readers advisory for all discussion

170 views
so ask already!!! > fiction involving the game of Go.

Comments (showing 1-50 of 61) (61 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments I hope this is appropriate for this group and for the RA concept. I both read and collect fiction which mentions the Japanese board game of Go. I think I have a substantially complete collection of works with major references to the game, but I am always on the lookout for books in any genre which have a passing mention of it.


message 2: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
i assume you have read this one:

The Girl Who Played Go??


message 3: by karen, future RA queen (last edited Feb 16, 2011 06:58AM) (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
never mind - i see you have - i will return

thank you for having a shelf, because i was going to recommend Shibumi, too.


message 4: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments Thank you, Karen. I appreciate the attempt, especially since you mentioned two of the greats of Go literature.


message 5: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
i am not giving up, i just gotta go to work now. but i'm going to cheat and use an RA resource to try to help you with this one.


message 6: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
does this list help at all?? i can extract and link later, but i thought you should see it...

http://senseis.xmp.net/?Literature


message 7: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments Thanks again. I do check Sensei's library from time to time and add anything new to my shelves [both GR and real life], and many of the listings on SL were originally from my lists on rec.games.go, but it does look as if there are several new additions since the last time I checked it. I appreciate the reminder and the chance to update.


message 8: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
damn. i thought i was going to impress you, but you are a maniac.

i am going to have to step it up some.


message 9: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments "maniac" is one of the milder and kinder words people use to describe my obsession with buying and reading every book in english which mentions Go. however, i note that your group/project has attracted a number of people who are pretty up on their areas of inteest. i tried to answer a few of the other queries, but found that consistently others had either made the same recommendations i would or had made suggestions so on-point that mine would have been irrelevant.


message 10: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
"maniac", to me, is a compliment...


message 11: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! | 51 comments My dad has played Go (I think it's called o-mok in Korean?) but there's another game played with the same board and black/white pieces that he has translated as House, and I get the two mixed up. Something like one of these games was described in Glory Season, I think. It's been years and years since I read it so I don't remember if it'll fit your search.


message 12: by Brian R. (last edited Feb 16, 2011 03:00PM) (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments Thanks, Double-Eh. I like Brin's writing and this looks interesting so I'll buy and read it, mainly to see if it contains any Go scenes but I'll undoubtedly enjoy it either way. By the way, Go is normally called Baduk in Korean. From wikipedia, it appears that o-mok is the game beter known in the west by its Japanese name go-moku [literally "five game pieces" but usually called in English "five in a row"]. It is played on a Go board, although the two words pronounced "go" in the names are unrelated in Japanese writing. The American game Pente is loosely based on go-moku.


message 13: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! | 51 comments Ah! That sounds familiar, but I have the other word stuck in my head...I'll have to ask. Is Go the one where you attempt to line up 5 of your pieces in a row? Or do you surround areas with your pieces?


message 14: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments As you can guess, I was editing my reply above while you were posting yours. Go is the surrounding game, while go-moku/o-mok is the five in a row.


message 15: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments If either game is in Glory Season I'll add it to both my virtual and my wooden shelves.


message 16: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! | 51 comments I hope there's success, but if it appears in the book then it's an altered form. My memory is bad. I think there was something about patterns and cascading, flipping tiles? Looking forward to your verdict!


message 17: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments "Cascading, flipping tiles" may be something more akin to Othello than to Go, but we'll see as soon as I get caught up on some other reading.


message 18: by Brian R. (last edited Feb 22, 2011 10:36AM) (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments I'll give The Samurai's Garden a check-out. I am impressed that it has such a large number of reviews and comments [not just ratings] on GR. Obviously, it moved many people to want to discuss their feelings about it. Looking forward to it.


message 19: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
not you, though, elizabeth. not you...


message 20: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed her review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls, which I ran across because my other collecting obsession is books by authors from Alameda.


message 21: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
see - exactly why she should review every single book she has ever read - she is good at it.


message 22: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
i know. i am the same way, but that doesn't mean i can't expect more from you than i do of myself. ♥


message 23: by j (last edited Feb 21, 2011 12:37PM) (new)

j (joeleoj) | 15 comments go plays a somewhat significant role in david mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

it is the only one that comes to mind so i'm glad no one else mentioned it!

oh wait, i just saw it is already on your shelf. carry on.


message 24: by Greg (new)

