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Readalong Suggestions

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message 1: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 4 comments Can we suggest books for future readalongs?

I'd really like to see Arthur Machen get covered -- The Great God Pan, The White People or The Hill of Dreams. He doesn't get a lot of attention nowadays, though Stephen King wrote a story inspired by the Great God Pan recently, and he was a huge influence on the Cthulhu Mythos.

Just for laughs, The Castle of Otranto would be interesting. It's the first horror novel and the inventor of every cliche in Scooby-doo. You've got haunted castles, secret passages, and a mad nobleman plotting to murder his wife so he can marry a teenage girl. (Okay, the last one wasn't in Scooby-doo, but it should've been.)

And finally, there's Revenge, a collection of linked horror stories by Yoko Ogawa that recently came out on Audible. The whole book is under five hours, it has a blurb from Joe Hill, and the author won Japan's highest literary award, so it has something for Jesse, Tam and Jenny.


message 2: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) LOOOOVE Arthur Machen. You really see where Lovecraft got his vibe when you see what Machen wrote. I'd be up for that for sure!

I'm intrigued by the Japanese stories but I'm afraid they might be too graphic for me.


message 3: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 4 comments Julie wrote: "I'm intrigued by the Japanese stories but I'm afraid they might be too graphic for me."

There is one story about a purse maker who's hired to make a harness for a woman born with her heart on the outside, but that's not too graphic. Mainly it's psychological horror.


message 4: by Jenny (Reading Envy) (last edited Apr 30, 2014 08:21PM) (new)

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 3 comments Thanks Sean, you know us well. :)

I'd like us to readalong more recent works. Then again I'm backing out on The Martian.


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "Thanks Sean, you know us well. :)

I'd like us to readalong more recent works. Then again I'm backing out on The Martian."


The Martian isn't one that I'd have pegged you for, to be fair. But I think you might like The Last Policeman (in June). And that's fairly recent.

I mentioned Agent to the Stars and it seemed to get mixed interest, but didn't make it to the schedule. Not the newest book on the shelf, to be sure, but arguable Scalzi's best (in my very limited experience). And definitely recent on the SFFaudio time scale. :-D


message 6: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 10 comments I'd be willing to do the Scalzi.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 3 comments Jesse doesn't always have to be on. I have access to the schedule, muahaha. And we've had some great renegade podcasts, in my opinion.

*mental note to get that policeman book*

And this morning I was thinking about a question I have about The Martian. I dunno. Maybe I'll pop in.


message 8: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 10 comments It's kind of like Survivorman on Mars.


message 9: by Julie (last edited May 01, 2014 07:38AM) (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "Jesse doesn't always have to be on. I have access to the schedule, muahaha. And we've had some great renegade podcasts, in my opinion.

*mental note to get that policeman book*

And this morning ..."

I like how you identified the "mixed interest" element. :-D

You can also ask one of us The Martian question ... if it's simple enough. Otherwise, you might have to pop in. :-)


message 10: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) Tamahome wrote: "I'd be willing to do the Scalzi."

And I think Seth ... or someone else was willing. If not enough interest then I will be doing it with Scott. I think there is plenty to talk about there.


message 11: by Rob (new)

Rob (robzak) | 3 comments I think I reviewed Agent to the Stars for the website. It was alright, but I think he's got better books.

I liked Wil Wheaton is a good fit as the narrator though.


message 12: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) Rob wrote: "I think I reviewed Agent to the Stars for the website. It was alright, but I think he's got better books.

I liked Wil Wheaton is a good fit as the narrator though."


Which ones have you liked better? I know Red Shirts got mixed reviews and Old Man's War was ok, but not that great to me.


message 13: by Rob (last edited May 01, 2014 09:04AM) (new)

Rob (robzak) | 3 comments I actually reviewed Redshirts (Also read by Wil Wheaton) for SFF too. I liked that one better but that one has mixed reviews like you said. It winning the Hugo upset a bunch of people, but what else is new?

I haven't done Old Man's War on audio, but I have done the next two (Ghost Brigades & Last Colony). The reader for that is William Dufris who I think is a good fit.

His Old Man's war books are probably my favorite. However Fuzzy Nation was really enjoyable too. It's read by Wil Wheaton.


message 14: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) I know people liked Fuzzy Nation but I disliked the whole original set of fuzzy books so I skipped it.

It may be one of those things where one picks a Scalzi book and sees who wants to talk. I think I'll withdraw the Agent to the Stars suggestion and just keep it for A Good Story is Hard to Find. It raises so many fascinating issues that we can talk about there also. :-)


message 15: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) Sean wrote: "Julie wrote: "I'm intrigued by the Japanese stories but I'm afraid they might be too graphic for me."

