book, like it because it isn't like American Gods.

Anyway you look at it, Anansi Boys not not like American Gods. :D

Personally this is one of my favorite Gaiman books. I have to agree with Nelly that I felt American Gods was a bit rambling and convoluted and that really affected my enjoyment of that book.

But, this isn't a discussion of Amercian Gods, so on to Anansi Boys.

Also, isn't it about time for us to get some spoiler topics?
Nov 02, 2011 12:01PM

1865 Julia wrote: "I hate long, long books in hardback, because when I inevitably fall asleep reading them in bed, they hurt when I drop them on my face. At which point I often continue reading, because hey, I'm awake!"

I used to drop them on my husband's head. He got mad at me a lot. :D

Personally, book length isn't something I pay much attention to.
Oct 14, 2011 04:09PM

1865 Chris wrote: "I just reread "The Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. It is really everything that one could want in a science fiction story. On the surface it is both a first contact and somewhat a time travel ..."

I can't say enough good things about Ted Chaing. I wish he had more stuff out there.
1865 I have to agree with blackrose. Science Fiction is more than just the What if, and the What if tag can also be assigned just as easily to Fantasy as well as Science Fiction. While I haven't read the book, it does sounds to me like it falls solidly within Speculative Fiction. All SpecFic deals with the what if. That's its heart.

As a personal preference, I tend to consider Alternative History as its own sub category under Speculative fiction along side Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.
Apr 14, 2011 11:28AM

1865 Denae wrote: "Am I the only person on earth who utterly loathed Perdido Street Station? Not to say he wouldn't like it. Most people do. I just feel a bit out of place on it."

You're not the only one. I can't comprehend why people like it myself. All icing, no cake. But then I know people who eat just icing and skip the cake *shudder*.

I understand the picture example. Its not a literal representation he's looking for, but a feeling it generates. C.S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy will fit the bill there. I'll also add in her Magister series. Third book is due out later this year and IMO is even better.

I'll second Brandon Sanderson. The Mistborn series should also fit into what he's looking for.

Might also try some Carol Berg. The Lighthouse Duology is very good. There are Fae, mostly in the second book, but they are very integral to where the story is going.
Mar 04, 2011 01:29PM

1865 Organization? What's that? I'm lucky if my physical books ever make it to the bookshlves. Heck I'm lucky if they every make it to a table top.

Now I wonder how many books I actually have lost to the abyss that is under my bed.
Feb 23, 2011 04:50PM

1865 Kara wrote:
"Micheal Kramer
Kate Reading
Paul Boehmer
Simon Vance (who just narrates tons! but is amazing)

I'm not familiar off hand with Simon Vance, but have very much enjoyed the work of the others you mentioned.

To add to the list:

Grover Gardner does Bujold's Vorkosigan series (someone else mentioned it) and he is excellent.

Michael Hanson and Carol Cowan have also been readers for the Vorkosigan series, but are older and harder to find. I believe I've only found them on audio cassette. Both are excellent and I simply adore his voice.

Stephen Briggs is one of the narrators for Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. I can't imagine those books without him.

Cameron Beierle did the Belgariad and Mallorean series and was an excellent narrator.

I have a certain passion for Stephan Rudniki, though he's not common in these genres.

I've heard Neil Gaiman narrates his own works quite enjoyably, and have been meaning to check him out. Another I haven't tried, but am looking forward is Storm Front. I hear James Marster does a great job for the entire Dresden series. "

While I wasn't thrilled with the Dresden books, James Marsters did an excellent job as Narrator.

Neil Gaiman is also an excellent narrator. I always make a point of buying his stuff in audio format if he's the one doing the reading.

Lenny Henry did Gaiman's Anansi Boys and was also very good.
Feb 02, 2011 09:03AM

1865 Ben wrote: "Kevin wrote: "How can we trust and back up his story if he is the only way that knows it fully. That seems shady to me about his personality and character as a person."

That's called having an unreliable narrator. It's a fairly common convention that happens any time you have a sole first-person narrator; one cannot trust that what the person says happened is what actually happened. So this disqualifies quite a few books from ever being "good," I guess."

Its all up to personal taste, but I personally really enjoy the first person unreliable narrator. Thinking back, a significant portion of my favorite books use this method.

Actually, my memory may be sketchy here, but don't the Dresden books also use the first person narrative?
1865 I think the short story Tower of Babylon from Ted Chaing's Stories of Your Life and Others could make an excellent movie.
Jan 20, 2011 01:51PM

1865 I would have to say The Iron Dragon's Daughter. It has been a long time and I have thankfully managed to forget many of the details. I do remember, however, that I forced myself to finish this travesty in hopes that by the end there would be a point to the entire mess.

After I read the last page, I screamed in frustration and anger and promptly threw it out a handily open second story window.
Jan 16, 2011 10:33AM

1865 Now that I'm awake, here are a few more suggestions.


Moonbase 3
Primeval - Supposed to be good, but I have yet to watch it.


Believe Nothing
Mighty Boosh (can't believe I forgot this last post)
IT Crowd
My Hero
New Statesman
Thin Blue Line
Bottom (if you like crude humor)
Absolute Power
Jan 16, 2011 07:53AM

1865 I recommend (sf-only)
Blake's 7 - horrible fx, amazing story
Red Dwarf
Star Cops - short lived but very good
No Heroics


Spaced - Simon Pegg is great
Father Ted
Black Books

I'll add more as I think of them. it's too early for my brain to work properly.
1865 Lara Amber wrote: "Ahem, if you had a Kindle, the blurbs would never be an issue...

(couldn't resist)"

Not totally accurate. You can still have introductions, other author comments, etc at the beginning of ebooks which can be even worse than back cover blurbs.
1865 Kevin wrote: "What this be that even if you have the book? "

Of course. Ownership or possession does not remove the desire to stay spoiler free. You just learn to avoid things like the back cover blurbs.
1865 Oh yeah, that would have been very bad.
1865 Kevin wrote: "How could anyone after that not know the end, even if one has not read it."

Some of us work very hard to avoid learning anything specific about books we haven't read. I personally go so far as to avoid looking at reviews beyond trusted sources or basic average rating data.
1865 Ala wrote: "Kevin wrote: "Really? Come on, the first book was not that good.
For me, the new Wild Cards Book, Ghost Stories by Jim B..."

To each, his own.

I enjoyed the hell out of The Name of the Wind..."</i>

Its certainly a matter of personal taste. I've always found R.A. Salvatore ok but nothing special. I read the first five Dresden books again thinking they were ok, but nothing special and haven't bothered reading any more.

Definitely looking forward to <i>The Wise Man's Fear</i>.

I believe C.S. Friedman's [book:Legacy of Kings
is due out this year and I'm really wanting to get my hands on it.

And, if I'm lucky, Scott Lynch's The Republic of Thieves will also release this year.

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