Greg | 117 comments I would have to check but Go is at least mentioned in comparison to the games played in The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks, and in Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game


message 25: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments In The Player of Games there is a brief mention of chess, along with a few presumably fictional games from other planets, in a passage about the fact that the lead character no longer has any interest in purely deterministic games since computers have so thoroughly mastered them. I was a little surprised that Go was not also mentioned, since Banks does reference Go in three of his other novels. Go players have long speculated that The Glass Bead Game is based to some degree on Go, since the title would seem to apply rather well. However, I strongly doubt it. First, the game described in the novel is as completely unrelated to Go as one could possibly get and still have some kind of glass bead in common. Second, I have read Hesse's The Journey to the East and most English-language collections of his correspondence, as well as a couple of biographies, looking for any mention of Go and there are none. In fact, in arguing with people who have claimed to have invented the glass bead game in some form, Hesse has insisted that it was wholly his own creation.


message 26: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments I always appreciate any attempts to add new material to the canon of known Go lit, so I am grateful to both Greg and Joel for their willingness to speak up and help.


message 27: by Greg (new)

Greg | 117 comments Yeah, I wasn't positive about Go being in either, but it seemed like it could have been. I'm very surprised that it wasn't in the Banks book.


message 28: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments I was somewhat surprised as well. It would have been a natural place to mention it, and Banks is definitely aware of the game; there is a chapter on it in Walking on Glass and brief mentions in Feersum Endjinn and Canal Dreams.


message 29: by Manny (new)

Manny (mannyrayner) Brian R. wrote: "Go players have long speculated that The Glass Bead Game is based to some degree on Go, since the title would seem to apply rather well. However, I strongly doubt it."

I agree - there is absolutely no way that the Glass Bead Game could be Go. A mathematician friend of mine has for a long time claimed that the Game must be pure mathematics. That seems to me far more plausible.


message 30: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) The Master of Go

I'm reading another of his and saw this title in his bibliography. Naturally I thought of this thread.


message 31: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments Mariel wrote: "The Master of Go

I'm reading another of his and saw this title in his bibliography. Naturally I thought of this thread."


And I appreciate it. Kawabata's book is a masterpiece of sports journalism [in a country where Go is a spectator sport]and a great study of the psychology of world class competition.


I note from your "to read" list that you'll be running into a couple of other novels with Go references, one quite extensive.


message 32: by Mariel (last edited Apr 20, 2011 01:07PM) (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) Go is played in Soseki's Kokoro. Kokoro


message 33: by Brian R. (last edited Apr 21, 2011 01:26AM) (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments Mariel wrote: "Go is played in Soseki's Kokoro. Kokoro"

Soseki also mentions the game in Sanshiro: A Novel and in I Am a Cat: Three Volumes in One. I especially liked the latter volume because my late wife had a black cat who played go. Well, she wasn't particularly clear on the rules but she liked to contemplate the board and occasionally push the stones. The American Go Journal illustrated an article on my collection of Go books with a picture of little Moxie seemingly pondering a move.


message 34: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
it's mentioned once or twice in The Fox Woman, and i thought of you while i was reading it, but it wasn't substantial enough to post here. until now. in desperation.


message 35: by D.M. (new)

D.M. Dutcher  | 11 comments Hikaru No Go, Vol. 01 is a japanese manga series about a boy named Hikaru, who finds an old go set in the attic. A ghost is there, and Hikaru learns to play Go based on his advice. He soon finds he has a raw talent for the game, and steps up into the professional ranks.

Despite the blurb, it's a very serious treatment of Go.


message 36: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments karen wrote: "it's mentioned once or twice in The Fox Woman, and i thought of you while i was reading it, but it wasn't substantial enough to post here. until now. in desperation."

Thank you much. I hadn't ever heard of this one. Now I'll go get it and read it. I always appreciate any new info.


message 37: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments Dmdutcher wrote: "Hikaru No Go, Vol. 01 is a japanese manga series about a boy named Hikaru, who finds an old go set in the attic. A ghost is there, and Hikaru learns to play Go based on his advice. He ..."

Hikaru is great. I was very disappointed that Viz, who publshed the English translation, stopped before completing the series.


message 38: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
but it's like a "blink and you miss it" thing, brian.


message 39: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I *think* The Samurai's Garden mentions it in passing; two characters play go at one point. It's a minor reference but I think you might like the book anyway."
There weren't any references to Go, but the book was a very interesting read. I had the same reaction that Elizabeth did; not a style or genre I would normally read, but a treasure I would not have discovered without her mention of it. An excellent novel about relationships, plus like most good historical fiction it gave an interesting take on the time and place in which it was set.


message 40: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments Eh?Eh! wrote: "My dad has played Go (I think it's called o-mok in Korean?) but there's another game played with the same board and black/white pieces that he has translated as House, and I get the two mixed up. ..."