There is one story about a purse maker who's hired to make a harness for a woman born with her..."


If it were psychological (like Haunting of Hill House? sort of?) then I'd be really interested.


message 16: by Rob (new)

Rob (robzak) | 3 comments Julie wrote: "I know people liked Fuzzy Nation but I disliked the whole original set of fuzzy books so I skipped it."

I haven't read the original story to compare, but from what I understand he modernized some parts that didn't age well and added his typical sense of humor. I think the core story is the same, but I'm not really sure.

I found it a really fun book though.


message 17: by Julie (last edited May 01, 2014 10:50AM) (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) What about Feed by Mira Grant? Yes, it is zombies, but it also looks at the morphing of blogging, podcasting, and vodcasting into the main source of news. Adventure and zombies and a presidential election. So timely! :-D

I guess we need to admit that I am here to supply the shallow thrill-seekers with someone to relate to! :-D


message 18: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 10 comments I really like Larry Niven's short story The Soft Weapon, which became an animated Star Trek episode. I'm not sure if we could talk about it for a whole episode though.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 3 comments Julie wrote: "What about Feed by Mira Grant? Yes, it is zombies, but it also looks at the morphing of blogging, podcasting, and vodcasting into the main source of news. Adventure and zombies and a presidential e..."

Better than Feed - Parasite, and it's up for a Hugo. So timely!


message 20: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 10 comments Don't encourage the voting blocks. :p


message 21: by Sean (last edited May 01, 2014 08:15PM) (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 4 comments Julie wrote: "If it were psychological (like Haunting of Hill House? sort of?) then I'd be really interested."

Well, she has won the Shirley Jackson Award.

One of the stories is available online, so you can get some taste for it, though since they're linked stories you have to read the rest of the book to understand some of the enigmatic details.


message 22: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "Julie wrote: "What about Feed by Mira Grant? Yes, it is zombies, but it also looks at the morphing of blogging, podcasting, and vodcasting into the main source of news. Adventure and zombies and a ..."

Parasite ... just from the title I can say I'll sit that one out. :-)


message 23: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 10 comments That's just the worms in your gut talking.


message 24: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) I hate when they do that! Though they have made me a lot smarter!


message 25: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) Tamahome wrote: "I really like Larry Niven's short story The Soft Weapon, which became an animated Star Trek episode. I'm not sure if we could talk about it for a whole episode though."

You know what would be fun? Stories by the authors who wound up writing Trek episodes. If any of those stories wound up being adapted, like the Niven one, then that would just be icing on the cake.


message 26: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 4 comments I believe the only other episode directly adapted from an existing story is the TNG episode Where No One Has Gone Before, which was loosely based on Diane Duane's early TOS novel, The Wounded Sky. There's also the odd case of Arena, which was credited to Frederic Brown after a technical consultant at DeForest Research noticed a similarity between Gene Coon's supposedly original script and one of Brown's old stories.

There's a new series of books called These Are The Voyages which offer a season by season history of the original series, going through each episode from the initial story pitch all the way through broadcast. It turns out very few of the episodes credited to famous sci-fi authors bear more than a passing resemblance to the scripts those authors submitted, especially in the first season when the authors weren't familiar with the show. One of the producers quit because he was tired of having to tell Richard Matheson and Robert Bloch, "Yeah, Gene didn't like your script, so he rewrote the whole thing."

The most fascinating case is The City on the Edge of Forever, credited to Harlan Ellison but really written by D.C. Fontana. Ellison's story involved a drug dealer on the Enterprise killing someone, and Kirk taking him down to a planet for death by firing squad. Needless to say, that didn't fit the Star Trek vision of the future. Ellison was so mad he bad mouthed the show to other sci-fi writers and told them not to write for the series.


message 27: by Tamahome (last edited May 05, 2014 09:59AM) (new)

Tamahome | 10 comments The original teleplay has now been adapted to a graphic novel. The City on the Edge of Forever

Maybe a readalong of Niven's best short stories?


message 28: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) Sean wrote: "I believe the only other episode directly adapted from an existing story is the TNG episode Where No One Has Gone Before, which was loosely based on Diane Duane's early TOS novel, [book:The Wounded..."

Disappointing but also kind of hilarious that Rodenberry consistently rewrote all those authors' scripts. On the other hand, one must keep consistency for the show and I can see that also being an issue.


message 29: by Julie (new)

Julie Davis (juliedhc) Tamahome wrote: "The original teleplay has now been adapted to a graphic novel. The City on the Edge of Forever

Maybe a readalong of Niven's best short stories?"


Now that you mention it, I didn't know Niven wrote short stories. I always think of novels for him. That might be fun.


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