Robert E. Howard Readers discussion

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What else are you reading?

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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments We can't always read REH or even REH related stories & books, so what else are you reading that's good?


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson is truly a classic of SF. It had been far too long since I read it or saw the movie, so I'm glad I gave it another go. The story was truly masterful. I gave it a 5 star review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck was another 5 star read earlier this week. It's especially timely now with all the talk of the economic divide & the 1%. I'd like to beat my English teachers who managed to turn me off this author with The Red Pony. His writing is fantastic, yet I wouldn't try another book by him for over 2 decades because of early trauma. Anyway, here's my review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael (dolphy76) | 440 comments I just finished "Jade City" by Fonda Lee. First in a new trilogy and the author's first "adult novel". I gave it 5 stars! It is a fantasy set in a fictional twentieth century type asian city on an island where jade is mined and gives many of it's inhabitants magical powers. The city itself is throwback to 1930s asian triads bit is more reminiscent of "The Godfather" meets "Game of Thrones". Those who have this gift are called Green Bones and this is the first of the Green Bones Trilogy.
The one I am currently reading is "Paradise Sky" by Joe R Lansdale. I have to read anything by him I don't love. This is a fictionalized biography of Nat Love or Deadwood Dick usually billed as the greatest African American Cowboy.


message 4: by Fernando (new)

Fernando Neeser | 18 comments I'm reading "Lampião, A Raposa das Caatingas", by José Bezerra Lima Irmão.


message 5: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Tomamichel | 11 comments Yes, I thought The Shrinking Man was a good read. It may get put into the same category as other shlock creature/horror books (The Incredible Melting Man, which was just terrible) but it is so much better than that.

I read most of the Alien Nation TV book series recntly, they were all good, with more depth and interesting issues than I remembered.


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments The Alien Nation books were novelized by Alan Dean Foster, weren't they? He wrote some pretty entertaining books, never terribly deep. My wife is rereading the Spell Song (I think) series of his now. The one with talking animals like Midge or Mudge, the Otter.


message 7: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Tomamichel | 11 comments Alan dean foster wrote a novelisation of the alien nation movie but the series books had a variety of authors and writing quality.

Mid world I reckon is one of his best. Although Total Recall was a fun read.


message 8: by Jim (last edited Mar 26, 2018 02:40AM) (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments Slipt & The Man Who Used the Universe are 2 of my favorites, that I thought were the best. The Flinx & Spellsinger books were just fun. I don't think I've read Midworld, though. I did like Total Recall.

He also wrote Splinter of the Mind's Eye which was supposed to be the second Star Wars movie, but they changed their minds. It was pretty good.


message 9: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 63 comments Jim wrote: "Slipt & The Man Who Used the Universe are 2 of my favorites, that I thought were the best. The Flinx & Spellsinger books were just fun. I don't think I've read Midworld,..."

He also ghost-wrote the original Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker novelization.

I read a ton of ADF novels when I was young -- he was a staple of the paperback spinners in the public library. My favorite was probably Midworld.

Myself I'm currently reading Chains of the Heretic by Jeff Salyards, which I'm quite enjoying although the narrator, Arki, is pretty much the exact opposite of a Howardian hero. (He's a scribe from a very sheltered upbringing, sent to travel with a company of hard-bitten mercenaries and record their adventures, which he does quite unsparingly.)


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 20 comments Jim wrote: "The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson is truly a classic of SF. It had been far too long since I read it or saw the movie, so I'm glad I gave it another go. The story was..."

Nice! Matheson is often forgotten but his Twilight Zone episodes are some of the best ever written (along with those by Charles Beaumont. I have The Shrinking Man on my shelf but have never read it - the movie was one of my favorites as a kid.

I recently read Nexus by Ramez Naam and loved it. It's about using nanotechnology in the near future to create "post-human" enhanced brains capable of superhuman intelligence and also capable of linking with other brains of like kind. Naam really explores the possibilities and potential abuses of this technology from many different angles. I was reminded a lot of Michael Crichton whose cutting edge research and fast moving plots made his better books unputdownable.


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments GoodReads is changing the authors on all lectures to "NOT A BOOK" & not even listing the author as a narrator. They're deleting them entirely!

I don't know why lectures suddenly aren't books. They have an ISBN & are distributed by libraries & resellers as books. They often come with an ebook full of notes. I've spent a lot of hours reading & writing reviews for them here. I often refer to those in discussions of other books by the same author here in various groups.

I've never been happy with they way GR has handled audio books. Listing the number of CDs or tapes as pages was stupid from the start & yet they don't list the number of files as pages. They should just list a minute per page, IMO. I think that's close to an average reading speed & would work for me. As it is, I never pay attention to that data.

Anyway, could you please send an email to support@goodreads.com & ask them to keep lectures as books? Apparently this is a staff decision & maybe if enough of us complain they'll change their minds. Making the author a narrator would be fine, but deleting them entirely really sucks.


message 12: by Fernando (new)

Fernando Neeser | 18 comments Early this year, I finished reading ERB's Tarzan of the Apes, and now I'm reading The Bible Unearthed, by Israel Finkelstein.


message 13: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments I'm reading the Island of Dr Moreau by H. G. Wells.


message 14: by Michael (new)

Michael (dolphy76) | 440 comments Vincent wrote: "I'm reading the Island of Dr Moreau by H. G. Wells."

Great choice.


message 15: by Michael (new)

Michael (dolphy76) | 440 comments Fernando wrote: "Early this year, I finished reading ERB's Tarzan of the Apes, and now I'm reading The Bible Unearthed, by Israel Finkelstein."