I've finished Glory Season and it was an excellent read up to near the end, when the plot seemed to fade away for no particular reason. It was as if Brin suddenly needed to wrap everything up in a couple of pages with no attempt to explain motivations or plans. However, all in all it was a very good read. The game played in the book is a slightly bizarre variation of the Game of Life, the cellular automaton invented by John Conway back in 1970. Brin's attempt to modify it both into a competitive game and one which could be played with physical pieces is very interesting. His use of it as a system for encoding messages is implausible but nonetheless an interesting and creative extension of the research involved in creating Turing machines which was being conducted back when he was writing the book.


message 41: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
did you manage to get anything new out of this list?


message 42: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments The only new Go reference I got from this group was your own cite of The Fox Woman. I haven't obtained it yet because I have been seriously distracted by two of my other hobbies, but I will soon. As mentioned previously, I did very much enjoy the two books which I read because posters suggested that they might contain Go references. Turned out neither did, but both were interesting, and reading them was time well spent. I will also try to post the same query on the other RA resources you recently suggested for comaprison. Thanks you.


message 43: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1292 comments Mod
oh, the fox woman reference is so slight, it probably isn't even worth your time. i was desperate. i want to find one for you!


message 44: by Manny (new)

Manny (mannyrayner) karen wrote: "oh, the fox woman reference is so slight, it probably isn't even worth your time. i was desperate. i want to find one for you!"

I know how you feel. I finally opened my account the other day with this book... took me over a year. Brian, I'm just amazed at how thorough you've been :)


message 45: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 48 comments Karen, thank you much for the lead and don't worry about the reference being slight. Most new items that people find are fairly slight references. The more substantial ones are generally already on my radar. Manny, the one you found seems to be an exception, judging from the title. I look forward to buying it and getting a closer look, although I won't be able to actually read it unless it is someday translated into English. Unfortunately I am an all-too-typical American, i.e. monolingual. I do, however, collect both "regular" go books [how to play] and go-related fiction in any western language, and this looks like a good one.


message 46: by Manny (new)

Manny (mannyrayner) I will probably start reading it later this week... will let you know! There is something in the blurb about "the whole city being a Go-board". I hope it's not the same idea as Knight Moves. That was a truly terrible movie.


message 47: by Micha (last edited Oct 13, 2011 04:39PM) (new)

Micha (Selective_Narcoleptic) | 62 comments OHHH i LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS THREAD~!!! I have the addiction as you Brian R. and have either read or contemplated most of the books on this thread ~ including The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson. It was very good, though and I highly recommend it!


message 48: by Micha (new)

Micha (Selective_Narcoleptic) | 62 comments I haven't finished reading the whole thread yet, Brian R., so I don't know if this has come up already, but I suspect you are looking for books such as The Master of Go by Kawabata Yasunari (which is one of my favourite books that he ever wrote and the best fictional books I’ve found on Go before) and not book recommendations that instruct one how to play (I can give you several fantastic ones if this is the case ^_^)


message 49: by Micha (new)

Micha (Selective_Narcoleptic) | 62 comments Joel wrote: "go plays a somewhat significant role in david mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

You know, I should have read this already because I love David Mitchell SOOO much. But I always feel like I can't read one of his books until I know for sure he's about to publish another one so that I have something new of his to anticipate reading! This will make reading his last book extremely difficult and I suspect I will have to bend my will a bit...


message 50: by Micha (new)

Micha (Selective_Narcoleptic) | 62 comments Brian R. wrote: "Soseki also mentions the game in Sanshiro: A Novel and in I Am a Cat: Three Volumes in One. I especially liked the latter volume because my late wife had a black cat who played go. Well, she wasn't particularly clear on the rules but she liked to contemplate the board and occasionally push the stones. The American Go Journal illustrated an article on my collection of Go books with a picture of little Moxie seemingly pondering a move. i>

*wishes she too could have a Go-playing cat*...
That would make such a terrific story.



« previous 1
back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

The Girl Who Played Go (other topics)
Shibumi (other topics)
Glory Season (other topics)
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls (other topics)
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (other topics)
More...

Authors mentioned in this topic

Iain Banks (other topics)
Hermann Hesse (other topics)
David Wingrove (other topics)