If you haven't read more Tarzan books I suggest reading the first 8 books (maybe excluding Jungle Tales which is unrelated short stories). 7 and 8 (Untamed and Terrible are the best two in my opinion and are related.


message 16: by Fernando (new)

Fernando Neeser | 18 comments Michael wrote: "Fernando wrote: "Early this year, I finished reading ERB's Tarzan of the Apes, and now I'm reading The Bible Unearthed, by Israel Finkelstein."

If you haven't read more Tarzan books I suggest read..."


Thanks for your suggestion, Michael. This moment, I'm also re-reading The Son of Tarzan - which I readed 4 years ago. I also readed Tarzan and the Ant-Men (too bad the book didn't show much of Tarzan's grandson) and Tarzan at the Earth's Core (IMO, the best ERB's Tarzan book I ever readed!). My next read will be "Terrible", BTW.


message 17: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 63 comments Just whatever you do don't get too caught up in trying to piece together a timeline or you'll be stuck trying to figure out how a man who was born in 1888 or 1889 and presumably didn't get married much before 1908 could have a son old enough to fight in World War I.


message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments Here's a neat look at the history of libraries in the US. It's a quick read with lots of pictures.
https://getpocket.com/explore/item/a-...


message 19: by Michael (last edited Jun 14, 2019 05:47AM) (new)

Michael (dolphy76) | 440 comments Jim wrote: "The Alien Nation books were novelized by Alan Dean Foster, weren't they? He wrote some pretty entertaining books, never terribly deep. My wife is rereading the Spell Song (I think) series of his no..."
BTW, Alan Dean Foster donated a postcard signed by H P Lovecraft to REH. He had it through his family somehow. I don't remember the details. It is displayed a the REH Museum.


message 20: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Tomamichel | 11 comments Alan Dean Foster wrote the book adaptation of the screenplay. The series was written by a range of authors, some better than others.


message 21: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments Alan Dean Foster wrote a lot of book adaptations of screenplays. For a while, it was not only a niche job, but it seemed he had a monopoly on the niche.

I have his adaptations of Krull, The Black Hole, Star Trek logs (adaptations of the animated series), Star Trek the Motion Picture, and Star Wars. I think the only original of his I own is Splinter of the Mind's Eye.

Neat that he had a postcard from REH to HP Lovecraft. It never would have occurred to me that there was a connection between his family and one of theirs.


message 22: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 63 comments I read a fair amount of Foster's original stuff when I was young -- there were plenty on the paperback spinners at the public library. My favorite is probably Midworld, about one of those planets where EVERYTHING wants to eat you.


message 23: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Tomamichel | 11 comments I think Midworld is his greatest book.

He also did the book version for the Arne Schwarzenegger version of Total Recall, which I thought a great read.

There are two book versions of the first episode of Alien Nation, one based on the tv episode, the other on the pilot. Different plot and focus for each. One from human, the other from alien point of view.


message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments Here's an interesting article about audiobooks, their market share & our comprehension.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...


message 25: by Vincent (last edited Jul 18, 2019 10:18AM) (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments Oooh. Great article! Thanks, Jim!

I have an hour drive to and from work each day, and I fill that time with audiobooks (I need to listen to something, so I may as well listen to books!).

I do find it frustrating that a passage I really like can't be marked for quoting later.

I haven't listened to any REH audio yet - worried that the reader won't do the material justice.


message 26: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments I quite often listen to a book & then skim the text, especially with nonfiction books. That really helps with retention & I can copy the passages out as I want. I also have a long commute plus a lot of mindless chores like mowing & weeding, so I go through quite a few audiobooks. The current technology has made it so much nicer. I can download them, put them on my phone & listen through a bluetooth headset.

It's not like the old days of fumbling with CDs or cassettes in the car & worrying about rewinding or dirty media. There's also a much larger selection & I can carry them with me. If I'm on a tractor, I just put on ear protectors. Also, my software (Smart Audiobook Player) allows me to listen at any speed from .5x up to 2.5x in increments of .1 without distorting the voice.


message 27: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments Yeah, the speed thing is useful. I use that sometimes, especially if the reader seems to read or speak more slowly than I like.


message 28: by Michael (new)

Michael (dolphy76) | 440 comments I do likewise. This year I listened (and read) Anna Karenina and War & Peace and David Copperfield. W & P alone is 66 hours long so I sped it up by reading and skimming as well. I used to listen to REH books on CDs in the car. Now I can listen on Audible using bluetooth in the car. Much easier and I don't have to swap out CDs when driving long distances.


message 29: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments I won't use Audible. Their files are DRM-locked. If I can't convert formats & backup files, I won't buy them. I've been burned too often in the past by companies going out of business or proprietary formats being left behind.


message 30: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments Most of the books I listen to are only listened to once, so that issue doesn't bother me. If it's a book I'll re-read, I'll buy a physical copy (either in book form or CD form).


message 31: by Fernando (new)

Fernando Neeser | 18 comments He also did the book version for the Arne Schwarzenegger version of Total Recall, which I thought a great read.

Is this novelization closer to Phillip K. Dick's "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale"?


message 32: by Michael (new)

Michael (dolphy76) | 440 comments I don't reread the audibles either. Once is enough. If it's a book I love I have it in physical form. Like W&P and Anna Karenina I have Easton Press copies in leather bound editions which I hope to keep until I die :)


message 33: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments Oh... Easton Press... How I love their books...


message 34: by Michael (new)

Michael (dolphy76) | 440 comments Me too! I own several of them. I joined the 100 Greatest Books many years ago and collected many of my favorites. I own 44 Easton Press books today. I had 45 but I just sold my "Conan the Barbarian" on ebay for $300 + shipping. That book really meant nothing to me as the Del Reys and REH Foundation Books pretty much have REH covered in the best editions possible. I am getting older and plan to downsize quite a bit more.


message 35: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments That is an impressive collection of Easton Press books!


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